While PSV secured their first prize of the season in the Johan Cruijff Arena on Saturday night, most of the bars on Stratumseind in Eindhoven celebrated with a modest party using large screens, that the council still do not allow. “It was time for a statement”.
How would the council react? That was the question prior to the the pub owners’ action, Omroep Brabant writes. The answer: “Quietly. There was no intervention anywhere”, Ruud Bakker, of the Koninklijke Horeca Nederland (Royal Catering Association Netherlands, KHN) Eindhoven department, says. “And that was also the intention. The plan has never been to fill up those pubs. We only asked them to turn a blind eye when it comes to the screens”.
Because that’s where the problem is, Bakker explains. “In other cities, such as Breda and Tilburg, they turn a blind eye, but here the council is still strongly enforcing the rules “. An official request prior to the action was therefore to no avail. “We asked if this was possible. PSV is so important for Eindhoven and the surrounding area. But the response was clear: no option”.
That the Stratumseind pub owners then wanted to make a statement, Bakker can well understand. “We as KHN support that. I think we achieved our goal. We showed that everyone was seated, kept one and a half metres distance and didn’t cheer too much. It was a nice party”.
Too little too late
Still, it remains to be seen whether the councils agrees. “We know that there were enforcers who noted which pubs broadcast the match on the big screen. But whether sanctions will follow… I would find that too late in the day. We have a meeting with the council later this week, so we’ll hear about it then”. And if sanctions do follow? “Then I do not exclude new lawsuits”.
Eindhoven News translator: Bob