Fergie laments loss of atmosphere

Alex Ferguson has likened the atmosphere inside Old Trafford at the Birmingham game to “a funeral”.

His comment has sparked suggestions that grounds up and down the Premiership are shedding atmosphere in inverse proportion to the money being thrown at footballers.

A BBC Sport survey of supporters groups finds consensus around the league.

"I see it as a problem throughout Premier League football,” says Middlesborough Official Supporters Club chairwoman Sue Gardener. “Yes, fans want to be entertained, but with a lot of corporate fans going to the matches now, and with the all-seater grounds, it's having a ripple effect on the atmosphere."

Shades of Roy Keane’s reference to the “prawn sandwich brigade”.

Says Liam Cooper of Wigan Athletic Supporters Club: "In the Premier League now, there's a lot more riding on games. People go and they just want results."
Another suggested reason are the new stadiums which so many teams have moved into. "When you go into a nice bowl stadium it just seems to dissipate and always makes the away fans sound louder, partially because we're spread out more,” says Paula Martin, chairman of the Reading Supporters' Trust. (Mind you, even before the Emirates, they used to talk of the “Highbury Library”.)
So what do you think? Is going to the game what it used to be?

(Image: from YouTube)

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