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Opinion

Newcastle fans back proposal for safe standing at St James Park

2 years ago
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Newcastle fans are united in an attempt to introduce safe standing to help increase the noise at St James Park.

Last week, supporters group WorHyem1892 ran a poll regarding the potential introduction of safe standing at St James Park.

The popular supporters group was set up by passionate fans wanting to help create an electric atmosphere inside the ground, which many felt has been lost during owner Mike Ashley’s reign on Tyneside.

The conclusive results on the poll were announced on Monday this week, and out of 5,520 people who participated, a whopping 86% of Newcastle fans voted in favour of safe standing being introduced.

Wor Hyem have this season introduced a new singing section in the upper regions of the Gallowgate end in block V spreading into block U, however their aim is to eventually create a “black and white wall” across the whole stand.

Football grounds in the top two divisions were made all-seaert by law soon after Lord Justice Taylor’s report into the 1989 Hillsborough disaster, as 96 Liverpool fans lost their lives.

Celtic introduced a safe standing trial in July 2016 as a way of improving atmosphere, however it has yet to be introduced in English stadiums.

Shrewsbury Town could be the first English club to trial the rail seating/safe standing, as their proposal for railing to be added at their Greenhous Meadow ground has been approved. The league one club hopes to have the rail seats in order before the end of the current 2017-18 campaign.

The EFL chief executive, Shaun Harvey:

“This is an important step on the journey towards our stated aim of seeing standing in stadiums across the EFL and I wish Shrewsbury Town every success in reaching their crowdfunding target (go here to contribute and/or to read about it)  to support their application.

“The installation of standing accommodation will be popular with the club’s fans and, more widely, will prove a valuable opportunity to assess the use of this form of accommodation at an English football ground.”

It is understood that more than half of Premier League clubs would also be open to the idea of standing areas.

It isn’t just Wor Hyem 1892 who have been working hard to ensure the Magpies benefit from an electric atmosphere.

The noise at St James Park has improved dramatically over the past two seasons after the introduction of Gallowgate flags, who thanks to fan donations turned the Gallowgate end into a sea of black and white.

Following relegation in 2016, Gallowgate flags set up to create a European style atmosphere similar to the Kop end at Borussia Dortmund.

The group say they ‘aim to create a visual display of support for games at St James Park’.

Large displays leading up to kick off helped Rafa Benítez’ men make St James Park feel like a fortress as banners and giant surfer flags were launched.

Anyone who wants to be a part of Wor Hyem’s plans to bring back the noise are urged to get in touch to help bolster the matchday atmosphere.
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