EFL boss Rick Parry says things are moving "positively" towards the return of normal crowds at football grounds next season.

The League's chairman says he was encouraged by the way the Carabao Cup final, with 8,000 supporters at Wembley, unfolded.

And Parry said he is "very optimistic" about the return of supporters next season, saying the game is on track to return to "normality" after Covid-19 has meant the majority of 2020/21 has been played behind closed doors.

Parry, speaking on Sky Sports, said: "We are very optimistic at the moment.

"Wembley on Sunday was a great day.

"8,000 fans doesn't sound like a lot but they made a lot of noise, and it was fantastic to see Man City celebrate the trophy lift with their supporters.

News and Star: Rick Parry, left, with United's John Nixon (photo: Stuart Walker)Rick Parry, left, with United's John Nixon (photo: Stuart Walker)

"All the supporters behaved themselves extremely well and it was a successful day."

Limited numbers of fans are now set to be allowed into play-off finals and the FA Cup final next month as football continues its efforts to show supporters can safely return to games, at a time Covid infections are falling across the country.

Parry added: "We are absolutely moving forward positively towards the return of crowds next season.

"In our minds we are moving back towards normality."

Carlisle played in front of 1,000 home fans against Southend at a test event last September, while 2,000 crowds were allowed in Brunton Park in December when Cumbria was in Tier 2 of the regionalised system of Covid restrictions.

But otherwise United have been forced to play in empty stadiums this season.