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Landlord closes popular Crystal Palace fans' pub The Portmanor over CCTV dispute

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THE landlord of a Crystal Palace supporters' pub will not serve another pint until its operators let him buy it. Publican Geoff Charles has closed The Portmanor, on Portland Road, because he said pub company Punch Taverns failed to support him and install CCTV to comply with the terms of his licence. He has now vowed never to open again as landlord as long as Punch are in charge after police licensing officers recommended he shut for Monday's game with Liverpool. Mr Charles said he is now looking to purchase the home of Crystal Palace supporters' group The Holmesdale Fanatics. The pub was the subject of a failed police bid to revoke its licence in March - a move that sparked widespread anger from Eagles fans. Mr Charles said: "The police came to me a few days before yesterday's game and said because we didn't have CCTV installed, it would be best if we didn't open up. "Punch are screwing us over. It's been over a month since the licensing hearing and they've not done anything. "They could've come and installed it at any time but they've not helped at all. I'm meeting with Punch tomorrow and I've said I won't be in charge of The Portmanor unless I can buy it." Mr Charles, who used to be a DJ at the popular South Norwood boozer until he took charge in 2011, said the closure of the pub on a match-day had cost the business in the region of £5,000. He also said he was told by police he could have faced a fine of up to £20,000 or a prison sentence if he opened the pub for the match. "It has cost us a lot of money but I don't want to be seen to be doing anything wrong in the eyes of the police or the council so I made the decision to close it," he added. "The licensing officers said to me 'Geoff, Punch really aren't helping you at all'. I'm fed up of it and I'm being pushed and pulled from all sides. I honestly feel like piggy in the middle. "You know, the police don't want this place to close on a match-day either because then they've got hundreds of supporters trying to find somewhere else to have a drink." Although Croydon Council's licensing committee threw out the police's bid to have the pub's licence revoked, an extra set of licence conditions - including the installation of CCTV - were placed on the premises. The police report in question said The Portmanor was the "preferred location of football hooligans" and accused it of being "tatty". The Advertiser contacted Punch Taverns for comment but is yet to receive a reply.

Landlord closes popular Crystal Palace fans' pub The Portmanor over CCTV dispute


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