Edinburgh board knocks back bid for morning drinks
TRADE groups have hit out at Edinburgh licensing board’s decision not to grant extra hours for the historic Scottish Cup Final clash between Hibs and Hearts this Saturday (May 19).
SLTA boss Paul Waterson said the decision to knock back all 21 applications for premises to open earlier on Saturday for the all-Edinburgh cup final – the first since 1896 – was a missed opportunity. He fears the move will prompt the 50,000 fans expected to travel to the game at Hampden in Glasgow, which kicks off at 3pm, to drink at home before the match.
“This is the biggest game in the history of that fixture,” he told SLTN.
“People are going to drink anyway, [so] surely it’s better that they do so in a controlled environment. Our concern now is that people will drink at home and have house parties before the game – we know what happens around Old Firm games.
“I’m disappointed that the board hasn’t shown a bit more faith in us.”
SBPA boss Patrick Browne said the decision was likely to hit trade in the capital.
“It’s a one-off event and I’m not convinced there’s any evidence of one-off events like this leading to long-term alcohol misuse,” he said.
“When was the last time they met in the Scottish Cup Final? Would [extending hours] once a century really do any harm?”
A spokeswoman for the licensing board confirmed it received 21 applications for extended hours, with the majority seeking earlier opening on Saturday May 19; “a few” premises sought later opening to 3am on Sunday morning; and two sought extended hours at both ends.
“The decision was taken to refuse all applications for extended opening hours based on strong objections from the police,” she said.
Glasgow licensing board confirmed it hadn’t received any applications for extended hours on the morning of the game.
Operators in Glasgow are gearing up for a bumper day on Saturday, when the Scottish Cup Final game will be followed by the Champions League Final (Bayern Munich v Chelsea) at 7.45pm.
The Clockwork Beer Company on Cathcart Road, close to Hampden, and the Corona on Pollokshaws Road told SLTN they have drafted in extra staff for the day.