STEVE EVANS believes that Leeds United’s 2016-17 season-ticket pledge to fans is ‘fantastic news’ – but says it will not affect the inherent existing pressure to clinch top-six qualification for the Whites.
In a statement of intent, Leeds have promised to give those supporters who buy a yearly ticket for next season before the end of next month a refund of up to 50 per cent – if the club fail to reach the Championship play-offs. Fans who buy a ticket before the end of May will receive 25 per cent of their money back if the club sell less than 15,000 tickets by the end of July or 50 per cent if they sell more than that amount.
Evans welcomes the bold move from the club, while admitting it will place pressure on all and sundry on the playing side to deliver.
But equally he believes that pushing for the play-offs at the start of a season is always the requirement at a powerhouse club like Leeds, whatever the circumstances, with the pressure and expectation always there.
The Scot, desperate to be the man afforded the chance of leading the club next season – with his future up in the air, said: “I think any head coach has to start a season with the target of getting in the play-offs anyway. Anything else is not good enough.” Specifically on the offer, he added: “I think it is fantastic news for a Leeds United supporter. You can’t lose.
“It doesn’t change my approach. Just the determination that we will be in the play-offs.
“The pressure will come at their doors financially but that will make its way down to the head coach and players.
“But there is pressure every day. The answer is to deliver promotion.”
Leeds have not finished in the top six of the second tier since 2006.
In a statement, the club said: “We are more determined than ever to gain promotion from the Championship and are fully committed to doing everything we can to return this great club to the Premier League in 2016-17.
“With the full support of our fans, we believe we can achieve this goal next season.”