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Match Atmosphere


Wandy

Singing Section at SJP - Poll  

212 members have voted

  1. 1. Would you want a large singing/standing section at St James' Park?

    • Yes. I'm an existing season ticket holder and I would want to be a part of it
      32
    • Yes. I'm an existing season ticket holder but wouldn't want to be part of it, but I would move to a seat somewhere else if the singing section was to be where I currently sit....as long as I was happy with the new seat.
      13
    • No. The atmosphere is fine as it is.
      3
    • No. The atmosphere needs to improve but this isn't the answer.
      8
    • Yes. I'm just a member at the moment but would want one in the singing section.
      75
    • Yes. I'm just a member at the moment but would want a season ticket in a non-singing section. But a singing section needs to happen to let people who want to sing be together
      27


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I’ve only managed to get to a handful of matches this season and I’ve been staggered at how bad the atmosphere was. Granted when I had my ST I was always in the ‘singing section’, whether that was Level 7 or the Strawberry Corner, so it may have always been shit but sat in the Leazes earlier this season the most animated our fans got was when Murphy came on and immediately lost the ball.

 

I think a big issue is that for over a decade our fanbase has been motivated by spite. The best atmospheres I’ve been part of have been when we were balls to the wall against Ashley, or when there’s some sort of injustice happening on the pitch. Singing is what we do when we’re fucked off. Now we’re halfway decent a lot of our fans have no interest in shouting themselves hoarse, can just sit in silence and wait for the three points.


Ultimately any change in atmosphere needs to be driven by the supporters. We need to Toon Ultras type movement that will at least try to coordinate some sort of atmosphere during the 90 minutes. There are obviously barriers - current spread of supporters, difficulty in getting tickets etc - but maybe it needs to start by surveying fans in the ground who would be interested in this sort of thing about where they sit. If we can identify pockets of support it might help create a new singing section almost organically rather than hope the club to turf a load of fans out of their seats in the Gallowgate. It means fans know that if they start a chant there are people around them

who’ll join in, and members or people who purchase on general sale can try to sit in those areas if they want a sing-song.

 

It would also be good if someone stood at the next NUST election on the explicit promise they’ll push this issue with the club. Big ask, but I can’t imagine they wouldn’t win considering they could barely fill the committee at the last one.

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I think 'Hey Jude' at the start isn't great either and does nothing to help the atmosphere, although I'm sure there were rumours that it was a Howe request?

 

I know Man United for the game against Barcelona on Thursday allowed the music etc to be turned off 15 minutes prior to kick off. I think that's a fantastic idea, although granted it wouldn't really work on a Saturday 1230 against Brighton.

 

I think Wor Flags will fly the flag (pardon the pun) better than NUST tbh. I know I've nack for hating on NUST on here but I really think they don't like to upset the apple cart whilst they've got their fingers in the pie. As long as the owners, players and media are patting our back about the atmosphere nowt will happen. It needs to be a fan group like WF who acknowledge that it's dwindling for the club to take any notice. Anfield is the same though - those of us who have been know that it's shit, yet you see surveys online and ex-players/pundits telling you how great it is there. Absolute fucking myth - they might get going for a Champions League knockout when they're chucking bottles and shit off the away bus but apart from the 5 minute karaoke pre-match, Anfield is shit. Generations change, and what we had in past years just doesn't exist anymore, save for one off games.

 

Ideally you would have like-minded fans in 2 locations in the ground to allow the atmosphere to bounce about. Like @NUFC91 touched on, they should move people and if they don't like it, tough shit. 

 

I wouldn't hold much hope for the safe-standing survey either, if Sunday is anything to go by. It's a different generation of fan now, and I think a lot more of the vocal/militant type of fan were beaten to submission by Ashley and replaced by a large family section and the odd few who just go to video the match or stream their views on YouTube channel. I've even noticed some of the aways I've done this season the atmosphere lacking - 'we've got bruno in the middle/we'll support you evermore/unitedTOON (yak)' over and over. Lots of lads just there to get coked up to their eyeballs in £350 jumper rather than creating an atmosphere.

