Leeds United supporters are planning to stage a mass walk-out during Saturday’s clash with Hull City over Massimo Cellino’s “outrageous” running of the club.
The Italian businessman, who recently reneged on a deal to sell his majority stake in the club to supporters’ group Leeds Fans United, has infuriated supporters by increasing ticket prices in the South Stand at Elland Road without prior warning. An additional £5 charge to pay for food and drink, dubbed the ‘pie tax’, will be added to tickets, regardless of whether those in attendance want the token or not.
Members of supporters’ group South Stand SS5 have now called on those inside the ground at the weekend [Saturday 5 Dec] to leave their seats during the 17th minute of the match for a 17-minute period.
Speaking to Press Association Sport, organiser John Bond said: “We all know [Cellino] hates the number 17. We want to make it very clear to Cellino that he is not wanted. The way he runs the club is outrageous and we want our club back.”
Bond said that he and the Leeds United Supporters’ Trust had emailed the club on November 18 to discuss the price increase but the club have not replied.
“We’ve also contacted the Football League and Trading Standards because we don’t think the club are within their rights to do this,” he said.
“There’s a big appetite among fans to protest in this way. It will be peaceful. It’s got good traction on social media.
“Maybe the whole ground won’t walk out on Saturday, but maybe more will next time. We’re confident we’re speaking for the majority of fans.”
A spokesperson for the FSF said: “It’s our understanding that clubs are not allowed to change ticket prices mid-season so we’ve asked the Football League for clarification.
“Leeds United fans already pay some of the highest prices in the Championship and this pushes the price up further. We’d encourage any fans unhappy with this to contact the club and make their thoughts known.”