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      Thursday
      Dec082016

      Statement on The FA Sanctions of Massimo Cellino

      Leeds United Supporters’ Trust statement on the FA’s sanctions following the Ross McCormack illegal payments case

      Following confirmed reports that Leeds United has been fined £250,000, and its owner and President Massimo Cellino has been hit with an 18 month ban and a £250,000 fine, the Leeds United Supporters’ Trust wishes to state that it is thankful the FA has finally acted, while also expressing a deep concern for the immediate future of the football club.

      The Trust supports and respects the FA’s decision in its quest to rid football of corruption. However, we hope that the inevitable instability that this penalty brings does not affect the club and team, who are both performing so well at this present moment.

      During recent months the club has made great strides commercially, with public relations and in putting some solid foundations into the football club. In the meantime the team has performed superbly to maintain a play-off position in the Championship table, and this on-pitch success must remain the primary focus, particularly with the vital January transfer window on the horizon.

      We hope that Mr Cellino, with the Clubs best interests at heart, would not risk taking any further action that will possibly drag the Club and fans through more months of uncertainty while also burdening the club with even more costs in what could potentially be an expensive, long and drawn out affair which is unlikely to have a beneficial outcome for the Club, fans or himself.

      The Trust expects there will now be unavoidable speculation over the ownership of the club, and it is hoped that the team’s fortunes and the club’s wellbeing are held paramount by all parties throughout, whilst transparency is maintained and Leeds United fans are kept informed at all times and where appropriate.

      Wednesday
      Dec072016

      Away Days: Brighton & Hove Albion - 09.12.2016

      Brighton & Hove Albion v Leeds United Friday 9th December 2016 7.45pm Kick-Off.

      Car Directions

      The Amex Stadium is situated inland from the coast. The initial approach is to leave the M1 at junction 6a to join the M25 towards M40/Heathrow Airport. Then join the M23 south at junction 7 (Brighton/Gatwick Airport), then join the A23 until this meets the A27. Take this towards Lewes to get to the ground, which is signposted, or follow the Sat Nav directions for park and ride, as detailed below. Post Code for SAT NAV: BN1 9BL (Amex Stadium)

      Car Parking

      There is some car parking at the ground but not much. Pre-booked league game parking starts from just £12 per car, but increases to £15 on the gate, so be sure to book early by calling the Albion Booking Line on 0844 327 1901. This is at Car Park B - Satnav: BN2 4PN (formerly Bridge Car Park) The stadium is approximately a 1,500 metre walk from Car Park B and is a straight paved route, adjacent to the railway line. Please note: after a match, it can take up to an hour to exit this car park.

      A better option are the three park & ride facilities, all served by a disabled access bus.

      Park & Ride 1 - Satnav: BN1 8ZF (formerly Mill Road Park & Ride) Park & Ride 1 has 450 spaces available. It is the smallest but also the most popular Park & Ride site and is usually full 1.5 hours prior to kick-off.

      Park & Ride 2 - Satnav: BN2 4AT (formerly University of Brighton Park & Ride)

      Park & Ride 3 - Satnav BN2 9XZ (formerly Brighton Racecourse Park & Ride) Park & Ride 3 often has lots of spare capacity with 700 parking spaces available. Buses usually take approximately 20 minutes to reach the stadium.

      Coach Directions and Parking

      The coach park for visiting coaches is directly behind the entrance to the visiting turnstiles. Therefore, follow the same directions as for cars above.

      Train information

      Falmer station is just a couple of minutes’ walk from the Amex Stadium making it one of the most accessible stadiums there is. It is served by Southern Rail and is approximately nine minutes from Brighton mainline station, with trains serving Falmer every ten minutes on a matchday. Please note that we recommend you travel at least 1 hour prior to kick-off. There are some rail services that offer subsidies based on producing your match ticket (ie. the cost of train travel is included in your match ticket price) but it is advisable to check this before making travel plans.

      Pubs

      There is very little within the vicinity of the ground, and the nearest pubs tend to be for home fans only. Near to Brighton Mainline Station are a number of good pubs, and traditionally, the most ‘away fan friendly’ is the Evening Star on Surrey Street, which is just two minutes’ walk from the station.

      There are numerous pubs in Brighton town centre itself but please approach responsibly and adhere to any ‘home fan only’ policies which may be adopted. Please also allow plenty of time for travel onto the stadium.

      If arriving at the Mill Road park & ride (Park & Ride 1 in the info above) then the Black Lion pub is near there on London Road (A23).

      Beer is usually on sale to away fans in the ground, but look out for updates nearer to Kick-Off time. As yet we are not aware of alcohol arrangements within the ground, but please keep an eye on @LUFCTrust and @LUFC_WYP for updates on the policy chosen by the home club and local police.

      Policing issues

      We are not aware of any at this stage.

      Potential flash points/Dos and Don’ts

      The Amex Stadium is a new stadium set in the Sussex countryside and is well served by trains, buses and parking. There are no areas of potential issue.

      Stewarding issues

      We are not aware of any at this stage.

      Ticket Information

      No tickets for this fixture will be sold to Leeds United fans on the day, so please do not travel without a ticket. Leeds fans will be housed in the South Stand of the stadium and partly in the South East corner. The seats are thought to be amongst the most luxurious in the Championship, with padding and plenty of leg room.

      Other Information

      Please check West Yorkshire Police Twitter @LUFC_WYP for info on alcohol restrictions in place on the day and any other travel or supporter issues. Please also check the official Brighton & Hove Albion Twitter account @OfficialBHAFC for up-to-date changes.

      Wednesday
      Nov302016

      Chair's Statement: Time To Go Michael

      The Trust Chair looks to a future without him.

      As we ponder on the news that ownership of our club might soon be in a new ownership structure and Massimo Cellino is likely no longer going to be fully in control (all subject to confirmation and the prospect of idiocy) it is perhaps one of those occasions where some reflectiveness should take over.

      We need no longer detain ourselves as a support with questioning whether Cellino has finally decided he can’t carry this great club and needs to sell (whether all or half), those who still argue otherwise are being delusional. Equally those who don’t recognise that the proposed 50/50 split is in fact a de-facto takeover don’t understand business or how golden shares arrangements work.

      Takeovers, of all sorts, as experience since 1996 tells us, are not automatic panaceas to our club’s problem. As we speak details are still sketchy as to what this new regime brings to the table. Hope at these times is always that finally someone has the vision, the experience, the wherewithal to take the club forward in a sustainable, transparent and supporter engaging manner. Experience tells us the reality can sometimes be somewhat different however.  

      We have had chancers, rogues, asset strippers, egomaniacs, even convicted crooks on our board of directors over the last 20 years. What is needed now is talent, quality, and a capacity for good judgement. Nationality is irrelevant, an understanding of English football isn’t.

      Do I know what Radrizzani and his media company might ultimately bring to the club? Of course not, but like any Leeds United fan with a modicum of understanding about what we have been through knows, it won’t be difficult for the new broom to look half competent.

      When Bates (and the same with GFH) departed from majority ownership of the club I was one who said rather than a suffering a residue of seething anger we need to move on from those painful years whilst never forgetting what we were put through. The same applies with Massimo Cellino and then some. I could list a litany of idiocies that sum up that man’s era at Eland Road but frankly I would rather let the memory of him dissipate into that of previous idiocies before him. For the vast majority of supporters he won’t be missed, Cellino was doomed by his own behaviour from day 1.

      So where does this all leave the Trust? As Chair of the Trust I reflect on the nature of being a publicly outspoken organisation on all matters Leeds United over a long period. The truism that the Trust will always out survive an owner has been re-enforced. By sticking rigidly to our values and principles the Trust is now perfectly placed to be the voice of Leeds United supporters during the era to come. There is just the question of what kind of voice?

      There is a scene in the Godfather trilogy where Michael Corleone tells his adopted brother Tom Hagan “you just not a war consigliore”. The converse is true with me, I am not a good times Trust Chair. There comes a time when someone made so jaundiced by the failures of the 21st century has to consider whether to let a fresher, less pained, set of eyes judge the latest manifestation of club ownership.

      To be on honest on a personal level the answer is obvious, it is time for new perspective and fresh faces and to get out of the way. After over a decade of Love Leeds Hate Bates, Clarke-one-nil, Lee Chapman’s Sofa and the Trust I have earned my one way ticket to a quiet football life. I look forward to the peace, tranquillity and obscurity to come.

      I yesterday offered my resignation as Chair to the Board, active after item 1 on the agenda of the next Board meeting on December 17th. I make this public now to give the Board time to decide who should take the Trust forward. Whilst I will see out my term as a board member till the next AGM to offer my experience and unique perspective, the leadership of the Trust now must come from elsewhere. Given the recent positive influx of fresh thinking Board Members and those who battled through the hard years I am sure whoever picks up the mantle will be right for the times. All I will say about my successor is they need good strategic judgement, it is the most important skill.

      The last 2 and a bit years (Vice Chair, Interim Chair, and then Chair) have been memorable for a variety of reasons. I will think fondly of the Board Members, old and new, (big shout to Martha, Rick, Stephen and Adam from the old board and Dave from the new) I worked with, the advisors, like James Ellis, who assisted me and the stakeholders I encounted both nationally (Supporters Direct and the FSF) and on Leeds issues (like LFU etc).

      I also want to give a particular big shout out and congratulations to “Lardy” and the TTGM crowd, the right people at the right time with the right approach who have done the job that was needed. Hearing those who would complain that the Trust and Time To Go Massimo have been too close is like hearing Oxygen and Nitrogen mix too closely. The truth is no matter how elongated the timescale to Cellino giving up control the TTGM campaign has brought that closer. Equally important is that without TTGM a future owner might be under the false impression that as fans we would tolerate anything. It will be in a post Cellino era the Trust’s job, through the new intake, to also make sure a clear line in the sand has been drawn and incompetence, disrespecting the fan base, flogging players willy-nilly, interference in team selection matters and financial idiocy won’t ever be tolerated again.

      On a personal level the support of my wife by tolerating the time taken on Trust matters has been immense, although as she never reads my stuff she will never fully understand how much.

      The Trust has a big future ahead, I anticipate that over the next 5 years it will grow to a shareholder size that eclipses its existence so far, regardless of whether the coming ownership situation is problematic or not. So long as it sticks to the co-operative and democratic values and principles of its foundation it will always have the appropriate answers to football’s problems. I also anticipate a coming together of the Leeds United support over the medium term and I whole-heartedly recommend a future merger of all independent LUFC supporters groups in the style of the Huddersfield Town Supporters Association.

      As I indicated in the Annual General Meeting Chair’s Report back in October my time at the Trust has been a delicate balancing act between internal restructuring and external representations. I leave the role of Chair content that my contribution to both the Trust and the supports best interests as been useful. I also leave very happy I achieve three of the significant goals I set myself back in July 2015: 1) to ensure the survival and vitality of the Trust, 2) to be the first Trust Chair ever to do the job without it having a detrimental effect on normal life and 3) to see us closer to the vital and needed club ownership change. A fourth goal of sitting in my West Stand season ticket seat seeing Leeds United be the great club it is reflected in the football it plays and the division it plays it in will have to wait, but maybe, not for too long.

      Roll on the 17th December and a new, different future for the Trust. Cheers and bye.

       

      Michael

      Friday
      Nov252016

      Rotherham United v Leeds United Saturday 26th November 2016 5.30pm Kick-Off.

      Rotherham United v Leeds United Saturday 26th November 2016 5.30pm Kick-Off.

      Car Directions

      The New York Stadium, New York Way, Rotherham is situated in the south east of the town centre, adjacent to the A630. Access is via Sheffield Road and Main Street, where there will be a road closure in place from 4.30pm. See coach directions below for more details. Post Code for SAT NAV: S60 1FJ

      Car Parking

      There is no specific away parking at the ground, apart from pre-agreed disabled parking. There are a number of council run car parks and pop-up match day car parks around the ground, with reasonable signage. Expect to pay £4-£5 per car. Also, there is a large NCP car park in the town centre a short walk away.

      Coach Directions and Parking

      From the M1 (North or South)

      Leave the M1 at junction 33 and follow the A630 Rotherway to a roundabout, taking the first exit onto A631 West Bawtry Road. At the next roundabout take the second exit onto the A630 Centenary Way. At the following roundabout take the third exit onto Sheffield Road, continuing along this road into Westgate. Drive along Westgate to the next major road on the left, this is Main Street. Turn left here and stewards will direct you from this point.

      There is NO rendez-vous point for Leeds United coaches for this game, coaches are asked to arrive at the ground between 15:30 – 16:30hrs. After 16:30hrs coaches will not have access to the Stadium coach parking and will have to drop passengers on Main Street with a 300-400yd walk. The coaches will then be taken away to be parked up and then brought back to the ground and onto New York Way.