 

Countrywide I think it's not just a SJP problem but a problem all over the place. Terrace culture isn't what it was and it'll be extremely difficult to replicate the atmosphere of past days, but grouping like-minded fans together will definitely help. The singing section in L7 were class days and really helped some of our better results of the Ashley era (5-1, 4-4). But I noticed a change in our fanbase in the Arsenal game just after Bruce got the job. Thousands had packed in tickets and there was a planned protest that day to just not go. I think there was about 47k there that day and I realised that we were done for. Pretty sure that was the day @Heron gave a passionate perspective on some online platform in the pissing down rain trying to rally troops to the cause.

 

That being said, the atmosphere tends to improve when our backs are against the wall - Jan onwards last year being an example. Maybe it will improve organically towards the end of the season if we're still in with a shout of Champions League. But the semi against Southampton was really flat despite what was riding on it, but I think I said at the time maybe it was nerves? Fuck knows, but something has to change.

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I've been to every home game this season, only 2 of which weren't in the same seat, and the best atmosphere by far this season was against Manchester City. Then followed by Chelsea, Aston Villa, Everton and Brentford. But I don't think this is a problem unique to NUFC, all English clubs' supporters have been trying to improve atmospheres at home games for a while now. See Arsenal's small ultra thing going on at the Emirates, Leicester's tifo mob, safe standing at Chelsea and Wolves etc. 

 

I think PL atmospheres are in the main poor tbh, there has to be the right circumstances for games to be bouncing ie expectations/being the underdog, hostility towards the opposition, hostility towards refereeing decisions or other events that transpire during the game, kick off day and time, the importance of the game etc. It's no coincidence that our best home atmosphere this season was against the league champions who we've struggled against for nigh on 15 years home and away yet were going after them for most of the game. On top of that it was a Sunday 16:30 kick off; a 12:30 Saturday or 14:00 Sunday kick off would not have seen that atmosphere be that good.

 

However I do think that SJP can be improved regardless with suggestions such as safe standing in the corner/Gallowgate, but I do think SJP will suffer with the ground's acoustics even if it is brought in. Sound doesn't travel well from the Gallowgate to elsewhere in the ground due to the size of L7 compared to the East Stand and Gallowgate. I'd reduce the size of the family enclosure; the L7 Leazes Corner next to the away fans need a form of Strawberry Corner singing section there as well as the already existing lot in the Strawberry Corner.

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21 minutes ago, macphisto said:

Think it's a bit pointless moving people. I would say in general people become less vocal as they grow older so are we going to move people every ten years or so? 

 

Not directly related to singing and I'm not saying this for a reaction but it's time for Worflags to put their flags down. Too orchestrated now, if people want to wave a flag then let them bring their own. I haven't been to a match in a long, long time due to being overseas but I wouldn't wave a flag. 

 

 

 

 

 

That's what used to happen before the days of all seater stadia and all ticket sell out crowds. You always had sections at SJP where the young daft lads would go and areas where the older fans would go. The Gallowgate M section was always known as "the old man's corner" for example. Disagree with everything else in your post as well but you're entitled to your opinion.

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20 minutes ago, Chicken Dancer said:

Anfield is the same though - those of us who have been know that it's shit, yet you see surveys online and ex-players/pundits telling you how great it is there. Absolute fucking myth - they might get going for a Champions League knockout when they're chucking bottles and shit off the away bus but apart from the 5 minute karaoke pre-match, Anfield is shit. Generations change, and what we had in past years just doesn't exist anymore, save for one off games.

 

Ideally you would have like-minded fans in 2 locations in the ground to allow the atmosphere to bounce about. Like @NUFC91 touched on, they should move people and if they don't like it, tough shit. 

 

I wouldn't hold much hope for the safe-standing survey either, if Sunday is anything to go by. It's a different generation of fan now, and I think a lot more of the vocal/militant type of fan were beaten to submission by Ashley and replaced by a large family section and the odd few who just go to video the match or stream their views on YouTube channel. I've even noticed some of the aways I've done this season the atmosphere lacking - 'we've got bruno in the middle/we'll support you evermore/unitedTOON (yak)' over and over. Lots of lads just there to get coked up to their eyeballs in £350 jumper rather than creating an atmosphere.

