A survey conducted by the Football Fans Census showed Leeds United were cited as rivals by nine teams, putting us third overall in the list of teams with the most rivals. What quickly becomes apparent though is that none of these rivalries are reciprocal.

The list shows the top three cited rivals for each club, and whilst Bradford City place us first, we don’t count them in our top three at all despite the obvious geographical factor (the cities are almost inter-twined these days). Leeds fans still cite Premier League teams as our major rivals, which is consistent with my general feelings. In the five years we’ve been out of the Premier League, I’ve never disliked one team more than the next. I just want Leeds to beat them all.

I think there is a rivalry with Bradford City, but they have a much bigger dislike for us than we do them. It’s much like Notts County and Nottingham Forest. Whilst County list Forest as their biggest rival, Forest would tell you that there’s is Derby County. Infact, much like the Leeds and Bradford rivalry, Forest don’t list County in their top three at all despite the teams being seperated by about 5 metres.

It’s all down to success on the pitch. Although both Leeds and Forest are in the lower tiers at the minute, both have had highly successful periods in their history which the neighbours have had to watch enviously from afar.

Hull City follow suit with Bradford by citing us as their main rival, whilst both Sheffield teams but us second (behind each other). Barnsley, Huddersfield, Sunderland, Middlesbrough and Derby also place Leeds United within their top three.

Leeds United fans meanwhile put Manchester United as their biggest rival. Although Manchester United don’t include Leeds in their top three (Liverpool, Man City, Arsenal) this is probably down to our current league status.

The rivalry between these two clubs needs no introduction and a close friend of mine who holds a season ticket at Old Trafford (I’ve tried to make her see the error of her ways) tells me they still sing anti-Leeds songs to this day. The same is repeated at Elland Road where you’ll often hear how much Leeds “hate Manu, hate Manu”.

The rivalry between Leeds and Manchester is so well known, someone actually decided to add a Wikipedia page in its honour, citing the reasons why the two teams hate each other so passionately (War of the Roses, Hooliganism, Industrial revolution, Revie-Busby). It doesn’t suprise me to see us not feature in Manchester United’s top three. Why would we, when we’re currently two divisions below them? While we still hate them and the success they continue to have, they have no reason to be jealous of our misfortunes. It’s the equivalent of Bradford and Hull hating us.

Second on Leeds’ list is of course, Chelsea. Once upon a time, Chelsea would probably have been number one. The infamous grudge matches between the two sides whilst Revie was at the helm remain a talking point to this day and the hooliganism factor thereafter kept the two sides in the news for all the wrong reasons. 

Finally, in third place is Liverpool. This one suprised me a little, but that’s probably because I’ve never really minded them. For me, the mutual hatred of Manchester United makes us kindred spirits – albeit the kind of kindred spirits where they’ll steal your mobile phone whilst your not looking.

So, nine different teams citing us as rivals, none of which we care about too much and three teams we’ve cited that have totally forgotten we exist (“…we’re not famous anymore!”) I guess it’s hard to forget Leeds United however far we sink. First we’re voted the most hated club in the country, then we come third in a list of rivalries. Oh well, there’s no such thing as bad press I suppose.

47 Responses

  1. Roland

    Perhaps Bradford fans dislike Leeds because of the songs about the fire and the burning chip fan at Odsal in 86 and Leeds fans do not dislike Bradford fans because we are not that big arseholes to do things like that. Just a thought.

    • TSS

      Haha, knew it wouldn’t take long to get a reaction from someone. There’s been a lack of competitive matches between the two sides and we’ve rarely played at the same level, that’s why Leeds fans hold little animosity towards Bradford.

      • Roland

        You don’t understand TSS. What I mean is that the reason Leeds fans don’t dislike Bradford fans is cause Bradford fans are not dislikeable. We support a different club and the cities are near by. Nothing especially dislikeable there.

        The reason City fans dislike Leeds are not cause Leeds is near by or because it is a different club it is cause Leeds fans contain a group of total arseholes who sing fire songs, set chip fans on fire and are generally not likeable.

        Nothing to do with frequency of games, nothing to do with being next to each other.

        Just that your fans contain a reet set of arseholes and judging by the way you use the word “Scum” rather than Manchester United you are probably one of them.

      • TSS

        No, the term “Scum” was used for effect. Much like many other teams use the term “Dirty Leeds” on their sites – including Manchester United.

      • TSS

        Infact, to be fair Roland, this is a Leeds United site aimed at Leeds fans. I don’t have to defend any terms I use. You talk to any Leeds fan, and very few will refer to Manchester United by anything other than Scum.

