Stand Up For Your Rights

In the last few weeks we have seen that our footballing family in Liverpool have finally been provided with the facts about Hillsborough. Firstly I want to applaud the various groups who have never given up in their fight for the truth.

We now know that crowd management failed, and that the ground was an accident waiting to happen yet the FA and Police saw no reason to move the game to a safer venue.

Something else occurred to me, the Taylor Report as a result of the tragedy recommended that standing areas be removed from all football grounds and seats installed in their place. We as football fans were subject to being tarred with a now known to be invisible brush.

Strangely the Taylor Report seemed to be critical of the Policing of the event, and disregarded many of the conspiracies of late tickets and alcohol consumption. Taylor also refers to the safety of the ground, the fact that this was the 9th such report in recent history on safety of fans in football grounds.

However the Government and Police Authorities of the time seemed to have performed a masterstroke by employing the Sun to publish a number of lies regarding the tragedy. This seemed to stick with the public in general and the loss of terracing was inevitable along with a general cleaning up of the game as recommended by the Taylor Report. It was not all bad it refers to the the squalor that some of us had to bear, the lack of toilets etc and suggested that there was apathy amongst owners to improve the lot of the fans.

So my question today is do the recent revelations mean that the Taylor report was flawed? Should they have banned terracing or just demanded improved safety measures?

Afterall the terracing itself did not cause this disaster, the fences, the pens, the poor signage the failure to operate the Leppings Lane End properly (fill up each pen at a time) led to the disaster, they are all mentioned in Taylor’s Report.

I sat down in protest on the North Bank after my last chance to stand on it, along with many others. I was only 16, I had graduated from standing at the front of the Junior Gunners section to standing at the back of the North Bank from about the age of 14. I always enjoyed when we went f***ing mental for no other reason than we all wanted to change position.

Did I ever feel unsafe? Not once.

In our Health and Safety culture I know we will not return to those terraces, but we only have to look to Germany and teams like Dortmund to see how good it can be. The safe standing areas can house 3 people where every seat is. They are still to my knowledge allocated a space, so tickets can still be sold in their current way. Currently we pay ยฃ35 for a seat behind the goal, the club could probably charge ยฃ15 each for standing,treble the capacity at both ends of the ground and increase revenue whilst making it cheaper for fans.

Before you vote I ask you to look at the Hoffenheim Stadium and see how the Safe Standing Terraces are implemented, the website linked is also very interesting read.

Unfortunately I don’t see this being implemented at the Emirates, the design probably does not allow it, and we will have issues attempting to raise the capacity of the ground.

So my question to you all, should a return to standing be allowed?

Written by Gooner in Exile

124 Responses to Stand Up For Your Rights

  1. Panic says:

    A touch of class, well done.

    Please fellow Gooners follow suit and don’t drag comments responding this into the gutter as i’ve seen on various posts discussing this very emotive topic.

  2. chas says:

    Excellent, GIE.

    I’d love to see safe standing introduced.
    The atmosphere away is so much better partly because everyone is standing anyway. So why not have standing areas properly designed and you could have more people being able to see the game, cheaper tickets, yet greater revenue.
    Win, win, win all round.

    It would also sort out the current situation where if someone stands in a seated area, they block the view of the persons seated behind.

    The demand for standing season tickets would be huge.
    Even the corporate demand for boxes might improve with the better all round atmosphere in the ground.

    We could leave the away fans capacity the same, just reduce the size of the area allocated to them. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Rasp says:

    Great article GiE. Until recently the subject of standing was taboo, but now the truth about Hillsborough is finally beyond doubt I think we can discuss it in a mature manner.

    The Dortmund fans are the best I have come across in all my time following football. I remember standing outside the Tavern before our CL game (with you and other AA’ers) and their fans just wanted to be friendly and talk about the beautiful game, they were more like football comrades than the opposition.

    I can quite clearly see why standing areas work for them …. but Milwall? I don’t know.

    Personally I’d like to stand but I’m not sure I’m in favour of allowing alcohol on the terraces. However it would be nice if you could buy proper alcohol at the bars instead of that watery stuff they serve up ๐Ÿ˜•

    Lastly, if they did have standing areas behind the goals, ticket prices would not be reduced to ยฃ15 (as I’m sure you know) the club would just make more revenue.

  4. Rasp says:

    Incidentally GiE, I think you’d better get your kit out of mothballs – we’re down to our last recognised goalkeeper with little chance of the No.1 and 2 being available for some time. Do you think a we will sign a Brad Friedel type in January if Sz and Fab2 are still not available?

  5. Morning all, not being able to stand has bugged me for some time, now we have more information on the issues that led to the tragedy, and that there are systems in place that allow for safe standing areas.

    Like you Rasp i am not too worried about alcohol being allowed on the terraces, reading the reports it seems they have to sell the watery stuff to allow them to be allowed to sell at a sporting venue.

    Like Chas I think the atmosphere would be much approved.

    As for the likes of Millwall, I don’t see why it would be any different, in fact it could even be better the seats would be bolted down ๐Ÿ˜€

  6. evonne says:

    Great post GiE, thank you.
    I am for standing areas being reintroduced (fat chance). I am sure the atmosphere would be great in those areas, as opposed to the sitting terraces with fans tucked into their comfy padded seats. I would definitely chose a standing rather than sitting place

    Rasp – why do you think No 1 is far from being ready? I think he is back in training

  7. Rasp says:

    Hi evonne, last I heard he was 3 weeks away – but we’ve seen 3 weeks morph into a whole season recently (TV and LJ) so I’m being cautious.

  8. Rasp says:

    Thanks GiE, I didn’t realise they had to sell low alcohol drinks – does that include Club Class? – I thought you could buy spirits and proper drinks up there.

  9. evonne says:

    A couple more thoughts that spring to mind – until the Hillsborough disaster the procedure was called crowd control rather than crowd safety.