 

Agree with your post but this part is hugely spot on. I think myself and @SteV (correct me if I'm wrong) discussed on here at the back end of last season but football fan culture has changed, certainly since the 1970s and 1980s. Can easily be argued that that's for the better given the hooliganism that was rife in those days but the hostility from back then largely dissipated post Italia 90, certainly after the introduction of the PL. But as you say for away games now you get a lot of our lot, certainly since during the Ashley era when a lot of the hardcores walked away, who are Stone Island/CP Company wearing, drugged up lads who get more interested in winding opposition fans up or causing bother than they do supporting the team. Maybe a sweeping, incorrect generalisation from me but certainly from my generation it's what I see.

 

On top of that as you mention which also affects our atmosphere is our songbook. Been saying it for a couple years now, it's absolutely shite. They're all sung at light speed and the same songs are on an ad infinitum cycle. 'Who's that team we call United' from the Benitez days has now been replaced with Bruno in the middle as the song that's trotted out every 10 minutes. The first songs I was ever told as a bairn by my fatha were songs from the 1970s when he started going to games; songs about Terry Hibbitt, John Tudor, 'we hate Nottingham Forest...' etc. No one sings them now, or those that regularly sing at games don't know those older songs. One thing I admire about Man Utd and Liverpool fans is they still sing about Cantona, Steve Heighway, Dalglish etc which we hardly ever do. Most fun I've had this season whilst supportingus was singing about Andy Cole, Coloccini et al when 0-4 up down at Fulham.

 

Whinge over. :lol:

 

 

Edited by HaydnNUFC

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52 minutes ago, NE27 said:

 

I wouldn't say this was cringe and is exactly what Toon Ultras set out to do previously.

 

Like minded fans need a focal point firstly and start meeting and organising themselves with a repertoire of songs. Then we need to get the club on board with moving st holders (offering them a change obviously, otherwise no fucking complaining your knees are sore or it's too rowdy) then things will snowball imo.

 

Hopefully it will encourage more to get behind it if it is a combined effort.

 

I remember some fans complaining about the flags when they were introduced and the surfers. Everyone loves it now [emoji38]

 

This very forum clearly has a very dedicated set of fans old and new and could very well be the starting point for all of the above.

 

If there’s any group of fans that can play a significant role in sorting it out, it’s members off this forum; it’s been proven before!

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Just now, TheGuv said:

If there’s any group of fans that can play a significant role in sorting it out, it’s members of this forum; it’s been proven before!

Just need a rental van with a flag stuck to the side and find the person who owns ouratmosphereisshit.com.

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1 minute ago, HaydnNUFC said:

 

Agree with your post but this part is hugely spot on. I think myself and @SteV (correct me if I'm wrong) discussed on here at the back end of last season but football fan culture has changed, certainly since the 1970s and 1980s. Can easily be argued that that's for the better given the hooliganism that was rife in those days but the hostility from back then largely dissipated post Italia 90, certainly after the introduction of the PL. But as you say for away games now you get a lot of our lot, certainly since during the Ashley era when a lot of the hardcores walked away, who are Stone Island/CP Company wearing, drugged up lads who get more interested in winding opposition fans up or causing bother than they do supporting the team. Maybe a sweeping, incorrect generalisation from me but certainly from my generation it's what I see.

 

On top of that as you mention which also affects our atmosphere is our songbook. Been saying it for a couple years now, it's absolutely shite. They're all sung at light speed and the same songs are on an ad infinitum cycle. 'Who's that team we call United' from the Benitez days has now been replaced with Bruno in the middle as the song that's trotted out every 10 minutes. The first songs I was ever told as a bairn by my fatha were songs from the 1970s when he started going to games; songs about Terry Hibbitt, John Tudor, 'we hate Nottingham Forest...' etc. No one sings them now, or those that regularly sing at games don't know those older songs. One thing I admire about Man Utd and Liverpool fans is they still sing about Cantona, Steve Heighway, Dalglish etc which we hardly ever do. Most fun I've had this season was singing about Andy Cole, Coloccini et al when 0-4 up down at Fulham.