        The term may be derogatory, but it’s commonly used now and has essentially replaced their real name in this part of the world. Notice that no one needed any explanation of who “Scum” were? Fans of Manu and other teams call us by enough derogatory terms, it’s all part and parcel of the game. Get over it!

      • Roland

        Part and parcel of the game? Right well we can all treat other football fans like they are sub-human then and get right back to the end of the eighties can’t we.

        I don;t think you should defend the terms you use. I just think that you are an arsehole for using them

      • TSS

        …and your self-righteous approach of coming on a Leeds United site deliberately infuriating our fans is the way forward. Interesting.

        Banter’s totally different from hooliganism. No one’s condoning that.

      • Roland

        I don’t give a flying one if the subset of Leeds fans who behave so badly that you all get a bad reputation are infuriated and proper Leeds fans should be joining in with what I say.

        Banter is not different to hooliganism it is the thin end of the wedge that leads to it and you are not condoning it you are starting it off. Is the 96 Not Enough shirt just banter? Are the songs about the fire just banter? Was booing during the Busby minute’s silence just banter?

        You call Man United fans scum cause they call you Dirty Leeds and it escalates until people are whacking each other and football fans are going to games not treated as people but as troublesome crowds to be managed and we know where that leads.

        Do everyone a favour and use this site to talk about football, about Leeds, about good stuff and not “banter” in a way that sets fans against each other. I’m not talking about getting rid of rivalry but when you are calling other people “scum” you are going too far.

        Or carry on being an arsehole. You pick.

      • TSS

        “Or carry on being an arsehole. You pick.”

        I fail to see how I’m the arsehole here when your the one throwing the insults about. Not once in my replies have I felt the need to lower myself to such a level, nor did I in the above post.

        The post is in response to a survey conducted by the Football Fans Census, so is football related and IS Leeds United related, therefore this site should be used to cover that. Whether you have the hump with it or not is irrelevant. I really couldn’t care less.

        Where does banter end and hooliganism start in your idealistic fairytale world of harmony, peace and love? Not once have I referred to Munich or anything else along them lines – nor would I. Unlike you, I enjoy the rivalry of football, but there’s a line and I’m fully aware of where that is.

      • Roland

        I’m not trying to say I’m a polite fella and I’m not trying to say you shouldn’t have reported it I’m just giving my reaction to it.

        “Where does banter end and hooliganism start in your idealistic fairytale world of harmony, peace and love? Not once have I referred to Munich or anything else along them lines – nor would I. Unlike you, I enjoy the rivalry of football, but there’s a line and I’m fully aware of where that is.”

        I know you are aware of the line, I am too, but what you have to be aware of is how you effect the line other people draw. You might not having a problem calling Man U Scum and know that you would not take it any further but the next guy along decides that cause there is an atmosphere where Man U are “scum” then it is alright to sing Munich songs.

        Of course the fact that you think that not labelling other football clubs scum equates to peace, love and harmony says a lot. The line for me comes before you use words like scum. I’d say celebrate your own club, don’t do down anyone elses. Sounds like a good line to draw to me. If you want to convince me that Don Revie is a better manager than Matt Busby do it by saying how good his team was, not by booing Busby.

        Hardly peace, love and harmony. Just not being an arsehole.

      • Richard

        I was told as a kid “If you haven’t got anything nice to say, then don’t bother.” It took me nearly fifteen years to start talking again, when I realised that limiting oneself to saying ‘nice’ things is nigh on impossible in the modern world.

        I am a Sunderland fan brought up in Hull – my first live footie game was Hull0-0Leeds, during which I was taught that ‘scum’=’Leeds’.

        My best friend is a Leeds fan, as that is where I now live – I use the term with regard to Leeds and he laughs it off by having a go at my club.

        Words do not form rivalries, but attitudes do. If you base your attitudes around the words of others you are betraying your true self that should recognise and appreciate attitudes.

        There are a lot of fans at a lot of clubs that give their own clubs a bad name – and it is not the language they use, but the attitude behind that language (and subsequent violence) that is the problem – similar to the race issue.

        If, however, you want to criticise someone for the language they use – do not end your comment by calling them (the person whose article YOU just took the time to read) an arsehole as it makes YOU a hypocrite.

        Sounds to me like you both love your clubs and both love your football – so you should understand that if there IS a fine line between banter and hooliganism it is not a line anywhere near the loose terminology one club may have for another. Think of the hurtful abuse you’ve seen the minorities hurling at opposite fans – do you think that mindless aggression will dissipate if you stop them saying certain words?

