Page last updated at 14:06 GMT, Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Police ban champions' champagne

East Fife celebrations
East Fife clinched promotion from the Scottish Third Division

A football club has criticised police for banning them from drinking champagne to celebrate a title win.

The bottles were produced at East Stirlingshire's Firs Park after East Fife moved to an unassailable 24-point lead in the Scottish Third Division.

Directors were warned that having alcohol in glass containers was illegal in football grounds and they were told by the police to remove them.

Officers later threatened a director with arrest when bottles reappeared.

Celebration bubbly

East Fife director Dave Marshall told the BBC Scotland news website: "We took champagne with us on the bus, but we didn't want to pre-empt the outcome, so we left it on the bus.

"Towards the end of the game, one of the guys took it off the bus and put it in the dressing-room.

"After the match, another of the guys brought the bottles out and began to celebrate Formula One style. One of the local bobbies took exception to it and said put it away or they would be arrested.

Champagne bottles at championship celebrations seem to be welcome everywhere else
Dave Marshall
East Fife

"They took it into the dressing-room."

According to directors, when players brought the bottles back out onto the stands, officers threatened to confiscate them - but the contents had all been consumed or sprayed, so they were binned.

Ch Insp Audrey McLeod, from Central Scotland Police, said East Fife were warned about the law when an officer spotted the bottles being taken off the bus.

It states that glass containers are not permitted inside sporting grounds.

"During the subsequent celebrations the bottles were produced and champagne was sprayed over the fans who were gathered on the pitch," said Chief Insp McLeod.

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"Officers again spoke to club officials, explaining the legislation again and highlighting the potential for glass bottles to present a health and safety issue, particularly with a number of families with children in the vicinity.

"Following a brief discussion, the bottles were again removed."

Mr Marshall added: "Champagne bottles at championship celebrations seem to be welcome everywhere else.

"I don't know why they decided to do this."


video and audio news
Interview: East Fife director Jim Stevenson



SEE ALSO
East Stirlingshire 0-3 East Fife
15 Mar 08 |  Scottish League

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