Football fans could soon be allowed to drink within sight of the pitch, as the government plans to change rules that have been in place since 1985.
Drinking alcohol has been banned in UK football stadiums for almost 40 years, with fans only allowed to drink in the halls and not within sight of the pitch.
The ban is in place in England’s top five leagues, from the Premier League to the National Football League, but a trial to end the ban could soon be underway.
A fan-led football review last year by former sports minister Tracey Crouch recommended the ban be reconsidered, along with several other suggestions.
On Monday, the government approved the review’s 10 policy recommendations, which included a review of lifting the drinking ban in view of the stadium.
They will pilot a program to see if ‘drinking’ in stadiums is viable and is likely to be tested further down the football ladder, but could pave the way for a possible return of alcohol in the upper tier stadiums, which never happened. in a Premier League game.
The EFL, according to the Daily Mail, are missing around £2 per crowd member for each match due to the ban, which amounts to around £35m in the Football League.
Premier League clubs are also believed to be missing out on £30million per season, which they would certainly want to cash in on, especially after Covid kept them from earning as much as usual for over a year.
However, the move could still meet resistance from the UK Football Policing Unit, who would no doubt fear that match monitoring will become more difficult.
Speaking in November, when the decision was first proposed, Chief Constable Mark Roberts of Cheshire Police told the Mail his problems with the ban being lifted.
“It’s about undoing something that’s designed to make things safer for the fans,” Roberts explained.
“A lot of people would say they don’t want it anyway and wouldn’t welcome the fans in front of them getting up during games to go and buy alcohol.
“It comes at a time when we are seeing many worrying instances of violence in football at all levels, so the timing is bizarre.”
There were certainly problems at Wembley last summer ahead of the Euro 2020 final, which meant England had to play a game behind closed doors this summer, while players had coins thrown at them and cups this season.