All About The Money

Posted by on Jul 24, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

Like the song says and what Leonardo is smiling about… all about the money!

When I was young, I swore I would never turn into one of those miserable, grumpy old people who always went on about how “it wasn’t like this in the old days”. Sadly, actually, not sadly at all, LUCKILY I have! Even better, I have now got a website to spread my moans to cyberspace with, and with my fantastic disclaimer of course, basically I can say what want! Brilliant!

Bolton tickets!

What a palaver. The keyboard warriors, myself included (as I can now proudly class myself as a keyboard warrior albeit still only using two fingers to type) are out. A full on war of words. If I ever watched Game Of Thrones, it would be G.O.T but without dragons or tits. Having never watched G.O.T, I actually don’t know what I am on about, a bit like what has been said on social media about Bolton tickets.

I tried to order tickets for Bolton on Thursday for the people from my branch who have a proper job / don’t have access to a computer or phone / couldn’t operate a computer or smartphone for love nor money (you know who you are!). That is, those who can’t order their own. The Leeds United ticketing website booted me out after I put my credit card details in several times.  I was not pleased. As far as I can gather, this happened to quite a few people. So I can’t be solely blamed for my incompetence.

There have been problems with ordering tickets before. Generally worse for 1st and last aways of the season, popular new grounds and games with small allocations. This is not an isolated incident, and as usual I used facebook to report this to the members of the branch. Realistically, I use facebook because it is so much easier than ringing and texting people, like we used to do in the old days. Don’t get me wrong, there were still many members who were called and texted, as not everyone has facebook. Thursday and Friday were NOT good days.

My post prompted comments, as facebook does, as it is there to generate discussion, I suppose. Some were consolatory, some agreeing and some downright not very helpful nor sympathetic. I wasn’t actually asking for sympathy or random comments, I was just letting branch members know what was going on, and oh yes and venting my frustration. Unfortunately, however facebook works, I found that I was being notified to other comments on other groups etc. True to form, I found that the ticketing problems were being aired all Thursday, Friday and even into the weekend. My phone was buzzing all day, so much so I left it in another room, switched off.

With fake news being so prominent of late, it is hard to believe what is true or false. I saw someone repost a twitter message from someone who had got a ticket and was trying to sell it on. It looked like the Leeds United ticket office also saw that twitter message and kindly cancelled the ticket, so it could be sold onto someone who did want it. If this did happen, all I can say is that person deserved all he got. There was also a post from someone who said they had got tickets and had never been to an away game in their life before, and they were looking forward to it. Well done I say to them. This prompted a bit of anger from people who didn’t get one and then the discussions about who is more deserving of tickets started again.

In the old days, you used to contact Eric Carlile from the LUSC and he would sort out tickets for the LUSC branches. Yes, as easy as that. I think this was in part as a result of the role the LUSC played helping Leeds United with the problems in the 80s, i.e. the incessant crowd trouble and violence in and around away matches. The LUSC have only ever been about getting people to games and supporting Leeds United.  For their efforts, LUSC were given half the allocation of away tickets, I am sure if someone collars Eric one day, he will expand on this. In the old days, however, the demand did not exceed the supply as much as it does today. If the Supporters Club didn’t sell all the allocation they were given, the tickets just went back onto general sale at the ticket office. You could just queue up at Elland Road and buy an away ticket, as easy as that.

When Bad Santa got his grubby paws on the club , he stopped all of that. Totally opposite to the “if it works, don’t fix it” business model. This must have cost Leeds United oodles in delivery costs, sending out tickets indiviually in the post ( in hand written envelopes, one ticket per envelope) and in staffing costs, to deal with the tickets. We all know about his business sense, or rather lack of it. You had to fax your order in and if the fax machine wasn’t working, that was you stuffed. If you faxed it in 30 secs early they wouldn’t accept it either. Otherwise you had to post your form in, relying on Royal Mail and then Leeds United receiving it, which I can honestly say, was extremely worrying. I remember the days of trying to call the ticket office repeatedly to make sure they got my order. Not fun at all and definitely not the most efficient way to spend half a day. There were only 6 names per form and the aways were done in phases.  I still have paperwork from 2009/10 season where Leeds United had sent forms out individually for the people who qualified for Brighton & Hove Albion game at The Withdean. Yes, the club sent out individual forms. Unbelievable! How many of you younger folk even know what a fax machine is? I am sure many LUSC Branch Secretaries still have nightmares from back then.

