If football fans are really going to end up paying £14.95 to watch live Premier League games it could lead to an increase in coronavirus cases.
Games not earmarked for TV will be made available on the box office services of Sky Sports or BT Sport.
But the move has sparked fears that fans could crowd together in homes and break the current “rule of six” on social gatherings.
Tom Greatrex, vice-chair of the Football Supporters’ Association, said: “I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to suggest you could have, say, a group of Fulham supporters gathering together to watch their game at Sheffield United next week when that’s not what you’re supposed to do.
“If you are unintentionally increasing the risk of the spread of the virus then you’re making it a longer time before fans can get back into grounds — which at the start of the week is what the Premier League and other football authorities were pushing for. So it’s a self-defeating exercise.”
Ex-England and Man Utd ace Gary Neville, a Sky pundit, said the fee was a “really bad move”.
Former Lib Dem leader and Blackburn Rovers fan Tim Farron said: “I get that Premier League clubs need to protect their incomes, but given these tough times, this will be a kick in the teeth to fans.”
He added: “It will no doubt make it all the harder to enforce the rule of six.”
There has been a growing frustration with the Government over its refusal to let fans back in stadiums.
This article was most recently revised and updated 2 years ago