Breathalysed Before Matches

JJH

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#2
Another nail in the coffin of our beautiful game if they start doing this frequently..

The idea that all pissed-up blokes just want to fight is ridiculous.
 

Habbinalan

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#4
Copied from a League Two thread, referring to the Cambridge Evening News article that kicked things off:
My earlier despair was at the article and its origins, rather than our club's participation in the initiative.

I'm afraid this has kicked off from misinformation in a press article from a journalist who has form. Raymond Brown has a hysterical "let's make a dramatic story out of nothing" writing style which infests our local paper and seems to contrast starkly to a lot of local press elsewhere. The club and stewards will be very welcoming for your happy day and we'll be in a good mood as well.

The alco-blow device is aimed at assisting door staff at city venues deter those who are not fit to be let into clubs and pubs, by showing them that they are drunk. It is not planned or intended to be used as a routine screening device for football fans but only as an available tool for use by our stewards where an aggressive and obviously drunk person is to be refused entry, which should happen already, anyway.

The fact that our local paper seeks to associate drunks with the club and portray it in that way is, patently ridiculous, but par for the course for some of their "journalists".

As I've said elsewhere, this is not even a publicity stunt by the local police but by the "elected" politician (funded by our council tax) who's setting their priorities. Graham Bright, a Tory ex-MP, was elected as PCC after 15% of registered voters turned out and only received 25% of that vote. Democracy at it's finest.

In the national press, Amanda Jacks of the Football Supporters' Federation, said: “This unnecessarily demonises football fans for what is, largely, a scheme aimed at pubgoers and clubbers.

“For years stewards have had the discretion to ascertain “drunkenness” and refuse entry to supporters. We’re not entirely sure what is achieved by introducing this new system.

“Last season there were only eight arrests at Cambridge United home games, and a further eight at away games.

“Of those 16 arrests, only three were for offences relating to alcohol. By the Home Office’s own stats, football arrests are at their lowest point ever, and we think that’s a definitely a story worth reporting.”

.....but we all know that it won't be.
 

Greenacres

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#5
I went to a game a few years ago in Argentina, between River Plate and Huracan, and they did that there. I accept that there is far more violence associated with football in some South American countries than we have here, much of it alcohol related, but it showed that they were trying to deal with the problem. We went through three checks to get into the ground, first was ticketing, then a pat down for weapons and finally anyone who the cops believed was seriously impaired by alcohol was breathalysed. We had arranged tickets with a guide, which included pre-match food, and he warned us to go easy on the alcohol with lunch. I wouldn't say that this is a nail in the coffin for the beautiful game, surely if you are totally trousered it makes it very difficult to actually enjoy, or even remember, what you have watched.
 

Gashead

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#6
Does this mean Cambridge (and other clubs who use this) will stop selling booze inside of the ground? Because otherwise you could see it being interpreted as a money making scheme, just as it has been interpreted as that when used at nightclubs etc.
 

Greenacres

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#7
Does this mean Cambridge (and other clubs who use this) will stop selling booze inside of the ground? Because otherwise you could see it being interpreted as a money making scheme, just as it has been interpreted as that when used at nightclubs etc.
I doubt it very much as it does provide much needed income and encourages fans to socialise at the ground, rather than in other places. I think the main idea is to try and encourage responsible drinking, which mirrors what is happening across society, but also to lessen the risk of antisocial behaviour that sometimes accompanies drinking to excess. Surely that isn't a bad thing?
 

Gashead

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#9
I doubt it very much as it does provide much needed income and encourages fans to socialise at the ground, rather than in other places. I think the main idea is to try and encourage responsible drinking, which mirrors what is happening across society, but also to lessen the risk of antisocial behaviour that sometimes accompanies drinking to excess. Surely that isn't a bad thing?
Of course decreasing anti-social behaviour due to excess alcohol is a good thing. I've just always been a bit sceptical as to the real aim of these sorts of things for businesses. 'Don't drink too much outside, pay ££ and drink as much as you like when inside'

To be honest though I think that sort of thing is more applicable to clubs etc. than the football.
 

Greenacres

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#11
Of course decreasing anti-social behaviour due to excess alcohol is a good thing. I've just always been a bit sceptical as to the real aim of these sorts of things for businesses. 'Don't drink too much outside, pay ££ and drink as much as you like when inside'

To be honest though I think that sort of thing is more applicable to clubs etc. than the football.
Hasn't it always been the case that football fans were treated as second class citizens, at least since the late 70's, granted that we let ourselves down at times but things have improved massively since I started going to games. As far as I know alcohol is not allowed to be consumed within the sight of the pitch when the match is in progress, yet at some sports (rugby and cricket to name but two) vast amounts of alcohol are consumed in the stands during the game...to be fair, you would probably need to get me exceedingly drunk to make me watch rugby.

