I’m going to keep this short but, if you were annoyed, encouraged and/or enraged about Jose’s comments after the QPR game then good, it means the atmosphere at The Bridge means as much to you as it does to me.
Shed End Atmosphere was started by a couple of people in The Shed Upper last year in an attempt to, overtime, bring back/evolve a better atmosphere and fan culture in The Shed. We started towards the end of last season by getting in touch with the club about our aims/visions and are now a group comprising of roughly 15-20 heavily involved Shed Upper Chelsea fans. We have made small but significant steps, and hopefully you are noticing the difference, even if it is just slightly.
The major visual impact we have had is bringing back and keeping the crowd surfing flag which made a brief appearance some years back around 2007. We are now waiting on a new, bigger and better flag for the Shed End which will hopefully appear some time soon. Some of you may say ‘what will a flag do for the atmosphere?’, but what it does do is get people involved and, with the new flag coming, we hope to add more to the routine of simple letting it go over our heads. Also, I would rather we have one than not, wouldn’t you?
We are also talking with the club about relaxing the rules on personal flags, at the moment fans are not allowed to bring their own flags in which are over a certain size on a pole (but are allowed ‘Selfie Sticks’!?) as well as a number of other match day related issues such as the sometimes over zealous stewarding regarding standing and the price of pre match beer. We have ongoing contact with the club who have been great with us so far and are genuinely interested/supportive of what we are looking to achieve in the long run so, any ideas we/you have, can be brought up and enquired about, at least on a basic level. So, what you will read a lot on here, the more involved the better.
We also have a lot of ideas and plans for the rest of the season (and beyond) which will all be geared towards improving the atmosphere over time. At the end of the day, this is not something which will happen overnight, it will be a slow burning process, but our growing group aren’t moving stand any time soon, and I assume the majority of you who sit in The Shed on a regular basis aren’t either, so let’s start thinking about and acting on ways to improve the atmosphere in OUR stand.
People can complain about ticket prices, number of tourists, all seating stands etc and they are right to a degree, but the fact of the matter is these are all things we can’t really start changing immediately. What we can do as a group of people who sit within a few yards of each other every other week is get hands on involved, get our heads together and all be on the same page, and, have fun bloody doing it!
If you sit in The Shed (preferably as a Season Ticket Holder or a Member who always looks to get their seat in the stand) and want to get involved please drop me an e-mail on firstname.lastname@example.org. The group are in constant touch with another in the build up to each home game and those who can make it on a match day all meet for a drink and a discussion. Everyone getting to know each other and recognising faces will also help make connections across the stand.
Things aren’t going to change unless we start to do something about it and it does not involve a massive effort from the individual, especially if there are larger numbers involved. All this requires is mass communication and all being on the same page.
Please feel free to contact us about anything you have in mind be it a question, complaint, idea etc. Just please keep it constructive as I am happy to discuss anything in a civilised manner.