NEW STAND RAISES CONCERNS ON THE TERRACES (Monday 20th August 2001)
New away end open for business Wycombe's new 2,000 capacity all-seater 'away-end' opened for business for the first time on Saturday. The new structure, which cost in the region of 380,000, was partly funded by a 75% grant from the Football Foundation and the Club are hoping that their part in the investment will be paid back through the extra away fans that can now be accomodated.

However, there are fears from fans on the terraces that it could signal plans to make Adams Park an all-seater venue. Club Press Officer Alan Hutchinson commented on 1170am Blues News"It's a far better view than our fans get down at the other end. So that's something we will have to address for the future no doubt" Manager Lawrie Sanchez also hinted in the Bucks Free Press the he would have preferred home fans in the larger stand. "Acoustically the stand is going to be very good. It will be an advantage to the away teams."

Despite the increase in capacity of the away end, the overall capacity of Adams Park has been kept to 10,000. This has been achieved by losing the potential 503 standing places in front of the old Main Stand and reducing the allowable capacity of The Valley End terrace from 2,198 to 1,717. However, the 10,000 figure could be increased according to Associate Director John Goldsworthy. If Wycombe gained promotion to Division One they would have three complete seasons playing at that level or higher before having to make the stadium all-seater under current legislation. Goldsworthy, who has been overseeing the new construction, said "This should not present a serious problem, as the home terracing is capable of having seats installed once the crash barriers are removed, and we already have the pattern to extend the stand as a replica of the newly developed Roger Vere Stand, which may mean that we have to seek dispensation for the maximum capacity of the stadium to be increased by 283."

Wanderers have sold a record 1,000 plus terrace season tickets this season out of a total of around 3,350 and it's those regular terrace goers who are worried that their favourite spot will be eaten up by seating. Chairboys on the Net gauged the reaction on terraces by asking a few Valley Enders what they thought.
A first time season-ticket holder told COTN "Like many fans I enjoy standing at football, and would seriously resent being forced to sit down. The atmosphere on the terrace is much better, and if you get stuck next to some moany idiot or some annoying kids you can go and stand somewhere else. The terrace is also where most of the noise is generated, so if the club want a lively atmposphere they should keep it as it is."

Many fans have brought terrace season tickets for the first time since the early days in the Football League and one added "Making the Valley End all-seater would be a huge mistake - it would alienate many of the club's loudest and most loyal fans, including those who cannot afford to pay the increased prices, and it would make the home support even quieter than it is now. If the club ever decided to take this foolish step, I would resist it as strongly as possible and seriously think twice about renewing my season ticket."

"Seating the Valley End will be nothing short of a crime. I can't see many people being in favour of it and if you want to sit down you know where to go." commented a terrace fan who has yet to commit to buying a season ticket. "If people are worried about being outsung then there are 3,000 people in the Woodlands who could help out" chipped in a young fan.

A terrace season ticket holder of more than ten years added "Those on the terrace chose so not because the Woodlands is full but because they prefer to stand. It's a simple case of freedom of choice and one that I hope the powers to be take into account before ever considering removing our right to stand"



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