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Stand Up, Sing Up

By Adam  Cunliffe :  27/05/2008 :  Comments (17) :
As we all know, at Goodison there are of course four stands: The Park End, Bullens Road, Main Stand, and Glawdys Street.

The Glawdys Street is of course the noisiest and rowdiest of the lot. So in my opinion it's the best. But even at the best of times it can lack atmosphere. Even the most passionate fans can't get pumped up for a Sky-adjusted 1 o'clock kick-off against the likes of Fulham or Middlesbrough. Or can they?

Now in Italy, Germany and Turkey every ground or at least most grounds have an official home end. All us Evertonians recognise the Glawdys Street end as the home end. We attack it second half whenever we can and I'd imagine if we had the choice against Fiorentina, we would of taken the penalties at that end of the ground so that proves the players recognise it as being the home end as well.

So perhaps the Board could start to show it's appreciation to the most dedicated supporters in the land. The ticket prices are high enough as it is and then they don't help one bit in creating an intimidating atmosphere. Against the top 3 (I don't include the dark side as we know we can beat them anyway) we need all the help we can get. What we lack in quality compared to United, Chelsea and Arsenal we can certainly make up for it in determination and that starts in the stands. If we are determined to encourage the team by singing and shouting then the team will respond and get a lift from the fans.

In the countries like Italy, Germany and Turkey the hardcore fans, or Ultras as they are known, are given the materials they need to perform what they call Tifo's. These are strictly non violent shows of devotion to the club they support. They are spectacular shows of choreography from the terraces. (Galatasaray's ?Welcome to Hell? being the most notable banner in probably the most intense ultra show in the world.)

They can range from:

  • Sheets of paper (like at England games) used to create a mosaic like pattern.
  • Large flags and banners (perhaps some of the ones we use to take abroad can be used to hang from the Upper Glawdys...)
  • Flags like the ones used across the park. (FFS if Liverpool can arrange some form of display, we can do one 10 times better) Balloons
  • Confetti
  • Flares and Fireworks for night time matches.
Now that would be a sight to behold. In a Uefa Cup match against A.C Milan coming out to Z cars with fireworks and flares going of in the background.

All season ticket holders could be issued with a questionnaire asking what type of display they would want and if they would be prepared to help out. The Upper Glawdys street could be in charge of banners and the mosaics whereas the Lower Glawdys could be in charge of flags and fireworks. If any non-season ticket holders wanted to be involved whenever they attended they could be issued with a plastic sheet or confetti anything to get them involved with the tifo.

If this were to become common place at Goodison, we would surely sell out every week. Away fans would be more interested in coming to Goodison as the show would be a major selling point and also Everton fans who don't usually come to Goodison would be more likely to come to see the spectacle. Any fans who usually sit in the Glawdys Street could sit in the Park End so they can get the best view of the show.

In addition to the tifo perhaps we could attach loud speakers onto the stands so any noise we do make would be amplified ten-fold to make for a more intimidating Goodison. This would come in handy for the games against much lesser opposition as any singing or chanting is heard louder and clearer. A loud speaker would be a much better alternative to a drum or rattles as they can get pretty annoying. The mad Portsmouth fan doesn't shut up on his bloody drum all game. It isn't intimidating, it just gives you a headache.

Now I know what people will say about any Ultras events going on at Goodison Park. Immediately comparisons will be drawn to hooligan firms and violent gangs. Unlike these firms, Ultras are proper diehard fans NOT violent fans. Hooligans aren't fans they are idiots who just want to cause trouble whereas Ultras put on shows to intimidate the opposition, not beat them up. So any comparison to the County Road Cutter or any other Everton Firm would not be true.

There has been a lot of talk regarding the move to Kirkby on this website recently but at the moment we are at Goodison Park and hopefully will be for sometime soon. So as you get your season tickets just think what can the club do to help the fans? When we are getting 32,000 against Stoke next season and people are bemoaning the lack of atmosphere and fan support perhaps, then the Board may realise that to get sell outs every week and create an atmosphere similar to and even better than the ones we have had against Chelsea and Fiorentina on regular occasions then they should involve the loyal fans like they do in Italy and other Mediterranean countries. The leader of the Ultras is usually present at board meetings and the Ultra group has it's own store cupboard to keep it's tifo items in.

If the Board encouraged us to do things like this then we may well improve on the pitch. It's about time they started to involve us ? after all, it's our club as well.

Reader Comments

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Robbie Shields
1   Posted 27/05/2008 at 21:06:15

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Adam, I really like this idea and have dreamt of it myself over many years. In fact, when we played Wimbledon at Goodison in 96 in the famous 3-2 game, me and my family were in the Top Balcony and threw toilet rolls down as big streamers, it looked great! Watch the video of the game and you’ll see them streaming over the Gwladys Street goal. In the 80’s someone used to chuck confetti off the Top Balcony in some of the games and that also looked great and really added to the atmoshpere and spectacle.

I’ve been to Milan to see the the Milan Derby and the Inter supporters had black and blue pieces of paper above their heads and that looked great too. It all adds to the atmosphere but would take a lot of organising. Dunno if you’d get enough support from other supporters or the club itself though.

