‘End this farce’: Leeds United fans plan city centre protest march against Cellino this weekend

Massimo Cellino.
Massimo Cellino.
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Leeds fans plan to march in protest against club owner Massimo Cellino through city centre streets before Saturday’s home Sky Bet Championship game against Reading.

Fans’ group Time To Go Massimo will join other supporters opposed to the Italian’s ownership of the club at City Square before embarking on a march to Elland Road.

“Time To Go Massimo will be marching with fellow fans in protest against the toxic regime that is currently occupying the Leeds United that we hold so dearly to our hearts,” the group said in a statement.

“Our march route will take us from City Square and will cover 2.2 miles of ground through Leeds city centre and Holbeck, before we reach the East Stand of Elland Road to tell Mr Cellino to end the farce of his ownership.”

The group has placed an advertisement in the sports section of Saturday’s Yorkshire Evening Post to promote the march and said it has advertised extensively on social media.

“The protest march has the full support of West Yorkshire Police, who will be there chaperoning the march in its entirety,” the group said.

“We’d also like to issue this statement to fellow fans tired of the state of Leeds United, asking them to join us in our peaceful protest on Saturday and to tell Massimo Cellino to sell the club to one of the infinitely more credible parties we know are waiting in the wings.”

Time To Go Massimo mounted a sustained campaign to oust Cellino from Elland Road in February and earlier this week called on the 59-year-old to “end this farce” after former employee Lucy Ward won her claim for unfair dismissal and sexual discrimination against the club.

Former academy welfare officer Ward - an ex-player and partner of former Leeds head coach Neil Redfearn - left the club last summer.

Cellino’s two-year reign in charge of Leeds has been littered with controversy and managerial sackings. The former Cagliari owner is currently on his sixth head coach while also appealing a second Football League disqualification for tax evasion.

Last week his son and Leeds director Edoardo was charged by the Football Association after he called a supporter a “spastic” on social media.

Time To Go Massimo, funded by unhappy supporters, has carried out a number of protests including the staging of a mock funeral, a fly over and the projection of several anti-Cellino messages onto the side of Elland Road.

The statement added: “Our last home game marked two years since Massimo took over at Elland Road, it might as well have been two minutes.

“This Saturday, (Reading manager) Brian McDermott will return to our club to discover that Leeds United very much remains the circus that he left behind. This cannot go on.”