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Leeds United address issues at Elland Road away end

Newcastle United fans have praised Leeds United after the club worked with them to address issues facing away fans visiting Elland Road.

At the match between the two clubs back in January, Newcastle United fans experienced serious issues with accessing the away end – with turnstiles repeatedly failing and staff being unable to help.

Crowd congestion quickly developed outside the turnstiles which posed a serious risk to supporter safety. Thankfully no-one was seriously hurt, but hundreds reported missing a significant portion of the first half.

Following the incident, the club met with representatives from Newcastle United Supporters’ Trust (NUST), West Yorkshire Police and the FSA.

A NUST statement said: “After receiving approximately 125 reports in the days after the game, there was clear distress highlighted by those who were caught outside the away turnstiles in the build-up to, and after kick-off.

“From the very first meeting, we praise Leeds United for taking this situation very seriously and are satisfied that steps are being taken to prevent any incidents like this from happening again to any set of supporters attending Elland Road.

“We are pleased to learn that following this game, Leeds United took immediate steps to prevent this from happening outside the away section again and that further fixtures with Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur, Aston Villa, and Norwich City led to no further such incidents.

“We would like to place on record our thanks to Leeds United for treating Newcastle United fans with the respect they deserve.”

The FSA was on hand to offer advice and support to our affiliate members at NUST, who took fans’ complaints to the club and requested the meetings.

FSA caseworker Amanda Jacks said: “Leeds United have taken the concerns raised by visiting supporters seriously. They deserve credit for that and other clubs should take note.

“The work of Newcastle United Supporters’ Trust was exemplary – their own swift and professional action clearly demonstrates the value of a strong fans’ organisation.”

Back in December 2021, Leeds United fans themselves experienced similar issues with overcrowding and congestion at their match against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. However, their complaints were dismissed by the club who blamed away fans for the issues.

Leeds United Supporters’ Trust described Chelsea’s response as “disgraceful” and said they intend to raise the matter with the Independent Football Ombudsman.

 

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