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Leazes Corner: “Singing” Section? or Family Enclosure? What do you think?

Posted on February 22nd, 2011 | 28 Comments |

The Leazes: Should the singing end?
Recent plans unveiled by the powers that be at Newcastle United have revealed that the traditional “singing” section in the upper reaches of the Leazes End is to be terminated and used to expand the “family enclosure” of the ground.

Somewhat unsurprisingly, this has had some sections of the Newcastle United fanbase up in arms at the loss of what they feel adds significantly to the “atmosphere” of St James’s Park on a match day. This has led to the organisation of a petition by fan’s group, “United for Newcastle” in a bid to make the club change their minds over the plans.

When plans were originally made to create an official “singing section” in this area in 2008, then Chairman of the club, Chris Mort said:

“Over the course of the year I’ve spoken to lots of fans about how we can improve things at St James’s Park.

“Two themes have regularly cropped up in those conversations.

“One was somehow creating a section in the ground where like-minded fans – who enjoy singing – can come together to generate a great atmosphere and get behind the team for 90 minutes.

“The other issue was getting more of our younger fans into the ground. And I really think with the changes we are making for next season we’ve been able to deliver on both.

“We want Leazes Corner to be a place where the noise and backing for the team really causes a stir, and we’ve purposely reduced prices for fans to sit in that section of the ground.

“The larger family enclosure, with reduced prices, furthers our commitment to looking after young supporters, something we started last season with the ticket initiatives for the friendlies, and which we continued with the 10-game season tickets after Christmas.”

Speaking on behalf of United for Newcastle, PR Excectutive and founder of the group, Krishan Turner-Dave, said of the current plans to remove the section:

“Our aim is to make sure there is still a singing section in the ground after the changes. We feel it is important to have an area where like-minded fans can make noise where others around them will be doing the same.

“I can’t see any negatives to it. If it has a positive impact on the players, it is great. The fans showed how important they can be during the Arsenal game when they helped spur the side to come back from 4-0 down.”

Speaking on the petition, he added:

“I only started the petition on Friday, but already we have 1,500 names. It’s had a great response. The Gallowgate is also noisy, but it is good to have as many areas as possible where people are singing. Hopefully this petition will show the club how important this area is to the majority of fans.”

Krishnan has already had a meeting with representatives from the club, but he said that no promises were made regarding the continuance of an official singing section within St James’s.

The plans were announced alongside the promise of a ten year price freeze on season tickets for season ticket holders who would be willing to pledge their allegience to the club for the next decade. They also said that those who bought season tickets during Newcastle United’s season in the Championship would be offered a 10% discount.

Meanwhile, a spokeswoman for the club gave their side of the argument over the plans, saying:

“The club has held meetings with supporters following the announcement of new season ticket plans and seating arrangements. The changes to the seating plan in Level 7 affects just 5% of season ticket holders, but we are keen to find a solution that satisfies those supporters and the club wherever possible. Supporters who had seats in the singing section and will be renewing their season ticket will be given priority when it comes to alternative seat selection. The club will continue to engage with fans during this process.”

Another alleged factor in the reorganistion is that the club have had to expand the facilities for away supporters to comply with Premiership rules. These state that the club should give at least 3000 seats or 10% of the capacity of the ground to away supporters. Currently the club can supposedly only offer 2750, which is just short of the minimum mentioned above.

However both of these factors should not preclude the sanctioning of an official singing section in such a large stadium, and no firm promises have yet been made on the continuance of such a section, wherever it is within the ground.

Some cynics may say that the existing section has been something of a hotbed of embarrassing verbal (and musical?) dissent against the Ashley regime since it’s inception, and since he made certain decisions which proved to be very unpopular with the fans, that despite the reasons given by the club, the changes could be seen as a way of dissipating such dissent through a kind of football “gerrymandering” – a political term where electoral boundaries are deliberately drawn in such a way to favour one or other political party.

But what do you think? Do you think that the Leazes “Singing” section should be removed to make way for an expanded family section? That it should only be removed if another singing section is made available elsewhere in the ground? Or that the it should stay where it is?

You decide!

NUFCBlog Author: workyticket workyticket has written 1055 articles on this blog.

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28 Responses

  1. I definitely think it should stay where it is as it help to build the atmosphere. Why can’t they put the other things somewhere else?

    Your probably right that Ashley and owlheed want to get rid of it though!

  2. paul toon says:
    February 22, 2011 at 8:00 pm

    “Your probably right that Ashley and owlheed want to get rid of it though!”

    I don’t know, Paul. I’m just speculating that they might see the reasons they, or the club have given as being a perfect excuse to get rid of something that has become a bit of a thorn in their side over time.

    “You F.C.B. get ooot of our club!”

  3. The main reason the club would be happy to lose it is that fans stand in that area, something which the club has been warned about previously and when they did try to get home fans to sit it all kicked off with what some fans thought was ‘rough house’ treatment.

    I sit in the Gallowgate and I can’t hear much atmosphere from up there anyway so I’ve got no problem with it being used to encourage the next generation of fans to games.

  4. Rangerman says:
    February 22, 2011 at 8:21 pm

    “The main reason the club would be happy to lose it is that fans stand in that area, something which the club has been warned about previously”

    That’s a very good point, Rangerman. There may be something in it anyway.

