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Opinion

Why Newcastle United fans won’t be seeing safe standing at St James Park any time soon

3 weeks ago
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Safe standing was back in the headlines on Wednesday.

From January 2022 a number of Premier League clubs will be allowed to trial safe standing, with the 20 clubs now invited to apply, if they are interested in being part of the trials.

As someone who remembers the standing areas in the Leazes End and the Gallowgate, indeed all round the ground in the paddocks etc, and the atmosphere they created, I’d welcome a return to standing areas.

However, I think there are a number of reasons why we might not see safe standing at SJP any time soon.

They are what most fans would want.

This would automatically make it a low priority for the present regime at the club

It would involve Mike Ashley spending some money in the ground

Again, this is a very low priority for the present regime.

I couldn’t imagine Mike Ashley spending any money on the ground, especially on something that the fans might actually want.

A standing area could become a centre of opposition to the unholy trinity of Bruce, Charnley and Ashley

Our present regime has shown the way they deal with critics is to silence them, freeze them out, or just ignore them.

A return to standing areas is likely to lead to even more vociferous criticism of those people who are running our club into the ground and would therefore be something they’d want to avoid.

They’ll invent reasons why safe standing is not a good idea

Lee Charnley famously came to the conclusion that there was no reason to increase the capacity at St James Park. Of course, what we didn’t know at the time was that Lee Charnley was going to do everything in his power to prove that he was right, by taking actions that would drive away thousands of fans.

Proving that there is no desire amongst the fans to have safe standing may be even more difficult to prove, as I’d guess most fans would think having the option to stand at a football match is a good thing.

However, maybe Lee can find some old gadgie who is unsteady on his feet who isn’t interested in standing and says this proves that the Newcastle fans don’t want safe standing at football matches.

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