Leeds United’s battle with cops set for High Court

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Leeds United’s legal battle over matchday policing costs at their Elland Road ground is heading for the High Court.

The Yorkshire Evening Post told last year how United had issued a writ against West Yorkshire Police chief constable Sir Norman Bettison, demanding a reassessment of their recent matchday costs.

Leeds claimed they had been overcharged by thousands of pounds for policing at home games.

Now it has emerged that the case is due to go before the High Court in London on July 11.

Both the police and United today said they were unable to comment in detail because of the imminent court proceedings.

Leeds have previously argued that they should not be billed for the cost of policing land around Elland Road that they neither occupy or own.

Before the start of the 2009-10 season, however, the West Yorkshire force decided it wanted to widen the area where it could charge for having its officers on duty, so that it took in local roads and car parks.

United’s policing bill is believed to be the highest of any club in their division.

Speaking last June, West Yorkshire’s then deputy chief constable David Crompton denied that the force was profiting from the policing arrangements at Elland Road.

He said: “For an average game at Elland Road, West Yorkshire Police deploy staff inside the ground, immediately outside to deal with crowd dispersal and traffic and also in Leeds city centre in case of trouble from unruly fans.

“On average this means that West Yorkshire Police use 100 staff per game, however [United] only contribute towards 40 of them.

“For a high risk game such as the ones against Millwall and Cardiff, the total number of staff rises to well over 300 and [United] only pay for 120 of them.

“In cash terms, this represents an underpayment of between £20,000 and in excess of £100,000 per game, therefore it is [United who are] being supported at the expense of the taxpayer.”