Britain’s top soccer policeman says it’s ‘INSANE’ to lift the 36-year ban on allowing fans to drink alcohol within sight of the pitch, after MP Tracey Crouch proposed a pilot plan in her soccer review .
- MP Tracey Crouch leads the review to get the drink back in the football stands
- Britain’s top football police officer has called the proposal ‘insane’
- Cheshire Police Chief Mark Roberts believes the decision to end the 36-year alcohol ban in the stands was made to win over fans.
- Roberts said Sportsmail there has been no attempt to consult the police
Britain’s top football police officer described the lifting of the alcohol ban inside stadiums as “insane” and accused the proposing panel of having made no attempt to discuss it with him.
Cheshire Police Chief Mark Roberts said Sportsmail that the inclusion of an end to the 36-year ban on alcohol use in sight of the field seems like an attempt to gain popularity with fans through the fan-led review spearheaded by Tracey Crouch MP.
He said there has been no attempt to consult with the police, five months after drunken disorder marred the Euro 2020 final and saw England forced to play a game behind closed doors.
Crouch’s review has asked the government and the UK Football Police Unit, which Roberts leads, to work on the design of a small-scale alcohol pilot program in the National League and League Two.
The top soccer police officer, Police Chief Mark Roberts (right), has called MP Tracey Crouch’s (left) proposal to allow drinking in stadium bleachers as ‘insane’
Alcohol has not been consumed in sight of the field in matches in England for the past 36 years.
Roberts said: ‘This appears to be tagged at the end of the fan-led review to win favor with the fans. It’s, “We’ll let you drink.”
“It’s undoing something that is designed to make things safer for fans. Perhaps it says a lot that the police have not been consulted or notified of their recommendations.
‘Many would say they don’t want it anyway and would not welcome fans in front of them who get up during games to go shopping for alcohol.
“It is proposed at a time when we are seeing many disturbing cases of violence in football at all levels, so the timing is strange.
Roberts said there has been no attempt to consult with the police, five months after the binge disorder marred the Euro 2020 final.
“There seems to be a suggestion that if he works at the bottom of the lower league, he will do it throughout the game. That’s weird.
“There is a clear link between alcohol and bad behavior, not just in football, but in society in general, and we see increasing concerns in rugby and cricket about the negative impact on fan experiences. .
“On Saturday, we had reports of a drunken fan throwing up on a boy who was his first rugby match when he attended Wales v Australia with his parents.”
Crouch said in response: “This is a recommendation fully driven by financial sustainability in the lower parts of the soccer pyramid.”