Burger ban begins at Forest Green Rovers football club
Burgers and sausages have been banned from being sold to fans at Forest Green Rovers football club.
The move was introduced for players at the Blue Square Bet Premier club a few weeks ago but now the policy has been extended to the whole stadium.
What could possibly inspire this lurch towards health faddism?
The Gloucestershire club is owned by Dale Vince who is a vegan who runs green electricity company Ecotricity.
Say no more. Never let it be said that vegan eco-mentalists are the type to inflict their lifestyle choices upon the unwilling.
Free-range poultry and fish from sustainable stocks will continue to be served.
From which you might rightly infer that this is not just about hamburgers. There will be no sale of any red meat at the theatre of dreams that is Forest Green Rovers' football ground.
Communications director Tom Williams said: "Following discussions with the manager and on nutritional advice, it was decided to no longer feed our team red meat for health and performance reasons."
And how's that been working out for the players? Let's have a quick look at the league table...
Narrowly avoiding the drop in the nation's fifth division, Forest Green might want to get a second opinion on the nutritional advice they've been receiving. But since that advice has been coming less from "discussions with the manager" as from discussions with the club's tree-hugging chairman, a second opinion might be out of the question.
There are, of course, no "health and performance reasons" why football players shouldn't eat red meat and no Premiership manager enforces such a ban. So you have to ask who knows how to get the best out of their players—Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger, or the owner of a club currently making up the numbers in the Blue Square league.
"[It has now been] decided that this policy should be extended to the stadium, at least in part as a further step in establishing ourselves as a "green" organisation.
Mr Vince added that "if red meat was not good enough to feed our players, then it wasn't good enough for our staff, fans and visitors too".
Firstly, red meat is good enough to feed the players. Secondly, there's nothing green about refusing to use livestock that has been bred locally in favour of fish that has brought back to land using dirty great trawlers. And thirdly, even if we leave aside the futile, faddish and scientifically unenlightened dietary regime inflicted on the bemused journeymen who make up the Forest Green Rovers team, the spectators are not playing the game. There is no requirement that people watching sport have to measure up to any standard of athleticism. What other form of entertainment demands the audience adopt the lifestyles of the performers?
This is exactly the sort of garbage we heard when football clubs started unilaterally banning smoking everywhere in their stadiums (including at the bar)—this ridiculous fantasy that everyone involved in the sporting spectacle has to stay fit and healthy. They don't, they aren't, and if they were they'd be playing it instead of watching it.
He said: "At its worst it means once every two weeks watching a football game without being able to eat red meat.
"Anybody that [sic] really needs it can bring a ham sandwich or something if they wish - that's no problem."
Well, it will be a problem for you, Mr Vince, if everyone does bring their own food—and I dearly hope they will—because it will lose you a source of revenue on match day. But then, as the owner of a "green electricity company" which can only be kept afloat with massive government subsidies, the workings of real-world economics may yet be a mystery to you.