Sunday 15 December 2019

Theatre of screams: Old Trafford tops Premier League noise levels

Some may associate Old Trafford more with prawn sandwich eaters than hearty singers, but this weekend's Premier League action appears to show that those inside Manchester United's stadium know how to belt out a song better than most.

In the wake of Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho saying he felt his side had been "playing in an empty stadium" last weekend, debate has raged about possible reasons behind any crowd apathy.

Ticket prices have been put forward as mitigation, as have all-seater stadiums and a growing number of day-trippers to grounds.

In a bid to try and see if Mourinho's words were true of other Premier League grounds, Press Association Sport armed its reporters with a the 'Sound Meter' smartphone application which would attempt to record decibel levels at this weekend's games.

While this level of research can in no way be considered scientific and is nothing more than a rough guide, it does indicate that United and Crystal Palace fans made more of a din than any others by as many as six decibels, although for balance there were 30,000 more fans there than anywhere else.

In the interests of fairness, all samples were taken from kick-off to the 60-second mark, the highest recorded point has been used and, as no goals were scored in this period, the decibel levels can be considered to have been generated in similar circumstances.

The recordings will be repeated at the next round of Premier League games in order to gather readings from every ground.

Here are the results, with accompanying reference points from our reporters.

Manchester United v Crystal Palace, Old Trafford (Attendance 75,325)

Decibel level (out of 120) 84: "It was loud inside Old Trafford at the time, with plenty of the noise also coming from the Palace fans" - Paul Hirst, chief football reporter

Southampton v Leicester (31,297)

Decibel level 78: "The opening minute did not drop below 72 and peaked at 78, even though nothing notable happened" - Simon Peach

Sunderland v Everton (43,476)

Decibel Level 78: "Sunderland won a corner after 35 seconds and Connor Wickham headed over at the end of the minute" - Damian Spellman

Tottenham v Stoke (35,699)

Decibel Level 78: "Nothing happened, just a normal opening minute" - Tom Allnutt

West Brom v Newcastle (26,476)

Decibel Level 78: "There was a high of 78 even though there was nothing for the fans to get excited about" - Nick Mashiter

Liverpool v Chelsea (44,698)

Decibel Level 77: "The level rarely dipped, with main action being Emre Can having a shot deflected wide" - Carl Markham

Swansea v Arsenal (20,812)

Decibel Level 76: "There was nothing of note other than possession changing hands a couple of times" - Phil Blanche

QPR v Man City (18,005)

Decibel Level 76: "There was nothing of note in the opening minute, unlike later in the game" - Mark Bryans

Burnley v Hull (16,998)

Decibel Level 74: "Burnley had a chance in the first minute with Danny Ings shooting over" - Phil Medlicott

West Ham v Aston Villa (34,857)

Decibel Level 74: "There was absolutely nothing report inside an opening minute" - Jim van Wijk

Online Editors

The Left Wing: John Cooney on Ulster's European run and bouncing back from World Cup disappointment

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport