On arriving at the match last night (Wigan), the talk was of the ‘PERSISTENT STANDING’ threatening notes.  There wasn’t one attached to my seat but a few lying on the floor.  Possibly in response to the increased standing that has occurred at the Europa League games with infiltrators from the unused top tier.  That’s been welcome by me as the atmosphere in terms of more singing and standing is a vast improvement on the poor attempts in the Premier League games.

That’s not for a want of trying on people in that section for league games mind.  Possibly more the apathy of those who don’t want to join in around us.

Anyway, as the game was progressing a friendly steward came to talk to one of the lads who ‘sits’ a few rows behind me, THE BACK ROW.  Before the steward could say anything he was asked if the notes on the floor were for everyone?   He then asked if his standing in the back row was such an issue as he’s only blocking the concrete wall’s view.  The steward said he didn’t really mind if he was standing in the back row.  The next line from said fellow foot soldier was, “What about the lad in front, can he stand if the person behind him stands and isn’t bothered?”.  The reply was something along the lines of, “I’d prefer if he didn’t”.  So not a definite no then?

The stewards were obviously on a mission driven by their superiors.  Notably 2 standing at the top of the stairs in the middle of the corner for some reason, surely forcing people behind to stand in order to see!!!  Ironic surely?

I want to get the club to acknowledge some support for the safe standing campaign with a view to embracing it.   Maybe I’ve developed the same apathy that just makes me thin,k “What’s the point, they don’t care”.

It’s an ongoing argument and as the kid next to me said, “We should all just stand then it wouldn’t be an issue”.  I agreed but the reality is as soon as a goal has been celebrated the majority are reverting to the seated position as soon as is feasibly possible.  No wonder the atmosphere is crap and the empty seats are beginning to appear.  Poor performances coupled with a lack of options to enjoy the match, if it gets boring or frustrating, manifests in arguments and conflict.

In a perverse kind of way, a return to the Championship might be the only way to recapture that bond among the fans and get rid of those who just want to moan and whine then bugger off at the first sign of a problem, rather than show some proper support when it’s needed most.

All the more annoying when Pardew and several players keep asking via the media for, “the fans to get behind us”, because we’re in the clarts.  We know Alan, many of us want to sing and shout – win, lose or draw.  We’re not arsed if it’s Europe or Championship.  We are prevented from doing so with intimidating behaviour from the club, whether that be the stewards or bits of paper telling us we’ll be ejected or banned.

For all those who are spitting feathers at me and shaking your heads in annoyance I give you this example before you judge me.

Even my mam stands at church to sing and she’s 80!!!  I don’t hear God telling her to sit down and shut up!!

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  • SortModernFootballOut

    In the English Game’s current state, the safe standing option is an absolute must. I stand 3rd off back row in the Strawberry Corner, and this season is the worst atmosphere i’ve ever experienced at St James’. I can’t work out why people wouldnt want to get behind the lads? Against the likes of Man U and Liverpool ‘fans’ are all too happy to cheer the lads on and sing, yet when clubs like Wigan and Swansea come along they sit there in silence. However, we must accept that these ‘fans’ exist nowadays, and that’s the way it is, but it’s about time the club organised an area where everyone can stand and sing, and actually SUPPORT the lads.Too many people are afraid to sing nowadays and get told to sit down. Therefore, whilst those who prefer to sit down can do so, those who want to stand up and actually generate an atmosphere should also get that choice.

    Safe standing is a must for the english game now.

  • I live in the South and go to loads of away games (not so many home games now since family came along!) and I’ve happily stood throughout the lot of them and enjoyed the benefits of the better atmosphere etc.
    However, Southampton was a bit of a watershed, recently I’ve occassionally started taking my two 10 year olds (and they’ve loved it!). They stood on the sturdy seat at the Emerates, at the Madejski they could actually see because of the steep rake of the stand but St Mary’s was a problem.
    The tipping seats were flimsy and precariously balanced in the down position, so I had to stand in between them and hang onto them while they perched on the seats, for the entire game – consequence is they’re not as keen to go to away games now for a while! the result and performance didn’t help.
    Thinking about it there was a few surges and people falling over the seats at the Madejski – pretty dangerous, a 15 stone bloke could easily wipe out a little-un.