You are right about the cost of drinking outside compared to inside the ground, although I reckon it is probably worse the higher up the leagues you go. At our ground the pub has decent beer in it at reasonable prices, there are even guest beers from local breweries, it is a popular place to go for a drink on matchday. Contrast that with Old Trafford, at least the last time I went there, where beer was served in small bottles with the club crest on them...and it wasn't cheap.
 

Bs14gas

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#13
Hasn't it always been the case that football fans were treated as second class citizens, at least since the late 70's, granted that we let ourselves down at times but things have improved massively since I started going to games. As far as I know alcohol is not allowed to be consumed within the sight of the pitch when the match is in progress, yet at some sports (rugby and cricket to name but two) vast amounts of alcohol are consumed in the stands during the game...to be fair, you would probably need to get me exceedingly drunk to make me watch rugby.

You are right about the cost of drinking outside compared to inside the ground, although I reckon it is probably worse the higher up the leagues you go. At our ground the pub has decent beer in it at reasonable prices, there are even guest beers from local breweries, it is a popular place to go for a drink on matchday. Contrast that with Old Trafford, at least the last time I went there, where beer was served in small bottles with the club crest on them...and it wasn't cheap.
£4 a pint for CARLESBERG in your tent disgusting pint and rip off price.
 

Greenacres

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#14
£4 a pint for CARLESBERG in your tent disgusting pint and rip off price.
OK, so I should state here that I'm not a beer drinker and even when I was I didn't go anywhere near lager, so I haven't a clue whether that represents good value for taste or money. In defence of my club, they didn't have to put up a tented bar for the Gas fans, but they did. It would have been just as easy to say that the game was dry for away fans. Also, when you visited us for the league game you were given exclusive use of our club bar, how many teams would have done that?
 

F Side Rat

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#15
If they started doing that at the NAC Stadion in Breda where I watch football no one would get in!!

In response to a comment in the national media saying that NAC fans must be living in fear of the relegation play offs, they flew a banner at the next game 'The only thing we fear is running out of beer'.

I can't get my head around the fact that in 2015, alcohol is still not allowed to be sold during games in England (especially 5th tier where the crowds are 1,000 odd).
 

GTFC1979

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#18
Good job this didn't come in when Mike Newell was our manager, empty dugout every game!! :p :p
 

F Side Rat

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#20
Yes, I was talking about being able to sit with my Girlfriend, have a pint and watch a game of football.
Something I can do in every country outside the UK it seems
 

Southern Shayman

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#23
My problem with this is the limit that is set. Someone could be twice the drink drive limit having had 3 or 4 pints. I fail to see how having had 4 pints make you in any way a danger to society or safety at a football match.

Just use common sense and if someone is clearly hammered and acting a tit/aggressive then don't let them in. Common sense needs to prevail here.
 

Habbinalan

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#24
My problem with this is the limit that is set. Someone could be twice the drink drive limit having had 3 or 4 pints. I fail to see how having had 4 pints make you in any way a danger to society or safety at a football match.

Just use common sense and if someone is clearly hammered and acting a tit/aggressive then don't let them in. Common sense needs to prevail here.
I agree and the club line that was being taken suggested that would remain the approach, with the breathalyser only used to provide evidence as back up for that decision. The fact that 7 fans were tested and none excluded suggests that, at least for now, its being given a higher profile. I wasn't there and I don't know but next season I trust that our Chairman and Chief Exec will keep a close eye on how many are being tested and in particular why.
 

Richard Cranium

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#25
I went to Cambridge 2 weeks ago and due to their stewards messing us about sending us to the turnstile to then say we had to buy a ticket we missed the first 5 minutes. When 2 of us walked in 3 coppers and 4 stewards pulled us aside and said We know you've had a few to drink, if you so much as get out your seat you will be arrested. Needless to say as they were talking to us Cambridge scored so we left anyway but had 3 coppers follow us all the way into the City. Not trouble causer at all. Going away getting hammered and having a good day out is what it's all about. I'm not usually one for all this drama, but next season I won't be going to Cambridge away unless it means something.
 

