Mobile pub proposal near Celtic Park rejected by Celtic and Police Scotland

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Celtic and the police have objected to a new mobile pub getting an alcohol licence near the football stadium over concerns about public safety on match days.

The bar proposed to open for three home games this month on private land at the corner of Holywell Street and Janefield Street. But the bid was turned down by the city’s licensing board last week after it heard thousands would be in the area and it could lead to crowds congregating.

Police Inspector Gareth Griffiths said the bar would be located at a main thoroughfare and there are concerns the “area in question would become a focal point for fans to consume alcohol.”

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Lodging an objection over crime and disorder among potential problems, he also said a “lack of consultation” before the alcohol licence was submitted  is “concerning.”

A pint being poured in a pub. A pint being poured in a pub.
A pint being poured in a pub.

Representing Celtic FC, licensing lawyer Stephen McGowan said: “There are concerns this premises will interfere with match day safety.”

He explained that its presence could hinder the long established security protocol for protecting public safety and cracking down on crime and disorder during match days.

A representative of applicant Charlotte Abuceviciene said the temporary bar would be removed from the area afterwards at night and will operate on three specific match days in December.

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He told the board only 60 seated customers would be allowed – 30 inside and the rest outside and there would be three security staff.

He said the applicant would be more than happy to “make sure children are not allowed inside” and stated that the bar would be set back from the pavement. Stressing how the premises is a trial and would have a “small capacity,” he pointed out “Celtic themselves” have put bars on their grounds.

Expressing doubt over the security plan for the proposal, Mr McGowan added: “The club is concerned about how the stewards would be integrated with match day” procedure.

Disagreeing, the applicant representative, said he wasn’t sure how 60 people sitting would interfere with crowd movement and offered that the team behind the proposal would seek to engage with Celtic Park.

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Responding to a question from board chair councillor Margaret Morgan about why they didn’t reach out to the club before, he said it was an “oversight.” Councillor Thomas Kerr said consultation should have taken place.

Councillor Alex Wilson said: “We are talking about thousands and thousands of people going into this area.” He added: “I don’t think this is properly thought through.”

He expressed worry about kids being left outside while dads went in for a pint. Councillor Wilson added: “I don’t think football and alcohol are a good mix – particularly with this fan base.”

The licensing board refused the occasional alcohol licence.

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