Date: 21st June 2008 at 9:00pm
Written by:

Rustle, crackle, crinkle…the sad sounds that have replaced all atmosphere at most football grounds today. Unfortunately, one of these grounds is Pittodrie, home to Aberdeen.

How many times have we read Charlie Allan in the Evening Express complaining about the atmosphere? More than we’d want to certainly. Why? Well, because the only places in Pittodrie where there is any sort of party going on is in the back 4 or 5 rows of the Richard Donald Stand or Section Y of the South at Old Firm games. And, of course, Mr Allan, being the die hard that he is, having not paid for his own ticket since this century, does not sit or stand in any of these places. You’ll usually find him in one of the special people boxes seperating the two tiers in the RDS, or at the back of the Main, home of the celebrities.

Now, at Pittodrie, the back few rows of the upper tier in the RDS has become sort of the accepted standing and singing section, where no-one tells you to sit down, be quiet, or stop swearing. Section Y can be like this, except it is unroofed, and you know the weather conditions next to the North Sea. Opposite the RDS (which is behind the goals on the East side of the pitch), is the Merkland stand a.k.a. the family section. At times in the Merkland, you could fail at Chinese whispers. To the right of the Merkland going along the pitch is the South Stand. One end of the SS homes the away support, up to half of it versus OF. And when the OF do come to town, they’re directly below the TV cameras, microphones etc. The South Stand also homes the Aberdeen fans who claim to be the ‘real fans’, yet just sit making sarcastic comments about how Scheidt our team is for 90 minutes. Most of the ‘anti-ultra’ brigade sit here (that’s another story). Opposite the South is the Main. Nobody sits here until all the other stands are sold out except all the folk who wear coats to football matches and all the guests.

The problem is, the singing section (also where the ultras are located) at the back of the RDS, is…well, at the back of the RDS. The RDS is the only two-tiered stand at Pittodrie and all the sound from the top tier goes straight into thin air. One reason why people think no-one is singing. The other reason is, as mentioned, the Old Firm are located under the microphones in the South, and with OF games being the only ones on TV, it’s obvious why people think the Aberdeen support are being outsung.

At most of the European games, the away support have been housed in the Main Stand, meaning the South’s (the only other sort of singers) link to the RDS has not been broken. (By the way, the atmosphere at Pittodrie on European nights is bettered nowhere else in Britain, or so says Alex Ferguson.) This has caused the suggestion to pop up that this should be a permanent thing, and when Rangers and Celtic come to town, they should be given the whole Main, as, as said, no-one sits there or cares about it. This would also stop the armchair fans at home not being given the false impression the red army are ever outsung.

The other suggestion is that the family section should be relocated to the Richard Donald Stand, and the standers and singers move to the Merkland. The Merkland is one of those typical old style stands, like one of the ‘sheds’. It does seem to be the ideal section.

As I mentioned before about the whole sort of us vs. them, ultras vs. South Stand-ers argument. A lot of people slag off the ultras for many reasons. They are sometimes unaware the RU have no connections to hooliganism. Others believe they are not ‘true ultras’ as they don’t use flares etc. Well, guess what, they do, except only where allowed. As seen at Bohemians and the like. If they did, I bet the haters would complain that flares are banned, just to be argumentative. The ultras are only here to help increase the woeful atmosphere at Pittodrie and their aims are spot on. Who cares if they’re not having the biggest impact? At least they’re trying, unlike those of you who just sit there and complain and do nothing about it.

So anyway, to round off. The away section should be moved to the Main Stand, the family section should be moved to the Richard Donald Stand and the singing section moved to the Merkland Stand.