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Fans To Be Allowed To Drink Alcohol In Seats For The First Time Since 1985

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Fans To Be Allowed To Drink Alcohol In Seats For The First Time Since 1985

Football fans will soon be able to drink alcohol in their seats for the first time in 36 years.

This is one of many changes to the matchday experience that are being recommended by Tracey Crouch MP, whose independent report on the matter is set to be published next month.

Image Credit- PA Images
Image Credit- PA Images

According to The Times, the review will call for a pilot scheme allowing alcohol to be drank in stadium seats for clubs in the National League and League Two. Should that trial be a success, the review hopes the initiative can be rolled out to all levels of the professional game, including the Premier League.

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Football fans were banned from consuming alcohol within sight of the pitch in 1985 due to hooliganism. However, fans of other sports, such as cricket and rugby, can still drink in their seat, with Crouch quoted as saying 'our view on alcohol and football is outdated'.

Image Credit- PA Images
Image Credit- PA Images

"It's not helped when you see scenes like we did at Wembley," she said. "But that's why I would pilot it first. Let's get the data. My view is not some kind of altruistic view that fans should be able to drink at football. It's also about allowing clubs to be able to sustain themselves.

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"We can look at things like an independent regulator as part of this process. But football has to take a bit of responsibility for itself and sustain itself better. We kettle people into drinking quickly at half-time. And that is the unhealthy aspect of the football fan's relationship with alcohol. They drink a lot in a short space of time. So my recommendation is to pilot this and not have to down a pint at half-time."

The review has also called for the government to eradicate betting companies' involvement with the beautiful game. It's understood that the latter are keen to do so, with gambling sponsors on shirts and stadium billboards expected to be banned. Regulations on betting adverts on TV and radio are also being considered.

One EFL side have already taken such a step. On Wednesday, League 1 Bolton Wanderers severed all ties with betting companies, with the club's chair Sharon Brittain keen to do help and not hinder those struggling with this addiction.

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"Problem gambling ruins lives," she said, as quoted by The Mirror. "We've taken this stance to show our support for those who are suffering from a betting addiction.

Latest research shows that there are between 340,000 and 1.4 million adult gambling addicts in the UK and over 60,000 young people aged between 11 and 16 are addicted. We as an industry must do more."

Topics: Rugby, EFL, Bolton Wanderers, Premier League, Betting, Alcohol

James Aldred
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