If I lived locally I’d be up for helping out, but based in Norfolk makes it a little difficult. Anybody else fancy taking up the gauntlet?
Guy Hastings
2   Posted 27/05/2008 at 21:15:07

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While I appreciate your overall point, if it doesn?t come from the heart all the plastic flags, seat cushions etc don?t mean a toss. Besides, you can shout and scream and cheer till your lungs collapse, but when the game?s on the box, the viewers? perception of the volume/atmoshere in the ground is at the whim of the producer/editor/soundman?s preconceived notions and hackneyed, patronising cliches. As Andy Gray dosed up with truth would probably tell you.
Declan Burke
3   Posted 27/05/2008 at 22:36:29

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Adam, while you have some great ideas on how to create an atmosphere, I think that we need a decent song. After all, if we play Milan at Goodison next season are we going to hum Z Cars to encourage the blues? Munster’s fans continously sang "The Fields of Athenry" (a song that the RS hijacted) at the Heineken Cup Final last Saturday and it really lifted their team at crucial parts of the game. We need a similar soing. Any ideas?
Derek Turnbull
4   Posted 27/05/2008 at 22:26:20

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There are two factors required for better singing.

First we (the Gwladys St) need to be able to stand up in front of our seats.

Second our singers need good acoustics

1) We rarely do this now because there is a supporting beam obstructing the view for the fans in the last 2 rows of the Lower Gwladys St when they stand up, they therefore tell everyone to sit.

2) The underside of the Upper Gwladys (whch is directly above our singers) is the wrong material and angle to project the songs out for the rest of the stand to join in.

No. 2 can be improved by the club by attaching some acoustical material to the underside of the Upper Gwladys, but we’ve wanted this for 40 years and the ’Peoples Club’ haven’t bothered yet so why would they now?

No. 1 can only be improved by not selling seats in those last 2 rows (perhaps add extra rows to the front?). It is also worth mentioning that unreserved seating works a treat for atmosphere, allows the singers to really congregate together, but can only happen for lower gates for safety reasons.

The Kirkby design won’t improve the singing either

1) If singers congregate in lower tier of End Stand they will be put off standing as in the open with Executive boxes directly behind them.

If in the upper, it is a safety risk and also very hard to encourage as it’s steeper and there is no concertina effect in upper tiers (ie front row stands so the rest stands).

2) If the main singers are in the lower tier the proximity of the roof is too far above them to be of any use. If in the upper, there’ll be no standing therefore hardly any singing which means a waste of acoustics.

Solution for Kirkby design

Move the Executive boxes to double up on the side stand to leave a large single tier behind both goals.

Mike Bouvier
5   Posted 27/05/2008 at 22:45:33

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I have some great memories from the late 70’s - post Argentina world cup - spending evenings ripping up newspapers to throw in the air on the Street end, although I can’t help feeling the atmosphere was electrified by everyone being stood up and packed together - how about a standing area at Kirkby (or the rebuilt Goodison)!
I also recall the ’confetti’ of cushions from the top balcony & main stand which rained down on a few of Gordon Lee’s teams - probably best not to dwell on that though!
Antony Matthews
6   Posted 27/05/2008 at 23:34:28

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that was the season tickets being ripped up mike :))
Harry Charles
7   Posted 27/05/2008 at 23:36:48

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I happen to know that Dave Moyes would welcome this, he knows what the crowd can do to teams when we're really up for it. The first ten rows at a ground not far away have been inciting refs for years. I wouldn't like to go as far as punching and spiting at players behind there back, but more voice, and flag and maddening noise then yes. I would like us to come out to the tune of the Dambusters, and chase Z-Cars back to Kirkby!
Albert Dock
8   Posted 28/05/2008 at 06:35:26

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Oh brilliant. Let’s have a Nuremberg Rally every other week. Or perhaps hand out copies of the thoughts of Chairman Bill in little blue books.

A crowd of thirty five thousand is composed of thirty five thousand individuals and they can all see what is happening on the pitch.

You can Seig Heil all you want, I’ll make my own mind up and express my thoughts accordingly thanks very much.

Derek Turnbull
9   Posted 28/05/2008 at 09:17:30

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Re Mike Bouvier and your request for a standing area in Kirkby.

The best we can hope for is for standing in front of our seats to be tolerated.

However this can only occur in the lower or single tiers.

If in Kirkby would the lower tier be blocking the view of the Executive boxes if they stood up? Quite possibly.

Would the roof still be too far from the singers in the lower tier to spread the songs around? Yes definetely.

Once again Everton are going to have a design that does nothing for the atmosphere. If you want an atmosphere in Kirkby the design has to change!!!

Are we too bitter to admit that Liverpool’s kop is a better design for atmosphere? Why aren’t we replicating it, afterall our motto is Nil Satis Nisi Optimum, and if that means having a kop behind both goals so be it. We cannot have an innferior design just because we are are incapable of admitting that Liverpool have a superior design!
Peter Roberts
10   Posted 28/05/2008 at 13:09:34

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I have to say I?m quite disturbed that I?m the only one with a sense of reality.

