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Intense anger

Fan zone for 6,000 sparks fury among publicans

Paul Waterson: ‘adding insult to injury’

Publicans in Glasgow are furious that the Scottish Government is allowing 6,000 football fans to gather in a “fan zone” for next month’s Euro2020 tournament while they are struggling with Covid restrictions.

The zone will be a tented area set up on Glasgow Green where alcohol will be available.

The Scottish Licensed Trade Association said the move “adds insult to injury” while Glasgow remains “in limbo” and many pubs cannot serve outdoors as they do not have the facilities.

Pub bosses say that allowing such a large gathering will also take business away from pubs which do not have space to show matches in outdoor areas.

SLTA spokesman Paul Waterson said: “There is intense anger among licensed hospitality trade operators in the city that 6,000 people are to be permitted to converge on Glasgow Green and buy alcohol in what we understand will be tented areas when many pubs that have followed the guidelines and invested in all the tools to stop the spread of the virus and operate in a safe and controlled environment are sitting shut.

“I cannot underestimate the level of rage there is about this – my phone has been ringing off the hook with publicans asking me to explain why this is allowed to happen when they are languishing in limbo.

“Can’t the Government and Glasgow City Council see that this is adding insult to injury? People are understandably upset.”

Mr Waterson added: “While we appreciate the approval is provisional at this stage there is a fear that an event of this size and scale will take business away from the licensed trade operators who pay their rates year in, year out and have been absolutely hammered over the last 14-15 months and who are waiting patiently to move into level two so they can serve their customers indoors.

“Obviously we are delighted that Scotland have qualified for Euro 2020 and will be playing at Hampden but there must be a level playing field for the licensed hospitality trade operators in the city.”

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