      Parking for coaches is £25. Parking for minibuses is £10.

      Train information

      Rotherham Central Station is around 5-10 minutes’ walk away from the New York Stadium with ample pedestrian signage to assist. There are direct trains every hour from Leeds with other services via Sheffield and Doncaster. We have been advised by West Yorkshire Police that the 13.48 Leeds to Sheffield train (via Rotherham) will have two extra carriages to accommodate the anticipated demand from Leeds fans. Post-match, the regular services are at 19.32, 20.12 and 20.43. We have also been advised by West Yorkshire Police that an additional train has been put on at 20.02. Please note that most pubs will not accommodate away fans post-match.

      Pubs

      The Bridge Inn, just off Bridge Street and only two minutes from the train station, is an away pub dedicated to away fans, and proves very popular with away fans. The licensee Tony is a very good host, but please be aware he had to close the pub before Kick-Off last season when Leeds fans set off a flare inside the pub. A Leeds fan has also advised us that The Trades pub a short walk away is a ‘mixed’ pub that will accommodate both home and away fans, but please adopt a sensible approach

      to this. The pubs in Bridgegate tend to adopt a ‘home fan only’ policy and other pubs in the town centre will assess this policy on a match to match basis, so again, please approach with common sense and respect.

      As yet we are not aware of alcohol arrangements within the ground, but please keep an eye on @LUFCTrust and @LUFC_WYP for updates on the policy chosen by the home club and local police.

      Policing issues

      We are not aware of any at this stage. With this being a local derby there will be a high police presence, but no more than normal for a Leeds United away fixture.

      Potential flash points/Dos and Don’ts

      Post-match, all away fans will be asked to leave the ground via New York Way, this provides a sterile area between home and away fans. This policy has been used successfully for this fixture in the last two seasons.

      Stewarding issues

      We are not aware of any at this stage.

      Ticket Information

      No tickets are available on the day. Leeds United have sold all their allocation and will be housed in the Mears Group South Stand. Rotherham United stewards will be supported by Leeds United stewards, please expect ticket and membership card checks. Entry will not be afforded to any person unable to satisfy the conditions of purchase of their ticket. We have been advised that the turnstiles will be opened at 4.00pm.

      Other Information

      Please check West Yorkshire Police Twitter @LUFC_WYP for info on alcohol restrictions in place on the day and any other travel or supporter issues. Please also check the official Rotherham United Twitter account @OfficialRUFC for up-to-date changes.

      Thursday
      Nov032016

      Away Days: Norwich City - 05.11.2016

      Norwich City v Leeds United Saturday 5th November 2016 3pm Kick-Off.

      The following information is provided from a variety of sources. Jon Howe, Trust Board Member for Policing and Stewarding can be contacted via twitter @jonhowe1971 or via the contact us section of this website.

      Car Directions

      Carrow Road is well signposted from the A11 and A47, being a short drive from either dual-carriageway. 
      From the southern bypass of the A47, take the A146 road into the city ahead of turning right at the traffic lights towards the city centre on the A1054.
      At the roundabout, take the right hand lane to continue towards the city centre along the A147 before turning right at the next set of traffic lights onto King Street. 
      As the street bends to the right and crosses the river it becomes Carrow Road, with the football ground clearly visible on the right. 
      Post Code for SAT NAV: NR1 1JE

      Car Parking

      One car park commonly used by away supporters is Norfolk County Hall (SAT NAV: NR1 2DH), which is well signposted on the left of the A146 as you approach the ground from the southern bypass.
      There are facilities for approximately 2,000 cars; with advice given to arrive two hours ahead of kick-off in order to secure a space which allows you to depart quickly after the match. Cost of parking here is £8 per vehicle and there is an approximate 10 minute walk to the ground. 

