After having a bit of the local ale on the train we arrived and went to a sports bar near the stadium. We met a few Manchester United fans who’d travelled from Russia to the game and like us had tickets for the Wolfsburg end. After the walk to the stadium, which was very impressive, we made our way into the ground for something to eat.
Unlike our catering facilities you are served beer and food on the terrace. I had some local delicacy which was a mix between a sausage roll and a hotdog, quite tasty. I enjoyed my pint of the local brew watching the teams warm up. We were situated to the left of the goal directly opposite the travelling supporters.
But what I found most enjoyable about the trip was what the Premier League lacks: safe standing. Unlike old terraces you had standing room; it was an all-ticket game, there were no hooligans in our vicinity. There was a wide range of supporters standing and singing in no danger. There were numerous CCTV cameras and officials making sure that spectators were safe and enjoying the match which my sister in law did as she celebrated the goals with no problems.
I wrote an article on the issue of standing and I feel people misunderstood what I was writing about. I don’t advocate a return to the pay on the turnstiles days and packed terraces. As a proud blue, I’m sick of opposition supporters chanting at us for not singing.
The Hillsbrough disaster was caused by poor policing that allowed fans without tickets to gain entry onto the terrace causing a crush. Due to the high fences at the front, people could not get onto the pitch to save themselves. The standing that I would like is the ability to stand in front of your seat without being attacked by stewards or your fellow supporters.
“The IFC recommends that something is done to resolve this ludicrous situation to enforce a seating rule but plainly either cannot, or refuse to bother. This is leaving clubs, stewards, and local authorities etc in a situation where no-one knows what to do. Rather than running away scared from what many perceive as a mass safety issue, the football authorities at least need to give their clubs some help in resolving what is fast becoming the major customer care issue at grounds”.
There seems to be a complete media ban on any reporting or a promotion of standing to support your team. It's censored. It must be, or are those people in the media and public eye completely oblivious to what goes on in the stands?
Man City's safety manager — their Ged Poynton if you like — made a statement last summer, that the club have created a singing section in the lower tier next to the away fans, and he will NOT be asking stewards to enforce them to sit. They'll be left alone to stand, as there is no safety risk with standing in lower tiers.
He is 100% correct. And every game this season, City fans have stood all game, every game with no hassle from stewards. There has been no closure of the stand or threat of that from the FLA. They know they can't win. If only every club had a stadium manager like the one at Man City.
These statements were taken from the RAWK a Liverpool supporter’s website. Phil Hammond said that Liverpool supporters should sit down as standing is unsafe. If you go down to the concourse facilities is that unsafe? Is it unsafe to stand up during a moment of excitement?
Congratulations to Ged Poynton I wish we had someone like that at our club. In my opinion it’s totally unfair for old people to moan at young ones for standing when they did the very same thing when they were youngsters.
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1 Posted 14/12/2009 at 07:53:10
However, I can’t see why a properly monitored " standing section" can’t be at least investigated and maybe even given a trial game or two, as long as some consideration is given to those of us who don’t wish to stand or, like me, are unable to without severe discomfort... Don’t forget, the "Old People" you refer to have in my case been going to Goodison for over 40 years and we deserve some consideration as well.
2 Posted 14/12/2009 at 07:34:28
The recent disturbances at OT were mainly a result of young blues asking the Stewards why half of old trafford was allowed to stand but they — Evertonians — couldn’t, it has to be the same rule for all and I’m afraid that rule has to be we ALL sit.
I’m probably what you would describe as an old person, but believe it or not I have a level of sympathy for you. I used to love to stand, but there are laws in place now mate and they are in place for very good reason.
You’re right, there were many different reasons for the Hillsborough disaster, but the bottom line is it simply wouldn’t have happened in a seated area.
I really do understand your frustration when people moan at you to sit down... but unfair? What about the people who are unable to stand up throughout the game? What about the 7-8 year olds who’s only chance to see the game is for everyone to sit down?
