Two Sides To Every Story

Posted by on Sep 27, 2021 in Blog | 0 comments

As the old saying goes “there’s two sides to every story”, I’d probably say, there’s at least two sides, if not more. What you choose to accept and believe, is up to you. The trouble is, nowadays, the “truth” is often what the people with the power of influence, want you to think, rather than what the facts are. It’s not to say that everything in life is purely objective in the true black or white definition. It’s impossible to not have shades of grey in fact. And a lot of stuff is down to opinion at times depending on the given scenario. When it becomes more subjective, rather than objective, there’s always going to be disagreement.

So I read with interest some of the discussion around what Pep Guardiola said about the Man City fans after the Leipzig game. It’s the early rounds of the Chumpions League, the ground was a bit empty and quiet and he was disappointed. Was he wrong to say what he said? I think he has now apologised for saying it, but why should he? All he was saying was what he thought. He’s been castigated for saying it by many, some of the Man City fans have hit back. But there’s two sides to every story.

This was the take of the Manchester Evening News:

https://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/man-city-guardiola-empty-seats-21622921

Why am I particularly interested? Well, it might be us in a few years, mighten it? Well, we can only hope that in a few years, we are playing in the Champions League so regularly that we are getting bored with it.

Was Pep wrong? Where do we start?

All he did was say what he thought. What is wrong with that? Firstly, the facts. It was the 1st round of the Chumpions League. They were playing RB Liepzig. Citeh won 6-3. The capacity of The Etihad is 54,000 give or take, the attendance was 38,000 give or take. The price of a ticket at Citeh is getting more expensive. The regular fans are going to games twice a week as a matter of course-in every cup generally to the bitter end. Citeh have forced a digital ticketing system onto their fans without any discussion, which unfortunately doesn’t work properly, leading to multiple problems with getting the right tickets for the right games.  The reaction. Pep looked round, there were huge gaps in the crowd, it had been a bit quiet at times during the game, he got a bit cross. How was he to know what problems fans were having with their tickets? How was he supposed to know the effect of being so good that you are in basically every competition going year on year, is going to affect fans pockets so severely?.

Of course , as usual SkyTVisf**kings**t did it’s best to shit stir the pot and sought to further drive a wedge between the manager and the fans. Divide and conquer. It’s an old trick, works like a charm if you want to increase your viewing figures by getting “latest” reaction from the usual hasbeen pundits. Let’s ask our expert panel. None of whom have never been in Pep’s enviable position of multiple trophies and league titles though.

Divide and conquer is also fantastic if you want to cause trouble and capitalise on the weakened parties after the dust has settled. Bates tried it with us, but we were made of stronger stuff. We stuck it out, but there were casualties of war and some of the bridges can never be unburnt, and some of the cuts will never heal. A grudge is for life after all. I digress…

Both sides, the manager and the fans have the right to have a little gripe though. two sides to every story.

The real difficulty is managing the expectation, of both fans and the players and managers (also including Chairmen and owners, I guess).

Take our position after the game on Saturday. It wasn’t a bad display, but we lost. Arguably Antonio shouldn’t even have been on the pitch after the antics of his flailing arms. Their equaliser was a unlucky ricochet. Our defence has once again been torn to shreds, by injury to Llorente and Koch and by the fourth official and Gurning in Struijk’s case. Even with these extenuating circumstances, our so called fans have still felt fit to condemn the team, the manager, the board and the owners with their usual vitriol. It’s fine to have a rant, we all do, but to continue to whinge and over exaggerate our position in the table even though it’s not even October, that’s just excessive.

How do these people think it makes the players feel when they see this terrible language?

How do these people think it makes the manager feel when he hears this? I won’t even mention what Kinnear, Radrizzani and the 49ers might be feeling.

Bielsa isn’t going to react, because he won’t. He’s a consummate professional who takes his job very seriously. We know from the picture from QPR in February 2019 just how seriously Bielsa takes his job. But if he wasn’t such a dedicated manager, if he didn’t respect his work and his job as much, he’d be completely entitled to go off on one and have a pop at the “fans” who are criticising him so vehemently. But he won’t, cos he’s not like that.

It’s not even October.

Like most, I have stayed away from social media since Saturday so I can avoid all the naysayers and doom mongers. I said at the start of the season, it was going to be a marathon not a sprint. We need to hold our nerve. We’ve seen much much worse. They’ll be some clever dick reading this now who going to start saying “oh God, they are going to dig up going to watch Hereford and Histon when we were shit again” .

Actually, I am.

