Cardiff City fans protest against 'rip-off' prices at Leeds Utd


Hundreds of Cardiff City fans boycotted their Championship affair with Leeds Utd while those attending left in an unplanned walk out.

Heavy travel restrictions as well as steap ticket prices led to a large number of supporters from South Wales choosing to stay at home rather than make the trip up North to cheer on their team in one of the most highly anticiapted fixtures for both sets of fans.

Bluebirds fans were charged a staggering £36 a ticket, as much as some of the top teams in the Premiership, to watch the game which was also featured on Sky. In addition to this, West Yorkshire police insisted on every Cardiff fan having to pick their match tickets up at Wooly Edge service station to avoid potential violence between both sets of supporters. As a reaction to what many Cardiff City fans felt was an injustice to the everyday football supporter, a boycott of the game altogether was rallied on numerous fan forums. This was met with much encouragement with many stating that the Leeds Utd chairman, Ken Bates, was responsible for the unfair pricing and restrictions.

However, the controversey didn't end there. In the space of 45 minutes, 20 or so of the travelling Cardiff City fans who had made the trip were ejected from the ground after refusing to sit down during the 1st half. Stewards escorted frustrated supporters out of the trunstiles they'd paid so much to walk through which many perceived as further mis-treatment. Chants of "not sitting down, £36 a ticket, I'm not sitting down" all across the away allocation sounded in protest for large amounts of the game. Frustration began to grow further in the away end when it appeared that Leeds Utd fans, who were also standing, were doing so unpunished and did so continually throughout the match.

As several more of the away support were asked to leave in the 2nd half their patience had seemed to come to an end as nearly half of the fans present followed their fellow supporters out the gates. Rumours of a 'walk out' circulated during half-time when many of the Welsh supporters were unhappy with what they believed to be 'petty' stewarding considering their efforts to get to the match and five minutes into the 2nd half they made good of their threat when a significant portion of away fans left Elland Road.

Ever since the FA Cup tie between the two teams back in January 2002 broke out in violence there has been a fierce rivaly between both sides. However, many fans from both clubs believe that incidents like this are in the past and punishing them for this still is unfair.

Leeds Utd face Cardiff City in the return fixture on April 21st.

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