I was undecided on this until recently, I could see both sides of this escalating argument, but I saw a young mum on the floor amidst the recent mini riot at OT, I’m guessing her lad was about 11-12 he was screaming for people to get his mam up, she was eventually hauled to her feet and was covered in dirty boot prints. They both left the ground badly shaken.
It's still really playing on my mind, why should she and her son get caught up in a battle between people who want to stand up and the Stewards? That sort of thing just can't be allowed to happen, ever.
Campaign for your standing area by all means, Chris, I wish you good luck, but in the meantime, stay in your seat, mate.
3 Posted 14/12/2009 at 09:49:09
Fans will stand up, fans have been doing so for the last 18 years, I guarantee that fans will continue to do so in the next 18 years too, and so on... The current system isn’t working, it never has. It therefore needs to be addressed. Your post is further evidence to this.
By having a small area at the back of each stand for fans to stand up in front of their allocated seat. That incident would not have occurred.
4 Posted 14/12/2009 at 10:02:19
It’s obvious there is no little demand for standing areas and if it’s not dealt with properly, the sort of incident mentioned above by Dave Wilson may well become more common-place as the level of conflict arising from this issue escalates.
As things stand the Clubs seem to be in an impossible position, feeling obliged to try to enforce the unenforceable and alienating their own supporters in the process. No doubt, as with the move to all-seater after Hillsborough, we will see nothing done until a major incident results in serious injuries, or worse, and then there will be a complete knee-jerk reaction.
5 Posted 14/12/2009 at 10:57:59
And if all clubs introduced this as policy, then there would not be the issue that you cited with the away support at OT.
You seem a very much by-the-book type person, but the book was written by some bloke who thinks that’s the way things should be. Now if that bloke was convinced of a better way which Chris is advocating, then the book will be re-written. And everybody lived happily ever after. The end...
6 Posted 14/12/2009 at 11:19:54
7 Posted 14/12/2009 at 13:48:52
8 Posted 14/12/2009 at 13:10:07
I have seen in the past couple of weeks
- Young Spurs fans being thrown out of WHL.
- An argument that nearly came to blows between older and younger blues at the Boleyn,
- Chelsea fans on their feet for 90 minutes with their backs to the game trying to provoke Evertonians.
When you get young lads, determined to stand up and stewards — often security people drafted in from outside — equally determined to make them sit down, I’m amazed what happened at OT hasn’t happened more often.
I travel to games with people whose ages range between 6-7 years old to pensioners, I have no problems with the younger adults in our party who want to stand up, but I am concerned for their safety and the safety of the people around them when police and stewards move in
You don't know me and your "by the book kind of guy" comment couldn’t be further from the truth.
9 Posted 14/12/2009 at 14:06:21
Maybe unreserved seating would work where those who want to stand make it known to other supporters and congregate in one block or just try and get at the back.
The stewards at Old Trafford are considered the worst in the Premier League Dave. Manchester United fans have had numerous clashes with them.
10 Posted 14/12/2009 at 14:07:12
It depends what people are talking about here because there is a difference between safe standing and standing safely (because standing safely is impossible to guarantee).
In countries where the local FA have taken their blinkers off to the possibility, safe standing areas have to be differently designed seating with higher backs on the seats. It is potentially uncomfortable if you choose to sit, (some places when you sit you have to watch through a mesh) but they are designed to prevent people from ever falling forward (it is probably easier to fall in normal seating than the old standing terraces but we won’t go into that).
A quick Google came up with the below example. I believe one of the Sheffield clubs campaigned for to have this but the FA refused to even think about it...
11 Posted 14/12/2009 at 15:00:38
At Spurs there was a Spurs fan across the divide giving out abuse. At Spurs we stood for most of the game. The stewards did ask us to sit down but weren’t threatening people with ejection despite us ignoring them.
Standing gives a sense of unity and playing a part in the game that you don’t get while sat. Spurs fans near us also stood throughout the game without being reprimanded. A group of blues near the back openly refused to sit down but quoted the rules and the head of security behaved in a polite manner as did the stewards.
12 Posted 14/12/2009 at 16:43:51
If there were designated standing areas (i.e no seats at all) then great, stand up, but chances are if there are seats then the person behind you will want to sit and has every right to sit, still see the game and not have to put up with what is nothing more than stubborness and inconsideration for other people.
There was a queue at the bank today, so I waited in it. Why couldn't I just push to the front?? It didn
t matter to me what the person in front wanted the bank for.
13 Posted 14/12/2009 at 17:22:39
Unfortunately the club refuses to work with us. There is a group of about 5,000 who do want to stand. Unfortunately people on PP and QQ cannot see past the half way line when stood due to the roof above the singers.
14 Posted 14/12/2009 at 18:30:20
I’ve been in the back seat of a stand and the atmosphere was tremendous, singing was emmense, then I watched as the stewards worked there way back through the seats infront of me, warning everyone to stay seated. By the time it got to the back seats there was no sound. I guess it’s a similar thing to weddings; the people dancing are the ones shouting the songs out loudest.
To say "The Premier League has been all seater for years now, get over it" is a bit dismissive, do you say that when people complain about bias referees on here as well, "well the ref made the decision, get over it"? Or as Fran Mitchell from this website put it so perfectly once "when you talk about what celeb you would prefer to shag Jennifer Aniston or Angelina Jolie", are you the one in the pub that says "Why does it matter, you won't fuck her anyway"?
Sorry, I found that to be genius.
15 Posted 14/12/2009 at 18:53:35
In the Liverpool game I stood up the whole game. Where I sit or stand GT3 has always been known to have persistent standing. GT4 is also the other block that stands for large parts of the game.
I also think it provides enjoyment to the game. If all we wanted to do there was sit quietly with our arses glued to our seats, we would stay at home.
16 Posted 14/12/2009 at 20:43:17
17 Posted 14/12/2009 at 21:37:10
Again, why can’t the club give youngsters and older fans tickets near the front at away games. For example, there was a dad and his young daughter at the Benfica game. It's unfair for the club to not think about customer satisfaction.
18 Posted 14/12/2009 at 21:57:13
Now this isn’t meant to be offensive in any nature but most of the stewards seem to be clueless young individuals. Some seem to be just hired thugs that are looking for a fight.
Brian Barwick was one of the main critics of standing areas, his main arguement: what if the standing area sells out? People will stand in seated areas as already happens. Then one of two measures should be taken: the club makes the standing area bigger; or the club ejects the supporter.
19 Posted 15/12/2009 at 10:20:41
So any plans, whether official or unofficial, would have to be revised and would have to be for a very small section and probably in an area with obstructed views.
This could still work. as essentially an area for 50 fans would be the ’heart’ of the support, rather than the entire support, so if it was placed in the right place these 50 fans would get the rest singing.
Anyway, send us an email, my address is on one of the posts above.
20 Posted 15/12/2009 at 11:10:28
I hate standing and always have done, I also object when people in front of me stand up as I paid to sit and watch the game not to have to stand up because someone in front of me is.
If the rules change, then you can stand up to your heart's content, but until then, just do as you are told and stop making a fuss about it.
21 Posted 15/12/2009 at 11:41:57
Chris Briddon, where do you sit? If it's Gwladys Street you would know that standing takes place there anyway. Yes, if we had a tiny ground or sold out every home game I’d understand your concern but the reality is we don’t. Fans have numerous areas of the ground to choose.
Most of the people round me sit there because of the atmosphere and the ablity to stand up. Nobody complains when people stand up in that area it just takes somone with the bottle to stand up.
