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Return to the Shed/Club Shed Campaign


Alan
Eton Blue at the Chelsea Megastore

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Hey guys,

I'm working on a piece for a University assessment about the perceived decline in atmosphere at football grounds and the reasons behind it. As part of the article I'm looking at the Return to the Shed/Club Shed campaign as an example of fans being proactive and trying to do something about it.

I'm looking for people who've been to games as part of the campaign to share their experiences with me. Also, I'd like to speak to people who have been going to Chelsea for years about what it used to be like before the introduction of all-seater stadiums and whether it's been a good thing and the differences between then and now.

If you could drop me a message or email me (alanmcg89@gmail.com) and I'll send you a couple of questions.

Thanks.

P.S. I know I haven't posted a match report in ages, uni has been insane this year!

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Suppose you're right Loz, here are the questions:

1. Name and age?

2. When was your first Chelsea game? How long have you been a fan?

3. Do you think atmosphere at football grounds in general has been on the decline? If so why? Has the move to all-seater stadiums played a part? What about the price of tickets?

4. What about at Chelsea? Was it better back in, say, the 1970s or 1980s?

5. Was the Return to the Shed/Club Shed Campaign needed?

6. Have you been to the Bridge since the campaign started? If so, has it had much of an effect?

7. Is there a danger with the campaign that the attempts to improve the atmosphere can seem forced and contrived?

8. Would the introduction of some terraced areas at ground be an improvement?

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1. Name and age? Steve, 52

2. When was your first Chelsea game? How long have you been a fan? First game 1967, fan since 1964

3. Do you think atmosphere at football grounds in general has been on the decline? If so why? Has the move to all-seater stadiums played a part? What about the price of tickets? Yes. All seater stadiums can never recreate the atmosphere of the terraces. Prices don't help, as the original working class fans who used to go can't afford it anymore - but then, like me, they probably wouldn't bother because the stadiums are all-seater

4. What about at Chelsea? Was it better back in, say, the 1970s or 1980s? It was 20 times better in the 70's and 80's, the atmosphere was electric for the big games, even more so at away games

5. Was the Return to the Shed/Club Shed Campaign needed? Something is needed, but I don't think the problem can be rectified now, it's been left too long

6. Have you been to the Bridge since the campaign started? If so, has it had much of an effect? No, I refuse to go anymore - why pay nearly £50 to sit in a morgue, and then get told to sit down, stop swearing, stop shouting and sometimes even stop singing by the stewards?

7. Is there a danger with the campaign that the attempts to improve the atmosphere can seem forced and contrived? Yes, definitely - mainly because a lot of the people who are involved don't understand what needs to be done. Also, the younger fans aren't really capable of recreating the atmosphere of old - different generation, different times

8. Would the introduction of some terraced areas at ground be an improvement? Terraces would be the ONLY improvement in bringing back atmosphere to grounds - but it's never gonna happen, thanks to all the suits at Lancaster Gate

Sorry to be so negative, Alan, but good luck with your piece anyway!

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. Name and age? Graham 25

When was your first Chelsea game? How long have you been a fan? My first chelsea game was 1994. Been a chelsea fan all my life my dad brought me up that way.

Do you think atmosphere at football grounds in general has been on the decline? If so why? Has the move to all-seater stadiums played a part? What about the price of tickets? yes it has been n decline. the reason why the prize,seating,tourists.people treating it like the theather.

What about at Chelsea? Was it better back in, say, the 1970s or 1980s? well i was never there then but my dad says it was much better.

Was the Return to the Shed/Club Shed Campaign needed? Yeah i think so but maybe to late. dont help when people around you cant speak english never mind sing.

Have you been to the Bridge since the campaign started? If so, has it had much of an effect? Yeah i have and fair play to the lads who got it going. it works sumtimes but maybe its to late hope not?

Is there a danger with the campaign that the attempts to improve the atmosphere can seem forced and contrived? Yes you should nt have to ask people to sing at football.

Would the introduction of some terraced areas at ground be an improvement? yes it would aint gong to happen. it would also take the look of the ground.

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1. Name and age? Adrian 40

2. When was your first Chelsea game? How long have you been a fan? 1977 from a long standing Chelsea family so day 1 really

3. Do you think atmosphere at football grounds in general has been on the decline? If so why? Has the move to all-seater stadiums played a part? What about the price of tickets? Yes the atmosphere is in decline. The cost and availability of tickets is a contributing factor it use to be the same price to stand or to buy a cinema ticket , not now . The move to all seater stadium was a factor due to decreased capacity but this is slowly being addressed with clubs moving to bigger stadium . The salient point to me is not the fact it is an all seater stadium but the fact you are forced to sit where the seat ticket dictates. If you allowed fans freedom of choice where to sit in certain areas of the ground you would quickly find like minded fans in the same area week in week out as the Shed was. If you wanted to sing you went in the middle . If you were proper hardcore you went on the Tea Bar

4. What about at Chelsea? Was it better back in, say, the 1970s or 1980s? 1980’s from 83 onwards (well apart from the odd relegation)

5. Was the Return to the Shed/Club Shed Campaign needed? Yes

6. Have you been to the Bridge since the campaign started? If so, has it had much of an effect? NO !!!! the old faithful are still in the North Stand

7. Is there a danger with the campaign that the attempts to improve the atmosphere can seem forced and contrived? To me yes it is not addressing the core issues of introducing the next generation to an unbroken identity with the club and fellow fans . I’m all for reliving your yoof but things move on .

