Posted by on Jan 31, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

That is putting it mildly. Disappointment, outrage, disgust, embarrassment, a tumult of feelings, not one of them good. I had my little rant last night after getting home at nearly 11pm following that poor excuse for football match. After getting up at 4.00am, that was nearly as bad as Brighton, we lost there as well.

I wasn’t planning on anymore complaining, as it was plain to see that the keyboard warriors were already out in full force. At least I wasn’t, until I saw the ridiculous number of piteous “meaningless Cup” remarks. In the past I have tried not to get annoyed by these throwaway phrases that people use, and I have tried not to make disparaging comments about those people who say these things who don’t actually go to games. Unfortunately I am rising to this because frankly these people really piss me off.

I am so riled I don’t even know where to start. So, in no particular order:

Garry with two Rs

I can’t even pretend I know or understand how/why you picked your team. I do understand that you wanted to protect your first team players on that pitch, especially those who have just come back from injury like Pablo and Jansson, and those who have played a lot of games this season like Captain Bartley and Chris Wood. I understand promotion is high on the agenda. So why didn’t you field the team that played against Cambridge, or even the team who did so well in the League Cup? It felt like you were running a Sunday morning pub game. You just waited to see who would turn up for the team bus outside Elland Road, picked the ones who didn’t look hung over and then randomly pulled names out of a hat for the rest. What happened to the famous half time talk, and those brilliant substitution decisions? Thanks for not taking into consideration the time and the money that those fans who turned up to stand in the cold and rain wasted.

The Team

I am not bothered how much you get paid a week, because you are probably not bothered about how much I get paid either. All I and other fans ask, is that when you pull on that shirt, you concentrate for 90 minutes whilst you are on that pitch and play the game 100% to the best of your abilities for the whole 90 minutes. It would be great if at some point, you could consider how the fans feel, but that is a bonus really, seeing as some of the fans do nothing but hurl abuse at you anyway especially when you do something wrong. So, because you can’t really reciprocate that and it is difficult to ignore it, walking off in a huff every now and again is fine too. A wonder goal once a month doesn’t excuse you for not bothering to chase a ball down or pass to another Leeds player for the other three or four games you play. Regardless of whether you are in the first team or in the 2nd or 3rd team or under 23s, you should still be able to string a couple of passes together, and more importantly take a free kick and help it towards the goal.

Moaning fickle Leeds United fans

Our branch, like most LUSC branches is a non profit organisation. That means that the reason we do what we do, is not to make any money, it is for the branch members. All the effort that is put in, is purely to do what we do best, and get our members to away games. I know many fans get their own tickets and many fans make their own way to grounds either by bus or train or drive themselves. It is up to you how you do it, and if you have the luxury of the time, the means, the money and patience to sort all of this out on your own, then fair dos, well done. Lucky you! Be happy that you have a job that allows you the time and the money to sit in front of a computer and order your match tickets and organise your travel arrangements. Be happy that you have an understanding family and friends that spare you the time to do this. Most, if not all of our members aren’t so lucky. Most, if not all of our members have jobs or other commitments like caring for relatives and families etc. Most, if not all of our members work hard for the money that they need to go to these games.

So we ( The Secretary and the rest of the branch committee) do it. We negotiate with the coach company in the closed season to make sure we get a decent deal for our members. We make sure we have a coach company who will turn up on time, who will give us a decent bus with decent facilities and a decent driver. We make sure bookings are taken in advance of the tickets going on sale, so any member who wants to go to a game gets as good a chance as possible of a ticket. We sit in front of a computer ordering match tickets on the day, and we pay for them. We sort out our refreshment stops pre match, so we all have a good day out. We make sure everyone knows the departure times and we sit and wait for anyone who is late. We liaise with the Police Liaison Officer to make sure we leave enough time to get the coach to the match complying with the police instructions. We, in short make sure we get our members to games.

So for you to chelp on about not caring because it doesn’t mean anything anyway, just have a think for one minute about how much this game actually did mean. You selfish, insensitive, miserable wasters.

It is not just about the cost in money terms. It is the time spent away from families, doing family stuff. It is the time spent negotiating time off work. Not everyone works 9 to 5, Monday to Friday, sitting on their backsides all day in front of a computer screen. Some people are self employed, that’s a whole day when they could be working, this includes on a Sunday believe it or not. Not everyone has jack all to do at the weekend and spends it slumming it in front of the telly watching Netflix or your box sets. Not everyone has no other responsibilities or commitments in life.

