The last few weeks have been fantastic for Leeds. We’ve seen new owners come onboard who instantly provided funds to recruit players that have made a real difference to the team, we’ve seen performances on the pitch improve in an impressive fashion, and we’ve seen the atmosphere finally return to Elland Road.

Unfortunately one thing we haven’t seen return, is the attendance.

Before the takeover was completed fans were understandably boycotting games to ensure that their money didn’t end up in Bates’ pocket, it made sense, even if it wasn’t agreed by everyone as the correct way to do things.

What doesn’t make sense is why, after the clubs ownership changed hands, the majority of fans that opted to boycott have failed to return. Throughout the entire takeover saga GFH were repeatedly told not to worry about falling attendances, as they would definitely pick up again once they became owners. How disappointed they must’ve been to look over a half empty stadium on their first game as owners against Crystal Palace.

I’ve heard a few excuses over the last few weeks – ‘I’m not coming back while Bates is still there’ being the main one.

I have to question this.

Bates is still Chairman for the time being, but he has sold his entire share of the club to GFH. He has zero power, zero say in anything and importantly, zero control. He is simply there to give GFH his advice on how to run things. That doesn’t even mean GFH have to take his advice, in fact I’d be surprised if him staying on ‘til the end of the season was anything other than a demand he made to ensure the takeover went through.

GFH own the club, any money you spend on tickets, programmes or merchandise goes to GFH and towards the rebuilding of the club.

If Bates being around on an advisory basis is enough to keep you from Elland Road then I’m sorry, but he’s beaten you.

Another excuse for staying away is ticket prices.

A quick check on the online ticketing system suggests that the Chelsea game is almost sold out. Tickets for this game are £24 each.

Not only that, but it’s for a cup game. It’s all good and well filling the stadium for Chelsea, but where are the other 20,000 fans on Saturdays while our team are scrapping for promotion?

The atmosphere at Elland Road lately has been amazing, those of us that have been there have given everything to the players and look how they’ve responded? Can you imagine the difference a 30,000 crowd would have on a game with all four stands bouncing?

The club is finally going places again, so forget Bates, It’s time to start supporting the team. Your team. They’ve shown more fight and desire over the last few games than any Leeds team in recent memory, not only that, but they’ve looked good.

This season looks like it could still have a very happy ending, promotion back to the Premier League is a serious possibility and I personally couldn’t imagine missing it for the world.

End the boycott, or you just might.

Twitter – @giddy_goose

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  • Charles Spencer
    2 years ago

    Well said that man, this is what I have been saying on other Leeds boards. Since early 60′s I have supported this TEAM….I could never turn my back on them…as I AM A REAL LEEDS UTD supporter, through thick and the thin.

    Reply
  • Paul Farrar
    2 years ago

    Or it could be with Christmas around the corner and the price of food, fuel, travel, gas, electricity etc etc going up and up, people cannot afford the prices

    Reply
    • oldcomrade
      2 years ago

      I think you’ve got it in one there Paul, the plain fact is attending football games is too expensive.

      Reply
  • Brian Wakefield
    2 years ago

    Well written and spot on. I was in the kop again and the change in the mood there is great, even when a few started their ‘bates out’ chant it was quickly drowned out by other fans. Bates now works for the club, he has no power and therefore no control. Come on Leeds fans, get back to ER and help the players to get OUR club back to the prem!! MOT again

    Reply
  • Andy C
    2 years ago

    Sorry, not quite correct on the statement that Bates has sold his entire share – he’s SELLING it December 21st – or when GFH have FL approval. Until then, it’s still Bates. I would imagine a few more results like the last three, the new year might be the new beginning.

    Reply
  • Zomoniac
    2 years ago

    Perhaps the fact that the Chelsea tickets are somehow and inexplicably cheaper than the Ipswich ones might go some way to explaining why it’s selling a bit better.

    Reply
  • Brian Williams
    2 years ago

    Great post, understand fans who struggle with the costs and hopefully this will be looked at but those staying away because of Bates are not Leeds fans!!

    Reply
  • Paul Farrar
    2 years ago

    back of a Napkin calculations
    now 20,000 x £30 = £600,0000
    reduce price by £5 = £500,000 a drop of £100,000.

    But new lower price brings in 4000 = £100,000 + whatever they spend on drinks food etc…..

    Reply
  • John Rawson
    2 years ago

    Its very simple. Whilst Bates is around the crowd will not return. Until we get absolute assurances that he is gone for good, and has absolutely no say in whatever goes on, there will be no return. I already have my season ticket, but many of my friends who did not renew have assured me they are just waiting to hear he has gone. The new owners have it in their power to do the right thing.

    Reply
  • PA
    2 years ago

    Did you seriously expect the fans to come flooding back after the takeover?! I’ve never felt so underwhelmed by a takeover due to the fact that Bates is staying on as Chairman until the end of the season and then President indefinately. To me he’s still got his claws in and that’s leaves a sour taste. The takeover has happened but who still owns Elland Road and Thorpe Arch? If GFH Capital had bought Leeds Utd “lock stock and barrel” including ER and TA then I’m sure fans would have been more positive. I’ve been a supporter of Leeds Utd since the mid 60s and haven’t been able to afford to go to matches over the last few seasons due to the cost, but when I have, the quality of football has been shocking. The last match I went to this season was Hull and the team, fans and atmosphere was the worst I’ve experienced since the mid 80s when we were in the 2nd Division. Good news the prices are coming down and that the team are improving but it’s taken many years for the attendances to get to this level and you can’t expect the crowds to pick up over night!

    Reply
  • allan caley
    2 years ago

    Leeds v Bolton – Catagory A game £??.??

    Reply
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