Around 1,000 Leeds United fans marched through the streets of Leeds city centre in protest against club owner Massimo Cellino at the weekend.
Fans’ group Time To Go Massimo joined other supporters opposed to the Italian’s ownership of the club at City Square before embarking on a march to Elland Road ahead of the Sky Bet Championship clash against Reading which ended in a 3-2 win for the Whites.
Hundreds more supporters joined the march on Saturday afternoon as it came closer to the stadium.
Accompanied by a police escort, supporters carried banners calling for Cellino to quit the club and others let loose purple smoke against a backdrop of chanting and singing to make their feelings known.
Traffic was momentarily disrupted at times along the 2.2-mile route which took fans through the Holbeck area on their way to the ground.
A spokesman for the Time To Go Massimo group said: “We are absolutely sick of our club being dragged through the media and looking like an absolute mess.
“It’s been taken through the gutter and everything he (Cellino) has done in the last two years has not been in the best interests of Leeds United Football Club.
“It’s difficult to come out and do something like this but we will never achieve anything if we keep quiet.”
Ahead of the weekend’s game the Time To Go Massimo group placed an advertisement in the sports section of Saturday’s Yorkshire Evening Post to promote the march and said it had also advertised the protest extensively on social media.
Season ticket holder Scott McCormack, 34, of Bramley, was on the march and he said: “We want to make a stand.
“I haven’t been in the ground for the last three months. I would rather not give him another penny – and it is not just me who feels this way.”
Another supporter, John Bond, 38, of Bradford, who is also a season ticket holder, said: “I know a bloke who has today driven up from Plymouth to take part in the protest. He is not going to the game and will be driving straight back home. That in itself tells me there is something seriously wrong in our football club.”
Richard Smith, 48, of Horsforth, said he believed the club had shown no ambition under Cellino’s ownership and that the majority of fans now wanted him to leave.
Mr Smith said: “Thousands of fans are not going to games because what’s served up there is woeful.”
Another Leeds fan, who only wanted to be known as Paul, 50, of Beeston, said he was not attending Saturday’s game after taking part in the march, saying: “It’s one thing after another with Leeds and with Cellino it’s a whole series of things that have made me march. Short of not going to the match, what else can you do? A lot of people feel this way.”
Time To Go Massimo, which is funded by unhappy supporters, mounted a sustained campaign to oust Cellino from Elland Road in February.
Last week the group 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 – partner of former Leeds head coach Neil Redfearn and herself an ex-player – left the club last summer.