I was once deigned a “glory hunter” and I retorted by saying if I was a glory hunter, I would have never staved the course when we were terrible. Like a few select loyal fans, we have been there through the good times and the bad. The ones who have almost self imploded with vitriol, brimstone and fire this weekend just need to have a good look at themselves and listen to what they are spouting. If they can’t take that we are three wins away from Europe, having played 4 of the top 7 in the league, still technically in the League Cup and it’s still not yet October, they really need to give their heads a wobble. If we are still in the same position by Halloween then I suppose they can get worried.

Are these same people going to be clamouring for tickets if we get past Arsenal and end up in the quarter finals? I’ll tell you what, if we do, anyone who has been slating the team or Bielsa off these last 48 hours doesn’t deserve to get a ticket. Ooh they won’t like that, will they? 

Please, for the good of the rest of us, if you expect instant success and won’t accept anything less, just hand your season ticket back, or get yourself off that season ticket waiting list. Definitely don’t try for any away tickets either. Just leave the rest of us to it. We’ll see you back when we start doing well again, I have no doubt.

Here’s Chorlton to cheer you all up

thanks to googleimages for the picture of the happiest dragon on the planet

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Modern Day Football

Posted by on Sep 21, 2021 in Blog | 0 comments

Modern day football.

Like all things (supposedly), football is better now than it used to be in the old days, because simply put we have progressed. With the benefit of more knowledge, better education, faster technology, sporting breakthroughs in science, modern day football is so much better nowadays.

But sadly, modern day football, like modern day life, in it’s desperation to demonstrate continued progression, the pursuit of true progress has fallen by the wayside to progressiveness. Producing something which is so sterile, it is devoid of the passionate football we fell in love with all those years ago. It has become something which we barely recognise, the bare skeleton of 22 men on a pitch, dripping only in rags of ridiculous rules, VAR, TV companies (along with their biased narratives) and money, money, money. 

What am I on about now, Dear Readers?

I have finally brought myself round to watching the Livarpool game.

Ah.

Now you know what I am going on about. And I have to say, I use the word “watching” in it’s loosest meaning. Those of you who subscribe to SkyTVisf**ings**t understand what I am on about. The bit that I was really interested in “watching”, I couldn’t actually “watch”. As Gary “If Rashford can get an OBE for a non football related thing, why can’t I get one” Neville kept reminding us, “they” couldn’t show us the challenge.

Why not, Gary?

By the way, Gary, I understand you want to be the one who champions “real” football fans who want “fairer” football for fans. I understand you want football to have more stringent rules of ownership etc. and you want “proper fans” to have more power and a say of how they want their football clubs to work. I know, because you say this ad infinitum given the opportunity. But I don’t think you understand the hypocrisy of where you are coming from. If you take your situation in it’s most basic form, you are a TV pundit. Your wages are paid for by the very TV company who has singlehandedly helped ruin football for matchgoing fans since 1992. The team you part own, Salford FC is sponsored by a division of the parent company of  SkyTVisf**kings**t. By this virtue alone, YOU are part of the problem, NOT the solution. I love it how you preach (on SkyTVisf**kings**t) about how fans are cheated by bureaucracy and how “the System” needs to reflect what fans want and that fans “need a voice” and true representation. All this whilst you and your pundit pals are responsible for churning your rhetoric narrative, nauseatingly at times, in order to get what your bosses, the True Gods of Football, want. Which is football on 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so they can get their audiences and all their viewing figures up there to create all the advertising income they need to fund their greed. The greed which in turn, feeds the greedy agents and players who just want to line their pockets more. The TV companies need constant exposure and their pursuit of their global brand is the only thing that drives their ambition. Their addiction is publicity, and they will stop at nothing to keep themselves at the top of that tree. Why do you think they spend so much time on the non stories which are the transfer windows when the football isn’t particularly interesting? Why do you think they blow every little bit of “news” out of proportion? To keep the audience figures up, Gary. It’s airtime and the longer they can keep folk addicted to their channels, the better. 

Gary, give yourself a break lad. You aren’t going to get an OBE like Rashford. Even though he could feed all the poor and needy children in the UK with what he earns in a week. Even though, what he gets in sponsorship alone in a day is more than what most people earn in a year, no one will see that. Why? Because they choose to ignore it. It’s like film and TV stars at the Oscars, or the Emmys making “statements” about lack of inclusivity and poverty, all whilst parading obscenely expensive outfits and jewellery, barely a stone’s throw from some of the most impoverished people in the cardboard box ghettos of Hollywood and New York. The stench of hypocrisy hidden from the glittery lights by the perfume of the middle class Elite.

I digress – back to the blog.

Free the Pascal One.

Why couldn’t you show that tackle, Gary?

Was it really that bad? After all, from where I was in my stand, it didn’t actually look that bad. In real time, Struijk went in for the challenge, they both got up from it, or at least Elliot tried to get up but sat back down again. The ref turned,  looked at them and played on. Both of the teams played on for a few seconds. Salah went up to Elliot, told him to stay down and Gurning Klopp ran onto the pitch. Then a load of people ran onto the pitch. It was then, and only then, must have been 10 seconds later, that the ref ran back and blew. I couldn’t see what was going on properly, the stretcher with the head stabilising board came onto the pitch, but Elliot was clearly conscious. It didn’t look like a head injury. Yes, there was a load of confusion, but the lad was clearly alert and it wasn’t a concussion. It wasn’t an incident like the sad Christian Eriksen episode, which incidentally the cameras were focused on 100%. Did Gary and SkyTVisf**kings**t think it was as serious as this? Honestly?

I’m no doctor, but I’m pretty sure if someone is still conscious and moving, they are safe. In real time, if the challenge was that dangerous the ref should have stopped the game there and then and brandished his red card, rather than waiting for Klopp, Stockley Park, the 4th official and the rest of Klopps relatives to tell him to do so. It wouldn’t have surprised me if GCHQ, Menwith Hill and the Big Ball at Fylingdales hadn’t put their two pennorth in as well. And all the time, there was Gary on SkyTVisf**kings**t saying “We can’t show it”.

Why Gary? We have all seen Roy Keane’s tackle on Alfie. We all saw Cantona’s two footed leap at that Palace fan. We even saw that Son tackle on Everton’s Gomes.   

The TV audience has been completely desensitised to any violence / peril / gore over the last 30 years. What is the actual difference of watching that tackle going to make?

30 years ago, you wouldn’t have heard the F word said in the cinema without having a XXX certificate shoved in your face. You used to have “parental advisory” stickers on your “risque” album covers. Now Samuel L Jackson has that as his personal Snakes On A M****F***** Plane motto and even cartoon characters use smutty language.

We were brought up on the likes of Clint Eastwood in Dirty Harry, and Rocky and Rambo. Later on it was Tarantino and Kill Bill et al. The 30+ year olds were brought up on a diet of GTA and TuPac & Biggie gangland shootings. The 20+ year olds have been brought up with SAW, Gears of War and Halo. The 15 year olds are brought up Fortnite and The Walking Dead. The average 18 rated film of the 80s in the cinema, has now been totally eclipsed by the 15 rating films in today’s film theatres. We don’t need to be protected and cossetted by SkyTVisf**kings**t and FA old codgers censors board. As if you lot know what is right and proper, your moral compass is so far apart you wouldn’t know inpropriety if it smacked you in the face with a wet fish.

With the advent of Youtube and social media, all you need to do is whisper something about action films and those cheeky algorithms will select similar content for you to see next time you switch your device on. Tailored content which increasingly gets more intense the more you look. Before you know it, you could go from Colin The Caterpillar to watching The Human Centipede. Incidentally, this is an extremely unpleasant film – please do not go to Blockbuster and hire it.

What I am trying to say is that, in the 70s and 80s the scariest films you saw were Carrie, The Omen and Salems Lot. Nowadays, even the 12a films show violence and bad language de riguer. Limbs being hacked off and 15 minute fight scenes are common place. The Disney Channel is the only place to watch The Walking Dead. Disney – that’s right – the company that brought you Steamboat Willy and Minnie Mouse, showing you gruesome, gory zombie fight scenes.

Some of the Drill and Grime music on the radio glorifies gangs and violence and the music videos that kids and young people aspire to show scantily clad persons in suggestive poses and are little with lurid language. It’s a far cry from the New Seekers “I’d Like To Teach The World To Sing” and “All Kinds Of Everything” by Dana. We sat through the Sex Pistols and Punk for Pete’s sake. No one needs a modern day Tipper Gore to protect us. And for those of you who don’t know what I mean, here is the link. The might of Christian values and wholesome good Old American values – God Bless Dee Snider

https://www.udiscovermusic.com/stories/filthy-fifteen-pmrc-censorship/

The viewing customers of today have been so anaesthetised by modern day life, nothing is going to phase them, Gary. Modern day sport includes a dedicated boxing channel, two competitors punching the living daylights out of each other. Boxing is an Olympic sport. MMA which is much more violent, isn’t an Olympic sport, but it’s still readily available to stream. Two guys punching and kicking the s**t out of each other in a cage. 

So, Gary, when you say “We can’t show you this” and “No one wants to see this sort of thing” actually no. Not really. No one is particularly bothered about a football challenge. Christian Eriksen having a medical emergency, that’s what we don’t want to see. A competitive challenge in a contact sport? That’s part and parcel of the professional game.

I’ll tell you what we don’t like to see in the professional game. Cheating and diving or to give it it’s modern day football correct terminology, clever game management. We don’t like to see things shown out of context, manipulated by the TV camera angles to make things look different to what they actually are. We don’t like deliberate selective misinterpretation, for effect, in order to sensationalise something. We don’t like to hear insinuation, supposition, hearsay or speculation, which may exaggerate or over emphasise something that isn’t really true. We really just want to watch the football as it happens on the pitch and listen to the commentary of the game as it happens.

As for Elliot, I hope he gets well soon. No hard feelings. Even he admits the challenge was fair and the way he landed, or perhaps how he stood up after the challenge caused the accident which damaged his ankle. At least he admitted it. He will hopefully heal and get back quickly as he’s young. Struijk? How long is it going to take him to heal? He’s been accused of deliberately going in with an illegal dangerous challenge. He didn’t, it was a fair tackle. He knows that, Elliot knows that. The FA may know that, but they are not going to admit it. After all, with all the furore that it has generated, with all the mass hysteria from Klopp and his team, with all the confusion from the ref not looking at VAR (why do they have VAR again?). Together with all the exaggeration from the TV pundits, they are going to look a little bit stupid if they withdraw the red card. 

All this just plays right into the old adage of Them v Us. As if Leeds fans didn’t already have a massive persecution complex. As if we didn’t need anymore excuses to feel let down by the FA and footballing authorities Elite. 

They All Hate Leeds Scum

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Two Wrongs Don’t Make A Right

Posted by on Aug 19, 2021 in Blog | 0 comments

Two wrongs don’t make a right.

I thought it was originally said by some Ancient Greek guy in white robes (like in Bill and Ted), or some thoughtful learned bloke, maybe a master philospher or author like Rudyard Kipling. But no, the first recorded use of “two wrongs don’t make a right” was by a doctor in US of A called Benjamin Rush in 1758. We don’t know much about him, but he was one of the Founding Fathers (and I don’t mean those who did “The Purge” films either). When you read up on him, he came out with some good stuff though.

Two wrongs don’t make a right. This can be used in many contexts – not just the retaliatory Munich song on Saturday.

Two wrongs don’t make a right is generally used by film critics (of the genre I watch anyway) to rubbish the premise of most of the better storylines of such great epics like Death Wish, Rambo and Saw. Those where the perpetrator at the start of the film has done something bad, so the person who has been harmed / upset goes all out, and well and truly dishes it back, twice if not thrice fold. Or even, for example with the Death Wish films, 5 or six fold. As for Saw – well, I don’t want to ruin it for anyone – but he technically isn’t even in the later ones, as he’s already dead.

These movie masterpieces revolve round the basic revenge principle that should someone do something to hurt you, they completely and utterly deserve to get it back. Remember everything, forgive nothing. A grudge is for life – not just for Christmas. A marvellous mantra.

For those who don’t know what I am on about. Not content with beating us on the pitch on Saturday, some scrot from the wrong side of The Pennines ( or could have been London for all we know), decided it would be a good idea to unfurl a Turkey flag. That, along with a load of coins being chucked down from the upper tier, could only result in one thing. Apparently Gary ” I deserted my wife and young kids for a lingerie model” Lineker called it despicable. Well, you should know all about disgraceful behaviour, Gary. 

Two wrongs don’t make a right, but there was never any way that retaliation for disrespecting two fans who got killed before a football match, was going to be anything but the Munich song. And, as the song and indeed the arms in the airplane position gesture, was heard and seen by the rest of the ground, who may or may not have been aware of what was going on, Leeds fans were once again castigated by –  well everybody really.

In this progressive era where you can report more or less anything for being offensive, the waving of a Turkey flag, the gesture of someone slitting someone’s throat and indeed, the very offensive gesture of a hangman’s rope from the away end on the anniversary of Gary Speed’s sad passing, cannot be deemed as a crime. 

You could have wolf whistled at a woman in the crowd, and she could have reported you, or you could have said something to about race or gender and that could have been a crime, but the police and the stewards didn’t / wouldn’t bat an eyelid at this very hurtful gesture.

Why?

Who knows. Maybe it’s because it’s aimed at Leeds fans, so it doesn’t count? But then again, would we really want someone arrested for a for waving a flag? Getting chucked out of the ground maybe? Answers on a postcard, I guess.