So, those people who still think the Supporters Clubs get an allocation, how wrong you are! However, Evil Incarnate did allow his RMCs to get a priority order in for 20 tickets for games that were local to the respective RMCs. This apparently was used effectively last season by an RMC from Aberdeen applying for the much sought after Newcastle tickets. I don’t even think there were 20 people in Aberdeen RMC, but apparently some guy advertised that he could get tickets for the game using this RMC bit of loophole. Whether or not anything was ever done about it, who knows?

So what about who deserves the tickets? How do you say who is more loyal or not? Sticky wicket I am afraid. Is loyalty all about the money? Is it all about the money you spend at Leeds United buying shirts, programmes and other merchandise? Is it about whether you can afford a home and away season ticket? Is it about how long you have been spending money on shirts and season tickets?

For those people who have been going to watch Leeds United most of their lives, giving up family time and using up every bit of holiday to trawl around the dark days of Division 3 football, I think the answer is clear. For those who kept travelling to watch us at Southampton on a Tuesday night, Bristol in the snow, Swindon Town etc. in the days of old warhorses and mercenary players coming in on loan because the warchest was empty, the answer is clear. For those who will spend the entire 90 minutes watching what is going on the pitch, rather than staring at their phones, the answer is clear. For those who get behind the team and support them win, lose or draw, it is clear. For those who scrape together every bit of spare money and holiday time they get so they can get to see a game, yes, it’s clear.

For the increasing number of people who are just going to say they have been to a game, it’s not so clear. For the ones who go and stand in the aisles, blocking everyone else’s view and not even watching the game, it’s not so clear. For those who don’t even get there for kick off and then spend most of the 1st half in the bar throwing beer over them and everyone else, it’s not clear. For those with the attention span of a fruit fly, who would rather be shouting at the home fans rather than getting behind the team when we start losing, it’s not so clear. For those who ruin it for everyone else by throwing flares because they are bored and think it improves the atmosphere at away games, not so clear. For those who get bored and walk out before the end of the game, it’s not so clear. For those who spend most of the game staring at their phones, telling people the scores from the Premiership, not so clear. For those who would rather go to a game just to boo the players / team/ management staff/ chairman (delete as appropriate), not so clear.

You can see where I am coming from here, can’t you? Don’t get me wrong, Harrogate & District like a good day out and an amiable pre match refreshment stop is one of the many highlights of the day. We all like a good sing song and may miss kick off depending on traffic / queues etc. The majority of us go to watch the game and support the team. End of.

I know there are people from Ireland and Scandinavia who desperately try to go to as many aways as possible. These are the ones who the television gods screw around the most. These are the ones who are stuck in the middle. I don’t like the word “part-timer”. Many people have gone from never missing a game home or away to a couple of games a season because of work and family, or geography. The MPO missed an entire season in protest against Evil Papa Smurf / Nasty Neil /Spit The Diouf. Many people have stopped going simply because of money.

Although the price of a season ticket hasn’t gone up too extortionately for those of us lucky to have a season ticket, it has gone up. In the dark days of Division 3 football, it was too expensive for that rubbish. To be fair to Cellino, the season tickets for juniors were very reasonable in his reign, and it was a good move to get a new generation interested seeing as previous ones had been lost. Yes other local clubs have dropped their ticket prices, and it is now cheaper at some Premiership grounds than us here. The latter in part to the ridiculous money that comes from TV revenue now, the Chelseas and Citys don’t even need the matchday ticket money. The Championship, thanks to Shaun “unfit and improper” Harvey couldn’t wangle a tenth of the the deal for the Football League games. If the EFL spent as much time getting a proper deal with the TV companies for the telly rights as they did trying to charge Cellino, the 72 clubs might have been on a bit more of a parity. Sadly, their priorities were elsewhere as a vendetta against Leeds United had more importance and gravitas.

In essence, following Leeds United away has sadly turned into an elitest debacle. It is all about the money. In 2014 (I think), Leeds United was proud to have the LUSC Co Chair honoured at the EFL Capital One event for being a loyal fan. Phil clocked in 2000 consecutive Leeds games. Those were the days, it seems that being a loyal fan nowadays comes at a price.