Habbinalan

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#26
I went to Cambridge 2 weeks ago and due to their stewards messing us about sending us to the turnstile to then say we had to buy a ticket we missed the first 5 minutes. When 2 of us walked in 3 coppers and 4 stewards pulled us aside and said We know you've had a few to drink, if you so much as get out your seat you will be arrested. Needless to say as they were talking to us Cambridge scored so we left anyway but had 3 coppers follow us all the way into the City. Not trouble causer at all. Going away getting hammered and having a good day out is what it's all about. I'm not usually one for all this drama, but next season I won't be going to Cambridge away unless it means something.
Thanks for the feedback.
 

Southern Shayman

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#27
I agree and the club line that was being taken suggested that would remain the approach, with the breathalyser only used to provide evidence as back up for that decision. The fact that 7 fans were tested and none excluded suggests that, at least for now, its being given a higher profile. I wasn't there and I don't know but next season I trust that our Chairman and Chief Exec will keep a close eye on how many are being tested and in particular why.
But that for me is the problem. They've clearly just selected 7 random people to make a fanfare about their new kit. If you look at someone, think they're hammered and it turns out they've had less than 4 pints - either the club are unfairly targeting normal people just to make a song and dance, or someone can seriously not handle their ale!
 

Habbinalan

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#28
But that for me is the problem. They've clearly just selected 7 random people to make a fanfare about their new kit. If you look at someone, think they're hammered and it turns out they've had less than 4 pints - either the club are unfairly targeting normal people just to make a song and dance, or someone can seriously not handle their ale!
As an initial reaction, for me that was also the problem. Even without making assumptions about the basis for sampling the 7 people, it certainly feels more like a police Xmas drink driving campaign and an effort to send messages than anything else.

However, if the club feel that this approach is necessary for us to progress commercially and in particular make progress with a new ground, I'm willing to reserve judgement and see how the policies are implemented next season. We have an image problem with planners, potential neighbours, potential sources of new income and potential new fans. Despite the fact that we've only had 2 arrests and no major problems this year, the perceived connection between fans, drink and violence remains - and we have got a fan in hospital after an attack outside a pub.

I'm beginning to recognise that this is being addressed in a planned and integrated way, whereas in the past we've been playing catchup by reacting to incidents or concerns as we've encountered them. That's progress of a sort, even if it makes some of us uncomfortable.
 

Murphy

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#29
I went to Cambridge 2 weeks ago and due to their stewards messing us about sending us to the turnstile to then say we had to buy a ticket we missed the first 5 minutes. When 2 of us walked in 3 coppers and 4 stewards pulled us aside and said We know you've had a few to drink, if you so much as get out your seat you will be arrested. Needless to say as they were talking to us Cambridge scored so we left anyway but had 3 coppers follow us all the way into the City. Not trouble causer at all. Going away getting hammered and having a good day out is what it's all about. I'm not usually one for all this drama, but next season I won't be going to Cambridge away unless it means something.
Have you told the FSF about that incident? Because it's a bit of a bloody joke.

We had similar(ish) away at Aldershot a few years back. A group of us, about five or six who hadn't actually had anything to drink at the time got off the train at the station (where else) and walked past a group of police. They asked as where we were going, we said to the ground, and as we walked away we could hear one of them on the radio telling one of his/her fellow officers to keep an eye on us. Bear in mind we'd had nothing to drink and to be quite honest, we're not exactly intimidating as football fans, and I felt a bit victimised. Not to the point where it affects me obviously, or that I really give a shit about it, it's just the principle of the matter.
 

Tom_CUFC

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#30
I went to Cambridge 2 weeks ago and due to their stewards messing us about sending us to the turnstile to then say we had to buy a ticket we missed the first 5 minutes. When 2 of us walked in 3 coppers and 4 stewards pulled us aside and said We know you've had a few to drink, if you so much as get out your seat you will be arrested. Needless to say as they were talking to us Cambridge scored so we left anyway but had 3 coppers follow us all the way into the City. Not trouble causer at all. Going away getting hammered and having a good day out is what it's all about. I'm not usually one for all this drama, but next season I won't be going to Cambridge away unless it means something.
The policing with us this season, home and away, has been absolutely ridiculous, it's putting me right off. Luckily for CUFC I paid for my season ticket a couple of weeks ago before this farce of a policy/story came out, otherwise I'd have thought twice, but like the pigs said to you the same applies to me and the club next season, they step over that line once and I'm done with them.
 

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