Manchester United and Newcastle United have been given special dispensation with regard to new stadium rules.

Along with a cap on how much away fans pay for tickets, the Premier League had also introduced a new rule for where away supporters had to be located – measures designed to help as many travelling supporters as possible and the matchday atmosphere they help create.

This being a major factor in helping to sell Premier League football around the World, full stadiums and the spectacle/atmosphere that having a large away support helps generate.

English football, helped by the relative closeness of clubs, traditionally always having far more away supporters than any other country.

The Premier League had agreed that as from this coming season, all clubs would need to give at least one section of seats next to the pitch to away supporters.

However, The Mail reports that Newcastle United have been given an exemption, at least for one year.

With confirmation only seven weeks ago that the club would definitely be in the Premier League, Newcastle have been given special dispensation to keep away supporters in their current position in the highest part of St James Park – Level 7 (of the Leazes End).

Newcastle had claimed that safety issues made such a move impossible at St James Park, with the key issue allegedly being that having some away fans next to pitchside would make it difficult/impossible to segregate rival supporters at various exits.

The Premier League are said to be committed to forcing the change through for the following (2018/19) season but at least no Newcastle season ticket holders will need to be moved for the coming season.

No doubt the club will continue to fight the move and also get police backing as to the current arrangements being the best in terms of safety/security when it comes to segregation.

The Mail report says  that Manchester United will also not be forced to move away supporters for the coming season, no away fans will be located at pitchside with a large section for disabled fans separating travelling fans from the pitch.

It isn’t clear whether Manchester United are expected to fall in line as from 2018/19 but it would appear to be very difficult for the league to enforce it with Newcastle in 12 months time, if they continue to allow Man Utd to be exempt.

Premier League chief Richard Scudamore when announcing the away fans decision back in November 2016:

“It is about atmosphere.

“One of the unique things about our game, particularly in England, is the amount of away fans and the noise they create.

“When an away goal is scored, you want that atmosphere and interaction between the two sets of fans.”

  • Alex

    “…… scored, you want that atmosphere and interaction between the two sets of fans.”

    My opinion is that they’re trying the opposite – they’re doing everything they can to ‘sanitise’ atmosphere and reduce interaction.

    • Leazes Ender

      I’ve seen a lot of ‘interaction’ over the years…. its vastly overrated but it keeps St Johns ambulance’s busy.

      • Jimblag23

        Does it? You see lots of violence that requires medical attention?

  • Leazes Ender

    Well I’d love to see where they are going to put them because there’s no place other than level seven where they can assure safety of segregation which exit straight onto Barrack Road…..

    ……the roadway under the stands isn’t going to be a ‘tunnel of love’

  • Steve Smith

    It’s a good opportunity for the club to reinstate a singing section. If people are going to be shuffled around in a year’s time to accommodate new rules then they may as well take advantage.

  • Wor Lass

    If the away fans are in a section of the ground where you can hear them clearly then I think it will actually improve the atmosphere as the home fans will want to drown them out. I used to go up to Level 7 “back in the day” because the atmosphere was more like a football match than a corporate away-day experience. The atmosphere was good – lots of singing, standing up and typical footy humour (that`s something else Ashley`s ruinned) – but the view was awful. Long distance glasses definitely needed. If I had a seat in a pitch-side block and got moved up there I would be well peed off!

  • Rich Lawson

    I can see why we would get a bit of time but why Man Utd ? I’ve been in the top tier there and the view is really awful,very hard to make out even your own team ! As for atmosphere,71,000 in the ground and hardly a peep,just be nice to actually see the game for the money spent on tickets and travel ?

  • Mike

    More stupid rules guess they have to justify their massive wages. Wots next

  • Haitchdee

    What happens when a team has only a few travelling supporters and the games on Tv. Not going to be a full house is it,Got to be messing around with stuff.