Pubs to open until 1am for England games during World Cup

Daily Echo: Watching England games at the pub is under threat Watching England games at the pub is under threat

IT is a tradition that dates back decades.

Football fans have long gathered at their local to watch England in the World Cup.

But that ritual seemed to be under threat after the Government announced that national licensing laws would not be extended to allow pubs to show England’s opening match in Brazil this year.

With the fixture against Italy kicking off at 11pm, it meant pubs would either have to apply to their local authorities for a temporary licence costing £21, or football fans would have to watch it at home.

But now the Prime Minister has intervened, and it is now likely pubs across Hampshire will be able to stay open until 1am to show the crucial opening match which could feature Saints stars such as Rickie Lambert, Adam Lallana and Jay Rodriguez.

It is a decision that has left pub bosses and football fans celebrating.

The game had originally been scheduled to start at 2am, but that was moved forward by three hours at the request of broadcasters.

But the 11pm kick-off time of the match in Manaus led to publicans from across the country applying to extend closing times to 1am.

The British Beer and Pub Association, which represents England’s 49,400 pubs and had co-ordinated the bid, believes the extended opening hours could be worth £20m to the pub industry.

The Home Office had rejected the bid, meaning pubs would have to pay £21 for temporary licences from their councils or be closed by the time the Three Lions kicked off their tournament.

Ministers have the power to relax the rules to mark an occasion of “exceptional international, national or local significance”, as was done recently for the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. However it was ruled that the World Cup opener did not meet that criteria.

But yesterday Mr Cameron called for a rethink, and announced consultation would begin “shortly” on later opening hours.

A spokesman for the Prime Minister said: “We want the pub trade, police and local authorities to work together to ensure people can enjoy World Cup matches responsibly and safely.

“The Home Office will shortly consult on granting a national extension to licensing hours for late night matches on the opening and closing weekends and for England’s known 11pm matches. Local authorities and police will have the opportunity to raise any concerns about dealing with public disorder.”

The spokesman added: “The Government position is that we are consulting on nationally extending the opening hours as a result of the Prime Minister asking the department to look again at this issue.

“It is right that we consult but, subject to that consultation, clearly our intention would be that pubs would be able to be open for the relevant games, reflecting the fact that it is a major national event.”

England’s other group matches against Uruguay and Costa Rica start at 8pm and 5pm respectively.

If Roy Hodgson’s men make it through the knock-out stages of the competition, the latest they could play a fixture would be 9pm, while the final will start at 8pm on July 13.

The move has been welcomed by local licensees and politicians.

Chris Reich, area manager for JD Wetherspoon and chairman of the Southampton Licensees’ Link, said: “I think it’s a common sense decision.

“When the World Cup was in Japan and South Korea in 2002 pubs were allowed to open at 6am or 7am because of the early kick-offs, and that went really well.

“Everyone loves getting behind the national team and a pub is a great environment in which to do that.”

Southampton City Council leader Simon Letts said: “Now the Government has done a u-turn we welcome that, and even if they hadn’t we were looking into ways to have a city-wide extension of licences so pubs could remain open to show the match.

“It’s part of the English tradition that every four years we get together to watch England lose on penalties in our local pub, so woe betide any attempt to deny us that.”

Winchester City Council’s licensing committee chairman Fiona Mather said: “I think I have every confidence that licensing authorities and the police working together can cope with the effects of pubs opening on a Saturday evening until 1am.

“Certainly in Winchester city centre the police are well-versed at dealing with venues being open late. We will have to see whether the police think they can police rural pubs as well.”

Being open for the football could have a big impact on footfall, and consequently takings.

Chas Stone, owner of Stones pub in Eastleigh High Street, said: “I would expect it to at least double our trade in the evening. “While it’s hard to put a figure on it, I think it may increase our footfall by four or five times from what we normally see.”