8. Would the introduction of some terraced areas at ground be an improvement? Yes but see above for a workable alternative .

Edited by Tea Bar Boy
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Suppose you're right Loz, here are the questions:

1. Name and age? Mark, 34

2. When was your first Chelsea game? How long have you been a fan? Norwich when I was about 8 I think, been a fan from day one, dad wouldn't allow anything else.

3. Do you think atmosphere at football grounds in general has been on the decline? If so why? Has the move to all-seater stadiums played a part? What about the price of tickets? The atmosphere at football grounds has changed massively, in my opinion it's not because of all seater stadium or because of the price of tickets but because football isn't for working class blokes any more. The stadium changes obviously helped bring in the new fans but fans of yester year could still make an all seater stadium rock if they were all there. That said standing in the Shed was often a dull experience, the big games were great, the lesser games could be near empty and with as little attmosphere as you get now.

4. What about at Chelsea? Was it better back in, say, the 1970s or 1980s? When I started going the big games were fantastic and we don't recreate that any more, the smaller games could be just like dull games now, except that you'd be standing to watch it!

5. Was the Return to the Shed/Club Shed Campaign needed? Absolutely, if for nothing else than to show the club that the real fans are still there and still want to do their bit.

6. Have you been to the Bridge since the campaign started? If so, has it had much of an effect? I've only been once and it was a decent effort but seemed like forced hard work.

7. Is there a danger with the campaign that the attempts to improve the atmosphere can seem forced and contrived? It can, but that's still better than no effort and no attmosphere.

8. Would the introduction of some terraced areas at ground be an improvement? It would depend who those terraced areas were available to.

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1. Name and age?

Garry; 51 and three quarters

2. When was your first Chelsea game? How long have you been a fan?

April 9th 1966 v West Ham so since just before that

3. Do you think atmosphere at football grounds in general has been on the decline? If so why? Has the move to all-seater stadiums played a part? What about the price of tickets?

Yes atmosphere at home games has been on the decline but not so for away games. All-seater stadiums have definitely had a play in this as has the passing of age. I am surrounded in the MHL by many of the guys who would have been a big part of the 70's & 80's however it is quite clear they have mellowed with age. The young generation never experienced the thrill of the terraces and therefore don't know any different. The two things combined have played a massive part in downing the atmosphere.

In truth the atmosphere in the East and West stands have not really changed at all during this time. It was sh*t back then and is sh*t right now and I speak from experience having had season tickets in both from 1972/73 onwards.

4. What about at Chelsea? Was it better back in, say, the 1970s or 1980s?

I belive it depends where you are in the ground. I am fortunate enough to be in the MHL where pretty much all of the atmosphere is generated. If that's all you've experienced then you'd say it was pretty good now. Back in the 70's & 80's if you were in the Shed end then it was very much the same however as per my previous answer in point 3, if you sat elsewhere in the ground back then it was pretty sh*t as indeed it is now.

5. Was the Return to the Shed/Club Shed Campaign needed?

I didn't and still don't get why this campaign was only used for random games. Why wasn't it done for EVERY game. Something is needed to raise the atmosphere and the club should start looking elsewhere in the world to see how this is done.

6. Have you been to the Bridge since the campaign started? If so, has it had much of an effect?

Yes I have and no it hasn't

7. Is there a danger with the campaign that the attempts to improve the atmosphere can seem forced and contrived?

Yes though it is being done for the right reasons. They just haven't hit on the right formula yet.

8. Would the introduction of some terraced areas at ground be an improvement?

Absolutely but given these would only ever be small areas to start with then if they were to do this I would strongly suggest they used the four corners of the ground. Imagine all four corners generating an atmosphere coupled with the atmosphere which already exists in the MHL - and this could be just the start of something bigger

Edited by geezer
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1. Name and age? Steve, 52

2. When was your first Chelsea game? How long have you been a fan? First game 1967, fan since 1964

3. Do you think atmosphere at football grounds in general has been on the decline? If so why? Has the move to all-seater stadiums played a part? What about the price of tickets? Yes. All seater stadiums can never recreate the atmosphere of the terraces. Prices don't help, as the original working class fans who used to go can't afford it anymore - but then, like me, they probably wouldn't bother because the stadiums are all-seater

4. What about at Chelsea? Was it better back in, say, the 1970s or 1980s? It was 20 times better in the 70's and 80's, the atmosphere was electric for the big games, even more so at away games

5. Was the Return to the Shed/Club Shed Campaign needed? Something is needed, but I don't think the problem can be rectified now, it's been left too long

6. Have you been to the Bridge since the campaign started? If so, has it had much of an effect? No, I refuse to go anymore - why pay nearly £50 to sit in a morgue, and then get told to sit down, stop swearing, stop shouting and sometimes even stop singing by the stewards?

7. Is there a danger with the campaign that the attempts to improve the atmosphere can seem forced and contrived? Yes, definitely - mainly because a lot of the people who are involved don't understand what needs to be done. Also, the younger fans aren't really capable of recreating the atmosphere of old - different generation, different times

8. Would the introduction of some terraced areas at ground be an improvement? Terraces would be the ONLY improvement in bringing back atmosphere to grounds - but it's never gonna happen, thanks to all the suits at Lancaster Gate

Sorry to be so negative, Alan, but good luck with your piece anyway!

Ditto; Colin also age 52- Another beauty of the terraces was that you could chose wghere to stand - you could move to avoid agro/ join the livlier bunch if necessary- these days you buy a seat & end up stuck next to some Rupert from Reigate. NO TERRACING - NO ATMOSPHERE

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