Leeds United banking on fans keeping the faith for next season

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ANY Leeds United fan yet to renew their season ticket for next season has a quick decision to make.

Come the end of Good Friday, the club’s season tickets price freeze offer will be gone.

Leeds specifically targeted a play-off place but instead now find themselves sat 12 points off the top six in 14th place. And Whites managing director Angus Kinnear can understand fans’ frustrations.

“We understand with the performances since Christmas, that supporter sentiment has been dented,” said Kinnear.

But, equally, Kinnear remains confident and excited about United’s prospects next season and is adamant that a key ingredient remains the club’s loyal fan base who can still help United become an “unstoppable force.”

Backed by last season’s narrow miss as far as reaching the play-offs were concerned, over 20,000 supporters became season ticket holders for the 
2017-18 campaign, with a further 1,000 purchasing half season tickets during November and December.

KEEP THE FAITH: Leeds United's fans, pictured in full voice during the hame against Nottingham Forest' in August last year. ''Picture: Simon Hulme

KEEP THE FAITH: Leeds United's fans, pictured in full voice during the hame against Nottingham Forest' in August last year. ''Picture: Simon Hulme

Those figures were the club’s highest since 2004 and the goal remains a return to the Premier League status enjoyed back then.

United looked to be presented with their best opportunity to achieve promotion back to the country’s top-flight last season when seemingly destined for a play-off place, only to collapse in an excruciating run in.

They again looked on to a good thing when leading this season’s Championship following five wins and two draws from their first seven games, but two collapses in form and, more latterly, a return of just eight points from their last 14 games, has already realistically washed this season’s play-off prospects down the plughole even with eight games still remaining.

The wait for a return to the Premier League is now set to extend to a decade and a half.

When everyone pulls together, from the boardroom, to the training ground, to the terraces, a club like ours can be unstoppable.

Leeds United managing director, Angus Kinnear.

Yet United’s managing director insists that Leeds could still be close to achieving big things with the club’s fans crucial to the cause.

“The supporters make a huge difference, as demonstrated throughout the season,” Kinnear told the YEP.

“The games against Middlesbrough and Bristol City at home are great examples of the supporters playing a critical part in the team picking up points at Elland Road – they push our lads on and can make it incredibly difficult for the opposition.

“When everyone pulls together, from the boardroom, to the training ground, to the terraces, a club like ours can be unstoppable.”

Leeds United head coach, Paul Heckingbottom.' Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe

Leeds United head coach, Paul Heckingbottom.' Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe

United’s next home game comes the same day that the club’s price-freeze season ticket offer closes with relegation-battling Bolton Wanderers visiting Elland Road on Good Friday.

The fixture has also seen Leeds create another initiative for season ticket holders, who can bring a friend to the game for free.

And Kinnear is also urging United’s current season ticket holders to also take advantage of the price freeze offer before it passes.

United’s initiative will see season ticket holders who renewed ahead of the 2017-18 campaign able to take advantage of the cheapest rate as a thank you for their continued loyalty, while 2017-18 new applicants and half season ticket holders can also take advantage of a reduced rate compared to 2018-19 new applicants.

For those that held a season ticket before 2017-18, renewing an adult season ticket in the North and South stands before the price freeze offer passes will again cost £445, with a West Stand ticket at £537 – the same price as those in the East Central Lower and East Upper.

Renewing an adult Family Stand ticket before the deadline again costs £398.

OPTIMISTIC: Leeds United's managing director, Angus Kinnear .  Picture: Bruce Rollinson

OPTIMISTIC: Leeds United's managing director, Angus Kinnear . Picture: Bruce Rollinson

Supporters wishing to purchase a season ticket for the first time for the 2018-19 campaign will be able to do so from Monday, April 16.

For next season, Leeds are also reopening the East Stand Upper section to supporters for season tickets, with the introduction of a new wing price of £349 for all age groups.

Explaining what season ticket holders would save if renewing their tickets before Friday’s deadline, Kinnear said: “This varies dependent on when your season ticket was purchased.

“For example, if you purchased your season ticket prior to the 2017-18 season, as an adult you would save £117 in the North and South Stands, £173 in the West Stand, £110 in the Family Stand and £141 in the East Central Lower.

“If you became a new season ticket holder ahead of the 
2017-18 season, you would save £26 in the North and South Stands, £64 in the West Stand, £24 in the Family Stand and £32 in the East Central Lower.

“We have also introduced a new category for the 2018-19 campaign within the East Stand Upper, priced at £349, which works out at under £16 per game, which we feel is fantastic value for money.”

Kinnear added: “The loyalty and commitment of our supporters is unparalleled.

“Encouragingly sales are slightly ahead of last year, with just three days of sales left and a backlog of post for the ticket office team to work through, we are confident that we will reach good numbers again for next term.

“We then go into the general sale phase – which was hugely successful last year with an additional 6,000 fans committing their support.”

To view the range of prices and offers visit www.leedsunited.com/tickets/seasontickets

Concerned Leeds United coach, Paul Heckingbottom.

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