Note, fans should be made aware of this when tickets are purchased. If the club don’t liase with us what can we do. In my opinion, me and other Evertonians are embarrassed when our support is quiet. The rule's unfair and eventually away from home everyone will stand every match.
People who stand aren’t a bunch of mindless morons. At Spurs I realised there were professionals there standing and singing, not a bunch of drunks. There were women there as well and I really enjoyed my trip there except for the result.
A Liberal Democrat poltician recently complained at a party conference about the lack of safe standing. What I meant about older fans was that certain older fans don’t care about singing as they did when they were younger as they’ve grown out of it.
22 Posted 15/12/2009 at 12:16:21
23 Posted 15/12/2009 at 14:41:22
Chris – I appreciate your arguement, and if ever there are designated standing areas (I hope not but there we go), then you may use them as you see fit, but until then, there are seats – please use them!
You say people don’t complain – but they may just not be as vocal as the ones who stand up and are prepared to ignore the rules just for their satisfaction! If 20 people stood up in front of me, there would be limits to my complaints and it's nothing to do with my unhappiness, just my safety! If people aren’t prepared to sit down when stewards etc ask them to, what chance have a couple of disgruntled fans got?
If there ever are designated standing areas then use them; until that point, don’t be so selfish and respect the other fans who go to the games as well!
I personally object to standing, as I believe it's impossible to do without an element of risk without vastly reducing the attendance. I used to stand occasionally and hated every minute of it, in a decent-sized crowd there is too much that is not under control for it to be safe.
There was a reason standing was removed from grounds – it hasn’t changed!
24 Posted 15/12/2009 at 15:11:04
Football is a passionate game. Many fans can’t help but get caught up and so stand. Some managers are jumping out of their seat every 2 minutes, some don’t move. Each to their own, we’re all affected by the match differently. Therefore, common sense should say that fans who do wish to stand go to the back. The current rule isn’t working.
You say there is an element of risk to standing? The FLA doesn’t think there is. People stand up everyday in crowds sometimes with an electric line right in front of them and with trains going past within in inches of people.
In a stadium, fans stand at half-time, full-time, when the team are on the attack — all of which are not deemed unsafe, so why not for a small section to do so in front of their allocated seat during passive moments of play?
25 Posted 15/12/2009 at 15:39:06
Note again, you say you don’t want standing areas but that's not going to solve anything. I welcome ideas; the Arsenal way might be useful that we set up a group where you have to be a member to join and allocate an area for those people to stand. We give the membership list to the club so if anybody does misbehave, they will be thrown out of the group. We meet in a pub before the game and walk to the stadium together. Arsenal have succesfully used this idea. Members have photo-IDs.
26 Posted 15/12/2009 at 15:54:22
Your arguments about other situations when people stand are irrelevant... and again, just becuase it happens doesn’t make it right or safe.
There are two issues here:
1 - People who stand at present when they aren’t supposed to;
2 - The need for designated standing areas.
I can understand point 2, although I would be against it. Point 1 is about people being selfish and showing no consideration for others just becuase THEY want to stand. However you justify it it is still wrong!
27 Posted 15/12/2009 at 16:32:30
For me standing in your way, is something I won’t intentionally do out of courtesy and respect. However, I see sitting or standing as a choice issue rather than a ’right or wrong’ issue. To argue that one is selfish for standing, then I could argue that one is selfish for sitting if they are capable of standing, it is a personal preference.
As for unsafe the FLA have said that standing in front of your seat is only unsafe in upper or steep tiers, so I don’t know why you believe it is unsafe.
Re your point about being optimistic about fans sitting, are you suggesting that we just wait and hope that people just stop standing? Or do you propose a way to eliminate standing for good? I personally propose a compromise. I propose a choice.
28 Posted 15/12/2009 at 22:28:05
Your views seem to me a tad hypocritical as, on the one hand, you accuse those who currently stand of being selfish & yet you are opposed to designated areas for these people to use, which is rather selfish on your part.