Comments (14)

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11:21am Tue 4 Feb 14

WILLIAM HAGUES TWIN BROTHER. says...

need to be p****d to watch them at any time of the day.
need to be p****d to watch them at any time of the day. WILLIAM HAGUES TWIN BROTHER.

11:37am Tue 4 Feb 14

garethsmith72 says...

Headline states "will be open" content says "But now the Prime Minister has intervened, and it is now likely pubs across Hampshire will be able to stay open until 1am "... so it's not guaranteed that they will be open. As usual Echo not correcrtly reporting
Headline states "will be open" content says "But now the Prime Minister has intervened, and it is now likely pubs across Hampshire will be able to stay open until 1am "... so it's not guaranteed that they will be open. As usual Echo not correcrtly reporting garethsmith72

12:00pm Tue 4 Feb 14

Lone Ranger. says...

Well according to the "Blue Dinosaur" he always states that the pubs in England are allowed to open and serve alcohol 24 hours a day.
.
Looks like the "Blue Dionsaur" will have to find something else to whinge about
Well according to the "Blue Dinosaur" he always states that the pubs in England are allowed to open and serve alcohol 24 hours a day. . Looks like the "Blue Dionsaur" will have to find something else to whinge about Lone Ranger.

12:01pm Tue 4 Feb 14

Brite Spark says...

What's the point, it'll be over by half time.
What's the point, it'll be over by half time. Brite Spark

1:14pm Tue 4 Feb 14

gilbertratchet says...

garethsmith72 wrote:
Headline states "will be open" content says "But now the Prime Minister has intervened, and it is now likely pubs across Hampshire will be able to stay open until 1am "... so it's not guaranteed that they will be open. As usual Echo not correcrtly reporting
*correctly
[quote][p][bold]garethsmith72[/bold] wrote: Headline states "will be open" content says "But now the Prime Minister has intervened, and it is now likely pubs across Hampshire will be able to stay open until 1am "... so it's not guaranteed that they will be open. As usual Echo not correcrtly reporting[/p][/quote]*correctly gilbertratchet

5:17pm Tue 4 Feb 14

forest hump says...

When (not if) they get dumped out, look after your fences and hedges as the vile, drunken, feral beasts will inflict damage on anything that is in their way.
When (not if) they get dumped out, look after your fences and hedges as the vile, drunken, feral beasts will inflict damage on anything that is in their way. forest hump

5:21pm Tue 4 Feb 14

sparkster says...

how ridiculous, all for sport, pathetic
how ridiculous, all for sport, pathetic sparkster

5:35pm Tue 4 Feb 14

gilbertratchet says...

sparkster wrote:
how ridiculous, all for sport, pathetic
What's pathetic about it?
[quote][p][bold]sparkster[/bold] wrote: how ridiculous, all for sport, pathetic[/p][/quote]What's pathetic about it? gilbertratchet

6:42pm Tue 4 Feb 14

bigfella777 says...

forest hump wrote:
When (not if) they get dumped out, look after your fences and hedges as the vile, drunken, feral beasts will inflict damage on anything that is in their way.
You know that and people wonder why events like this are not allowed here. If people drank responsibly then there would be no problem. I will be watching from my comfy sofa away from the flying glasses thanks.
[quote][p][bold]forest hump[/bold] wrote: When (not if) they get dumped out, look after your fences and hedges as the vile, drunken, feral beasts will inflict damage on anything that is in their way.[/p][/quote]You know that and people wonder why events like this are not allowed here. If people drank responsibly then there would be no problem. I will be watching from my comfy sofa away from the flying glasses thanks. bigfella777

9:37pm Tue 4 Feb 14

Zexagon says...

bigfella777 wrote:
forest hump wrote:
When (not if) they get dumped out, look after your fences and hedges as the vile, drunken, feral beasts will inflict damage on anything that is in their way.
You know that and people wonder why events like this are not allowed here. If people drank responsibly then there would be no problem. I will be watching from my comfy sofa away from the flying glasses thanks.
What like euro 96?
[quote][p][bold]bigfella777[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]forest hump[/bold] wrote: When (not if) they get dumped out, look after your fences and hedges as the vile, drunken, feral beasts will inflict damage on anything that is in their way.[/p][/quote]You know that and people wonder why events like this are not allowed here. If people drank responsibly then there would be no problem. I will be watching from my comfy sofa away from the flying glasses thanks.[/p][/quote]What like euro 96? Zexagon