As for the Rashford and Sancho song. For those of you who have forgotten what happened in that penalty shootout, here it is:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QwvV06FvXbg

My own opinion of it, for what it’s worth? I blame the manager for picking them in the first place and the other senior players for not taking more of a stand and stepping up to the plate and volunteering. Southgate put them in like lambs to the slaughter. It was the final, Gareth. They may well have been scoring 10/10 penalties in the practice sessions, but let’s face it, the pressure of the Euros final after extra time, can hardly be appropriately mimicked in a training session. The game should have been won in the 90 minutes, if Gareth hadn’t have been so negative and put 10 men behind the ball for the best part of 85 minutes. It should have been put to bed in 120 minutes, if he’d have put the subs on sooner, with fresh legs to run at the ageing Italian defence who were already on two yellows. But to put two completely inexperienced players in for penalties, with the likes of Grealish and Sterling standing around twiddling their thumbs, was ridiculous. That’s like saying, “you’ve done the Five Peaks – off you go to Everest then in your Northface fleece, you’ll be fine” or “you’ve done your 50 yds certificate and you’ve jumped in wearing pyjamas and picked a flip flop off the bottom of the pool in swimming, next stop The English Channel”. (Do kids even do that anymore in swimming?).

If anyone let their country down it was Gareth Southgate. And Rashford – it was a crap penalty. Maguire and Kane, they didn’t let their country down as they scored their penalties. Whoever missed their turn would be receiving insults this season, regardless of which team they played for. You can put money on that Saka lad being slated for it.

In simple words, this trading of insults is rivalry. The slitting throat and hanging gestures is another different discussion. There’s rivalry and then there’s taking things too far.

Rivalry.

Football is many things to many people, and since globalisation, it is many, many more things to many, many more people. Without rivalry though, football is stark, synthetic and artificial. Plastic for want of a better term. People who watch football unaware of these rivalries fail to share in and experience one of the most inherent, tribal, raw elements of sporting fandom. A sad loss to them.

The Gods of Football don’t understand this though. The acceptance of any form of Rivalry is a non starter in the new touchy feely Elite Metropolitan world. They want us to be all happy and integrated with our half and half scarves. Realistically the only people who you are allowed to not like, are the ones that fit the Narrative of the Moment, and the Elite will tell you who they are. Harsh? Not really. Football rivalry is something that is deep seated, and cannot be influenced by an outsider, because they don’t understand it. And because they don’t understand it, they are scared by it and will try anything to stem it, like trying to portray us all as hooligans. There are some hooligans amongst us, as there are with many football teams, but we are not all like that.

Football to many of us is a release. For many of us who work hard through the week in responsible jobs being dependable and professional, football is a day where all of that goes out of the window. It is a day when you are allowed to be one thing and one thing only. A Leeds United fan. Doesn’t matter how old you are, how many kids you have, how many people you are in charge of, what job you do, what colour you are, what sex you are – it all means absolutely jack. You are a Leeds United fan and that’s it. You can shout and scream, moan about the players, the team, the strategy, shit penalties, whatever. But you support your team like everyone else around you. Leeds United crosses all boundaries, we are colour blind and we are one.

We hate Bayern because they cheated us out of our title. The same goes with AC Milan and most it not all referees. We mourn the tragic events at Taksim Square. We are the last true 1st Division Champions. We are the Champions of Europe. 

We don’t like anyone from the wrong side of the Pennines.

Ok, that’s just really a Yorkshire thing. The deep seated hate and mistrust of anyone from the Wrong Side of The Pennines goes back centuries to the Wars of The Roses. I don’t even know if they teach that at school nowadays, they did when I was little. 1455 to 1485 when Richard III was killed at the battle of Bosworth Field. Yorkshiremen are proud to be from Yorkshire. And there are only three Ridings of Yorkshire. North, East and West. In the 70s, they invented Humberside, so you lot don’t even count anymore as Yorkshiremen. In Yorkshire, we talk proper and we are proud of it. There was that study by some uni down South that said by 2060, regional accents will disappear and we will all end up talking like Jude Law or the cast of Harry Potter, in some weird, non dialectist conformism. Similar to how the Americans speak where the end of the sentence finishes in a rising “inflection” , it’s called. So it sounds like they are continually asking a question or doubting what they are saying, even if they aren’t. It’s the equivalent of adding “Suits you , Sir?” to every phrase but not in the double entredre way.

Not likely thanks. Not here in Yorkshire. You can keep that South of Sheffield, cheers. Can’t be doing with them Southeners. Aside of them though, we hate the Sc*m. Fact.

