Football fans in Leeds have called time on their management of one of the city’s best-known pubs.
The Leeds United Supporters’ Club (LUSC) has been running the Old Peacock opposite the Whites’ Elland Road ground since 2007.
Now, though, money troubles have forced LUSC to bring a halt to its spell as the licensee of the popular pre-match watering hole.
LUSC publicity and media officer Dave Gaertner confirmed the keys to the pub had been handed back to its owner, brewer Greene King.
He told the Yorkshire Evening Post: “It’s a real shame but we realised at the end of last season that there were problems ahead.
“The finances had run into a black hole and there was not enough money in the kitty to see us through the close season.
“The pub is very busy on matchdays, of course, but through the week it’s difficult to drum up trade.
“What I would say is, though, that the representatives of the supporters’ club who have been managing the place have worked very hard and can feel proud of their efforts.”
On Friday (June 8) there was no sign of life at the pub, where the windows were still decorated with Jubilee bunting and flags.
Greene King is stressing, however, that it wants to get the Peacock back in business sooner rather than later.
A spokesman for the Suffolk-based brewer blamed the closure on “unforeseen circumstances”.
He added: “We apologise for any inconvenience this temporary closure may cause and are doing all we can to reopen the pub as soon as possible.”
YEP beer writer and Leeds supporter Simon Jenkins said: “I know a lot of fans will be really sad about this.
“I just hope that Greene King can find someone to take it on. It’s a goldmine on matchdays of course – the trick will be to make the food and drink good enough to keep people coming through the doors day in, day out.”
The Old Peacock opened in 1963, replacing an older pub of the same name whose history can be traced back to the 1840s.