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      Wednesday
      Oct222014

      LUST Statement on Racism

      The Leeds United Supporters Trust condemns all racism in football without hesitation.

      Leeds United fans have been at the forefront of fighting discrimination in the game - proven by LUST's long-standing support of the Kick It Out campaign - and they will rightly be concerned by the serious allegations made by Cameron Jerome.

      However, Giuseppe Bellusci is entitled to the full FA / Football League process, which we hope will be resolved quickly, accurately and fairly. Until the outcome of that process, it is not right for the Supporters Trust to comment further.

      Tuesday
      Oct212014

      Can the people's game come back to the people?

      There is something nearly reassuring that we now have annual  studies of the cost of football. Examples like the BBC Sport “Price of Football 2014” have become part of the football supporters’ landscape and yet, despite the scrutiny process,there is a depressing inevitability of what the studies show.

      Year after year the cost of football rises. It matters not that the income of clubs explode like a rocket heading for the sky (no pun intended) propelled by TV income. Ticket prices continue to rise, with three figures for Premier League tickets not unusual. We get this frustrating information so regularly we perhaps already have become immune to the shock.

      What do we expect? Player’s wages, across the divisions, are out of control, agents still siphon off significant amounts, investment in spectator facilities is billions behind transfer fees and even when there is fan-related investment, the motivation spurred by the corporate end of the market. The people’s game has been hijacked by business; titles are secondary to turnover, qualifying for the Champions League is now bigger than a cup win.

      Does it really take a back-bench MP (Tim Farron, Lib Dem) to point out that third kits are a rip-off and an insult to fans? Well no, we have all known this for years, but his interjection gives the media an excuse to spend a small amount of time exposing the inherent greed before reverting to type, fawning over players, managers and owners.

      Leeds United supporters don’t need studies, statistics and statements to point out the disconnection between players and real life; after all we still ache from the pain of a League 1 journey atPremier League prices. Recent decisions to not continue the crippling pricing policies of the Ken Bates/Shaun Harvey era have only really allowed the cost of season tickets to move closer to divisional norms, but we still pay excessively when you consider the football we watch.

      Solutions and what the future holds will always be difficult to articulate; after all we are becoming conditioned to the mantra “spending equals success”. However,there are basics that even the most corporate-thinking football executive should understand. If you price the average supporter out of the game, when the day comes (and it will) that TV and sponsorship isn’t covering the consequences, you will find yourself owning large empty stadiums no-one is filling. Italian football is already in that cycle of decline, English football threatens to be not far behind.

      For many season ticket holders who live away from Leeds, their loyalty may wobble at the £100+ a game costs for home games. Football and the clubs need to think twice before trying to extract the last drop of blood from loyal supporters. A whole generation of people with below-average incomes are already lost to the game, the fear is only the well off will be able to enjoy football in the very near future. That would add tragedy to what is already a sad situation. The people’s game once meant something and if football is to prosper over the next 10 years it needs to regain that long-lost title.

      There have been recent announcements regarding the integration of fans into club ownership structures. The Labour Party led the way last Friday saying that if elected back in to government, it would oversee "the biggest legislative shake-up in the governance of English and Welsh football clubs since the advent of the game" when it came to fan representation on clubs boards.Today the Government has unveiled a ‘Supporter Ownership and Engagement Expert group’, aimed at promoting supporter-owned clubs. In either case, we hope that the influence of fans bringing real information from the stands will make a difference.

      The Leeds United Supporters Trust has campaigned for real engagement with fans for the last three years(1)(2)(3) and has been involved with the all-party select committee for Culture, Media and Sport. We are pleased that the collective voice of the fans has been listened to.

      We encourage all parties to work for the benefit of the fans. Don’t we deserve it for the long hours on the motorways, the incessant queuing, the inconsistent stewarding, not to mention the at-times absence of a ready supply of chicken balti pies!

      Whatever and whoever provides the voice for the fans in each club, we wholly advocate these efforts. Democratically elected representatives should be encouraged and supported in a collective push for the good of a club, while listening to individual voices. This can only be a good thing. This is the future of our game. The gauntlet has been placed for the politicians to make it happen. If they don’t then what will fans do next May?  

      Thursday
      Oct162014

      For Fans going to Rotherham Utd. (A) tomorrow

      Our Policing, Safety and Stewarding board member, Steve Clay, has been speaking this week with Rotherham United Stadium Manager/Safety Officer, Paul Davis, regarding tomorrows game at The New York Stadium.

