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