  5. I definitely think that they should stay where they are. I have had seats in Sir John Hall stand and Gallowgate and I can always hear them singing. They definitely add to the atmosphere of the games and without them and an increase in family enclosure there won’t be much atmosphere at all.

  6. There was a time when every supporter at the game gave voice, what happened has chanting for the side gone out of favor, is it uncool ?
    Does there need to be a special section carved out for the basso prufundos and tenors, should`nt it be a case of each and every one laying an ear crushing crescendo of verbal intimidation on visiting sides.
    I recall the old howeeeeeeeeaaah Newcasiiiil chant of the fifties, now that was intimidating when voiced by fifty thousand fans.
    As for the family section, why not, it was tough for youngsters in the day, having to sit or stand behind the wall down front or find some place where you did`nt have to spend the match on your tip toes.
    If you want to attract the fans for the future, then provide a reduced price section where they and their families can sit.
    The singers are usually the hard core in any case and excell in away stadiums, where the have no choice but to assemble in the dedicated area for away fans.
    Nah, no special area, just like to hear a bit more noise comming from all quarters.

  7. I tend to agree with chuck on this one.
    Everyone should sing where ever they sit & kids, future fans, should be encouraged to the game. Having them next to the singing might encourage singing in the future too.
    Cos they’d see it as normal.
    Indoctrination of the bairns is the way forward.
    :)

  8. It’s a result of the big stadium we now have. The old sjp was a lot smaller and it had two open ends. This meant that you could hear people singing more. Now the stadiums are bigger people are spread out more. Bringing everyone together in a singing section doesn’t work. Why? Well every one at the match likes a sing song. Only a few brave souls will actually start a chant. If all the starters are in one area, how does the singing spread around the ground?
    Saying that those miserable sods in the east stand never sign.
    East stand east stand sing us a song.
    Those leazes lot are boring too.
    Sing in the leazes.
    Bring back the corner.
    Corner, corner.
    And the score board.
    Under the score board, score board.

  9. Micky Toon says:
    February 22, 2011 at 9:21 pm

    “Saying that those miserable sods in the east stand never sign.”

    Micky, I’m a miserable old sod who prefers to go in the East Stand.

  10. I totally agree Chuck but unfortunately it seems as if there needs to be some starting point to chants in the ground. I sing every game but because I’m not with a group of people all singing at the same time it doesn’t get the rest of the people in the stand to start singing as well. I don’t know if anyone on here has seen braniac science abuse before but it does a test a Swindon which is quite interesting http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IXp60tJ9L8A .

  11. Nobody likes having “You fat cocky bastard” sang to them every game I suppose – Especially when you’ve paid £250m for the priviledge.

  12. I actually put that the east stand don’t sign instead of sing. :lol:
    Imagine that. The whole of the east stand doing the blaydon races in sign language. :lol:

    I went in the east stand once for the game where we beat Barcelona 3-2. Tino. Anyway I had a nice seat as someone had left a tartan blanket and a thermos on it from a previous game. :-)

  13. Stuart79 says:
    February 22, 2011 at 9:39 pm

    “Nobody likes having “You fat cocky bastard” sang to them every game I suppose”

    Especially when you’re not a “Cockney”, just a fat bastard!

  14. Micky Toon says:
    February 22, 2011 at 9:49 pm

    “I actually put that the east stand don’t sign instead of sing”

    No Micky, I admit it. I’m a miserable grumpy old bastard who doesn’t sing. I just sit there like Somerset Maugham or Noel Coward with my legs crossed concentrating intently on the action. A few years more and I’ll be taking my tartan blanket, my Thermos flask and my walking stick!

  15. there should be one whole end of the stadium,where the singing section should be.it should even be called the fat b*****d mike ashley singing end.
    we should even rip the seats out,and pelt them at the fat cnut,f**k mike ashley.the prick even looks like the serial killer david berkovic “the son of sam”.
    GET OUT OF OUR CLUB YOU WORTHLESS FILTH,AND TAKE THE TAWDRY OWL WITH YOU.

  16. Micky/worky,
    hilarious lads.
    :)

    What is MA’s ‘actual’ parentage?
    Were his M & P married or what?
    Just to put the ‘Bastard’ bit to bed ‘once & for all’ like.
    We’ve established that he ain’t no cockney, he’s never owned a barrow & he ain’t no Geordie.
    Granted, he is, what can be considered fat though, i’ll give y’that.

  17. I like a good sing when i’m at the game, couldn’t care less if others join in.
    Sometimes i even try me own songs out, for a laugh, always gets a few askance looks that, funny though.
    :)

    If you can’t let it all hang out & have a laugh at the game, what’s the point?

    If others wanna sit & watch the game without singing, i’m down with that too.
    ;)

  18. Joey’s,
    thanx for that,
    but were his parents married mate,
    that’s the burning question of the day?
    ;)

  19. I sit in the cheap seats and would be happy to relocated to another part of the ground and pay 100 plus extra for the pleasure, only reason i got a seat up in the gods was because of the atmosphere. I have sat in other ends of the ground and got looked at like a alien when i’ve tryed to start a chant/song. Extra family seats are great, but i’ve got a wee son and when he’s of age i want him to get the feeling i got when i first went to a match in the old gallowgate end.

  20. Hi I’m new to the blog. @joey walsall is where I’m from but that’s west midlands. East midlands is nottingham dearby area

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