Date: 25th October 2018
Time for a pint?
Is it time to take us out of the dark ages? What does it say about Scotland that we are the only country that is hosting 2020 Euros that you can’t buy a beer at the game? When asked in National Surveys the answer from supporters is pretty consistent with over 80% of fans wanting some sort of reform that will allow us to be treated differently.
Every time this issue is debated we hear about the debacle at Hampden Park in 1980. Of course it was a terrible event but was as much about deep rooted sectarianism (this was during the Troubles in Northern Ireland) as it was about alcohol. Times have of course moved on and the football demographic has changed considerably. If you look at the images from any match in the 1980’s there was only a smattering of females in the audience and certainly virtually no families. Now every club has growing family sections, activities rooted in the communities they serve and as we know around 8% of the whole audience is now female. Should they be deprived of having a glass of wine or a fancy fruit cider at the football because of what happened in 1980 or because there is a tiny percentage of people who can’t control themselves? Should the clubs be deprived of this potential revenue stream?
In the various discussions around this is the fact that fans hate being discriminated against. In this regard we know that rugby is completely different to football, but why not give supporters a chance to have their say on this. A simple solution is that clubs use an occasional license for games and for games that are regarded as high risk such as Celtic v Rangers the clubs don’t apply as they know it will be rejected. Given the success of being able to have a beer before a game and at half time at stadiums in England, who have had a far worse fan behaviour record than here in Scotland, we really should be looking at this issue again.
The SFSA will look at this further in our forthcoming members survey.
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