Ashley wins again

Sing your hearts out for the lads!
In 2007 one of the new initiatives the club introduced was a “singing section” located on level 7 in the corner between the Leazes End and the Milburn Stand.

It was a move welcomed by many people who were frustrated with the lack of atmosphere and the prolonged silences in the ground during the match.

Personally I think it was one of the best things that the current regime have given us since Mike Ashley took over which is why I, and many others, were angry when it was announced that the “singing section” was to be no more come the start of the season. A strange move given the popularity of Level 7 amongst the fans who frequented it aswell as the fans who were that the vocal rapscallions were tucked up in the corner out of the way.

The club cited two main reasons for the move. Firstly that they were required to extend the away section in order to fit in with F.A guidelines. Now I’m sorry but I don’t buy this one bit, Arsenal’s Stadium has a 60,000 capacity yet they only give 3000 seats to visiting supporters. Our away capacity was 3000 all last season but it has been increased to 4000 for this campaign, why do we have to give more seats to opposition fans when Arsenal don’t? I smell a rat.

Secondly they said due to unprecedented demand they would be increasing the family area by 1,500 seats, which if you saw the amount of empty seats there against Fulham, you would agree is baffling to say the least.

The reason they were moved, in my opinion, is simple really. They were giving Ashley too much abuse and he spat his dummy out.

In order to try and congregate together for the start of this season the majority asked to have their seat moved to Leazes Level 4 which had the lowest percentage of season ticket holders in the ground.

Despite the club announcing those that were being moved from the Leazes corner would have first priority on choosing where else to sit in the ground, they rejected those that tried to move to Level 4 because Level 4 is where they put groups of people, like stag and birthday groups for example.

Now I don’t know about you but I saw plenty of empty spaces in Level 4 for both the Arsenal and Fulham games, anyway, carrying on…

They then tried to relocate to the Strawberry Corner (South-East) and while a good few hundred managed to get tickets there, a lot of people simply chose not to renew or were dispersed around the ground.

That however is not the end of the issue. Come the Arsenal game there were lots of reports of friction between fellow fans in the South East Corner due to those that were relocated there wishing to stand throughout the game.

People that have had season tickets in that areas for years were unhappy with those that have moved from the Leazes Corner standing in front of them and obscuring their view, which I totally sympathise with.

The club have now issued a letter to those that were persistently standing throughout the game and warned them that if they continue to do so then they will face sanctions and ultimately the loss of their season ticket.

Now I’m not going to get in a debate on the pro’s and con’s of standing at modern football stadia, but what I will say is that the FA allow standing at matches that take place in League 1 or below. For some reason the FA believe that the worse the quality of football is, the safer it is to stand, which is absurd because thousands of fans stand without any issues in the Bundesliga.

This entire episode should never have happened and as a result Ashley has not only silenced the fans, he’s made them turn against each other. The simple solution would be to resurrect the singing area so people that wish to stand and sing all game can do so without spoiling the match day experience for others.

Ashley 1-0 The Fans

86 thoughts on “Ashley wins again

  1. I personally think Ashley is preparing the club to be sold or run as a self sufficient running operation. Why should he put in money every year?

    I maybe naive but I think this season is going to be a struggle but we probably have enough to stay up about mid table. Will we move mountains Under Ashley No but will we go bust No and maybe when we are sound finically we will move forward.

    Ask yourself this one question was £35m good business for a player who scored only 11 goals and now looks a bit out of his depth. Add in we got a Striker who scored 7 in 12 in a relocation team. Who is better Carrol, Whickham (no top flight record) or Ba?

    I’m not an Ashley lover but I realise that he is not thick either and I’m trying to work out his plans. I think it’s to be financially sound and maybe sell if right money comes in, if not let it run as a going entity.


  2. Off topic, but i’m already worried for Davide Santon. I hope the ‘clever’ lads give him time, before slamming him for every miss placed pass or miss timed tackle. I fear the same lads who tore strips off Jose in his first year will turn on our new signings, angry that we didn’t spunk money on a striker (before people accuse me of being up MAs arse, i also think it’s indefensible we didn’t get one in). Davide has well documented confidence problems and needs to be handled well. The kid is still only 20 and new to the EPL.

    I’ve already seen people calling Obertan sh!t, after two games! I think most of this stems from anger at not buying more expensive, better established players, rather than from his actual performances. Im a season ticket holder and travel to all away games and defo haven’t seen enough yet to make a reasoned judgement either way.

    What i do know though, is who ever pulls on the black and white shirt come Saturday afternoon, will get my full support. Whether playing good or bad.


  3. BB – where we sit a lot of folk are furious with the negativity of the morons.

    Ignore Troy folks – every line he types is aimed at a bite. He is a Troll – he was going to call himself Troll Status but thought everyone would work him out too easily – hence Troy was born!


