Manchester United v Real Sociedad: Fans to begin singing experiment to boost Old Trafford atmosphere

1,500 fans will be in the area usually designated for away fans in attempt to generate more noise from all areas of the stadium

Organisers are calling on Manchester United fans taking part in the singing section experiment at Old Trafford on Wednesday to get there early.

A long-standing attempt to generate a better atmosphere for United home games means 1,500 supporters will be located in the area normally reserved for the away contingent.

An anticipated 6,000 following from Spain for Wednesday's Champions League encounter with Real Sociedad has created the space for an initiative being spearheaded by various fans' groups and given official sanction by the club.

That the area was heavily oversubscribed when tickets went on sale suggests there is an appetite for such a scheme, even if the desire for a permanent singing section has met with resistance.

"For the big games, the atmosphere at Old Trafford is up there with the best of them but, as with most grounds, that is not the same for the lesser matches," said Andrew Kilduff, co-founder of Stretford End Flags, which has been responsible for the distinctive banners in the stadium.

"The problem is not lack of singing but more that, because of the size of the stadium and the acoustics within it, the sound doesn't travel.

"You can have fans in different parts of the stadium singing different songs at the same time and none of them really being heard.

"The idea is to have an area of the ground where like-minded fans can be in the same place and, generally speaking, make some noise."

United employed their own acoustics experts in a bid to generate more noise and studies have found the most suitable areas to be the corners of the stadium opposite the Stretford End, where the roof is lower, trapping more of the sound.

However, an initial idea to relocate away fans to the highest section of the Sir Alex Ferguson Stand was rejected by police amid safety concerns when the likes of Manchester City, Liverpool and Everton visit.

Without substantially increasing the space for away fans, moving them anywhere else from their present position would require major building work.

Nevertheless, fans' groups feel the singing section idea is one worth persevering with and are keen to make a positive impact tomorrow.

"We would encourage supporters to get to Old Trafford 25 minutes before kick-off so we can make some noise as the players are warming up," said Kilduff.

"Hopefully that atmosphere will transmit back to the players and it will improve their performance as well.

"We are aiming to police the area ourselves and hopefully, if it goes well, the singing section is something we can try again later in the season.

"Having it on a permanent basis is not as easy as people think.

"Nevertheless, if it works, it is something the club may look at because it will have a positive benefit for everyone."

PA

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Latest in Sport
Sport
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific