Leeds United owner Massimo Cellino has become embroiled in fresh controversy after the Italian’s sons abused and insulted supporters on social media.
Ercole and Edoardo Cellino, who are both listed as directors of the club, responded to online criticism from fans over the last fortnight with slurs of their own.
One woman was called a "whale" by Ercole and told to ‘stop eating’ in an exchange on Instagram. In a separate incident on Facebook, Edoardo called another fan a "moron" and also used another derogatory term.
Edoardo later apologised in a statement to the Daily Mail, who broke the story. "I would like to apologise for any offence that I have caused,” it read. “After receiving a lot of abusive messages my emotions got the better of me and I reacted in a way that was unprofessional.”
"I believe the messages were private but I know I should not have done this. I did not fully understand the severity of the words used as English is not my first language. Again, I can only apologise."
The fan abused by Ercole is understood to have lodged an official complaint to the club over her treatment.
Massimo Cellino has come under increasing pressure from protest groups to sell Leeds in recent weeks and banned head coach Steve Evans from speaking to the media after Monday's 4-0 defeat at Brighton.
Edoardo later apologised in a statement to the Daily Mail, which said: "I would like to apologise for any offence that I have caused.
The episode is sure to further damage Cellino's relationship with fans with one group, 'Time To Go Massimo', urging him to sell the club.
The group put up anti-Cellino posters outside Elland Road and projected protest images against the Italian on to the stadium during the recent home match against Middlesbrough. More stunts are planned for forthcoming matches.
Evans is set to face the media on Friday morning for the first time since Cellino said the Scot "talks too much".
Additional reporting by PA
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