Where's Our Famous Atmosphere?

By Jim Bonner
Last updated : 10 November 2013

Editor's note: When he's not being a "loyalist bastard", Carl Paddon is a Pompey season ticket holder and avid supporter of the club. The following words are his, not mine!

I've felt compelled to write a blog about our atmosphere as there seems to be some sort of power struggle, especially at Fratton Park. There are a lot of people dictating what can and cannot be sung, I'd be the first to say "you can't tell me what to sing" but our atmosphere has been somewhat lacking over the past couple of years.
 
One thing for sure is that in order to be loud and proud we need to be singing of the same hymn sheet (no pun intended), this is more to say that unity is needed. You have just go to look at places like Dortmund where there is unity in abundance when they support their team home and away. When you look at Dortmund the encouragement comes from the top when you look at the philosophy of their President Reinhard Rauball and their manager Jurgen Klopp, they're encouraged to enjoy themselves in the ground.
 
At Fratton Park they're more concerned with taking tops from your bottles or getting products delivered to your seat. We've also got a stadium manager who's on record as saying "he hates football fans and wants to make their lives hell" and unfortunately this attitude is more than likely share throughout those policing football in the UK.
 
For me, matchday experience is about atmosphere! It's about creating as much noise as possible and looking around me and seeing everyone else enjoying themselves by singing, clapping and anything else we can do to create that atmosphere. As I've said, this bouncing atmosphere has been severely lacking recently and although we can blame "crowd dictators" and stadium management, we've also got to look at ourselves. 
 
What about this power struggle - if it is indeed a power struggle? Jesus, where do you start with this!?

This could be a touchy subject for some people but the first subject I'm going to talk about are the drums. Coming from Belfast I'm used to drums being played properly and being played in tune. I'm not going to be one of the ones calling for the drums to be banned but think their use needs to be relevant, not just played for the sake of it because they can add to the atmosphere. However, as much as the drums can add to the atmosphere, they can also drown out attempts of songs being sung that don't need the addition of a droning drum beat.

On the other hand, I don't see the need for so much hate towards this 'Palace song', I don't see the need for fans to boo other fans for trying add a new song to those that are usually sung. If I'm honest, I'm not a great love of the song but I wouldn't boo it. I didn't go along with it because of its association with Celtic but this isn't about any other team but Pompey.
 
If other people refuse to sing songs that don't fall into their preferred choice then there's only one thing that this affects and that's the overall atmosphere in Fratton Park. With this in mind, against Exeter I found myself singing along to a song that was made famous by that very same team in Glasgow.
 
I know the irony and also the hypocrisy of my actions but as I said this has to be about Pompey and no one else. There was that Defoe song that caused a bit of a stir and with the inclusion of "AIDS" you can understand why. As long as the songs aren't homophobic, racist and include religion that has no relevance to Pompey then I can’t really see much problem with whatever song gets sung at Fratton Park.

This is my fourth or fifth attempt of writing this blog and I wish I had submitted it before going to Stevenage but because I didn't I now feel I have to include what I witnessed and heard there. 
 
"Fuck the Pope and the IRA!" 
 
That's right, that was being sung by John "Portsmouth Football Club" Westwood. Now don't get me wrong and as I've stated we should be free to sing what we can in order to create an atmosphere but what relevance has this got to Pompey? What relevance has this got about Stevenage?
 
This is the second time I've heard this, the first was away at Walsall last season but I don't know who was responsible for singing it then. This put me in an awkward position because you don't know who is around you at football.
 
There was an Irish man in front of me, who was spitting feathers calling Westwood a "Loyalist Bastard". He was getting quite agitated and continued to say "Loyalist Bastard" so I started to feel a little uncomfortable because those of you know that know me, know I come from Loyalist Belfast and am extremely proud of my roots. I could be excused for joining in with Westwood as I've had close friends murdered in the troubles but don't think it's necessary to sing these types of songs as it's got nothing to do with Pompey.
 
Saying that, I was close to telling this guy to pipe down a bit but ultimately it had nothing to do with me, this what happens when you add religion to equation. I'm all for freedom of speech and am far from being part of the "PC brigade" but we could be treading on thin ice with a lot of people if religion is going to be thrown into the mix. 
 
My solution: I am more than happy to stand shoulder to shoulder with anyone who wants to create an atmosphere at Fratton Park. I think it's too late for this season but if we could get a group of fans, say about 30-50 of us in the Fratton End and regardless of who those people are, regardless of what has gone on between these people I truly believe we can get the place rocking again.
 
When someone comes up with an idea we have a big group of people who can get it going rather than a handful of people. I also feel that this can also inspire creativity where people can come up with new songs. I don't know if these are the answers but I do know that something needs to happen or we will just become one of those soulless clubs that has nothing else to offer.

Portsmouth Match Reports

Sky Bet League One Sat 11th November 15:00

Blackpool 2 - 3 Portsmouth

Last game - Match Centre


Trending on the boards