Leeds United policing costs row

West Yorkshire Police have lost their case in the Court of Appeal over who should pay for policing of matches at Leeds United's Elland Road stadium.

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West Yorkshire Police & Crime Commissioner on policing football

The judgement today says that for the time being council tax payers must subsidise the costs of Policing football games. However, I feel that with £100 million of cuts to West Yorkshire Police, meaning we are losing 2000 officers and staff, that this burden is unfair and unreasonable. It is a wake up call for the need for clear rules to govern the way businesses involved fairly cover the real costs of directly Policing matches.

– Mark Burns-Williamson, Police and Crime Commissioner

He also said he was planning to work with other Police and Crime Commissioner’s to lobby the Home Office for legislation to clarify the situation.

He added:

Like any other sports fan, I want to be able to go to a match and be in a safe stadium, and West Yorkshire Police will continue to work tirelessly to ensure this is the case and it will be my insistence to the Chief Constable that safety and fans interests always come first.

– Mark Burns-Williamson, Police and Crime Commissioner

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Leeds United statement following policing decision

West Yorkshire Police have lost their case in the Court of Appeal over who should pay for policing of matches at Leeds United's Elland Road stadium.

Leeds United will now pursue the repayment of police charges already made and legal costs in bringing this action along with interest from seasons 2009/10, 2010/11 and 2011/12.

We brought this case in the first instance as it was our view at the time that a significant proportion of the charges imposed upon the club were not lawful and are obviously pleased that the Courts have agreed with us.

– Chief Executive, Shaun Harvey

It was a complex issue and one that affects all football clubs o an extent. Many clubs have been watching on as interested parties without the need to become directly involved, so we feel as well as taking this matter on for ourselves, we have done all clubs a good service.

– Chief Executive, Shaun Harvey

We remain committed to reducing the number of police officers required when we play at home and will continue to work with the Police to achieve this. These efforts are already showing progress with 4 clubs' fans receiving more banning orders in the 12 month reporting period to the 9th November 2012 and 9 clubs having more of their home fans arrested at their game in the same period than ourselves. This positive progress must continue.

– Chief Executive, Shaun Harvey