CLUB STATEMENT: SKY SPORTS
A club statement regarding this evening's fixture with Derby County...
Published 29 December 2015 at 02:00
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.
Leeds United were required to play Wolverhampton Wanderers on Thursday December 17 followed by Preston North End at home on Sunday December 20, followed by Nottingham Forest on Sunday evening and then Derby County tonight .
Recent good results have been achieved despite the alterations to the fixture list, but at great cost to the players' fitness and a substantial injury list .The festive plans of supporters have also been entirely ruined by Sky's live TV selections.
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.
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.