Ahead of Norwich’s crucial game with Sunderland, many fans have been appealing for On The Ball, City to be slowed down. We spoke to Jon Punt , one of the founders of the #slowdownOTBC campaign to find out a little more
What inspired you to start this campaign
A few of us were inspired after hearing the 1975 version of OTBC sung at Wembley by City fans for the League Cup final. I’d thought for some time a lot of the words were lost at the current pace, so we decided to try and do something in a non-serious way.
How do you believe that slowing down OTBC will help the atmosphere at Carrow Road
Slowing down OTBC might just give a few more people a proper chance to join in. The more people that get involved, the better the atmosphere. That and a sense of tradition and connection to the roots of the club.
In your opinion, is there a correlation between fans creating a good atmosphere and a team’s performance?
It’s a two-way street, often we need the players to give us something to shout about, but we can clearly help. A bit of a chicken and egg scenario.
The club will be playing the original version of OTBC before Saturday’s game, do you think this shows they are becoming more willing to listen to the demands of fans?
I think the club are definitely trying to improve the atmosphere and the 1959 piano version played before kick off for the Newcastle game went down well. Lots of people may never have heard it before and it’s wonderful to give people a chance to connect with the history and culture of our fine football club.
Would you support a singing section at Carrow Road
I think we have them already to be honest if you want to sing you sit in the Barclay lower or Snake Pit
Do you feel that clappers, bags etc. are gimmicks, or are they good for atmosphere?
It’s a controversial subject, some mock the clap banners but in reality, it gave a lot of people who don’t usually sing an opportunity to generate noise. To that end, I think they’re ok but only really offer a short term fix to a much wider issue, there’s plenty of work to be done to improve in-game atmosphere. The plastic bags clearly failed, but it demonstrated we were trying and that can only be a good thing. Today’s clap banner has a personal message from Timm Klose, I think that’s brilliant and conveys how important a role the fans could play.
If we stay up, can slowing down OTBC claim as much credit as Timm Klose for our survival?
Slowing down OTBC is a non-serious debate, it’s much more important for fans to get involved and sing, however, they choose to do so. Any edge we can give the players by creating an intimidating environment for the opposition and backing our boys is great, but it will only make so much difference. Ultimately it’s the players who need to stay calm and produce the level of performance we know they can.
Thanks very much to Jon for speaking to us!