    It could be a great move for the Club to introduce standing terraces – tickets at half price, twice as many fans, great atmosphere, no brainer really

  10. evonne says:

    Rasp is always looking on the bright side of life ๐Ÿ™‚ Chesny will be back next week, wait and see

  11. Rasp says:

    I like your new avatar evonne ๐Ÿ˜›

  12. evonne says:

    So do I ๐Ÿ™‚ I made a vow not to fall in love with any player ever again, but cannot resist Santi

  13. Red Arse says:

    A strong and emotive subject that you have tackled very sensitively, GIE, well done sir! ๐Ÿ™‚

    I have not read the Hillsborough Independent Panel Report, and I wonder how many people/fans actually have?

    My limited understanding of the Panels brief in producing the Report, was not to look at the consequences of the remedies put into place after the disaster, such as seating and other safety measures, but to ascertain whether or not there had been a police cover up.

    I am not trying to be picky, but the Report, as I understood it, found that the Liverpool fans were innocent of the unfounded charges made against them, which implied, at the very least, that some senior police officers had therefore lied to the media, the public and the original inquest.
    This in turn has set in train another IPCC investigation and a new inquest into those terrible deaths.

    The topic you have raised regarding seating, alcohol consumption and implicitly the improvement in the public safety at football grounds was not, as I understand it, the subject of this Report, and though seating and other matters merit discussion in their own right, we must be careful not to piggyback it onto a Report belatedly addressing the concerns of both the general public but more especially the families of those concerned.

    Sorry to sound didactic, but if I am right about the purpose of the Report and its findings, I am concerned that we might dilute its importance by associating it with measures introduced for purely safety purposes.

  14. Brigham says:

    An enjoyable read and one subject which will always provoke some dialogue.

    I have always preferred to stand (Being an old Clock Ender myself) and really do loath having to remain seated for the majority of our home games, standing up like everyone else when the chance of a goal appears!

    The only time I get to stand all game now is when away from home with other like minded Gooners.

    I doubt very much standing areas will ever be entertained in this country, the Government do not like admitting they got it wrong do they?

  15. Red Arse says:

    With regard to standing, I must declare an interest that has nothing to do with safety or ground improvements.

    There is a cameraderie about standing, leaping, cavorting around in mad kangaroo hops, shoulder hugging and punching the air in ecstasy when a goal is scored, that simply cannot be recreated from a sitting position.

    There! My biase is there before you all, before I make any further points. ๐Ÿ™‚

    When the law was changed following Hillsborough, I was astounded that an event, which was indisputably terrible, but which happened in an appallingly poorly designed and maintained stadium which itself had caused the stage to be set for the terrible events that unfolded, led to a ‘solution’ that treated all stadiums as if the were just as poorly designed.

    On reflection, leaving my irritation aside, I remember standing in the North Bank, Highbury for a Spurs game, and every time Arsenal attacked the goal nearest us there was an immediate swaying of the crowd to better see what was happening.

    This surge was irresistible and I often winced as we were gathered up and pressed into the safety crush barriers, and although as big galloot I too was swept along, I genuinely feared for the smaller fans and women who were totally powerless and got hurt when pressed into the barriers.

    Now this did not happen at any but the ‘big’ games, but it did make me think huge, boisterous, standing crowds, however exciting for the hale and hearty, can be very dangerous to those who are most vulnerable, and if I was asked to vote, as I have been today, I would come down on the side of seating, purely for the safety aspects involved.

    The alcohol on the terraces question is simply not a runner, not that it is dangerous or a problem, as drinking at ‘respectable’ cricket grounds is accepted without thought, but because of the commercial pressures.

  16. Rasp says:

    evonne, the latest news I can find on our GK’s is that Fab2 has ankle ligament damage and is out for 3 months and Sz is 3 weeks away from a return …… but who knows – what did his GF tell you?

  17. Gooner In Exile says:

    RA I think the lies spread at the time allows the Taylor Report and recommendations to have more weight, there had already been many safety laws brought into place before Hillsborough, and Hillsborough had lost its safety certificate as it did not comply, but this did not stop the game going ahead or the stands being used. Highbury and especially the North Bank had many features that would have prevented the tragedy? The one thing it didn’t have was a radial fence that would have allowed us to host semi finals…..yet which ultimately caused the deaths of innocent people.

    The trench through the middle of the North Bank allowing fans to filter in from the sides and then up and down and not from back to front as was the case at Hillsborough.

    Yet Highbury got tarred with the same brush, a catch all even though Taylor states that not all grounds were as disregarding of the safety legislation.

    For me Taylor’s report went too far, in fact it highlights many of the issues brought to light by the recent independent review for the target at Hillsborough, but clearly the real remit was to clean up the image of the game we have the world, hooliganism (which was already dying at club matches due to better policing), racism (again thankfully it its death throes) and the amount of alcohol being consumed.

    But it’s remit was not just to rule on the incident but as to how it could be prevented from happening again, he states that many Directors/Owners stated an attitude of “it couldn’t happen here” whereas he said this was just misguided hope/optimism rather than fact.

    The constant rumour from on high that it was the fans to blame meant that any recommendations could be given more weight, in short ban terraces because the fans can’t control themselves. Whereas the true conclusion should have been, condemn unsafe grounds, enforce better crowd control safety or lose your rights to stage matches with a crowd in various parts of the game, allow fans to enjoy games safely.

    The safe standing areas are a very simple solution, and one shown to work, Vila have started a petition to do it, as have various others. I think we as fans can help it gain momentum.

  18. Gooner In Exile says:

    I am interested by the results of the polls above….the alcohol seems to be a no goer despite many sports allowing drinking in the stands (London2012 was a very inebriated crowd) with no sign of trouble.

