Newcastle could solve Leeds United owner Massimo Cellino's biggest gripe

With Newcastle and Aston Villa in the Championship, Leeds United may feature on television a little less.

The size and potential of Leeds United is what made the club so attractive for owner Massimo Cellino to buy in the first place, but in addition to enormous expectation, there can be practical drawbacks.

Cellino expressed his anger last season at the number of times Leeds were chosen for live television broadcasts by Sky, even refusing to let cameras into Elland Road ahead of the fixture with Derby in December, before relenting at the last moment, The Guardian reported.

Leeds even issued a statement rallying against Sky and the Football League last year, accusing them of unfairly treating his team and other big clubs, citing a lack of gate receipts for televised games as well as upheaval for supporters when matches are re-arranged.

The club website statement read: “It is the league who are bringing their own competition into disrepute by unfairly prejudicing Leeds (and certain other clubs) by allowing Sky to unfairly disrupt Leeds United for their own commercial purposes.”

As well as early Saturday kick-offs, Leeds played on Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesday, and even Thursday night during the course of the past season.

Only a wilting on pitch campaign saw their televised matches subside late on, with the team well outside the play-off picture.

Help at hand

Leeds may have had a decade out of the Premier League, but there is a fair argument to state that until recently they have been the biggest club in the Championship in terms of fanbase.

Now the relegations of Aston Villa and Newcastle United threaten that notion, and will spark huge interest in next season's Championship campaign, set to be more competitive than ever before.

Both teams have big followings and are renowned around the world, with big points to prove, and will be among the promotion favourites.

This threatens to shunt Leeds to one side when it comes to live match selection, and should result in a better balance, or a more welcome one to owner Massimo Cellino, who could have one less battle to fight off the pitch as a result.


Register for NEWCASTLE UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch