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Two Ends are better than one

By Derek Turnbull :  08/06/2009 :  Comments (35) :
Does anybody know the reasoning behind Everton's decision not to have full home support behind both goals at Kirkby?

The Board have decided to allocate half of the lower tier in the End Stand (South) to the away fans. When Everton attack the End that their fans are in, there is always an increase in atmosphere from those fans, an increase that is not reached by the fans in the side stands. The fans in the side stands generally feed off the atmosphere created by those in the End Stands.

Therefore, by positioning the away fans behind the goal you are losing a large part of that increase in atmosphere when the team attack the home End. Due to more extrovert nature of away fans, they will just engulf the home support in that End.

Take the Semi-Final, for example: it took not only the biggest match in 14 years to get the atmosphere but also the team to attack the Everton End to get atmosphere going. So, if Man U fans took up half of the lower Everton End, we would not have generated the same atmosphere with the Everton fans moved to the side.

It is the big games and when it matters, which is when the Park End really comes out of their self-conscious shell, that we truly see the benefit at home by having full home support behind both goals. So, during these moments, did Everton look at the End Stands and think that the atmosphere would improve if we removed 3,000 Everton fans from the Park End or Gwladys Street and swapped them with the away fans? It is the End Stands where the most noise is generated.

Take Liverpool, for example: they have away fans in half the lower Anfield Road, the Park End's support is better than the home support given by the home fans in the Road End by a mile ? during big games by 4 miles!

Talking of big games, when allocations are greater the away fans will presumably take up half the End Stand not just half the lower. Imagine Goodison if the away fans took up the entire lower Gwladys Street or half the Park End in a huge match for Everton?

Little decisions like this matter,and it is worrying they can't even get those things right. I offer Everton a lifeline though, and it is very easy to rectify. Everyone makes oversights, it is how they deal with them that ultimately matters.

So will the board representative be the bigger man and demand the change, or will they keep those shutters down over all things Kirkby related?

If they do not make the change then they believe that it is beneficial to have away fans behind the goal, I therefore expect to see away fans taking up half the Lower Gwladys St next season. It's one or the other, Everton!!!

Reader Comments

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Robbie Carew
1   Posted 08/06/2009 at 14:16:32

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Hopefully the Kirby site will not be passed... I would propose a stadium share with Liverpool.
Paul O'Hanlon
2   Posted 08/06/2009 at 14:29:41

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Agree with your point Derek, although the location of the away fans will be the least of our worries if we move to Tescodome!
Mike Green
3   Posted 08/06/2009 at 14:55:56

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Derek - understand your point but you can’t seriously be anticipating away fans in the Lower Gwladys??????

Playing devils advocate it could be said that the louder the away contingent is the more reason the home support has to raise their game - so putting the away fans behind the goal might even help.

Talking of "ground share" I heard it raise its ugly head on Sky Sports News about a hour ago. Let the merry-go-round begin again....
Matthew Mackey
4   Posted 08/06/2009 at 14:35:28

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Derek, an interesting article and thanks for submitting it. No disrespect to you but currently I don’t give a toss where the away fans sit. They can have leather seats that recline and cucumber sandwiched served by topless dollybirds for all i care - coz all I want is a bleedin decision as to where we move to and when. Honestly, its like pulling teeth trying to get our ground situation sorted. What?s that saying? ?. "I used to be indecisive - but now i’m not sure"!!

Personally speaking I’d rather (somehow) redevelop Goodison so that we continue to have that connection with our history, but if we can’t do that then someone just make a bleedin decision and give us a new ground !!!
aaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh !!!!!!!!
Derek Turnbull
5   Posted 08/06/2009 at 15:15:54

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Whilst I agree that it would be ideal for the move to be sorted out first, the problem is that any changes to the design will have to be sorted out now because, if they get the go ahead, they won?t want to waste any time doing amendments.

We can?t always choose our timing.
Derek Turnbull
6   Posted 08/06/2009 at 15:20:28

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Mike Green - Because of the nature of the away fan on their day out and more up for it, they can engulf the home fans in that area leading to participation from the home fans.

