Just when it seemed things could not get much worse for Leeds United fans, the introduction of a ‘pie-tax’ has left many long-standing supporters questioning their attendance at Elland Road.
As exclusively revealed in your Yorkshire Evening Post, fans buying tickets for the South Stand for upcoming games will have to pay a £5 surcharge in exchange for a meal voucher.
That increases the price of a ticket for Saturday’s game against Hull City to £32 and the upcoming Preston game to £37.
However, Leeds claim: “The club is looking at ways to encourage our supporters to use the stadium’s facilities and catering offerings on matchdays.”
The Leeds United Supporters’ Trust hit back: “We will press the club to re-think this ‘pie-tax’ for future games.”
Ryan Owen, 25, has been watching Leeds games since he was 10-years-old. For him, it’s a last straw.
He told the YEP: “I won’t be paying £37 for a home match ticket. I’m not paying £5 for something I don’t want.
“Leeds is my life, I love the club, I still do. That’s what’s so heart wrenching about it.
“There’s going to be lots of people not going. I got a text from my uncle this morning saying he’s not going. It’s preposterous, it’s outrageous.”
Ryan is not alone. Julian Thomson has bemoaned the decision and will not be attending, even though it is punishing his son. Julian said: “It’s ridiculous. I’m sad for my son as he wants to go. It’s the principle - I won’t pay or swap stands.”
Steve Bloomer, who first watched Leeds on Boxing Day in 1986, said: “It’s another thing of essentially being treated like a number. In terms of how you are treated as a person and treated as a supporter and as a customer, it’s how it’s been for a long time. I’m annoyed, angry, but not at all surprised.”
Edwin Jongejans, the 2012 Olympic Diving Coach for Great Britain, moved to Leeds 12 years ago and is another who says he will not be attending.
He says the same thing would not occur in his native Netherlands.
Edwin said: “I watched Champions League football at Ajax earlier in the season for about €20. I support my local team, I enjoy going to Leeds United, but it’s not the way to treat your supporters.
“To add another £5 on that is the straw that broke the camel’s back for me.
“The South Stand is the stand from which the most noise comes from at the moment. It’s nearly always sold out. It’s harder and harder to get tickets. I became a gold member this year just to get the tickets when I want to go, and then they go and do this. It’s crazy.
“I was trying to set up about 20 people to go to the Derby game, but if they do not lift this before the tickets go on sale for the members, I won’t be going, and I won’t be going any more.
“Absolutely not. I will not go again.”
MORE REACTION FROM FANS VIA SOCIAL MEDIA:
Peter Gibson: I’m not happy about it. I don’t even eat the food down there. Plus there’s a pint included. Are they endorsing drinking and driving then for the fans that drive to the games?
Jamie Wright: How can these prices be justified for the way we’ve played at home this season? Only one win at home.
Aaron Mcintyre: Fair enough if the voucher can be used on beer as well.
Jeff Craven: If they had given the fans this £5 food voucher for free the prices would still be too high but it would have been a small gesture for their support. Typical Leeds ‘Bash the fans’ as usual!
Craig Goddard: It’s a rip off.
Bj Walker: Sounds like one of those stupid ideas that they do on The Apprentice, which makes you cover your eyes and shake your head. Cellino your fired!
Teresa Jayne Arrowsmith: Wouldn’t happen in rugby league at Headingley. It’s disgusting.
Brendon Bremner Sullivan: It’s why I’m not going at the moment. Embarrassing and anti-fan really. The club is shocking.
Jordan Mckenzie: Joke Preston game is £37, £42 on day then. Will stop people going and affect the only part off ground with any atmosphere
Luke Senior: Ticket prices are scandalous. I know the rent to Bates on ER is pricey but seriously. £40 to watch very average second tier football is nearly double what it ought to cost....See More
Jez Serlin: So everyone pays for food whether they eat it or not.
Carl Lufc Henshaw: Why should we pay?
Michael Dobbin: Great club? NOT!
Danny Lufc Rowbottom: Prices are a joke anyway.
Lynn Maindonald: If it was April 1 I’d say this was an April Fool. But no, just Cellino the fool!
Craig Starkie: Embarrassing day by day
Andrew Lawson: ‘Looking at ways to encouraging fans to use the catering facilities’ - sounds like this isn’t encouragement more enforcement but typical of the management the club has had to endure over the last decade.
Mark Gaines: I remember when it cost 50p to watch Tony Currie.
Jeff Craven: The club is a shadow of it’s former self, sad really.
David Hedley: The club has become a joke full stop.
Richard Aashiq Ali Crossley: Why don’t they just put on a separate offer of a drink and a pie for £5, if supporters want it then they’ll just buy them.
David Mitchell: Joke of a club.
Craig Edward Turnbull: Stand your grand and stop going all of you. Get to Rhinos.
Andy Killingbeck: They’ll keep doing it while ever people pay to watch them! Stop going and they’ll notice when they’re playing before an empty stadium!
Lee Crossley: I stopped going years ago - rip off.
Corinne Connon The club don’t even control the catering or get any of the revenue.
Craig Goddard What happens if your vegetarian and don’t drink alcohol? LOL
James Calpin: Just when I thought I’d heard it all...
Davy Law: Think positive guys. I hear Mickey Mouse is fit to play for us this weekend.
Michael Tomlinson: Lunacy.
Andrew Watson: This club is a joke.