SPL club asks approval to open bar to visiting fans
ONE of the Scottish Premier League’s top clubs is seeking the go-ahead to open its stadium’s bar to rival fans during “quieter” matches.
Inverness Caledonian Thistle has applied for permission to alter the licence for the club’s Family Sports Bar at the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium to allow away supporters to have a drink before and after a match.
However, the move is being opposed by Northern Constabulary, and the clerk to the licensing board has also voiced concerns about the potential for clashes between rival fans.
The club’s application is due to be debated by the Highland Licensing Board at a meeting in Inverness next Tuesday.
Alaisdair Mackenzie, the clerk to the board, states in a report to the licensing authority: “Currently, admittance to the sports bar has been restricted to holders of home season or home match day tickets. It is the licensing standards officer’s view that such restriction has been instrumental in ensuring that there have been no incidents. Now the applicant has asked to relax this condition to allow on occasions the admission of away fans, on occasions where the away support has been risked assessed by the match safety officer and the police …”
He continues: “It is my view that this matter rests primarily with the police as the condition was imposed directly to ensure the observance of licensing objectives. Inverness Caledonian Thistle FC have an excellent record of ground safety and no history of fan-based rivalry.
“However, I have reservations, as whilst risk assessment is often accurate, it is not a defined art and during the course of a match many factors can emerge such as a controversial goal, a sending-off or a bad tackle which can be flash points between fans after the contest in a tight environment with alcohol as a factor.”
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