Part of Anfield stand closed after jumping Celtic fans make it wobble

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The Independent Football

Engineers trying to cure the wobble of the Millennium Bridge in London could usefully call on the ranks of Glasgow's Celtic football fans to put their work to the test.

Engineers trying to cure the wobble of the Millennium Bridge in London could usefully call on the ranks of Glasgow's Celtic football fans to put their work to the test.

Thousands of Celtic supporters caused a similar wobble in a section of Liverpool Football Club's stadium after a problem-free three years and 50 matches.

Liverpool City Council says "rhythmical jumping" by Celtic fans during a one-hour wait before a testimonial match for Liverpool's former manager Ronnie Moran in May caused disturbing signs of a wobble.

Part of the stand's upper deck now has to be closed for a friendly match on Sunday with the Italian club Parma.

A council spokesman said: "As a precautionary measure the upper-tier capacity of 2,654 will be reduced by 50 per cent for the game on Sunday." Mike Burchnal, the city's planning and building control manager, said: "The fans' movement was similar to that at a rock concert.

"People were jumping up and down on a repeated basis and shouting and it affected the stand's dynamic loading. It was very unusual [and different to] a normal football crowd."

The wobble was marked enough to be spotted by Liverpool ground staff, although Celtic fans are not known to have complained. Liverpool has now been advised to stiffen the upper terrace of the Anfield Road stand - which was built in 1997 - by adding three steel-reinforced supports to an existing beam.

The upper deck was built in 1997 by the Carillion company and the problem is understood to arise when large numbers of people stamp their feet at the same time.

The council has advised the club that they must produce a report ahead of its opening Premiership fixture against Bradford City on 19 August if it is to use the stand. Since the match is already a 45,000 sell-out, the club is not contemplating failure.

Although all buildings are designed to "move" slightly under duress, the stand and the Millennium Bridge have encountered the same problems owing to their dynamic loading.

The Anfield chief executive, Rick Parry, said the club had investigated the problem with builders and the construction programme would be complete in time for the new season.

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