More importantly, its about pride. Pride in the history of Our Club. Pride in our loyalty to Our Club. When you start whingeing about why players, including our Youth players, leave Leeds United to go to another Club that pays more money, or has more opportunities, that’s because it upsets the pride that you have for Leeds United.

When you next sing about “January 3rd, remember the date…” think about how little the FA Cup means to you then. Should we have won on Sunday, we would have got Arsenal at home. How many of you would have been desperate for a ticket to watch the “Mighty” Arsenal? How many of you would be complaining about the crap service at Leeds United’s ticket office for your one home game per season for that “Glory Tie”. Oh sorry, 2nd because you obviously came to watch the Newcastle game, right? How many of you scrambled to get a ticket for that League Cup 4th round Norwich game, when you couldn’t be bothered to shift yourself for the Blackburn 3rd round tie ? How many of you moaned incessantly about “how unfair” it was when you couldn’t get a ticket for the Liverpool game at Anfield, because surprisingly enough, Leeds made it a “loyalty tracker game” in the first instance, and you had only bothered to go to one away game this season? All in your “meaningless Cup” or another Cup that doesn’t really matter until you get a “Big” game?

As the younger generation say, jog on.

(As usual, my thoughts are my own and please read the Disclaimer like it tells you to)


Read More


Posted by on Jan 25, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

I have decided that the new branch phrase should be Excelsior! Why? I hear you say.

The Branch Secretary reliably tells me that the great Stan Lee uses this frequently. In fact, at the end of the last Avengers film, it was noted that he shouted this word. Loosely translated, it means ever upwards, therefore it’s relevance to both the Harrogate & District LUSC and Leeds United. I know I have used another phrase intermittently, as have noticeably several others in the last few months on social media. I cannot remember who said the phrase “onwards and upwards” first. I thought it was Buzz Lightyear, however I have been corrected, his catchphrase is ” to infinity and beyond” and we aren’t so bothered about going to infinity. The aim for Leeds United really is The Premiership, which technically is upwards, therefore, I declare the new Branch motto – Excelsior!

The game at Barnsley this weekend was a little disappointing to say the least. Apart from the fact we scored two goals, we lost the game, so let’s break down the disappointments.

First, the allocation. The first time I went to Barnsley, Oakwell was, to put it bluntly, a right mess. That was decades ago, when there used to be a ladies toilet, cunningly disguised as a bike shed in front of the goal. The Secretary informs me that back in the day when you could choose between standing and sitting, we used to get tickets not only behind the goal, but also to the side of it, in the main West Stand L5 to L8. Similar to where Leeds United put the away fans now, although the view isn’t fantastic, it is better than being stuck behind the goal. Having gone on the Barnsley website before our allocation was announced, we knew that Barnsley were charging non season ticket holders £37 for tickets, the same as we were being charged, regardless of where they were seated. £37 is a lot of money to watch a Division 2 match. It is what Leeds United charge visiting fans since Bad Papa Smurf moved them out of the Cheese Wedge, so we cannot really complain when other clubs charge us the same. Sadly, every game we play in this division which involves a team in the Yorkshire, is deemed THE “Yorkshire Derby”. Leeds United attracts fans from not just Leeds, but the surrounding areas, we know the fan base is huge in Yorkshire. So given just these factors alone, it was extremely disappointing that the allocation was so low. Barnsley could be forgiven for thinking that their fans could sell out the ground for this fixture because of the connotations of a “local derby”, however, the match was going to be on telly, at 5.30pm, and for non season ticket holders they were going to charge £37. NOT A CHANCE! It turned out that the attendance was a disappointing 17,870, with 5241 Leeds United fans. According to the footballgroundguide.com the capacity is 23,009.

Barnsley away(thanks to Julie Trimble LUSC https://www.facebook.com/groups/leedsunitedsupportersclub/ for the photo by the way)

So given the West Stand was half empty, why not give more tickets to Leeds fans? It would have generated more money for starters, maybe another 1500 at £37 per head = £55,500 and it would have prevented some of the crowd trouble generated by Leeds fans who had acquired tickets in the Barnsley end. Barnsley must be cash rich, seeing as they could afford to turn down the best part of £50,000.

