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])