Sunderland confirm away supporters to stay in upper North Stand
Written by Andrew Beharie on 2nd March 2023
Sunderland AFC have confirmed that visiting supporters are to remain situated in the North Stand Upper following an extensive review.
The statement comes amid calls for travelling fans to be moved to the lower sections of the stadium due to concerns of safety and atmosphere.
Numerous incidents of objects thrown by away supporters into the home end have been reported, with Burnley offering their apologies after a vape was thrown by an away fan, striking a child.
In a club statement, Sunderland have said: “Sunderland AFC today confirms that visiting supporters will continue to be situated in the North Stand Upper at the Stadium of Light.
“The Club has conducted an extensive review to identify the most suitable long-term location for away fans, during which it frequently consulted with local authorities in addition to meeting with the Supporters’ Collective on several occasions.
“All parties unanimously agreed throughout the process that the safety of all supporters attending fixtures at the Stadium of Light is of paramount importance and this was ultimately the determining factor behind the decision taken.”
The decision has led to mixed reactions from supporters.
Former season ticket holder Bob Taylor said: “It’s the same as other grounds around the world, so why should away fans have prime seats? Away fans have always been put in the worst part of the ground.”
Season ticket holder Harry Tupling said: “I don’t mind where they are in the ground, although the atmosphere isn’t as good when they’re in the upper tiers.
“I understand that it keeps them out of the way but it needs improved to stop people throwing items into the lower tier.”
The club made the decision to move the away end from the South Stand – now the Roker End – to the upper tier of the North Stand ahead of the 2012-13 season.
The club claimed at the time that the decision would improve the atmosphere around the ground, but the decision has since been questioned, with the atmosphere widely regarded to have detracted since the away end is now so far away from the pitch.