    I have been in the current North Bank and seen a fan drunk as a skunk, who threw up in his seat (the stewards ejected him) but the poor neighbours had to sit amongst the stench for the rest of the game,, at least on most days in the Old North Bank you could move away from the smell, or he could have pushed everyone out of the way to make sure no one got covered.

  19. Rasp says:

    Hi again GiE, the poll is fairly conclusive and indicates that supporters would be in favour of an option to stand in certain areas.

    I wonder if a survey has been done anywhere to compare the likelihood of injury through standing in a seated area as opposed to standing in a properly designated standing area?

    From the club’s point of view I can see it is a tricky issue. They could gain revenue but be faced with a cost to build a standing area. The problem would come in PR terms if anyone suffered a preventable injury whilst in the standing area. Still, if they can trial goal-line technology surely they could trial a standing area at a stadium/club willing to participate.

    We all know that away fans stand pretty much constatntly and the stewards are powerless to do anything about it so in reality ‘away standing’ takes place every week in the PL.

  20. Good post, GIE, thanks.

    @ Red Arse. re: 11.32am post
    from “On reflection… down to “purely for the safety aspects involved.”
    I absolutely agree.
    Furthermore, and absolutely no offence intended to ALL on this site, when I say that most, if not all, of you are younger than myself, and haven’t had such a lengthy experience of “leaping, cavorting around in mad kangaroo hops”. If you were as crusty as yours truly, I think you’d be happy as thing now stand (no pun intended).
    Red Arse has said it all for me in his post at 11.32am, especially as regards the passage “This surge was irresistable…”.

    I, personally, never want terracing again. Anyway, as Evonne says, as far as standing areas being reintroduced, fat chance.

  21. My final two lines, by the way, are referring not to the Hillsborough tragedy, but to safety per se.

  22. Gooner In Exile says:

    Rasp as you say standing occurs in the away end for the majority of most PL games, especially the teams with good away support.

    As for safety of standing in sitting areas compared to the safe standing areas there is no comparison in safety. We’ve all been the unfortunate one who stands where the seats don’t stay up, and keeps bashing you on the back of the legs.

    Sitting at some PL grounds is a hazard in itself, step forward the away end at Goodison. If there was a fire in that stand I doubt many would make it out. Wooden seats, wooden floors, crammed in like sardines and a wall to climb over to get away to the pitch with more plastic seats below to land on if you brave the jump. Thank goodness there are smoking bans in grounds like that.

  23. Gooner In Exile says:

    And picking up on RA’s comment earlier I do really feel for those that never had the chance to stand, the closest I can think is being at a gig and being amidst a mosh, there are no bankings at most venues so the force of the surge is not as strong. But many concerts pass off without incident without safety barriers or stewards throughout large crowds (think Glastonbury Pyramid stage which is actually on quite a steep bank.

  24. GunnerN5 says:

    The comradery of a standing crowd simply cannot be replicated in seating stands. At the clock end from the 40’s – until seating arrived we stood in the same spots, surrounded by friends and family week in and week out – that atmosphere was unique and irreplaceable.

    There was little danger involved, although during many games the crowd was so dense that it was difficult to move around and the swaying to and fro was a cause of some concern. As kids we would pretend to faint and get to sit in the corner of the ground.

    Even given that the all seating rule was put in place based on bogus
    information it has done a lot to improve ground safety.

    Creating standing areas at Emirates would seem to be a non starter as it would increase the ground capacity beyond what has been approved – as I recall there would need to be major changes to the Drayton Park station in order to accommodate the movement of the amount of additional fans.

  25. Gooner In Exile says:

    GN5 did you ever as a kid just lift your feet and see how long you could stay off ground and where you would land?

  26. GunnerN5 says:

    GIE;

    The wierdest experience I had was being wedged inbetween the crowd and my feet not touching the ground when we were exiting the Arsenal station. That was a tad scary.

  27. Red Arse says:

    GN5,

    I might have told you before, but I had a similar experience years ago when I was quite young — not at Highbury but at Upton Park.

    We funnelled off the tube, down the road and entered the turnstile area, which at the time was in a walled area.

    The crowd waiting in line for the turnstile was huge — and NOT lining up but jostling backwards and forwards all over the place. The crush was almost enough to crush your chest and make breathing difficult.

    I was lanky but pretty slim and it was scary. Police horses were sent in to try and segregate the crowd, but the poor horses were also affected and created even more pressure, and had no idea where they were putting their hooves.

    Anyway, when the sway took me up to the wall — doubly scary because of the pressure — a couple of guys at the top of the wall reached down and yelled to me to grab a hand up. (these were West ham fans!!) With others pushing from below I scaled the wall. What a relief.

    I spent the next half an hour helping others to do the same thing — until the stewards came to grab me!!
    Inside the ground, they had no idea of the problem outside, but when they realized I was not trying to avoid paying, they let me go.

    Crowds can be very dangerous.

  28. GunnerN5 says:

    RA,

    Large crowds are very dangerous and intimidating.

    As I lived on Avenell Road I was able to avoid the crowds most of the time and being known by a few of the stewards was also a big help in getting in early.

    It was only when I spent time with my Dad’s side of the family in N7 that I had to travel by the underground and I never looked forward to that experience.

    We later moved to N7 and I used the underground all the time – but to be honest I really enjoyed the chit chat and singing on the way to the ground.

    Ahhh those were the days my friends……………..

  29. dandan says:

    From Todays Times……..

    Tony Evans

    Did the England players need caffein boosts to keep them awake during Roy Hodgsonโ€™s team talks or to stop them dozing on the pitch? The reality of Royball is hitting home after six months with England fans and itโ€™s not great, is it?

    Hodgson and the FA will point to a record of seven wins and four draws in the England managerโ€™s short tenure โ€” one of the draws a prelude to a loss on penalties against Italy in Kiev โ€” but does even the most short-sighted Little Englander believe that this manager and squad can thrive in Brazil in two years?

