Leeds United defends open-top bus trophy celebration after fans urged to stay at home

The trophy was paraded outside the ground on Wednesday night Credit: PA

Leeds United has defended its decision to parade the Championship trophy in an open-top bus, after fans were asked to stay away from the stadium.

Thousands of supporters gathered outside Elland Road on Wednesday night to celebrate the club's promotion to the Premier League.

Following the club's 4-0 win over Charlton, the trophy was presented to the team inside inside an empty stadium. After accepting the trophy, players appeared outside the stadium in an open-top bus to celebrate with supporters.

The trophy was awarded to the team inside the stadium Credit: PA

Ahead of the game, West Yorkshire Police and Leeds City Council asked people to stay away due to fears over the coronavirus.

In a statement, Leeds United said:

Following consultation with the SAG and 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.

Leeds United

The safety group believed was 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.

Leeds United

Ahead of the game, Leeds United's Chief executive Angus Kinnear urged fans to stay at home and the club Tweeted, encouraging supporters to stay away.

It follows celebrations over the weekend, when fans gathered in Millennium Square in Leeds city centre to celebrate the club winning the Championship.

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