If you can afford an away season ticket at £800 a pop and £15 card fees, YOU ARE IN!

If you can afford to take time off at work on ticket ordering day, YOU ARE IN!

If you can afford a decent smartphone or tablet (and know how to use it), YOU ARE IN!

For the rest of us mere mortals, this could be the beginning of the end for our branch trips.

It’s gonna be a long season!



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Printable PDF New Membership Form

Posted by on Jul 24, 2017 in News and Events | 0 comments

In response to recent enquiries, I think I have managed to add a printable PDF version of a New Membership form on here.

Please note this is for NEW MEMBERS ONLY.

After much discussion with The Secretary, we have decided that the Renewals form cannot be attached. If anyone ever reads the commentary on the renewals form, you will know that the branch maybe be opening itself to any libel issues etc. especially from Garry with Two Rs or Evil Papa Smurf or anyone else lacking a sense of humour.

I am aware that there have been a few glitches with the electronic version on the website.

Please can any new applicants ensure they enclosed two passport sized photgraphs for their LUSC photo ID card and PLEASE sign the form. We accept cheques and postal orders, if anyone wishes to pay elctronically, please text or private message and I will give you the bank branch account details.

New Members Form

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July 2017

Posted by on Jul 11, 2017 in News and Events | 0 comments

Much has been happening of late at Leeds United. New signings, winning pre season games, buying the ground back, improving the stands…. Far too much like a properly run football club. Luckily enough, as by the sounds of it some of our fans are still misbehaving. Thankfully, some things haven’t changed that much. Here’s an update and a summary of the branch AGM July 2017.

Annual General Meeting held Sunday 2nd July 2017.

Thanks to everyone for turning out at the AGM. A delicious pre meeting buffet curry at Jinnah (where the drinks bill was higher than the food bill) probably wasn’t the best idea in the world, but we live and learn. I would like to mention Des Yates and Nicky, it was good to see you and thanks for coming. It has been a really tough year for the branch off field again. We hope and pray for a better coming season.

The Chairman read the minutes of last years AGM out, there were no points arising or questions and these were duly proposed by Mally Appleyard and seconded by Chrissie Colman.

LUSC AGM: The main LUSC AGM held earlier that day, was briefly reviewed. Please note, the MPO will try to send this meeting’s minutes and future ones out in the group email this coming season. This will ensure you are all kept up to date with what is going on at the LUSC. Good relations between the LUSC and Leeds United continue, and we hope that this will be maintained. The LUSC exec meetings are still held at Elland Road, as is theAnnual  Quiz. The Annual Dinner has also been welcomed back to the West Stand, hopefully for the foreseeable future. Social media presence of the LUSC is growing exponentially across facebook and twitter.  This despite much competition from other Leeds United groups across all forms of social media. Membership is on the up but funds going down.  This is due to the LUSC getting more younger (free) members and also at the other end, as unfortunately, we are all getting a bit older too! There are now 36 fully paid up LUSC branches across the globe, ( Harrogate are the 2nd biggest LUSC branch according to the figures available).  There continues to be enquiries from potential new branches throughout the season. 2019 will be the centenary year of the LUSC , the LUSC exec are asking for any help to organise the coming celebrations. It was decided that the LUSC continue with the sponsorship of young Kalvin Phillips for the coming season. Angus Kinnear the CEO of Leeds United then did a speech and a Q&A session which was very good in my opinion, given he is technically still only 2 weeks into his job.

Membership Report from Roy: Memberships are still rising. Roy would like to thank everyone who very kindly encloses a stamped addressed envelope for the return of their membership cards.It is very helpful, please continue.

Secretary’s Report: The Secretary thanked everyone for their attendance and participation in the non footballing activities. Our guests, Fish (Peter Haddock), Debbie and his two lads, Peter and Carl attended the LUSC Annual Dinner. The branch had two tables and supported our members with subsidised tickets and travel for the night. The LUSC Annual Quiz was well attended, featuring three teams from our branch. We did ok but could have probably done better had The Chairman been available. The pork pie and peas supper was very tasty, but the bottle of red wine may have been excessive. All the LUSC exec meetings were attended. The LUSC Sponsored Player packages were another highlight. Deputy Andy Yates and Mr Steve Carass represented Harrogate & District Branch and the LUSC at the players lunch. Helpfully clearing up any left over alcohol and kindly escorting Kalvin Phillips and Charlie Taylor back home after their exhausting training day. Sorry should that be the other way round??? The Secretary also won a pair of the West Stand hospitality tickets for the Norwich game at the end of the season. The Paul Reaney Suite was very pleasant, as was the fillet steak and salted caramel roulade. Sadly, the same can’t be said of the first half of the game. Unfortunately, we were subjected to the company of a certain ex managers family sat behind us not really watching the game. Luckily enough, in the second half they were replaced by a few Italians happily screaming and shouting, which was much better. The Secretary thanked Deputy  Yates for the signed shirt which we raffled off ( won by Karen Webb eventually!) at the Wigan game.

Treasurers Report: Excellent season all in. The losses on the long away trips were mitigated by sharing with The Mavericks, Bradford 2011 and Bradford Whites. As Mr Flynn had previously stated, memberships are up again this season. The 250 draw yielded some good results. The Treasurer thanked Deputy Yates for the shirts and everyone who does the footy card. The costs this year included the LUSC Annual Dinner ( subsidy on the tickets, Peter Haddock’s costs and taxi fares) and transport costs to the (other) Members Dinner. Other items such as the wreath for Terry Rankine and support for the midweek long aways where we did not run a coach were also taken into account. Faye Smith ( a steward in the North East Corner) was sponsored in the London Marathon as was branch member James Proctor in a swimming event. The branch have ordered a new flag to replaced the dated and sadly, stained, old Harrogate & District flag. Branch members voted on a new design and this will be unveiled at the preseason Austria games. We are a not for profit organisation, any money raised goes back to the branch via subsidised coach travel and support to non football branch events etc. Accounts were proposed by Steve Smith and seconded by Martin Thomas. Approved by a show of hands.

Review: Coaches were run to all the weekend games and most of the midweek ones apart from Bristol City, Fulham and Brentford. This season there was a branch presence at all away games however, by car and/or mini bus. Our thanks go to Tim the Driver for his excellent efforts and we are sad to see him move on. The Secretary thanked the Chairman and the MPO for their help running the second buses. Our 2016/17 season refreshment stops have been a resounding success and any suggestions for future venues are welcome.

Election of Officers: No nominations or applications were made. All 4 existing committee members agreed to stand again. Proposed by Chrissie Colman and seconded by Dave Poole.

A.O.B: Bookings currently being taken for Bolton, Sunderland and Forest. The Secretary thanked everyone for the generous collection and also the committee.

Meeting closed 9.07pm.

Away Games.

Bolton now Sunday August 6th 4.30pm kick off

Sunderland now Saturday August 19th 5.30pm kick off

Forest now Saturday August 26th 5.30pm kick off

Bookings currently being taken, looking like there will be two buses for Bolton, usual channels please.


Please return all forms with the correct payment as soon as possible. Your forms and subs are due now.

Website (and other social media).

Our old “We Are Leeds” fanzine has now all been uploaded to this site. Reports from The Chairman are that people are finding this interesting, so it looks like all the work to get it on here has been worth it. We would like to thank The Chairman for his efforts in compiling this.

I will continue to do the updates from the monthly branch meetings in the ‘News and Events’ section. Preseason reports will also go on there with any pictures courtesy of Deputy Yates and anyone else who can hold their phone steady enough for some decent shots. A couple of queries about the post documenting Deputy Yates and Mrs Silvestre’s shenanigans were made. The pictures were certainly NOT doctored by me or Deputy Yates, as far as I am aware.

It is difficult to do the blog, as well as all the other things during the season ( ticket ordering, sorting pubstops etc.) so this will only be done as time allows.

The Chairman would like to continue with his Charley Says section, but STILL does not have a computer to do so. This puts extra pressure on the MPO. So, this is section is intermittent as some of his “memory matches” and comments are just posted on the facebook page instead. The MPO hopes to have a sensible chat with The Chairman at some point (this century) to discuss the way forward for his Charley Says.

Our Gallery section will continue as a store for any photos through the season, and is especially useful for those not on facebook apparently. I want to avoid repetition and will update it as and when I get photos.

When I get the Google analytics figures, I will put them up, but it looks like the website is useful, so will continue as it is. Any comments are welcome.

The MPO and therefore the branch does not have a twitter account and there are no plans for one because of the extra time/work etc. involved. If anyone wishes to help out with the website etc. please feel free to volunteer.

If anyone wishes to be removed from the group email list, please can you let us know via the usual channels please?


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Happy Days

Posted by on Jul 4, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

Sunday Monday Happy Days

Before the Millenials hijacked “happy days” and turned it into an insincere flippancy, to an older generation it meant something else. The Fonz.

Looking forward to the New Era at Leeds United, we now have The Radz. I just want to stake my claim for this before someone cleverer, more IT competent and more business minded than myself takes my idea and turns it into merchandising.

Radrizzani and his “radzical” take on football.

1) Why shouldn’t you own a football club and own the stadium and the ground it stands on?

2) Why shouldn’t the catering facilities (and therefore profits from matchdays and events) be owned by the football club?

3) Why shouldn’t you pick your best team to play a football game in order to make sure you win every game you play?

4) Why shouldn’t you properly engage with the fans, was it a good idea to completely disenfranchise the biggest supporters group?

It’s like that music magpie ad on the telly – why wouldn’t you?

It seems beyond belief at why anyone should think that the priorities of a football club are anything but; be successful by winning games and trophies and encouraging people to come and watch games in the stadium. By winning games, the extras of selling merchandise like shirts and clothing, and selling the brand, in terms of advertising revenue and sponsorship come as a bonus package. By engaging with the fan base, you are looking at future investment in the younger generations. Hardly rocket science is it?

So to all you people who are STILL out there defending Bates and Harvey, I say REALLY?

I know I am dwelling on the past here, but given what Bad Papa Smurf did, can you really say that the torrent of abuse levelled at Mr Cellino was really warranted compared to the paltry exchanges handed out to Bates and Harvey, the Burns and Smithers of Leeds United ( and I don’t mean that in the LGBT context before anyone starts accusing me of hate crimes). I think Signore Cellino did his level best when he got here. I think  despite the due diligence etc. he found the complete lack of any sensible business model simply  incomprehensible. This seemingly endless pit of chaotic frustration , coupled with the excessive influence of Sky TV, the EFL, FA and media vendetta against him and generally people just being really annoying, was just a bit too much. The guy is an Italian for crying out loud, well known for being relaxed and easygoing, so Christ knows what he thought when he saw the utter shambles of the last 13 years.

Hindsight is a fantastic thing and given that Cellino and Signore Radrizzani had been in discussions for a length of time, I think The Radz has benefited from learning from the mistakes that Massimo made. Time will tell, but controversial as this is, I genuinely think Massimo Cellino did as good a job as he could. We got to 7th after all. Realistically, given some better team selection decisions and not bottling the last 8 games of the season, we could have got the play offs. Plus, had we taken the Cup a bit more seriously, a good money spinning home tie against Arsenal could have been a genuine possibility.

This season we finally have our ground back. Now that Elland Road is owned by the Club,  the long needed work has started to improve the aging  facilities. After all, why develop the stadium facilities if you don’t own it???? Ooops. We have a new owner who has told us that he is here to make history not money. We have made signings, and hopefully Christiansen will actually play them rather than letting them keep the bench warm. It looks like we have kept our better players. I hope the preseason is used effectively to get them used to playing as a team. The Radz has promised that our players will do more than just play football, they will show commitment to the fans, recognise and reciprocate the effort that we fans, both home and away, put into supporting our amazing club. He has promised that we will go out to win every game.

I genuinely looked forward to last season and this season I am even more eager for the first game in August. Surprisingly enough, it is on Sky. I waited for the next tranche of televised fixtures to be released before posting this blog, and it looks like so far we have been spared the game of musical chairs that we were inflicted with last season. The season ticket sales are up in the 16,000s and Leeds United are aiming for 20,000, with murmurings of the half season ticket being reinstated. If we are doing well by Christmas, the half season tickets will be an excellent idea and more money in the coffers, so I hope this becomes a reality.

All in all, it’s all looking good. As Fonzie would say “Ayyyyy”


Mandatory Credit: Photo by GLOBE PHOTOS / Rex Features ( 58930a ) HENRY WINKLER VARIOUS - 1976

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