Cellino in U-turn as Derby clash will be televised

Leeds United owner Massimo Cellino has decided that Leeds’ clash with Derby County with now be televised after a last minute decision, according to reports.

Reports emerged on Monday night that owner Massimo Cellino had instructed Elland Road staff to refuse entry to any of Sky’s employees.

The Football League stated that Leeds would be charged with misconduct and face sanctions if Sky were denied access to the ground to set up and broadcast the Tuesday evening fixture.

However, Cellino has stated that this will be the last time that Sky are allowed access to Elland Road to broadcast a game on television.

Leeds are due to receive a fee of around £100,000 from Sky for the clash with Derby, on top of revenue that is paid on a seasonal-basis by the League for clubs put on television.

The Whites have already been selected for 11 television games shown on Sky Sports, and Cellino argues that this is costing them revenue and is affecting home attendances.

The fixture itself was never in doubt, but it remained unclear whether the game would be shown after Sky employees spent most of Tuesday waiting outside of Elland Road.

In a statement on their club website, Leeds United said that “Leeds United have reluctantly allowed Sky cameras into Elland Road to broadcast tonight’s fixture against Derby County.

Leeds United have noted that the majority of press reports on the matter have quite rightly appreciated that the club’s issues with the Football League relate in part to the entirely disproportionate number of times Sky have selected the club for live transmission.

“It is not just the number of times the club has been selected, but the fact the adjoining fixtures are also then disrupted which adversely affects the players, the club’s logistical arrangements and the fans’ arrangements.

“It is clear to the club that its key supporters, the Season Ticket holders, have also had enough of this constant alteration, often at short notice, to the fixture list to accommodate Sky.”

It goes onto say that “the league, despite the club having challenged them through the appropriate legal routes, continue to try and alter our schedule by insisting fixtures are changed to suit Sky, including Brighton & Hove Albion away from a Saturday to a Monday in February.

“Given Sky are to show 92 live games this season, a fair allocation would be four home games per club – so the selection by Sky is clearly unfair and the league are allowing this.

“The Football League regulations are supposed to be there to protect the integrity of the sporting competition, not to be used as a stick to beat the club on behalf of Sky.”

The statement concludes by saying “Leeds United Season Ticket holders have had enough of these fixture changes, the players and staff have had enough, and Leeds United Football Club has had enough.

“It is to be noted that the League threaten a disrepute charge against the club. 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.”

A spokesperson from the Football League has told the72.co.uk that “Sky Sports personnel have now been granted access to Elland Road and this evening’s match between Leeds United and Derby County will be broadcast as scheduled.”

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