Fears that the absence of fans would result in next month’s Gallagher Premiership final being played away from Twickenham have proven unfounded as tournament officials have confirmed the English showpiece will take place at RFU HQ on October 24.  

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Earlier this week the UK Government paused its programme to get back into sports stadiums due to the recent increase in the spread of the coronavirus, a development that left already hard-pressed Premiership club owners fearing for the future of their financially threatened businesses. 

Despite all that doom and gloom, though, Premiership Rugby officials have ensured their annual showpiece event will go ahead at Twickenham even though the final of the 2019/20 season – the 18th title decider in the tournament’s history – will take place behind closed doors.  

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How long can clubs in the English Premiership survive without fans at matches?

“Rugby union is facing the biggest challenge in its history and we are fighting a battle for the future of the game,” said Premiership Rugby chief executive Darren Childs.

“But we owe it to the clubs, players and management who have fought for more than a year to reach the Gallagher Premiership final that the culmination of the season is held at the iconic Twickenham Stadium. 

“We would also like to thank the RFU for partnering with us to deliver this vision of a fitting final for professional rugby in England. Having the Gallagher Premiership final behind closed doors for the first time in its history is a stark reminder of the fight for survival being staged by Premiership clubs. 

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“Normally, the stadium would be packed with 80,000 dedicated fans, and we are so disappointed we will not be allowed to share the experience with them in person. It’s always a fantastic day, and we have dedicated and passionate fans who are sticking with us through this crisis.”

The final will be shown live on BT Sport in the UK, and globally in more than 170 countries. All tickets sold for the original date of June 20 date will now be refunded.

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