English Soccer - Season tickets pulled for "persistent standing"

Submitted by Kilgore Trout on December 27th, 2012 at 2:51 PM

Came across this article about how Sunderland of the BPL is taking away people's season tickets for persistent standing. I think this topic has been argued out pretty well on this site, but I found it interesting that a team / organization was actively trying to get their fans to sit down. (HT: John Infante)




December 27th, 2012 at 3:07 PM ^

I wish people would stand up more often during big parts of the game at Michigan stadium, but don't be that asshole that stands up while everyone around you is sitting down and expect not to be told to sit down. 


December 27th, 2012 at 3:21 PM ^

You really can't have it both ways. You want more people to stand up, but only when everyone around them is standing up, huh? So somehow we just need to get everyone to stand up at almost the exact same time?

I'm of the opinion that if the game is going on, everyone should be standing up. There are plenty of time outs and possession changes to sit down. The stadiums that are really loud aren't filled with people sitting down.


December 27th, 2012 at 6:51 PM ^

Gee, how could everyone know if it's the appropriate time to be standing?  The guy clearly said he wished people would stand more for the BIG plays.  As a football fan, it shouldn't be hard to determine what those plays are.


But keep living in whatever fantasy land that you're in that it's only the loud SEC stadiums and Oregon where every fan is standing for the entirety of the game.  None of those teams have alums/fans 50+ years of age where it is physically impossible to stand the entire game.  

People know when it is a big play and they should stand and make more noise - it's just a matter of them actually giving 2 shits and doing it.  

Kilgore Trout

December 27th, 2012 at 4:35 PM ^

Nothing like a dick on the internet.

My point isn't to make fun of someone who is hardcore. That would be pretty silly around here. My point is that I don't like people who make being hardcore about them and how much of a badass they are instead of just being an excited fan. If you're standing up to get attention for how hardcore you are, I think that's lame.


December 27th, 2012 at 4:35 PM ^

but we've all seen those half-sober uberfans who stand and yell DURING A TV TIMEOUT!  

of course i think you should stand when the players are actually, you know, playing.  Even sitting but rising to a standing cheer as the play unfolds is good enough.

But I swear when that jerk is standing there with his fanhood hanging out of his pants yelling like an idiot when virtually nothing is going on yet, I would love to see him carted off.


December 27th, 2012 at 7:26 PM ^

OK - if you guys were referring to the obnoxious guys, then I'm sorry.  But I'm just talking about the fans who want to stand up and cheer, all game long.  Not being obnoxious and not bothering others, except that they're standing up.  When I go to football games, I never sit down while play is happening.  Ever.  I get more excited standing up, I can see better standing up and I can yell louder standing up.  

I just think it's silly when Michigan fans get all defensive when people call our stadium quiet, but then also get defensive when the people around them actually want to stand up and cheer.


December 27th, 2012 at 3:43 PM ^

I'm all for standing during the game, but I know enough people who are physically unable to stand for that length of time to not pick that battle. 

Now yelling and cheering on the other hand, I can totally get behind that.  As long as you keep it respectful, there's no legitimate reason for anyone to be upset.


December 27th, 2012 at 5:04 PM ^

I'm 60 and not in top physical shape.  If I really need to sit while people are standing in front of me, I do it on predictable downs when the team I'm not cheering for has the ball.  There is plenty of ebb and flow in most games, and missing a play or two isn't the end of the world, especially when you can usually look up at a big screen if you need to.

I really think there should be designated "DOWN IN FRONT" sections.  Some of DB's advertising profit could be spent on a simple poll of season ticket holders, asking if they want to sit in a "seated only" section, and how far they would allow themselves to be moved to sit in one.  If, for example, 40% said "yes," then 40% of the sections could be designated "seated only," and the other could be a free-for-all, sorta like student sections.

I might have to sit out a play or two once in awhile, but I would choose the "free-for-all" section every time.  I hope I am saying the same thing at 80.


December 27th, 2012 at 4:20 PM ^

Here is what annoys me about people telling me not to stand at games: personally I am far more comfortable standing the whole game instead of trying to stand, sit, stand, sit, stan-no-sit, sit-stand, etc.  Yes I am "young" (27), but I'm relatively average height (6-1) and I hate when my legs and elbows touch other people whether I know them or not.


December 27th, 2012 at 10:39 PM ^

I'm 5'6". If we are both standing and you are in front of me (even with stadium seating), I can have a hell of a time seeing the whole field and I have no way to make myself taller. If we are seated, I have a much better chance of being able to see. I'm all for jumping up on big plays, but I want to actually be able to see the game I paid for too.

Not sure what the solution is though... I sure as heck don't want you kneeing me in the back all game either!


December 27th, 2012 at 4:25 PM ^

this really isn't comparable to anything in an American sporting event... we never had 50,000 seat stadiums composed entirely of standing terraces that led to multiple instances of death from collapses and crowd crushes. The scars over there that led to seats being mandated in the Prem are still fresh. 


December 27th, 2012 at 4:50 PM ^

English club teams were completely banned from European competition for 5 years in the late '80's after 39 Juventus fans were crushed to death while trying to evade an attack by Liverpool hooligans at the European Cup (Champions League) final in 1985. 