It’s also entirely relevant to this debate for those in support of standing areas to point out the very many occasions when large numbers of people stand quite safely, often with less supervision or control of numbers than would apply to these proposed standing areas.
Football is full of drama & emotion which is a huge part of it’s attraction & many supporters want to get on their feet chanting & singing in much the same way that some people want to be on their feet singing & dancing at concerts — there’s no reason why these people should not be catered for just the same as those who wish to remain seated should be.
29 Posted 16/12/2009 at 11:53:09
The club is only too happy to show people standing at Wembley. Heres a piece from the Spurs programme. "We naturally recognise that standing does not exist throughout the stadium". So where does it occur, are you going to warn supporters? I’d guess the supporters that are housed there go there because of persistent standing. "In the unique atmosphere created by Spurs supporters at White Hart Lane." So how can fans create a unique atmosphere while siting?
This is a major customer care issue as fans who want to stand will give up watching football live. Fans who are forced to sit are having their day wrecked. I wasn’t having a go at such people as Art Jones.
It brings a tear to my eye and many other blues how shit out support can be sometimes. Thats why I hope we draw with Carlisle at home as I’d love to go to Boundary Park and stand up without having someone tell me to sit down.
30 Posted 17/12/2009 at 12:42:31
As a long-standing football fan, home and away, the only thing that generates atmosphere is what is happening on the pitch — not whether you are sat down or stood up.
31 Posted 17/12/2009 at 13:10:37
As we all know, the FA never do anything wrong and are well in touch with supporters... not! Gareth, it's going to happen — our away support stand for 90 minutes and it's happening more often. I was thinking of people who wanted to sit but unless standings areas are made there will be more and more unhappy customers.
The standing rule was a step to get rid of working class supporters and try to welcome middle class supporters and families. Even people I know who want to sit want standing areas to be introduced. The FA are unlikely to introduce them with the 2018 bid coming up. But Gareth this doesn’t stop people standing.
Standers will always win as it only takes somone with the bottle to stand. Gareth, in exciting football matches people stand up. Gareth, certain fans (mostly older, but not always) take the attitude that singing and standing doesn’t matter anymore and tell the young ones to sit down and shut up. This hatred between to sets of supporters is boiling over.
At West Ham, fans stood and sat — same at Old Trafford. Thats all I want for people who want to stand to be able to and people who want to sit to be able to. The safety argument is void as you can have an accident and at half-time or full-time.
32 Posted 17/12/2009 at 16:51:36
I understand the argument that you can have an accident at half/full time but that reminds of the line from Heat when Al Pacino states that you can get killed walking your doggie. I digress. The point I am trying to make is I can’t understand why you would want to stand as the old atmosphere line does not stand up to those of us who remember going home and away in the pre-sky days.
At the risk of repeating myself, the only thing that generates atmosphere is what is happening on the pitch - not 500 odd lads singing in a corner in a 40000 seater stadium.
If things are happening there is an atmosphere - if its a load of shite in a meaningless game you could have 100000 all standing and it would still be like a library.
33 Posted 17/12/2009 at 22:51:49
You may be interested in this petition for something similar at Goodison if you haven’t signed it already.
I doubt Everton wil have the ability to even organise a small area though!!
34 Posted 18/12/2009 at 10:27:19
You say 500 odd lads singing does not make an atmosphere. Well it certainly makes an atmosphere for those 500 fans and if the acoustics are right then also they are the generators of the atmosphere for the rest of the stand too. Fans can’t in with a song if no song is being sung can they?
The football on the pitch is not the only way to get an atmosphere. We used to get an atmosphere starting from half an hour before kick off til about 20 mins into the match for the worst matches followed by quite a few periods of singing. That was for the worst matches. We don’t even get 20 seconds now in a decent game.
Congregation of like minded fans and then for those fans to stand are and always have been essential to this.
35 Posted 18/12/2009 at 14:40:50
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