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Goodison gets Uefa makeover

10/03/2015  Comments (12)  jump

Talking with Everton's long-serving stadium manager, Alan Bowen, David Prentice provides a behind-the-scenes insight into the increasingly demanding changes to Goodison Park that are mandated by Uefa as the club progress further at each successive stage of the Europa League.

From larger-format advertising signs to a bigger and bigger Mixing Zone, the Old Lady may look exactly the same at first glance on Thursday night but, on closer scrutiny, the changes are significant.

Uefa have different levels of supporters, Alan said. Class One Supporters represent Uefa's corporate visitors, and they all require car-parking facility and their seats have to be situated within the two penalty areas. That means moving some of the season ticket holders who have seats there.

© Liverpool Echo
Article reproduced here in its original form or abridged for brevity.

Reader Comments (12)

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John Gee
1 Posted 10/03/2015 at 20:07:20
At some point it'll become apparent to the supporters that the reason there is so much money in the game is because corporations are paying to access a huge market. That market consists of the season ticket holders who are being shifted to watch a big game behind pillars.

The supporters have all the power in football. Unfortunately, we're all too disorganised to do anything about this. I'm not talking about individual pressure groups organised locally, I mean a national supporters federation that has the influence to call fan boycotts, marches on Wembley, direct action on the all day jolly up to pick 6 balls out of a bowl and other ways that enable the MILLIONS of fans who disagree with the way the game is run to assert themselves on what is, essentially and vitally, our game.

Patrick Murphy
2 Posted 10/03/2015 at 20:20:47
John - I fully agree but I’m afraid the time for fans to make a meaningful statement or a ’call to arms’ was at least 20 years ago.

All fans of all clubs put up with atrocious conditions and terrible treatment by the authorities for decades. The TV moguls don’t really care what fills the airwaves as long as it draws in the audiences in huge numbers and if necessary, if the grounds did for some reason start to resemble those of the late 80s and early 90s, they would probably just use CGI to create an appropriate atmosphere for the viewer.

But it is interesting to read the demands made by Uefa and its hangers-on just to stage what is the equivalent of a 5th Round FA Cup tie.

Colin Oakes
3 Posted 10/03/2015 at 23:11:58
How the hell are we supposed to score now with all those seats in the penalty areas?
Jay Woods
4 Posted 10/03/2015 at 23:18:22
There needs to be a new football body independent of Uefa and set up to exclude Real Madrid, Manchester United, Bayern Munich and all the darlings of the current rigging cartel. Let them form their own league and then enjoy the terror of not winning it every other year, like they do now – or even, gasp, coming last.

These clubs and their mates at Uefa are parasites that feed off the rest of us for players, points and potential new fans (and thus income) so why do we play by their disgusting rules?

Matt Traynor
5 Posted 11/03/2015 at 06:25:11
Good timing on this... We've been in the Europa all season and they mention it now – meaning we'll get turned over on Thurs. (I'm a paranoid superstitionist when it comes to Everton.)

And yes, I was one of those who thought the big RM banner and "Sin Miedo" hanging off the side of the Main Stand in August was way too frigging soon.

Chris Williamson
6 Posted 12/03/2015 at 10:42:15
The whole frigging world is going to hell in a corporation handcart. Yesterday it even became aparrent to me that space travel is no longer a dream of scientists to explore and improve our world, it will become a playground for those who can afford it, and those middle men who can make a killing providing it, while the rest of us stay on earth and look at the environmental damage caused.

Football, born of the graft of the working man, is likewise now a plaything of the wealthy.

This is about it for me after 40 years of being a football fanatic, the passion has waned. No longer the beautiful game. Think I'll take up some other interest.

Sean Kelly
7 Posted 12/03/2015 at 11:04:42
Spot on, Chris IÂ’m off fishing. ItÂ’s just me, a wriggly worm, and hope. ItÂ’s cheaper.
Roy Steel
8 Posted 12/03/2015 at 15:32:36
I am seriously thinking of cancelling my Virgin subscription.

I have been following English football since I was a wee boy after Dave Mckay went to Spurs, listening to the wireless, swapping programmes, buying anything I could get my hands on pertaining to the old First Division, because it was the best, most exciting honest league in the world. Everton adopted me after watching extra time in the 1968 FA Cup Final because that’s all we could get up here at that time>

I am totally sick, scunnered [a good old Scottish word] watching what passes for English football nowadays – the cheating, diving, doing anything to get the opposition sent off, and the out-and-out favouritism shown to certain players, clubs and managers, they are actually killing the golden goose with their shocking behaviour. COYB

Steve Carse
9 Posted 15/03/2015 at 00:16:17
No mention in the piece here that the Uefa makeover apparently included blocking out 200 or so prime seats in the Lower Gwladys St near the Paddock.
Patrick Murphy
10 Posted 18/03/2015 at 12:44:53
Kevin Mirallas hasn’t travelled to Kiev – unspecified injury apparently. It will be some atmosphere in Kiev as it is a circa 70,000 sell-out.
Steve King
11 Posted 18/03/2015 at 13:15:38
John (#1)

As much as I agree with your point in general I must point out the rather exaggerated point that season ticket holders were "shifted from their seats to watch a big game from behind pillars". The STHs were given 5 days to buy up the best seats before they went on general sale.

I got mine when they went on the first day of general sale and sat in the 3rd row of the Upper Bullens right on the half way line, not a pillar in sight.

As for a national group of fans trying to change things check out the Twenty's Plenty petition which is looking to protect away fans from the money grabbing culture you have described...

Dave Pritchard
12 Posted 18/03/2015 at 13:50:08
Agree Steve, there were lots of prime seats available in Upper Bullens for this game when it went to general sale. However I also agree with the principle of John's post.

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