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Everton fans lose their spots at Goodison to make way for 'singing stand' – Liverpool Echo

A group of Everton fans were left fuming after losing their long-term seats at Goodison Park to make way for a new 'singing stand' at the ground.

The season ticket holders,[1] who had long held tickets in the GT8 stand of the Lower Gwladys Street,[2] were all relocated to other seats - but many were unhappy with the move.

Everton FC[3] has implemented a number of new measures to try and 'improve the atmosphere' at the ground on match days.

The atmosphere at Goodison Park has been a major talking point for some time, with drab performances over the last few years leading to a less than satisfactory feel around home games in L4.[4][5]

Everton fans in the Gwladys Street end

Recent matches have seen significant efforts from both the club and sections of supporters to improve that - with more flags on the terraces and the addition of a siren to the start of Z Cars.[6]

However, one major change to try and improve the atmosphere at Goodison[7] has not proved as popular with some fans.

The decision by the club to implement a singing section in the Gwladys Street[8] next term has meant some long-term season ticket holders have had to move seats.

GT8 is the section earmarked for the change at the start of 2019/20 - and a number of fans contact the ECHO[9] to say they were 'disappointed' to be moved out of the usual spot.

 

Matty Melia has been attending matches at Goodison[10] since 1958 and currently holds a season ticket for in GT8.

Despite renewing his season ticket for his usual seat, he was told he would be moved out of the spot he's watched the match from for seven years.

Matty was given a new seat along with a £100 discount off his season ticket - but he said he would have preferred to keep his seat.

Everton fans lose their spots at Goodison to make way for 'singing stand' - Liverpool Echo
A general view of the Gwladys St before the match between Everton and Manchester United

Speaking to the ECHO[11] , Matty said: "I know where my [new] seat is. It took me that long to get this seat and I thought we were all vociferous enough without bringing anyone in to rally us.

"This morning I was shown around the ground to a seat that was available. I'm happy with it - it's a good seat, I'm just disappointed that I've got to move there.

"To be fair, they've compensated me and knocked £100 off with a little perk as well if my wife wants to come to a match with me. I would rather have stayed where I was - I don't need £100, I just wanted to stay where I was.

"Having spoken to another couple of lads who were being seen by the young ladies there this morning who were bending over backwards to help, no one wants to move but it looks like a done deal."

 

Matty added: "We're extremely noisy as it is. Some of the games we are the only noisy part of the ground. I've been going to the match since 1958,[12] I've been a season ticket holder since 1984 and I've probably been in the same seat for about seven or eight years.

"I've moved from other seats that I didn't like. What you've got to do is bide your time. It's not just the seat, it's the people around you and it's very disappointing that we are all getting broken up."

Everton fans lose their spots at Goodison to make way for 'singing stand' - Liverpool Echo
The Gwladys Street Stand at Goodison Park

After visiting Goodison Park[13] on Friday to try and resolve the issue, Matty said the staff who reallocated him to a new seat were 'very helpful' and that he's satisfied with his new seat.

When the ECHO approached Everton FC for a comment on the moves necessitated by the singing section, a club spokesperson said: "The club has been working with fan groups over recent months to try and generate the best atmosphere at Goodison Park.[14][15]

"We have already seen excellent progress in recent games and are keen to build on this through introducing a singing section next season.

"The feedback we have had on this initiative has been extremely positive from fans across the stadium and in the Howard Kendall Gwladys Street[16] where the new singing section will be.

"To ensure we can make this happen we have been working closely and in person with a very small number of fans who have been affected and we will be continuing this process over the coming days. The club would like to thank all our supporters for getting behind our plans.”

Everton fans lose their spots at Goodison to make way for 'singing stand' - Liverpool Echo
A view outside the stadium as fans arrive ahead of the match between Everton and Leicester City at Goodison Park on January 1, 2019

Another season ticket holder,[17] who wished to remain anonymous, has watched the match from the same seat in GT8 for nearly two decades.

He was moved to another seat nearby and said he was offered a cheque for £100 as well as cup tickets for home games - but still wasn't happy with the result.

Follow reporter Emilia Bona on social media

Everton fans lose their spots at Goodison to make way for 'singing stand' - Liverpool Echo

Follow Emilia on Twitter here[18]

You can read more of her stories here[19]

Email her on [email protected]

Or contact Emilia on Facebook[20] if you want to share any news, stories or updates.

Keep up to date with the latest breaking news here[21]

Like the ECHO Facebook page[22] and follow @livechonews[23] on Twitter

 

Explaining how the seat move worked, he said: "We were all asked twice on our thoughts and made aware of increased standing and given the option of staying or leaving. I myself chose to stay and was told over the telephone upon renewing I would be staying in the seat.

"I received a phone call from club out of the blue telling me I would be relocated because of the increased interest."

Speaking to the ECHO,[24] he said: "They're going to send me a cheque for £100 and then any cup tickets at home for moving but you can't guarantee that. I know where the seat is, it's a good seat but I'm not happy with how everything has happened or how it has been dealt with."

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References

  1. ^ season ticket holders, (www.liverpoolecho.co.uk)
  2. ^ GT8 stand of the Lower Gwladys Street, (www.liverpoolecho.co.uk)
  3. ^ Everton FC (www.liverpoolecho.co.uk)
  4. ^ Goodison Park (www.liverpoolecho.co.uk)
  5. ^ home games in L4. (www.liverpoolecho.co.uk)
  6. ^ the addition of a siren to the start of Z Cars. (www.liverpoolecho.co.uk)
  7. ^ one major change to try and improve the atmosphere at Goodison (www.liverpoolecho.co.uk)
  8. ^ implement a singing section in the Gwladys Street (www.liverpoolecho.co.uk)
  9. ^ contact the ECHO (www.liverpoolecho.co.uk)
  10. ^ Goodison (www.liverpoolecho.co.uk)
  11. ^ Speaking to the ECHO (www.liverpoolecho.co.uk)
  12. ^ I've been going to the match since 1958, (www.liverpoolecho.co.uk)
  13. ^ Goodison Park (www.liverpoolecho.co.uk)
  14. ^ ECHO (www.liverpoolecho.co.uk)
  15. ^ Goodison Park. (www.liverpoolecho.co.uk)
  16. ^ Howard Kendall Gwladys Street (www.liverpoolecho.co.uk)
  17. ^ Another season ticket holder, (www.liverpoolecho.co.uk)
  18. ^ here (twitter.com)
  19. ^ here (www.liverpoolecho.co.uk)
  20. ^ Emilia on Facebook (www.facebook.com)
  21. ^ here (www.liverpoolecho.co.uk)
  22. ^ ECHO Facebook page (www.facebook.com)
  23. ^ @livechonews (twitter.com)
  24. ^ Speaking to the ECHO, (www.liverpoolecho.co.uk)