Letters, January 5, 2012

Have your say

Talk to supporters about etiquette

AFTER reading the article and several pieces on the internet this week I have to make a point on this.

 Why is it SAFC decides now to start taking action against those who wish to stand at games?

 For those who visit regularly this is not something that is new to the Stadium of Light. The south-west corner has stood for many years and the only action, to my knowledge, taken was a letter to those supporters to remind them of the regulations that surround ground etiquette.

 Seemingly banning people at random for standing at games is an issue and needs to be addressed. I am a season ticket holder that stands from time to time. If the club wants to address this problem then it needs to talk to supporters. The way forward is to try to lobby Parliament and to do this is to petition it.

 One final note I’d like to point out. We can’t drink in the seating areas, stand in the seating areas due to health and safety regulations, yet at concerts we can do both of these things without breaking any law.

 SAFC – you need to address the persistent smoking in the toilets at your football ground, as this is a health and safety issue you seem to ignore never mind Hillsborough, remember Bradford.

Darren Simpson,

East Boldon

In the wrong club

I HAVE always voted labour but the Labour Party I once knew is long gone.

 The sight of Tony Blair speaking in America for £50,000 a time and a free dinner, would be enough to get my grandfather out of the grave and back on his feet.

 With gay marriage a top priority neither the Conservatives or the Coalition seem to have learnt from Blair’s mistakes.

 My big worry is the EU. I understood that Britain being part of the EU would be good for us, like me being a member the local CIU. I would pay a small subsciption to cover administration costs but maybe I would win the Christmas hamper or perhaps the secretary would send a present when the bairn was born. So I reasoned the UK would benefit from improved trading conditions and easier holiday travelling. However, every day I see more reasons why we should never have joined this club.

 The Echo mentioned that thousands more people are arriving here from Eastern Europe at a time when our own people can’t find anywhere to live. It is not rocket science to check to see if there is any room on top before you send the passengers upstairs but all of our Governments seem incapable of it. It is all very well being generous with people’s assets but having worked a lifetime for precious little I resent it being frittered away to provide a rosey glow of benevolence for people who fiddle their expenses.

 I am going to vote for Nigel Farrage of UKIP and if I feel the urge to be charitible I will increase my subscription to the Salvation Army. Eastern Europe will be well down my list.

William Wise


No threat to funds

UNITY’S funding is not threatened by me. It is, however, threatened by Unity’s own actions. It put at risk its own charitable status.

 A strict condition of the funding it receives from public (taxpayer) sources is that it should not indulge in party political activity.

 Vera Baird, the Labour Police and Crime Commissioner candidate, visited Unity’s premises and Unity endorsed her as the person its members/supporters should vote for. It did not invite Phil Butler, the Conservative candidate, to visit or, it would appear, any of the other candidates.

 To be successful Unity needs, actively, to encourage the support of all members of society. It will not achieve that by supporting one political party rather than another.

 On a number of occasions since my return to the city council I and my Conservative colleagues have proposed additional funding for Unity at annual budget debate. It was Labour councillors who voted the proposals down. While it is some years ago, Unity has also received some Community Chest funding via St Michael’s ward – the ward I help to represent.

 I am happy for any public examination of my financial decisions and I hope Tahir Khan is equally happy to have his handling of public funds similarly scrutinised.

Coun Peter Wood,

Deputy Leader, Conservative Council Group

A right to stand

I THINK the decision to ban fans for standing in the stadium is pathetic.

 These spectators have paid good money and have probably watched the lads for years so it will be a real kick in the teeth for them.

 Is it any wonder that there is so much animosity against the stewards on a match day when this action is taken. This ridiculous decision will only drive fans away which seems very hypocritical when we see adverts all the time saying what great value a season ticket is.

 Fans have wanted to stand in football grounds since the Hillsbrough disaster and its not as if SAFC fans stand throughout the game – it’s just when the team is playing well and it’s always better to chant and sing when you are standing.

 My issue always has been with those so-called fans who turn up late and leave early. You know the type – they were walking out of the ground five minutes before the end of the Man City game.

 At that point we were beating the league champions 1-0 and most of the fans had to stand to see over the heads of those who were leaving.

 So just how far will the club go to alienate its fans or was this temporary ban the work of some Newcastle fans who work in the hierarchy?

Mick The Pen Brown