Steve Evans claims Football League want to keep Leeds in the Championship

Elland Road East Stand

Evans is unhappy with how Leeds United's fixtures have been moved around due to television.

Steve Evans has hinted that Leeds United's regular appearances on television this season are part of a conspiracy to keep the Whites in the Football League, the Yorkshire Evening Post reports.

Evans' club will have appeared on Sky Sports 10 times before the end of the year, which has led to several rearrangements of fixtures, and he believes that Leeds' place as a supposed sleeping-giant has forced the Football League to take drastic measures to keep them away from returning to the top flight.

"I suppose if you're the biggest club in the Football League, the Football League perhaps want to keep you in the Football League. That's how it feels when you're in Elland Road," he said.

Owner Massimo Cellino has previously requested to see a copy of the agreement between the Football League and Sky (via Yorkshire Evening Post) - to which there has been no response as yet - but it appears to be in this last month that things have reached boiling point. 

As well as having to play a rearranged fixture against Wolves last week - before a weekend clash with Preston - Evans' men have seen their Boxing Day game against Nottingham Forest moved back a day, which has also resulted in their fixture with Derby County being pushed back 24 hours. Both of the games are to be shown on television.

And while the match against the Rams was always set to be played two days after the Forest game, the timing of the game will reduce the recovery time Leeds have before their first fixture of 2016, against MK Dons. And with Derby's Boxing Day game remaining untouched, Paul Clement's men will have an extra day of preparation before they meet at Elland Road. 

As mentioned, the tensions between Leeds and the Football League have risen this month as the run of fixtures ahead comes shortly after it was announced that United's game against Brighton in February has been pushed back two days and will now be played on a Monday night. Rather than the impact the rearrangement will have on events on the pitch, the main complaint appears to be based around the travel disruption for Leeds fans heading to the south coast.

Tensions between the Football League and Leeds have existed for decades, all the way back to the Don Revie era. In recent years, as well as the fixtures complaints, the Football League most notably failed to endear themselves to Leeds fans when they forced the Yorkshire outfit to begin the 2007-08 season 15 points adrift of everyone before a ball had been kicked.

And regardless of the Football League's real motivation for moving Leeds' games, Evans will be hoping that his assessment of the situation creates the same 'us against them' mentality within the squad that motivated Dennis Wise's side to clear their 15 point deficit in the shortest time possible.

Only this time, he will be hoping that his words galvanise the club, and help the team go on the kind of winning run that ensures that from next season, they are back in the Premier League, and no longer have to deal with the Football League.

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch