10 Apr 2013

'I'd be appalled' - Aldo slams 'embarrassing' Man Utd plan. Is LFC much better...?

Liverpool legend John Aldridge has slated Manchester United over their plan to employ an 'acoustics expert' to solve Old Trafford's issue with quiet crowds on match days.

A Man United source told the Manchester Evening News:

"There were supporters in the Stretford End who thought they had made a lot of noise only for friends in different parts of the ground to say they couldn’t hear them"

In his column for the Liverpool Echo yesterday, Aldo scathed:

"If I was a United fan then I would be appalled and embarrassed. There’s over 75,000 fans in there every game and they can’t make enough noise?

"I’d be embarrassed if we [Liverpool] had to call in an ‘atmosphere expert’ like Man United"

This is not the first time United have attempted to address the decibel problem at Old Trafford. In 2012, fans' groups called for a dedicated 'singing section' at the ground, part of which would involve away fans being moved to the third tier of the 'Alex Ferguson Stand' in a bid to improve ‘the number, range and quality of seats’ available to home fans and introduce a ‘singing section’.

The club trialled the idea during a Premier League clash with Aston Villa in April 2012, but Manchester Police stuck the knife into the idea after a feasibility study, which claimed that moving away fans to facilitate the so-called 'singing section' could conceivably cause 'panic' amongst fans.

In 2011, a study by Fan Chants compared the decibel levels of all 20 Premier League clubs, and guess which club had the loudest fans? Yep, Liverpool, with an average level of 97 decibels. Having said that, United were second with 94 decibels, so if they need an acoustic engineer to improve on that, where does that leave the Reds?

A 3-decibel differential is nothing to write home about, and although it is indeed embarrassing to call in an 'acoustic engineer', anyone who's been to Anfield over the last few years will concede that the atmosphere is often disappointing, especially against the so-called 'lesser teams'. On the veracity of the study, Michael Dennis - Fan Chants' managing director - explained:

"While this survey is not scientific, we have taken a series of measurements on the terraces of each club's home ground and averaged this out across games and the season"

Study results:

1. Liverpool 97 decibels
2. Man Utd 94
3. Aston Villa 89
4. Everton 86
5. Blackpool 85
6. Stoke 83
7. Newcastle 82
8. West Ham 81
9. Chelsea 80
10. Sunderland 80
11. Arsenal 77
12. Wigan 72
13. Man City 71
14. Tottenham 70
15. Blackburn 67
16. Birmingham 70
17. Bolton 69
18. Wolves 6
19. West Brom 67
20. Fulham 65

NOTE: Please stick to the Comment Policy (Click to read)


  1. Lol, that is funny.

    To busy eating prawn sandwiches to make noise :-P

  2. 3 decibels more when there is 30000 more people is quite a difference.

  3. A 3 decibel advantage means we are twice as loud as man utd!

  4. 3 Decibels is quite a bit louder. Enough to damage your hearing anyway. The difference is Old Trafford tends to go so quiet at points in the games that you can almost hear the supporters talking and considering the all the trophies they have won if they can't find something to sing about it is pretty embarrassing. In comparison, Liverpool have won a handful of trophies in the past 20 years and are still the loudest.
    It is important we get back to winning ways because as you mention there are disappointing moments, however it's up to the team to give the fans something to sing about!

  5. not enough to write home about? when you have 30000 less fans in the stadium then it is!

  6. If Liverpool were running away with the premier league like United currently are it would be a LOT more than 3 decibels believe you me!

  7. the only time i've ever heard the OT be considerably loud was when they recently played real madrid.

  8. I have to say though, when watching on tv, anfield is embarrsingly quiet against crap teams at times. hopefully 100000 at the MCG in melbourne will be incredible.

  9. Any engineer will tell you that there is actually a basis for the argument of Old Traffords noise levels being dampened by the design of the stands. Wembley stadium had similar problems and did a similar investigation. The new Aviva Stadium in Ireland has often been noted as having a poor atmosphere, even when full. And one thing is for sure, the Irish fans are not quiet.
    Of course this is all basically science....something a thick bully like Aldridge would never understand.

  10. i think a really good place to go to for atmosphere without getting stabbed would be a dortmund game

  11. Smaller stadium, less distance for the sound to travel.

  12. Dortmund would be incredible! Imagine what LFC could do with a stadium like that.

  13. at least it sounds twice as loud...

