Newcastle United have announced they will introduce ‘safe standing’ seats at St James’ Park for the coming 22/23 season.
The ‘rail seating’ will initially be added to the away supporters’ section, in the upper end of Leazes Terrace, as soon as this summer. The home section is set to see safe standing areas introduced by 2023, pending consultations.
The club explained the delay to home fans as avoiding disruption to season ticket holders’ seats.
The club announced that standing will still not be officially permitted on match days for now. However they said “the addition of rail seating will add an enhanced safety provision in an elevated part of the stadium”. This appears to aknowledge that despite standing being prohibited at games it is common. Safe standing areas are an attempt to reduce the risk from this.
The club will need to wait for an official licence for standing at St James’ Park before the areas can be fully utilised.
Safe standing will entail areas with rails and seats which are not locked in the seating position. This will enable supporters to stand and comfortably enjoy the game. Fans will be restricted to the area and seat their ticket is applicable for to ensure safety.
While the initial changes will come to the away supporters’ section, many fans on Twitter were excited at the prospect of standing in the famous Gallowgate End and Strawberry Corner.
Magpies’ fans have been positive about the new arrangements. The NUFC Supporters’ trust responded to the move: “Fantastic news. And great to see that the club will liaise with fans about a section for the home end. It’s long overdue, and we are so thankful to the club for supporting this.”
The announcement follows consultations with the Sports Ground Safety Authority. SGSA CEO Martyn Henderson described the return of standing as “an historic moment for football.”
Following a pilot scheme with some clubs, last week the government confirmed that safe standing at Premier League and Championship stadiums will be permitted next season.
Standing in terraces was removed from St James’ Park and grounds across the top two flights of English football following the Hillsborough disaster. Trials have suggested that modern safe standing areas will safely enhance the experience of matchgoers, however.
Newcastle Ready To Make Offers For Attacking Duo
According to 90min Football, Newcastle are ready to make offers for Lyon playmaker Lucas Paquetá and Marseille forward Bamba Dieng.
Eddie Howe is keen to add attacking reinforcement to his Newcastle squad before the end of the summer transfer window. The Magpies have so far bolstered their defensive options with the arrivals of Matt Target, Sven Botman and goalkeeper Nick Pope.
Newcastle have struggled to sign attacking players so far in the window with clubs and agents demanding higher fees due to the financial wealth behind the new ownership at St James’ Park.
Brazilian midfielder Lucas Paquetá is a name that has been linked with a move to Newcastle since the arrival of former teammate Bruno Guimarães in January.
The 24-year-old is reportedly available for a cut price of £34,000,000 but also has interest from Premier League rivals Arsenal.
Paquetá would complete a trio of Brazilians in midfield at Newcastle, adding to Joelinton and Bruno Guimarães. Paquetá is a different type of player to the formally mentioned pair as he is usually deployed as an advanced midfielder which, should he arrive, would complement The Toon’s midfield nicely.
On Saturday’s opening Premier League fixture against Nottingham Forest, that position was occupied by Joe Willock, who received a 6.95 rating from, WhoScored while, Joelinton and Bruno Guimarães received ratings of 8.69 and 8.18 respectively.
This season is a big season for the former Arsenal man, as he has so far struggled to rekindle his form from the 2020/2021 loan spell with the club since his permanent move.
Jonjo Shelvey faces at least 12 weeks out after undergoing hamstring surgery, meaning Eddie Howe is particularly light of options in the middle of the park.
Elliot Anderson will be staying with the first team after previously expecting to be heading out on loan this campaign. However, his performances in pre-season have impressed The Magpies’ manager.
The academy graduate was an unused sub on Saturday, but I’d suspect he will be utilised when Newcastle are needing a creative spark from midfield late in the game, which was not required on the weekend.
It’s clear that Eddie Howe is hoping to add an advanced midfielder before the window shuts on August 31st, with multiple bids rejected for Leicester City playmaker James Maddison.
Newcastle may go in for a third time for the former Norwich City man, but The Magpies’ hierarchy will be well aware of the FFP restrictions that may see them move for a more affordable target, such as Paquetá.
Marseille forward Bamba Dieng is the other player that Newcastle are set to bid for, who is reportedly available for £12,500,000.
Dieng had a breakthrough season with Marseille last year, scoring 7 goals in 25 games in Ligue 1. The 22-year-old is predominantly a centre-forward but can also play left and right-wing, which would give Newcastle some versatility in the forward positions.
West Ham, Leeds and Celtic are also interested in the Senegalese international, who will be hoping to feature in the World Cup later this year.
Newcastle have been linked with several forwards this summer, including Benjamin Šeško, who has recently joined RB Leipzig.
Eddie Howe will want another forward this summer due to the injury record of Callum Wilson, who, when fit is Newcastle’s first-choice striker.
Wilson got off to a great start to the new Premier League campaign with a clever chip to beat Dean Henderson in the Forest goal and help The Magpies to a 2-0 opening day win.
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Eddie Howe opens up on Anderson’s “big role this season”, transfers wishes and more
Newcastle boss Eddie Howe has told press that “we’re trying to bring an attacker in.” He also hinted that youngster Elliot Anderson will “have a big part to play this season” and previewed the opening fixture.
Eddie Howe spoke to NUFC TV in the lead up to the start of the new Premier League campaign.
Howe, who was appointed at Newcastle last November, spoke of settling into the area.