        With respect Roland, you are picking a fight here, and TSS has done nothing wrong, aside from supporting Dirty Leeds(scum!). This makes YOU the aggressor in this situation.
        One question – if you are so offended by this guy, why did you read the article?

      • Mark

        You always get one Righteous twat coming on here sticking there oars in. I don’t know how you have the cheek to slag Leeds off when the “ointment”(or whatever silly name they call themselves now)are some of the biggest assholes out there. Stick to your own boards if you don’t like what you read here.

      • Roland

        Easy. Cause I would say the same to “ointment” that at say to TSS. I’m not one of them and don’t think very highly of them either. Besides Im not slagging off Leeds. Im slagging off the section of Leeds fans that get your supports so hated because of how they act and if you had half a brain you would join me in that.

    • AllertonWhite

      Odsal 86 was the only day in my 40 years of following Leeds that I almost turned my back on them. I remember having to walk across the pitch to be escorted from the ground after they evacuated the side Leeds fans were in. We had to walk through a gap made by the Bradford fans on the opposite side, many of them were in tears. Disgraceful.

  2. Roland

    Used for Effect? “Fury after gates are painted in Scum colours” has the effect of not making any sense if that is what you are after. Just cause they do it doesn’t make it alright doesn’t it. Not unless you are trying your best to prove you can be as small minded and petty as the next man in which case well done, you can be.

    They call you Dirty Leeds so you call them Scum? You carry on like this until you are Next step you get to this making shirts about each other or start booing the minute’s silence or singing song laughing at other people dying.

    It is pathetic it really is and underlines what I am saying about the reason that Leeds are disliked. You give Leeds fans a bad name.

    • TSS

      Again Roland, this is a Leeds site. None of the LEEDS fans reading it will have been in the slightest bit confused.

      You need to get off your high horse and stop associating light-hearted banter with football hooliganism. The two don’t go hand in hand. There’ll always be an element of support that go too far, regardless of what the fans sing and call each other. The majority though will take it in jest and reply in the same manner. You don’t see Liverpool fans getting the monk on because they’re called ‘bin-dippers’ and ‘thieves’. They can take a joke, it’s a shame you can’t too.

      • Roland

        Maybe that is cause the jokes that some of the Leeds fans tell to Bradford City are about the fire and not very funny and I think that is why you feature on top three least liked fans lists. You might not see Liverpool fans with the monk at being called bin-dippers but try sing a few Hillsbrough songs at them as some Leeds fans sang fire songs at Elland Road in the Paint Pot cup last year and you might get a different reaction.

        What you are doing is bottom feeding and being an apologist talking about lighthearted banter when you know that some Leeds fans, maybe not you but some of them, will take it further than that as they did that night, when they booed the Busby silence and other times.

        Thing is that I know you are reading this and you know I’m right. You know that he first guy tells a joke, the second takes it too far, the third throws a punch and so on.

        You are not going to admit it now and you are not going to say I’m right but you are going to think about what I’ve said and if you are condoning the worst elements that follow your club and maybe in the future you will change the way you write this site.

      • TSS

        Oh my God, I feel enlightened.

        No, I don’t agree with you. The people that take it too far, will take it too far regardless of what the majority sing. I’ve heard plenty of teams sing songs about Turkey/Galatasaray, but not for one minute did I think it was the majority. Every set of fans has their own set of idiots. That’s life. Get over it.

        More to the point, you’ve escalated this into something it isn’t because you hold a grudge about the JPT game last season. It’s hypocritical to critisise me for writing about football rivalry when you come on here reciting tales of something so sickening. Do you not think that’s going to get a reaction? You can’t be the one escalating things into an argument and try to remain self-righteous at the same time.

      • Roland

        Your whole “that is life, get over it” attitude is a bit tired. You are just condoning those people by joining in on a low level. You know you have some idiots in your ranks but you lack the balls to call them on it. Call me self-righteous if you want but where City fans to start Turkey songs I’d call them arseholes too not just shrug and say “that’s life”.

        I’m not holding a grudge (except against the Ref from that night) just saying that when you see something like that you should say what it is. Your reaction should be condemnation but it isn’t cause like I say you need to grow some.

        What I’m saying is nothing to do with the Johnstones game it is that the reason Leeds fans don’t dislike City fans is cause City fans don’t do anything as objectionable as Munich songs, Hillsbrough shirts, fire songs, burning chip fans.

        I think that running this site it might be worth you mentioning the as a reason why Leeds get in so many people’s most hated lists but you don’t, you talk about clubs being scum and say “that’s life” to keep the whole thing spinning round and round.