I know there are many Leeds fans who aren’t lucky enough to be born in Leeds, or even in God’s own Yorkshire. You’ve come over to the White side because of the great Revie team, because of family ties, because of our great legends like John Charles, Billy Bremner, and nowadays our more recent legends like Radebe and Yeboah or just because of the football that we play. Leeds United has a massive, ever growing in fact, global fan base, and that’s great. But you don’t forget where you came from.

In the doldrums of Division 3, when football was crap and it really was 90 minutes of agony that ruined your whole day, the fans were there, albeit in smaller numbers, supporting Leeds United. Bielsa has come out again today saying how proud he is of us and our amazing support. The team are looking forward to playing in front of a full house on Saturday, for the first time for many of our players. 

Fans at the ground matter. And I know there are Leeds fans who will never get to a match at ER ever, it’s us that they rely on to make the noise and cheer the side on. I’ve said it so many times, we are the 12th man. It’s up to us. Whether we are singing to cheer us when we are winning or aiming our verbal abuse at the opposition. We are Leeds and proud. Our rivalries with the teams in the Premier League have been halted for long enough. The old songs are back, hopefully for good, and for the younger ones who never saw us play in the PL, it’s up to us older lot to make sure that rivalries are renewed, and that when two wrongs don’t make a right, we try a third.

On On On

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You Don’t Say

Posted by on Aug 13, 2021 in Blog | 0 comments

In the most unsurprising turn of events since the sun rose and night turned into day, we find out that tickets to Leeds games are being sold on 3rd party websites at over-inflated prices, and basically robbing Leeds fans, desperate to watch Leeds United play, of their hard earned pennies. You don’t say?

I was going to title this piece as “No S**t, Sherlock” but I thought it was a little rude for you, Dear Readers.

Like the famous Cilla Black programme of the 90s – “Surprise Surprise – the unexpected hits you between the eyes”, for those of you who are too young to remember, here’s the song

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q7-7S4eCuTM&ab_channel=JoeDavageChannel

What do we know?

We know that Leeds were forced to put a statement out on the website, saying that they were aware of “fraudsters”

We know that you can go onto 3rd party websites and buy a ticket for Leeds v Everton

We know that you can go onto the Leeds website and not get a ticket for Leeds v Everton

What else do we know?

We know that the tickets for the Everton game sold out incredibly quickly. We know that the few seats that were left were basically in the Family Stand. That’s the (magnificent new) East Stand lower to the ones who have only just started to support Leeds United. And, I’m not knocking you, we all had to start somewhere – right?

We know that people were trying to order those tickets, which were few and far between by the way, and some didn’t realise that in order to get these tickets, you needed to have some sort of child to order for at the same time.

The problem is that, even though they are trying to encourage families, the chances of actually ordering 3 tickets together in the Family Stand, are, you guessed it,  few and far between. Unless you get on the website straight away that is. Even then, it is still a bit tricky navigating it, if you’ve not done it before.

And if you do have a family season ticket, what happens when your child grows up and doesn’t fit the criteria anymore for a Family Stand seat? Would you then have to go on the waiting list for a adult season ticket? Answers on a postcard please?

I can’t see an 18 year old particularly wanting to sit in the Family Stand anyway. Unless they have particularly short legs of course. Apparently the beer is better in the (magnificent new) East Stand, as are the bogs, so there is a bonus for having your seat there. But you’d need to have pretty short legs to be comfortable in there, and a bit of a Slim Jim as well, I’m guessing. Also, you’d need the patience of a saint depending on who you end up sat next to. If kids in a cinema are anything to go by, you’d need a fair bit of patience when the 8 year old behind you starts kicking your seat because he can, then there’s the obligatory shuffle for the frequent trips to the bog.

As for the rest of us, well, we all knew it would be difficult to get a seat after we got promoted. But with all these people out there who can’t be arsed to get a proper job, and would rather spend their time buying up memberships from clubs in the Premier League in order for them to get tickets and make their money by skanking people, what more do you expect?