 

Whinge over. :lol:


Exactly. Songbook is shocking, although I’ve always been curious as to how Man United/Liverpool come up with these new ones and get them universally sang. Fan-zones?

 

I think that daft Jamie Webster started that Van Dijk song, and whilst I know not for all, it’s very unique. 
 

The Isak one is new but I’ve only ever heard it sang in Wonderbar (hellhole by the way, but sound for a singsong) in between 1363 renditions of Bruno in the middle. Thought that would have proper cottoned on, especially at away games. 
 

Glad to see so many with the same perspective on this.

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Just now, Chicken Dancer said:


Exactly. Songbook is shocking, although I’ve always been curious as to how Man United/Liverpool come up with these new ones and get them universally sang. Fan-zones?

 

I think that daft Jamie Webster started that Van Dijk song, and whilst I know not for all, it’s very unique. 
 

The Isak one is new but I’ve only ever heard it sang in Wonderbar (hellhole by the way, but sound for a singsong) in between 1363 renditions of Bruno in the middle. Thought that would have proper cottoned on, especially at away games. 
 

Glad to see so many with the same perspective on this.

I don’t think there’s a more damning indictment of the quality of our songbook than the fact we still sing DJ Otzi. It was embarrassing when we were singing it about Shearer ffs.

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1 minute ago, Chicken Dancer said:

The Isak one is new but I’ve only ever heard it sang in Wonderbar (hellhole by the way, but sound for a singsong) in between 1363 renditions of Bruno in the middle. Thought that would have proper cottoned on, especially at away games. 

 

Isak one was nicked from Spurs

 

 

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Just now, Big River said:

 

Isak one was nicked from Spurs

 

 


Fucking hell :lol: I take it back then. 
 

I mean it’s easy to sit here and criticise our song book when I doubt I’d be the one to do it but what’s happened man? Social media probably - just taking songs off of other clubs and changing the odd lyric.

 

Another thing I can’t stand is United! TOON! 
 

ditch the fucking toon bit man. 

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More than happy helping pull this together. I’m not sure if it’s best creating a group, then speaking with WF and the Trust (no doubt some crossover) to move forward. 

 

I do have a way into the club, if the above didn’t want to go through those channels. I wouldn’t want to use as me on my own tbh, it would have to be as a legitimate platform. 
 

Perhaps we could do a poll or going off a like feature to get the group going on here, then a WhatsApp/Facebook group. 

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6 minutes ago, Chicken Dancer said:


Exactly. Songbook is shocking, although I’ve always been curious as to how Man United/Liverpool come up with these new ones and get them universally sang. Fan-zones?

 

I think that daft Jamie Webster started that Van Dijk song, and whilst I know not for all, it’s very unique. 
 

The Isak one is new but I’ve only ever heard it sang in Wonderbar (hellhole by the way, but sound for a singsong) in between 1363 renditions of Bruno in the middle. Thought that would have proper cottoned on, especially at away games. 
 

Glad to see so many with the same perspective on this.

 

Isak one may well have been nicked from Spurs but at least it's something different. TBF, Isak has barely been on the pitch this season so I'm not surprised it's barely been trotted out.

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Just now, Chicken Dancer said:


Fucking hell :lol: I take it back then. 
 

I mean it’s easy to sit here and criticise our song book when I doubt I’d be the one to do it but what’s happened man? Social media probably - just taking songs off of other clubs and changing the odd lyric.

 

Another thing I can’t stand is United! TOON! 
 

ditch the fucking toon bit man. 

 

bit hypocritical though, considering TOON is the only thing that makes it unique to us :lol: done properly I think it could be quite good. a bit Valerenga if it was slower and properly timed.

