The better-late-than-never Euro 2020 football championship will bring two things – disappointment for Scotland and a potential problem for pub landlords.
Right now, days before the tournament gets under way, the rules that have been put in place for publicans are unenforceable. How do you tell TV football fans, heads filled with booze, that they must not sing or shout during a game?
No chants, no “here we go, here we go” and no embracing when Scotland win. OK, we might not need that last edict.
If you ran a pub, would you risk a hefty fine if your customers cheered or jeered during a Scotland game? It has chaos written all over it, especially if over-enthusiastic, heavy-handed bouncers encroach, although raking in a fortune over the duration of the event might have many publicans believing it will be worth the risk.
‘What a fine goal that was’
If you thought all that was daft, then think again. Because, while bars and pubs are permitted to show games, they cannot market them as key events.
No need. Punters know exactly which lager-selling establishment have the big screens. That’s where they gather weekly to watch live matches from the English Premier League, while not giving a toss whether Burnley will beat Brighton.
So, stand by for fun and games when Scotland face the Czech Republic, England and Croatia in the coming weeks. Picture the scene – John McGinn fires in a blistering 25 yard strike against the Auld Enemy and Scotland supporters turn to each other to comment: “What a fine goal that was.”
Rules from the Ministry of Bonkers
A spokesman for Aberdeen Hospitality Together says the rules need to be reviewed. Really? How do you do that?
If there is to be no hugging, shouting, cheering – let’s not forget the swearing – is there any point in opening your pub to football fans, there to indulge themselves with lager and to enjoy and criticise their team? Best just keep the doors closed, surely.
How can publicans “create an environment that remains enjoyable, safe and sensible for customers and the public” when alcohol and a highly charged atmosphere are in the mix
These rules are from the Ministry of Bonkers Ideas and place an unfair onus on pub businesses which may cash in from the Euros but end up in court and, God forbid, have their TVs removed.
Pubs might have to change the channel
Aberdeen City Council Conservative leader Ryan Houghton’s plea to Nicola Sturgeon that clarity on the rules is needed is all very well, but offers no solution.
How can publicans “create an environment that remains enjoyable, safe and sensible for customers and the public” when alcohol and a highly charged atmosphere involving viewing the national team are in the mix?
Maybe they should pack ‘em in and turn the channel to Sewing Bee or Bake Off.