If you have been lucky enough to witness a home game at the Macron Stadium in the past decade you will have noticed the dire state of the atmosphere. Some have even compared it to sitting in a library, or even the DW Stadium.
Bar the Boxing Day derby against Blackburn Rovers and the FA Cup Fourth Round Replay against Liverpool, any noise created during a game has been minimal at best. When we play on a Tuesday night or against a lesser supported team who haven't brought masses of away fans there simply isn't an atmosphere, something that a group of fans aim to change.
Although we boast the highest attendances amongst the SkyBet Championship's North West based clubs with an average of 15.411 people per match, we rarely sing. Over the years we have witnessed the demise of our ‘Crazy Corner', the stadium announcer has changed and ultimately the passion and noise produced during home games has fallen.
To combat this, a group of Bolton Wanderers supporters have been looking into ways they can boost the atmosphere at the Macron next season. The group share ideas via Facebook, and can be found by searching for 'Bolton Wanderers Chants To Put A Roar In The Macron'.
The group's aim is clearly stated and has been directly quoted from their Facebook page,
"We feel as fans that the club is slowly declining and something needs to be done as soon as possible. The attendees are falling and the atmosphere is like a morgue, I remember the years when the Reebok was rocking and away clubs feared coming because we always gave them a good game.
Now clubs just come and take control and we need to stop it. We know that we can't win every game but if we came together more as a club, then we can certainly help towards our main goal of reaching promotion to the premier league."
In an interview with LOVS this is what the founder, Arran Clements, had to say:
‘The group was founded on the 16th April 2015. I started off by sharing it on other forums and other Bolton Wanderers Supporter's Group pages. It quickly grew as I explained that as a fan I have seen the atmosphere dwindle over the past few months'
'Soon enough I was given the email address for Marc Iles (LOVpod with Marc can he found here) who thought that it was a great Idea and the day after speaking to me had done a write up on Bolton Evening News's website'
We then asked Arran about his thought process behind the formation of his Facebook group,
‘I set up the group firstly to speak to other fans about how they felt about the atmosphere and then how we are going to change it. I saw a couple of people propose that someone set a group up like this but didn't have the time to do it themselves. Therefore I decided it was worth a try.'
Ideas for improving the atmosphere include: having a singing section behind the goal in the West Stand Lower or in Block D adjacent to the away adjacent to the away fans, bringing back the drummer, introducing the ‘Burnden Whites', reintroducing the traditional video of past goals before the game, bouncing in the stands and changing the song we walk out to to name a few suggestions.
When questioned about his future plans for the group, Arran was of the belief that the club themselves would have to play a key role:
‘Over the next few months I will be hoping to meet with the club and find out what they can do for the fans.
But mainly we will be changing the atmosphere at the Macron.'
Arran will be joining Matt Holden and myself on Bolton FM tonight (Thursday 21st May) where we will conduct a live interview and discuss his group and their plans for the future.
He will be coming on Midweek Sport which is aired from 8-10pm on 96.5 Bolton FM, you can either tune in from a radio or even find their website by clicking this link and listen live online.
If you would like to ask either Arran, Matt or myself a question please leave it in the comments below or tweet it to me. We will be reading and discussing the best questions live on air.