Away fans heading north at the Sunderland Stadium of Light

The Stadium of Light's atmosphere suffers when visiting clubs fail to sell their tickets, as illustrated by this picture from Wigan's game on Wearside last season.
The Stadium of Light's atmosphere suffers when visiting clubs fail to sell their tickets, as illustrated by this picture from Wigan's game on Wearside last season.
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SUNDERLAND season card holders have given a mixed reaction after being told they’ll have to move seats from next season.SUNDEL

The club recently announced that the away supporters’ section at the Stadium of Light will be moved from the South Stand to the North Stand Upper.

The move means that fans in the Black Cats Bar and North Stand Upper, will have to be relocated to other parts of the stadium.

It is thought the decision will benefit Steve Bruce’s team by moving the away section, as well as create a better atmosphere.

Supporters due to be affected have now been sent letters by the club.

Wes Borgesson, of Seaham, who sits in the lower North Stand has been told he will be moving seats should he renew next season.

He said: “If I get moved to the South Stand I think it will be rubbish.

“I can see what they are doing, but I’m quite happy where I am.”

David Wilson, 31, of Seaham, also has a season ticket in the lower North Stand.

He said: “I’m surprised that we are having to move, I don’t see why we should be affected.

“I will be bothered about it if the seat we are moved to isn’t as good and maybe I wouldn’t renew.”

Another season-ticket holder in the lower North Stand, who did not want to be named, said: “I didn’t think I would be affected by the move where I sit, but I got a letter to say our seats would be affected.”

“I’m waiting to find out where we will be moved to. They said we would be contacted in the next couple of months.”

Martyn McFadden, editor of A Love Supreme fanzine, said the move should improve the atmosphere at home games.

He said: “When Sunderland fans go to away games we get stuck in a corner or up a height most of the time.

“I think the club are quite keen to turn the South Stand into a real Sunderland fans area.

“At Roker Park we used to have the Fulwell End and the Roker End in singing competitions with each other and it made the atmosphere a lot better.

“Obviously there are going to be people who have got used to sitting in those seats and made friends.

“It’s understable that it’s going to ruffle a few feathers, but I think the club are doing it for the right reasons.”

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SAFC media and communications manager Louise Wanless said club has been aware of a strong desire from an increasing number of supporters to see visiting fans moved from the current location in the South Stand.

She added: “We were keen to explore this and an in-depth feasibility study was carried out over a number of months to ascertain firstly if such a move would be possible and if so, where would be the most appropriate location.

“It was concluded that such a move would be feasible and the most suitable location for visiting fans would be the Strongbow North Stand Upper.

“A small number of existing season card holders and Black Cats Bar members will be relocated from their current seats in order to reconfigure the seating areas in the Strongbow North Stand to make this move possible.

“Naturally, whichever area was chosen, it would mean moving some season card holders and the individuals affected have been contacted.

“The club will continue to consult with those supporters and we will do our utmost to minimise any inconvenience and help them find comparable seats for the new season.

“As part of this process we are also considering how to use the South Stand area and we are asking supporters for their feedback on the club website”