The Championship side asked which of the services deployed by West Yorkshire Police were special police services.

Elland Road
Elland Road Photo: Calendar

Leeds United have won their High Court action over who should pay for policing of matches at their Elland Road stadium.

The Championship side asked for a decision on which of the services deployed by West Yorkshire Police for the last three seasons were special police services, and whether it was entitled to be repaid for services wrongly categorised.

The litigation involved policing in the extended footprint of land around the stadium which is not owned or leased by the club - who claimed this fell within the scope of a constable's normal common law obligations to maintain public order.

Mr Justice Eady, in London, said those services could not be classified as special police services and the club, whose home matches have one of the worst records of football-related violence in the country, should be repaid.

He concluded that the services rendered fell within the normal constabulary duty to keep the peace.

"More generally, it seems wrong to discount the majority of well-behaved fans who come to Elland Road, whether club supporters or visitors, all of whom retain their status as members of the public. In that capacity, they too are entitled to expect police protection.

"In any event, I consider that there would be insuperable difficulties in seeking to sub-divide people, in public highways and other spaces, when trying to assess to whose benefit such duties were carried out.

"They are intended to keep the Queen's peace in the interests of the general public."