The Premier League is well
and truly back and so too are three teams that have been away from England’s
top flight for a number of years. Aston Villa, Norwich and Sheffield United were all promoted from the Championship and all three will feature on BT Sport in the opening months of the season. Each of the three has already shown enough to indicate that they will be far from pushovers this campaign and will do everything they can to avoid an immediate return to the level below.
Being back in the Premier League is great news for pubs in those cities too. We caught up with a few landlords to find out how their team’s return is benefiting the business.
Pub: The Golden Hind, Kingstanding, Birmingham Club: Aston Villa
Gaffer: Tony O’Kereke
Tony has been the manager of Birmingham based Marston’s pub for nine years and a Villa fan all his life. He has become accustomed to the ups and downs of football but is enjoying a return to the top flight.
He explains: “It’s fantastic for us to be back and all I want for this season is to stay up. It’s great for the pub as well. “We are an urban community pub and do more drink than food (about 70/30). We have got two 75ins screens and we show a lot of football. When Villa is on it is absolutely rammed.
We are about two miles from Villa Park, so we do get people coming in here for a drink before they go to home games. So, on a Saturday they could come in to watch the lunchtime game
(on BT Sport) before going to the ground for a 3pm kick off.”
Tony, as a season-ticket holder himself, will be one of those heading to the games. Football is hugely important to the pub. In June the women’s football team representing The Golden Hind made it all the way to the first-ever BT Sport Women’s Pub Cup Final. They narrowly lost a thrilling match at Newcastle’s St James’ Park.
Tony continues: “It was a great experience and we will be having them back in for a dinner soon. We also have two other local teams who come back after games and we put a buffet on for them. We have a rugby team too.”
Villa will be live on BT Sport on October 26, when they travel to face the champions Man City.
Tony continues: “You have got to look forward to games like that. It will be a cracking game – I’d settle for a draw.”
Pub: Sport Shack, Sheffield (three sites)
Club: Sheffield United (and Wednesday)
Gaffers: Danny Grayson and James Dobson
Micro sports bar concept Sport Shack has hit the ground running by opening three sites in its first year. The business has been further boosted by the return of Sheffield United to the top flight after a 12-year gap.
James says the venues provide a great place for all football fans, whether they are Wednesday or United or home or away. “We are incredibly busy for home games and all televised fixtures, we allow well-behaved fans home and away in our venues and it will be great to welcome customers from further afield,” he says.
Next month (September 28) the Blades host Liverpool in what will be a huge game on BT Sport. The Sport Shack team are already planning their tactics.
“We will be upping the bar staff and manning the doors, more beer will be ordered, and we may introduce some ‘fast serve’ deals on bottles, 2 for £5, etc.”
With Sheffield Wednesday making a decent start to the Championship campaign, James is now hopeful of having both of the city’s teams in the Premier League.
“Having Sheffield United in the Premier League will hopefully spur Sheffield Wednesday on to join them. We have our biggest site at Hillsborough and the pre-match atmosphere is fantastic. It would be great to see them playing premier league games too! Also, it would be a fantastic derby day!”
Pub: The Murderers, Norwich
Club: Norwich City
Gaffer: Phil Cutter
Award-winning free house The Murderers will be opening early this Saturday to ensure it gets a crowd in ahead of Norwich facing Chelsea (Saturday, August 24).
Many will visit the pub for a bit of breakfast before heading to Carrow Road, while those without tickets will catch the action live on BT Sport at the pub.
Phil says: “The plan for us will be to open at 9am and have a big play on breakfast being available and that the game will be on at 12.30pm. “That should bring in people who have got tickets and others who want to be part of a great experience in the pub.”
Norwich games will naturally be a big driver of business for Phil and his team but so too will other games on BT Sport.
He continues: “Being back in the Premier League is good for us as the Championship does not bring as many fans out. We are open to home and away fans and more do travel for the Premier League. “We had the Eastern Region Chelsea Supporters Club come in for the Super Cup final. Some of the best days we have had have been spent with people from other parts of the country.”
Watch live 52 Premier League games on BT Sport this season. For fixture details and assets to help you promote what’s coming up visit www.btsportbusiness.com/fixtures-and-promotion