    There is an innate caution in Hodgsonโ€™s sides that is worrying. These are bare minimum teams, set up to avoid defeat. He takes his weapons and not only uses them defensively but in a way that undermines their existence: he would use a broadsword to bar a door, a rifle to block a trench.

    So, he plays with a single forward. Spain use a “false 9”. Hodgson uses a false philosophy. The San Marino performance was about as boneheaded a display seen in international football this year. Against a pack of part-timers who bunched in the middle, England tried to pass the ball through them. There was very little wing play and the visiting side were rarely stretched.

    The policy of sitting Steven Gerrard deep in the midfield is symptomatic of this. The England captain is in decline. The burst of pace and power that characterised is career is becoming an ever rarer event. Yet it is still one of Hodgsonโ€™s prime weapons. What remains of his abilities could be maximised by deploying him behind the strikers or wide right. Instead, he sits ever deeper.

    This is not like Italyโ€™s use of Andrea Pirlo. Like Gerrard, Pirlo is in the twilight of a great career. The Italian sits deep but it is a clever, aggressive move. Pirlo makes use of the extra space available in front of his own back four, surveys the field and brings his exquisite passing range into play. He is not mobile enough to operate behind his strikers but, given room, he can pick a team apart and feed the forwards down the channels.

    Gerrard merely huffs, puffs, scuffles and carries some of the water. And check the ratings in almost every newspapers. Heโ€™s Englandโ€™s best player most of the time.

    The left side of midfield is another area where Hodgsonโ€™s weaknesses are exposed. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was tried in the Ukraine and appeared to have only the most vague notion of where he should be standing when the opposition had the ball. His concerns about tracking back seriously compromised his forward play. Against Poland, Tom Cleverley was a little better but clearly out of his comfort zone.

    Wayne Rooney was not at his best against Poland but his frequent use as an auxiliary midfielder exacerbates the problem. The system does not ask how to get the best out players. It asks them to bring the opposition down to Englandโ€™s level. Even if they are San Marino.

    This is not a good World Cup qualifying group. Ukraine are poor, Poland some way from the finished article and Montenegro ordinary. Itโ€™s suddenly become tricky.

    Hodgson has two friendlies up next โ€” Sweden and Brazil โ€” and what should be a training match against San Marino before a now crucial game away to Montenegro in March. It would be nice to see some coherence and attacking intent in the lead up to Montenegro.

    But that might well be wishful thinking.

  30. RockyLives says:

    Good article GiE

    I voted “yes” to bringing back standing areas although, like Big Al, I think it’s unlikely ever to happen (and Gn5’s comment about allowed capacity at the Emirates is one of the main reasons why).

    However, I am sure it would be possible to create safe standing areas at ground like ours.

    As Gn5 says, there is nothing like the thrill of being in that huge crowd, swept along with no choice but to go with the flow. I don’t know if anyone remembers the “knees up mother brown” phase in the ’70s when groups of blokes would start singing that song then surge down the terrace. If you were in front you could sometimes find yourself bundled 15 or 20 yards forward. It was scary at the time because you always wondered what would happen if you fell (not that I ever saw anyone falling over and being trampled).

    But in this day and age you could surely create a standing area behind the goal that was wide rather than deep (so no big surges) and not too steep.

  31. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Great post GiE

    Ime all in favour of bringing back standing, as long as its policed and handled properly. We dont want any kind of return to some of the darker sides of football pre Taylor.

    The worst crushing i got was when Luton beat us at Wembley. At one stage the crush was so bad that i didnt want us to score. Besides i spent 20 minutes of the 2nd half propped up and facing the wrong way. Blokes in front of me were taking the piss with things like “your in my view mate” or “good game init”.

    Bad day all round realy. hahaha

  32. Gunner-Mac says:

    Very good read.

  33. RockyLives says:

    Gunner-Mac
    Did you vote? If so, what were your choices?

  34. dandan says:

    Hi Fellow gooners itโ€™s good to be back and to see you all in fine voice.
    As far as standing is concerned for me it is a non-starter, Like N5 I am a long time exponent of the Highbury sway game and marvel that no one was seriously injured in my vicinity, mind you we were all big lads and stood directly in front of a barrier every week both on the west bank and right behind the clock end goal half way up the terrace.
    The stated attendances were always nonsense, vastly understated for tax reasons, and the resultant crowd surges down the crushingly packed banking happened each and every time there was a shot at or a goal.โ€ Elf and Safety donโ€™t make me Larf Pound in the pocket more likeโ€. We were lucky I have also been in packed terraces at Hillsborough and Villa Park and wondered how we escaped unscathed.
    Would I want my kids or grand kids within 50 miles of that scenario no way? All seated Stadia? Best thing in my opinion that has ever happened to the game I love, After Arsene Wenger that is ๐Ÿ™‚ ๏Š

  35. Red Arse says:

    Terry, ๐Ÿ™‚

    You have got to stop sticking skewers up your Jaxi. No wonder you were rotating with every move of the ball!

    Do I take it your Mrs T has given you an exit pass? ๐Ÿ™‚

  36. 26may1989 says:

    Exile, you address two important subjects: the Hillsborough Disaster and safe seating. Well done to you.

    On safe seating, it seems an absolute no-brainer: plenty of fans want it, for a variety of very good reasons, and the best league in the world (the Bundesliga) shows that it can be incorporated into a 21st century stadium without undermining safety at all. Those (like Big Al) who don’t want to stand wouldn’t need to, but having that option available would add to the atmosphere and allow some who can’t afford ยฃ40-ยฃ100 for a match ticket to attend games without clubs losing money. Where’s the downside? One thing it would address is to allow more teenagers to go to games: I really worry about the future of the game, when adolescents can’t go without being funded by parents.

