'Singing section' to be introduced at Old Trafford to increase decibel levels of 'dead' Manchester United fans

 

Manchester United supporters are on the threshold of winning their long-standing campaign for a dedicated singing section at Old Trafford, giving them the chance to deny visiting fans the chance to taunt them with Sir Alex Ferguson’s complaint after a match four years ago that “the crowd were dead; it was like a funeral.”

Fans’ demands for a singing section to lift the decibel levels have coincided with the club relocating away supporters to tier three of the Sir Alex Ferguson Stand, for last Sunday’s match with Aston Villa. Discussions will take place with Greater Manchester Police over the next two weeks to establish whether the new away fan arrangements, first trialled against Valencia in December 2010, have met safety standards in terms of segregation, coach parking and other logistical issues. If police and the local council are satisfied with the relocation of visitors – introduced because the south east quadrant provided minimal segregation potential and exposed United to hundreds of empty seats from visiting clubs who could not fill them - an area of 1,400, 1,900 or 2,500 season ticket holders will occupy the new singing section. The area will be renamed the Scoreboard Paddock for that purpose by the beginning of next season.

The section would also be located underneath the MUTV studios, where the presence of away fans has always forced producers to keep shutters across during games, to avoid them imposing themselves on live broadcasts. The new noise levels may be a challenge to Lou Macari, Viv Anderson and others, but at present images of fans from elsewhere are superimposed to create the backdrop.

A new supporters' consortium, Fans United, has also persuaded the club that fans should be allowed to dress the area of the ground as they see fit and to reclaim the Scoreboard Paddock name which in the days before the all-seater Old Trafford, was a by-word for noise. It will not be an area for non-season ticket holders. The idea is not that the singing section should become part of the Old Trafford tourist attraction but one where the decibel count will match that at some of United’s great European nights – or indeed the Darwen End at Ewood Park, where noise levels of 7,000 fans was very high during United’s 2-0 win earlier this month.

Visiting supporters have enjoyed capitalizing on the chance to taunt United fans with Sir Alex Ferguson’s words after the 1-0 win over Birmingham City on New Year’s Day 2008. Vocal fans’ common complaint is that the acoustics in the second tier of the Stretford End, where many of them sit, are not ideal. Nor is the distance from the pitch.

Some United fans are not in favour of shifting away fans, who in the case of Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea, Stoke City and – before relegation – Hull City, contribute hugely to the atmosphere. But Fulham attracted a mere 320 fans on March 26 and even Newcastle United failed to sell their allocation this season. In European competitions, visiting clubs must give seven days notice of the allocation sold but no such rule applies in the Premier League, which has left United with empty seats and the financial hit. There will be no pricing premium in a new singing section – with the £38 charge for the equivalent north east corner applicable to the corresponding singing section.

Arts & Entertainment
The original design with Charles' face clearly visible, which is on display around the capital
arts + ents The ad shows Prince Charles attired for his coronation in a crown and fur mantle with his mouth covered by a criss-cross of white duct tape
Sport
Mourinho lost his temper as well as the match
sportLiverpool handed title boost as Sunderland smash manager’s 77-game home league run
Voices
Sweet tweet: Victoria Beckham’s selfie, taken on her 40th birthday on Thursday
voices... and her career-long attack on the absurd criteria by which we define our 'betters', by Ellen E Jones
Sport
Mercedes Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain (front) drives ahead of Red Bull Formula One driver Daniel Ricciardo of Australia during the Chinese F1 Grand Prix at the Shanghai International circuit
sport Hamilton captured his third straight Formula One race with ease on Sunday, leading from start to finish to win the Chinese Grand Prix

VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Arts & Entertainment
Billie Jean King, who won the women’s Wimbledon title in 1967, when the first colour pictures were broadcast
tv
News
Snow has no plans to step back or reduce his workload
mediaIt's 25 years since Jon Snow first presented Channel 4 News, and his drive shows no sign of diminishing
Life & Style
food + drinkWhat’s not to like?
Voices
Clock off: France has had a 35‑hour working week since 1999
voicesThere's no truth to a law banning work emails after 6pm, but that didn’t stop media hysteria
Arts & Entertainment
Maisie Williams of Game of Thrones now
tvMajor roles that grow with their child actors are helping them to steal the show on TV
Arts & Entertainment
Kingdom Tower
architecture
Life & Style
Lana Del Rey, Alexa Chung and Cara Delevingne each carry their signature bag
fashionMulberry's decision to go for the super-rich backfired dramatically
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe: Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe

Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC
Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'

British Muslims's Happy video attacked as 'sinful'

The four-minute clip by Honesty Policy has had more than 300,000 hits on YouTube
Church of England-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith

Michael Williams: Do as I do, not as I pray

Church of England-raised Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife
Comedian Jenny Collier: 'Sexism I experienced on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

Jenny Collier: 'Sexism on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

The comedian's appearance at a show on the eve of International Women's Day was cancelled because they had "too many women" on the bill
Cannes Film Festival: Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or

Cannes Film Festival

Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
The concept album makes surprise top ten return with neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

The concept album makes surprise top ten return

Neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is unexpected success
Lichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines

Lichen is surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus

Emily Jupp discovers how it can give a unique, smoky flavour to our cooking
10 best baking books

10 best baking books

Planning a spot of baking this bank holiday weekend? From old favourites to new releases, here’s ten cookbooks for you
Jury still out on Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini

Jury still out on Pellegrini

Draw with Sunderland raises questions over Manchester City manager's ability to motivate and unify his players
Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

The all-rounder has been hailed as future star after Ashes debut but incident in Caribbean added to doubts about discipline. Jon Culley meets a man looking to control his emotions
Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

The most prize money ever at an All-Weather race day is up for grabs at Lingfield on Friday, and the record-breaking trainer tells Jon Freeman how times have changed
Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit