The last four days have been a complete joke.
It’s been like the film, Planes, Trains and Automobiles, just not funny at all. After pointlessly ticking boxes of planes (be that airplanes or aeroplanes) and trucks, to prove that I am not a robot, only to get finally onto the website and finding out the tickets have been sold out, I am almost ready just to pack it in.
I understand that tickets for the Euros mostly went to robots, who then sold the tickets on at an inflated price to ordinary folk, daft enough to pay the mark up (I am guessing), so this is why there is that extra level of security.
Might as well have gone to robots this last week. Seeing as soon as we start losing at The Theatre Of Wet Dreams, it will all go quiet in our end, like it did at Preston or Blackburn (or both?) not so long since. When all the “new” fans realise that it won’t be a goal fest and it may end up a dull 0 – 0. When they realise there isn’t be a corner or a free kick or a shot on goal every 5 minutes to keep their very short attention span focused, and that actually, they don’t know all the words to the songs, so they just look a bit stupid when they get it wrong and it all goes quiet, or no one else joins in with them. Soon enough, they’ll clear off down to the bogs and start smoking or whatever it is that they do in there. But considering they’ll all have missed the first 10 minutes anyway, because they’ll have been congratulating themselves on getting a ticket and taking selfies of each other with the tagline “here I am at Old Trafford” and posting it on instagram, they’ll not have even seen who is on the pitch – that’s if they know who is on the pitch.
You think I am bitter about it?
Too right, I am.
They’ll all be there, in their nice new shirts and scarves and every other bit of tat made in the People’s Republic, that proves that they are a Leeds fan. Trying to get the right angle for the perfect selfie whilst doing their 14 fold acca, umming and ahhing if Forest away be a home win or not and whether Livarpool will score a goal in the 96th minute to secure a draw. They’ll not be bothered about the game, just the result, and whether they will be able to join in that massive crush on the aisle if and when, we score, so they can post it on twitter. Cameras at the ready and two chargers, just in case the phone dies before they get that crucial shot of them, which proves they are “at the game”. They’ll have used up most of the charge of one of them because they’ve been lining up their match ticket with the 12 bottles of bud on the train table to get the best shot to show their mates.
Three months later, in the freezing wet snow, on a Monday night away at Brighton, after we’ve lost 5 in a row, the same ones will be tucked up in bed, watching it on SkyTVisf**kings**t, even though they have been offered tickets since they went on sale, from people who have just ordered it anyway, because they could, and all the away season ticket holders who can’t be arsed. It’ll be “oh I’m busy tonight – can’t make it, mate. I’ll see you at Chelsea next away day”. Meanwhile depriving those of us, who haven’t been able to go because the tickets were “sold out”, of yet another away game. That’s if they haven’t given up already, and stormed off twitter in a hissy fit, after they have slammed Bamford for being a donkey – yet again – and someone has had the audacity to ask them where they were when we were shit.
Is this more or less the same post I do this time of year, every year for the last 2 or 3 ( when fans were allowed into games) seasons? Probably. Will I do the same again next season? Probably. Did I ever whinge about it before 2017? Nope. Did anyone ever whinge about away tickets in 2014? Nope. Did anyone whinge about tickets in the first season we got booted out of the PL in 2004? Nope. Did anyone whinge about tickets when we dropped down into Division 3? Nope.
Were any of us surprised that the attendances dropped in 2004/5? Nope. Were any of us sorry to see the back of the ones who didn’t renew their season tickets in 2005/6? Nope. Were we surprised when even more jacked in their season tickets in 2007/8? Nope. Were we sorry to see the back of those? Nope. Would we be desperately upset if we never saw the miserable wasters ever again? Nope.
Did you all laugh when Massimo Cellino announced that if we didn’t get to the play offs he would refund 25% of the cost of your next season ticket in July 2016? Yep. Did people laugh when they found out there were less than 15,000 season ticket holders at ER in 2016? Yep. Were any of us who were still going surprised? Nope. Were any of us who were still going upset? Nope. Were any of us who were still going want any of the deserters back? Nope.
So for those of you reading my blog, who have forgotten, or conveniently misremembered, that no one ever bothered going to watch Leeds United at home – let alone away – because they were “too busy” going shopping, playing football, washing the car, washing their hair, playing squash, going to the gym … or simply watching on the telly because you’re a c _ _ _ . Read the above article, just to remind yourself how crap we actually were.
Read the article which painfully spells out what a laughing stock we were. Go back through the annals and look at the “players” we used to have. Please note I use the term “player” very loosely to describe someone who at times just wandered round the pitch at ER for 90 minutes and considered themselves to be an actual “football player”. Read the article and refresh yourselves of the fact that Massimo was actually going to refund 50% of the cost of our season tickets back if more than 15,000 people renewed their season tickets and we didn’t make the play offs. Reacquaint yourselves with the knowledge that people were actually bribed to buy a season ticket, the price of which had already been frozen for 3 years, by the promise of a 50% discount off their next season ticket. Remind yourself how unpopular being a Leeds fan used to be – 5 short years ago.
According to records our average attendance at ER in 2010/11 was 27,296 – this includes away fans by the way. By 2014/15 season it was 22,278 and by 2015/16 it was 22,611.
There’s now a waiting list of 22,000 people who each pay a tenner to be in with a chance of getting a season ticket should someone to kick the proverbial bucket.
So, yes, I am bitter.
Bitter that those who made the effort when we were shit have now been usurped by someone who probably only got a season ticket in 2018 when we started to get a bit better. Bitter that those who unswervingly stood through the dross that was Division 3 football, now cannot even get a sniff at the burger van outside Old Trafford. Bitter that those who couldn’t afford an away season ticket, but then again, never thought they would ever need one anyway, may now never see an away game again, because they have been priced out by people who jumped on the opportunity when one came up. Bitter that I may never stand with the people who I have stood with year on year, decade on decade for God knows how long, at a game again. Bitter that the away days that I have enjoyed for so long, will be something of the past now.
I understand now we are good, people want to be Leeds fans again. But everyone started to build their loyalty at one time. What’s wrong with biding your time and waiting your turn? We all had to do it at some point. Oh wait, I forgot, you’re Entitled aren’t you?
As for the ones who started off this whole anti loyalty thing – karma. What goes around, comes around. I hope when it does arrive, when it’s your turn, you get it ten fold in return.
In the meantime until Thursday, here’s some more planes and trucks to tick …