      He has asked us to pass on the following information which will help all travelling fans to have a good 'off the pitch' experience for the game;

      · Please arrive early to avoid delays at the turnstiles. Alcohol will be on sale pre match.

      · There is no parking on site at NYS but there are plenty of privately owned car parks close by.

      · Please travel with plenty of time to spare as there are road works on Centenary Way and Main Street which are two major access roads serving the stadium.

      · Please ensue you sit in the seat you have been allocated. If someone is taken ill and we need to get first aid to attend then it will delay our first aid staff if gangways are blocked.

      · Stewards will be happy to assist so please ask if you have any queries.

      · There may be a short hold back of supporters at the end of the game. This will enable us to allow us to disperse all supporters safely at the end of the game.

      · The Twitter feed for Policing and Safety announcements regarding the game is @police_rufc.

      · Hope you enjoy your evening and your first visit to New York Stadium.

      Paul Davis - StadiumManager/Safety Officer, Rotherham United F.C.

      We would like to thank Paul for his assistance and look forward to our first game there. We hope it is a good experience for all travelling fans and that we return home with 3 points.

      Additionally, travelling fans can make use of our AWAY DAYS section by clicking HERE, which has travel plans and an interactive map if you're going by car or train and instructions from West Yorkshire Police for organised minibus or coach travel, including RV point details.   

      Thursday
      Oct162014

      LUST: Football League should consider the fans

      The Leeds United Supporters Trust calls on the Football League to end unnecessary speculation about the future of our great football club regarding their pending decisions on the club’s current owner, Massimo Cellino.

      For too long owners and football administrators have failed to consider the consequences of their actions on loyal Leeds United supporters. Trust members are frustrated that uncertainty has yet again been introduced to Leeds United and the resulting instability that creates for the club's business operations and the club's supporters. This lack of consideration needs to end and the best interests of Leeds United and the integrity of the  Championship need to be protected.

      The Leeds United Supporters Trust call for an urgent, unbiased, and final resolution that is in the best interests of Leeds United AND its supporters, unfettered by the past or vested interests.

      Monday
      Sep292014

      LUST faces exciting future with new Chairman and Board

      We would like to put on record our grateful thanks to previous Chairman, Gary Cooper, who has led the Trust admirably through one of the most difficult periods of the clubs history. We will never forget your personal sacrifice and the outstanding leadership you have offered over the last 5 years giving the shareholders and members a fantastic base to work from. Our loss is Leeds Ladies’ gain. Like-wise with the outgoing board members at the AGM on Wednesday, Aidan Booth, Ashley Tabony, Patrick Bushell, Chris Coleman and Adam Carruthers, who have committed time, personal resources and their skills to the Trust, without want of anything in return. Your dedication provides the new board with a hard act to follow and a high benchmark to achieve.

      This week indeed means the beginning of a new era Gary & Paul at Wembley in Julywithin the Trust. Our new Chairman, Paul Keat, has been selected by the new board due to his experience and knowledge working closely with the previous Chairman for the last 3 years and in the Trust to attain continuity and focus on the things that really matter within our club, Leeds United. Paul has an intimate working knowledge of the Trust and is the natural successor to Gary. We feel he has the attributes to take the Trust to the next step of its development.

      Each of us are fully committed to the work of the Trust, and in particular, achieving the objectives of the Vision Statement and to endeavour to build on the legacy and progress the Trust further in representing an increasing membership at the highest levels of British and European football and provide their United voice as a voice which needs to be heard.

      We, the new board, provide a variety of skills in continuing the work of the Trust in engaging Trust membership, the club, protecting the rights of members attending games home and away, maintaining and developing links with local government, business and police organisations, monitoring financial aspects which involve the club, maintaining the potential to invest into the club through the Fan Share Scheme, working in partnership with local and national media as well as Supporters Direct and the FSF in conjunction with supporters groups both locally and nationally, in whichever division or competition we compete in, and, lastly, being 100% dedicated to providing a voice for every member for the betterment of your experience in supporting our great club.

      To this we commit ourselves.

      One Voice

      On, On, On

      Paul Keat

      Ross Davidson

      Jeremy Walker

      Steve Clay

      Michael Green

      Danny Murphy

      Mike Brennan

      Mick Newton

      John Bond

      Henry Walker 

      Chris Liversidge

       

      To contact us with anything Trust-related, please email chairman@lufctrust.org