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The judge ruled the Championship outfit should be repaid for services that were wrongly categorised for the past three seasons by West Yorkshire Police

Leeds United’s High Court case to decide who should pay to police their home matches has ruled in their favour.

The Championship outfit asked for the court to clarify which services supplied by West Yorkshire Police for the previous three seasons fell under special police services, after paying for the policing during this period themselves.

This involved policing around the extended areas around the stadium, and Mr Justice Eady ruled it should not be ruled as special police services and the club should be repaid.

He said: "More generally, it seems wrong to discount the majority of well-behaved fans who come to Elland Road, whether club supporters or visitors, all of whom retain their status as members of the public. In that capacity, they too are entitled to expect police protection.

"In any event, I consider that there would be insuperable difficulties in seeking to sub-divide people, in public highways and other spaces, when trying to assess to whose benefit such duties were carried out.

"They are intended to keep the Queen's peace in the interests of the general public.

"During the season, home matches take place generally once a fortnight. One can only admire the stoicism of such officers who are required to carry out these stressful duties, not because of some genuine emergency, but simply as a matter of routine."

He also refused to deny his ruling could have a lasting impact on other services such as cycle races on public roads or by escorting articulated lorries.

"The situations are not comparable,” he added. “Police officers performing such duties are not there, normally, for the purpose of preventing public disorder or crimes of violence."

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