The fact that both clubs remained in the Championship this season gave Leeds United a chance of some retrospective good will. Instead, the ticket price went up to £39.

First of all, a note to Leeds United supporters reading this. This is written as a cautionary tale for the treatment of all team’s away fans. I appreciate our tribal natures cause us to lash out at any ‘attacks’ on our own club, but it is not the tradition and supporters of great clubs like Villa and Leeds that cause these problems, but the incompetence of people who are currently employed by clubs to run the modern game.

About Last Year

Before we go into the £39 ticket price Leeds United had intended to charge Aston Villa’s travelling supporters and how the Villa Away Fan Consultation group’s suggestion of a £10 subsidy to counter this has been granted by the club, lets cast our mind back to the fixture at Elland Road last season on 3rd December 2016.

In a nutshell, Villa’a visiting supporters were put at risk due to poor organisation and poorly trained external agency stewards (Read away supporter’s accounts here).

There was a crush, with Villa fans being carried along with it, some with their feet lifted off the floor. Supporters were lucky not to suffer serious injuries at the game.

“It was lucky that we didn’t score at that time because there would of been a serious accident without a shadow of a doubt,” one supporter at the game told MOMS.

 

 

Away fans are hardy sorts, but such were the conditions at the game that night, several Villa fans had gone to the trouble of writing to complain to Leeds and the Football Supporters Federation also investigated the matter on MOMS behalf, and got details back from the Leeds council of the emergency meeting that had happened.

Elland Road Safety Advisory Group Meeting

After the issues at the game were reported to the council by the West Yorkshire police, an Elland Road Safety Advisory Group was assembled to discuss the situation.

The meeting was held at West Yorkshire Police station at Elland Road on 14th December 2016, with attendees from West Yorkshire Police, Leeds United, West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, Leeds City Council Licensing and Sports Grounds Safety Authority.

The Group were given a comprehensive briefing of planning that took place before the match, and the events in the West Stand that arose. The group were also shown CCTV footage of the congestion that occurred.

Following a detailed discussion a number of operational changes were suggested and agreed.

Assurance

Following the ‘detailed discussion a number of operational changes were suggested and agreed’.

The Leeds council member assured the FSF that:

‘I am confident that those changes will prevent a recurrence of the crowd congestion that occurred.’

One thing they seemed to forget from this meeting was a public apology from Leeds to Villa’s travelling fans.

With the adult ticket price of £37, one of the most expensive in English football, an audible apology is the least they should have expected.

In the retail world, if a consumer had bought something for £37 that had put them at risk of injury (or worse), they would have got their money back and more.

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This Season

The fact that both clubs remained in the Championship this season gave Leeds United a chance of some retrospective good will. Instead, the ticket price went up to £39.

Leeds have only just informed Villa of the away ticket prices this week, yet despite this game also being a TV game, they elected to charge a full category price.

Let remind ourselves that there’s a cap of £30 in the Premier League on away tickets and while it’s understandable that EFL clubs need their ticket revenue, Leeds knew they were getting TV revenue for this fixture.

Villa Cavalry

At the last Away Fan Consultation group meeting last month, of which MOMS is a member of, the club had anticipated such a move by Leeds.

Currently Villa have a pot of 50k for the season to subsidise some away match ticket prices across the season.

The club had suggested that Leeds be one of three away games to have £5 taken off the price, but one fan put forward the notion that Leeds should be earmarked for a more significant reduction, one that would supporters would actually feel – £10 off.

After all, the fixture had been moved to a Friday night, it was on TV and the price would be one of the most expensive of the season in English football (and it would be a gesture to those who went to Elland Road last season).

MOMS and the rest of the group fully supported the idea, as did the club.

So, as a result, there’s £10 off each price class and £5 off the under 11 price.

Leeds Away prices will be as follows:

Ticket Category Prices
Adult £29
Over 60

Disabled Adults

£16

£16

Under 23 £16
Under 16

Under 11

£8

£4

 

It’s a great move by Villa in acknowledging their supporters and the circumstances that this fixture throws up, but the feeling remains that Leeds United themselves should have made more of an effort.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. Villa park away section is a dilapidated stand with poor facilities. Put your own house in order before you get any sympathy. If the Villa fans hadn’t been in Wakefield on the afternoon of the match maybe they may have behaved better for all concerned.

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