Leeds fans group plan more Cellino protests

Matt Stead
Massimo Cellino Leeds United Football365

A Leeds United supporters group are planning further protests in a bid to pressure owner Massimo Cellino to sell his controlling stake in the Elland Road club.

Protest group ‘Time To Go Massimo’ beamed a series of 30ft high images on to Elland Road stadium before and during Monday night’s goalless draw against Middlesbrough and claims to have received positive feedback from the majority of fans.

The group, backed by funds raised from anti-Cellino fans, now plans a fly-over at a forthcoming home game and with other ideas also on their agenda told supporters to “watch this space”.

“We had an idea that (Monday night’s protest) was going to be pretty good but it went way beyond our expectations,” ‘Time To Go Massimo’ spokesman Tom Banks told Press Association Sport.

“We thought it looked fantastic and the feedback we got from everybody was that they thought the same, the reaction has been overwhelmingly positive.

“There’s been no negative reaction, so from that perspective it could not have gone better.”

‘Time To Go Massimo’ launched its campaign on Thursday by funding a poster installed on advertising hoardings outside the East Stand calling for Cellino to go.

Leeds took legal action to have the poster removed later on Thursday, but the group claims it informed police and took legal advice before beaming Monday night’s images.

“We did wonder why we went so big so quickly because it will be hard to follow,” Banks said.

“What we do next will most likely be at the home game against Bolton (on March 5). We want to keep up the momentum.

“We think the projection will have empowered fans to make their voice heard.

“We have some more ideas, including a fly-over. The pilot is booked and is waiting for a home game when the weather is forecast to be fine.

“The pilot is on stand-by. It should have been the Forest game (on February 6) but it was overcast, so it could now be Bolton.”

The group claims to have raised over £4,000 from 228 separate donations to help pay for Monday night’s stunt, which cost £2,600.

The protest slogans were projected from a council-owned car park on Lowfields Road by specialists EMF Technology, responsible for famously projecting a 60ft nude image of Gail Porter on to the Houses of Parliament in 1999.

“We’ve still got a couple of grand left over and we’re going to open the donation fund again,” Banks added.

“We received over £4,000 from people all over the world without them knowing what we were going to do.

“We had to keep it that way for obvious reasons, but now people have seen the projected images and when we reopen the fund we’re hoping to raise significantly more.

“Our message to Mr Cellino is to hear what the supporters say. A growing number are increasingly fed up with his regime. Our message to the fans is ‘watch this space’.”

Leeds refused to comment on the protest images when approached by Press Association Sport.