Where to put away fans: oop north, doon sooth, elsewhere?


You’ll find plenty of pre-Old Trafford coverage in the two earlier postings (here and also here). But there’s a less immediate issue closer to home …


We’ve reported
on Ellis Short’s admirable resolve to move visiting fans away from the Corner of Embarrassment, the south stand spot where – since their numbers are so often paltry – the TV cameras give an impression of a half-empty stadium.

This is the correspondence that has developed at the Blackcats list:

Ian

I’ve received a letter today stating that from next season the away fans are going to be housed in the north west upper???? I dont understand why they are moving them there? Why not move them either in crazy corner or above crazy corner? I really don’t get how its going to work?

Not happy in slightest.

Me

I’d sympathise with anyone forced from their preferred position in the ground. Evicting our fans from the crazy corner seems to me the least reasonable course – they generate so much of the atmosphere. Above them would pose an obvious security problem. Are we not in NIMBY territory here? But the away section does have to be moved, somewhere cameras don’t automatically capture them or rather their empty seats.

Ian

Yeh I agree with the above the crazy corner is a bit daft haha, but they could have just swapped the away fans with the crazy corner, then it would have been always full behind goal and the away fans out of way of camera. Just annoyed that the home end which Bob Murray said he wanted to be one of the biggest in the premier league at the time is not going to even exist anymore. And we lose our seats in process

Jeremy

The upper tier in the North Stand has always struck me as something of a problem for the stadium in some ways. I’ve been up there several times although it’s not my favourite part of the ground. It’s always bloody freezing even on warm days because it gets no sun. Since that extension was built, it seems to be something of a white elephant because it always seems to be the place that suffers the most when the crowds drop. It’s a shame because it could have been like the Fulwell. There are clearly a lot of die hards who go in there but who are “let down” by the transitory nature of their “neighbours” I think. I’m sorry for people who are being moved against their will though, even if it does mean that the ridiculous situation in the south stand is resolved. I think just about everybody has known that was a daft situation which has persisted for too long.

Me

If there is any suggestion the crazy – or “singing” – corner would be happy where the away fans/fan now sit/sits, great. Otherwise, just shovel them wherever it suits us, just as happens to our supporters at opposing grounds.

Another Ian

Surely it’s only crazy corner due to it’s close proximity to the away section. I would expect the fans frequenting this area to move to the north stand to generate the equivalent atmosphere & antagonism ( is there a significant price differential to contend with?) If my thinking is anywhere near correct a straight swap between the two areas would have made more sense subject to season ticket cost.

Michael

What people are talking about is the crazy corner in the SW, and suggesting it swaps with the away fans (crazy folk going behind the goal and away fans going in SW corner) instead of using the NW Upper for away fans – which is the club’s proposal. This idea has some merit, because from the off it would populate the South Stand with proper singing fans, with room for growth from those who would like to join them but currently can’t because the SW crazy corner is full. It would also maintain the proximity with the away fans, although the club & police won’t have the same view of this as the fans do.

But I’m guessing that the biggest consideration for the club will have been the amount of structural changes required to make the move work. It may not have been an easy job to box in the SW corner – which is currently
accessible from the whole of the West Stand and beyond – and (probably more importantly) there would be the consideration as to how you get the away fans past the home fans and into those turnstiles which feed the SW corner.

The NW Upper (which is the proposal) already has a separate entrance. Yo can only get up there through turnstiles which stand away from those feeding the lower tier (and thereby the rest of the gound). It seems to me
that you could march the away fans to the North West of the stadium (past the swimming baths) and into the tower which holds the turnstiles feeding the NW corner, whilst still allowing home fans to access the NW Lower bit
via turstiles on either side (i.e. closer to the North Stand and closer to the West Stand). This would also presumably mean that the only internal partitioning required would be upstairs – between the NW Upper and the
Premier Concourse and between the NW Upper and the North Upper. There would be no need to block off anything in the lower tier, where all the concession stands are and which allows home fans to walk all around the
ground.


