Leeds issue apology after viral video of players ignoring young fan

 ((Twitter @igrattan))
((Twitter @igrattan))

Leeds United’s players have issued an apology to the club’s supporters after Sunday’s 4-1 defeat to Bournemouth in the Premier League.

The team’s players have also addressed criticism that has followed a video on social media showing the first-team squad ignoring fans as they left the hotel before the game.

In the video, United’s players can be seen walking past a group of supporters - including a young fan in a replica shirt - without looking up from their phones or stopping to acknowledge them.

In a statement, the squad said there was “no excuse” for not acknowledging the supporters and apologised to the young fan for not showing “more love”.

The video attracted criticism on social media, including claims that the club were “troubled” on and off the pitch.

The relegation-threatened side have lost four of their last five games under Javi Gracia and their capitulation at the Vitality Stadium left them just a point above the bottom three.

Leeds are 16th in the table with just four games remaining this season - including Saturday’s trip to leaders Manchester City.

The club could be dropped into further trouble should either Leicester or Everton win in their relegation six-pointer tonight - with manager Gracia reportedly under pressure.

The Leeds United Supporters Advisory Board issued a statement of “no confidence” following Sunday’s 4-1 defeat and called for Gracia to be sacked.

But the players insisted that the fight to avoid relegation to the Championship is not over as they addressed the fury from the club’s supporters.

A statement said: “As the first team squad at Leeds United, we wanted to reach out to the fan base regarding yesterday’s game and subsequent posts on social media.

“Firstly, the performance was not good enough. There is no other way to look at it and the only way to respond is on the pitch. Leeds fans travel up and down the country in huge numbers and deserve more than this.

“What is just as concerning to us as a group, is the video online of us leaving the hotel. Words can’t express how sorry we are that the youngster in the video wearing the Leeds kit is not shown more love from the squad.

“On a matchday we do an activation walk, before and after this we stop for photos and autographs to ensure we interact with fans, but also that we are on time when leaving for games.

“However, there is no excuse for not acknowledging fans and if the parents of the fan wearing the Leeds kit in the video could make themselves known to us, we would be grateful.

“We do not believe that this fight is over and we will keep going until the last ball is kicked this season. Thank you again for your support.”

Leeds have conceded 17 goals in their last five games, which have included defeats to Liverpool, Bournemouth, Crystal Palace and Fulham, as well as a draw against Leicester.

Their next two games are against clubs in the top four in Manchester City and Newcastle, with matches against West Ham and Tottenham to finish the season.