Are the Leeds fans headed back to Europe?

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For the fans in England, having the most arrests at the end of the season is worn as a badge of honour. That prize went to Leeds United over the course of the 2019/2020 season as the West Yorkshire club racked up 52 arrests during their Championship-winning season. One might have thought that a party atmosphere would have descended over the club during a season where they blew all the competition out the water and in doing so keep the fans from fighting, and to a very large extent, it did.

Indeed, the numbers were greatly amplified after 28 arrests took place during Leeds United’s centenary game against Birmingham City that saw the two sets of supporters clash. 

In the defence of Leeds United, Birmingham City is a club that certainly enjoys the odd skirmish as well and it has to be said, their EFL Championship betting odds of 21/20 to be relegated won’t do anything to make the mood at St Andrew's any more convivial. Unsurprisingly, the West Midlands club came in second in the country in terms of arrests having racked up 49 arrests during the season. 

So with this in mind, the government’s official findings perhaps shine a rather unfair light on Leeds during their promotion-winning season. Anyone fortunate enough to be at Elland Road and see one of Leeds’ games during this historic season would have encountered a carnival type of environment as the Whites marched proudly back to the Premier League after 16 years spent in the Championship and League One.  

Indeed, Marcelo Bielsa has made the fans at Leeds prouder than any other manager has made the fan base in over two decades. For this reason, life at Elland road over the 2019/2020 season had a certain festive feel to it with supporters bouncing in the stands. That euphoria has followed Leeds into the Premier League with the club seemingly making a statement every weekend with their unique style of play. 

Impressive wins over Leicester, Everton, and Aston Villa have made Leeds the talk of the footballing world since their return to the top-flight. There is even a suggestion that the Leeds fans may have the chance of heading back to Europe next season with the club in sight of a Europa League qualifying position. How the legion of Leeds fans would be greeted in cities like Rome, Marseille and Kyiv remains to be seen. Admittedly, it has been a long time since Leeds United were playing on the continent but the welcoming party from fellow ultras may not be as warm as one might have previously imagined. 

Whether it’s this season or the next, under the management of legendary manager Marcelo Bielsa, Leeds look destined to return to European competition following an absence of almost twenty years. Sooner rather than later, there will be another set of fans making their way through Europe’s most picturesque piazzas as they follow their team's journey around the continent. Indeed, fans across the English Channel best begin preparing to host Leeds United very soon.