 

I honestly don't know what the solution is. I know Arsenal worked with a fan group to take steps in improving the atmosphere, and it seems to have helped. can anyone who was down at the Emirates this season confirm? there's an article about it here: https://www.thesun.co.uk/sport/21144366/arsenal-emirates-atmosphere-pints-anthem/

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1 minute ago, Big River said:

 

bit hypocritical though, considering TOON is the only thing that makes it unique to us :lol: done properly I think it could be quite good. a bit Valerenga if it was slower and properly timed.


Well yes I suppose you’re right, but I just think it sounds much better without the TOON part, but I get that it’s personal opinion. 

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Great post by @Wandyto get this ball rolling, some might see it as trivial but to a lot the atmosphere used to be a big part of the match day experience.

 

I agree that wor flags is a great spectacle and adds to the match day experience, but once the flag waving stops before kick off it simply can’t be the end of supporting the team. We used to criticise Liverpool for their plastic sing a long to you’ll never walk alone, now look at the state of SJP when the whistle blows.

 

I had a great time in London and met many old school lads down for the weekend. However, the atmosphere once inside Wembley was everything I feared before the match. Once that whistle blew it fell flat and I hate

to say this but their support was simply more up for it.

 

After all these years of not winning anything they we’re more up for it, folk can deny that all they want but their support was louder and more fervent and that was before they scored the 1st goal in my opinion.

 

A big element of our support was made up of hangers on (seems like a lot of favours were done) and families. Nowt wrong with families some would say, blokes taking their young one to the match and there probably isn’t.

 

But therein lies the problem I believe, we have a massive family enclosure far larger than any other club in the PL. This led to our support looking like day trippers United and whilst the mancs had families amongst their support, it was no way at the level we had.

 

Ive seen some folk say the atmosphere is the same everywhere now, that’s simply not true though Old Trafford, The City Ground, Elland Road to name 3 all have large areas where fans stand and generate constant atmosphere.

 

We had this in level 7 before Ashley disbanded it and it needs to be brought back next season. This needs to be badged as a singing section and not safe standing, as others have said the atmosphere in the safe standing at Wembley was shite if you don’t have willing participants. 
 

Another by product of having like minded folk together is more songs. This was another area on Sunday which let us down badly, how the Blaydon Races didn’t get sung at Wembley was sacrilege in my opinion.

 

Hopefully enough folk want to do something about this as our current support portrayed in the media is just a myth currently.

 

Bring back the noise and passion it’s what we we’re once lauded for and made going to the match a real occasion.

 

 

 

Edited by Whitley mag

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100% on board with this even though I sit in the posh seats (yes there are people signing there too). Grouping like minded fans together is the key, which will involve the club moving people, though they might not even be aware of the issue. How exactly you do this I'm not sure but having at least two "smaller" signing corners (Strawberry and L7) for the rest of this season would be a good start. Gallowgate safe standing, would be ideal though more of a longer term thing. 

Song book needs a rework, and some "guidance" on how to sing the others, Blaydon Races isn't actually a race to finish the song as fast as possible. There is a lot of noise at times, during and after games. We just need these people grouped together, so those who want to sing and stand can, whilst those who want to sit and join in occasionally can as well. 

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30 minutes ago, Chicken Dancer said:


Exactly. Songbook is shocking, although I’ve always been curious as to how Man United/Liverpool come up with these new ones and get them universally sang. Fan-zones?


🙂

 

 

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2 hours ago, Disco said:

Having a dedicated ultra area like they do in Germany and elsewhere is absolutely wank IMO. One of the best things about English football is the cyclical atmosphere and how it moves with the game and usually involves all four sides of the ground.

 

I have always thought the whole concept of having "Ultras" is bollocks to be honest. Just the name tag alone indicates a class system in terms of football support. But at the same time, I dont think having a specific part of a ground dedicated for those who wish to be more vocal means that the rest of a stadium will just sit silent. The singing end merely acts as the conductor to guide the whole stadium to sing. That is usually how it works in the UK stadia anyway.

 

 

Edited by Wandy

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Atmosphere needs to improve 100%
 

I think everyone agrees.

 

it shouldn’t be that hard to do (although it may take a few seasons to increase the atmosphere) 

 

The singing section in the Leazes corner worked.