This leads nicely to the second disappointment. Crowd trouble. The media immediately focused on “crowd trouble and arrests”, not football. People were sharing pictures of fans, police and stewards, with our fantastic value for money (72p) local rag the YEP, guilty as charged for their facebook pictures of “horrendous” scenes. Now I am not condoning any violence, and I am certainly not excusing any of the behaviour of the people who were caught on camera shouting and tussling with each other at the front of the pitch in the East corner, but this was a small number in comparison to the 5000+ Leeds fans who attended that game. The only way to know exactly what happened to trigger this event, is to hope that the police had those little body cameras attached to their shoulders and they were recording at the time. The tension had been mounting up after Chris Wood scored, but what actually happened is anyone’s guess really. The only thing that could and should have been done as a preventative measure was to not have the game kick off at 5.30pm in the first place. South Yorkshire police are responsible for our safety outside the environs of the stadium. Exactly the same police force have been responsible for not letting us play Sheffield Wednesday at any other time apart from midday since the 1990s and possibly longer, for what reason you ask? Safety. So, why did they agree to move this game to 5.30pm? Need you ask?

The third disappointment, our fans. Despite the (relatively) large allocation compared with some other clubs this season, many of our branch members missed out. I don’t like the disparaging phrases that have been used of late to describe fellow Leeds United fans. Whilst I have my own feelings towards some Leeds fans, you always have to recognise many Leeds fans simply cannot afford the time or money to go to games. I consider myself very lucky that I can afford my season ticket and am lucky enough to go to away games as often as I do. Since the Internet revolution, and the Television Gods taking over football as we know it, many fans who would not have been able to engage in football banter in the 80s and 90s, are now enabled. So some people who have never been to a live football game, have now the benefit of pause and rewind to be able to comment on the game. Good for them. This leads to some folk thinking that they are superior because they think that they are “proper” fans as opposed to the “armchair army”. Well, I have news for them. Lately I look around at an away game and all I see are people doing anything but watching the game. Some are on their phones looking at other scores, some are taking selfies or videos of themselves at the game, some are just watching / having a pop at the home fans trying to stir something up. I sound like an old git moaning, but I really don’t know why you would want to go to a game and not actually watch what is going on the pitch. £37 plus £1 bates tax to not watch the game. The worse thing is, that we had branch members who wanted to go, but we couldn’t get tickets for them because they had sold out, and they would have wanted to watch the game. This season we have played some of the most exciting football in years, well worth watching, yet some of our so called fans haven’t seen it and may as well have just sat in front of the box instead, just like the people that they moan about.

So, the next issue; social media. Whilst I appreciate the ease of communication that facebook provides, and The Secretary definitely does not miss those phone calls and texts late on a Friday night/ Saturday morning asking what time the bus is leaving, the world wide web sure does have its foibles. The trouble is once you write something on facebook or twitter or whatever else you use, it is there for ever and ever, and you cannot take it back. I thank my lucky stars that they did not have this when I was younger! Take our unlucky old number 19 player, for instance, look at what happened to him. I believe in Freedom Of Speech as much as the next man, but I have to draw the line when it comes to throwing insults at all and sundry, whether it be chairmen, managers or players, or their respective families. This is completely out of order, and this applies to singing and chanting as well. The odd comment can be funny, but when there is a continual barrage, its is neither big, nor clever nor funny. The press have always hated Leeds United, and this goes back to the Revie Era, and not just the team but Don himself. So, when you already have the newspaper conglomerates against you anyway, the TV Gods being awkward with Leeds United, despite them secretly enjoying our success because of the viewing figures, there really is no need to start a war on the rest of the 24 hour social media platforms, even if you are doing it after you have had a few too many. The long and short of it is that however long there appears to be “friction” in between fan groups, “fans” v Chairman, fans v fans etc. etc.  the media will reap in the benefits. “Divide and Conquer” or in its true form “divide et impera” Julius Caesar – divide and rule. Before Bad Papa Smurf the majority of Leeds fans were united. He sparked off the split between fans and to some that split is irreperable. In the last few seasons there have been attempts to “Unite” Leeds United fans, for example the Trust, this LFU thing and so on. None of these have really taken off, the march through Leeds City Centre where a select few were seen to be swearing and abusing shoppers didn’t help, and the “stunts” outside Elland Road left some with an extremely bad taste in their mouths. Personally, I think they should all just let it go. I think all fans groups who are able to engage in dialogue with Leeds United without unnecessary language and publicity stunts, should all have an equal footing.