Unless of course, it is like the Will Smith film I Robot, and when we turn up at the game on Saturday, the ground will be the Theatre of Robot Dreams

thanks to film quarterly for the pic and here’s the very good article too, one of Mr Smith’s better films – a bit more believable than After Earth (which was terrible) but not as good as Seven Pounds

https://filmquarterly.org/2012/07/02/i-robot-what-do-robots-dream-of/

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Planes, trucks … who gives a

Posted by on Aug 9, 2021 in Blog | 0 comments

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.

https://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/sport/football/how-many-season-tickets-will-leeds-united-sell-sunday-and-how-much-will-fans-get-back-if-they-dont-make-play-offs-1794153

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 …

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God Only Knows

Posted by on Jul 26, 2021 in Blog | 0 comments

It’s summer, the season starts very soon. What’s going on with away tickets? As the great Brian Wilson says – “God Only Knows”. This is the latest news on away tickets – make of it what you will.

https://www.leedsunited.com/news/ticketing/28377/leeds-united-update-away-ticketing-policy-ahead-of-2021-22-season?mc_cid=fc4b83093a&mc_eid=7344e39802

The lyrics of God Only Knows are a very fitting description of what Leeds United means to us. Leeds United is a massive chunk of our lives and has been for some time. I’ll put the snippet in for those heretics amongst you who don’t know who The Beach Boys are: (thanks to google for the lyrics)

I have a love / hate relationship with Leeds United, like so many of us. Whilst it has been the source of much despair, frustration and downright anger over the last 30+ years (longer for others), it has also been instrumental in some of the happiest and most cherished moments of my life. Leeds United has driven me to drink to drown my sorrows, but also been the catalyst to some of the most drunken celebrations known to man. You only have to look at the joyousness in Millenium Square after we got promoted to see the wondrous nature of the good times at our beloved football club. And we are at the good times right now. Let’s enjoy it while it lasts.

These blogs are just the written views of one, ok maybe two, loyal fans. I’m not the loyalest by any stretch of the imagination, and I don’t pretend to be. I never made it to Myanmar and pre season friendlies are not my biggest priority in life. Leeds United already takes 10 and a half months of my life, I need 6 weeks off for a rest! Running a branch is difficult. You don’t choose it, it chooses you. Bit like a cat really.

The biggest, most stressful part of running a branch?

Away tickets.

In a way, it is good that away tickets is such a problem. Why? Well, in the greater scheme of things, it means that Leeds are doing well. No one wants an away ticket when we are crap, look at Villa not so long since, when they were letting you pay on the gate on the night. So, when it comes to the “greater good” – woo hoo the good times are here!

The flipside? How long have we got? I’m going to spare you the argument for loyal v free for alls – everything that can be said, has been said, mostly on this website! Just go back in the annals and you can just enjoy it all again.

So, let’s just get on with it. Let’s digest the away ticketing policy.

Firstly, it wasn’t a surprise that Leeds United decided to change the policy after last season, actually not last season as we never got to see any of the games, so in truth season 2019/20. If I was to be honest, the away ticket issues started after we picked up when Christiansen was still here. Granted, there were always the odd games when we struggled with tickets when we were a bit rubbish. Going down to Division 3 meant a few new grounds, so the ones who just wanted to tick off a new ground, as opposed to the ones who actually wanted to watch us play, were giving us problems then. It happens every time we get a team who we haven’t played before. You turn up and people you haven’t seen for years all of a sudden are there. Salford was a recent one. Paucity of the usual crowd, quite a few long lost faces – who knew?

I digress, what does the new away ticketing policy mean?

Basically, if you have an away season ticket – get in! They’ve not got rid of them and they will be cheaper this year because there is a cap on PL tickets – £30 tops. Bargain! You still have to pay your little bit extra for your Premium product, but for this year at least – NO WORRIES! Slap yourself on the back for having the money and the foresight for getting your away season ticket when you did. For the original 350 of you, well done for holding out as long as you have done. All those years of paying more per game  than we,  mere mortals did, has got you the bonanza of a guaranteed hassle free match ticket. All you have to do now is worry how long Leeds United let you keep them. If we stay up and get into Europe, no doubt MORE new fans will want to get in on the action and the CEO will get even more emails demanding that all fans should have the right to watch Leeds United away.

The lucky 9.5% of 3,000. O level Maths at A grade tells me that there are 285 very, very lucky people who have been to 100 or more league and cup games since the 2015/16 season. Why they chose 2015/16 season as their cut off point is anyone’s guess. We’ve had worse seasons than that surely? Was that the season we had our worse attendance records? Radrizzani bought Leeds in 2017, so nothing to do with new owners taking over, or was it? Was Andrea already waiting in the wings in that 2015/16 season? Uwe Rosler and Steve Evans shared the managerial hat / sombrero, so can’t be anything to do with that surely? God Only Knows again, Brian. However they decided it, 285 people  were in it to win it. 285 people have a guaranteed ticket to an away game this season. Hurrah! Before people start on the “they are all old gippers” etc. I know for a fact that there are a few who are, for all intents and purposes, YOUNG people in that number. Much has been made of the myth that only old people could ever get on the loyalty ladder. Simply put – not true. How do I know this? Because I know one if not more of these YOUNG people – personally. The lad probably didn’t appreciate being dragged up and down the country by his old man to watch us get beat all the time. These young ones may have stood there in the beginning, wondering what the hell they were doing when their mates were sat at home, warm and dry on their playstations and game boys. They may have been there, looking around at the crowd of old drunks, still singing even though we hadn’t had one shot on goal the whole game, thinking “what the heckingbottom is going on?” But look how well it has worked out. Brucie bonus.

