Do you sit in “A” block of the lower Barclay?
If you do, then there`s a letter coming your way from Norwich City Football Club, telling you to sit down during matches – or else.
If this applies to you or even to people that sit/stand around you, then the club are writing to tell you that you risk losing your seat due to the thoughts of the “Safety Advisory Group.”
Apparently, during a recent meeting of this group, the club was informed that the “level of persistent standing at the ground was unacceptable.”
This group is made up of representatives from the county council and emergency services and is the body that grants the club it`s annual safety certificate. The threat from the club is that if this continues, starting with Saturday`s match against Sheffield Wednesday, then the capacity of the lower Barclay could be reduced which means you might lose your seat/season ticket.
Now, first let me say that I don`t sit in “A” block of the lower Barclay but I work with a bloke that does and he tells an interesting story about the goings on.
My mate has had seats there for over a decade and describes the stewards as massively contributing to the upset between them and supporters. He says that they often overreact and get verbally and physically animated in telling people to sit down. That`s perhaps not surprising when you consider these are normal people paid a low(ish) wage once or twice a week to do stewarding. It strikes me as unlikely that they would have much in the way of training or indeed, confrontation in their lives other than perhaps at football – an assumption, I know.
My mate says that his lad used to have to stand on a seat to see and that`s because others stand and he couldn`t otherwise see. Not a huge problem for him though and due to the “ripple effect” caused when City are on the attack or not, you`d otherwise be up and down like a yo-yo. It`s human nature and the nature of football. He`s even seen stewards have a go at people standing in the back row, with nothing behind them other than a brick wall. They are obstructing nobody and surely are causing no problems, other than to the jobsworths in the orange coats and before anyone says anything, I know that is their job and what they are instructed to do.
It`s just a bit ridiculous in that situation.
My observations of the away fans are that they virtually always stand throughout the game and when I recently went to Portman Road for the derby game, that`s exactly what I did too, as did those around me.
Where we go from here I don`t know but sitting down is a quiet business in most parts of the ground, it`s a contributing factor to why the atmosphere is like a library.
I`ve seen these letters on social media today and the tone isn`t great from the club, as it urges those in “A” block to heed the warning – “Or else” they`ve missed out.
The way things are going, they may not have to worry too much because I imagine we won`t be seeing the record season ticket renewals we used to see a couple of years ago, in any case.