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Stadium manager John Ball says the loss of seats from the Bobby Moore stand next season is to allow rebuilding work at Upton Park to continue successfully.

With plans continuing to develop the last of the four stands, and indeed the corners, plus the need to meet the latest legislation, changes are inevitable, and John says:

"It has to be done because of something called 'C' values; there are requirements under legislation to allow an uninterrupted view from all seats within the stadium.

"That comes from the Football Licensing Authority, and with our new development and the movement of the pitch, it means if it stayed at its current level there would be some seats that would not meet the requirements of the FLA.

"So by raising the pitch level it enhances the view and makes it better from each of the seats and enables us to comply with the legislation - otherwise we would have some seats that would not be licensed.

"The pitch was concave before but the hump in the middle has gone since we relaid the pitch three years ago.

"But the pitch does, in fact tilt towards the south end and when we raise the pitch we are going to take the opportunity to raise it from north to south so we will have a totally flat pitch in advance of when we redevelop the east stand.

"It will be slightly out of synch until that is done but we have to do that at this stage because of the C values and the sight lines, but it is something we have to do now to conform with legislation.

"Once the pitch is raised we are going to lose some seats in the Bobby Moore stand because of the sight lines but we have had to sacrifice those seats to ensure that the vast majority of seats have the best view, and then when we redevelop the east stand and wrap around the corners it will be a better view for a 40,000 plus capacity.

"There will be a similar gap on the east side to that which is on the west side this season; it is an inevitable process of redeveloping the stadium.

"We were able to increase the capacity because were able to develop on the school land to the west side of the stadium, and that enabled us to eventually free up enough space on the east side to build a two tier one.

"At the moment there is limited space on the east side to build but by moving the pitch over we free up enough land to enable the architects to design a two tier stand and maximise the numbers."

As regards ticketing arrangements for those who currently occupy seats that will have to be removed, ticket office manager Steve Kitcher says:

"Many supporters have commented on the position of the seats offered to them within the Bobby Moore lower tier, but it must be stressed that these seats have only been offered as a starting point; as our letter to those concerned stated, anyone dissatisfied certainly has the right to request a move.

 "We clearly wouldn't expect anyone to take a seat they weren't happy with.

"The main stumbling block was that to find a seat within the Bobby Moore lower tier you can only actually offer a seat that has been unsold as a season ticket this current season, and with the movement of the pitch and the subsequent moving along of season ticket holders the seats available have been in the section towards the east stand - it was physically impossible to offer a seat in a similar position within the same stand.

"Taking these Bobby Moore lower tier seats out of the equation we have a further 2,500 Band 4 seats available, with the total number of season ticket holders affected by the loss of the five rows being 490.

"The additional Band 4 seats are situated in the Dr Martens lower tier, Centenary lower, and in the extension of the upper tier of the family seating area, all offering a view equal, and in many cases, actually better.

"As the letter states, those fans that can visit the ground on Saturday are welcome, and anyone travelling to Newcastle only needs to arrange an alternative date with the ticket office.

"Fans will be able to view the different areas, and temporary goals will be in the new position so that an accurate perspective of the view offered from that particular seat next year can be obtained.

"Obviously the situation has unavoidably arisen and unfortunately it has meant a great deal of distruption for all involved, especially those supporters affected, but I am confident the matter can be resolved to everyone's satisfaction."