The Football League Paper - - NEWS -

FOR once, it’s hard not to sym­pa­thise with Leeds chair­man Mas­simo Cellino. Hav­ing fix­tures moved for TV is a night­mare for fans who reg­u­larly see their so­cial lives and travel plans screwed over on the whims of Sky.

Leeds have been on telly nine times this sea­son, more than ev­ery Cham­pi­onship side ex­cept For­est. The lat­est, a 2-2 draw at home to Derby on Tues­day, saw Cellino briefly threaten to ban the cam­eras in protest at the dis­rup­tion.

It was a point that needed to be made but let’s not hail the Ital­ian as some kind of con­sumer cham­pion just yet.

Re­mem­ber, this is a man who whacked a lu­di­crous £5 ‘pie charge’ on ad­mis­sion prices and, for some games, charges £36 to away fans. His sole con­cern is the bot­tom line. Cellino ar­gued that ap­pear­ing on TV re­duced at­ten­dances but he might want to ex­am­ine his own role in dwin­dling gates be­fore he starts blam­ing Sky.

Forget the non­sense about gates. You didn’t see Cellino spurn­ing Sky’s money when the con­tract was signed so he can’t whinge about cash now.

The real is­sue here is one of fairness. Sky’s de­ci­sion to put Leeds on the box twice in three days gave Derby an ex­tra 24 hours rest. That’s not fair.

Supporters who work shifts are forced to use hol­i­day or miss matches to at­tend mid­week games. That’s not fair.

And a sup­porter of Charl­ton – shown just twice this sea­son – pays just as much for a Sky sub­scrip­tion as a sup­porter of Leeds. That isn’t fair ei­ther.

Un­til those prob­lems are ad­dressed, Sky de­serve the abuse they took from the stands at El­land Road on Tues­day night.

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