Defying Carrow Road safety warning could mean ‘action’ to reduce crowd size, Norwich City fans group chairman warns
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Norwich City fans must realise defying an edict not to stand up during games could result in 'action' being taken to reduce crowd sizes, a supporters club chairman has warned.
Season ticket holders in Block A of the Lower Barclay received letters earlier in the week warning them that 'persistent standing' could lose them their seats, because of 'the wider concern of crowd safety'.
The order came from the Club Safety Advisory Group (SAG), a body of representatives from the county council and emergency services which has the power to revoke the club's safety certificate.
Robin Sainty, chairman of the Canaries Trust, said the delight at the Canaries' strong comeback performance against the Owls helped to dilute the issue on the match day.
'Had Norwich put in a second half like the first half, then it could've for quite aggressive,' he said.
'I think the way the game turned out actually helped get the club off the hook.'
However he said the Canaries Trust remained 'very concerned' about the row, which he described as 'unfortunate'.
Mr Sainty added: 'Most fans are pragmatic and realise this isn't the club being heavy handed, although I think it was wrong to single out Block A of the Lower Barclay.
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'People realise that the club's hands are tied and the way to get through it is compromise.
'The SAG are in a position where they can actually start to reduce the capacity of the ground.
'At the end of the day, whether people think they are morally right or wrong, the fact of the matter is the over-riding consideration are the ground regulations.
'If the regulations are breached, we could see action. That is not good for the club and it is not good for the people in Block A.'
Of more concern to some was the attendance, as they pointed to the number of empty seats.
Jack Goldworthy tweeted: 'I sit in the Barclay lower tier block A. 5/15 fans in my row, 5/15 in row in front, 8/15 in the one in front of that. Anything to do with the 'letter'? Not one steward has asked us to sit down in 25 minutes.'
Another Twitter user, @snackandsnooze said: 'Carrow road is looking like a ghost town tonight... seems like the safety advisors are getting their way. Didn't realise it was a library too? #NoAtmosphere'
Official statistics showed attendance was 25,561, but it is thought this includes season tickets regardless of whether the holder turns up or not.