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TV blackout threat was to protect Leeds, says Cellino

Leeds President Massimo Cellino claimed he is "trying to protect the club" after he nearly went ahead with a television blackout of last night's clash at home to Derby.

The Italian was annoyed by another of his side's matches being selected for live coverage and the 59-year-old instructed club staff to deny Sky Sports' production crew entry to Elland Road ahead of the game.

Access was first denied on Monday - as would be customary 24 hours ahead of a live match - and the doors remained locked throughout yesterday, with Football League chief executive Shaun Harvey being deployed to negotiate with the club.

Shortly before 3pm Cellino - at his family home in Miami and not in Yorkshire - relaxed his position and let Sky in, but he issued a defence.

"I'm trying to protect the club," he said. "I've beautiful people working with me and beautiful players - not overpaid like before. I have to do my job in looking after the club because nobody did before."

Substitute Tom Ince rescued a point for Derby to keep their automatic promotion hopes on track with a 2-2 draw.

Ince lashed home a 78th-minute equaliser after Chris Wood had headed Leeds into a 2-1 lead. Home skipper Sol Bamba had earlier cancelled out Jeff Hendrick's 13th-minute opener.

Belfast Telegraph


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