Those who know me and my match day friends understand we’re the type of supporters who want a cauldron of noise emanating out of St James’ Park on match day. That’s why the former Level 7 brought much pleasure even when times were tough (4-0 down to Arsenal a prime example).
I did complain to the club about the haphazard manner that most of us were relocated and ended up in the Strawberry Corner and the ensuing chaos this has caused. (See The Mag Issue 263 if you aren’t aware of this).
This seems strange considering the club effectively had a standing area (although not in name) and never threatened anyone for several seasons with bans, who stood every game for 90 minutes. I will quote you from the season ticket application in 2008,
“…in response to calls from fan groups for an affordable area where those that want to make noise and vocally support the team can locate together, we will be creating the Leazes Corner…the place to be if you want to sing and chant your support for the boys for 90 minutes”.
Below is the club’s recent response to my questioning of the latest high jinks on the terraces, along with an apology for taking 2 ½ months to think of a reply. I was particularly interested in their description of the current atmosphere:-
“The majority of supporters moved from level 7 to the SE Corner, but some continued to stand for long periods which had a knock on effect, we find that as the season has gone on supporters are now on the whole respecting the fact that not everyone can or wants to stand up and the atmosphere has been wonderful. We do listen to supporters concerns but we are not able to act on them all”.
I want the atmosphere to be, “Deafening, Intimidating, Frenzied, Menacing”, and all the other words that would strike fear into the opposition. The 12th man, worth a goal start and all that.
“Wonderful?”. That hardly inspires players or terrifies the opposition. I’m sure Wayne Rooney will enjoy a ‘Wonderful day out at St James’ Park in the New Year and Martin O’Neill will be saying to his new team in March 2012, “You’ve nothing to fear today in this Wonderful Atmosphere”.
The club seem more and more out of touch with the game of football as viewed from the stands. Or is it me that’s out of touch and has the game I grew up to love and participate in become sterilized forever?
What do you think?