The proper football fans have been there. Stood there… In the middle of January, freezing your unmentionables off, watching your team put in a half arsed effort and thinking to yourself, for the best league in the world, where is the atmosphere?!
I’m forever hearing stories off people of a later age than I of how the atmospheres are nothing compared to what they used to be, I am still waiting to have evidence to back up “the amazing Kop” stories, what about the stories from the Kippax at Maine road? And all the stories about being crammed into the Holte End at Villa Park? but why have atmospheres rapidly deteriorated? and what can we do to bring those types of amazing atmospheres back?
One of the main reasons, and perfectly understandable reasons why atmospheres have died, is all seated stadiums. One of the reasons that all standing stadiums were abolished was due to the horrors of Hillsborough where 96 Liverpool fans were crushed to death by their own supporters. So that forced stadiums to become more family friendly. But now people are calling for standing sections for people who want to create an atmosphere, and seated family sections for those who want to enjoy the game. I think this is a brilliant idea because at away games especially, 90% of the away crowd is stood up anyway, and the home crowd, especially those situated directly next to the away fans, stand up too, so isn’t it time to review the health and safety regulations and scrap some seated sections in grounds?
Another reason that atmospheres in grounds are dropping is because of the banning of flags in the ground. If you look all over Europe there are certain sections of the crowd, that are up, bouncing, singing, waving massive flags, creating an awesome atmosphere. Flares are another thing that should be allowed back in, yes they’re dangerous, but if used correctly, then they can be a phenomenon. 2 years ago in the Carling Cup Semi Final, Manchester City turned off all the lights in the stadium to create a blue moon, but the United fans countered that with 2 red flares, this got everybody fired up and really got the atmosphere going, again, all over Europe they use flares, and sometimes they take it to even greater extremes and use fireworks!
Another reason why atmospheres are declining is due to the increased daylight robbery of Football clubs charging horrific prices, just to go and watch your team in one game of Football. I have just recently bought my Liverpool away ticket, which cost me £48. Now the game is on a Sunday, and on Sky Sports, so people are very reluctant to pay those prices, for something they can get on TV. This is causing the grounds to become less populated, and therefore affecting atmospheres inside the grounds.
So in my opinion, we need a total change of the system that football uses. We need standing sections in stadiums for people who want to create an atmosphere, with flares and flags etc allowed, and ticket prices to be reduced, as well as the amount of games that are shown on TV.