Chairman's Notes: Leeds Utd
A warm welcome from Turf Moor as we host the players, management, and directors of Leeds United, who have made the relatively short trip across the Pennines for today’s Premier League fixture.
It has been over 45 years since these two historic clubs last met here in the top-flight of English football, and while we must wait a few days longer for the return of fans, this ‘War of the Roses’ will be a fixture that our supporters can hopefully look forward to attending again next season, following our dominant 2-0 win at Fulham on Monday.
Confirming our Premier League status with three games still to play is testament to the incredible work ethic of the management and players, who have demonstrated incredible character to bounce back from such a tough start to the season.
Since taking ownership of the club on New Year’s Eve, I have been delighted in the progress we’ve made up the table and some memorable victories – particularly away from home - which no doubt will be celebrated in a few weeks, when the club live streams our Player of the Year awards night.
But while we will celebrate those moments, you can be assured that this group of players will not take their foot of the gas.
Today’s game is the first of three matches that offer us a chance to end the season on a high note and lay down a marker to pick up again in August.
Off the field, there has also been a lot of progress in preparation for next season, with the announcement that 3,500 fans will be able to attend our final home match of the season against Liverpool, with a ballot for free tickets held amongst our season ticket holders.
Our first match at Turf Moor with fans for 14 long months, this is a significant milestone for the club, and it felt right that it should be used as an opportunity to reward our loyal season ticket holders for their ongoing support throughout the pandemic.
While the matchday experience will be very different to the norm, it is a crucial first step for the club, and an opportunity to test new protocols that are likely to be required in August, when we hope a much larger capacity will be permitted by authorities.
I appreciate that there are many fans in Phase Two of our renewals process who would love to purchase a Season Ticket for next season and are frustrated that it has not yet been possible to secure their seats.
However, until we have confirmation of the capacity we can safely accommodate, the club is sadly just not able to guarantee additional seats, with over 10,000 supporters having already renewed their tickets.
I hope we will be able to share more news on that sales process before the end of the season, in addition to some exciting updates about our plans to improve your matchday experience at Turf Moor.
Until then, I trust you will enjoy today’s game at home and cheer on the Clarets.