  3. mightyleeds

    I will say what TSS & the other poster have failed to say to you Roland- Just FUCK OFF you boring prick nobody is interested in what dribble you want to spout.
    TSS has tried to be polite, then humoured you in trying to enter into debate but of course pillocks like you never want to do anything other than listen to themselves.
    I don’t hate Bradford fans, I pity them for having you in their ranks!
    You could bore for England

    • Roland

      MightyLeeds has sworn at me, I MUST be wrong :-) Seriously though TSS has comments on here for a reason and I’m commenting and I know how it upsets you when someone comes in who does not agree with you but there you go. As TSS would say “that is life, get over it!”

  4. Roland

    Interesting talking to you all. I’m off home from work now so won’t be able to read anything else you say but think on about what I’ve said TSS about the link between your attitude to other clubs and the fact that Leeds fans are disliked by others so much.

  5. Mark

    Get off your high horse Roland. ALL clubs have a section of fans that sing “abusive” and or “Sick songs”, or whatever you want to term them. For example, Arsenal fans about Adebayor and Ashley Cole, Spurs fans about Sol Campbell. Millwall fans about the Leeds fans killed in Istanbull. As well as refering to Leeds as Dirty Leeds they also refer to us as Scum as well, so its not exactky one way traffic is it? If Leeds played at Valley Parade or whatever your ground is called these days, your telling me there wouldnt be a section of your fans that wouldnt chant abusive songs? Its far from pleasant, however its rife throughout football. So using your argument as to why Leeds are disliked is way off the mark. Personally I dont join in songs which are either racist or finding amusement in the suffering of others, you are tarring the majority with the actions of the minority. Personally I make an effort to pay my respects over the Bradford fire and the Hillsbourgh disaster every year and I think you will find that is the case with most Leeds fans. But at the sametime I refer to Manu as “the scum” as do fans of most other clubs in the premiership. Call it jealously whatever you will, its banter nothing more. Football hooliganism/violence is a completely seperate issue, the same as going out on a Saturday night and you come across yobs, they are looking for trouble regardless of a what someone has sung, is wearing or looks like.

  6. Richard

    Not my site, not my club, not my fans and far from my favourite team – but that guy Roland has just raised you all in my estimations by allowing you to portray yourselves as eloquent, honest, decent individuals against a contrast of hate fuelled anti-Leeds bilge.

    My preconceptions are shattered as I wish y’all good luck for the rest of the season…and more luck dealing with fans obsessively dedicated to hating you.

  7. mightyleeds

    He’s off from work now!!!?? It speaks volumes about the idiot! LOL
    “Interesting talking to you all”, what a fool he is. Firstly he wasn’t interested in listening to anyone other than himself or in the very unlikely event someone else who shared the same blinkered view & secondly his views were so two faced it was comical.
    He has a go at LUFC for the idiots who sing disgusting songs about other clubs, which he condems all that follow our great club for, yet in one fell swoop distances himself from his own teams knobheads who do likewise. This somehow in his tiny warped mind means nobody could possibly dislike BCFCdue to the actions of a minority!
    Jeez, I just hope his job isn’t flight controller at LBA!

  8. Yorkshrman

    Thanks for your comments, Richard. I believe that the majority of Leeds fans are decent, honest individuals ….. but the minority tends to make the most noise! Such is life. There are a minority in all football crowds who will seek out the most hurtful songs and chants, just as every school has its bullies.

    As for Roland, he does seem to have an unhealthy obsession with the Bradford fire, which has warped his interpretation of this article. Perhaps he had his own personal tragedy that day ….. which would be terribly sad, but really not our fault.

  9. Prezza

    Who says Leeds are No1 on a rival list for Hull City…leave it out you are having a giraffe…our top rivals have of days of old been the likes of Sheff U…not the now defunct white ones!!!..who did you ask a 12 year old kid!….I think the fact you rate Man U as your main rivals displays your angle..trust me leeds you dont rate a passing comment anywhere..Man U…roflmao.. if carlsberg did rivals lists fnar

    • TSS

      I’ve named my source Prezza. All you have to do is google Football Fans Census and you’ll find the list on their site. This was voted for by YOUR fans!

      As for the ManU rivalry, of course it’s our main one. War of the Roses not withstanding, the two teams have continually been challengers for the top honours in this country and Europe. The players that have crossed the Pennines over the years have added to the rift as have many other factors (look at the Wikipedia entry in the article above). Just because Hull haven’t had such an history, doesn’t mean you have to get jealous mate.

    • RTF

      Hull city rivals to Sheff utd, your avvin a larf mate, hulls rivals have always been Grimsby and scunny, just cos hull r havin a blip and moved up the leagues for a couple of years doesnt mean any team out of humberside gives a shhite about them.

