In a nutshell, the club are arguing that protecting the public outside the private land owned/leased by Leeds United Football Club falls under the Police’s most basic mandate and should be covered by the taxes of the hundreds of thousands of people wishing to attend football games, and not the individual football clubs.
West Yorkshire Police’s counter-argument is that they only charge Leeds United Football Club for the footprint caused by people attending matches, and that they carefully deploy Police to areas of increased crime (or an increased potential for crime) which is a direct result of the football match itself.
This may be an overly simplistic view, but for me, it comes down to whether you believe the taxes you already pay should cover the cost of protecting you when you’re en route to a game, or should that cost be reflected in your ticket prices as a knock-on effect of Leeds United’s Police bill? I’d argue that the 30,000 people attending the game provides a huge boost to the local economy which should more than cover this most basic of public services – that’s before we even get started on the taxes these 30,000 people and the football club already pay.
The case is expected to last 4-5 days, and there’s a run down of the events so far available here.
Elsewhere, the Yorkshire Evening Post are reporting two transfers as nearing completion.
It’s probably the worst kept secret in English football that Paddy Kenny has been waiting to complete his transfer to Leeds, but things finally seem to be progressing. The YEP report that Leeds United have now agreed a fee for the 34-year-old goalkeeper, which presumably leaves only personal terms and a medical.
Another badly kept secret is Neil Warnock’s desire to sign Portsmouth striker Luke Varney. He’s been speaking to the YEP today, telling them how he’s snubbed other clubs and is patiently awaiting a transfer to Leeds United.
And the takeover?
An increase in transfer talk was perhaps to be expected with pre-season training starting tomorrow, but it seems to have coincided with a decrease in takeover talk. None of the local news outlets mention the takeover at all, not even speculatively as something we may have to wait for before the aforementioned transfers are completed.
On the Official Site we have a tribute to Don Revie, followed by the much less interesting news that there will be a Family Fun Day at Elland Road next month and ticket prices for next season have been frozen (which is the absolute least they could do really!)