Leeds United quash talk of ‘booze ban’ for Elland Road bars

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Leeds United have rubbished suggestions that fans could be banned from drinking alcohol in Elland Road’s bars and hospitality suites.

A national newspaper report yesterday (Aug 23) claimed that Leeds director Salem Patel wanted to make the ground a ‘dry’ zone.

The report said Mr Patel saw a booze ban as a way of reflecting the Muslim beliefs of the men in charge at United’s owners, GFH Capital.

Now, however, Leeds managing director David Haigh has assured supporters that the club has no intention of showing the red card to the serving of alcohol inside the stadium.

He said: “The board has never discussed banning alcohol and has no plans to change the current licensing arrangements at Elland Road.

“Enjoying a pint before and after watching the match is a time-honoured Yorkshire tradition, as indeed it is among many British football fans.

“Equally the club will continue to offer a selection of wines and other alcoholic drinks to our corporate guests.”

Yesterday’s story came just weeks after United and their catering partner Compass announced a high-profile link-up with drinks giant Heineken.

As part of the deal, Heineken received a package of marketing rights at the stadium that included the creation of a dedicated Foster’s fan zone in its South Stand.

The firm has also ploughed more than £250,000 into what it calls the “cider and beer serving infrastructure” at Elland Road.

Dubai-based investment bank GFH took charge of United at the end of last year.

They have recently engaged in a much-praised charm offensive designed to win back the support of those fans who had become disillusioned by the way the club was run during the reign of ex-chairman and president Ken Bates.

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