Alcohol, if you’re rich enough


As you and I know, alcohol is sold at football games.  If you are in a corporate seat, you can drink before kick-off, at halftime and again at fulltime.  Prohibition only applies to the cheap seats.

Alcohol-related issues remain a problem in towns across Scotland in the hours after big games, but suggestions by First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, that there is a potential correlation between those drinking from cheap seats at games and violence (including the domestic kind) are simply unfounded.  People are free to get tanked up before and after games, the wealthy can do so during games, and millions can do so in pubs and at home while watching games on TV.

I have some concerns about reintroducing alcohol for the rest of us.  Alcohol requires appropriate infrastructure and ambiance – like there is at the Kerrydale Suite, for example.  The North Stand Upper, where I sit, does not have the space, supervision capabilities, or even the toilets to become an appropriate venue to encourage the consumption of any more fluids.  In the 20 years it’s been up, it’s never had enough paper towels to make it to halftime, and may God go with you, if you need to spend a longer visit, but don’t let that be a reason to stop the rest of you.

Modern football stadiums have many safe areas where alcohol can be consumed.  Those who cannot handle their drink, would find themselves supervised to within an inch of a football banning order. Scotland needs to learn what a healthy attitude to alcohol looks like – check out the Kerrydale Suite for a glimpse.

Build the lounges, toilets, and grills.  Put carpet down, dress stewards in black ties, have them welcome fans as “Sir” or “Madam”, treat football fans like responsible adults.  It works in the hospitality areas and in the Kerrydale Suite, it’ll work from Palmerston to Peterhead.

Thank you for the tremendous response yesterday to the line-up for the CQN11 St Patrick’s Dinner.  We have (St) Packy Bonnar, Tommy Coyne and Joe Miller for a Q&A, an unmissable address on Jock Stein by Archie Macpherson, and Celtic’s First Lady of Song, Patricia Ferns, for those of you who enjoy a song or dance.  Let me know if you’re still looking for tickets,

And Celtic, how hard can it be to put enough paper towels in the toilets? I love the family approach the club has now, but bringing kids means dealing with the toilets, and that’s never a highlight of the trip.

Keep your eye on CQN Magazine site, as we’re changing how the magazine content is delivered.

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  1. Just read recent interview from snodgrass.. when he was young and training with rangers he always wore his celtic shorts under the huns ones.



    Said celtic made an enquiry to norwich but the price tag was too much.



    Very frustrating young celtic fans like snodgrass and mccarthy may never wear the hoops.



    Love to see them in hoops

  2. Hugh Bonkle fae Dallas on

    I was too young to experience taking alcohol to the games so haven’t really missed it. However I was in Liverpool a couple of years back and managed to take in Liverpool v West Ham.



    It was a novelty to have a couple of pints in the ground but it was strictly controlled, you couldn’t take alcohol to your seat and it wasn’t on sale while the match was underway. There was a limited selection on sale, If I remember correctly only Carlsberg and Guinness and all served in lovely biodegradable beakers.



    No reason why something similar couldn’t happen here, just not at any Celtic v zombie games please.

  3. MidfieldMaestro



    Condolences on the loss of your father.may he rest in peace



    I had a wee look back thro those 91 years in our clubs history.His generation I feel are the generation that gave us our resiliance and hope that things would get better,and to work hard for those goals during hard hard times


    And what a reward.Lisbon 1967


    And Celtic being the finest team on the planet.


    I will have a dram to your Da’s memory


    Thanking them for keeping it lit


    and for passing to us and ingraining in us







    FWIW,my thoughts on beer at Celtic Park.






    It gives us a chance to dryoooot for a few hours,and they canny even get a pie and Bovril right.



    If that sucks for you,watch it on the telly wi a stash.

  5. Re Drink inside grounds



    I would not deny that there have been times when a cold beer or in midwinter a large brandy or malt would not have gone a miss but I think I can live without it. I do not think there would be a return to the old days of folk pishing down your leg or launch urine filled cans if a contentious shy was awarded but I don’t think the matchday experience will be improved one iota by allowing it. Genuinely good bars in the vicinity of the stadium would be preferable – although i do enjoy my walk to ad from the bars on the Gallowgate .



    I would like to see standing room areas introduced- and probably on a bigger scale than envisaged- but I would imagine that the clubs would be keener on having bars inside the ground as it would increase revenue rather more than cheaper standing areas filled with youngsters singing songs that offend STV ,the Daily Record, some on the Board and one or two on here.




  6. You can drink at football grounds in England.



    Nats want us to be different to the English in as many ways as possible.



