30 Dec 2015

Wood scores as Leeds fume over TV orders

11:01 am on 30 December 2015

New Zealand striker Chris Wood scored for Leeds United as they drew 2-2 at home to Derby County, in a game marked by controversy before kickoff.

The All White left the field injured four minutes after scoring Leeds' second goal after 71 minutes, in a game that began with a stand-off over being shown live on television too often.

Leeds are in a spat with UK Sky TV and the Football League, with the Yorkshire club concerned that the constant TV coverage is adversely affecting their match schedule, and games are coming too close together to accomodate Sky's broadcast requirements.

Leeds said in a statement, that they had only reluctantly allowed Sky cameras into their Elland Road stadium to broadcast today's fixture against Derby County.

Leeds has "issues with the Football League" and Sky in relation "to the entirely disproportionate number of times Sky have selected the club for live transmission".

The Championship (second division) club was upset over their fixtures being disrupted to suit the broadcaster, claiming it "adversely affects the players, the club's logistical arrangements and the fans' arrangements".

And the club said it had had enough "of this constant alteration, often at short notice, to the fixture list to accommodate Sky" after Leeds were required to play Wolverhampton Wanderers on Thursday (UKT) followed by Preston North End at home on Sunday then Nottingham Forest on Sunday evening and now Derby two days later.

"Recent good results have been achieved despite the alterations to the fixture list, but at great cost to the players' fitness and a substantial injury list .The festive plans of supporters have also been entirely ruined by Sky's live TV selections."

Chris Wood in action for the All Whites against Honduras at Albany, Auckland, Saturday 9th October 2010. Photo: Anthony Au-Yeung / photosport.co.nz

Chris Wood in action for the All Whites against Honduras in 2010 Photo: Photosport

"The league, despite the club having challenged them through the appropriate legal routes, continue to try and alter our schedule by insisting fixtures are changed to suit Sky, including Brighton & Hove Albion away from a Saturday to a Monday in February."

"Given Sky are to show 92 live games this season, a fair allocation would be four home games per club - so the selection by Sky is clearly unfair and the league are allowing this."

"The Football League regulations are supposed to be there to protect the integrity of the sporting competition, not to be used as a stick to beat the club on behalf of Sky."

"Leeds United Season Ticket holders have had enough of these fixture changes, the players and staff have had enough, and Leeds United Football Club has had enough."

"It is to be noted that the League threaten a disrepute charge against the club. 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."