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.”
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?