Leeds United backtrack over TV refusal at Elland Road ahead of tonight's match

The club faced a "range of sanctions" if their fixture with Derby was not televised

Leeds United backtrack over TV refusal at Elland Road ahead of tonight's match

Dave Thompson / EMPICS Sport

Leeds United have backed down after refusing to allow Sky TV cameras from entering Elland Road for tonight's fixture against Derby County.

It is understood that the club's owner, Massimo Cellino, apparently tried to prevent the match being televised because of unhappiness at what he claims are repeated kick-off and date changes for their fixtures.

Leeds claim they are among the clubs to be shown most regularly on television and were asked by the Football League on Monday for their observations on the situation.

The club have already been shown nine times this season, four of which have been at home, making them the joint-most covered team in the Championship, alongside Derby.

Their refusal to allow Sky Sports staff to enter Elland Road prompted a response from the Football League, with the body confirming that sanctions were a possibility.

Leeds United's owner, Massimo Cellino in the stands. Image: Daniel Hambury / EMPICS Sport

"Under Football League regulations clubs are required to provide access to the League’s broadcasting partners for the purpose of setting up and filming any matches that are selected for transmission,” said a spokesperson.

"Failure to do so will lead to a club being charged with misconduct with the matter being referred to an independent Football Disciplinary Commission (FDC).

“The FDC has a full range of sanctions at its disposal.”

At 3pm on Tuesday afternoon, the club backed down from their refusal and released a statement.

“Leeds United have reluctantly allowed Sky cameras into Elland Road to broadcast tonight’s fixture against Derby County,” the statement reads.

“Leeds United have noted that the majority of press reports on the matter have quite rightly appreciated that the club’s issues with the Football League relate in part to the entirely disproportionate number of times Sky have selected the club for live transmission.

"It is not just the number of times the club has been selected, but the fact the adjoining fixtures are also then disrupted which adversely affects the players, the club’s logistical arrangements and the fans’ arrangements.

“It is clear to the club that its key supporters, the Season Ticket holders, have also had enough of this constant alteration, often at short notice, to the fixture list to accommodate Sky.”

This is not the first time the Cellino has clashed with the Football League - the former Cagliari owner previously limited the number of away tickets Leeds would sell to 2,000 as a way of protesting to the Football League in October.

The Italian would then reverse the decision after fan dissent.