  4. PS yes I’m new here (posting) but I felt a more moderate voice was needed as if you only get one angry side the discussion just degenerates.

    Shouting or abuse (Beardsly Boots, last post) does not change the fact that not everyone is agrees with the standing section’s right to stand and block people’s views.

    On balance Ashley has got much more wrong than right but not everything is wrong and some of the decisions are drive out of regulations (which may suit his agenda).

    Let’s see how it goes at present this is the best start to a season since Keegan era and the defence looks solid, keeper looks world class and we beat Sunderland. So why all the negativity???


  5. I assume Pardew should be disciplined for making comments such as “we want to buy players to get bums off seats”.
    The man clearly doesn’t know what he is saying and the health and safety people should come down on him like a ton of bricks.
    Outrageous that fans should get so impassioned as to rise up out of their seats. The potential for disaster is clear for all to see. (except for those still seated). Disgusting behaviour. Ban the lot of them I say.


  6. @sly

    We all know what he is doing.

    We all understand the reasons why wages had to be trimmed, debts cutailed and expectations lowered.

    All we ask is for the money he’s made on sales of players is reinvested in the team.

    We hate the lies, the false promises and the way the fans are treat.

    All I ask is he sells up for the Market value instead of ripping the eyes out of potential buyers.

    You will never convince me you are right. I think you are very naive. Only my opinion though.


  7. ” I assume Pardew should be disciplined for making comments such as “we want to buy players to get bums off seats”.”

    Lol. Pardew was telling the truth though BB.
    A lot of bums will be off seats at St. James’ as the fans who are fed up of being treated like mugs will be staying home or watching the matches in the pub.


  8. ” Let’s see how it goes at present this is the best start to a season since Keegan era and the defence looks solid”

    Sly, I mean, seriously?

    The defence looks solid?
    Arsenal were as toothless as us in the opener and appear to be all over the place since losing Fabregas. They shipped eight goals the other day.

    Sunderland have looked completely toothless since their preseason began.
    One of the reasons they (unlike us) had the wisdom to get another striker before the window closed.

    And we let the mighty Scunny score and they could have beaten us, it was thanks to Krul they didn’t, not the defence.

    We have two decent defenders – Coloccini and S. Taylor. The rest are just border on being just about adequate.
    Santon may be good, he certainly recieved a lot of praise a few years ago.
    But realistically we have no idea whether he will live up to his supposed potential, and we won’t be able to gauge that for a few months until he has properly settled in.

    We have also been dreadful (not just poor) for more of less a full half of each of the matches we have played in. This better stop soon or our run of decent results might mean nothing in the long run.


  9. I agree we have not played great but facts are facts;
    1. Caba, looks good Ba, Oba and Santon all come with a good background.
    2. One goal vs. 3 top half teams to me means good start for the defence.
    3. 7 points and through to the next round of the cup is a good start. Ask the Mackems if they would like that start.

    Scunny could have beat us but dud not due to a good keeper display coupled with Sammy’s goal. It’s not all bad is all I’m saying, every issue (no striker) is an opportunity (youth coming through Sammy, Harry & Ferguson).. Keep the faith!!


  10. @sly

    No one is saying it’s bad. But we had expectations of doing better, season on season and with the Carroll money we had a real chance.

    If this was a one off situation then you could overlook it , but it’s not. It’s the straw that’s broke the camels back for me and many more!


  11. As someone effected by Leazes corner move, your point about the away fans is spot on, they don’t need another 1000 seats, in fact there are only 5 or 6 clubs in PL capable of bringing those numbers to SJP.
    Also agree doesn’t look as if the extra demand for Family section is there.
    Whilst not being the most vocal supporter , I really enjoyed the great view, atmosphere and PRICE in level 7, having been there for 12 years.
    The huge season ticket price increase between level 7 adult season ticket and the options offered to move has not been highlighted anywhere else.
    My season ticket from renewing in the Championship season increased from £390 to £558, a 40% increase overnight !!! I managed to reduce this by £54 by optiing for the 10 year deal, but supposedly I qualified for a 10% discount for holding a ST in the championship season. As ever, the regime speak with forked tongue.
    Additionally, when I queried the mega inflation busting price rise and expressed my desire to remain in level 7 to an operative in the SJP box office, he stated another reason for the dispersement of Leazes corner level 7 was because of persistent standing. I acknowledge that this was the case, but, the general cost cutting reduced stewards to administer this and noyone ever said anything about this in the form of a leaflet at any of 42 games over the previous 2 seasons. Thus I conclude that the club where not meeting there responsibilities with regards the enforcement of the ground regulations. Of course they could use this to get rid of the awkward squad who chanted their displeasure at Mr Ashley’s policies etc.
    As ever with this regime ,there are lies, more lies, disassembling, spin and of course ultimately massive disrespect to the customers of the business. If he ran his shops with same cavalier disregard of the retail customer, he would be going the way of so many other businesses in this recession.


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