What has happened to St James Park?

Why is the atmosphere so abysmal 90% of the time?

The only time it tends to be any good is when something outside of the crowd’s influence happens to spark it.

An opposing player acting himself, the match officials conspiring to enrage us, or very occasionally the actual football on the pitch – when any or all of these things happen then sometimes the whole stadium is behind the team and reminding you how good it is.

Missing from that list of course is the actual fans initiating themselves.

Down the years it was always a particular part of St James Park that set things off, that then setting off other sections of the crowd around the ground.

Sixties and seventies it was the Leazes End until the sad day the roof was removed and a much smaller standing area took its place.

The Gallowgate Corner and Scoreboard then became the main focus, with the old East Stand benches playing a part as well, not forgetting the strip of seats at the end of the East Stand nearest the Gallowgate End.

Then when St James Park became all-seater, it was the section of seats at the end of the Milburn, nearest the Leazes End. Then Hall/Shepherd wanted to make the whole Milburn stand for Corporates and disgracefully removed these fans, leading to the famous Save Our Seats court case.

Chris Mort, as Chairman, created a singing section in the Milburn/Leazes corner and that was a decent success, only for then Mike Ashley to forcibly remove it when that area became a focus for protests against our beloved owner.

These days we have pretty much nothing.

The Strawberry Corner has a small number of people trying to get the atmosphere going but you can’t even really hear it at the other end of the ground, likewise in Level 7 where the Milburn meets the Leazes you have a similar small brave effort.

Both of these are lost though as the vast majority sit on their hands for most/all of the 90 minutes.

Now is the time for drastic action.

At every turnstile we need fans to be warned as they enter St James Park.

If the atmosphere doesn’t improve in these handful of remaining matches, the following will happen.

From next season that very embarrassing fans band that turns up at England matches will be recruited.

Also, as they have at Leicester and other ‘modern thinking’ stadiums, all supporters will be issued with those stupid and totally annoying things that you shake with your hands – with anybody found not shaking at a command over the PA system – being forcibly removed and season ticket removed.

You have been warned – do your duty!

(All contributions from Newcastle fans welcome, send articles (as well as ideas/suggestions) to [email protected])

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  • Walking alone

    I’m bored of hearing about the fans having to improve the atmosphere as though it’s some kind of duty and we owe it to the team. Would you rather the 5k or so that sit in the corner be allowed to stay and anyone that chooses not to be forced to leave? It’s not like there’s a waiting list of 47,000 people that bleed black and white are waiting to jump on the opportunity of taking a seat! If people aren’t being entertained why should they have to sing the team on? I don’t walk around with a smile on my face all the time but I smile if something makes me happy, doesn’t mean I’m a miserable sod just means I need a reason to wear a grin.

    • Honest toon fan

      I fully agree with you. When the action is entertaing i will be singing along. However I’ve watched absolute dross the last six games and had nothing in return for the money spent. Any fool can stand and shout on but what are they really achieving.

  • HappyToons

    All we need is a few years in the championship with the crowds down to 21k and less (imagine 5 years in the bottom 5), then we can all sit together and chant ‘Ashley owt’ … it will be some noise then.

    • Porciestreet

      Cashley has managed to kill everything that was exciting about our once wonderfull club.

      • Davey drape

        AGREED & i though ashley was a forward thinking guy in some respects but he is still not really protecting his investment/product by not doing anything about the atmosphere. He has a responsibility to help with this issue but probably hasn’t got the desire or man power to try & help make it improve. Shame on him. It might come back to haunt him one day.

  • Mshotton

    When the team start performing I’ll start chanting the last six games have been awful. I’ve been a supporter for over 25 years and I’m board with the same old dross. It’s about time supporters got to see some entertaining action!

    • Porciestreet

      Typical part-timer. Wait till you’ve had 60 years of being under excited..

      • Brian Standen

        Well put indeed PorcieStreet.
        Kids these days don’t know their born !

  • Grahame Johnson

    If I wanted entertainment I wouldn’t put a black and white shirt on and toddle up to watch the toon, you tend to suffer when something you love is not at its best, so will I turn up on Saturday and next Saturday and shout my self hoarse no matter what or go to the pics to be entertained, the emotional rollercoaster of the toon wins every time

  • Baffled

    It might have something to do with the size and location of the family enclosure,I was there for the Nottingham forest game and the atmosphere was awful .basically there were about 4 kids to every adult and the little cherubs were in between the adults and not singing.forgive me if I’m wrong but we need people to sing in the top tiers to sing under the roof to create the noise and atmosphere so therefore I think the family enclosure should be pitch side.

    • Baffled

      Top of the league not enough for you to cheer about

  • goggsy

    Entertaing football = good atmosphere. It’s not some mystery it’s bleeding obvious,stop bleating on at supporters who are supporting the club and get a grip you numpty.

  • Scottpaige

    That game against Fulham at home has been coming for months. It’s been utter dross. Away games can’t complain.

    So how the hell are we as fans meant to be up for it ???????

  • funlovingexpress

    Said for years. The atmosphere coincides with being able to stand.

    Away games fgans stand. Corner and scoreboard fans stood, In the sixties the Leazes was also a standing area. People aren’t energetic when sitting down, its just a fact of life. The problem with home games is that you are are told to sit down.

    Even in the seventies and eighties standing fans took the mick out of the sitting areas.

    Allow certain areas to stand and it will solve itself, even if the seats stay, make it known that in certain areas fans can if they wish stand up the whole game. Tell them before they get their season ticket mind.

  • gallowgate26

    The Mag blaming our fans again for the average home form of the players and staff. Nice.

    • gallowgate26

      If only we were as good/loud a supporter as you lot eh? Holier than thou springs to mind.

  • SH.ER

    All i can say is I don’t miss ANY Newcastle match on TV
    I am outside the UK , what can you say ..
    I am sorry to tell the Geordies , the last time i enjoyed the roar of the fans at our stadium ?? is a few seasons ago when Mourinho came with his Chelsea team unbeaten in his 14 opening games ….
    My god the voice in the last 10 minutes when we were down to 10 men ?
    absolute amazing , wish these moments come back to our home
    Our fans need to wake up , but we also have to remember we are playing in the Championship not the Premier League ….

  • Brian Standen

    For me we need a standing area again. Watching the Celtic fans against rangers last week, the corner where the seats have gone. Singing was ongoing and loud, with a little bit of self taught choreography as well. It’s not just SJP where the atmosphere has died, it’s all grounds, all seater stadia has done this!

    • Phildene

      And the seating stadia was brought in why? Because of the dreadful Hillsboro disaster! For safety sake and Hillsboro memories it should stay seating.

      • Brian Standen

        Absolute rubbish. I was present many times at hillsbrough when that could have happened previously, and at White Hart Lane when 13000 NUFC fans were stuck in an enclosure that held 8000. Safe standing is now readily available , go look at Dortmund in Germany! There were many other factors that caused the Hillsbrough disaster, many older NUFC fans will only be all to aware of them!