Health bosses have failed in a bid to block Dundee FC from selling alcohol in the morning at hospitality events after claiming the move would be harmful to children.
The Dens Park side were granted an extension of their licensing hours to start at 10am on match days after their promotion to the SPL meant earlier kick-off times.
In a letter of objection, NHS Tayside public health medicine consultant Kirsty Licence said the extension went against Dundee City Council’s licensing board objectives of “protecting children from harm” and “promoting and protecting public health.”
Stadium manager Jim Thomson told the licensing board on Thursday: “Dundee FC was very belatedly thrown into the Scottish Premier League last year at a few days’ notice. Our existing hours were fine until then.
“We are looking for a variation in hours for Saturday and Sunday, which will allow us to operate a degree of flexibility with the hospitality packages we are offering.
“This is not coming in off the street for a drink. It’s not a case of allowing supporters to come into the bar and get tanked up before the game. It is only to allow the normal hospitality package.”
Mr Thomson told the board that the club was notified in advance if young people were to be present at the hospitality events and they were always under the supervision of adults.
The objection letter had stated: “The extension of licensing hours will increase access to alcohol. Children and young people are encouraged to attend and participate in sporting events such as those that will be held at this venue.
“The attitude of children and young people towards alcohol is heavily influenced by their observed behaviour of significant adults who may be consuming alcohol when accompanying children to matches.
“There is no requirement at all for alcohol to be available to facilitate earlier kick-off times to be enacted, therefore it is difficult to understand why this extension should be necessary to ‘facilitate early kick-off of SPL fixtures’ as stated in the application.
“This assertion appears to strengthen the link between alcohol and sport by suggesting that provision of alcohol is a necessary part of the sporting experience.”