The other 27%. In the 2019/20 season, these people got a ticket to an away game. Seeing as quite a few of the games were done on the old “tracker” system, many of them are and have been for years in the legions of the loyal support. Some may have missed out on the lucky 285 by one, maybe two games. What solace could you seek if you had missed out by one game? And if it had been that Stoke free for all game, or in fact any of the other free for all sale games like Preston or Bolton. Some poor souls might have missed out on the lucky 285 by that one free for all game that loads of the half season ticket holders who bought their season ticket at Christmas got to, but they didn’t. Some in this category may not be though. Some might have just been lucky enough to have a decent T’internet service and been lucky to get on the system. Some have been lucky to get to the checkout phase without the basket emptying or getting turfed out by the website. Some might have been lucky to get time off work to sit in the queue and order their tickets in the first place. Some might have been lucky to have a friend who could order their ticket for them and were lucky as above. Well their luck ended there, didn’t it? Now they will have to see if their luck plays out when they all get dumped in a pot again for a 50/50 chance at getting their hands on just short of 1,000 tickets. Better odds than a free for all sale, but with less tickets to have a go at, so probably worse. It makes no difference if you had done 98 games in five seasons or just got to 5 last season. All in the same boat. Complete loss of your loyalty for the ones on 99 /98 games – perhaps because someone who got a half season ticket at Christmas managed to get in before you that day. Bollocks.

Season ticket holders. The last 27% of the 3,000 max allocation. Another reason to pay the extra tenner to go on the season ticket waiting list. Free for all sale for just under 1,000 tickets. No one knows yet whether you can go for this sale if you have already tried but failed to get one in the last category. Actually, God Only Knows. You’d also be hoping that people in this sale are actually wanting to go to the game, rather than wanting to make a quick buck and flogging their ticket to Scum away for £500 or whatever the highest bidder is willing to give them. At least though, some who have never managed to get to a Leeds away game can go and experience the smoking in the bogs, beer fights, crap view from the aisle seats, overpriced beer and then get crushed when we score.

Gold members. Sorry “MyLeeds” members. “Gold member” always brings up images of the rather unfortunately shaped spaceship in that Austin Powers film of the same name. Never did like that term. But having said that, MyLeeds now sounds far too similar to that terrible “book” by Peter Fibsdale, which he wrote when he did, to capitalise on that really troubled period we were going through. Shooter McGavin from Happy Gilmore has more morals than Peter Fibsdale. Gold members get the final 9.5% in the final free for all sale. It’s not brilliant , but at least there is a small chance that they might get lucky, get a ticket and not go to hospital after some sweaty fat bloke falls on them on the way up to his seat, because he’s not used to drinking 6 pints before the 12.30 kick off on Sunday lunchtime.

And that’s your lot. It goes without saying that you would hope that anyone who gets a ticket to an away game this season actually does genuinely want to go. You can only hope that the Club are going to stamp down on anyone who is happy to skank a fellow Leeds fan for a profit, or anyone else for that matter.

The fact is now that we are popular again, they’ll be many tickets that don’t actually go to Leeds fans. Jon Bon Jovi is only the first of many. You’re not seriously telling me that if Tom Cruise decides he wants 20 tickets for him and his entourage to the Livarpool game, the Club is going to turn around and go, “No Tom, we are only going to let our proper fans go” , are you? If Coca Cola decide they want to sponsor us and need 100 tickets to the Citeh game, it’s not going to go down too well Leeds United say no, is it? If the 49ers turn up and decide they want to slum it with the fans instead of sitting in the posh seats where everyone falls asleep in the Emirates Library, what’s going to stop them?

It’s a completely different kettle of fish to blagging a ticket for one of the Kaiser Chiefs.

And as for next season, who knows? It may all change again. It depends if Radrizzani is still here. It depends if we stay up. It depends on how many more people decide they want to go. Most of the other clubs in the PL are closed shops. You can’t get an away ticket unless you have been going forever. The same ones go to every game. Loyalty in it’s purest sense. Loyalty is still a dirty word though for some at Leeds United. You know my views on it. 

For now, well done to the lucky 285

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