Leeds defend open-top bus celebrations

Last Updated: 22/07/20 11:22pm

Leeds United have defended their decision to put on open-top bus celebrations for their players outside Elland Road despite the gathering of a large crowd.

Thousands of supporters congregated outside the ground for the final night of the Championship season against Charlton, despite warnings not to do so due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Celebrations were had in Leeds city centre and outside the ground at the weekend, in which at least one police officer was hurt, and a Leeds city councillor subsequently warned against a repeat on Wednesday night.

Leeds United's Liam Cooper lifts the Sky Bet Championship trophy
Leeds United’s Liam Cooper lifts the Sky Bet Championship trophy

The club insist the decision to allow the players to celebrated in front of the fans was in consultation with council and safety groups and designed to give fans a reason to end their celebrations and disperse.

A statement read: “Following consultation with the SAG and council, Leeds United arranged for a bus to be parked outside the East Stand reception as a contingency to assist dispersal should a crowd congregate at Elland Road, despite a month-long campaign from the club and supporter groups to encourage supporters to stay at home.

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Leeds United celebrate their Championship triumph as they lift the trophy after their 4-0 win against Charlton Athletic
Leeds United celebrate their Championship triumph as they lift the trophy after their 4-0 win against Charlton Athletic

“The safety group believed was that a brief appearance from the players with the Championship trophy would help to signal an end to proceedings, encouraging fans to head home safely. In challenging circumstances fan safety has always been our priority.”

Leeds sealed the Addicks’ relegation to League One with a 4-0 win, after clinching promotion back to the Premier League in the penultimate round of fixtures.

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Source : Sky Sports