Date:Friday May 23 2008
Vital Leeds member White York explains just how well organised the club were when it came to selling playoff final tickets.
“I arrived at Elland Road with a season ticket holder at 4am yesterday to queue to get 3 more tickets one for me and two for our boys.
When we arrived there were about 2000 fans already there. It was a great atmosphere. The queue ran back from the ticket office around Fullerton Car Park and then into the open ground used as a car park next to Fullerton. The Queue then spiralled around this area making 3 circles.
In the middle of all this a least three games of football were taking place. Loads of people were camping and several had made bonfires to keep warm. It was like a carnival everyone was in great spirits it was a really happy place. Two big worries though were we too late with everybody able to buy up to 9 tickets and not a steward or a police officer to be seen.
At about 6am or just after a couple of police and stewards arrived and told the front of the queue to start packing up and move forward.
Within about 5 minutes as the queue started to move people realised that they didn't have time to pack up tents and bags and the like with the queue bunching up really quickly.
As a result the spiralled Queue started jumping places and walking past people packing up and the next thing was a mass stampede charging for the one and only entrance. We were some of the more polite fans who tried to stay in the queue, fools, and as a result didn't get through the entrance unlike loads of people who had just turned up at about 6am.
Result the Police arrived about 7am and closed the gate formed up in a nice line around us and started treating us like animals. I have to say at this point their must have been about 2000 fans who got through the gate and about 2 to 3 thousand who didn't.
We were then held in this queue until 4pm with no information, no one from the club telling us what was happening and the police saying they didn't know either. Throughout all this the thousands of fans stayed calm and peaceful. Outside of the gate there was absolutely no trouble even when the police failed to stopped further queue jumping.
About 4pm the police divided this queue into 2 groups the first one that I was in were told we would be able to get in and queue for tickets. They then started letting us through in groups of about 40. The tickets sold out about 6pm when there about 200 people left in front of me.
The club stewards then appeared mob handed told us all the tickets were gone and to clear off.
Thank You Leeds United for treating me and my friend with such respect for looking after us and ensuring that everyone was treated fairly.
Just to add salt to the wounds touts were appearing at the back of the queue with bundles of tickets they had bought and selling them for 5 times face value.”
If anyone else has experiences from the playoff ticket queues then please click hereand e-mail Vital Leeds United.
Date:Friday May 23 2008
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