A pub in Hackney Wick that offers £15 to £25 tours of its in-house craft beer brewery has banned West Ham fans wearing home colours from entering the premises after matches have ended, while away fans will not be permitted whatsoever. The Crate, a canal-side pub and restaurant in the impossibly trendy east London area, handed notices to fans in shirts and scarves stating: "The wearing of West Ham football merchandise is only permitted on the premises before the match," and that "chanting, etc," is not allowed.
The pub is experiencing an influx of Hammers fans due to the club's recent move to the Olympic stadium. The owners of the pub say the fans have become too drunk and jumped in the canal, hence the new directives on clothes and behaviour.
It's a tough call morally. On the one hand, football fans drinking in pubs post match will happen once a week – if that – and a couple of rowdy lads going for a dip in the canal seems like minor collateral damage for the, I'm sure, tsunami of pints that are being poured out for them. But to ban the shirts and the chants seems a little like overkill, as if they're protecting their milksop regulars from the impossible harshness of blokey football fans. As someone who has been to innumerable pubs before and after football matches as both a child and an adult, I find it very hard to believe that the levels of shithousery displayed by the Hammers fans has reached such a critical point that anybody needs to ban them wearing their colours, as if it's a fucking frontier saloon or something.
There's also something quite pernicious about handing out notices to people having a drink that tell them what they're wearing – and, by extension, they themselves – is not welcome.
Having seen photos of the pub, it does seem an odd choice for rowdy football fans to patronise. All the chairs seem to be made of reclaimed wood and stuff. It seems that the West Ham fans aren't welcome anywhere, not the stadium they've occupied that no one thinks they deserved, nor the cunty pubs that no one wants them to drink in. Let's all give these beer-bellied dickheads a break, hey?
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