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?
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

Greece debt crisis: EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

An outbreak of malaria in Greece four years ago helps us understand the crisis, says Robert Fisk
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas
How to survive electrical storms: What are the chances of being hit by lightning?

Heavy weather

What are the chances of being hit by lightning?
World Bodypainting Festival 2015: Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'

World Bodypainting Festival 2015

Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'
alt-j: A private jet, a Mercury Prize and Latitude headliners

Don't call us nerds

Craig Mclean meets alt-j - the math-folk act who are flying high
How to find gold: The Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge

How to find gold

Steve Boggan finds himself in the Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge
Singing accents: From Herman's Hermits and David Bowie to Alesha Dixon

Not born in the USA

Lay off Alesha Dixon: songs sound better in US accents, even our national anthem
10 best balsamic vinegars

10 best balsamic vinegars

Drizzle it over salad, enjoy it with ciabatta, marinate vegetables, or use it to add depth to a sauce - this versatile staple is a cook's best friend
Wimbledon 2015: Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

Serena dispatched her elder sister 6-4, 6-3 in eight minutes more than an hour
Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

No hope and no jobs in Gaza

So the young risk their lives and run for it
Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

Fashion apps

Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy