Should Arsenal allow fans to drink alcohol in their seats or standing up?

Mikel Arteta on safe standing and alcohol allowed back into the Emirates: “I think any regulation that creates an atmosphere in the stadium and is safe for everyone can be encouraged. We have authorities and we have processes that have to determine that much better than us. We don’t see a lot of things that are happening in the background so, if it’s safe and it encourages the atmosphere in a different way and they all agree with it, I think that can be discussed.”

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Alcohol on the terraces? by Dan Smith

Tracey Crouch has revealed that part of a fan-led review of Football governance is asking for Fans to be able to drink alcohol in stadiums and at their seats during matches.

She has opposed a pilot scheme in League Two and the National League which will prove that being able to drink in view of the pitch is safer than the current policy, which forces supporters to consume alcohol in the concourse during the half time period, which in her opinion encourages binge drinking.

The MP was originally asked by the government in April to conduct research into ownership and the financial stability of all clubs in the football pyramid.

The divisions below the National League do not follow the UK’s 36-year ban on alcohol being drunk in the stands. Mrs Crouch suggests that supporters having more access to purchasing alcohol can improve a club’s revenue, crucial after Covid stripped sides of match day income.

The timing to debate this isn’t the best, so soon after Euro 2020 when hundreds showed up at Wembley without a ticket and tried to force their way into the stadium (many succeeding).

Security and policing were criticised that day. In what essentially was a home tournament, England showed that they still have a problem in this country when it comes to fans believing they can behave how they want in their bubble that is Football.

Is that problem a minority? Of course.

It’s still a problem though!

Increasing the possibility of that minority being under the influence of alcohol doesn’t seem smart.

Because when we say ‘it’s only the minority’ is that not an excuse?

In 2021 everyone should be able to go to a sporting event and expect to be safe. If one person got hurt, that’s one too many.

If one person damages property, that’s one too many.

If one person causes crowd trouble, that’s one too many.

I don’t see how alcohol being accessible reduces that threat?

Chief Constable Mark Roberts, the National Police Chiefs’ Council football policing lead, said: “Since the Euro 2020 final and the return of fans to stadiums we have seen concerning levels of disorder at matches.

“Sadly this builds on disorder witnessed over recent seasons. In particular we have seen assaults on stewards and hate crime and it would be irresponsible to fuel this by allowing greater alcohol consumption during games.

“We are seeing moves to unpick the measures implemented following the Taylor report which delivered a safer, more secure environment for all at football.

Let’s remember why in 1985 an alcohol ban was put in place.

It was because of Hooliganism within the British game which conspired to cause some serious tragedies. Including changes to venues and the protocols inside them, the UK has done a great job in making going to football a safer place than it was in the 80’s.

Why gamble when you don’t need to?

We know when football fans were allowed alcohol at their seats it contributed to anti-social behaviour. Since 1985, football hooliganism hasn’t been as prominent.

Only take a risk if the reward is worth it. Clubs making a few more quids aren’t worth the risk of crowd trouble at a match. Especially when you must trust a culture that still thinks that going to football means not following the same rules you do the rest of that week.

While it is in the minority, that mindset still exists.

That culture doesn’t exist when attending a Rugby, Cricket or Tennis game.

Those sports don’t have a history of hooliganism which embarrassed a country

Those sports are popular but don’t have the tribalism on the scale of Football.

Rugby and Cricket, fans will sit next to each other supporting opposing teams.

Tennis you might support one player but will still applaud if the alternative wins

Can you imagine home football fans sitting with away fans?

Those sports didn’t need dramatic legislation to make it a safer place for spectators.

Arrests are still more frequent at a Football match compared to any other sport in the Uk.

I make the same argument whenever the idea of trialling safe standing arises.

If it’s not broken why try and fix it?

If one person gets hurt by this, that’s one too many.

One person getting hurt isn’t worth clubs making a few more quid.

What do you think?

Dan Smith

Tags alcohol fans standing

29 Comments

  1. Mambo says:

    Same thing here in my part of Africa, rugby and cricket no problems, football (soccer for a better word 😂😂😂) on the other hand acts like the events there in England.

    I wonder why that is

  2. Mambo says:

    Do you think a minority that are uneducated have nothing else in the life, and they use this as a sorry excuse?

    Or does football, I mean soccer juat attract a certain kind of person?

    It would be interesting to research and find a possible explanation.

    Why cant they assign all ticket holders a code or stamp that only redeems a maximum of two drinks.

    There are ways to allow drinking in stands and mitigate the effects of excessive alcohol consumption.

  3. gotanidea says:

    Alcohol should’ve been banned in all sports stadiums. It’s against what sports promote and highly damaging to kidneys/ livers

    We could see the effect from the inappropriate actions of some Arsenal supporters on Aubameyang, after the NLD. They stood on top of his car and bang on it while drinking

    Alcohol addiction is as stupid as cigarette and drug addictions

    1. Dan kit says:

      TBF his cars are tacky AF
      Probably done him a favour in the long term .

      “ Alcohol addiction is as stupid as cigarette and drug addictions”

      I’m afraid that’s one’s personal choice ,I’m sure someone who enjoys a couple of pints or a glass of red wouldn’t want you calling them stupid .

      1. Pert Murdersacker says:

        He’s referring to addiction, not standard consumption. And he’s right, having lost friends and family to both alcohol and drug addictions (just as many others have) they are just as bad as each other, in fact it’s harder for alcoholics to quit due to the general acceptance and availability of alcohol in every day life. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a drink myself but let’s not pretend alcohol addiction isn’t a problem, especially when combined with sporting tribalism. All it takes is a couple of drunk yob’s in a packed crowd to create a chain reaction of larger problems.

        1. ArseOverTit says:

          People who are bell ends because they drink with their mates to get pissed and have a laugh, get too carried away with testosterone, pack mentality and sporting fuelled vitriol are not alcoholics or addicts. Alcoholics are addicts not people who get drunk occasionally at sporting events.

          Those who can’t handle a sherbert and who turn into complete German tankers are another thing entirely but addicts they aren’t.

          1. Pert Murdersacker says:

            I never claimed that all of those who act like drunken bell ends at games are alcoholics, there are a lot of people like that. But at the same time a LOT of people who go to games and create scenes often do have an alcohol problem and have spent hours drinking prematch. Maybes it’s different where you live but near me there is a whole host of alchy’s who spend all their time, every day, in the pub only leaving on match days. I worked a few years as a match steward at different stadiums and it’s quite common to be handed lists of names and faces with small descriptions, and believe me a lot of the people who cause trouble are often listed as abusive alcoholics, we were often given info from local pubs who were sick of post-match vandalism and around residential areas. These people are most often the catalysts to chaotic scenes kicking off. So yes, many yobs actually are addicts, and addiction has different levels.

      2. gotanidea says:

        Handprints, footprints and dirt won’t do his shiny Lamborghini any favour

        Drinking once a while is okay, but an addiction is a very bad health choice

  4. fairfan says:

    Why can’t a person enjoy a football game with out drinking alcohol?
    Why can’t a person accept a defeat with out moaning ones head off?
    Why anything happens is complicated.
    Theories abound.
    Truth is often hard to fnd.
    Rugby from 1860 till 2000 was essentially a white sport played by the British elite and some British colonial countries. New Zealand and the Pacific Islands being the only countries to allow non whites and working classes to participate. . Cricket too was often a sport played by white private school boys and a few white colonial countries a handfull of upper class Indians and a smattering of Caribbean players.
    Still does not explain the 1980’s English hooliganism. Because for a hundred years prior football fans- millions living in poverty- rarely resorted to such activity.
    What complicates things is that the 1980’s English football hooligan culture was nothing compared to world wars started by and prosecuted by the ruling elite.
    Having a beer and safe standing is a challenge but 50,000 deaths on day one of the Somme in July 1916 was rather more difficult. More especially when the ruling elite sent another 50k over the top the next day.

    1. ArseOverTit says:

      Are you the Buddha? Maybe Jesus reincarnated? Why do pigeons nod their heads like Mick Jagger?

      Your questions are a little naive imo.

      Why do people support football teams wearing certain colours and not another. What is so interesting about watching grown men kicking about a pig skin? Surely there are more important /pressing matters in life?

      One guy had Allan shearer tattooed on his upper thigh I saw once. I’d rather be a crack addict or get drunk and do studious sh/t occasionally personally.

      There are many reasons why people and things are they are but I think a study of ‘why’ is beyond the reach of Justarsenal don’t you?

      #questions

  5. Reggie says:

    Alcohol should not be allowed on the terraces, too many idiots in this world that will spoil it for the rest.

  6. gunnerforlife says:

    Alcohol should be banned at all costs at all sports. It is not only dangerous and damaging to the person consuming it but also dangerous for the people around the person as the person many times behaves violently and roughly after consuming alcohol. Ban alcohol.

  7. Perry ames says:

    Should alcohol be allowed ABSOLUTELY NOT. You only need one pathetic moron to cause trouble to not make it worthwhile. I have been to many games in my 60 years and do enjoy a beer or 3 but ffs cant people go a couple of hours without it while we all watch a game. Here is a good idea have a drink after the game so you can and more importantly everyone else in the stadium can enjoy the game

  8. Stephanie says:

    Im more of a gin and wine type of Gal lol

    I feel that alcohol should be banned in stadiums. The British (and other countries) are not know to behave themselves while drunk. Actually some while sober too. It increases the racist acts and bad behavior in general. Also there are kids around. Also i don’t trust them to not over-drink.

    Drink before and after the match
    I think it’s best, sensible think to do

    Great thing about alcohol is that you can drink to celebrate and drink to console yourself for the misery of defeat 😂

  9. siamois says:

    According to several reports, following consultation with the police authorities and the negative feedback,it will not be reintroduced,s good thing if you ask me,do people really need alcohol in order to have a good time,anyway a lot of fans have had a good few by the time they get to the stadium.

  10. jon fox says:

    I applaud DANS view and am 100% with gunnerforlife in believing that alcohol and elite sport and I stress the ELITE should never mix.

    Simply put, any serious minded athlete should not touch alcohol ever. Tony Adams learned his lesson, albeit rather late but he eventually learned albeit via prison. George Best sadly never learned, even after receiving a donated liver. Alcohol killed him and has killed many ex pro footballers for generations already.

    British culture has shown, even since the Music Hall days which began mid 19th century and ever since that many Brits simply cannot control their intake.

    Ask any hospital A/E or police/ ambulance services who have to deal with the terrible injuries and deaths outcome of violence and accidents caused directly by drink. Ask them what THEY think!
    Personally, I gave up alcohol in my twenties after seeing the damage it did to others – including my park football teammates, one of whom died in an alcohol caused road accident which affected his many friends, some really badly – and would havedone to me had I continued.

    Oh yes I often use rhetoric on JA about “opening champagne” at celebratory moments but the truth is that I don’t like the stuff, having twice tried it half a century ago. I do not smoke either and never have and at 70 am fit as a flea, lean, active and run daily even now.

    I do not boast to show how clever I am, BUT it is NOT clever to poison your body with drugs! Both alcohol and ciggies ARE drugs. To partake and certainly if you wish to live a long and healthy life is, IMO, stupid and masochistic too.
    So to me, who if I could wave a magic wand, would ban the manufacture and supply of all drugs world wide, the decision is an easy one. Give it upin entirety!

    BUT, BUT, BUT, all the above is simply my personal choice and my personal opinion to which, like all of us, I am entitled.

    I do acknowledge that there will be all shades of opinion from mine, on the one hand, to those who would freely recommend alcohol and ciggies and even cannabis to anyone who wishes.

    This is not a question for simply we fans but for government and it is clear that NO British governemnt can afford , purely for the massive loss of tax revenue, of jobs , and social enjoyment too, to go down the road I recommend , so what I wish will NOT happen and I see this very clearly.

    It saddens me that money, as ever, comes before human lives and misery but as a realist I have no choice but to live in the world as it is , not as I WOULD WISH.

    The likely reality, in the short term is that a trial will follow where drinking is , (maybe , maybe not , only temporarily trialled on the terraces

  11. Andrew Elder says:

    To go two hours without a drink isn’t too much to ask, is it? Have a drink after the match to either celebrate or commiserate.

