Last night I experienced my third Premier League ‘light show’ – where the floodlights are flashed on and off to music – at AFC Bournemouth. I didn’t think they could make me any angrier, but I was wrong.
I knew the Cherries had put on ‘light shows’ in the past so I emailed and tweeted the club before I travelled to the game. It only took them nine hours to come back to me with this pretty insulting response: “With this being an evening game we will be doing our floodlight sparkle before the match. The light is more of a twinkle rather than light flashes.
“We completely understand if you would prefer not to be in the stand whilst it is going on, and you would be more than welcome to remain in the concourse whilst it is going on.”
I’m surprised they didn’t suggest I might like spend my money on their overpriced, low quality food while I waited. And for your information Bournemouth that was flashing, using non-threatening words like ‘twinkle’ and ‘sparkle’ does not make it acceptable.
But worse than their response, was the lack of warning in the stadium, there was no notice on the big screen or announcement made over the speaker system. Maybe the home fans are used to these ‘light shows’ now, but us away supporters aren’t psychic. As far as I am concerned a warning needs to be given at the time of purchase – or written on the match ticket.
Luckily I was able to warn the other Palace epilepsy warrior I know and he put his jacket over his head for the duration – but why should we have to do this – we paid the same amount for our match ticket?
From what was said by the stadium announcer, Bournemouth consider the ‘light shows’ a way of building the atmosphere for the start match. My suggestion to them, and to every other club, is get an anthem, give your fans a drum, employ some cheerleaders, put the words to your chants on the big screen so everyone can join in – do NOT flash lights at thousands of people knowing full well you could hurt some of them.
I can’t think of many places worse than a football stand to have a seizure: lots of concrete to fall onto, plenty of seats to hit, hundreds of people around to stare at you.
And it’s not just the supporters that could be affected, what about the players and officials – yes professional players have been known to suffer from epilepsy just ask Cambridge United’s Leon Legge and Scunthorpe United’s Matt Crooks – what about the club’s staff, local residents, and the millions of people watching the game at home?
What is it going to take to make football clubs rethink this ludicrous idea – someone dying of a seizure?