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Elland Road
  Leeds United v Peterborough United
League One
Saturday, January 24th, 2009, 3pm
Geoff Harman
(Peterborough United fan)

1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be):

Have followed footie for more years than I care to remember – Elland road was always one of the ‘BIG’ grounds that I had never visited.
2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking? 

Very easy to find, just off the M621. Could not really miss the ground with that HUGE stand!!! The official website had very clear directions and the maps even showed what the road signs looked like at each major step. Leeds have got this aspect down to a ‘T’, BUT the info said that there was FREE parking at the ground. If so, I never found it! There was LOADS of parking right outside of the ground, at an average cost of £5. If there is free parking at the club, then the location needs to be clearly shown. I suspect that the car parks are free on ‘Non- match’ days, for conferences etc, but this is not specified. Again this needs to be clarified.

3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly? 

Mixed bag here really. Experiences ranged from a little 12(?) year old walking up to me and calling me ‘scum’, to the friendly fans who discussed the relative merits of the teams. 

We avoided the ‘Peacock’, as advised by others- anyway, it had ‘bouncers’ on the door! Just did our traditional ‘outside tour’ of the ground, embarrassing my lads with taking photos at every opportunity, including the Billy Bremner statue outside of the club shop. Bought the compulsory(?) souvenir teddy etc.. 

We all enjoyed the Chicken Balti pies at the ground, priced at £2.50, but the serving girls looked at me as if I was mad when I asked for a fork! After much discussion they came to the conclusion that they did not do them!  

The first servery we came to was tucked under the very old corner stand. There were seats here to enjoy your refreshments, but the whole area was just a depressing, gloomy concrete mess. 

However, our party split up, as we had tickets for different parts of the ground. I went through to our seats in the South Stand. Here the facilities were greatly improved – light and more cheery, with no queuing, and with much better toilets.  

4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the ground? 

The ground is dominated by the HUGE East stand. This appears very modern, with excellent sight lines. However, they only opened up the bottom section, which itself was not very well populated. Strange, as the other sides, which looked very old fashioned, with many pillars in the way, were full. Perhaps they were different prices?  

Part of our party were located in the yellow seats in the corner stand, butting on to the East stand. These had several pillars in the way, and the leg room was awful. These were the first seats, sold to our season ticket holders!! The rest of the party were in the South stand, where the view was fine and the seats had plenty of leg room. 

5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, toilets etc.. 

Posh played really well, and we deserved at least one point from this excellent game. The difference was a fairly late substitution, bringing on Beckford. He destroyed us! The scoreline of 3-1 to Leeds I felt rather flattered them, BUT it is about converting chances!  It was no consolation listening to the local radio on the way home, where the opinion was that this was the best Leeds had played at home this season (so far) and that their Goalie had his best game! 

The headline on the Leeds website the next day said ‘Becks dumps Posh!!!’  - How cruel.......   LOL!  

Unfortunately, as we have begun to play well and are in a high position in the division (at the time of writing!!) we are taking with us a lot of ‘difficult’ fans. The stewards were great in my opinion – very helpful, BUT the problems came when they tried to enforce the sitting down rule.  

Having taken young lads to games over the years, I appreciate the efforts in trying to help everyone see, but the home fans were allowed to stand up in the adjoining stands. This led to a lot of conflict between some of our fans and the stewards. Difficult one this! I can see both sides to the arguments. However, the abuse given to some of the stewards was a disgrace- and in front of little children!  

6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

We parked in the same car park as the official coaches. They were escorted out swiftly by the police. No problems getting away back onto the motorway.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out: 

Travel and parking were easy, natives generally seemed ok, although I have heard of some problems from others who attended the game. 

The home ‘atmosphere’ was poor, until Leeds scored their second. The Posh fans were great in their support – Well it’s a big day out for us!  

Facilities mixed, depending on where you sat. Opt for the South stand if you can, not the corner stand.  

My biggest gripe was over the cost!  There were NO discounts for students! I had to pay £26 each for my sons! This is a disgrace. I know of many lads who refused to go to Leeds because of this. – Students can’t afford these prices (unless they have a ‘soft’ Dad who takes pity on them...)   

Still a great day out, at a major stadium. Unfortunately, apart from the East stand, it is looking its age. Obviously money has been a problem in recent years, but it did look generally quite ‘run down’.

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