  12. Sue says:

    No, absolutely not!
    If you can’t go the whole 90 minutes of a game without a drink then you may have a problem! I wouldn’t want my son (or myself) sitting next to someone who’s completely bladdered, would she (or Mikel)??

    And to say drinking at halftime in the concourse encourages binge drinking; I wonder if this woman has ever been to a match? A lot of people are already merry by the time they arrive at the stadium, regardless of what time KO is!
    It’s all about the money though… SMH

    1. Kev82 says:

      Too right Sue 👍 I think alcoholism in this country and many other countries is rife and the last thing anyone needs is to feel intimidated when attending a sporting event. You wanna drink, go to a pub or do it in the comfort of your own home. I’ve seen first hand what alcohol addiction can do and sporting events is a great excuse to feed their addictions..

      1. Sue says:

        Very well said, Kev!

    2. Ba Elkhirsawy says:

      If she thinks the ban leads to binge drinking in half time, then it should be banned from the stadium including half time!

      No one wants to be sitting beside a drunk angry fan!

      For me, If someone wants to drink, he should do at home, I am against allowing public drinking. I understand it is me, but at least not when it can cause a traumatic events, I saw sober people doing stupid things picking fights, throwing and breaking things, no one wants to add alcohol to that.

  13. Gulangai says:

    Beer is good m

  14. Tas says:

    I stoped going to watch football in stadiums midd 70s because of drunk hooligans, I started going back to watch live matches couple of decade ago and to my surprise after the match I saw both clubs supporters walking together side by side and seeing families with young children and no trouble in sight it was amazing and wonderful, let’s not go back to the 70s pls NO ALCOHOL

  15. ArseOverTit says:

    What a bunch of sanctimonious claptrap.

    People shouldn’t drink at football grounds (or in general some would have us believe) because it’s dangerous, creates monsters, is bad for your health , should not be mixed with ‘elite’ sport (that counts us out then;).

    Really? Anyone remember the 60/70s even 80s? Yes George best was an alcoholic but he was also one of the most gifted footballers ever. Pele said so!

    Met him once in a pub in the kings road once and bought him a pint when I was a boy. Yes he was and addict, flawed and sometimes stupid but what a character and what a footballer!

    Todays game and business orientated model wants to make it like a sterile, hermetically sealed and increasingly devoid of atmosphere environment.

    Personally I don’t go to games anymore because a. They are far too expensive for what you get (especially true at Arsenal) and b. I get a better view at home but I won’t having grown up in a culture where alcohol has played a part condemn anyone or tar them with the same brush if they want to get jolly on a few beers watching a sport with their mates.

    Idiots who can’t handle it and become Rambo after a few shandies are another matter but let’s deal with them as we find them.

    Far bigger worries and atrocity’s going on as we speak and they ahardly get a mention.

    1. Tas says:

      Yes I remember the 70s supporters getting pissed in the pub before and after the game and as soon as an opposition supporter walking past dozens would start kicking the s…t out of them, I’m not against alcohol but not at a place 60’000 people and it just takes a few idiots to start war

      1. ArseOverTit says:

        So you’re telling me people don’t get pisssed in pubs before and after games now? So what changed then?

        Piece was on having drinks during the game if I’m not mistaken.

        CCTVs everywhere and better policing as well as all the attention hooliganism received back in the 80s we’re in part responsible for the death of larger scale violence around football.

    2. Dan Smith says:

      imagine how better he would have been had he not been an alcoholic

    3. jon fox says:

      Repeat post to AOT, hoping my original will now appear! Sometimes this tactic works, sometimes not!

  16. Lord Denning says:

    Anything taken without moderation is harmful to your health ie overeating. Alcohol has its health benefits without doubt (Google it).Some fans arrive at the stadium drunk and staggering,Alcohol is allowed at the break.As such there no danger allowing Alcohol in the terraces,seems Arteta is also in agreement about this.Alcohol causes excitement and I chose to be happy and drinking in moderation is alright for me.Life is for the living.

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