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What Newcastle fans used to take for granted

4 years ago

When the Gallowgate Flags displays happen at Newcastle home games, it kind of sums up the incongruous nature of fans and atmosphere these days, when NUFC are playing in front of their supporters.

The Cardiff match was the latest, this one featuring a special ‘Legends’ flags display.

In the build-up to kick-off, Newcastle fans were encouraged to make as much noise as possible, wave the flags, and ramp up the atmosphere.

As the players then prepare to start the action, it all comes to a shuddering halt, with supporters expected to sit down and basically, prepare for the show.

Fans standing up is integral to getting the atmosphere to a decent level and being part of that show, rather than just onlookers.

Thankfully, slowly but surely, the wheels are turning once again, inching Newcastle fans back towards being able to stand at St James Park once again.

German clubs have shown for years that massive safe standing areas tick all the boxes, Celtic have a 2,900 capacity safe standing area operating this season, whilst a number of English clubs in the top two divisions have indicated they would be interested in following Celtic’s lead.

Thursday brought news that the Premier League clubs will discuss the idea of Safe Standing at a meeting next week. It will be only talk and no action at that meeting but it is a huge shift to even have the 20 top tier clubs discussing the idea.

It is if course pure coincidence that supporters and clubs could end up wanting the same thing.

For fans, safe standing would be something to enhance the matchday experience, for the clubs it is looking like potentially something to prevent the golden goose coming to a grisly end

A major feature of the English game has always been the atmosphere that comes over on the TV screens, for viewers both home and abroad. The Premier League ‘experience’ for armchair supporters is drastically in need of a revamp and introducing standing areas is the only possible solution to that – which clearly has prompted next week’s talks.

Standing areas would do wonders for younger fans in particularly and give them something that so many Newcastle fans took for granted in the past.


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