The reference to away fans in the Gwladys St....exactly the response I want, so why should we have them behind the goal at Kirkby?
Colin Potter
7   Posted 08/06/2009 at 15:41:08

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The Everton board just do not think, Derek, the whole concept of going to Kirkby has never been thought through properly, it has been by Tesco, but not our bunch of puddin's.
Mark Stone
8   Posted 08/06/2009 at 15:59:03

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The Park End used to be the away end...
Mike Green
9   Posted 08/06/2009 at 16:07:53

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Derek - I’ve no objection to away fans being behind the goal in the away end. To be honest I think it’s right that they are. Are you suggesting that they are going to be in the "home end" in Kirkby though?
Mark Murphy
10   Posted 08/06/2009 at 16:42:08

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The Park End used to be the away end. And there was a better atmosphere because of it.

These days the match day atmosphere mostly is crap but on TV, due to the position of microphones pitchside, it sounds to viewers as if even the cockernees are outshouting us!

Home and Away ends should be brought back.

Matthew Mackey
11   Posted 08/06/2009 at 16:53:08

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Dereck, - not wanting to belittle the issue here but, a seat is a seat is a seat. It’s a piece of plastic that you park your arse on! I don’t care if the away fans have one end of the ground behind the goal. As some replies here have already stated, the Park End used to be for the away fans before it was redeveloped and the majority of us didn’t have a problem with that.

We can micro manage the seat allocation and whose arse goes where once we actually have something to manage! Just give us a new bleedin ground or redevelop the Old Lady then we can talk detail !
Alasdair Mackay
12   Posted 08/06/2009 at 17:40:31

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It said that the board have decided to offer half the lower tier as an allocation. I think this means the total allocation, not the minimum. So if a large away support came they would get the full allocation of half the lower tier, where-as Portsmouth or Middlesborough et al would get maybe a quarter of the lower tier.

What worries me is having away fans sitting directly below Evertonians. This encourages violence and will end up in that section being fenced off for "high threat" matches such as the derby games, thus reducing our capacity for the bigget games of the season and reducing the atmosphere in those matches.

I think it is a stupid idea and they should be given a quarter of both tiers, like Tottenham’s away section. That is always a good away day.
Tony Kelly
13   Posted 08/06/2009 at 18:43:30

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If the Blues move to Kirkb,y the away fans will be able to sit where they like, because there will be swathes of empty seats.
Derek Turnbull
14   Posted 08/06/2009 at 19:16:53

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The atmosphere in the Park End was of a different set up in the 70s and is not relevant today. So don?t be dusting down your boots and braces!

Mathew Mackey - the way atmosphere works means that it is important where the seats are and how they are allocated is very important.

When Everton attack an Everton End that lifts the atmosphere in that End. You remove a whole number of Evertonians from that End and you lose a whole lot of that increase in atmosphere.

Fans in the side stands feed off the atmosphere from fans behind the goal. The increase in atmosphere from fans in the side stand is fairly constant wherever the play is. So the allocation of seats is very important.

While normally you would expect it to be something that should be dealt with when we move unfortunately the South Stand consists of boxes half containing boxes for away fans and half offices. If away fans were removed from the South End Stands then there is a good chance that the boxes could be removed altogether from one End Stand, thus improving the atmosphere tenfold.

So yes it is a matter that is important now if a move does take place.

(ps CP hope you got my message I?ll be phoning my mate later!! Cheers!)
Stewart Littler
15   Posted 09/06/2009 at 08:22:31

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The atmosphere at Goodison always comes from the Glwadys no matter whether we’re kicking to that end or not - you don’t just get behind your team cos they’re kicking towards you.

Also, ever thought that one reason why the away end rarely fills is cos of how shit the view is from there - if behind the goal, more seats sold to away fans = more money for Everton. So from a business point of view, good decision.

Tony - assuming you’re another one who will spit his dummy out if we move then?
Derek Turnbull
16   Posted 09/06/2009 at 09:25:15

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Stewart Littler - the Gwladys St?s atmosphere is always turned up a huge notch when Everton attack the Gwladys Street, and this has always been the case in every End Stand Ive been in.

Your argument that we?re putting the away fans behind the goal to give them a better view than Evertonians is surprising as we?ll then have fans in their ritghtful position in the Side corner.
Karl Masters
17   Posted 09/06/2009 at 09:16:01

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I agree with you, Derek.

