I’m currently on holiday in the grand old USA, home of the brave etc and also the home of Walt Disney World and Universal Studios, Florida. After putting it off for years, we’ve bitten the bullet and thrown money at what we hope will be the holiday of a lifetime.
Halfway through the first week, I can tell you it is exactly that. Absolutely awesome and if you’ve never been and have kids of the right age then I can’t recommend it highly enough. Just make sure your credit card has plenty of room on it!
Anyway, while I’m away I am still thinking about Norwich City and what is going on at home in Norfolk. I’m mostly doing that via Twitter to keep an eye on things like the win at Charlton and incredibly the way that the Canary nation is seemingly tearing itself apart about who should sing, who should sit where on matchdays and if they don’t want to sing then they should move.
If you’re not a Twitter user then I can tell you that it’s been pretty fierce and I should point out that I’m only checking Twitter as I wait in queues for rides – I am having a holiday I can assure you and I’m writing this in the (very hot) sun by the hotel pool.
Anyway, the crux of the matter being that one fan who likes to sing suggested that another, who doesn’t, should consider moving from the lower Barclay as this is the traditional area of the most vociferous City fans, so that another fan who wants to sing could have his seat.
I don’t think anyone should be telling anyone where they should or shouldn’t sit but it is a tricky scenario this noise in the ground or lack of it, at times, thing.
My take on it is that we have a situation that has been getting worse, in terms of noise, for some time. The question of how to make the crowd make more noise is a tricky one as we have a fan base of season ticket holders that are getting older, I think I’m right in saying. They have had their tickets for years and quite rightly don’t want to give them up due to the limited size of the stadium and that is maybe part of the problem.
I sit in the upper tier of the River End because it’s the ‘family area’ and I sit with my missus and 11 year old son. We’ve been taking him since he was 5 and it costs just £6.22 a month for his season ticket, which is (at the moment) what keeps me sitting there. Having said that, it is as quiet as the proverbial library around us, as most of the folks I sit among are either old or have young children.
Fair enough, we all enjoy football.
I miss the noise and singing of when I was a lad, standing on the Barclay, having paid £1.50 on the gate through the ‘Boys’ entrance, it feels like a lifetime ago, I guess it is. I’m getting older as well and I still like to sing but it just doesn’t happen enough for my liking where I currently sit.
Having said that, it’s just as likely that you might find someone sitting in the lower Barclay who has got older, like me, but doesn’t want to sing much anymore. As I said, it’s an aging crowd and the club have to acknowledge that.
What they do about it is anybody’s guess and I know from going to the fan forum earlier in the month that the club want us to make more noise. Stuart Webber said he couldn’t quite believe how quiet it was during the 7-1 win over Reading and that the place should’ve been rocking but it wasn’t, much.
You can only applaud the efforts of guys like AlongComeNorwich, who are trying to do something about it. They’re currently suggesting a big banner for the Barclay and are asking fans to take a look at their site and vote on various designs – I won’t spoil the surprise but you should check it out for yourself on their site.
So where do we go from here?
We’re all fans of this great football club and we all enjoy watching the game and just because you sing, doesn’t somehow make you a better fan than someone who doesn’t. We all love and support our club equally.
You’ve stuck with me to the end of this article and I hope you’re not expecting a magical answer to the $64,000 question because despite all the magic that’s currently around me in Walt Disney World, I don’t have that answer.
If the ground was bigger then there would be more room for younger fans to keep on coming in and it wouldn’t just be the lucky ones that have an auto renewing season ticket who get a seat. Having said that, promotion and then stability in the Premier League are more important at the moment and then, and only then, could such an expansion become a serious option.
We’re some way off that yet.
In the meantime, consider making a little more noise than you already do, you might like it and remember folks, we’re all friends and we should play nice.
We should also, above everything, support our team this season.