10:58pm Tue 4 Feb 14

forest hump says...

bigfella777 wrote:
forest hump wrote:
When (not if) they get dumped out, look after your fences and hedges as the vile, drunken, feral beasts will inflict damage on anything that is in their way.
You know that and people wonder why events like this are not allowed here. If people drank responsibly then there would be no problem. I will be watching from my comfy sofa away from the flying glasses thanks.
It is a real pity that the majority of true fans need no alcohol to feed their enthusiasm. Again, it is the totally irresponsible minority of morons who over indulge and wreak havoc once the game is over....win or lose. I think we all know the result due to the lack of English players at the top level. The F.A. or whoever sets the rules should apply limits to overseas players as is enforced in cricket.
[quote][p][bold]bigfella777[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]forest hump[/bold] wrote: When (not if) they get dumped out, look after your fences and hedges as the vile, drunken, feral beasts will inflict damage on anything that is in their way.[/p][/quote]You know that and people wonder why events like this are not allowed here. If people drank responsibly then there would be no problem. I will be watching from my comfy sofa away from the flying glasses thanks.[/p][/quote]It is a real pity that the majority of true fans need no alcohol to feed their enthusiasm. Again, it is the totally irresponsible minority of morons who over indulge and wreak havoc once the game is over....win or lose. I think we all know the result due to the lack of English players at the top level. The F.A. or whoever sets the rules should apply limits to overseas players as is enforced in cricket. forest hump

11:08pm Tue 4 Feb 14

Service-defender says...

I really dislike the idea. Drunken football fans are bad enough during the day, let alone disturbing us in the middle of the night.

I can sympathise with the responsible ones but personally I'd say let the pubs run as usual, we wouldn't have extended hours for other sports so why make an exception for football?
I really dislike the idea. Drunken football fans are bad enough during the day, let alone disturbing us in the middle of the night. I can sympathise with the responsible ones but personally I'd say let the pubs run as usual, we wouldn't have extended hours for other sports so why make an exception for football? Service-defender

1:47pm Wed 5 Feb 14

sparkster says...

I agree entirely why just extend the hours for football, its the drunken lot who make it bad for the responsible ones
I agree entirely why just extend the hours for football, its the drunken lot who make it bad for the responsible ones sparkster

2:37pm Wed 5 Feb 14

gilbertratchet says...

bigfella777 wrote:
forest hump wrote:
When (not if) they get dumped out, look after your fences and hedges as the vile, drunken, feral beasts will inflict damage on anything that is in their way.
You know that and people wonder why events like this are not allowed here. If people drank responsibly then there would be no problem. I will be watching from my comfy sofa away from the flying glasses thanks.
The whole drinking culture in this country is a bit chicken and egg. If we'd never been told "stop drinking at 11pm" in the first place, I doubt we'd have such a thing as binge drinking. Of course, the ridiculous idea that that could be undone in retrospect, well, the horse has already bolted.
[quote][p][bold]bigfella777[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]forest hump[/bold] wrote: When (not if) they get dumped out, look after your fences and hedges as the vile, drunken, feral beasts will inflict damage on anything that is in their way.[/p][/quote]You know that and people wonder why events like this are not allowed here. If people drank responsibly then there would be no problem. I will be watching from my comfy sofa away from the flying glasses thanks.[/p][/quote]The whole drinking culture in this country is a bit chicken and egg. If we'd never been told "stop drinking at 11pm" in the first place, I doubt we'd have such a thing as binge drinking. Of course, the ridiculous idea that that could be undone in retrospect, well, the horse has already bolted. gilbertratchet

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