Friday, 14 June 2013

Burnley Thrash Manchester City

I went to a football match at Manchester City's Etihad stadium once.

Nice ground and all that, but I remember the stewarding being pretty heavy-handed to say the least. I was with the boy and in seats at the edge of the pitch, meaning he didn't see the last five or ten minutes due to a ring of hi viz-bedecked, err, crowd control operatives blocking his view entirely as they stood arms folded looking menacingly at supporters who had stumped up a princely sum for their ticket.

I remember the supporters being in jubilant mood, so much so that one lit a cigar about ten rows back. He may as well have taken the pin out of a hand grenade as three stewards leapt seats and ignorantly sent innocent fans flying to get to him.

So it wasn't too surprising to read this a couple of months back.
A City supporter has been left fuming after he was banned from the Etihad Stadium – for ‘smoking’ an electronic cigarette. 
The Blues fan, who asked not to be named, was spotted by stewards with the device at their clash with Chelsea – which came in the first week he had not been smoking. 
He was told that the e-cigarette, which can be legally smoked anywhere, was not permitted at the stadium and was then escorted from the ground by police. 
And now the lifelong supporter has been written to by Peter Fletcher, City’s head of safety and security, who has told him that his season card has been suspended. 
The disgruntled Blue said: “I was on the concourse at half-time having a drink with a few mates. 
“I took a drag of it and was asked by security to come into a room – I just thought I was going to be asked to explain what it was. 
“I was told they were banned and asked for my season card which I handed over. I was then escorted out of the ground by police.”
Nice way to treat someone who has handed over hundreds of pounds a year in advance for the privilege, eh? It seems Manchester City FC are the latest in a very long line of petty authoritarians who are more than happy to enforce pointless rules under the guise of caring about health.

There still isn't a study worldwide showing any health problem from a whiff of real smoke in an outdoor environment, but now e-cigs are also banned just for the hell of it, and fans humiliated and marched off the premises when they use an alternative which doesn't produce the 'deadly' passive smoke the club has been conned to believe in.

Meanwhile, down the road in Burnley they employ a different approach.
The club has recently installed smoking pens outside the stadium exit gates on match days in order to comply with football legislation
Yes, unlike Manchester City, they actually cater for their paying smokers! Arranging their business to fit in with their customers' preferences? How very novel.

What's more, if you would like to try an e-cig instead, they're happy to see their club associated with it.

And even explain what they are for the uninitiated.

But then, why wouldn't they? It's a win/win all round.
[Anthony Fairclough, Director of Commercial Affairs at Turf Moor, said:] “We are conscious of the problems within the stands by fans illegally smoking cigarettes and contravening the stadium regulations. In tandem with Totally Wicked we feel we can approach this problem with a viable alternative and we look forward to working together on this and a number of future initiatives.”
Well, quite. But then, if you're more interested in cracking heads and marching fans out of the ground with a police escort, you'd never spot it would you?

Now, I don't know about you, but if I were in the north west I'd much prefer being treated as a human being - instead of a vaguely sentient form of livestock - while watching my football. As such, my personal choice of venue would be Burnley FC and not Manchester City.

I'd also suggest that Burnley are far more interested in the happiness and health of their fans than the "we've got your money, now fuck off" attitude of Manchester City.

They might have loadsa middle eastern cash (I swear I read that somewhere) and a place in the Premiership, but Championship Burnley thrash the pants off Manchester City for looking after their fans I reckon.


H/T Ta to long-time jewel robber Steve W for sharing the flyers


What the.... said...

“There still isn't a study worldwide showing any health problem from a whiff of real smoke in an outdoor environment, but now e-cigs are also banned just for the hell of it, and fans humiliated and marched off the premises when they use an alternative which doesn't produce the
'deadly' passive smoke the club has been conned to believe in.”

DP, in my neck of the woods, smoking is also banned in all sports stadiums. I’m not sure what the situation is in the UK, but here the powers that be of these facilities have no problem letting off fireworks on the ground at kickoff which drapes the spectators – stadium wide - in a blanket of thick smoke for many minutes (it’s probably the equivalent of many hundreds of thousands of cigarettes - if not more - at once). And there’s one stadium involving
a particular football code that sets off a bank of large rocket-type “fire
spitters” (aimed skyward - thankfully) on the edge of the pitch every time a team scores. You can see the air around the fire shimmering as around an airplane engine. But don’t light up a cigarette! I'm not suggesting that these medium-scale pyrotechnics be banned. But the sheer head-spinning hypocrisy should be obvious [although not to some, it seems].

