Leeds United’s lawyers were yesterday accused of “moving the goalposts” in the closing stages of their High Court battle with West Yorkshire Police on crowd control costs.
United are seeking more than £2.5m from the force after winning an Appeal Court ruling over matchday services provided by officers at their Elland Road ground.
Leeds had objected to being forced to contribute to policing costs for land around the ground that is neither club-owned nor controlled.
A High Court judge, Sir David Eady, is now being asked to determine how much of the £2.5m that United say they have overpaid should be refunded by the West Yorkshire force.
However, police lawyers say the club is due no more than the £1.2m it has already been refunded.
And yesterday they accused the club of changing its case in a bid for a rebate for policing which it had previously accepted it should pay for.
John Beggs QC said the club had always agreed it was liable to contribute to policing in areas that it “owned, leased or controlled”.
But it had now “moved the goalposts” and contested charges for policing some areas of private land close to the ground.
In the appeal case last year, the club successfully argued that hundreds of officers involved in crowd control around the stadium were only doing their public duty. Final judgment in the latest case will be reserved until a future date.