The integration of fans back into the fabric of Newcastle United Football Club continued today with an announcement on nufc.co.uk that an official singing section would be reintroduced into St James Park this coming season.
Perhaps not coincidently, since Rafa Benitez has arrived at the club, there have been a number of club backed fan lead initiatives, most notably that of Gallowgate Flags, that have brought the club closer to those of us who pay our hard earned cash to support those who don the black and white shirt.
Today’s announcement can only go some way to further strengthening this bond.
The area of the ground chosen for the new signing area is Gallowgate Block V, at the top right of the Gallowgate stand when looking from the pitch. The club were also quick to point out that they have worked hard on this project not just from within the club but in response to and in collaboration with a number of fans groups and individuals including @WorHyem1982 and @gallowgateflags.
One interesting twist is that this certainly does give some clues on where away fans may or may not be housed next season after the club was given a single season dispensation not to move away fans from the Leazes End ‘gods’ for the coming campaign.
With noise well and truly established in both the Strawberry Corner and up in Level 7 Leazes Corner you’d certainly think both were on the list of options for such an initiative, with Level 7 perhaps being the easier to manage in terms of re-seating fans that would want to move in or out of such a section.
It will certainly do nothing to quash rumours that away fans will be given the Leazes West segment in future season, close to some of the most expensive seats in St James Park.
And whilst there will be some who find the very thought of an organised signing section repulsive or unnecessary, our view is that having like minded and vocal fans together in our stadium can only be good for the club. Whilst the clubs continued efforts to engage with fans on such initiatives should only be seen as healthy and reassuring on our general direction of travel.
Well done to all involved!
Stadium graphic by @NUFCGallowgate