There are so many bad things about Kirkby’s design and this is just one of them.

If you look carefully you will see there is a large space between the goals and the fans, similar to the Reebok for example. It is pretty much a given that having the fans close to the players affects them and yet Blue Bill when he ’ spent hours driving them mad making little alterations’ ( his words ) forgot about that.

As an example, currently Goodison has a much smaller space between fans and players at the Street End compared to the Park End where you could park a bus between the nets and the fans. And gues which end gives the best atmosphere?

Some bright spark will trot out an excuse about modern building regulations and sight lines, but that’s just an excuse as you only have to look at Old Trafford, the Kop or the Matthew Harding stand at Chelsea to see modern stands just a few feet from the pitch.

Of course, Kirkby is just one big excuse in itself. An excuse for years of complacent neglect of Goodison by successive Boards who thought that running a Pools or Hamper Company or putting on Blood Brothers meant they were beyond criticism. 30 years ago, Goodison was amongst the finest stadia in the UK, but bar the cheap Meccano Park End ( Kirkby will be similar build quality ) and a new Street End roof, not a lot else has happened bar the seats being bolted onto the terraces. Compare that to Villa Park - totally rebuilt since 1975 - or St James Park - rebuilt one and a half times since 1992 - if you want an example of what could have been done ( AND COULD STILL BE DONE! ) without Chamions League money.

Hopefully, Derek, it will never be built and your fears will never be realised!
Phil Bellis
18   Posted 09/06/2009 at 09:44:32

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Stewart - it’s nowt to do with spitting out dummys, rather, as you state, applying a ’business point of view’, surely
End Stand (South) FFS
I’m dreading the Checkout End
Derek Turnbull
19   Posted 09/06/2009 at 09:47:51

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Hi Karl, I couldn’t help but chuckle when you mentioned that Bill spent hours making little alterations!!I could not make that stadium worse if I tried, I’d love to know what alterations he made! Also, wouldn’t you have thought that at the very least Bill would have included a replica of the old gable and also a replication of the Leitch criss-crosses on the Side Stands? It amazes me how this could have been missed out. They are 2 of the 3 graces of Goodison.

Anyway that outburst was planned for another topic I was going to do. As you say there are loads of things wrong with the stadium. There are worse things about the design than my main point, so much so that I can’t do them all on one post, however it all links in to each other.

Sightlines are always their excuse, but for me these steep stands with the seats spread out from each other are one of the reasons why these new builds are so soulles. The Gwladys St is shallower and more compact, the [Park End is steeper and less compact, however that is nothing compared to Kirkby. Fans are so spread out and the stands are close to the Top Balcony is steepness, it could not be worse!! We could do a book on the faults of Kirkby couldn’t we eh! and that’s not including the location argument.

Also, I hope you’re right that it doesn’t come off, but we do need a plan b in case this thing actually does come off, and that is to turn the Shed into a garage, anything we can to improve it!!

If the stadium does get knocked on the head then our efforts will still not be wasted as they’ll know what is acceptable for a stadium and what isn’t.
Gerry Dignam
20   Posted 09/06/2009 at 10:01:54

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Hopefully Kirkby will not happen and in my opinion we do not need to share with The Dark Side. The Tescodome will kill our club, we need to stay at Goodison and keep our history in this great city. I for one will not go to kirkby,it will be just like Middlesborough with emty seats all over the ground.

As for the away fans, keep them on the side of the ground, our fans will create more atmosphere and noise from behind the goal. The first thing Martin O?Neil did at Aston Villa was move the away fans from the goal to the side which created more noise from the home fans to support their team.

Phil, love the name for our end of the ground, The Checkout End says it all about Kirkby!

Tony Lynch
21   Posted 09/06/2009 at 11:33:40

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If there is a choice between a groundshare or moving to Kirkby, I would take the groundshare everytime. Of course I don?t want to share a ground with that other shower. But moving to Kirkby will be the beginning of the end for Everton. The cloak and dagger secrecy surrounding all things Kirkby and the club?s refusal to discuss other options (by refusing to acknowledge that there are any other options), the exclusivity agreement with Tesco, plus my own common sense tells me this is a terrible idea.
Patty Beesley
22   Posted 09/06/2009 at 12:46:20

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Why don?t you send a copy of your letter to EFC?
Derek Turnbull
23   Posted 09/06/2009 at 12:51:20

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Patty, I have questioned this a few times with them, I await their response, again. If more people bug them the more chance they will listen though.