“It’s a massive difference having my family close to me. I’ve had a good summer in terms of getting to know the area better, spending more time here. I just feel ready to go and I feel Newcastle Manager now. It took a while to feel settled, not through anyone’s reaction.”
Although, Howe confessed he is yet to pick up any Geordie culture: “I’m so busy with my job and so intense in the role that i have very little time for getting into any local traditions. Hopefully that will change as time evolves.”
The former Bournemouth manager also addressed how the squad are progressing to implement his tactics and philosophy.
He emphasised the room for improvement, saying: “I think the players know what I want now. Knowing what you want and delivering it in the way that you want to is easier said than done. We’re at the highest level and we’re playing against very good teams who are also trying to implement their style on us.
“We’re always working to try and be perfect and we’ve got a long way to go before we get there. I do think we’re along the way now and the key thing is they understand what we want.”
He had praise for Miguel Almiron after an impressive pre-season. “He was a very important player for us last year. At the back end of the season he was terrific without getting the goals and the headlines his performances deserve.”
The winger scored six overall in pre-season, including a double against Benfica.
“Everyone knows Miggy is such a hard worker, such a team player. I’d love him to get some individual reward off the back of that with more goals.”
He also discussed the potential of Eliot Anderson, the young midfielder who impressed in pre-season: “he hasn’t looked out of place among established Premier League. He’s more than held his own. He’ll have a big part to play this season.”
On transfers, Howe was open: “we’re trying to bring an attacker in or someone who can play in forward positions.” After having missed out on a number of attacking targets, he seemed wary that “the transfer marker is so unpredictable.”
“I don’t think [the team] will look drastically different. We’re trying to bring in quality rather than numbers. We’ve got to be smart with what money we do have.”
Turning to Saturday’s fixture, Howe lauded Nottingham Forest. “I’ve been very impressed by Nottingham Forest. Last season the job Steve Cooper did was incredible.”
“After last year waiting so long for a win it would be great if we could make a really good start to this season.”
Transfer Latest: Leicester Reject £50,000,000 Bid From Newcastle For Midfield Star
According to The Guardian, Leicester City have rejected Newcastle’s improved offer of £45,000,000 plus £5,000,000 in add-ons for midfielder James Maddison.
The opening bid from The Magpies was in the region of £40,000,000 for the Leicester City playmaker, which was swiftly rejected. It’s understood that The Foxes value Maddison at around the £60,000,000 mark.
Leicester manager Brendon Rodgers said that the opening bid from The Magpies “might just cover three-quarters of his left leg”. Rodgers later stressed that his side will not be “exploited” by other Premier League clubs given their current financial situation.
Newcastle’s hierarchy are currently hesitant in meeting Leicester City’s valuation for Maddison as they don’t want to overpay for players due to FFP restrictions. The new owners have already spent around the £150,000,000 mark in less than 12 months.
The Foxes are set to lose goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel. He is close to joining French side Nice, with the deal expected to be completed in the coming days. Leicester are reportedly interested in signing Newcastle keeper Martin Dúbravka as Schmeichel’s replacement, meaning Dúbravka could potentially be used as a makeweight in the Maddison deal.
💰 Newcastle United have reportedly submitted a bid of £50m + add-ons for James Maddison.
— 𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐒𝐩𝐨𝐫𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐍𝐞𝐰𝐬 UK (@sportingnewsuk) August 1, 2022
The former Norwich City man is third for chances created in the Premier League since August 2018 with 278, just behind the division’s top creators Kevin De Bryune and Trent Alexander-Arnold.
It is clear that Eddie Howe is looking to add an attack-minded midfielder to his side with links to the likes of Lucas Paquetá since the start of the window.
Lyon midfielder Lucas Paquetá has been linked with a move to the North East since the arrival of Bruno Guimarães in January. Paquetá is a close friend to Guimarães as they both played together in midfield at Lyon. Guimarães has recently released a message on Instagram to his former teammate:
The message reads, “I miss you brother!!! I miss you every day I love you so much my friend @lucaspaqueta ❤️”
Lyon’s head of recruitment, Bruno Cheyrou, has not ruled out a sale for the Brazilian midfielder who is reportedly available for a fee in the region of £34,000,000 after previously being valued at almost double the price mentioned.
If the reports from the French media outlet Media Foot regarding the asking price are correct, Paquetá could provide The Toon with a cheaper alternative to Maddison which could be an appealing solution for the Newcastle hierarchy.
However, it’s believed that Arsenal are currently leading the race for the 24-year-old’s signature, but Paquetá could prefer a move to St James’ Park to be reunited with close friend Bruno Guimarães.
Burnley winger Maxwel Cornet is another name that has been recently linked with a move to the North East but face competition from Premier League rivals Everton, West Ham and new boys Nottingham Forest.
It has been revealed that Cornet has a £17,500,000 release clause in his current contract at The Clarets and is open to a move following their relegation to the Championship last season.
The 25-year-old is predominantly seen as a left-winger but can also play at left-back. Adding more quality to the forward positions is one of Eddie Howe’s priorities for the remainder of the window, as he is yet to sign a forward player.
Cornet was left out of Vincent Kompany’s squad for Burnley’s Championship opening fixture at Huddersfield Town on Friday night.
The Ivory Coast international could provide a more suitable option financially due to the £40,000,000 asking price for Leeds winger Jack Harrison, who has been previously linked with a move to The Toon.
Eddie Howe’s side have already seen a bid of £33,500,000 rejected by Leeds and are unwilling to pay over their valuation for the former Manchester City man.
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