    That said, the idea post-Taylor Report that terraces should be ended needs to be seen in context. The horror of the Hillsborough Disaster was only one element in the mix. There was also the Bradford fire and the Heysel Disaster, and the impact of a decade and more of real hooliganism (though of course it had nothing to do with the deaths of the 96). There was also the social conflict of the era between the Winter of Discontent and the end of Thatcher: the miners’ strike, race riots, mass unemployment, the National Front, Thatcher’s owner-occupier “There’s no such thing as society” socio-economic revolution, the perception of imminent nuclear armageddon and the Falklands War. All of these things, and no doubt many more, set a backdrop for how football fans in general, and their terraces in particular, were viewed. The way I remember it, we were viewed as a bit freakish for even saying we enjoyed terraces; why wouldn’t we want the comfort of all sitting down? Football wasn’t like it is today: the country was embarrassed by us, and the game (in itself a much less glamorous thing than it is today) was not cherished in quite the same way as it is now. And, quite rightly, the authorities wanted to find a way once and for all to get rid of hooliganism, which was thought to flourish on the terraces. In that context, and with 96 fresh fatalities, it seemed obvious to those with political and administrative power (in government, Parliament, the press and the FA), and to the public at large, that something had to change. And that meant the end of terraces.

    There were football fans who campaigned to retain terraces (the new Football Supporters’ Association was at the fore), but they were swimming against the tide, it was a battle that could not be won. To many who wanted to keep terraces, it probably felt like it was a price worth paying for changes and investment that were desperately needed.

    As an aside, well done to Exile for also flagging that Highbury was never made to have fences. In fact, the FA put AFC under considerable pressure to install fences, eventually terminating Arsenal’s right to stage FA Cup Semi Finals when the club refused to cave in. Arsenal consistently maintained that fences would create an unhelpful caged animals atmosphere that would only make matters worse, and would represent a safety risk. What a shame those wonderful people at the FA didn’t listen to Arsenal.

    Football stadiums are better today than they were in the 1970s and 1980s, and we no longer get treated like animals by policemen whose wages we pay, but the magic of terraces could have been retained. We can safely turn this particular clock back.

  37. Red Arse says:

    No room for compromise there then, 26.

    That puts Big Al, GN5, Dandan and me firmly in our places, what do we know?

  38. Red Arse says:

    Sorry, Dandan, I forgot to say welcome back! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Was the holiday as fantastic as it sounded? (A stupid question, I suppose, but a little detail would not go amiss!) ๐Ÿ™‚

  39. 26may1989 says:

    Compromise? Wash your mouth out, RA!

  40. Red Arse says:

    Everyone else on here is too polite to argue 13*2, good to have you around! ๐Ÿ™‚

  41. Gooner In Exile says:

    26 I was always proud that we never installed fences, and that fans visiting and home never took advantage of the absence (at least in my memory).

    DD in terms of returning to standing I am not for one minute saying that we should return to the kind of terracing that we were all used to, it just wouldn’t happen. But there is te safe standing, like those in the Bundesliga.

    In fact there are a lot of things we could learn from the Bundesliga…..FREE public transport for football fans with a ticket being No1!

  42. 26may1989 says:

    Yeah, haven’t been posting recently – no good reason, just interlull lethargy.

    But I did want to say that the number and range of AA widgets has reached epic levels – well done to Peaches and Rasp, plus of course Chas and Exile (and anyone else I’ve missed….).

  43. Gooner In Exile says:

    Btw 26 I meant to say something along the lines of your 3rd para in the post (in truth I thought I had):

    ” the loss of terracing was inevitable along with a general cleaning up of the game as recommended by the Taylor Report.” Was supposed to convey the pressure from society and government to clean up the game due to the reasons you state (obviously reading back I realise I didn’t really make the point) ๐Ÿ˜ณ

    Anyway glad I didn’t as then you would not have written such an epic comment ๐Ÿ™‚

  44. evonne says:

    Rocky – what are Dandan and 26 saying?

  45. evonne says:

    GiE – I’d rather pay my train fare

  46. Red Arse says:

    Ssshh, Evonne, they might hear you. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Rocky says, what bit of what Dandan and 26 said do you want him to interpret for you?

  47. 26may1989 says:

    Sorry for not doing justice to your point, Exile. And gracias for kind comment!

  48. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Redders, hahaha, i desperatly needed a bit of rotation that day. My feet werent even touching the ground, as i said as i was propped up and facing the wrong way and try as i might i couldnt shift myself. The main piss taker in front (or is it behind hahaha) of me was a right ugly git, (looked a bit like Rod Hull) and i had no choice but to stare at him for near on 20 minutes.

  49. Rasp says:

    Thanks 26m, I think I’ll stop with the widgets now ๐Ÿ˜•

    The basic idea is to provide information in visual format that will attract bloggers on to the site on a regular basis to check on how we are performing compared to last year in the hope that they may stick around and read the post…… cunning eh?

  50. Red Arse says:

    Perhaps it was love Terry, and you were Emu to his Rod Hull! ๐Ÿ™‚

  51. Gooner In Exile says:

    TMHT at that point I would have started a chorus of Let’s Go F’ing mental or Rockys Knees Up which would have caused a MIT of movement from which to free yourself. Altho knowing you you would have ended up feet in the air and watching ankles for the test of the game, and still facing the wrong way.

  52. evonne says:

    RA – no, not interpret. But when Rocky is bored and has nothing better to do, he could summarize it for me ๐Ÿ™‚
    Mind you, I am half way through reading 26 now

  53. SharkeySuresGhost says:

    I voted yes to standing, no to alcohol.

    For me the diff between now and then is that you’ll know that you’ve paid for a standing or seated ticket. Hence I’d buy seats for me and my son, but standing tickets for me and my brother (If I had one).

