One of the reasons we love going to watch a football match live is so that we can support our team vocally. Many fans have experience of sitting at home, shouting at the television during football games, or doing so down the local pub. But this doesn't get heard by the team on the pitch.
Thus the question remains; why is it still so hard for Manchester United fans to be able to support their team at Old Trafford? Here are some of the main factors:
1. Health and safety
Since disasters such as the Hillsborough disaster, many factors have been incorrectly blamed and have since been labelled as dangers. Standing in Old Trafford and all other Premier League stadiums today would not pose a risk to safety. The Stretford End (upper West Stand) is the area of constant standing during home United games and is also the area where the atmosphere comes from. This is no coincidence.
2. Other fans
There have been increasing reports over the past five years of Manchester United fans arguing among themselves as some look to stand and support their team whilst others wish to sit in silence. Those wishing to sit in silence who're sat behind those wishing to stand is where the trouble arises, and with Manchester United policy to restrict standing, atmosphere is decreasing at home games.
3. Bad ideas
A recent example by Old Trafford management includes a 'Fanzone' that would be located outside the stadium pre-match and would be a tool to drive sales. This is an example which shows how little thought has been put in to recent ideas and how such little progress has been made. A recent allowance of marches and flags pre-game (organized by fans) has been shown to add no atmosphere inside Old Trafford, so an idea of a fanzone idea holds no water whatsoever.
4. Singing sections, or lack of
United officials have recently promoted a possibility of a singing section within Old Trafford. They planned to have it where the current away stand is, opting the away stand to be moved to the upper North Stand. These plans were scrapped however, as the physical structure of the North Stand was questioned; if it were to undergo the stress of a constant 'bouncing' from away fans. This has lead to these plans being scrapped for the time being, with little joy to United fans who can't get a Stertford End seat yet who want to vocally contribute to their team.
One possible resolution, however, may be to plan a singing section in the upper North West stand. This was noted in a recent petition which has gained the attention of notable Manchester United fans on Twitter. The upper North West stand often fails to fill to capacity and is also next to the Stretford End. This would allow for the atmosphere of the Stretford End to be 'extended' in effect and also prevent a future problem of 'echoing' that would have occurred, if, for example, the new singing section was where the current away stand is.
Perhaps a singing section wouldn't be needed if the atmosphere was good enough; a family stand already exists for young children and O.A.P's to sit comfortably.
The current petition for a singing section is linked here:
Write for GiveMeSport! Sign-up to the GMS Writing Academy here: http://gms.to/130seMa
DISCLAIMER: This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.