  10. SydneyOwl

    Sorry lads could not help saying my bit even though I’m an interloper here, because the weird thing is we were just talking about this very thing yesterday. Two of my sons watched The Damned United and asked me how true it was that Leeds were so dirty and disliked. I responded that Leeds were, and still are, the most reviled team in England and they were top of my list being a Wednesdayite. One of the reasons being that in Leeds’ heyday many Sheffield folk professed to support Leeds – the Man U phenomenon. The point of this, they then asked me if they disliked Wednesday and I said probably not, as they still class themselves with Man U, Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal. How predictable! TSS – great restraint with Roland. Keep up the good debate.

    • TSS

      Hi SydneyOwl, out of all the Yorkshire clubs, I’d consider Wednesday our biggest rivals as you’re probably the most successful. Beating you 3-0 after a late flurry was one of the highlights of the 2006 season for me. On the flipside, losing to you 3-2 at Elland Road the last time we met still irritates me. Especially since we didn’t deserve the almost respectable scoreline (we scored two in the dying moments after trailing 3-0).

      I guess with Wednesday we had a lot of head-to-heads in the Premiership, so it’s the stand-out local rivalry for me. Not being featured in the top three is hardly suprising though given our history of getting up peoples noses.

      All the best mate and thanks for your comments. TSS

  11. Bradd3rs

    Why are you touting something produced in December 2003 as current news??


    The consensus will have changed since the survey was done.


    Hull City fans will always consider Leeds to be their main rivals, purely because they are the closest of the big clubs in the area and therefore attract a lot of followers from the Hull area. The rivalry is purely local and has nothing to do with Leeds fans from Leeds, it is with Leeds fans from Hull.

    The rivalry between Sheff U and Hull City must also be dead, it’s a long time since those dark days of giving the main stand to the blades fans.

    The article lists York as being Hull’s rival, when did they leave the football league?

    As a Hull City fan I do miss us playing where we belong, in the Yorkshire league, not too long to go and we’ll back in there with Leeds and we can start real rivalries going again.

    • TSS

      Because I wanted to do something on rivalries and that was the most relevant information available.

  12. Johnain

    There seems to be some confusion here. I am a Sunderland fan and I have no sense of rivalty concerning Leeds United. In that sense I am totally indifferent to them.

    Of course My visits to Elland Road in the sixties and seventies exposed me and my young son to the sale of Nazi regalia and pamphlets outside the ground and the horrific violence on and off the pitch.

    So for me “contempt” is a far more appropriate word.

    However I should imagine that has all long gone by now. Certainly the thugs like Bremner, Collins, Giles, Hunter etc are not representative of the Leeds team of today. So in the main I wish them well but would never visit Elland Road again.

    • Shaun.Murphy

      You Leeeds fans really make me laugh 3 years in the third divison and you regard the champions of Europe as your rivals. Wake up and smell the coffee lads. You are lower league nobodies. I am a Huddersfield fan and most of my friends who support Leeeds regard us as they team that they most want to beat in the current season. Not that this is likely to happen on past evidence. Please come and look at a true family orientated club supported by a genuine chairman who is is a football fan not a coniving business man who has no real love of the club shaun

      • TSS

        Shaun, I think you’re probably bitter because we don’t see the derby in the same light as your own fans.

        Rivalries aren’t created overnight. I didn’t grow up hating Chelsea and Manchester United to suddenly change and decide I’m disinterested in them when we get relegated and hit a rough patch.

        The fact of the matter is that for much of every Leeds United fans life we’ve competed at the highest level, against the biggest teams. Without meaning to sound arrogant, Huddersfield have always been irrelevant to us. That isn’t going to change overnight.

  13. SydneyOwl

    Thanks for the kind sentiment TSS. Good luck with everything and I think I’ll move on to having a grudge against a team that deserves it, Melbourne Victory.

  14. Grumpy Older Man

    *sigh*. What makes a “rivalry” is shared experience, a game, a riot, a controversy, it isn’t set in stone its organic. I suspect you can divide Leeds fans into two groups, those whose antaginism doesn’t go beyond the glory teams of Scum and Scumski (and are predominatly glory supporters or young) and those who recognise our history is as much about the old Div2, Yorkshire and now L1 as it is about the PL and Revie days, these fans can perm any 3 others from 50 TBH.

    I dislike Boro, Brum City and Cardiff City, I have a healthy Yorkshire rivalry respect for The Blunts, The Owls and Uddesfield.

  15. Rio Ferdinand

    Dirty leeds w*****s. Out of the premier league,good riddance.

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