The all-seater thing came as a response to all that.

snarling wolverine

December 27th, 2012 at 10:18 PM ^

It's not really in the middle of nowhere.  It's in a very densely-populated region (Nord-Pas de Calais) and is not far from the Lille metro area.  It doesn't have a huge fanbase but it could eventually develop one - although it has to compete for fans with Lille (which also built a new stadium) and Lens.




December 27th, 2012 at 10:45 PM ^

Many of the stadiums retrofitted for seating today hold 50,000 but when they had terraces held 70,000 in the same area.  This was the danger with overcrowding.


Liverpool's Anfield hold's about 45,000 now after the change to all-seater and even an expansion or two.  The largest crowd at Anfield was 61,900 prior to the change to all-seater in a smaller space.


December 27th, 2012 at 5:23 PM ^

I had tickets for that miracle Wisconsin game in 2008(?) a section away from the students, around the 15-20 yard line, everyone was standing. People in front of me. People to the side of me. People in back of me. All standing. When people aren't standing, I'm one of those people that sits down too, to be respectful. But if people are standing, I stand.

Suddenly I feel something jab me in the back... really freaking hard. So I turn around and there's this guy, maybe 35-40 and he's yelling at me to "Sit down! I paid good money for my son and I to watch the game!"  It took all I had to not just punch the guy in the face, and instead I give him my best "WTF" look. Then he starts to walk back up  FIVE rows back to his seat and yells back at me "Be a leader, man!"

Now granted, I'm pretty tall (6'3") but he was FIVE rows behind us. And I can also understand his kid being small and not being able to see when people are standing. But let me state this again... he was FIVE rows behind us. And of the hundreds of people standing in front and to the side of him and his son, he chose to single me out.  So I was even more "WTF?!"

F*** that guy, way to set an example for your son, dude. When you can't get your way, resort to physical violence. Nice work.

I kept standing.




December 27th, 2012 at 5:35 PM ^

The rule is simple: if the people in front of you are sitting down, then sit down, unless it's an obvious key play, then you can stand just for the play, then sit back down.  That is all there is to it.  At the Sugar Bowl last year I sat with my buddy Scott Hanson from NFL Red Zone (big Michigan fan) and he tore a guy 4 rows up a new one for being the only guy within 30 yards standing up, blocking our view, even though all the rows in front of him were seated.

Depending upon whether the people in front of you were sitting, you could've been a huge d bag in the scenario you illustrated above, but you didn't provide that data.


December 27th, 2012 at 10:39 PM ^

Did you tell him you paid better money to have a closer seat? I kid...

My experience with a little one behind me is to let them at least stand on my bench when everyone else is standing. That way they have a better chance to see what's going on. But if someone is being a jerk about it then I don't blame you for giving a death stare


December 27th, 2012 at 10:56 PM ^

at upper level English games because of the Taylor Report which recommened standing terraces be replaced with all-seater stadiums in the interest of crowd safety.  Several incidents led to this conclusion but the Hillsborough tragedy of 1989 where 96 Liverpool fnas were crushed to death in an overcrowded terrace was the tipping point.   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taylor_Report


Most people in the US have absolutely no idea how completely incident free and safe most of our sporting events are.  I really don't think even our worst compares to the average everyday security problems at English soccer events.  Other parts of Europe are even worse.


As an aside the police inquest into Hillsborough blamed the tragedy on Liverpool fans, which those families and the club have had to carry with them for 25 years.  This year the inquest was overturned placing the blame on the authorities.  It was a terrible tragedy made worse by a blatant government cover-up which those people have had to live with for 2 1/2 decades. 

At last justice for the 96.

Bando Calrissian

December 27th, 2012 at 11:37 PM ^

It really isn't that hard.

If you're the only person standing in your row, and you're separated from the field by 20 rows of seated people, you're doing it wrong.

If you have ever turned around and done the "up in back" when no one in front of you is standing up, you're doing it wrong.

If you berate another spectator for not having the audacity to fit your definition of being "into the game" because they're not standing up, you're doing it wrong.  And you're doing it extra wrong if that person is elderly/pregnant/physically incapable of standing for four hours, and you do it anyway.

If you pretend to suddenly fall deaf when a choir of people ask to not to have to look at your back for another quarter, you're doing it wrong.

If when they go get security and you talk back to the cop and/or usher because you "have the right to stand up," you're doing it wrong.

I've seen all of these things become a fairly common occurrence in my section in the past five years.  For whatever reason, it's become a problem.  We even had two people booted during the Northwestern game because they got angry and confrontational to the point of near-violence when they were repeatedly and politely asked to sit down in unison by at least five rows of people behind them.  They'd done this all season, and we'd had enough.  When the cops came and they decided to get abrasive about their right to stand, they were gone.  And we enjoyed the rest of the game without having to look at their backs.  

Courtesy and consideration counts, people.  We all want to enjoy the game.  But it's a stadium with people young and old, big and small.  It isn't an entire stadium of the student section, like it or not.  There are lots of ways to enjoy the game, and if you have to sit down until the big plays (when most everyone stands up anyway), it's not going to kill you.