A lot of what you?re asking for is outside the legal confines of what has been made law in this country.

Flares and fireworks - banned from all football stadia because of the fire hazard. Goodness knows what would happen if a firework were to go off in the Bullens - we?d have another Valley Parade disaster on our hands.

Balloons - although not outlawed, we all know what can happen when a stray balloon flies onto the pitch - let?s just say Joe Hart won?t be having any balloons at his next birthday party.

Standing areas - if you?re baying for a return of the terraces, again, these have been obsolete in top-flight football for 20 years because of an absolutely horrific disaster involving our neighbours. I?ll retract that comment if it turns out I misunderstood the idea.

I?m all for improving the atmosphere at Goodison because when the team isn?t playing well the place is like a monastery. But let?s have some sense please. Why can?t we all (that?s ALL) just belt out the songs as loud as we can as per the Fiorentina match and return Goodison to the fortress it once was?
Derek Turnbull
11   Posted 28/05/2008 at 16:22:25

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Peter Roberts - Standing up in front of your seat is what people mean when they say standing areas. (Or at least what they should mean).

Without standing the atmosphere isn’t there, and for safety reasons this cannot occur in upper tiers. The problem is that the Kirkby design will not take this into account. As there’s no standing in uppers, then the main singers must go in the lower tier, but the roof will be too far from them to effectively project the songs round the stadium.

If we want atmosphere, then the Kirkby design (or wherever we may end up) must change. Get the Executive boxes out of the End Stands to double up on the sides, and have a large single tier behind both goals.
Carl Wright
12   Posted 29/05/2008 at 09:58:54

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It must be the close season if this is all we have to talk about but hey ho....

So you want us to do something like Chelsea did in the Champions league? Its laughable and cringeworthy. The manufactured atmosphere is symptomatic of the arm chair fans out there today and Chelsea are a prime example of that.

If we cant muster a decent sing song or invent some new tunes to sing to then theres something wrong anyway. We do however need something to sing about, and the back half this season disapponited.

At to finish, I have to say the atmosphere at 75% of the games this season has been poor. Dont know why but theres no escaping the fact. We even got out sung by Derby, Villa and Chelea fans in our own ground. Hearing that fucking shower sing "You?re fans are fucking shit" was embarrassing.
Paul Lally
13   Posted 29/05/2008 at 10:14:58

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Mike Bouvier - remember as well.
Me and my mate tearing up loads of newspapers before the home games.
Loads did it and as the team ran out it was a brilliant ticker tape entrance.

Re flags - wrote to Ian Ross re flags over the upper Gwaldys and he said stewards ordered to take them down as they covered the advertising !!!
I responded that it is our club etc and look at Man Utd and lots of others who have banners around the ground.
Reply - covers up advertising.
What can you do ??
Derek Turnbull
14   Posted 29/05/2008 at 10:51:18

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Re Paul Lally, I understand what your saying about the lack of backing from Everton.

In the new stadium when the fans stand up in the lower tier there’s a very good cahance that they’ll block the views in the Executive boxes behind. Yet do they care enough to change the design? No.

Ever since the singing transferred to the back of the Lower Gwladys Street underneath the Upper Gwladys we’ve needed some kind of acoustical material attached to the underside of the upper to help spread the songs. Have they bothered ? No. It was 40 years ago we went there as well.
Adam Cunliffe
15   Posted 29/05/2008 at 16:36:46

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Perhaps your right about the Fire Works, they are a helalth and safety hazzard, but we could at lest use some coloured bits of plastic to make a mosaic or even if we had a big banner making it’s way down the glawdys street it would surely improve the atmosphere.
Derek Turnbull
16   Posted 29/05/2008 at 16:40:45

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Adam - to improve the atmosphere you need fans to stand up in front of their seats, and you need good acoustics directly over them.

So if we’re to have that in Kirkby then the stadium design must change. Move the Executive boxes to double up on the side stands which would leave us with a large single tier behind both goals. Only then we will finally have an atmosphere
Adam Cunliffe
17   Posted 29/05/2008 at 17:50:20

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I’m sure that In the San Siro, the Curva Nord and Curva Sud don’t have acoustics. They just provide the fans with the materials needed to create the atmosphere them selves.Be it banners, plastic cards or confetti.It would be great to have acoustics but if the board won’t do that then we should try and create the atmospher ourselves.

I hate drawin examples from across the park, but they do seem to pull it off on the big occasion. They have their merry flag wavers at the front, the banner working it’s way down the Kop and sometimes, like when they played Juve in 2005 they pulled of a mosaic show.It cant be too hard to organise a display can it?

And I agree the whole Chelsea flag thing is crap, it doesnt come from the heart so isnt worth doing but I do belive that we have the most passionate supporters in the world who, with some help from the board would be able to create an atmosphere worthy of the good old days.Acoustics are helpful, but not the be all and end all.A bit of dedication on the part of the board is what we need.

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