What's buzzing:

Dirty Tackle

Sunderland suspend season tickets of fans who stand up during games

Ryan Bailey
Dirty Tackle

View photo

.
(twitter.com)

(twitter.com)

Rival fans at Premier League games have mocked one another with chants of "Sit down, shut up!" for many years, but now it appears the clubs have started issuing similar instructions to their own paying customers.

Due to an "increasing number of complaints," Sunderland has suspended the season tickets of many supporters who ruin the match day experience by standing throughout the game.

The club issues a warning on its website — mainly directed at those who stand at the Stadium of Light's South Stand — and persistent offenders have now have their seats taped up. Punishing those who stand too often by reducing their chances of sitting down, after all, makes perfect sense.

The Guardian quotes Sunderland head of safety and security Paul Weir:

"We certainly don't wish to spoil the enjoyment of any supporters, we want a vibrant lively matchday atmosphere just as much as the fans do, but we also have legal obligations that we must be seen to be adhering to.

"We also have a duty of care to all of our supporters, including elderly and disabled fans who have contacted us very concerned that their enjoyment on a match day is being compromised because people around them stand throughout the game."

It is fair enough to ensure that fans of all ages and abilities get a good view of the game, but would it not make more sense to ensure the elderly and disabled are not seated behind areas where the more "boisterous" fans prefer to sit/stand?

Most stadia have seating blocks or stands where the fans who prefer to stand and chant tend to congregate. If those who are not vertically inclined are encouraged to sit in different areas of the ground, there will be no need for fan suspensions or killjoy antics.

Regardless of health and safety issues, punishing passionate fans for creating a lively atmosphere does not seem like a very smart move — particularly at a club like Sunderland, where this season's average attendance is around 9,000 below capacity.

View Comments (11)
  • Team USA's extra advantage heading into Women's World Cup

    Team USA's extra advantage heading into Women's World Cup

    Former USWNT goalkeeper Briana Scurry explains why despite this tournament being so tough to win, the US has some extra help. … More »

    Yahoo Sports Videos - 8 minutes ago
  • Benitez to leave Napoli amid Real speculation

    Napoli coach Rafa Benitez has announced he is leaving after two years with the Serie A club amid widespread expectation he is poised to replace the sacked Carlo Ancelotti at Real Madrid. Spaniard Benitez, 55, who had a stint in Real's youth set-up … More »

    Reuters - 8 minutes ago
  • World's policeman wins rare applause for FIFA crackdown

    By Noah Barkin BERLIN (Reuters) - The United States has infuriated some of its closest allies in recent years by fining their banks and spying on their citizens. Following news on Wednesday that the U.S. Justice Department, supported by FBI … More »

    Reuters - 9 minutes ago
  • Shame and humiliation brought on FIFA, says Blatter

    By Mike Collett ZURICH (Reuters) - Shame and humiliation have been brought on FIFA following the turbulent events of the last two days which included the arrest of leading football officials at their Zurich hotel, the world football body's … More »

    Reuters - 9 minutes ago
  • Smarting South Africa minister defends "Mandela's" World Cup

    * Nothing to hide over 2010, sports minister says * Graft allegations undermine South Africa's proudest moment * U.S. says Pretoria was prepared to pay $10 million bribe (Adds quotes, details, background) By Ed Cropley JOHANNESBURG, May 28 … More »

    Reuters - 10 minutes ago