Leeds ‘reluctantly’ allows broadcaster access after standoff
LEEDS, England —
English club Leeds has ended its standoff with a domestic broadcaster by taking a late decision to ”reluctantly” allow television cameras into the team’s stadium for a game on Tuesday.
Leeds’ home match against Derby in the second-tier League Championship looked in doubt after the club denied staff of Sky Sports access to its Elland Road ground on the day before, and the morning of, the game. Leeds owner Massimo Cellino is unhappy at the number of times the team has been shown on TV this season, because it has disrupted kickoff times and match dates.
The Football League said Leeds could be charged with misconduct if access wasn’t provided, and the club announced less than six hours before kickoff that the match would be broadcast.
”It is the League who are bringing their own competition into disrepute by unfairly prejudicing Leeds (and certain other clubs) by allowing Sky to unfairly disrupt Leeds United for their own commercial purposes,” Leeds said in a statement.
The club said Leeds had played an ”entirely disproportionate number of times” on TV, disrupting adjoining matches which ”adversely affects the players, the club’s logistical arrangements and the fans’ arrangements.”
It is the latest controversy involving Leeds’ eccentric owner.
The Italian businessman is currently awaiting an appeal date as he fights a second ban for breaching the league’s owners’ and directors’ test following a tax evasion conviction in Italy. He has also fired six managers in his nearly two years in charge.