World Cup winning coach Clive Woodward used his regular column with the Daily Mail to have a bit of a pop at the supporters that turn up at Twickenham to watch England rugby internationals these days.
Something seemed to have clicked for him during the November internationals, as he has voiced his displeasure at the "drinking culture" that he claims has fans constantly moving from their seats to the bar, and then to the toilets as a direct result of their earlier trips.
He has urged England rugby fans to keep their drinking to before and after the match, and claimed that he wants to see a policy brought in whereby the availability of drinks and food is halted from 15 minutes before the match until after the final whistle.
Twickenham is not primarily a public bar, it's a wonderful ground where rugby must come first, second and third and where members of the public of all ages must feel completely comfortable and welcome.
I seemed to touch on a very raw nerve the other day when I mentioned how irritating the constant procession of fans to and from the bars and lavatories at Twickenham is getting during the game.
It has got out of control recently and is fast becoming a real issue.
I would seriously think about shutting the drinks outlets 10-15 minutes before kick-off and not opening them again until the final whistle is blown.
This is beginning to detract seriously from the enjoyment of those who have paid very good money — well in excess of £100 per ticket in many cases — to watch a game that they are only seeing dribs and drabs of because of this tide of humanity.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/rugbyunion/article-3991944/Why-don-t-England-fans-sit-watch-match-Twickenham-s-bar-toilet-visits-control-supporters-ruin-game-others.html#ixzz4Ri2zrbrg
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Guys — and girls — it's only an hour and 20 minutes with a 15-minute half-time break for essential calls of nature. Surely we can manage that? You wouldn't think of behaving like this at a theatre or cinema.
The 'theatre or cinema' comment seems absolutely bizarre, as to compare a place where you are actually not allowed to make any noise to an 82,000 capacity sports arena is, well, ridiculous, but the idea that too many people are constantly coming and going during matches is certainly a valid one.
After tweeting the link out he saw many people agree with him, so it's clear he's not alone in his views.
— Steve Simmonds (@stevethedrummer) December 2, 2016
@CliveWoodward Totally agree. My last two England games at Twickenham were ruined by drunken idiots. I'm unlikely to go to any more.
— Paul Seagrove (@paas61) December 2, 2016
@CliveWoodward don't mind people nipping to the loo, as long as there's a break in play, it's the beer runs and Mexican waves that get me
— Richard Burnett (@RBurnett348) December 2, 2016
@CliveWoodward spot on Clive-with my son last sat,we constantly had to stand up to let people past.RFU charging £6 pint nothing will change
— Chris Farrant (@fazzoat3) December 2, 2016
@CliveWoodward sadly it's fans of all teams, there is a real problem in the Principality stadium, especially for the cheaper games
— Lions Chat (@lions_chat) December 2, 2016
He singled out Twickenham from his own recent experiences, but it is certainly not unique to the home of English rugby. That said, it's not like the stadium is empty and nobody is watching the game, his comment that people only see dribs and drabs of a game is clearly hyperbole as there is no way you're missing the majority of an 80 minute match, so is he just having a moan?
[via Daily Mail]