Page last updated at 14:37 GMT, Friday, 27 June 2008 15:37 UK

Fans angry over town pub closures

A tray of drinks
Police say the closure of Rhyl pubs will cut the risk of "disorder"

Football fans have criticised town pubs which are closing for an hour after a European football tie on Saturday.

Most of Rhyl's pubs will shut when the town team play Bohemians of Dublin, who will bring up to 600 fans for the return leg of their Intertoto Cup game.

North Wales Police said there was an increased risk of disorder, but stressed closures were voluntary.

But Rhyl Fans' Association vice-chairman Mike Jones said there had been no problems at the first leg.

"We had a great weekend in Dublin," he said.

"There was no trouble there at all."

If the fans can't drink in the pubs, they'll drink in the streets anyway
Mike Jones, Rhyl Fans' Association

Rhyl lost 5-1 in the first leg, making Bohemians strong favourites to progress from Intertoto Cup qualifying and to enter the second qualifying round of the Uefa Cup.

Mr Jones said: "All the fans were mingling for a couple of pints and arranging to meet in Rhyl. Now they're up in arms.

"Why can't they police it like a normal Saturday night? If the fans can't drink in the pubs, they'll drink in the streets anyway."

Premises will shut their doors between 1700 - 1800 BST, meaning that they will be closed shortly after full time.

Landlord Nigel Earnshaw said: "The police are trying to use it as a deterrent."

"If the fans see the pubs are closed, they might move on somewhere else."

"The majority of the pubs in town are closing for an hour. If it stops any violence then I'll go along with it", he added.

A North Wales Police spokesman said: "Up to 600 fans may be visiting the town this weekend for the football match. Fans bring an increased risk of disorder. "

"To help reduce the risk, licensees could voluntarily close for a short period of time. All licensees have been told that this is voluntary and not mandatory.

Rhyl Football Club said: "We support the actions of our police force."

Bohemians run riot against Rhyl
21 Jun 08 |  Europe

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