Leeds have defended their decision to parade their players in an open-top bus at Elland Road after their Sky Bet Championship title trophy presentation.
Leeds had already sealed promotion back to the Premier League as champions. And a 4-0 home win against Charlton in their final match sparked more celebrations outside the stadium.
“Following consultation with the SAG (Safety Advisory Group) and (Leeds City) Council, Leeds United arranged for a bus to be parked outside the East Stand reception as a contingency to assist dispersal should a crowd congregate at Elland Road, despite a month-long campaign from the club and supporter groups to encourage supporters to stay at home,” said a club spokesman.
“The safety group believed that a brief appearance from the players with the Championship trophy would help to signal an end to proceedings, encouraging fans to head home safely.
“In challenging circumstances, fan safety has always been our priority.”
Both Leeds owner Andrea Radrizzani and managing director Angus Kinnear had appealed before the game for Leeds fans to help in the fight against coronavirus by staying at home.
But thousands of supporters gathered outside Elland Road. And the players boarded the bus to join in the celebrations. That was after their pitchside trophy presentation had concluded.
Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa was also on the bus. But he declined to speak to the fans and did not turn up for his post-match press conference.
Goals from Ben White and Stuart Dallas gave Leeds a 2-0 half-time lead. Before substitutes Tyler Roberts and Jamie Shackleton added two more Charlton were consigned to relegation.