  14. Well if I made the 20 hour + trip to Anfield I'd sing my heart out. But I can't blame kop regulars or any fan for not making noise when we are 0-0 or maybe 0-1 against a lesser team who we should really be pumping 4 or 5-0.

    YNWA is always good, but in any match and stadium the crowd is always gonna die down at some point.

  15. the stadium has standing room, so keep imagining ;)

  16. true, the only thing that keeps those euro ultras going in greece and whatever is flares, fireworks and loud banging on hollow walls.

  17. The way they illuminated one of the stands at Dortmund last night was brilliant as well as how a section of the yellow wall disappeared to display a shape of the CL trophy


  18. jaimie are things drying up to write about i could swear this story is over a week old not like you to just put anything up

  19. what the hell was with the binoculars man figure? what the hell was that? a big banner?

  20. I don't know if this is true of Old Trafford, but I'm definitely familiar with this idea. I was very concerned about how a new Anfield (not going to happen now, I suppose) would measure up in this regard, and prayed it was a consideration.

    Certain grounds like La Bombonera and the Stade de Velodrome seem to foster atmosphere. It surprises me with both (from a layman's perspective) since both grounds seem so open, giving the sound the chance to just escape upwards, rather than resonate around the ground.

  21. If you go by IOSH (health and safety geek speak now!) a difference from 94dBA to 97dBA will cut your work exposure in half from approximately 1 hr daily exposure to 0.5 hr exposure. This effectively means Liverpool fans have the ability to do damage to your hearing in half the time Man Utd fans can. Considering that there is significantly less fans (Almost half) doing double the damage, then simply each Liverpool fan has the singing ability of 4 Man Utd fans. What does this mean? attending Liverpool games can seriously effect your hearing, especially considering your daily noise levels for 97dBA is only 30 minutes in total for the day and a match last 90 minutes. Saying that, this season we have only probably got a max of 10 min exposure at these sorts of levels at Anfield due to us not being the force we hoped, maybe we will have a hope of damaging our hearing next year!!!!

  22. It was Jurgen Klopp, the manager of Dortmund. He is a notorious and celebrated creep.

  23. I think with the gentrification of the football fan, Anfield has lost some of its atmosphere. The game against Zenit reminded us how good it can be on a European night, but for team outside the top 8, the atmosphere can be piss poor at times.
    It is the negative flip side of being a global brand. You get a lot of folk who just want to come and enjoy the experience quietly, which they're perfectly entitled to do.
    One problem is that the people who tend to make the best atmosphere are the lunatics, full of passionate intensity, but you obviously don't want the aggro that comes with them.
    Personally, I look at the system in Germany, Dortmund being an example, and I think it is fantastic. Great atmosphere, but why? Cheap tickets for young lads (I believe a certain percentage of the tickets on sale have to be below a set price) and safe standing. I know standing is an emotional issue. I'm a Scouser, I get it. I just think if we can get it like they have in Germany, it'll help bring back some of that magic. I don't really know enough about how well it works and its efficacy to argue for it passionately, but it has to be considered.
    You look at the state investment in German football and it shames British football. Germany isn't a footballing utopia, which gets everything right, but you have to admire the state's appreciation of the game and understanding of its social importance. Our failure to follow suit is just one of the negative traits of Thatcher's legacy.

  24. 3D projection banner apparently or something like that

  25. ..what kind of creep?

  26. I think this is interesting, nothing wrong with a bit of variation! also it gives us one thing to smile about :) it might be old but i hadnt seen it before so better late than never.

  27. I think a large majority of their fan base are not from Manchester, arguably making them less passionate. a lot of tourists go to old trafford for the experience who arent die hard fans.

  28. Hooliganism is on the rise over there, although I'm not sure how bad it is but like you basically say, it is still a system that we can learn a lot from. Even beyond the stadium-related stuff, the work they have put in at youth football level has been brilliant. It is shameful the number of qualified coaches we have in England compared to some of the other countries. The stakeholders, in collaboration, in the German game stepped up to the plate to improve things over there, I don't hold out much hope the stakeholders in the English game stepping up to the plate as much as their German counterparts. Yep, the English FA have started doings but I don't trust it to be at a good enough rate of progression. They were much better off using the money for Burton in regional areas, rather than one big centre.

    There seems to be genuine collaboration over there in Germany between the stakeholders. I don't think the same could be said here, at least not to the same extent or in the areas/issues that truly matter, in relation to the English game.

