Cardiff City Football Club can confirm that we will be returning our away tickets to Leeds United for the Sky Bet Championship match this Saturday.
Having consulted in-depth with official Supporter and Travel Groups based on initial control measures and the subsequent offer of only five hundred unrestricted tickets from Leeds, the shared view amongst supporter representatives and Club officials was to return the tickets as a matter of principle. We can also confirm that Leeds United have declined our request for a beam back to televise the match at Cardiff City Stadium.
Cardiff City Football Club CEO Ken Choo said, “It’s extremely disappointing to have reached this conclusion, but having listened to collective views and in knowledge of the positive record and reputation Cardiff City fans have built at away fixtures in recent years, we have no option but to return the low number of unrestricted tickets on offer out of respect for our supporters.
“Our preference was for Cardiff City fans to be granted the same respect and freedom of travel as provided to over 2,000 Leeds supporters for the corresponding fixture this season, and we are frustrated that this could not be permitted.
“As is the case at Cardiff City Stadium, supporter safety should always be the priority. With the intelligence and information available however, we consider the event to be routine and manageable and that that the travel and ticket restrictions in place are substantially out of proportion to any perceived risk. As stated by our Supporter Groups, we also believe that West Yorkshire Police could manage the event without issue or restrictions, if they chose to do so.
“For the game on Saturday we are frustrated at not being able to support our players in what we consider to be fair numbers and also question the rationale in denying our request to show the fixture via beam back at Cardiff City Stadium. Doing so would at least allow our supporters to experience the match, albeit to a lesser degree than preferred.
“That said, looking to next season we can assure Cardiff City and Leeds United fans that we will continue to facilitate sensible travel and access measures, generating the best possible match atmosphere from both sets of passionate supporters.”
Cardiff City Supporters Club Chairman Clive Francis said, “Cardiff City Supporters Club fully endorses this decision and is grateful to the Football Club for supporting the stance taken by the various travel groups.
“We appreciate that there will be some fans who will be disappointed by this decision. However from the feeling generated by those supporters who travelled on the CCSC coaches to Reading on Saturday, the majority of those travelling fans were in favour of a boycott of this fixture based on the derisory ticket allocation and second rate treatment supporters have received during previous visits.
“Hopefully by making this stance the Supporters of Cardiff City Football Club will be treated with more respect in the future. The ‘bad old days’ of unacceptable behaviour by a small number of ‘fans’ have thankfully been left far behind us now. This is now reflected in the respectful treatment received from the majority of clubs we visit. Let’s hope that this message hits home loud and clear to Leeds United Football Club.”
A spokesperson for Cardiff City Supporters' Trust said: "We fully support Cardiff City's decision to refuse the limited number of tickets on offer.
"Cardiff City didn't impose any restrictions on Leeds fans earlier this season and we can see no reason why Leeds can't reciprocate.
"There was an agreement at a meeting before Saturday's match that Cardiff City will not retaliate against Leeds United fans next season and they will be treated the same as any others. This is entirely the right approach."
Cardiff City will continue discussions with the Football League on this matter in the weeks ahead, while we would advise all Cardiff City supporters not to seek entry to Elland Road for this fixture. As to be expected, no away tickets will be made available to Cardiff City fans on Saturday.