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Leeds United's £25k-a-game average bill for match-day policing revealed

Leeds United paid nearly three-quarters of the cost of match day policing, more than other clubs in Yorkshire.
Leeds United paid nearly three-quarters of the cost of match day policing, more than other clubs in Yorkshire.

LEEDS UNITED is charged a policing fee of £25,000 on average for every home game, more than any other Yorkshire club, new figures show.

The cost of policing Championship matches at Elland Road is nearly identical to the cost at nearby Premier League club Huddersfield Town, at about £34,500 per home game.

But the Whites pay nearly three-quarters of this cost while the Terriers pay less than half, because of the rules surrounding how clubs are billed.

Clubs only have to pay for match-day policing that takes place on their land, while the rest is funded by the public purse.

Assistant Chief Constable Russ Foster, of West Yorkshire Police, said clubs were different sizes which means “the cost of policing for clubs can vary”.

The figures, revealed to the BBC Shared Data Unit through Freedom of Information requests, cover the first six months of the 2017/18 season.

West Yorkshire Police refused to say how many officers were on duty for each match.

Policing football matches cost West Yorkshire Police more than £1m for the first half of this season, with clubs footing just over half of the bill and the taxpayer funding the rest.

But the figures show large discrepancies between the amount different clubs are asked to stump up.

Leeds United paid 74 per cent of its bill for the first six months of the season, while Huddersfield Town contributed 44 per cent and Bradford City just 16 per cent.

It means, per spectator at an average match, the Whites paid 78p towards policing while the Terriers paid 63p and the Bantams paid just 7p.

Leeds United paid a higher proportion of its policing bill than any Yorkshire club, including South Yorkshire’s Championship clubs Sheffield Wednesday, Sheffield United and Barnsley, although Humberside Police did not reveal the cost of policing Hull City.

West Yorkshire Police said the discrepancies were due to the different policing requirements of matches.

Mr Foster said: “A category C match which is classed as high risk, for example, will require a higher police presence than a Category A which has a lower risk threshold.

“In terms of what it charges clubs, West Yorkshire Police follows an established national protocol of charging for the deployment of officers within an agreed ‘footprint’ of land owned, leased or controlled by the club. Each club has a different sized footprint, affecting the number of officers required to police it, which means the cost of policing for clubs can vary.”

The most expensive fixture at Elland Road was the January match against Millwall, which cost £67,433 to police.

Leeds United could not be reached for comment.