CELLINO IS NOT PURE BUT HE’S GOT A POINT...
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.