The grand old days of terraces. The way we were brought up on football. Remember the days of maximum crowds, and that board outside stating that the ground was full. Remember the surges, the atmosphere being electric, those cheap tickets and most of all, the sheer passion of the supporters and the constant terrace chants.

Sadly there was in incident at Hillsborough in 1989 that changed the shape of football as we then knew it. It changed the shape of how we see the beautiful game, and ultimately killed the grounds as we knew them. I am certain that everyone is aware of the Hillsborough Disaster, and the findings of the subsequent enquiry. However this finding virtually laid all the blame with terraces, which in my opinion was wrong. Whichever way you look at that disaster, in no way was terracing to blame.

That report from Justice Taylor then dictated that we can now only sit to see the game of football within the grounds. That report from Justice Taylor has effectively priced the average supporter out of the game, killed the atmosphere within the grounds, and forced many teams to rebuild new stadia.

This is the same Justice Taylor that simply had no idea of football or it’s passion. Had he ever attended a game of football? Perhaps we will never know, but I feel certain that he hasn’t.

Terracing is perfectly safe, when controlled. I look to two examples here, firstly that of Highbury, where 20,000 used to stand behind the goal at The North Bank End. In 1989 it cost £8 to see the North London derby, where in 2006 it was £46. Take a look at the inflation rate, and justify that price hike. Secondly, Highbury used to hold 60,000 supporters prior to seating, a figure that Ashburton Grove at almost twice the size now holds.

Seats had to be paid for, as did the new grounds, so where else would the various clubs gain the revenue, but from the supporters. People will always want to go to the football, so for every person now priced out of the market, there is a “Hornby” to replace them. The clubs don’t care, the money is still coming in, and people are sitting on the seats. The supporter of old is now discarded into a pile of “has-beens”, with the attitude of “We’ve had their money, now let’s have someone elses”

Terracing can be re-introduced as long as everything is controlled. An area dedicated for 10,000 people standing can be restricted to 10,000 quite easily, as the technology is there, and begging to be used. Let us take a short trip to Old Trafford. The Stretford End could easily have terraces on the lower tier, which would increase the capacity by anything up to 10,000. The standing prices are cheaper, the capacity greater, thus the revenue increases. This is not to mention the now increased atmosphere, not only from the standing areas, but from the ground in general, as noise tends to breed noise. I move to the brand new Ashburton Grove, where everything seems to beg for a lower tier terrace. Can you imagine how a move from “The Library” to their new home would be made all the more passionate with thousands of supporters behind the goal bouncing, generating noise, and having the time of their lives would make the difference?

Controlled terraces can and should be the future of football, after all, I was never asked whether I want to sit, I was forced to do so. I was never asked if it was ok to fund the new seats out of my pocket, it was forced on me. And ultimately, I despise the fact that no-one consulted me as to how I wish to view the game, despite having attended the best part of a thousand games. Yes, that bit was forced on me as well.

In summary, can we really recreate the glory days of terraces? I think not, but we can certainly push close, and attract the real supporters back into the grounds.

How would you like to get your hands on this seasons home or away shirt absolutely free?.

How you get it is this:

New people that join the Goonersworld forum in the next week(From now until 8 pm July 6th) will be considered for the shirt.

All you have to do is join the forum and then post in the introduction section and then sit back and enjoy the forum.

The 4th week of the new season we will decide who has become the best new member on Goonersworld based on the quality of their posts and how active they are.

The winner will be able to choose either the 2008/2009 home or away shirt in any size they want and we will send it to them free of charge.

So come and join Goonersworld today!

What have you got to lose? its all totally free!

Click here for the Goonersworld forum

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