BBC Radio London yesterday hosted a discussion on atmosphere at football grounds and asked QPR1st’s view on the club’s Make some noise campaign.
A writer taking part raised general issues including the possibility that safe standing could improve the atmosphere at grounds. Turning to Loftus Road, there was no question that there can be a great atmosphere at Lotus Road – one of the Radio London presenters said he had been on the broadcasting gantry above Ellerslie Road when it had been rocking because of the noise around the stadium.
Asked about Make some noise and the atmosphere on Saturday Jeremy Gardner from QPR1st said it was good the club recognised there was an issue – as for Saturday it was clear the noise of the crowd rose when the players on the pitch increased their energy level.
The point was made that QPR supporters have put up with a lot in recent years. There were big promises about what great things would happen on and off the pitch but few were delivered. In the premier league we saw an ever changing cast list of misfit players – now we are watching some pretty dull football. So it hardly surprising supporters aren’t keeping up a high level of noise for 90 minutes.
A practical point was also raised that the club had made a mistake in moving the family area to behind the home goal – at the heart of the home end where you would expect to hear vociferous support.
Another practical issue worth looking at Loftus Road is the music over the loudspeaker system – even playing as the teams was being read out on Saturday – which drowns out and prevents crowd noise at times Loftus Road.
Some of the issues are not unique to Loftus Road but are common to many clubs. Our season ticket holders are ageing, and quite a few of our louder singers were priced out of football during the Briatore era. Perhaps a safe standing area with cheaper ticket prices could allow more young people to afford live football – and add to the noise? National action would be needed to allow safe standing.
The most important thing is seeing football worth singing about – passing, moving, entertaining – what QPR should be all about.