      Coach Directions and Parking

      From the West via the A17 and /or A47:
      1) At the roundabout forming the junction with roads to Ringland and Easton go straight on to the Norwich southern bypass past the turn for Norwich West (A1074). 
      2) Carry on the dual carriageway until signposts for A146 Lowestoft and exit nearside slip road to the traffic lights. At these turn left along further dual carriageway to next set of lights and turn right into Martineau Lane towards County Hall. 
      3) At the roundabout take the second exit and remain in the right hand lane until the traffic lights. 
      4) Turn right here and follow over the river bridge and past the ground on the new road layout (Koblenz Ave) until the traffic lights. 
      5) At the lights turn right (Canary Way) and continue past the ground to the railway bridge. Keep in the nearside lane exiting first left into Lower Clarence Road. 
      6) The coach park is approximately 200 yards on the left. 
      From the South via the M11 and A11:

      1) Exit at the Thickthorn Services roundabout and take the fourth exit signposted A47 Gt. Yarmouth / Norwich City Football Club.
      2) Carry on the dual carriageway until signposts for A146 Lowestoft and exit nearside slip road to the traffic lights. At these turn left along further dual carriageway to next set of lights and turn right towards County Hall.
       
      3) At the roundabout take the second exit and remain in the right hand lane until the traffic lights. 
      4) Turn right here and follow over the river bridge and past the ground on the new road layout (Koblenz Ave) until the traffic lights. 
      5) At the lights turn right (Canary Way) and continue past the ground to the railway bridge. Keep in the nearside lane exiting first left into Lower Clarence Road.  
      6) The coach park is approximately 200 yards on the left. 
      Charge for coach operators is £24 which must be paid to the car park operatives prior to entry. Coach drivers held up at all getting to site should call the following number so that officials know how best to manage the site/queuing traffic – 07818040643 – this is the work phone number of one of the senior attendants.
      Coaches are to arrive at the coach park no earlier than two hours before scheduled Kick-Off and must arrive no later than one hour before Kick-Off. 

      Train information

      Carrow Road is within walking distance of the city’s railway station, and is clearly visible from the station grounds. The football ground is well signposted from the station, and is approximately a ten minute walk on foot. 
      Upon leaving the station turn left and head for Morrisons supermarket, with the ground directly behind on the other side of the road. Alternatively, a range of food and drink outlets as well as a cinema and bowling alley are available on Wherry Road which links the station directly to the football ground. 


      Pubs

      The traditional pub for away fans is the ‘Compleat Angler’ which is opposite the railway station and has an outside terrace overlooking the river. This pub is away fan only, has Sky Sports showing all football and will also be opening its lower bar for Leeds fans this year. It is about a ten minute walk from Carrow Road.
      If this pub is full, the nearby ‘Prince of Wales’ and a sports bar called ‘Stadia’ will also admit away fans, but please be aware these are mixed pubs for home and away fans. In the past, Leeds fans have been admitted to a Wetherspoons pub in the city centre called the ‘Queen of Iceni’, but please be informed that this is now a ‘home fan only’ pub. 
      The ground will open for away fans at 1.30pm and we have been informed by Norwich City and Norfolk Police that there WILL be alcohol on sale to Leeds United fans inside the ground up to Kick-Off but not at half-time. 

      Policing issues

      We are not aware of any at this stage.


      Potential flash points/Dos and Don’ts

      We are not aware of any at this stage.


      Stewarding issues

      In the past, stewards at Norwich City have been quite keen on making away fans sit down. Other than that, we are not aware of any at this stage.


      Ticket Information

      All tickets for Leeds United fans have sold out. Leeds fans will be housed in one end of the South Stand. 

      Other Information

      Norwich City operate a Family FanZone outside the ground which hosts a range of special free activities for youngsters, including face-painting and football challenges. 
      The area is available to the next generation of both home and away fans, and will open from 12:30pm on Saturday. 
      Please check West Yorkshire Police Twitter @LUFC_WYP for info on alcohol restrictions in place on the day and any other travel or supporter issues, plus also @NorfolkPolice for more local information. Any coach drivers or other Leeds fans travelling are welcome to phone PC Andy King of Norfolk Police on 07867907933 if they have any travel queries or concerns. 
      Please also check the official Norwich Twitter account @NorwichCityFC for up-to-date changes. You can also see Norwich's official website for more information.
      ____________________________________________________________________

      UPDATE

      A great win for Leeds down at Norwich over the weekend, we hope all the travelling fans returned home safely. PC Bryn Stokes from West Yorkshire Police has contacted the Trust with the following information following the game at Carrow Road: 

      "A couple of issues early on with Leeds fans drinking in home pubs and a lot of fans arriving at the ground drunk. There were 2x Leeds fans arrested, drink related. A disabled Leeds fan suffered minor injuries when fans celebrated the first goal."