Oi, Ashley no!
I was watching the Arsenal v Newcastle game on the box at the weekend and in the 2nd half Barcode owner Mike Ashley was spotted by the TV cameras with a pint in hand, which he downed... I did not really think much of it, nor did I when they also showed it on match of the day later that evening.
Take a look at the picture below though - do you see anything wrong with what he is doing?
At first glance, or thought you, much like I did at first, might think nothing of it... but give it some more thought, actually comprehend what he is doing - drinking - and where he is doing this - in the stand - and you get your answer!
What he is doing is actually very wrong in accordance with the laws of the game - it is highly illegal in fact and has, and probably will still, see plenty of others ejected, fined, arrested and even banned!
So why is something that is wrong for you or I to do ok for him, millions or not?
A fine would of course be pocket change to him, but if not dished out those that have been hit with a similar fines in the past should kick up a storm to see this refunded, whereas those that have been ejected and/or banned should also kick off. If banned from a ground they should have this ban overturned - as if it is ok for Ashley, how comes it is not ok for them...
To be honest, whilst I think drinking in the stand should not be a problem as this is something that you can do before a game, and even during - in the half time break - so long as it is not in the stand, so why not just allow this as they do at most other sporting events including Rugby and Cricket. Football might have 'a reputation' when it comes to alcohol and problems it might cause, but with this freely available - so long as you are not sitting in the stand - how is that much different?
I have a good mate who works for the FSF - Football Supporters Federation - so if anyone has been effected by a situation similar to the one Ashley put himself in at the weekend, with him apparently getting away with it, he would be very interested to hear how you were dealt with. 'If' you were punished then the FSF will be happy to fight your case, citing the 'oversight' given to Ashley as a basis to challenge your punishment.
Anyone effected by this with some form of punished can contact me on this email address firstname.lastname@example.org and I will pass on your details and the FSF will see what they can do to help you - they fight for the fans so let them fight for you if you feel you have a grievance...
PLAY UP POMPEY!
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