Makes me seriously wonder if they care what the stadiums like. I mean it’s hardly a hard change to make is it, and they won’t even do that!
Chad Schofield
24   Posted 09/06/2009 at 13:41:46

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Good points and article Derek,

There are so many things wrong with Desperation Kirkby, let’s just hope that Hazel Blears’ replacement takes more time to study the plans than either Kenwright took to tweak the plans or that fat shit Wyness took to explore the alternatives.
Ray Burn
25   Posted 09/06/2009 at 13:41:16

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"Makes me seriously wonder if they care what the stadiums like"

That ship sailed the moment we got into bed and decided to come over all monogamous with Tesco.

Neil Madden
26   Posted 09/06/2009 at 14:25:12

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Couldn’t care less. If we move to Kirkby I won’t be going anyway.
Karl Masters
27   Posted 09/06/2009 at 19:31:12

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you are not related to the ever irritating and blinkered ’All Things About Kirkby are Wonderful’ Gerard Madden are you?!
Tony Kelly
28   Posted 09/06/2009 at 19:41:07

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Stewart, the dogs in the street know that if our great club moves to Kirkby, there is more chance of Tranmere reaching the Champions League final than there is of Everton playing to packed houses at Kirkby.

In answer to your question regarding spitting dummies out, I have no intention of following our great club to Kirkby. I think it is a disgrace that one man, Phillip Green, is using our great club to strengthen his business empire.

I just feel so sorry for you guillible Evertonians who believe the lies out of Bill Kenwright?s mouth. I don't have to publish the list of his lies, as they have been well documented on this website.

Kevin Mitchell
29   Posted 09/06/2009 at 23:30:02

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Derek no need to worry lad, If we move to Kirkby there will be plenty of room for everyone wherever they sit.
It will be called the blue stadium as all you will see on match days is empty blue seats.
Before you ask will I be spitting my dummy out as well, I already have. This season could be my last season ticket if Kirkby gets the nod. You should be more worried about the loss of thousands of hardcore supporters then giving away fans seats behind the goal.
Dave Johnson
30   Posted 10/06/2009 at 00:49:21

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Yes Kopites sitting below me. Hated the idea of Kirkby until now. I?m off to practice shitting in a sock. Wheyhey!!!
Derek Turnbull
31   Posted 10/06/2009 at 09:28:47

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Kevin Mitchell, there are many many things wrong with Kirkby ? not just the location argument but also with the design too. So many that I have to mention them one by one. This one example is not biggest problem with the design, although it does link in with other bigger problems it has.

The post highlights the complete lack of thought that?s gone into the project. I mean this is basic stuff that Everton have got wrong! And yet Everton can?t even be bothered to fix it even though it?s dead easy to fix.

So not only does it show that Everton have not put even the most basic of thought into this but they couldn?t care less about whether the stadium is any good. They can?t even fix the basic and easy stuff! What does that tell you about the cretins at Everton? So there is a bigger picture here.
Kevin Mitchell
32   Posted 10/06/2009 at 22:31:01

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Fair comment Derek, I now see where your coming from.

When I read posts from people trying to justify Kirkby (because we can’t afford anything else,ie the Neil Pearses of the world) or wondering what colour the toilets are going to be, it sends a shiver down my spine.
Neil Madden
33   Posted 11/06/2009 at 17:20:16

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Karl, I am not related to that Gerard Madden although I do have a brother by the same name. All my family are very anti DK.
Karl Masters
34   Posted 11/06/2009 at 18:24:53

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Good on you Neil.

Clearly there is an intelligent gene pool in your Branch of the Madden clan. :)

People like Gerard Madden blindly accept the pronouncements of the Club. Loyalty is one thing, but not engaging your brain and applying a bit of common sense is quite another.

Emperor?s New Clothes and all that.
Billy Brad
35   Posted 12/06/2009 at 19:42:47

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The away fans will be the home fans as most Evertonians will give Kirkby a miss once they have tried accessing the thing.

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