 

No reason why we can’t have standing sections on all 4 sides of the ground 

 

maybe 2k on each side to start off with 

 

8k in total (would be a good start)

 

Would love to see the full gallowgate all singing / all standing in the future 

 

Look at the Celtic fans at the weekend (that’s noise)

 

 

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In all honesty are we all old men looking back with rose tainted glasses? 

 

We have always picked a song and sung it to death.

 

We've got Mirandinha,

N and E and a wooble ewe C

Keegan/Robson wonderland

Andy Cole, Andy Cole...

Oh Alan Shearer / Wilson

Oh Coloccini

 

At least Bruno was something new for us if not other teams.

 

When was the last Brand new song??

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Wandy makes a key point in that a lot of the most vociferous fans were basically driven out under Ashley, and now they can't get back. Some banned for making a fuss and the level 7 singing section broken up for being mean to that big baby.

 

That said, even when it was there, while it must have been fun to be part of but didn't really carry into some of the rest of the ground, imo, it was too cut off.

 

Anyway, I think the 10 year price / ambition freeze had a part to play. Too many people say in the same seats grumbling but not caring enough to make a noise about it, being worn down year after year but scared to ditch their seat. I don't mean all of them by any means, but I know some people who kept their ticket but stopped going.

 

I went to one of the cup games, by contrast, and thought the atmosphere was brilliant. I was bruised from leaping about and hoarse the next day, in a bit of the ground where everyone was up for it.

 

But if I was in a bit of the ground where everyone was mumbling away about sitting down and looking at you like an alien when you're howling away, well over time you'd just sit on your hands and shut up as well. Much better to be in a place with like-minded fans.

 

I wonder if the hoped for SJP redevelopment is a chance to do this - there's going to be temporary disruption anyway, which might finally shift some people from their usual seats to start with.

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18 minutes ago, Whitley mag said:

Great post by @Wandyto get this ball rolling, some might see it as trivial but to a lot the atmosphere used to be a big part of the match day experience.

 

I agree that wor flags is a great spectacle and adds to the match day experience, but once the flag waving stops before kick off it simply can’t be the end of supporting the team. We used to criticise Liverpool for their plastic sing a long to you’ll never walk alone, now look at the state of SJP when the whistle blows.

 

I had a great time in London and met many old school lads down for the weekend. However, the atmosphere once inside Wembley was everything I feared before the match. Once that whistle blew it fell flat and I hate

to say this but their support was simply more up for it.

 

After all these years of not winning anything they we’re more up for it, folk can deny that all they want but their support was louder and more fervent and that was before they scored the 1st goal in my opinion.

 

A big element of our support was made up of hangers on (seems like a lot of favours were done) and families. Nowt wrong with families some would say, blokes taking their young one to the match and there probably isn’t.

 

But therein lies the problem I believe, we have a massive family enclosure far larger than any other club in the PL. This led to our support looking like day trippers United and whilst the mancs had families amongst their support, it was no way at the level we had.

 

Ive seen some folk say the atmosphere is the same everywhere now, that’s simply not true though Old Trafford, The City Ground, Elland Road to name 3 all have large areas where fans stand and generate constant atmosphere.

 

We had this in level 7 before Ashley disbanded it and it needs to be brought back next season. This needs to be badged as a singing section and not safe standing, as others have said the atmosphere in the safe standing at Wembley was shite if you don’t have willing participants. 
 

Another by product of having like minded folk together is more songs. This was another area on Sunday which let us down badly, how the Blaydon Races didn’t get sung at Wembley was sacrilege in my opinion.

 

Hopefully enough folk want to do something about this as our current support portrayed in the media is just a myth currently.

 

Bring back the noise and passion it’s what we we’re once lauded for and made going to the match a real occasion.

 

 

 

 

Agree with all of this

The most worrying thing is I don't think we've got a big enough appetite amongst the support for atmosphere. Look at the next generation of kids/teens who managed to get tickets for cup games. They sit glued to their phones taking pictures and on tiktok

The likes of Man United Leeds etc seem to still have a far bigger culture for atmosphere and intimidation of the teams they're facing than we do

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