Entrepreneur gains from World Cup licence confusion

Related tags World cup License

Pubs in the North East are facing competition for trade during the World Cup from enterprising boat owner Danny Munro.Mr Munro has taken advantage of...

Pubs in the North East are facing competition for trade during the World Cup from enterprising boat owner Danny Munro.

Mr Munro has taken advantage of the confusion surrounding early opening for pubs during the matches and is organising booze cruises for football fans who cannot watch England's games in the pub.

He does not have to apply for a licence to serve alcohol on his boat, the Wyre Lady, because it is not fixed in one position and now it is thought boat owners across the country could follow his lead.

Trade leaders believe it is further proof that licensing reform is desperately needed.

Mr Munro is planning to open an hour before England's matches kick off and will then take his customers on a cruise down the River Don near Doncaster, providing them with breakfast as well as pints.

He claims his venture will not damage the trade of nearby pubs.

"I've got quite a good relationship with the local pubs," he said. "Only two pubs in Doncaster have applied for extensions to open early for the games and they're both in the city centre.

"I don't think anyone can object - business is business."

If the World Cup cruises are successful, Mr Munro plans to expand the business - and believes other boat owners will follow.

"There's a market for this sort of thing," he said. "There's lots of sporting events we can cover that pubs can't, for example boxing that's televised in the middle of the night."

Tony Payne, from the Federation of Licensed Victuallers Associations, said Mr Munro's venture proved the need for flexible opening hours and licensing reform.

"This is one thing the government has to look at - it's uncontrolled drinking," he said. "It makes a mockery of the current licensing system."

Licensees all over the country are still suffering because of confusion over when pubs should be allowed to open.

Some magistrates have told publicans they can only open early during England's and Ireland's World Cup matches but the British Beer and Pub Association's Mark Hastings said this was not the case.

"The High Court ruling is very clear," he said. "It's the World Cup that is a special occasion and not just England or Ireland games."

He urged licensees who have had applications for extensions for all the matches turned down to appeal against the decision.

Last month the Sports Café in London was granted an extension to open early for all the World Cup matches.

Our legal team look at how to go about applying for extended hours for the World Cup here.

Related stories:

Sports Café granted 6am licence for every World Cup match (1 May 2002)

Trade welcomes World Cup ruling (12 April 2002)

Blackpool licensees latest to win extended hours for World Cup (9 April 2002)

Trade awaits World Cup ruling (25 March 2002)

Sky hopes match day quizzes will challenge World Cup rule (14 March 2002)

Pubs granted World Cup extensions (1 March 2002)

Pubs will fight to open early and serve alcohol for World Cup (28 February 2002)

Extensions for World Cup fail (14 February 2002)

Publican's bid to open early for World Cup looks bleak (7 February 2002)

World Cup opening hours face objections from police (15 November 2001)

World Cup opening is still in balance (8 November 2001)

Pubs given nod to sell alcohol from 6am for World Cup matches (2 November 2001)

Early kick-off for World Cup means publicans may miss out on money-spinner (14 September 2001)

As World Cup fever intensifies over the coming weeks, publicans should be on the spot to cash in. We examine what's in store, taking a look at:

  • sports pubs and making the most of the event
  • the promotions the big brands are planning
  • the screening options for the matches
  • how Pepsi and Coca-Cola are going head to head
  • the kick-off times and channels for the 63 matches
  • the 32 finalist teams and their chances.

Click here to find out more.

Related topics Licensing law

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