In Leeds We Trust: Matters beyond club’s games make for a month of turmoil

In this week’s column, the board of the Leeds United Supporters’ Trust take stock of the events of the past month on and off the pitch, with the European Super League bid sparking anger and attention now turning to the issue of racist abuse towards football players.

Saturday, 1st May 2021, 11:45 am

At the beginning of April, our upcoming fixture list was a daunting sight. One month and five points from a possible nine against the so-called “big six” later, you have to wonder what were we nervous about at all?

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Patrick Bamford put the hysteria surrounding the Super League plans into perspective. Picture by Naomi Baker/PA Wire

Beyond our games, however, the month was one filled with turmoil as the footballing world seemed to come tumbling down around us with the announcement of the European Super League.

Pundits, fans, footballing organisations and rival owners were rushing to condemn the actions of the 12 clubs that had corrupted the sport we all love.

In the wake of our game against Liverpool, however, as the hysteria surrounding the Super League plans were at their peak, Patrick Bamford gave an interview in which he put into perspective the way that issues are handled within football.

There are still problems in our game, that have been there since the very beginning, which have yet to be properly addressed and are scarcely met with the volume of outrage we saw come out against the Super League despite being even more harmful.

Bamford’s words were: “It’s a shame it’s not like that for the other things going on at the minute, like racism.”

We at the Trust agree wholeheartedly with his sentiment, and as part of this we are participating in the social media boycott until Tuesday along with many other football authorities and organisations. There has been an abhorrent increase in the amount of abuse footballers from racial minority ethnic backgrounds been receiving, and there has to be a response.

The occurrences are becoming more and more frequent, only a few weeks ago Raheem Sterling received racist abuse after our win over Man City. The game was one of the highlights of our season. For it to have led to such vile abuse for one of our opponents is sickening.

Of course, the boycott is far from a complete solution to these problems. Hopefully awareness will be raised though and the issue of racism will come more into focus as a result.

Clearly we have reached a point where something has to be done. The more pressure we can put on this issue to encourage action both from the footballing authorities and social media companies, the more likely we are of seeing real change.

We at the Trust will do everything we can to ensure that we are part of this push for a more inclusive footballing environment.

This week, we also received the sad news that Phil Hay, who you’ll know as a former Yorkshire Evening Post chief sports writer, will be undergoing treatment for a brain tumour.

We’d like to take this opportunity to wish Phil a swift and complete recovery.

Adding your own voice to the Trust’s work is easy. Visit our new website at www.lufctrust.com and you can become a member for just £10 per year.

Marching on together.