What the.... said...

“….I was then escorted out of the ground by police.”

It’s getting even nastier in some countries (Ghana):

Smokers to Face Prison Sentence as FDA Gets Ready to Bite Hard

Bucko TheMoose said...

I remember being told by a Burnley fan that ecigs were banned and blogging it. It turned out to be untrue.
Fortunately it seems to be very untrue. Fair play to them.

What the.... said...

It was even nasty in America early last century:

“It was like any other Tuesday lunch hour, until the sheriff’s deputies walked in. Mr. Ernest Bamberger, general manager of the Keystone Mining Company and recent (unsuccessful) Republican candidate for United States senator, and Mr. John C. Lynch, manager of the Salt Lake Ice Company, finished their meals at the Vienna Café, an unpretentious but respectable businessmen’s restaurant on Salt Lake City’s Main Street, and prepared to savor their customary post-luncheon cigars. A few tables away, near the back of the crowded establishment, Mr. Edgar L. Newhouse, department
manager for the American Smelting and Refining Company, paused briefly in his conversation with Mr. L. R. Eccles of Ogden to light a cigarette. At the same time, Mr. Ambrose Noble McKay, general manager of the Salt Lake Tribune , lighted his cigar, picked up
his check, and went over to the counter to pay it.

None of the gentlemen’s actions sparked any apparent interest among the other restaurant patrons. Certainly no one—with the possible exception of Mr. J. J. Burke, a Salt Lake contracting engineer—suspected them of any overt criminal activity. As they smoked, chatted, and pondered the upcoming afternoon’s affairs—or, in McKay’s case, waited impatiently for the counterman to tally up the bill—they remained completely unaware that they were only a few minutes away from a calamity that not only would make them the outraged subjects of a public spectacle but also would result in their good names being bandied about in newspapers across the country. Had they suspected they were in such danger they easily could have destroyed the incriminating evidence with a simple twist of thumb and forefinger. But they did not, and a few moments later, even before the ash on Bamberger’s cigar required attention, they were caught flagrante delicto by Salt Lake County sheriff’s deputies Michael Mauss and John Harris.

The two deputies entered the Vienna Café at half-past noon and walked directly to the table occupied by Bamberger and Lynch, where they displayed their badges and promptly placed the men under arrest. While Deputy Harris stood guard over the pair, Deputy Mauss walked to the rear of the café, where he arrested Newhouse. Eccles, Newhouses luncheon companion, escaped arrest only by gesticulating with an unlighted cigarette and proving to the deputy that although he had obviously intended to commit a crime, he had not yet done so, and therefore was not subject to
arrest. Deputy Mauss agreed.

Meanwhile, McKay, who had finally succeeded in paying his lunch bill and was preparing to leave the café, was loudly denounced as a
co-offender by Mr. Burke, who pointed a finger at the departing McKay and told Deputy Harris that he also should be arrested. Perhaps fearing an escape attempt by Bamberger and Lynch, Deputy Harris made no move to apprehend the fleeing newspaperman.

The two deputies then escorted their three protesting prisoners through the highly agitated throng of customers and onlookers (the
Vienna Café may have been unpretentious, but arrests on the premises were uncommon enough to generate a great deal of excitement). Since no patrol car was available, Mr. Bamberger, Mr. Lynch, and Mr. Newhouse were then marched down Main Street, in full and humiliating view of friends, business associates, and passers-by, to the county jail some blocks away, where they
were charged and booked like so many common criminals.
Which they were, since they—along with McKay, who as a result of some rather undignified snitching by his accomplices in crime was soon to become the object of a similar criminal complaint —openly had violated Section 4, Chapter 145, of the Utah
state code. The four men had been smoking in an enclosed public place.

SadButMadLad said...

Nice to hear some positive news about Burnley. Thylacosmilus always picks on the bad news in her newspaper snippets.

DP said...

Dear Mr Puddlecote

"The club has recently installed smoking pens outside the stadium exit gates on match days in order to comply with football legislation"

Are not pens designed to contain animals?

Just asking.


Adam Haseman said...

There are some total jobsworth nazis about. I still rember this one from 2008.

Dick_Puddlecote said...

True, but at least Burnley offer something. It is anti-smokers who are the nasty dehumanising influence. ASH often try to claim that they are the smoker's friend, but that idea died once Arnott took over.

Dick_Puddlecote said...

Yep, the intolerant and hideous are favoured by tobacco control. Anti-social behaviour has been positively encouraged since 2007.