Back in February, fans that travelled to Carlisle for the ill-fated JPT semi-final and the tens of thousands more watching back home, witnessed some ugly scenes as Carlisle’s celebrations were marred by several assaults on our players.

Following those scenes in February, I observed that ‘The stewarding, policing and protection afforded to our players following the JPT clash on Tuesday night was quite frankly atrocious.’ I felt that Carlisle had massively underestimated the potential for trouble at the game, and were undeniably at fault for the events that followed.

Not only were the numbers of stewards and Police too small to meet the requirements for the match, but the ones that were there did nothing to help the Leeds United players who were trying to get off the pitch. At the time, Richard Naylor was the most outspoken on this issue, quite rightly condemning the actions of those who were supposed to be there to prevent such situations.

In February, I concluded my initial rant by predicting the FA’s punishment for Carlisle would be pathetic or non-existent. Unfortunately, my prediction came true as the FA decided to put the matter to rest, claiming that Carlisle did everything in their power after the events to bring those responsible to justice. Strange, since the ones that were responsible are still being hunted.

What really irks me about all this is the unavoidable double standards of the FA. It’s something we’ve grown used to at Leeds United, but that doesn’t make it any more acceptable. My prediction that the FA would do nothing was largely based on the lack of media coverage. The FA have become the media’s plaything and only seem to act when there’s mass coverage and outrage about a given event. Since this was the Carlisle fans at fault, the media simply couldn’t care less, but I’d be willing to bet all my worldly possessions that if the boot was on the other foot, Leeds United would now be suffering the consequences.

32 Responses

  1. Craig

    Spot on TSS. The FA committee named ‘shit, its in the papers, we’d better call a meeting’ probably thinks Cumbria is part of Scotland.

  2. Yorkshrman

    While I think that Carlisle are fortunate to escape, there’s a danger of double-standards amonst Leeds fans as well. Or have we all conveniently forgotten the pitch invasion at the end of Ipswich game in our last season in the Champ? Although none of the Ipswich players were assaulted, I believe that a number of Ipswich fans were hit by missiles thrown from the pitch. At one point we all had real fears of another points deduction for Leeds, but (as far as I recall) the club escaped without any punishment …..

    • TSS

      You’ve outlined the difference yourself. When the Leeds fans invaded the pitch, no one went on to assault the professional footballers who were there to do their job. I aren’t condoning the actions of our own fans either, far from it, but there is a difference.

      • Matt BB

        I dont know if you can call it double standards, I for one was totally embarassed by our own supporters against ipswich,and I think the majority of supporters were too and almost every time i go to ER see fans acting in an other than ideal way to each other (oh dear) and to other supporters. I think though that just like carlisle should have done we need to do as much as we can to make fgootball grounds as unthreatening as possible for players and supporters, its anohter way we will boost our own reputation and get more people watching leeds.

  3. Matt BB

    one rule for leeds, another for anyone else, millwall, carlisle.. perhaps they knew there was no money in the pot anyway so didnt bother.

  4. David Klein

    Leeds United supporters, stop whinging. You got kicked out of the cup by (an insignificant little club) your chairmans own bitter words i believe.
    No one made an official complaint from owner or players about this minor incursion. Not even the referee, who you also griped about.
    Just be glad you got promoted, because we were your bogey team and kept pulling you back to reality. It’s happened again with the F.A this week, you just don’t seem to be able to damage us. Get used to it, stop moaning and concentrate on next season. Try not to overspend this time or we’ll be facing each other again and you won’t like that! We’ve forgotten about you already. On and up, don’t look back in anger.
    I lived and worked in Leeds for over 10 years, in the 90’s got married and had 2 kids there, so i know about your passion. It’s strong and commendable. Channel it in the right direction. You’re heading in the right direction. This is a closed episode.
    I was at that game, and it wasn’t as bad as people are trying to make out. A bit too much excitement and i agree that the fans should have stayed off the pitch but it was joy and not anger that led to this. Leeds United supporters should know all about bad reputation and aggression. They’ve had to walk around with that tag for decades. Don’t judge others by your own standards. Just give your club a chance to move forward and stop looking back.

    • number1inyorkshire

      david this is not about a pitch invasion it is about double standards .bigger clubs will have been done like a kipper for this now if thats the case that because carlisle are an insignificant little club (your words) they didnt get fined or sanctions then that is wrong .sadly for yourselves we will not play you again there will be no big pay day at the expense of leeds and i regardless of speaking to you now think you will go down to L2 next season .
      so we are looking forward .anyway after that long trip to wembley you got stuffed

    • TSS

      Fair play for your comments. I have to agree, Carlisle did become somewhat of a bogey team for us and it’s good to see the back of you (no offence).

      I stand by my original theory however that the FA only act in accordance with media outrage. I was at the game too, and the stewards and Police did nothing to help the Leeds United players off the pitch. Instead, our own players and coaching staff went on to drag their own off. It was ridiculously under-staffed, badly planned and measures to prevent the potential for trouble should have been put in place beforehand.

      Make no mistake, players were attacked in the events that followed. They don’t just make this stuff up. Carlisle, as a football club and the incompetency with which they planned the game is to blame for those events, and as such, the club should have been punished.

      Putting aside my obvious frustration at the FA’s decision for a moment, I wish your club the best of luck for next season.

      • TheReaper08

        Get a grip pal, take issue with the comments if you will but insults are unnecessary.

      • Matt BB

        and a name of .. not exactly nailing colours to the mast!

      • David Klein

        Your comment ‘You a retard’ is born through frustration. I can understand that. No need to get into a slanging match with an uncalled for remark like that. Fortunately, like most of the Carlisle supporters, the Leeds supporters have respect for all fans and views, even if disagreed with and that is always appreciated. I hope Leeds and Carlisle both prosper in their respective leagues, as i love both Cities. Shame we wont meet next season because the results were never certain either way. Good luck lads.

    • Matt BB

      I agree we need to look forwards, but what happens when a player really does get attacked because proper provision isnt made for the players safety? Do we just ignore these incidents. To be honest I dont think a lot of leeds fans are that bothered about the johnstones paint trophy, but as supporters we just want to make sure our team are safe.

    • Ramblinjack

      You”re probably right Jack but the problem with Bates is that he makes it easy for them to get away with it by his rantings p3ssing everyone off. But spot on TSS – incredible that Carlisle get away scot free

  5. JB

    I think we do have to watch our over-reaction here. I wasn’t there, but on TV close-ups I think Leeds players being attacked and punched is stretching it. Jostled by gloating fans would be more like it. The pitch invasion overall was one of celebration rather than threat. I’m pretty sure one or two Bristol Rovers players were jostled the other Saturday. Our game against Ipswich as highlighted above was a far more threatening scene as have been many Leeds invasions over the years. Perhaps we have been punished severely at times in the past, so we resent any other clubs given a chance.

    I do though think that Carlile under-reacted on the night and should have done more to protect the players, and should then have admitted they got that bit wrong. I think they’d still have just received a slap rather than anything sterner, but I would criticise their reaction that all was OK as bad as our own over-reaction. It wasn’t the invasion itself, it was the standing and watching of stewards and police as players were jostled.
    That’s my two-penneth anyway.

  6. porkiepie

    to be fair i agree that we shouldnt of even complained to F A it did pong a little of sour grapes i also think assault of our players was a little much .however the rules about penalties were broken now that should be down to the ref being punished .
    we are also mentioning leeds fans various pitch invasions and the ipswich one which i photographed was more than a little nasty compared to carlisle .

  7. white to the core

    Lets be honest how many of us really believed that carlisle would face any punishment.But make no doubt about it had leeds fans been the perpertrators then the punishment would not only have been very different it would have been very severe. I just hope that with the changes that will happen re ownership transparency and offshore accountancy in the near future,we have no skeletons in the Elland Road/Bates closet as we may see just how severe said authorities are prepared to come down on Leeds United.We would all like to know who owns our club but not at the expense of our immedite future.For once in a while we are looking forward with much optimism and anticipation to the coming seasons, but how many times have we taken two steps forward and ten paces back?

  8. Matt BB

    players need to be safe from the fans full stop, the pictures i saw were snodgrass and lowry being manhandled by Carlisle dupporters, and they looked a million miles from comfortable. If the stewards up there couldnt handle it then thats down to the club. I really do feel for stewards (and I’ve seen it often enough at ER) when the fans refuse to listen to them and either persist in standing in the way of kids/pensioners who need them to remain seated, or engage in arguments/abuse. But when opposition players find themselves in a threatening environment then that is unacceptable.

  9. mikelufc

    Is this all there is to talk about?
    Do we need to remind ourselves that only a few weeks ago we were struggling and losing against the likes of Carlisle?
    We are CCC now, Carlisle are where they belong, do they need further punishment inflicted on them?
    Lets put the pressure on Larry and Ken to get HOOPER.

    • Matt BB

      totally agree, but indeed this is the only thing to talk about, i’m not sure if larry and ken have a meeting every day to discuss this blog?

  10. Paul South Wales

    LOL Matt BB. If they did i think we’d go up automatically with the best team in the CCC.

  11. Matt BB

    ok, here goes, happy with schmeicel in goal, but would like to see Rio back at centre half, Michael Dawson partnering him there, a second chance for out of contract ashley cole at left back, and hughes at right back bless him.
    Midfield of Messi – Gerrard – Cole – Snodgrass, and up front Rooney and Becchio. there you are a mix of leeds graft and world class sheen, if we bought them we’d go up. We may also go bankrupt, but worth the risk?

    • peter horwell

      Hmm, a bit of a lack of nippy, pacy striker up front.

      Maybe we could sign Torres as an impact sub?

  12. Ilkleywhite

    I was at the Carlisle game, and it wasn’t just the Leeds players that were attacked, we had things thrown at us when we left the ground, and punches thrown, but one thing I will say, is that a lot of the Carlisle supporters were sickened by it, and, in the hotel afterwards, a couple of them actually apologised to us, for the behaviour of their fans

    I have got to say that I think that the Carlisle fans are decent folk, and, like Leeds, are genuine football fans who want to watch the match and support their team.

    It’s just the minority causing trouble again, all football fans know there are idiots attached to their club, and these are usually the guys that turn up a couple of times a season, when theres a big game in town, and cause trouble, you don’t see them again until another big occasion.

  13. David Klein

    Leeds United looking to strengthen their squad? Carlisle United have got Ian Harte. Top scorer for Carlisle this season with 18 goals. His free kicks are as awesome, as when he was at Leeds United all those years ago. His footwork is still dazzling as he teases opposition. Rumours were floating around that Leeds United were interested in getting him back. As a regular fan i’d be glad to let him go now, because despite his obvious talents when he has the ball, he is too slow now to actually get it himself. All the time he is outrun now by the forwards. He’s been left for dead. He’d be a lot more useful in midfield now with his accurate passing ability. So, if Leeds united want him as a defender – Big mistake. His age has caught up with him. Midfielder – maybe.

  14. Judge Pickles

    the sentence was fair for what was a moment of madness, its jail not a picnic, i bet most of the people pouring scorn on this lad will have done worse on a night out and got away with it but now sit in judgement. what happened to carlisle when our players were attacked, answer nothing it was the home club that had to answer and if anything happens other than that is a case of unfair treatment. lets see what happens i bet we get special treatment once again, will you be so vocal about that i wonder????


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