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Terrace Equality - Relaxation of Alcohol Restrictions in Football

Fri 15th Jul 2011 | Money & Finance

F.C. Business launches its campaign for the relaxation of alcohol licensing restrictions at football matches today.

In what is a first for the business magazine for the football industry, they will seek to lobby the support of 92 football league club chairman, chief executives, and stadium and safety managers in a move to push for a full risk analysis of the legislation before a concerted effort is made for a change in the law.

Current legislation prevents alcohol being consumed on football terraces and the visual selling of it in corporate areas which leads to concourse congestion and binge drinking amongst fans.

The Sporting Events (Control of Alcohol) Act 1985, amended by the Licensing Act 2003, the Public Order Act 1986 and through secondary legislation covers all “designated sports grounds”, but is not applied to any other games or events, including both rugby codes, cricket or music concerts, even when they take place in football stadia. 

F.C. Business Editor Ryan McKnight explained why he believes the time is right for the campaign “On one hand we are saying football clubs must be solvent and profitable and on the other hand there is discriminative legislation preventing further revenue growth in this area.

“The law needs to be reviewed. With the advent of Financial Fair Play entering the Premier League and the Football League it is imperative that we, as the business publication for the industry, do everything possible to help open up and expand revenue streams.” 

The majority of clubs believe the Act should be reviewed or even scrapped and some have explored the possibility of entering dialogue with Ministers on the issue. Despite this, many clubs have not been prepared to debate the subject in public.

“We believe the issue should be discussed in public in an open and honest manner,” added McKnight.

“Football fans are being discriminated against. The dynamics of today’s football crowd has changed remarkably since this legislation was first introduced.  We are constantly reminded that today’s football supporter is of a different demographic to that of 20 years ago.”

“Football clubs now, more than ever, need to be able to generate extra revenue. Allowing fans the opportunity to take their drinks back to their seats will ease concourse congestion allowing more fans to purchase drinks and food helping to increase revenue as well as promoting a more sensible approach to drinking.

F.C. Business learnt that the FA’s Sanctions and Registrations Committee recently came close to approving minutes proposing a total ban of alcohol in all stadia - by accident.

The wording of the minutes proposed the ban, instead of proposing that amateur football be subject to the same rules as the top end of the game.

Over the coming months, F.C. Business will be promoting the campaign which will take in the views of the clubs, the police and stadium safety officers, football fans, and the drinks industry. 

Campaign Objectives

• Open up the debate on alcohol consumption on terraces

• Push for a full risk analysis of alcohol consumption at football matches

• Bring legislation into line with other sports

 

Reasons for Campaign

• Increase football clubs’ revenue generation potential

• End discrimination against football fans

• Reduce concourse congestion

• Reduce incidence of binge drinking

 

For more information about this campaign contact Ryan McKnight, Editor on 0191 442 4006 or email ryan@fcbusiness.co.uk

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If you have any football business related news stories you’d like to share then please contact us – agourley@fcbusiness.co.uk or ryan@fcbusiness.co.uk

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