    Anyhoo, I'm going off-course, so I'll get off the pulpit! ;)

  29. Bit cheesy but definitely appreciate the effort

  30. You saw him there in the crowd. THAT kind of creep.
    Here is a popular German nursery rhyme about Dortmund's manager:

    He be creepin' in the bushes.
    He be creepin' in the stands.
    He be creepin' with binoculars.
    So fear Klopp's famous roaming hands.

  31. Actually he's absolutely correct:

    A change in power ratio by a factor of 10 is a 10 dB change. A change in power ratio by a factor of two is approximately a 3 dB change.


  32. Aldo may be forgetting that this is exactly what Liverpool did when they installed the seats in The Kop in '94

  33. the referees would welcome a louder ot so they couldn"t hear that fu"ckin old drunk complaning about added time etc fuck"n purple nosed gobsh"te

  34. Flares are awesome (but dangerous). Been to a few matches with flares and they are heaps fun, as long as they dont interrupt play

  35. I seem to remember Jamie you saying that you don't go to home games. The study says Liverpool is the loudest-why argue that we have poor atmosphere?

  36. the flare they set off after sturridge scored at OT looked awesome

  37. He's saying man utd fans who go to the games should be ashamed of themselves

  38. I must admit as a coach the FA did recognise a few years back the lack of coaches and standards over here compared to our European counterparts - and Trevor brooking filtered down wholesale changes to the previous methods with the focus on a more holistic approach encorporating more technical as well as mental training. We need more kids over here loving football over ps3! And more high quality coaches - no disrespect but minimum should be level2 before coaching any team over here - but unfortunately we don't have that luxury

  39. Lol! Heard they're lining him up for a pilot of "Jurg'll fix it"

  40. Nice to hear from someone that has some direct exposure. I just worry that it is taking too long. I think the Germans made a collaborative commitment to overhaul youth development quite recently in 2002 and they are reaping massive rewards already. I don't think we can quite copy them as different circumstances (e.g. rules over ownership of clubs are different (49% is the max for a single entity), etc). But still, execution is key, regardless of whatever approach. We had a thing here set up in 2009 called 'Professional Game Youth Development Group' and that got dismantled within a year! A study says that between 10 and 18, a 'elite athlete' should be getting over 10000 hours of training but in the English academy system, kids in that range only get under 3000 hours or at least until recent years. The problem seems to me that the FA don't have enough to money to really improve things to a good few levels quickly like the Germans, so the clubs and the leagues have to step up to the plate but it seems some of these clubs want to be left alone to do what they think is best, rather than a unified approach like in Germany. I think seems to be improving, in relation to co-operation between clubs and FA in relation to grass roots but it is slow progress. Just hope Brooking, Howard Wilkinson & Co keep on putting up a fight. Wilkinson has been knocking on doors in relation to youth development for well over a decade. What do you think of the idea/potential impact of the National Football Centre in Burton?

  41. It depends what the roof is made from as to whether it is resonant or not. In order to reflect soound, you need fairly unresonant material, such as concrete. Roofs tend to be relatively flimsy, so they have a tendancy to absorb and dampen sound, especially the cantilever style roof that modern stadia have.

    Also, sound doesn't travel in a direct path, it radiates, so if/when you get reflections coming back in the direction from where the sound originated, you can get phase cancellation depending on the distance the reflective surface is away from the source, which is why no roof can actually be louder than having a roof.
    Of course, there's also frequency filtering and absorption by the large crowd dependant on the angle of the stands, where the pitch is relative to the sound source......

    I doubt Aldridge has two O levels to rub together, so I'll forgive his ignorance.

  42. to undertake a noise experiment properly they would require the ability to assess how much noise the players actually hear, not how much the crowd hears... therefore a sound level meter (small microphone) needs to be embedded in the centre spot during games to really get the true picture. measuring noise in the crowd is not a true reflection of what makes it to the players ears. interesting theory which i believe is true is:- if 40,000 people were shouting at the same time and say you measured 80decibels (dB) as a 90minute average in the middle of the pitch, then for you to measure 83dB you would need to double the crowd to 80,000, or people collectively need to shout 3dB louder. i think a 3dB increase is proportional to a doubling of source. i know this because 2 identical diesel generators measured together are 3dB louder than 1, and 4 diesel generators measured together are 3dB louder than 2 etc...

    why do none of the stories say who the acoustics 'expert' is? I hope its one of the big companies based in Manchester like Hann Tucker Associates etc. rather than some one man band who's a friend of a friend of a friend... this needs tackling properly!

    Come on you reds!