Leeds United have defended their role in the ticketing row that means there will be no away fans at tomorrow afternoon’s game between the Whites and Cardiff City at Elland Road.
Cardiff announced last night that they would be returning all 500 of the tickets they were allocated for a fixture that has in the past been marred by hooliganism.
The Welsh club said they were “frustrated” that their request for 2,000 tickets had been knocked back by United.
Today, however, Leeds told the Yorkshire Evening Post:
* United’s offer of 500 tickets was made following talks with West Yorkshire Police;.
* Cardiff rejected an earlier offer of a 1,000-strong allocation that would have seen their fans swapping vouchers for tickets at a specified site in or near to Leeds;
* United had received a flurry of applications from Welsh postcodes for home sections of Elland Road since the stand-off between the clubs became public knowledge.
A Leeds spokesman said it was disappointing that there would be no away fans at the game.
He went on: “Leeds United have always put the safety management of spectators at the forefront of their planning.”
The YEP understands the Leeds players have also been left disappointed by the Cardiff no-show and the flattening impact it is likely to have on the atmosphere at the Championship match.
City brought 446 supporters with them for their last game at Elland Road, in February 2013.
The club’s chief executive, Ken Choo, said: “Our preference was for Cardiff City fans to be granted the same respect and freedom of travel as provided to over 2,000 Leeds supporters for the corresponding fixture this season and we are frustrated that this could not be permitted.”
Violence erupted at Cardiff’s old Ninian Park ground after the Welsh side’s FA Cup win over David O’Leary’s star-studded United team in 2002.
A visit by City to Leeds in 2005 also saw clashes outside the ground between police and hundreds of troublemakers.
The last fixture at Elland Road played with no away fans present was the visit of Millwall in 2005.