It’s a rarity, though he certainly has his fair share of court cases. Ken Bates’ Leeds have won their case against West Yorkshire Police over who should be financially liable for policing outside the Stadium during matchdays.

The case took place a few weeks ago, with the judge giving his judgement today. Leeds claimed they were happy to pay for police services in the stadium and on land they owned or otherwise controlled, but protested at charges for policing on land not owned by the club.

West Yorkshire Police’s case seemed to me (completely not an expert on this) to be hinged on the idea that Leeds fans were a particularly bad lot who go around fighting and drinking too much and that. Well, the Government’s figures for 2010-11 on football related arrests and banning orders  show Leeds fans that season committed less violent disorder offences than Bristol City, Cardiff, and Portsmouth. While the club did receive by far the most public disorder arrests in the Championship, ditto alcohol offences, it doesn’t necessarily show Leeds as a specifically badly behaved bunch. WYP do a great job, but Leeds claimed, and the law agrees with them, that policing areas outside of Elland Road is not a special service, but a normal service that is part of a constable’s common law obligations.

Shaun Harvey stated:

West Yorkshire Police’s stance, to seek to charge us for policing the public highway and for areas away from the ground is a step too far. We have been paying under protest for the last 3 seasons on this basis and are pleased to have received this clarification in a dispute which was only capable of being resolved in front of a judge.

It’ll be interesting to see how much money this is forecast to save, and if we are returned anything from past bills, but whatever the sum I doubt it’ll outweigh the costs of our other unsuccessful court cases. Either way Ken now has a victory with which to step out from Leeds United – or am I being too hopeful?