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Old 19th October 2015, 11:19   #1
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Default Leeds chairman Cellino protests Football League's TV games stance

Leeds chairman Cellino protests Football League's TV games stance
By PA Sport
October 17 2015

Leeds chairman Massimo Cellino will limit the sale of tickets for the club's future English Championship away matches to 2,000 in protest at the Football League's stance on televised games.

The Yorkshire club will have featured in 10 televised matches by the turn of the year and Cellino feels they are being "exploited."

"We understand the value that Leeds United brings to the Football League, but we should be shown respect for that -- we shouldn't be exploited because of it," Cellino said in a statement on the club's official website.

"We have used the correct channels in appealing to the Football League but the issues remain, so we have no choice but to take strong action to protect the future of Leeds United.

"Football League rules state that clubs must make a provision for at least 2,000 away tickets to be sold. Therefore, in line with those requirements, we will be selling no more than 2,000 tickets for each away game from now on.

"We understand that this means a number of fans will now be unable to attend certain away games, but this is the sacrifice needed to make the Football League take notice -- we have to vote with our feet."

He said Leeds is losing money on televised games and season-ticket holders are missing out on rescheduled fixtures - but his decision has already angered fans.

Leeds regularly sell out their ticket allocation for away matches, with an average of 2,593 last season -- the highest in the Football League.

"At away games our supporters are being taken advantage of because they travel in such large numbers," Cellino said. This unfairly benefits the home clubs, who increase the price of tickets, food and drinks for our fans. As a club we can no longer continue to be exploited like this and we are calling for change.

"If these issues cannot be addressed then I fear for the future of Leeds United, which is why I am taking this stance and calling for the fans to follow. The future of our club is at stake."

But fans have already urged Cellino to reconsider his decision.

A Leeds United Supporters' Trust spokesman said: "We fail to see how limiting our allocation at away games assists this.

"If anything a large away following making the point live on TV would be 100 times more effective than restricting numbers. The Trust is also astonished that the club, through the chairman, makes this statement and decision without the basics of consultation with fans groups.

"If the Trust had been contacted we would have wanted to point out that the power of a wide support like ours across the country lies in its presence, not its absence."
Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. Martin Luther King
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