Big football screen back in Manchester city centre


A big screen showing football matches is to be reintroduced to Manchester city centre for the World Cup.

The council had refused to install screens since 42 Rangers fans were arrested in May 2008 when a screen failed in Piccadilly Gardens.

The council has now agreed to install one at Castlefield, where fans will require tickets to enter a cordoned off amphitheatre with a licensed bar.

Councillor Mike Amesbury said crowds will be "closely managed".

Five people were arrested in Manchester during the 2006 World Cup when violence broke out between fans viewing the BBC screen in Exchange Square.

Mr Amesbury said that lessons had been learnt from "previous experiences" and that Manchester City Council had worked closely with police to create plans for the Castlefield screen.

"This is all-ticketed and will be very closely managed and certainly any trouble-causers will not be tolerated and will not be allowed into the zone," he said.

Tickets will be free and alcohol will not be allowed to be taken into the amphitheatre.

Mr Amesbury said: "Manchester and football are synonymous, so we had to make an attempt at this, but we also had to learn from the lessons of that Rangers event, which was incredibly disappointing ."

Tickets will not be needed for games that do not involve England, which will be broadcast on a separate big screen in Spinningfields.

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