I read an interesting article earlier today, proposing that football should be brought into line with other sports such as rugby, cricket, etc and allow for drinking in the stands.
Now I love beer. And I would love to be able to have a drink whilst watching the game.
And I love equality – it really is not fair that you can have a pint in your hand during a rugby league match but not a football match.
However, I really do not believe that we have reached a level of maturity throughout the football community, where increased alcohol consumption should be encouraged.
A few years back when I watched the rugby league at Wembley, there was a mass brawl between Hull FC fans just behind me. Also around the same year, I went to watch the cricket at Headingley, and there was some trouble there – a little scrapping with stewards and certainly some quite inappropriate behaviour.
Yet if one goes to watch the cricket at Lord’s, you can drink all day and there is not a scrap of rudeness, let alone misbehaviour. All very civilised (not to mention you can take your own cans of beer in the ground – double bonus!).
I guess the main problem is, that it is the minority that ruin it for the majority that can and will behave themselves. I simply do not believe that it would be a wise idea to allow, say Millwall fans to be able to have 6 pints during the game.
The potential for trouble is there – not to mention the inconvenience of the people constantly getting up and walking past you to buy beer or have a pee.
I stress that I really would love to have a beer whilst watching football. And maybe as society continues to mature, this will one day be possible.
At best, there might be an argument for localised decisions on alcohol consumption – perhaps there could be trials in certain home stands for clubs with near-perfect records on trouble, if the local plod approve.
In fact, I think I have persuaded myself to change my position whilst writing this article. Yes, there should be trials at trouble-free clubs for limited alcohol consumption in limited areas during games.
But I would fear that granting everyone the right to drink as much as they want during the game is asking for trouble.
What do you think?