Over to the Salut! Sunderland jury!

Monsieur Salut

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6 thoughts on “Where to put away fans: oop north, doon sooth, elsewhere?”

  1. shame that the Black Cats Bar fans are having to move to allow access for the away fans, which means that they’re going into part of what used to be the North Stand Lower. In turn this means that some folk in the North Stand Lower, who have been there since day one because (I suspect) they wanted to be in the equivalent of the Fulwell End, will be forced to move. Having been in the NW lower since day one, I don’t really fancy the away fans above me – mainly because the grief my neighbours give posh visiting fans in the boxes behind us. And the occupants of one box will spend most of the season trring to climb up to chat to the away fans. It will be a bigger operation to get Man Utd, Liverpool, and the smellies to and from their turnstiles – unless they make a new coach park on the grass by the swimming pool and move away from Sheepfolds

  2. I’m a little, well, a lot actually, concerned by this move. I sit in the North West Upper corner (the concession corner where we can get 4 seats together) with my wife and 2 young children, and I have to say that there are quite a few families up there. Consequently, I’m not entirely sure it’s where the away fans should be going: young children next to the Mags for the Derby game? Or even some games against Liverpool or Man City where things can get a bit tasty.
    If this goes through, and we can’t get tickets elsewhere, I’m going to have to ponder long and hard about renewing.
    Bugger!

  3. why not do what Newcastle do – and have thousands of blow up dolls , naked chested , sporting inane toothless grins filling up the empty seats !!!!

  4. For Newcastle fans I would suggest a pontoon in the middle of the Wear.
    For Wigan and Fulham fans I would suggest the two empty seats in the row behind me.
    For Stoke fans, the upper enclosure of the North Stand is fine – they will be near to the ball when their side has it.
    For Manchester United and Liverpool fans I would suggest a pub in Taunton or Lincoln seeing as that is where most of them come from.
    Boom, boom!!!

  5. I think this is a fantastically positive move from the club for the following reasons:

    1. The North Premier concorse is nearly always empty. By moving the away fans to this section it will fill that area of the ground whilst allowing the club to charge the away fans premium prices resulting in more income.

    2. By moving the away fans to the North Stand this could well reinvogorate the Sunderland fans located in the North Stand itself. The atmosphere is poor in that area for the most part, this perhaps is the kick up the backside it needs.

    3. The club are proposing the south stand becomes a dedicated singing section. This is the prefect opportunity to meet the demand of the fans around the ground who wish to sit in or near the SWC but are unable to do so because of the unavailability of seats. The singing section would also be open to unveiling large flags (similar to the Haway the Flags), something which the corners are unable to do so in fear of the flag closing in on itself.

    4. By making the south stand into a singing section it would also ensure the more vocal supporters know exactly where to go to get their fix. It would most certainly better the atmosphere due to the numbers of seats in that area. What’s more, it effectively links the already noisy SWC and the relatively loud SEC. This is exactly what we need!

    5. It will save us the embarrassment of trying to explain why there are so many empty seats behind the goal in the south stand. Of course they are still going to be there, but they are going to be up in the Gods. We tend to be let down more by away fans poor travelling support. It’s rare that any side sells out up here, yet we sell out wherever we go.

    6. It will move the away fans further away from the pitch, therefore reducing their affect on the game. Furthermore, we would not have to endure the scenes we saw in August when Joey barton et al were celebrating with the travelling fans.

    7. Moving the away fans might be just what the SWC needs. They can get back to completely supporting the team and remove some of their attention away from focusing on the away fans.

    To summarise, I have a season card at the back of the SWC and I will be moving to the South Stand next season. This is the perfect opportunity for the fans to really show some solidarity, become increasingly more organised and to create a singing section to be truly proud of. Great move by the club if this all comes off. I really hope it doesand I urge everyone to get behind this campaign to cut through the stale atmosphere that has engulfed our ground and to ensure the Roker Roar lives on!

    Haway the lads!

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