Strict Leeds v Millwall ticket restrictions have made fixture non-event for Lions fans

Josh Wright wins the ball against Leeds' Paul Green at The Den in November. PICTURE BY EDMUND BOYDEN.

Josh Wright wins the ball against Leeds' Paul Green at The Den in November. PICTURE BY EDMUND BOYDEN.

First published in Sport
Last updated

LIONS columnist MATT LITTLE believes continued strict ticket restrictions being imposed by the police on Leeds v Millwall fixtures at Elland Road are killing the atmosphere at what should be a great spectator event for both sets of fans.

KENNY Jackett once again proved why the vast majority of Millwall fans stick by him even in our darkest moments.

And they don't come much darker than getting hammered 5-1 at home by the division’s bottom club fast on the heels of losing the previous four games.

I called that hammering at the hands of Peterborough United seven days ago cowardly and pathetic, but with the belief the manager would have privately thought the same.

Indeed, the changes were rung and the team came out fighting, returning home from the frozen wastelands of Middlesbrough not with just a respectable point but all three.

The man himself even took the time to comment on this in his post-match interview, cutely observing most teams usually stop a run of form like we’ve suffered with a well drilled 0-0 draw, especially after a tonking, not with a win away to a promotion chasing side.

I like to think that was Jackett's way of saying 'Hey, I'm still the man', but in his characteristically modest way, as it must have been a tough few weeks for him.

Yes, Middlesbrough are out-of-sorts at the moment too, but they still have a great record at home and are a good side if you let them play.

Yet up until they pulled a goal back it must have been extremely boring viewing for the very few neutrals watching on Sky as we looked very comfortable.

The most exciting part of the match was the very last minute when the home team thought they’d saved the game with an injury time equaliser.

But with an amazingly un-Millwall like bit of luck, the linesman actually spotted the goal scorer was offside when the ball was played.

This upset the Middlesbrough players who felt a Millwall player touched the ball in, but if you can't be deemed to be interfering with play a yard or so from the goal-line then when can you?

This logic didn't enter the mind of Nick Bailey who decided to push Alan Dunne in the face, which sparked a bit of handbags that David Forde was only too happy to get involved in.

I smiled and thought to myself that's why we won't go down and that's why you can always expect a reaction from us under Jackett because he holds a lot of stock in having Millwall type players in the team.

And while both Forde and Dunne have had their ups and downs, they are very much Millwall through and through and they'll never hide away.

James Henry, Jimmy Abdou and Danny Shittu were also their usual committed selves, as was John Marquis.

The senior players who were dropped for this match will hopefully have used their time on the bench to think about that.

We will need that kind of never-say-die attitude for our next game up at Elland Road when we face an erratic Leeds United team, especially as the players will pretty much be on their own up there thanks to the West Yorkshire Police.

Once again Millwall fans are being singled out for special treatment by the Yorkshire force, with the game moved to a 12.30pm kick-off and away fans having to pick up their tickets via a motorway service station.

I know non-Millwall fans will baulk at the idea of me suggesting we are being unfairly treated, but all I will say is how come the West Yorkshire Police can handle 3,000 Manchester United, Spurs and Chelsea fans for midweek fixtures but not little old us at weekends?

When we played up there without all these restrictions we took a modest 1,500 fans.

Hardly the barbarians at the gates, is it?

Ok, there was a bit of trouble, but even that felt like it was orchestrated by deliberate poor policing.

It could have easily been prevented by perhaps not letting all the fans out together after ex-Leeds player Jody Morris scored a controversial late equaliser from the penalty spot and then ran the entire length of the pitch to wind the home fans up.

However, even then the trouble was minor compared to the issues which arise when Leeds play bitter rivals Manchester United.

Whatever the reasoning is, it has in effect made this fixture a virtual non-event for all but the most dedicated /sado masochist of Millwall fans.

Which is a shame because Millwall v Leeds United games at The Den always have a special big match feel to them, all the more so for having a vociferous away support in the ground, although I believe we should allow even more Leeds fans to come.

I'll be keeping up-to-date via the internet and that weird BBC take on Sky's Soccer Saturday format, but with a heavy heart that we’ve been reduced to this.

Talking of heavy hearts, I couldn't believe the absolute circus West Ham United made of their tribute for the 20th anniversary of Bobby Moore's passing.

I believe that he is the one player who transcends our bitter rivalry, well the only one that comes close at least, and I have no problem with the 'appy 'ammers wanting to show some kind of tribute to their former player.

But I hope Tottenham's last minute winner made them sober enough to feel just a little bit uncomfortable about their club’s retrospective respect for England’s World Cup winning captain.

As an aside, I genuinely spent last night throwing up in the toilet - I'm pretty sure it was down to some dodgy pepperoni on my pizza, but it's hard to be completely sure.

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Comments (6)

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1:40am Wed 27 Feb 13

BigG says...

Man U and Chelsea? Police allow them to take 3000 odd to games cause all about the Money. Really Yorkshire Plod can't handle Us thats what it is. Same as the Welsh. Get Escort In and Out of their counties always, cause don't know how to handle us. Too clever for them. in everyway. Leeds, Cardiff Ha! Ha!
"Com'on you Lions"!!!!!!!!!!!
Man U and Chelsea? Police allow them to take 3000 odd to games cause all about the Money. Really Yorkshire Plod can't handle Us thats what it is. Same as the Welsh. Get Escort In and Out of their counties always, cause don't know how to handle us. Too clever for them. in everyway. Leeds, Cardiff Ha! Ha! "Com'on you Lions"!!!!!!!!!!! BigG
  • Score: 0

9:17am Wed 27 Feb 13

LeedsLeedsLeeds says...

