Watford could play most of next season in front of reduced capacity crowds as the country continues its recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, according to a report.

A senior government adviser has told the BBC that, despite events at the Oval, Edgbaston and Glorious Goodwood, it is highly unlikely that sport will have full stadiums at least for the remainder of this year.

While supporters are not expected to be permitted to return to grounds until October, a month after football starts again, Professor James Calder believes it is unlikely stadiums will be able to hit full capacity for a while yet.

Harrow Times:

Calder - who has chaired the cross-sport working group with government and health officials on the return to sport - has said that he does not expect to see stadiums full again until there is a vaccine available.

"I would be very surprised if we could get full stadia back this year," he said. "Realistically I think it probably will need a vaccine and also a high take-up rate of that vaccine before we can really see full capacity stadia."

Asked about whether there was the potential for the entirety of the next football season to be played in front of reduced capacities, he said: "Possible, yep... I think realistically we will be under scrutiny for the next year, certainly this side of Christmas and probably for the rest of the season."

Calder also revealed that experiments are currently taking place to assess whether or not the spread of droplets could be increased by supporters chanting and singing.

He said: "We need to know, actually, does it matter if you're shouting, how far will those droplets spread?

"At a football or a rugby match, the fans are going to be shouting and chanting and singing, I hope, and we need to be sure that the people in front of them are as safe as possible.

"Now if there is no massive droplet spread, well OK, we can keep within the social distancing that we've put down for, say, the Crucible and The Oval. But if it is a problem, then we need to rethink the social distancing within the stadia, and that becomes very difficult."