Barney Chilton remembers well his first visit to Old Trafford in 1976. He was out of the hustle and bustle in the stands just as excited as the action on the football field. “It was a mass of people which moved back and forth. In the case of opportunities, the people poured to the front. If the Chance was granted, they went back. When a gate fell, you snapped,” he says.
Chilton always came back. In the past four decades, he has attended to his own statement, three-quarters of all the games of Manchester United. Home and away in the League and in European competition. In 1987, he founded the fanzine “Red News” and is still its editor-in-chief. Of the atmosphere that had gripped him during his first visit to Old Trafford, however, much to be desired. “She is light years away from what they used to be. You should be and adapted to sit down. You will be encouraged not to sing or support the team,” he says.
His observations describe the conditions in the stadiums of the Premier League, not just at United. The notorious British mood, there are only at peak games, or important games in the Champions League. In everyday life, it is in England’s stadiums are often so quiet that one might suspect that there is a silent protest.
“Is this the Emirates?”
Also on the today’s Boxing Day (from 13.30; Stream: Dazn), and the Play between the years is likely to be heard in one or other of the English stadium from the guests block the malicious question of whether you had landed by Mistake in a library: “Is this a library?” Arsenal Fans were the other day in the match when Manchester United’s wonderfully self-deprecating about the ambiance of fun. “Is this the Emirates?”, they sang. At the Emirates Stadium in London, the home games of the FC Arsenal.
The reasons for the decline of the atmosphere in England is known. The stadium disasters of Heysel and Hillsborough in the eighties led to the abolition of the standing places. The ticket prices were massively raised. To solve the Hooligan Problem. However, the traditional work were displaced in addition to hooligans the audience and the young stadium-goers, and by higher earners, the elderly and tourists replaced.
“New Fans expect that your seat is in the stadium, such as your living room chair. You want to watch the game, but not necessarily participate. Football is for many a passive experience,” says Paul Brown, author of the book “Savage Enthusiasm: A History of Football Fans”. Ultras there are in England only sporadically, for example in the case of Crystal Palace or Huddersfield Town.
ticket revenue to lose importance
clubs assert that they need their Fans, but certainly not more. The clubs of the Premier League to earn the most money with TV Rights. Solely from domestic marketing you can get between 2016 and 2019, with almost seven billion euros. The revenue from the card sales are losing importance.
According to an investigation by the BBC, eleven of the 20 first division club could have in the season 2016/2017 in the empty stadium to play, and still made a profit. According to “Forbes” proceeds on the round at Manchester United, the club with the highest viewers of the Premier League cut, only 20 percent of the revenue. At other Clubs, the rate is even lower. The magazine comes to the conclusion that football is not a part of the stadium-goers, but the television viewers.
however, There are also positive developments from the point of view of the people who pay every week for the visit to the stadium. According to the BBC study, have fallen in the past season, more than 80 percent of the ticket prices in the Premier League either, or at least stayed the same. The average price for a ticket was at its lowest level since 2013.
“give us bread, while it was introduced to eat cake”
in addition, two years ago, an upper limit of 30 pounds for away tickets. “That was a Surprise. You give us a bit of bread while you eat the cake,” says United Fan Chilton. You, he added, referring to the officials in the League and the clubs.
Several clubs work together with their Fans, in order to improve the mood. At Old Trafford, for example, there are in four years, a sector particularly sang to a joyous audience. For the upcoming season, the mood block is to get a better seat in the stadium and be enlarged.
Also, many clubs are also open for re-introduction of standing, for which, however, a change in the law would be necessary. In the new stadium of Tottenham Hotspur, for example, 7500 seats can be when it is finally finished, within an hour in the standing-room conversion.
book author Brown believes that the Premier League clubs should also strive for economic considerations to enhance the mood. “No matter what the football Fans think of the stadium, a fantastic atmosphere and makes it a better product,” he says.
United Fan, Chilton is confident that the club will be forced in the near future to advertise more to young Fans. “We are old. We die. How to fill the clubs in 20 years, and tens of thousands of free seats? It needs a radical change,” he says. But he will know that it will never be the same again in 1976, on his first visit to Old Trafford.