The Football League 'Regret' Late Change

Last updated : 20 January 2016 By Phil Hay

The league blamed a legal challenge by United for the delay in confirming the change.

Sky caused anger amongst fans of both Leeds and Middlesbrough by announcing yesterday that the forthcoming Championship fixture would be moved for a live broadcast - less than four weeks before the original date of Saturday, February 13.

Boro will visit Elland Road on Monday, February 15, the 13th time Leeds have been chosen for television coverage this season and a switch which will cause widespread inconvenience to supporters of the two clubs.

Leeds owner Massimo Cellino has been fighting the Football League over fixture disruption all season, claiming Sky’s selection of United’s games is excessive.

The Italian’s frustration boiled over last month when he threatened to ban Sky from showing United’s 2-2 draw with Derby County at Elland Road on December 29.

Sky’s employees were initially shut out of the ground but Cellino belatedly allowed them entry after the Football League threatened to bring misconduct charges against Leeds.

In a statement released at the time, United said they had taken legal action in an attempt to prevent certain fixture changes.

The Football League insisted Sky had attempted to select the clash with Boro in December but had been prevented from doing so until this week because of United’s legal challenges.

A Football League spokesman said today: “It is a matter of regret to the Football League that supporters of Leeds United and Middlesbrough have only been informed of the new date for this match at such a late stage.

“Like other matches being broadcast during February, this game was originally selected for transmission by Sky Sports in early December with home clubs asked to make the necessary arrangements at the time.

“However, as was referenced by Leeds United in its statement of December 29, the club has challenged the League ‘through the appropriate legal routes’ which has prevented confirmation of the date of this fixture until now.

“Due to ongoing legal restrictions the League cannot comment further at this time.”

Read more: