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Stand Up if You Love City! Honest?

In what has been a quiet week on the football front I thought I would again address what is becoming a very trying issue for those of us who try to support Manchester City Football Club.

I was at Villa a couple of weeks ago for the cup game and it reminded me of what football used to be like. Ok, admittedly, there was no terracing but I was allowed to stand for 90 minutes, I wasn't harassed by stewards, I was allowed to support my team vocally and I had a good time, as did the majority of blues in attendance.

Go back a week prior to that and observe the empty rows of seats in the South Stand, Manchester City's latest tactic in its ongoing war with its own supporters (sorry customers). Would any other business get away with treating its customer's so badly? Would any other business employ goons to physically restrain a person from trying to watch a product they had paid for? I don't think so. So why is it that Manchester City and football in general get away with it?

The club would hide behind the law and Manchester City Council's licensing authority. They argue, quite rightly, that it is illegal to persistently stand at a football match (as far as I am aware watching football is the only thing on earth that I am forbidden by law to do whilst standing) but are unprepared to lobby the authorities for a change in a law that discriminates against a specific group of people, namely their customers.

I can watch any number of concerts at Eastlands and stand all night long with the blessing of the very same licensing authorities that say my standing at a football match in the very same stadium is a somehow more dangerous activity. Amazingly I can also purchase a ticket for a football match in the visitors section of the South Stand at Eastlands and stand up for 90 minutes and laugh at the home supporters as the stewards attempt to force them to sit down and watch the game. It begs the question ‘what the f**k is going on?

I have my own theories, naturally, and most of them revolve around the idea that the seating law suits football clubs since it allows them to charge their customers a premium rate for their product. If we were allowed to stand it would have to be at a reduced rate and god forbid that happened in this day and age of greed above all else. Because of that all seater stadia are here to stay at a cost to both those of us who wish to stand and those who wish to be seated. Instead of being able to make an informed choice, it is now pot luck who we find in front of us at a game.

So where can we go from here? It is quite obvious that neither the authorities nor the football clubs are willing to change a piece of legislation that, for a number of reasons, suits both of them. It has to be time for the supporter to act. Perhaps by staying away and hitting clubs in the pocket, mass stand ups at football matches or even perhaps by remaining on the concourses at grounds and watching the game on screens whilst standing; let the club explain the empty seats.

Whatever happens over the coming months and years, football has to start listening. It is driving away the supporter with the contempt it shows for them. If the only way it will listen is through direct action then direct action it must be. After all is it any safer in the stadium when professional goons are employed to distribute the violence they are employed to prevent?

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The journalist

Writer: Andy Leggott Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday March 1 2006

Time: 1:33PM

Your Comments

Andy Leggott should move on. Those who stand in seated areas are selfish, arrogant and misguided. They assume that everybody around them feels the same way, that "real supporters" want to stand. I have watched City home and away since 1954. I might be getting on but I am more than able to stand on terracing for two or three hours if necessary. However, if I have paid £32 for a seat no moron is going to accuse me of having no passion just because I choose to sit in it. I have sat and stood through more City games than Andy Leggot and his ilk can even dream about and I am as true a Blue as you can ever find. But I don't chant expletives about the opposition, I don't refer to United supporters as Munichs and if the ground has seats I sit in them. There are more important issues to worry about than this and its about time the boneheads in the South Stand realise this.
glossop blue
Strong Views Glossop .... but read the article before criticising. I quote. "Because of that all seater stadia are here to stay at a cost to both those of us who wish to stand and those who wish to be seated. Instead of being able to make an informed choice, it is now pot luck who we find in front of us at a game." I do not think I have asked for your right to sit and watch to be taken away, instead I have made it very clear that we should all have a choice. Why should you have your view obstructed by those wishing to stand? Simple solution .... introduce safe standing. As far as Munich references and criticisms of my attendance ..... last resort of the self centered when you know nothing about me. You want everyone to watch a game your way .... I want a solution for all. Your lack of understanding and views based on your self show your lack of understanding of how great the issue is. 47 K averages have fallen by nearly 5 k in 2 seasons. It can't all be the football.
The point I am making is that by wasting your time with this issue you are supporting the people who stand up in seated areas and therefore abuse the rights of those who wish to sit. I have been at a number of away games this season where I have had no choice because of the people who insist on standing. When a supporter stands all those behind have to stand. If they complain they are accused of having no passion and not being real fans. Hello!Premier League stadia are all seater. If you don't like it get on to the politicians but don't abuse your fellow supporters who are more interested in watching the game. Yes attendances have fallen, all over the country but all those who purchased season tickets for the 1st season at COMS knew that the stadium was all seater. If they didn't like it they shouldn't have bought the ticket.
glossop blue
Incorrect .... I am supporting the right of all people to watch football how they wish to watch the game. The law is quite clearly wrong in that it discriminates against a targeted group of people. How would people react if black people couldn't stand but white could? Yet Rugby, Cricket, Music fans are allowed to stand (often at the same arenas) and just one group of people isn't. I do support those wishing to stand but I also support those wishing to watch the game from a seat. You simply want it one way .... your way. Unlike your assumption of me I happen to support Manchester City with a passion, hence my regular attendance home and away. Unlike yourself I believe their are issues of great importance that affect people's role in society. Democracy means freedom of choice .... I'm not given that freedom by the law (nor are you). Now how many times has that issue surfaced in histiory?
Also it's interesting how you tar me with the 'Munich' and 'abuse of those wishing to sit' brush. Your assumptions are based on what? The issue is important and naturally your ignorance leads me to assume you have never sat in the lower South Stand. Do you believe it is acceptable for representatives of MCFC to physically abuse their own customers? Do you think it is good customer practice to threaten your own customers? Give supporters a choice and ALL of us will be happy ....
This issue appears to be of interest to just me and you Andy which gives you an idea of how mind numbingly pathetic it is. To try and equate this with the struggles of the disposessed and disenfranchised people of world history is an absolute joke. Grow up and find a real probelem. I don't care what you response is to this its not worth the brain space.
glossop blue
And my poll suggestss? 73% recognise a problem and can identify a solution. Because an enforced law suits yourself it doesn't make it right. What those of us that propose safe standing are doing is fighting for your right to sit and watch a game undisturbed every bit as much as for those wishing to stand. I wouldn't humiliate you by droning on about group psychology other than to say you are very misinformed if you believe the oppression of a single identified group doesn't lead to problems. As I said history is littered with minor acts of oppression of a nations people that have ended in violence. You have shown your idiocy by not embracing a solution for what you recognise as a problem affecting yourself. You would rather see the simple act of standing up criminalised so you can tut tut and say it was never like that in your days .... you want to know why? Because standing up to watch a football match was legal and you made a choice. Personally I hope you are a smoker and you have now had your right to smoke in a public place taken from you. Before you stereotype again .... I don't smoke.
glossop your typical of an MCFC employee. Are you sure your mantle shouldn't be John Wardle? The ed has said he supports your view but your too far up your own @rse to see it. Your a typical moaning old git the like of which the club would be better without.
I must disagree with you Glossop, I have found this article and discussion between Andy and yourself vigorating. However you call this topic "pathetic" yet you have seemed to have dedicated a lot of time and effort into getting your point accross.
I must disagree with you Glossop, I have found this article and discussion between Andy and yourself vigorating. However you call this topic "pathetic" yet you have seemed to have dedicated a lot of time and effort into getting your point accross.
ooppss, double post......sorry
You're not getting hauled off 'cause you're standing. You're getting hauled off 'cause your City and have been for too long. And that makes you criminally insane, an offence second only to being a gooner.

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