Norwich City fans warned against dangerous goal celebrations
Norwich City fans who sit in the ‘Snake Pit’ at Carrow Road have been warned not to run down the terracing to celebrate a goal amid concerns the ground capacity could be reduced on safety grounds.
The Snake Pit, located in the Thorpe corner of the City stand, is famed for its lively and vocal support, but its season-ticket holders have been issued with a letter by the club, urging them not to continue the recent trend of rushing down the stairs to celebrate at the front of the stand.
It follows scenes following the Canaries’ third goal during the recent 4-1 drubbing of Ipswich, watched by an all-seater record crowd of 26,532, where a large number of supporters in the area rushed to the front, crushing others against the perimeter fence.
The letter states the scenes were witnessed by members of the Safety Advisory Group, which is responsible for issuing the club with a safety certificate and has the power to reduce capacity in any area they consider to be unsafe.
Andy Batley, stadium safety and security manager, said: “They have not as yet indicated an intention to reduce the capacity in the Snake Pit, but it is a very real possibility should this practice continue and someone gets hurt.
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“It is not my intention to stop supporters from celebrating or to suppress the noise or the atmosphere that is currently generated around the stadium, but it is my responsibility to ensure the safety of everyone who visits Carrow Road and I look to every supporter in the Snake Pit to assist me in removing the threat of injury that this practice presents.”
He added that the number of people involved has been growing over recent matches, prompting concerns that someone will be seriously injured if it continues.
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Kathy Blake, secretary of the Norwich City Independent Supporters’ Association (NCISA), who is a season-ticket holder in the Snake Pit, was one of those fans to have received a letter. She said: “I was a bit surprised to get it because Mr McNally is supposed to be saving the pennies at the moment and it must’ve been quite expensive to mail it out individually.
“I would’ve thought if it had to be done, they could’ve done it more cheaply. It’s only a very small minority of people.
“They’ve got to be seen to be doing something about it, but I don’t know why they couldn’t have done it a bit more cheaply.”
Norwich City fan Richard Balls, who is a season-ticket holder in the Snake Pit, said: “The support the Snake Pit gives the team is second to none and is a massive part of the atmosphere at Carrow Road. That is the main reason I have my season ticket there.
“Understandably, emotions were high during the derby, but no one wants to see anyone get hurt and hopefully supporters will respond to the club’s request.
“At the end of the day, safety has to come first.”