    Therefore nats will oppose any change here that would bring us into line with England.



    It really is that simple.





    Great post,and a great piece of reporting from some poor sod who is probably working his notice out now.



    I’ve always believed that the truth will out.



    Now,not so much.






    some day my wife will catch me looking at your posts and I will be in SOAPY.

  9. hun skelper



    13:20 on 17 February, 2015



    You don’t have to let them search you.



    And they don’t have to let you into the stadium.

  10. Weeminger



    My son likes the new chippy in the Jock Stein stand. I prefer the new Homemade Soup and Stovies bar.

  11. I was at the Celtic – Liverpool CWC semi final first leg at Celtic Park, we won 1-0.



    I was standing next to Roddy MacMillan and the Para Handy crew, who were all supporting us. They also had a wee half bottle they were passing round, but not to me as I was too young.



    Now that’s what I call responsible drinking!

  12. BMCUW



    I was 16! Ya auld bassa!



    Heard your lovely Dad was overworked trying to keep you out of trouble at the weekend!



    Tell your Mum I was asking after her kindly too!

  13. praecepta @ 13:30



    Multiple gazebos … multiple gazebos.



    A stroke of genius!



    And bournesoup @ 13:38 … now that’s what I call a huddle …




  14. bournesouprecipe on

    A guy in our row in the Northstand (jungle) got his hip flask squashed when Scott McDonald scored against AC Milan.



    EuroNights CSC

  15. Chippy off the old block The Courier North Street Chip Shop in Forfar has been recognised for the quality of its chips.


    The annual Choice Chip Awards chose the Forfar shop as having the “best chippy chips” in Angus.



    The awards are run by the Potato Council in recognition of Chip Week, which runs from 16-22 February.



    Slow news day on BBC????




  16. Both clubs were fined £20,000 after the events and more than 200 arrests were made in the Hampden area.[5] Celtic blamed Strathclyde Police for their handling of the riot.[1] The vast majority of the police officers on duty were outside the ground after the match, to prevent any trouble in the streets surrounding Hampden Park.[1] The police and the SFA had assumed that the perimeter fences would prevent fans from invading the pitch, but they were later described as being completely inadequate.[1][5] The police blamed Celtic fans for the disorder, a position Rangers concurred with.[1] In response, Celtic cited the underlying hostility between the two sets of fans, caused by the sectarianism in Glasgow.[1] Celtic chairman Desmond White also cited the fact that Celtic fielded a mixture of Catholics and Protestants in their team, inferring that the problem was not caused by his club.[1]



    George Younger, the Secretary of State for Scotland, blamed alcohol and the actions of the Celtic players for the riot.[5] An Act of Parliament was passed that banned the sale of alcoholic beverages within Scottish sports grounds.[3] The ban was partially lifted in 2007 by Cabinet Secretary for Justice Kenny MacAskill, to allow the sale of alcohol at international rugby union matches played at Murrayfield Stadium.[3][7] The Scottish Rugby Union had lobbied the Scottish Parliament for the law to be changed, as they believed that they had lost out on the right to host the 2003 Challenge Cup Final due to it.[8] Subsequent to the easing of the ban, Motherwell chairman John Boyle called for it to be lifted entirely.[9] Ahead of the 2011 Scottish League Cup Final, it was reported by the Scotland On Sunday that VIP hospitality packages could be purchased allowing “unlimited” consumption of alcohol at bars within Hampden Park.[10] These transactions do not contravene the legislation because the sale of alcohol is still permitted in hospitality areas with no direct sight of the pitch.[10]

  17. Talking of Chippies I was in the Bervie Chipper in Stonehaven one Friday night when a women came in the door and asked the nearest member of staff –



    “Where dae ye git yer fish?”



    Naw, ah didny understand the question either.

  18. Philbhoy



    Our bus driver took us there once after a midweek game at Pittodrie and instantly regretted it when most of the bus piled into a hotel up the road and didn;t leave for an hour.


    I have never before or since knbew of a driver who advises a place to stop. Most of these drivers know if you stop anywhere even the middle of knowhere people are off in all directions sourcing alcohol!




  19. Alcohol, if you’re rich enough – Paul hits the nail on the head – it is wanton discrimination against the vast majority of law-abiding and decent football fans in Scotland.



    It would be ‘laughed out of the ECHR’ if it was ever challenged.



    Rugby fans can have a drink – concert-goers can have a drink – festival-goers can have a drink – English football fans can have a drink – and let’s face it English football had a much bigger hooligan problem than Scotland ever had.



