the home of cult football
It might be down to the fact that it's a new stadium built in the middle of nowhere, or an old one built in the middle of the roughest estate in Northern Europe, or one that's been built next to a sewerage treatment works. Or next to the world's coldest, windiest sea. Find out which make our top ten (and before anyone starts shouting, we're aware that Man City no longer play at Maine Road, but the old ground deserves a mention)...
There's only one problem with this ground's location, and it's a rather major one - it should be about 60 friggin miles away in Wimbledon. Damn those pesky franchises.
The home of East Fife in Methil. It's a newish ground (opened 1998) that incredibly has only one stand. The rest of the ground is just surrounded by a wall. A great idea for a stadium that stands right next to the Firth of Forth, meaning the cold easterly winds just lash in against the supporters in that stand. It's also overlooked by an old coal power station, almost giving the impression that the players are having a match in the car park. Methil itself suffers from major deprivation problems and isn't a pretty coastal town by any stretch of the imagination. It's also miles from the nearest railway line, so getting there is problematic for those without a car. The old ground, apparently, had a typically friendly and ramshackle small club feel to it, but the new ground is just a bunker.
Celtic Park is in a pretty scary part of Glasgow, although anyone arriving in the magnificent city centre will wonder what all the fuss is about. However, the journey from here takes you past all the squalor that the poorest areas of Glasgow have to offer. Urchins lurk on street corners swigging booze from the bottle. What's left of the shops are fortified like Northern Irish police stations in the 1970s. And unlike other Glasgow stadiums there isn't a nearby station to get you back into town. As for the local boozers, don't expect organic real ale or a white wine for the lady. Fantastic stadium though. And what an atmosphere.
London's answer to the above. But at least now there's an option for a relatively safe and easy, 'straight in and out' trip - travel by train and the visiting fan now has the luxury of a special bridge that leads from the platform to the away end. For those taking the tube expect an unnerving 20 minute walk from the nearest underground station. And for those who like to live life on the edge, try driving to it. And then try and find somewhere to park. Just remember to remove any sign of evidence that your car might be from anywhere but this part of South London.
And now for the Welsh version... The good news - there's a massive car park next to the ground and an even bigger one one near to the Leckwith Athletics Stadium. And there's also the Ninian Park Halt railway station about 2 minutes away. Sounds great. What's the problem ? Well basically, that it's in Cardiff. And some of those Cardiff boys don't like the English. Or even the rest of Wales for that matter. Even if you're parked only 2 minutes away or just have that short walk to the station, expect it to be eventful. Particularly if you follow a bigger team, or one with any sort of 'reputation'.
The Bescot was Walsall's replacement for the homely and tightly packed Fellows Park. It largely appears to be underneath an M6 flyover. Indeed, if you're stuck in a jam on that godforsaken section of British road engineering (and let's face it, if you're passing that junction then you're most likely stationary) then you can see into the ground. It's nowhere near the centre of the town, but there is a rather splendid selection of industrial parks and underused office space, instead of the pubs and houses near their former home. And apart from the infamous queues on that stretch of the M6, it's extremely handy for away fans. That's about the best gloss we can put on it.
See above. Another 'new' ground which is nowhere near the centre of town. Still, if you like eating at Frankie & Benny's or want to drink in the 'home fans only' chain pub nearby, it's great.
There's a lot to be impressed by in the new Manchester. Sadly the Moss Side area around City's glorious old Maine Road ground isn't part of it. Scally Central where a quid or two might just keep the local kids from pinching your hub caps. As for all those dodgy little alleyways around the ground - brown pants time.
It will soon be replaced by a brand new stadium, the fantastically named Cuckoo Farm (and no, we're not joking), but that won't alter the fact that it's easier to find Rory McGrath's grooming kit than it is Colchester. Unless you're travelling from London it involves taking the B14831269 for about 200 miles and then turning right at the old oak tree. The ground is a lovably ramshackle affair in a decent part of town. But try getting there.
Ok, so we know the new stadium looks spectacular, and now appears to have more than 4 toilets, but it's still in a dog of a location. There are so many reasons why this folly, this delusion of grandeur should not have been built, especially for that price, but the location tops the list. It's bloody miles from any decent bits of London, even further to where we live, there's hardly any pubs or decent places to eat, and as for the parking... Dont even mention the parking.