Leeds United are facing a backlash from fans after forcing those buying tickets in the South Stand to pay for food and drink, whether they want it or not.
It has been dubbed the ‘pie-tax’ by supporters, with fans being made to pay an additional £5 over the previously announced price of a ticket. The ticket can then be redeemed for hot food and a drink.
None of these price increases have been publicised by the club at any point, Fans of the club also emailed Leeds over a month ago to find out the reason behind the decision and have not received a reply.
The Football Supporters’ Federation (FSF) has also called on the Football League for clarification as to whether this falls within their guidelines.
Football League rules say that clubs must announce their ticket prices before the start of a season.
Leeds put in place the same pricing for both the South Stand and the North Stand across all categories: £32 for adults at a Category A game, £27 for adults at a Category B game and £21 for adults at a Category C game.
Those booking tickets for the South Stand for Saturday’s game against Hull City have been hit with a shock.
There is no option to buy a ticket without paying the additional fee, meaning that any match day ticket in the South Stand will cost at least £32. That represents a £5 rise on previous Category B games this season, and is also higher than the £27 tickets in the North Stand.
Ticket prices already increase by £5 when bought on the day of a game, meaning that Leeds fans buying tickets on Saturday will have to pay £37 to sit in the South Stand.
The Category A game against Preston on December 20 will see Leeds fans charged £37 if they want to sit in the South Stand and book in advance, or £42 on the day.
The Leeds United Supporters’ Trust have questioned the sudden increase in price.
A spokesperson for the group said: “It seems bizarre to us that game pricing should change mid-season and that the £5 ‘meal-deal’ addition wasn’t voluntary.
“We emailed the club on November 17 with a series of reasoned questions and requests for clarification. No reply has been forthcoming.
“We will press the club to re-think this ‘pie-tax’ for future games.”
A spokesperson for the FSF said: “It’s our understanding that clubs are not allowed to change ticket prices mid-season so we’ve asked the Football League for clarification.
“Leeds United fans already pay some of the highest prices in the Championship and this pushes the price up further. We’d encourage any fans unhappy with this to contact the club and make their thoughts known.”
A Leeds United spokesperson said: “The club is looking at ways to encourage supporters to use the facilities and catering offerings on match-days. Adult South Stand tickets are now being sold as a package, which includes the advertised standard match ticket plus meal deal voucher.
“The voucher offers a saving on the standard match-day food and drink prices, and to accommodate demand, additional catering units have been identified in the Lower concourse and will be designated for serving the voucher-only meal deals.
“This new package only applies to the South Stand, and supporters can buy tickets elsewhere in the stadium at standard ticket prices.”