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Poll: Blues chief calling for changes in drink laws

17:12 16 January 2013

Simon Clegg

Simon Clegg

Archant

THE chief executive of the Super Blues has written to the Football Association in hopes of seeing “outdated” laws over the restriction of pitchside drinking relaxed.

In a letter to FA chairman David Bernstein, Simon Clegg, chief executive of Ipswich Town Football Club, has urged the association to consider allowing restrictions to be on a local basis rather than a national blanket ban.

Mr Clegg has encouraged the FA and associated organisations to take “a leap of faith” by amending the Sporting Events Act of 1985.

In the letter he argues that the Act was enforced as a direct result of the hooliganism of the 1980s and he believes English football has progressed massively in the past 30 years.

“Without being complacent, the attitudes and behaviour of English football fans today represents an example for the rest of the world to follow,” Mr Clegg writes.

In the letter, he claims “the time is right to review the current restrictions”, and proposes the idea of local Safety Advisory Groups making decisions over alcohol restrictions.

The group would include representatives from the local police force and could make decisions on a match-to-match basis, taking into account behaviour records of each set of fans, police intelligence and local conditions.

He adds: “From an individual club perspective, I can assure you that we would welcome a change in the law that would enable supporters to once again enjoy alcohol in the ground, albeit with plastic cups or bottles, which in turn would greatly add to the atmosphere, at a time of falling gates, and enhance the overall experience of the football fan.”

The letter, which was written in October, is understood to have received the support of many Championship chief executives and chairmen following a meeting during the same month.

Mr Clegg believes Portman Road would be the ideal setting to test the initiative, with statistics from the Home Office revealing that during the 2010/11 season the club imposed just two banning orders. Within that season only 20 people were arrested.

8 comments

  • They allow drinking at pitch side during rugby so why can't we at football games?

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    Mr DJ

    Thursday, January 17, 2013

  • In the words of a famous tennis player: "You cannot be serious!" How can anyone suggest that a foofball experience is better after consuming alcohol? I wonder what the police would have to say about this? Also as family season ticket holders we already have to endure language that is supposed to have been banned. No, this is not the right area to focus on Mr Clegg - just focus on getting us back into the Premier. If you want to manage alcohol consumption then perhaps you would be better working for a brewery or managing a pub?

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    Blue and true since 1962

    Wednesday, January 16, 2013

  • I'm sorry but no. Tempers and emotions already flare enough as it is. Allowing drinking in the stands will not make that any better. Yes, 99% of the time I'm sure everything would be fine and people would behave, but it's the 1% that I don't want where tensions run too high and the drink is flowing and things get out of hand. Would the club really like to be responsible for allowing the drinking on a day when things get out of hand and people may get hurt or worse. No. I have never understood the need for alcohol at sporting venues, and to a degree even at concerts. The only reason you'd want it lifted it to try and make more money. It has nothing to do with the enjoyment of the game...just the lining of your pockets!

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    Chris Church

    Wednesday, January 16, 2013

  • Great idea! It's time something was done to sort out the dire shortage of drunken yobs at Ipswich Town matches. If Ipswich ever get to play Norwich again (ha ha!) they'll be desperately needed.

    Report this comment

    beerlover

    Wednesday, January 16, 2013

  • Anyone who believes football to be a "beautiful game" surely does not posses the mental capacity to self administer such a dangerous drug as alcohol...

    Report this comment

    Mr Point Ment

    Thursday, January 17, 2013

  • The present rules on serving alcohol and seating at football matches were introduced as a recomendation by the Taylor enquiry after Hillsborough. The enquiry also suggested having a supporters membership scheme but the FA didn't want it. The independant Hillsborough enquiry largely discredited the Taylor report as the tragedy wasn't due to the actions of fans and there is no reason to treat football suporters differently to spectators of other sports. The Safety of Sports Ground Act (1975) which was never implemented fully was supposed to apply to all sports but was only partially used to penalise football supporters. How about an e-petition on the government web site?

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    amsterdam81

    Wednesday, January 16, 2013

  • Never heard anything so ridiculous. This must one of the main factors that led to the improved behaviour we see today. Look at the idiots you see in the corners in matches on TV and imagine them with 45 pints lined up under their seats!

    Report this comment

    blueinblue

    Wednesday, January 16, 2013

  • You cannot gain entry to the ground if you are drunk but it is alright to do so once inside? Plus it's extra revenue for Evans and Clegg.

    Report this comment

    The original Victor Meldrew

    Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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