Leeds supporters group hold fly-over protest and mock funeral for owner Massimo Cellino

Protests and direct action against the Eleonora Sport group's ownership has increased in recent weeks

Mark Critchley
Saturday 05 March 2016 16:57
The scene outside Elland Road prior to Leeds United vs Bolton Wanderers
The scene outside Elland Road prior to Leeds United vs Bolton Wanderers

A group of Leeds United supporters intent on forcing owner Massimo Cellino out of the club held a series of fresh stunts at Elland Road during Saturday’s match against Bolton Wanderers.

‘Time to Go Massimo’ arranged a mock funeral for the Italian, complete with hearse, to take place before the game and marked ‘the death of the club we fell in love with’.

A plane bearing a banner with the group’s name then flew over the ground during the first half of the Sky Bet Championship match.

The supporters outlined the plans for the day in a statement prior to the match.

"At 1430 a hearse will travel down Wesley Street with a police escort, parking on Lowfields Road next to the Billy Bremner statue, before pall bearers remove a Leeds United branded coffin on the council-owned ground at the south western edge of the plinth to memorialise the death of the club we fell in love with," it read.

Time To Go Massimo spokesman Tom Banks delivered a eulogy and white roses, synonymous with the club’s home county, were then placed on the coffin. A wake was held by fans boycotting the afternoon kick-off at a pub opposite Elland Road.

Current Leeds boss Steve Evans is the sixth head coach in less than two years under Cellino.

The Italian owner, who is currently awaiting an appeal date after a second Football League disqualification for tax evasion, has found himself at the centre of protests from a large number of fans over recent months.

Angered by a perceived lack of investment in the team coupled with a long list of off-the-field dramas, the Time To Go Massimo group projected a number of anti-Cellino messages on to the side of Elland Road's East Stand during last month's draw with Middlesbrough.

The fans' body said it had also hired a van to carry its slogan and drive through Leeds city centre from midday, before moving to the roads by the stadium from 2pm, ahead of the 3pm kick-off.

Additional reporting by the Press Association

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