Her Side

 

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Her Side

 

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The Red Army 2019-20

 

As you will be aware the applications for Stretford End Right Side (SERS) closed in February. Our initial aim was to have a mixture of both season and match-day tickets in that area. We’ve spent a lot of time analysing the positives and negatives of United Road (and L Stand) to try and ensure we’re consistently loud. This season there’s no doubt that the atmosphere at Old Trafford has improved. Memorable games stand out against Leicester, Newcastle, Liverpool, Reading and there’s been other notable mentions.

 

However, we’ve still faced games whereby the support from our section hasn’t reached those heights with Juventus, Burnley and PSG being particularly disappointing. Some tickets have been passed on to people who don’t know what we’re tying to achieve, some sold on at well over face value and people are still treating our areas as a place where they can stand but not contribute.

 

Our vision is to make Old Trafford noisy, not just one area. To do that we believe we need to do the following:

  • Ensure that the East end of the stadium has a real vocal presence and can interact with the away fans (the Reading and Liverpool games exemplified why this is so important).

  • Ensure that we have allowed enough time to understand precisely what is required to ensure that TRA areas consistently deliver.

  • Got as near as we can get to replicating not only the away-day noise but the buzz that accompanies it

  • Spend enough time analysing the data we have accumulated and matched back against each game (eg volume of apps, number of tickets, position in ground, quality of atmosphere, groupings etc).

  • Reflect upon the information we gained from our recent trip to Germany

 

Following the PSG game, and with ever improving relations with the club, we re-drafted our original proposal for L-Stand that was submitted twelve months ago and presented to MUFC via the Fans’ Forum. As part of the proposal we emphasised that in order to achieve our vision of a volatile Old Trafford, we would need the following areas populated with vocal supporters:

 

  • Stretford End Right Side (as per the current plan)

  • United Road (as per this season with up to 1000 seats)

  • L Stand

 

This would give us a real presence at both ends of the stadium and matches the set-up we had in the 1980s where United Road and K-Stand would verbally engage with each other as well as the away fans in the Scoreboard End, whilst the Stretford End provided a wall of noise from the opposite end. All of the evidence supports this as the most likely solution to bring back the atmosphere:

 

  • United Road has dramatically increased noise levels at the East end of the stadium

  • L Stand has been outstanding on the occasions it’s been used

  • Stretford End Tier 2 is consistent and would be well supported with a similar set up in Stretford End Tier 1

 

What has been agreed for 2019-20?

  • TRA are moving into (1300+) seats in SERS as planned but with match-day tickets only

  • TRA will continue to make use of 1000 available seats in United Road

  • We have requested the use of L Stand for all domestic cup games (where allocation allows) in addition to all European matches - relocating the visiting supporters into ET2, where we have submitted recommendations on how to safely house visiting fans.

  • We will continue to monitor and refine our processes to ensure that by the start of 2020-21 we are positioned to offer season tickets in combination with match-day tickets in TRA areas

 

What about longer term?

We have explained in detail the arguments as to why visiting supporters should be moved to accommodate L Stand on a permanent basis. Whilst this cannot be achieved for next season, the opportunity to trial L Stand as highlighted above should ensure that, if the club agree, we would be in a great position to move in for the 2020-21 season, having used the cup games as further proof of concept. We expect to receive a confirmation of this from the club by the end of May 2019.

 

How do we get it right?

  • By everyone who wants to make a difference doing just that. Take advantage of the opportunity to enjoy United Road, the Stretford End and L Stand. Liverpool is the new benchmark.

  • Group up with fellow TRA members and back the team like we do at an away game.

  • Take ownership of ticket distribution, participation and TRA guidelines

  • Keep feeding back to us how you think we can improve. 750 of you completed a survey for us after the Reading game. All that feedback was printed off and handed personally to club directors at the Feb 26th meeting as supporting evidence

 

Thanks to everyone who has supported us so far either by singing yourselves hoarse or by helping us out with some of the fundamentals and day to day activities. Thanks also to every person that has donated, either as long ago as 2017 or more recently when we were skint (for the second time). We are extremely careful with how we use money. We funded Germany ourselves (quite rightly) and we want to make sure your contributions are used wisely.

 

Cheers

Tricky/Duts

The Red Army