Fan-led review could allow football fans to drink in their seats

26 April 2022 by
Fan-led review could allow football fans to drink in their seats

Venues may be permitted to allow football fans to drink in their seats for the first time in 37 years, following a fan-led review.

The government launched the Fan Led Review of Football Governance last year to explore ways of improving the governance, ownership and financial sustainability of clubs in English football, and has confirmed that it accepted or supported all of its strategic recommendations.

This included the recommendation that the government assess whether the legislation governing the sale of alcohol at football matches was still fit for purpose, given that the laws underpinning the rules for drinking alcohol at football games were nearly 40 years old.

The government acknowledged that "football has modernised since then and the culture has changed", and accepted the recommendation to review the Sporting Events (Control of Alcohol etc.) Act 1985.

As the review takes place, the government will consider the case for pilots of the sale of alcohol in sight of the pitch, and whether they might be appropriate in the lower leagues.

"The government recognises the potential commercial benefits that a change in this regard could bring for clubs, particularly lower down the football pyramid, but this must be balanced against wider fan safety considerations," the response said.

However, the government's response also highlighted concern about the increase in incidents of fan disorder at football matches recently, including the conduct of some fans at the Euro 2020 final between England and Italy at Wembley Stadium. The Casey Review was commissioned in response and identified alcohol consumption, among other reasons, as a driver of that behaviour.

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