Why Leeds United v Millwall was most expensive game to police

Crowds at Leeds United's game last season against Millwall.
Crowds at Leeds United's game last season against Millwall.
0
Have your say

The reasons behind a £100k plus policing bill for last season's Leeds United versus Millwall game have been revealed.

The match, on March 30, cost Leeds United over £47, 000 and West Yorkshire Police £103, 184.44. It was also the third highest attended game of last season's campaign behind the Sheffield Wednesday and Aston Villa games.

Figures released following a Freedom of Information request, put to West Yorkshire Police, showed that a total of 318 officers policed the game, which ended 3-2 to Leeds, - and almost 100 more were on duty than at any other match in the 2018/19 season.

The policing boss for operations in the Leeds district said the game was classed as high risk and coincided with a number of demonstrations in the city centre that day and that that led to more officers being on duty.

Superintendent Chris Bowen said: “Each club has a different sized footprint, affecting the number of officers required to police it, which means the cost of policing for clubs can vary.

“Based around each of these considerations, the Leeds versus Millwall game in March registered as one of the more expensive.

“A contributory factor to the scale of the policing presence, was also the fact that the game clashed with a number of demonstrations in the city centre.

“It meant on that particular day, there were increased resources in place, which is reflected in the overall cost to the Force.”

He explained that when it comes to calculating costs, each club agrees fixture categorisation with the police which determines the number of officers needed for those games to safely police them.

Supt Bowen added: "A category C match which is classed as high risk, for example, will require a higher police presence than a Category A which has a lower risk threshold.

“In terms of what it charges clubs, West Yorkshire Police follows an established national protocol (as set by High Court judgements) of charging for the deployment of officers within an agreed ‘footprint’ of land owned, leased or controlled by the club.

“Each club has a different sized footprint, affecting the number of officers required to police it, which means the cost of policing for clubs can vary."

Leeds United have been approached for comment but have so far declined.