ONE of Portsmouth’s best-known landladies has warned that traditional local pubs will eventually be wiped out completely.
Karen Murphy, who made headlines when she beat football authorities in a TV rights court battle, says she fears squeezed margins will put paid to all but the big chains.
She sounded the warning as she prepares to pull her last pint at the Red, White & Blue in Fawcett Road, Southsea.
Karen said: ‘Unfortunately it’s going to be a situation where all you’ll have is big chains like Wetherspoon’s.
‘These little local community pubs can’t sustain it.
‘The financial climate is killing us.
‘I know they’ve reduced tax by a penny on a pint but that’s not going to run downhill to me so it’s no change for me.
‘The prices keep going up and the margins are really small and soon these little tiny community pubs will all be gone.’
Karen, who will end a 10-year stint at the Red, White & Blue when she leaves in the summer, hopes to go into the restaurant business.
She says she will miss her customers, who were like a family to her.
Karen made headlines in 2011 when she won her European court battle against the Premier League over the use of a foreign TV decoder to screen games.
The European Court of Justice said an exclusive system of licences for the broadcasting of football matches in different EU countries – effectively stopping fans watching the broadcasts with a decoder card in other member states – was contrary to EU law.
The landlady had been ordered to pay almost £8,000 in fines and costs after she was taken to court by the League for using a Greek decoder in her pub to screen matches, avoiding the League’s own controls over where its matches are screened.
She said ‘The law has changed but I don’t think that publicans realise the rights they now have.
‘Until everyone realises the law has changed, which is going to take a while, then we are back at square one.’