Sky games Live
Sky cameras eventually permitted entrance to Elland Road. Getty Images
Leeds United have "reluctantly" allowed Sky Sports cameras into Elland Road ahead of their live televised match with Derby County on Tuesday night (29 December).
The Championship side initially barred staff from the media giant from entering their ground on Monday (28 December), a protest prompted by the club's Italian owner Massimo Cellino. Including Tuesday's match with Derby, Sky have chosen 10 Leeds matches for live coverage this season already, forcing the club to frequently change match times and dates with Cellino claiming the changes also reduced attendances.
But after the initial attempts to defy Football League regulation, the Yorkshire club have eventually backed down, but condemned the league authorities for "allowing Sky to unfairly disrupt Leeds United for their own commercial purposes."
More about Leeds United
"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."
The statement added Leeds were threatened with a disrepute charge. "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. 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."
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