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Thu 22 Aug 2013 04:10 PM

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Leeds Utd’s Gulf owners must not give alcohol the red card

GFH Capital should think twice before outlawing alcohol at Elland Road

Leeds Utd’s Gulf owners must not give alcohol the red card
Daniel Shane

Alcohol is as an integral part of football in Britain as
goal posts, penalty shoot-outs and the offside rule. 

Consumption at matches is strictly regulated (you’re not
allowed a drink in sight of the pitch) and stewards are on-hand to boot you out
if they think you’ve had one too many. Overall though, it can add to the jovial
and good natured atmosphere of the beautiful game.

It seems not in keeping with the spirit of football then
that GFH Capital, the Dubai-based owner of Championship side Leeds Utd, is reportedly
looking to ban the sale of alcoholic beverages at the team’s Elland Road
stadium.

If the Daily Mail is to be believed, GFH Capital director
Salem Patel is behind this push, due to his strongly held Islamic beliefs.
Apparently he has met strong resistance from other members of the Leeds Utd
board. This will likely be nothing compared to the backlash he gets from fans
if he pursues this policy.

Like the city itself, fans of Leeds Utd are a multicultural
bunch who hold a myriad of different faiths and values, and are free to choose
whether they want to buy a pre-match pint or not. The club’s owners should not
be making this choice for them.

If GFH Capital did not want to be involved in a business
whose revenue is supported by alcohol receipts, it should not have invested in
the side in the first place. Any insistence on prohibition now would be doubly
odd as GFH Capital has recently sold on much of its shareholding in Leeds Utd,
raising questions about its long-term commitment.

Leeds Utd’s owners should forget about alcohol and focus on
much more pressing matters at the club, such as ending this famous side’s
ten-year exile from the Premier League.

Ronald 6 years ago

If you have ever sat at the sharp end of an Emirates or Ehthad flight to the UK you will have seen that the consumption of booze by people who get on with full Arab dress and immediately appear in Armani after the seat belt signs are dimmed is heroic.
Time for Arab investors to stop being hypocrites and just accept that everyone loves a drink and that forbidding the consumption just adds to the contempt they are held in.

Matt Williams 6 years ago

‘If the Daily Mail is to be believed, GFH Capital director Salem Patel is behind this push, due to his strongly held Islamic beliefs’’

Groan!, this story is so utterly pointless as it is fundamentally ludicrous.

Daily Moan is at it again!

Nothing will change here so let’s just move on eh!

Fasial 6 years ago

If the Mail is to be beliweved!

Anyone with an ounce of sense know that the Mail is a scaremongering nonsense paper.

Shame on the journo for trotting out such nonsense.

Did you even call GFH for a comment on a smidgeon of truth in the story?

Mick 6 years ago

Within long-history secular countries (of which the world is, prodominantly, made up) it is unfathomable to many people that faith can be inserted into areas that, seemingly, have no relevance. I and many believe that religion has no place in many facets of life, like business and certainly not football. Should be kept to private life and families for those outside of non-secular nations. There will be a riot in Leeds and the rule won't be contained or able to be enforced if this goes through.