Pubs screening EPL matches prepare to score

Pubs screening EPL matches prepare to score
Kaarthhik Ramasamy, manager of Mulligan’s Irish Pub & Restaurant and a Reds fan, with a jersey autographed by Liverpool legend, Phil Thompson, in 2009.

Title-chasers Manchester City or Liverpool will not be the only winners tomorrow when the English Premier League (EPL) wraps up this season's action.

Restaurants and pubs here will also be raising a big cheer - to higher takings, fuelled by fans turning up to enjoy a carnival atmosphere and see if there is a final twist in the EPL title quest.

All 10 EPL games tomorrow will kick off at 10pm. City need only to draw against West Ham to claim a second title in three years and hope Liverpool do not beat Newcastle by at least 13 goals.

The only other way for the Reds to win the title is to beat the Magpies and hope that City lose.

Said Ms Natasha Shah, marketing coordinator at Muddy Murphy's in Orchard: "We expect a 40 per cent increase in patrons.

"We will be moving some furniture around to allow for more standing space."

Over at Mulligan's Pubs in Robertson Quay, more tables and chairs will be provided. Outlet manager Kaarthhik Ramasamy said: "We usually get more customers for Liverpool matches, and with the fate of the title still undecided, we are expecting at least 20 per cent more patrons."

Liverpool fans are expected to form the bulk of the turnout, especially in Robertson Quay, which is close to Riverview Hotel, home to the Liverpool FC Supporters Club (Singapore).

"The Robertson Quay stretch is known to be filled with Liverpool fans on match days," said Mr Djeffry Jaffar, operations manager at Brussels Sprouts, near Riverview Hotel. "We often get a spillover of Liverpool supporters at our restaurant and because we have only one set-top box, we tend to screen Liverpool matches."

Most pubs told The Straits Times they will screen the two big games. Said Mr Kelvin Chia, floor supervisor at Harry's at Boat Quay: "We can show three matches so the Liverpool and City matches will be on. We also get a lot of Manchester United fans so we should be screening their match (against Southampton)."

Meanwhile, SingTel said there will be no repeat of what happened on the final day of the 2011-12 EPL season. Then, live telecasts of key games were marred by frozen or blanked-out screens, which it attributed to an unusually high volume of switching between channels showing matches.

"We expect a large number of fans to be watching Sunday's matches on their TVs as well as on their mobiles and tablets via mio TV Go," said a SingTel spokesman. "We are fully prepared to deliver the best experience to them during the finals."

This article was published on May 10 in The Straits Times.

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