If you've been a film fan struggling through Ridley Scott's lengthy Napoleon at cinemas this week, it may have been heartening to be able to dull some of its excesses with a beer, glass of wine or something stronger. This welcome development would have been unthinkable back in the cinemas of the 1980s and 90s when a sneaky can up the jacket was your sole option. Appealingly, going to the movies nowadays is no different from other entertainment events in being able to reach for your tipple of choice. Theatres, gigs, my local driving range, even rugby matches allow paying customers to choose an alcoholic beverage should that be their desire. They've all adapted to a society that demands home comforts, making sure their offering is as attractive as possible.

Football? You're lucky if you can get a cappuccino never mind a pint of Brewdog. The national game is still suffering from the fallout from a 43 year old riot at an Old Firm Scottish Cup Final which was the final straw for the culture of bringing carry outs to matches. In came the Criminal Justice Act of 1980 and from that point on, terrace boozing was done.

It's remarkable that as other events businesses have moved with the times, an incident that occurred before this writer was born, when the Berlin Wall stood and South Africa was an Apartheid state, is still the touchstone for legislation applied to Scotland's most popular sport.

There's a strong sense that some in the Scottish Government, despite some prominent fans of the game in high places, still see football through a scary, 1980s prism.  Jim Murphy, then leader of Scottish Labour, hit the nail on the head when he said in 2015: "I sometimes think the attitude to football fans in Scotland has a degree of class prejudice ... [the] sense that drinking's OK for rugby and drinking's okay for corporate hospitality at football, but see the men and women who go along and just buy their tickets? Well it's not for them, it's not suitable for them. I just simply disagree."

Murphy touches on what many fans intrinsically feel, that an underlying classist disdain is at the heart of this issue. As he points out, those who can afford the trappings of hospitality are trusted with a glass of wine but woe betide those in the cheap seats having the chance to do the same.

To be fair to the politicians, it's not unjust to say that some fans don't help the case.  It's undeniable there's a section in every club that can be boisterous and the recent pyro boom will have to be managed due to the obvious dangers of setting off fireworks in a crowded space. Having said that, the 'ultras' are a tiny percentage of the match-attending fan and why should others, and the club itself, be punished for their occasional transgression? Pyro will only be solved as an issue with education. The generation indulging in such behaviours have no memories of the swirling horror of Bradford and have grown up in an era when going to the football has, thankfully, never been safer. It would be a mistake to tie this issue to a wider debate about alcohol.

READ MORE: Rangers admit 'regret' over Dens Park pyro display

It's heartening to say the much-maligned SPFL haven't been sitting on their hands. They've been banging the drum on behalf of the clubs for years, knowing full well that alcohol would add a significant revenue stream to matchday operations. They continue to lobby behind the scenes and a perfect example of why came just last week. Dutch team FC Twente's accounts went viral on social media when it emerged they showed a profit of €6m on beer and food sales at their 30,000 seater Grolsch Veste Stadium. To put this in context, the Eredivisie club made just €3.75m on player sales. In leagues like Scotland and the Netherlands where matchday revenue contributes a huge slice of income, this represents the size of the prize. For our big city clubs, it's a massive opportunity to grow their business.

So it's no surprise Rangers and Celtic are already trying to make the match experience central to their plans. Ibrox CEO James Bisgrove revealed in late September the club had already sold 30,000 pints of Tennent's at the New Edmiston House fan zone that opened in February. It's also been announced the former club shop between the Copland Road and Sandy Jardine stands will be turned into a sports bar as they continue to build a more hospitable atmosphere around the ground for fans to come, relax and spend some money in a way that will ultimately benefit the team. At Celtic, a concourse in the Jock Stein Stand has been turned into a relaxing fan zone with beer, picnic tables and Sky Sports on big screens ahead of the match as they look to provide a similar option. Others are also attempting to modernise and add value but clubs are still massively restricted by draconian laws while already cash-rich English league clubs coin it in from kiosks selling alcohol in concourses ahead of matches. 

So what can be done to win political hearts and minds? Examination of the act shows women's football and friendlies are not covered by the law and could be creatively used as a dry run to collect data and test the waters. And the evidence is important in this. Like anything else, checks and balances may be required. Perhaps powderkeg derbies or fixtures deemed by authorities as high risk could be exempt, but why should those infrequent fixtures affect Ross County vs Livingston or Motherwell vs Dundee?

When rugby was allowed to introduce alcohol in 2007, the then SPFL operations director Ian Blair said: "We are just asking for fair treatment for football. There has been great strides made over the past 25 years or so since the alcohol ban was introduced. In England you can buy alcohol in the concourse of football grounds, so why not in Scotland? We have all-seated stadia and good stewarding and I feel the time is right for a pilot project to be brought forward to sell alcohol at Scottish football matches." 

Blair was right 15 years ago, and he's right now. There is no campaign to go backwards towards Calvinist asceticism in England. There is little difference between those who attend games north and south of the border. Our clubs and fans are being punished unfairly for the events of a bygone era and it's long past time to try bringing the Scottish football experience into the 20th century. 

Blair's notion of a limited pilot that can be measured and assessed sensibly by unbiased observers can surely allow us to deal with the facts of now, not the emotions stirred by grainy images of a riot you have to be in your 50s to even remember.