    The difference in the coverage of rugby and football is staggering – did anyone see the vicious fighting and brawling in the Scotland v Wales match at Murrayfield?



    Hardly a word in the press, or, at Holyrood – not like the stupid overreaction to a ‘handbags’ spat between Neil Lennon and McCoist.



    All rugby fans can ‘have a drink’, not just those in the most expensive seats.



    Some people on here also have the wrong end of the stick – we want the ban recinded, however we are not looking to ‘flood’ stadia with alcohol the very next day.



    New infrastructure can be put in to make the ‘matchday’ experience so much better for all. It is not a question of shoehorning any consumption into the half-time interval. People would come earlier and leave later, just like the ‘rich’ do at present.



    There would be,if you like, stadium pubs, properly staffed and with bar meals readily available.



    The whole re-vamp would probably take a full year to implement and would be supported by the brewers and other sponsors.



    As I have said before, this tripe being rolled out by the SNP at Holyrood, that something that happened a generation ago, can be used to punish modern day, ticket-buying, football fans, is disgusting and demeaning to the ordinary fan.



    We must move on – what state would we be in if we ignored countries like Germany, or Japan, just because of something that happened in the past.



    This is a Discrimination issue – no more, no less, and it must be DEFEATED.

  20. Philbhoy



    14:09 on 17 February, 2015





    ‘I was standing next to Roddy MacMillan and the Para Handy crew, who were all supporting us.’






    Funnily enough I was thinking of the Vital Spark only this morning when I read about the Sevco engine room company.

  21. Alcohol



    Those who are attending the away game in Milan will see the notices banning taking alcohol into the stadium.Same notice also bans shotguns and other firearms .!

  22. Alfie Noakes



    I think the main problem is facilities. Some clubs will not be able to afford to put the correct facilities in. Look at Fir Park and Firhill for example. They would never cope!




  23. LiviBhoy



    I think it’s a regular stop for some buses heading to Aberdeen for the game.



    Defo not a good idea to stop there on the way home.



    Way too many pubs and hotels.

  24. Bada Bing


    That does look like bit of a rip off regarding postage and internet fee.


    I was hoping i might get offered a ticket this time but nothing doing again.


    So i’ll have pay around £150 for a hospitality day out or watch in the house or pub.


    Think its the pub for me this time.

  25. South Of Tunis



    14:27 on 17 February, 2015



    Scooters are allowed though.



    In the top tier anyway. Not sure about the bottom tier.

  26. I sent an email to a client this morning and accidentally signed it Philbhoy.



    Not the first time but no harm done.



    Anyone get into bother for doing this with their NDB’s??

  27. For 10 years the Labour party controlled the Scottish government, if this was a serious discrimination issue for the Labour party why didn’t they deal with it when they were in power ?



    A manufactured issue for the purposes of electioneering,,,,,,,,,,,a load of pash



    FWIW, i’m against the selling of alcohol in football grounds, i go to watch the fitba

  28. I go to the odd NFL and MLB game in the US and generally have a beer or two while watching the game. This is served to me in my seat by one of many vendors who walk up and down the aisles. The cost of this service is 50% more than the cost in a regular pub. Before the games there are many hours of ‘tailgaiting’ for those who want to gather outside and drink before the game. Often, the cheerleaders will come out to say hello and get the crowd going, but that is another story.



    The biggest differences that I see here are that there is ample space for the vendors to walk up and down and still allow easy passage for spectators, and, the time it takes to complete a game – minimum 3 hours. The other issue is that there is so much downtime in the games (hence the 3 hours) when you are sitting waiting on the game to restart. In these circumstances, beer makes sense.



    I remember drinking a few pints before a game, both in the pub and then on the supporters bus. We even took our Tennents into the jungle in those days – 3 or 4 cans were required to gain an extra 6 inches to see over the mass of bodies. Yes – cans were made strong in those days.



    Today, I don’t think it is necessary to change the laws. The Kerrydale suite is a good venue but it is inadequate to meet the demand. Both times I have gone there and not been allowed in because it was full. There should be 2 or 3 of these around the ground, and there should be vendors selling beer outside before the game. There also needs to be some pubs closer to the ground like in the old days – where have they all gone?



    Focus on improving what is there today. Add some opportunities for drinking outside the ground before the game, and improve facilities inside to make disposing of the beer more efficient.

  29. lionroars67



    14:34 on 17 February, 2015



    So English football fans are civilised enough to be able to buy drink in their stadiums but Scottish football fans aren’t?

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