Social club calls foul on Mariners

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A junior football club’s bid to sell booze on match days has left the social club that shares its name calling “foul”.

Falkirk Council Licensing Board granted Camelon Juniors occasional licences to offer fans alcohol in their pavilion at their last two home games.

The decision was taken despite objections from Camelon Juniors Social Club next door the trend will hit their business.

Social club treasurer Betty Campbell claimed: “We are only open 27 hours a week and the Saturday football is a big event for us, but the social club is not being used by the crowd anymore. They are drinking in the pavilion. Even the players don’t come in, they say they have been told not to. Everything has changed.”

Mrs Campbell said football club committee member Tony Smith, who spoke to the board in support of the applications, wants to “run a pub” at the ground in Fairlie Drive.

She added: “We are just 200 yards away trying to serve the community, but he just doesn’t care.”

The board was told the football club, nicknamed The Mariners, cannot rely on gate receipts alone to survive and is trying to maximise revenue from every home game.

Mr Smith said: “The football club and social club are two separate operations. We are trying to do the best we can as a football club and grow. We are going about our business the best way we can.”

He also rejected claims the pavilion does not have adequate toilet facilities, pointing out there are four cubicles beside the social club at the entrance to the ground as well as a toilet inside the pavilion.

Camelon Juniors FC secretary Tony Davidson would only confirm the football club and social club work independently of each other and “have done for years” and refused to comment further.

Mrs Campbell (69) admitted the relationship between the two sides has deteriorated in recent months.

She said: “We worked well together for years with no problems at all. It was a community thing. The majority of the home support were members and took advantage of club prices.

“The players and committee would be in after a match for their tea and we organised fundraisers, parties and all sorts of functions together, but now that’s all gone. Not having the football crowd around will make it harder for us, but this club is part of Camelon and we will survive.”