Why are we so quiet?
David Maidstone As a Barclay Boy of the '70s and latter day River Ender who travels with our boys in yellow, I am often asked to comment by fans who know me as to how the atmosphere is, or was, on a given match day.
Oh what an atmosphere!
I love a party with a happy atmosphere,
So let me take you there.
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The opening words of Russ Abbott's less than classic song.
As a Barclay Boy of the '70s and latter day River Ender who travels with our boys in yellow, I am often asked to comment by fans who know me as to how the atmosphere is, or was, on a given match day.
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A subject that has had extra publicity over the last couple of weeks with Sir Alex Ferguson no less comparing the atmosphere against Birmingham to a 'funeral'.
Well on New Year's Day over a thousand City fans travelled to Selhurst Park and were out sung for most of the game by a dozen Palace fans, something that surely wouldn't have happened in the past. So why do fans sing less these days and Norwich fans in particular?
Is it that we sit? Is it the large influx of ladies and children into family friendly areas? Certainly both play a part, and City do take a higher proportion of families on their travels than most clubs.
I think the whole occasion of football has changed since the days of terracing, and the days of the 1959 cup run. We have moved on in our lives and Saturday afternoon football is not the massive event it used to be. Youngsters are growing up on sanitised television football of Arsenal and Chelsea rather than standing for hours to keep their spot at Carrow Road.
One thing I don't understand is the growing number of 'seals'. You know the ones I mean, who clap along to all the chants without uttering a word! “Glenn Roeder's Green Army” is nearly always drowned by the clapping that accompanies it. Maybe the words are too difficult!
Certainly our club hierarchy has not helped matters with the large concentrated area given to away fans that gives our Barclay choristers quite a battle to be heard against clubs with a large following. Compare this with Wolves where we were spread out, or the Premiership grounds where we were put in the 'attic'.
Don't get me wrong, I still think City fans are great, but I do wonder why so many of our away fans in particular are quieter than they were in fairly recent times. Let's make Palace a mere hangover day and make Barnsley (scene of some of our greatest singing) an away day to remember.