Pars ditch 'fake support' and re-open NW Stand
Published 12 Jul 2012 15:30 2 Comments
PARS want to ditch their "fake support", re-open the North West Stand and inspire fans and players alike with a huge image of former captain Norrie McCathie at East End Park.
They won't need 'virtual fans' to fill empty seats after all as they've decided to open the North West Stand as a "gesture of goodwill", providing the fans don't stand up and help keep the costs down.
The club admitted closing the stand on cost grounds was unpopular with their support and revealed that some fans have even offered to pay over and above the cost of their season ticket to sit in that section of the ground.
Another idea they want to run by the fans is the inclusion of an "inspiring banner" of McCathie, a club legend and former captain who tragically died in January 1996, in the stand that bears his name.
A Pars survey had encouraged opinions on improving the match day experience at East End Park and the club considered broadcasting crowd roars around the ground and covering empty seats with a "digital image" of fans celebrating last year's win over Raith Rovers.
But a statement today read, "As a result of the survey and after a period of reflection, the club has now taken the decision to reopen part of the North West Stand, therefore the idea to pipe sound from the Norrie McCathie Stand and cover the empty seats in the North West Stand with a 'fake support' is no longer required, despite very positive feedback."
The club closed the stand last season to save £20,000 but admitted the decision "continues to frustrate a number of our fans".
They are now ready to open it up again and said, "The club wants to maximise the match day atmosphere and certainly not sanitise supporters enjoyment, but only if a small minority of fans don't spoil it for others by standing (and dramatically increasing our operating costs)."
They have now suggested that the three sections of the stand closest to the half-way line will be open for all home games next season and the other two sections will be covered with removable canvases - "not with a fake support but with pictures of club legends or the club badge, supporters will be asked for further details".
Only one or two turnstiles will be open and they want fans to "self-police" the stand and avoid the need for an increased level of stewarding or the involvement of police.
"In the heat of the action, it is natural to stand up at times, but continual standing in this area of the ground cannot happen or we will again be faced with further avoidable costs as well as complaints from irritated fans, which would mean reversing the decision to reopen the stand."
And the club added, "A number of supporters in our recent survey stated they would be willing to pay an extra amount, over and above the cost of their existing season ticket, to be able to sit in the North West Stand once again.
"The club would be reticent to make this compulsory, to avoid the exclusion of any particular supporter, but if fans that expressed a preference to do this are happy to donate whatever amount they see fit, to contribute towards the ongoing costs of reopening the North West Stand, this would be greatly appreciated by the club."
The Pars also want to keep alive the memory of McCathie, who played for the club more than 500 times between 1981 and his death in 1996 at the age of 34 from carbon monoxide poisoning.
"Many younger fans ask exactly who was Norrie and why was he so special to fans, therefore, this is designed to remind fans, and players, of his true inspirational qualities," the Pars statement said.
"Ideas for the message beside an image of Norrie could be 'Led From The Front … Never Beaten … Forever Our Captain' or 'Loyal … Leader … Legend … Our True Captain'."
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Jul 15, 13:32
That will have the fans flocking back and also the thousands that are now going to turn up now that rangers are gone.
Serious questions need to be asked and although it will be good to see norries face on the stand .
But Our club is facing a seriously hard time and gestures like these ain't going to save us no matter how admirable they are!
Recommend? Yes 3 No 0
Jul 19, 19:15
The effort should be put into getting supporters back into the North Stand.
Much was made of the so called Neds who located there prized Burberry caps into this section, however they were noisey and helped create an atmosphere which is part and parcel of football games.
Let the Neds into the North Stand on a discounted price as long as they make a noise and cheer the Pars to promotion.
Recommend? Yes 0 No 0