    Big no to alcohol. The issues with excessive drinking in the UK preclude that in my humble opinion.

  54. Rasp says:

    Hi sharkey, I agree. Happily you’re in the majority with those views – 65% in favour of some form of standing areas and 72% against allowing alcohol onto the terraces.

    There are already too many idiots around and the number increases exponentially where alcohol is concerned.

  55. 26may1989 says:

    evonne, are you saying I’m verbose? Wordy? Long-winded?Repetitive? Tedious?

    Oh ok, guilty as charged….. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Rasp: how about we have a widgets widget? Just so we know which widget to refer to…..

    Sharkey: Just to be devil’s advocate a bit (I don’t really care that much if booze is or is not allowed pitchside), might the ban not actually encourage some people to neck as much as they can as quickly as they can before kick off? Meaning there could sometimes be more drunkenness with the ban than there might be without it. I’m just not sure there would actually be that much more drinking if the ban were lifted; it just might be more relaxed.

  56. evonne says:

    26may – no, no, NO! it is I who is lazy and gets Rocky to read for me, double winner ๐Ÿ™‚
    Interesting view of the late 20th centuary. I must say I don’t remember it being so bad, I think it might be because I was younger and more resiliant. I find today much worse, would not want to be young now.

    I also read Dandan’s copied article. Hm, I like Roy, don’t think either he or his team are boring

  57. evonne says:

    Raddy – did you notice in the ‘Redeemer’ mention of Arsenal thrashing Spurs at WHL? Jo Nesbo’s a Gunner

  58. TotalArsenal says:

    It is a double ‘yes’ from me. I prefer sitting myself; much easier for taking notes haha ๐Ÿ˜† but nothing improves the atmosphere better in a stadium than a few thousand standing supporters who also happen to be very vocal.

    Alcohol is a bit more tricky, but if well managed by the club should not cause any trouble. It is served in the corporate boxes, so why not for ‘ordinary’ fans? ๐Ÿ™‚

  59. LB says:

    Evonne

    What is the Redeemer?

  60. Rasp says:

    Hi TA, would you want to be sitting in front of a supporter holding a full pint of beer just as we score the winning goal against manu ๐Ÿ˜†

  61. FrothingInarticulateLoon says:

    Who votes on indifferent…??? And just how indifferent are you if you actually make the effort to vote ‘indifferent’…??

    Not so lah di bloody dah now are you with yer moggy polls and crap talk of football elf and safety.

  62. Red Arse says:

    TA,

    I don’t think the alcohol thing is a runner, but if the standing enclosure idea ever got off the ground, it would run counter to having alcohol there.

    Can you imagine fans trying to carry pints of beer back to their mates thru a hopping, joggling crowd of Standers, especially if a goal was scored?

    It would become de rigeur to dress in a rubber diving suit to watch a game in the standing enclosure! ๐Ÿ™‚ Fun to watch from the safety of the seats, tho’.

  63. Standby for some dead horse flogging:

    BBC Cost of Football Survey:

    Cheapest Season Ticket
    Arsenal ยฃ985
    Tottenham ยฃ730

    Most Expensive Season Ticket:
    Arsenal ยฃ1,955
    Tottenham ยฃ1,845

    Okay time for the caveat, the Tottenham price above is Premier League Games only, Arsenal’s includes 7 cup credits, so extrapolating Tottenhams prices to include 7 cup credits:

    Cheapest Season Ticket
    Arsenal ยฃ985
    Tottenham ยฃ999

    Most Expensive Season Ticket
    Arsenal ยฃ1,955
    Tottenham ยฃ2,524

    WOW! But of course Arsenal have the most expensive tickets in the world……

    Ok how about Matchday tickets, well working on the cheapest tickets:

    Only Villa, Fulham, Newcastle, QPR, West Brom, Wigan, Stoke and Sunderland have a cheaper ticket than the cheapest ticket at the Emirates. Thats 8 out of 20 teams. City have the same cheapest price,

    Its ยฃ35 to go watch Swansea, ยฃ36 at Upton Park, ยฃ37 at Reading!!!!!

    You could of course pay the ยฃ26 we can pay at the Emirates to go watch Millwall play if it floats your boat, or more to go watch Brighton!

    And of course the most expensive matchday ticket, well no one else pays as much as us ยฃ126, but if someones mad enough to pay that then more fool them!

  64. Red Arse says:

    Snap, Rasper! I had not seen your comment before I wrote mine!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  65. Indifference is My Name says:

    Frothing,

    What difference does it make if I am indifferent to your indifference about the indifferent poll? Hmmm?

  66. Red Arse says:

    GIE,

    You are the Ticket Oracle supreme! ๐Ÿ™‚

  67. RA have you noticed its my bug bear ๐Ÿ˜€

    Saw a lot of comment on Twitter about how expensive Arsenal are according to the BBC Cost of Football Survey published today, I never understand why everyone looks for the top price.

  68. Red Arse says:

    You are right, GIE, they repeat that type of ‘cost’ cobblers and always just happen to mention — ohh, by the way, the most expensive is …………. they don’t need to fill in the blanks, everyone has got it by now!!

    Especially annoying now you have pointed out that they are wrong —- I am glad you explained the Spurs info, because I for one did not know that, and will happily let my (rather delicious and sexy) Spurs nemesis in the coffee shop know when next I see her — actually not sure if she is really a Spud or is just trying to wind me up!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  69. SharkeySuresGhost says:

    2*5+13 – You may well be right about staggering in blind drunk or getting tanked up thru the game.

    I’ve never really understood excessive drinking, so perhaps I’m not best placed to comment.

    The thought of someone celebrating a goal with a pint in their hand is the deciding factor for me

  70. I know both Sharkey and 26 are trying to be delicate about the issue but lets just get it all in the open we are talking about Chary here right?

  71. chas says:

    Phil Dowd anyone?

  72. chas says:

    Chary would never stand at a game.
    In fact he’d prefer it if he could bring his own Tavern bench into the ground with him, then he could have a little lie down if it all got a bit much.

  73. Gooner In Exile says:

    To be fair Chas it all gets too much around 1 o’clock Matchday for Chary ๐Ÿ™‚

  74. glic says:

    Super post GIE
    I voted for standing in a controlled manner and by the looks of the Dortmund blue print I cant see what the problem is !.
    I confess to voting indifferent on the alcohol matter as you didn`t say whether there was going to be any B-B-Q`s or Arts and Crafts stalls allowed !.

  75. TotalArsenal says:

    I can see where you are coming from Rasp. If it means, though, we would beat the manky Mancs, I take a showering of beer every time! ๐Ÿ˜›

    RA, good point, but what if beer is served in plastic bottles?

  76. MickyDidIt89 says:

    GiE,
    First, well done for even thinking of a worthwhile topic, and second, brilliantly written and sensitively executed. Nice.
    You have prompted some great comments, but I will single out 26’s for a Star.
    I’m in the yes to standing, as I think it would be simple enough to make it very safe. I’ve said no to drinking, but only on the grounds of spillage. Can’t remember, but I don’t think you are allowed to take alcohol into your seats from Club.
    As for your “not once” to feeling unsafe, I say: alright for you Big Boy, I’m only 6 foot’ish, and I never liked the 50k+ crowds.

  77. glic says:

    After looking at that video chas, I should imagine he has changed his name to Wellen Dowd, as they must be a size now !. hahaha

  78. chas says:

    I used to love the surging that took place on the terraces, but any discussion of surging with the safe standing available today is irrelevant.
    The Hoffenheim link shows that the biggest surge would be from just one person behind you.

  79. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Glic,
    I think you have found the only accepatable defence of the indifferent vote ๐Ÿ™‚ ROLF

  80. If that surge was me Chas I’d crush you ๐Ÿ˜€

  81. chas says:

    GIE,
    I think you’d end up in the two rows in front because I wouldn’t be a big enough barrier to stop your forward momentum. ๐Ÿ™‚

  82. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Chas,
    I used to like nothing more than “surging” at a punk concert with a carefully selected “surgee” in front of me!

  83. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Back to the standing do-da, until the end of the old North Bank I was a ST man, but re-location with a ST (which I did for one more season, meant that you couldn’t get away from the wanker sitting right behind you.
    I would love to see a poll amongst ST holders on here about how happy they are with their spot, and I don’t mean the view, simply whether or not they have drawn a long or short straw.

  84. chas says:

    This is from Mal Davies’ referees newsletter which I found interesting. It seems that the ref nearly blew his whistle, then played a few more seconds because France won the ball back (presumably the goal was scored still within the original injury time decided upon).

    This is the description of the video….

    TV footage in Spain has broken down the final few seconds with three minutes of injury time signalled by the officials.

    On 92.40, Spain are awarded a corner and it is incredible to see how they failed to hold on to the bill deep in opposition territory.
    France dispossess Santi Cazorla on 93.00 and launch a last ditch attack which is stopped in its tracks by Juanfran. The Atletico Madrid defender then attempts to beat his man.

    At the same time, German referee Felix Brych begins to move his arm to put his whistle to his lipsโ€ฆ Only for Les Bleus to nick the ball, resulting in Franck Ribery crossing for Olivier Giroud.
    Spain barely had time to kick off.

  85. glic says:

    hahaha yes Micky, the surgee, the blessing in disguise of the London rush hour Tube trains !. 25 years ago, I used to wait on the platform at Mile End station and pick and choose my intended ” surgee” ! hahaha

  86. chas says:

    Micky,
    You knew that Ant and me are now a couple of seats closer to the half way line, didn’t you? The seats we are in now were matchday tickets with different people sitting in them every game. We’ve moved there to get away from two particularly annoying moaners.
    We can now hear them in the distance but compared to being right alongside, it’s sheer heaven.

    I’m not sure the chap I’m now sitting directly behind is too pleased with having to wear ear plugs now, but I’m very happy we could swap. ๐Ÿ™‚

  87. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Chas,
    Yes I knew about your story. I know that Rocky’s chums are well placed, but I have used other people’s ST’s with very mixed results.
    I do like being a Red Card Holder as you sit in different places, experience different views and its always the last time you have to put up with an irritating member

  88. chas says:

    Haha, irritating member.

  89. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Chas,
    I had to slither that word down the sentence as I feel uncomfortable referring to myself as a Red Member

  90. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Just sounds like you need a visit to the clinic!

  91. glic says:

    Micky, Transplant has some cream for an irritating member………..erm……so I hear !. hahaha

  92. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Glic,
    Shame it doesn’t come in an aerosol, that way one could simply squirt the irritant during a match. Save all that having to move seats business.
    Right, its night all from me.
    Two days to go ๐Ÿ™‚

  93. evonne says:

    LB – book by Jo Nesbo recommended by Big Raddy, good read and the mention of Arsenal makes it even better

  94. goonermichael says:

    The standing areas at Koln’s stadium were fine. If you don’t put too many in there won’t be a problem

  95. Evening all, you certainly know your stuff GiE and you make a convincing argument, however just to be cheeky and perverse I voted against standing but for alcohol
    The former because I thought standing areas were heightist and the latter ‘cos I need a match relaxant. ๐Ÿ™‚

  96. We already made plans for you Chary…..Chas has asked the Tavern to take a bench to the Emirates for you.

  97. Ha ha GiE, and a hip flask with a snifter of the amber nectar inside it no doubt.

  98. Look up at 6:01 Chary and look at what 26 and Sharkey were saying about you too before that ๐Ÿ™‚

  99. Rasp i realised i never answered your GK’ing question from this morning, I don’t see us signing a keeper (unless Fab goes)

  100. All true GiE – I’m a very nervous watcher nowadays and need a PMT relaxer, although having said that my last game was watched sobre(Saints 6-1) so I have watched without booze.

    But rest assured, next wednesday I will be back to being the pissed spectator you all know so well. ๐Ÿ™‚

  101. Irishgunner says:

    Loved the read and loved reading people’s stories of standing.

    The one think I like about seating is that I can see everything and my glasses won’t get broke by surging and pushing ๐Ÿ˜† having said that, I get more into a game when I stand.

    We can stand at Irish game cos we’ve got hardly any seats ha ha This is where I go to see Limerick FC play : http://mahara.bluebrick.ie/artefact/file/download.php?file=34871&view=7739

    but we are moving into a swanky redeveloped stadium next year cos we won’t get a license otherwise: http://extratime.ie/media/extratime/images/articles/marketsfield.jpg

    You can stand for GAA games but its a totally different atmosphere, fans mix a fair bit.

    I loved watching the Bundesliga games, their fans are amazing. I remember the Dortmund game as well, was luck to be there and those fans were sound.

  102. FrothingInarticulateLoon says:

    Ha ha I.I.M.N 5.38….you think you can break thru my own wall of indifference with your own half hearted attempt at indifference…??

  103. oz gunner says:

    Good morning all.

    Very good post GiE, I like the idea of standing areas because as you said most people are standing and cheering anyway.

    In terms of drinking it should be a designated zoned off section like they have at festivals. Get security to police it like they do with the away section, that way families and others can feel safe whilst watching the game. Perth Glory in the A-League do it and call it ‘the hill’ and they have standing and drinking sections, just adds to the atmosphere. A few drinks, a few laughs and some bloody good sing alongs would add another element to the home support.

    As others have mentioned though it depends on the supporter base.

    @ Rasp + Peaches

    Well done on the 1002nd post. We are all very privileged to have this site to come to and chat away.

    Apologies for members I’ve lost or kept away with any of my posts!

  104. chas says:

    spuds v chavs Saturday lunchtime.

    I like these no lose fixtures.
    A draw best for us?

  105. chas says:

    Morning oz.

    I’d be amazed if you’d caused any irritated members. ๐Ÿ™‚

  106. MickyDidIt89 says:

    t-34:30 hrs

  107. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Morning Oz, Morning Chas.
    Chas,
    Just the usual mass brawl, pitch invasion with appropriately firm and unjust response from the rozzers, points deduction and relevant injuries to players on both sides.

  108. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I have to say that a Spuds win is always unacceptable though.

  109. chas says:

    …..or a chavs win.

  110. chas says:

    Micky,
    When I read this, I thought Micky could have written something like that.
    http://poznaninmypants.com/2012/10/18/50-shades-of-blue-starring-john-terry/

    Gotta go.

  111. oz gunner says:

    @ Chas

    def a draw, followed by a few injuries, with a sprinkle of red cards for good measure.

    I don’t know, anyone with an aversion to shocking English. I’m sure Peaches and Rasp nearly quite during the editing process haha.

    @ Micky

    thank frick for that! I swear they get longer and longer. And considering TA got my hopes up by saying we are a long way from another, he has a lot of explaining to do!

  112. MickyDidIt89 says:

    My Son is practicing his piano and playing one of those pieces where the hands cross over. I just suggested that we call it the “step over”, then foolishly added “the ronaldo”.
    He just gave me the filthiest look and said “Its The Ox, Dad” and carried on.
    Bloody hell, he is well brought up ๐Ÿ™‚

  113. MickyDidIt89 says:

    “Poznan in my Pants” is a brilliant name for a blog.

  114. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Oz,
    The International breaks are made so much worse by the rubbish quality of the games that fill them. Its not exactly like watching Brasil Argentina. San Marino, Montenegro, Scotland…… jeepers!

  115. oz gunner says:

    You’ve done a mighty fine job there Micky. He should of sent you to your room for even mentioning Ronaldo in the house!

    Agreed, the watered down fixtures make Internationals very dreary! I’ll settle for highlights of just Arsenal players, or great tackles against bsr.

    It’s bad enough watching Australia, let alone watching them play against Oman and Iraq. one of the games a few seasons ago saw Oman use the stretcher something like 12 times, including the bloody goalie. Remarkably all of them returned to the pitch after a quick spray and a pat on the bad. Gives me the willies! That’s why I’ve never understood these actors/divers who roll around and fall over to easily…you’re bloody men for Dennis sake! Now if it was women I’d understand…they aren’t made of the same stuff, and tend to be a bit softer! (sorry Evonne haha).

  116. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Oz,
    The Ref ought to be able to use his medical insight discretion. In other words, interpret what he sees as the severity of the injury from the players reaction to being felled. Suarez type scream=15 mins off the field to recover and so on.

  117. Gooner In Exile says:

    As Chas is off some light hearted video fun that made me giggle

    The reply

  118. TotalArsenal says:

    Morning fellow Gooners ๐Ÿ™‚

    Oz, no more inter-lull till 22 March ’13. Just a midweek friendly in November in between weekend home games against Fulham and the Spuds. We’ll survive that easily! ๐Ÿ™‚

  119. evonne says:

    Can I request that Chas stops publishing awesome videos of players like Jenks? I sends little shivers down my spine and I can’t eat my breakfast
    What a player! How can I have 2 players in my gravator?

    Chavs v Spurs – a draw, defo. Could not see either celebrating. But if one had to win, I think I’d rather spuds than the European Champions

  120. evonne says:

    GiE ๐Ÿ™‚

  121. Morning all

    New Post ……………

  122. Sapphire Radeon HD 7990 6GB

    […]Stand Up For Your Rights | Arsenal Arsenal[…]

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