First of all, I think we all know why you only get 1,000, because of your disgraceful reputation. Quite frankly you live up to it every single year so it isn't really a surprise to me. Do you not realise that us Leeds fans have exactly the same treatment, we get 1,000 but we sell it out time and time again, and us, unlike Millwall would sell out the whole of that end but yet again the police are scared of the vile animals. Just look how many times we go away with restricted allocations and early unsuitable kick-off times but always sell out. I have been to every away game this season, and you wouldn't believe how we are treat. Its like we are second citizens. Even at Millwall away this season, I saw various police officers just come over to Leeds fans, when we was walking on the police escort, and hit them with some force. Everyone hates Leeds and if you think you're treated badly get yourself to a Leeds away game.
First of all, I think we all know why you only get 1,000, because of your disgraceful reputation. Quite frankly you live up to it every single year so it isn't really a surprise to me. Do you not realise that us Leeds fans have exactly the same treatment, we get 1,000 but we sell it out time and time again, and us, unlike Millwall would sell out the whole of that end but yet again the police are scared of the vile animals. Just look how many times we go away with restricted allocations and early unsuitable kick-off times but always sell out. I have been to every away game this season, and you wouldn't believe how we are treat. Its like we are second citizens. Even at Millwall away this season, I saw various police officers just come over to Leeds fans, when we was walking on the police escort, and hit them with some force. Everyone hates Leeds and if you think you're treated badly get yourself to a Leeds away game. LeedsLeedsLeeds
  • Score: 0

4:19pm Wed 27 Feb 13

70HARB says...

Poor old Millwall supporters... always the victims!
Poor old Millwall supporters... always the victims! 70HARB
  • Score: 0

8:03pm Wed 27 Feb 13

LittleByLittle says...

The reason I think it's unfair is because there has been no trouble at a Millwall v Leeds fixture for nearly ten years now, so it seems odd that these restrictions are still in place.

I'm not suggesting it should now be a police free fixture and that we are all ready to hold hands and sing songs together...but is it really beyond the capability of WYP to properly police a relatively small football fixture - i.e. 22,000 odd home fans and circa 800-900 away fans (if allowed to come without restrictions).

Especially, as I state in the blog, they seem able to cope with 37,000 home fans and 3,000 away fans for a bitter derby between Leeds & Manchester United after dark.

Obviously I cannot comment on how Leeds fans are treated up and down the country - not being a Leeds fan. But I do find it interesting that you imply the reason we get treated unfairly by the WYP is because we deserve it on account of being 'vile animals'...before moaning about how Leeds fans are treated everywhere...surely there's something for you to contemplate there?

As for Harb, cheers...it's always nice to see Charlton fans showing sympathy for their neighbours.
The reason I think it's unfair is because there has been no trouble at a Millwall v Leeds fixture for nearly ten years now, so it seems odd that these restrictions are still in place. I'm not suggesting it should now be a police free fixture and that we are all ready to hold hands and sing songs together...but is it really beyond the capability of WYP to properly police a relatively small football fixture - i.e. 22,000 odd home fans and circa 800-900 away fans (if allowed to come without restrictions). Especially, as I state in the blog, they seem able to cope with 37,000 home fans and 3,000 away fans for a bitter derby between Leeds & Manchester United after dark. Obviously I cannot comment on how Leeds fans are treated up and down the country - not being a Leeds fan. But I do find it interesting that you imply the reason we get treated unfairly by the WYP is because we deserve it on account of being 'vile animals'...before moaning about how Leeds fans are treated everywhere...surely there's something for you to contemplate there? As for Harb, cheers...it's always nice to see Charlton fans showing sympathy for their neighbours. LittleByLittle
  • Score: 0

2:57pm Thu 28 Feb 13

LUFC69 says...

You took 96 up to Middlesborough with no restrictions and with a £30 travel and ticket special. Stop making excuses for your pathetic away support. Your a tin pot club with tin pot fans and do most of your shouting from behind a keyboard. Miiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii
iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii
iiiiiiiiiiiiiiihahah
a
You took 96 up to Middlesborough with no restrictions and with a £30 travel and ticket special. Stop making excuses for your pathetic away support. Your a tin pot club with tin pot fans and do most of your shouting from behind a keyboard. Miiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii iiiiiiiiiiiiiiihahah a LUFC69
  • Score: 0

10:26pm Thu 28 Feb 13

BigG says...

LUFC69 wrote:
You took 96 up to Middlesborough with no restrictions and with a £30 travel and ticket special. Stop making excuses for your pathetic away support. Your a tin pot club with tin pot fans and do most of your shouting from behind a keyboard. Miiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii

iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii

iiiiiiiiiiiiiiihahah

a
Bitter northern supporter, living in South cause you can't get a job in that s*** hole you come from. I shout here and Home and Away, ****! don't talk about things you know nothing about. Tinpot teams like yours. wouldn't still be in the cup would they. I was stupid to comment on that issue, cause I just knew I would get some Retard talking S***. Bye MUG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
[quote][p][bold]LUFC69[/bold] wrote: You took 96 up to Middlesborough with no restrictions and with a £30 travel and ticket special. Stop making excuses for your pathetic away support. Your a tin pot club with tin pot fans and do most of your shouting from behind a keyboard. Miiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii iiiiiiiiiiiiiiihahah a[/p][/quote]Bitter northern supporter, living in South cause you can't get a job in that s*** hole you come from. I shout here and Home and Away, ****! don't talk about things you know nothing about. Tinpot teams like yours. wouldn't still be in the cup would they. I was stupid to comment on that issue, cause I just knew I would get some Retard talking S***. Bye MUG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! BigG
  • Score: 0

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