At the end of the day, all we want to do is support our team. Our branch does it by buying season tickets or memberships and getting tickets and running coaches to away games when we can, thereby being part of that fantastic support that Garry Monk  keeps mentioning. The LUSC does it by sponsoring players and most if not all LUSC members have either season tickets or memberships. The motto of the LUSC: Always Leeds Always Loyal, Getting Members To Games Since 1919.



Read More

Cricket at The Union Pub Calcutt

Posted by on Jan 24, 2017 in Chairman Charley | 0 comments

For those of you who remember the days when Leeds United used to play Cricket at The Union Pub, Calcutt, Knaresborough back in the 70s in pre-season, here are a few reminders courtesy of Andy Logan ( branch member since 80s). To be fair, I think Andy found these in his attic somewhere, where they have been hiding for quite a while. They look a bit battered, but are a timely reminder of how much Leeds United interacted with the community, how much they valued being part of it, and how much respect they had for the fans. The Chairman has fond memories of these games, as have quite a few of our Harrogate & District LUSC members. I am not saying that Monk and the team should pick up a bit of willow in June and start playing in the Harrogate and Wetherby leagues, but I think that this is something that we can now at least begin to aspire to. It has been a long time since Leeds United has had such a great relationship with its fans, but it’s a start.

Happy reading!

MPO on behalf of The Chairman

Andy logan 1 Andy logan 2 Andy logan 3 Andy logan 4 Andy logan 5

Read More

When Eunan O’Kane Got Yates-ed

Posted by on Jan 22, 2017 in News and Events | 0 comments

Poor Eunan O’Kane got Yates-ed ( well nearly) after the Barnsley game in Harrogate. There he was, innocently trying to feed his family, when a portion of the Jolly Whites descended on him.

He was greeted by some very tired (Paul) and emotional people from Bus 1, including The Famous Yates brothers ( and Yates Snr) and several members of the Ripon branch, including Lord Ochiltree. Reports state that even though he was a little surprised at the warm and enthusiastic reception he received in the restaurant which we cannot mention, he was very friendly and happy for the photo opportunity. In true HarrogateWhites fashion, the lad was invited for a drink in ‘Spoons, but he politely declined the chance to sit down with The Jolly Whites and discuss the game over a nice pint of Carling, as he needed some scram.

As you can see from the pictures below, he enjoyed being with the Jolly Whites. Deputy Yates has been instructed to offer him branch membership next time he sees him. Please note – DO NOT PANIC the crutch in picture 2 does not belong to Eunan!

Andy & O KaneDes & O Kane Och & O Kane Paul & Lee & O Kane Paul, Andy O Kane

Read More

January 2017

Posted by on Jan 20, 2017 in News and Events | 0 comments

Monthly branch meeting

Decembers meeting was held Sunday 4th December. The Chairman had suggested that the branch pay for a Christmas drink for everyone who attended. It was decided that due to the Branch Secretary not having enough money on him, that this was deferred to the January 2017 branch meeting when the branch may have some more funds. Dave Poole once again thanked the exec for getting the telly in the North East corner fixed as apparently he had mentioned this to the Leeds United stewards on several occasions over the years, and this has been the first time anyone has ever done anything about it. The MPO reminded him that he better be watching the telly, all the time! Next branch meeting will be Sunday February 5th after Huddersfield away, for anyone who is still conscious and not in the pub.

Away games

These are coming thick and fast. Bookings are currently being taken for Huddersfield (only 2000 tickets) and Sutton (even less tickets). The Blackburn coach is currently full however, with a waiting list. We would like to remind branch members that we can only order tickets for fully paid up branch members who have a valid Leeds United customer number.


The website is generating memberships. The Membership Secretary was MIA at the last branch meeting.


The MPO apologises for no update in December, this was due to ill health sadly. The MPO will try better 2017. There continues to be a steady stream of views according to Google Analytics. The “We Are Leeds” fanzine is now completely available on the website. Dave Poole has provided us with a scrapbook of memories from days gone by. The MPO will scan these in so everyone can enjoy some of the articles.

LUSC Annual Quiz

This will be held Thursday 23rd February in the Eddie Gray Suite in the magnificent new East Stand. Andrew Dalton has agreed to set the questions again and there will be a pie and peas supper. We have been advised that the bar will be open from 7.30pm, with the quiz starting at 8pm on the dot. As usual the teams will consist of 4 people per team, the branch can enter as many teams as it wishes. If there is enough interest from Harrogate, the Branch will subsidise transport to Elland Road. Please can anyone who wishes to come along, let us know via the usual channels asap please?

Read More