South Shields FC applies to sell booze from 7am on away game days

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Thirsty football fans could be able to order a pint from 7am under plans submitted by South Shields Football Club.

The Mariners have applied for permission to open the clubhouse bar early to ensure supporters are well fed and watered before heading to away games.

Under the proposals, the venue could be allowed to serve for up to two hours, until 9am – but only on days when the side is on the road.

The doors would also only be opened to those with tickets to travel.

According to the application, which is being considered by South Tyneside Council: “The purpose of the variation to earlier opening is to allow for supporters, registered to travel to an away game on a supporters or team bus, to leave form the clubhouse, and have the opportunity of food, alcoholic, and non-alcoholic beverages.

“The clubhouse will only be open on those days we have an away game arranged, and for a limited time - two hours before the buses are scheduled to leave, until the buses actually leave.

South Shields fans could be having a beer before grtting on the bus

South Shields fans could be having a beer before grtting on the bus

“The clubhouse will then be closed again, following their departure, until our normal opening time of 11.00.”

In April, South Shields FC secured their third promotion in a row to take them into the 22-team Premier Division of the Northern Premier League.

The application is seeking to let the club open early for any away game, on any day of the week.

This potentially means the bar could be open early for 21 away league matchdays, plus any cup games or friendlies.

However, as comments on the application can be sent by members of the public to South Tyneside Council until Thursday, August 30, a final decision cannot be issued before then.

That would mean the Mariners’ trip to Stalybridge Celtic on Tuesday, September 4, is the first of 19 league games the new regulation could be in place for, if permission is granted.

As well as letting fans in extra early, the plans could also give them more freedom over where on the Shaftesbury Avenue site they want to drink.

The club has asked for usual restrictions on ‘where drinks can be consumed outside of the buildings’ to be removed for the early opening period.

But they would still be banned from being within a metre of the pitch perimeter fence.

A spokesman for the South Shields FC said the club did not wish to comment on the application at this stage.

James Harrison

James Harrison , Local Democracy Reporting Service