Reach for the Sky! Leeds fans in TV fair deal demand

Alex Mowatt scores in the 3-0 win over Huddersfield Town.
Alex Mowatt scores in the 3-0 win over Huddersfield Town.
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LEEDS United fans are up in arms over the frequency with which their games have been rescheduled away from the traditional 3pm Saturday kick-off time.

The Leeds United Supporters’ Trust (LUST) has called on the Football League to limit the number of games per season that can be moved after the publication of fixture lists.

Leeds have had 10 games moved for broadcast already this season, the joint highest total in the Championship alongside Derby and Wolverhampton.

Leeds United prove big draw for TV cameras – to detriment of fans

An investigation by the Yorkshire Post has revealed that live games featuring Leeds United are the most popular in the second tier in terms of viewing figures.

With Sky Sports locked in a ratings war with BT Sport, our figures show that in the 12.30pm Saturday slot between February 2013 and February 2014, Leeds average in excess of 150,000 more viewers than the Championship’s average for games not featuring the club.

That, in part, explains the frequent movement of United games by Sky Sports for live broadcast.

Discussions between the police, broadcasters and clubs can also be responsible for games being rescheduled.

LUST have, therefore, asked that the Football League implement a three-month notice period for any fixture reshuffling.

A spokesperson for the organisation said: “These figures go to show just how massive the support for Leeds United is nationally.

“To attract such viewing figures while our loyal support still turns up in numbers to games, like it did at the Huddersfield game last week, is yet another testament to the country’s best supporter base.

“Those fans are deserving of better than to be subject to constant fixture changes, be they caused by Sky, the Police or other clubs’ fixture changes.

“We call on the Football League to consider setting a maximum number of games per season that clubs supporters can be subjected to fixture change and a minimum 3 months’ notice period.”