Boro fans told to sit down, shut up by club

Middlesbrough fans, who have had to endure eight hours of goalless league action from Gareth Southgate's side, have been left flabbergasted by a request to stop standing up and making noise at the Riverside Stadium.

Boro supporters, who have seen their side sink to second-bottom in the Premier League following 14 winless games, last saw their team score at home against Sunderland in a 1-1 draw on January 10.

And they have now been given further reason to feel aggrieved after being handed letters ordering them to reduce the racket inside the ground, and to only make a noise when the team finds the back of the net. The note, from safety officer Sue Watson, read: “I am receiving more and more complaints from our own fans about both the persistent standing and the constant banging and noise coming from the back of this stand. “Please stop. Make as much noise as you like when we score, but this constant noise is driving some fans mad.” Cheering only when the Teesside outfit scores would have made the 35,100 capacity Riverside Stadium an eerie place this season had the rule been applied from August, with Boro's current league tally of just 18 goals - 10 at home - making them the lowest scorers in the top five tiers of English football. However, Boro’s chief operating officer, Neil Bausor was keen to play down the abruptness of the note, saying the club still “encourage passionate and noisy support.” “We understand the strength of feeling on this issue and we accept the letter could easily have been misunderstood," he said. "We apologise to any supporters who have therefore been understandably annoyed.”

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