Players from Leeds United said they “can’t explain how sorry” they are for not thanking supporters before Sunday’s loss to Bournemouth.
On social media, a video of Leeds players leaving the team hotel before their 4-1 loss appeared to show them ignoring supporters, including a little youngster. The Whites sit one point above the relegation zone despite only earning one point in their previous five games, and the club is debating Javi Gracia’s managerial future.
Leeds players sent a message to fans saying, “First off, the performance was not good enough. The only way to respond is on the field because there is no other way to look at it. Large numbers of Leeds supporters travel across the nation, and they deserve better than this.
The YouTube footage of us leaving the hotel in such a manner is just as worrying to us as a group.
We are extremely sorry that the child wearing the Leeds jersey in the video didn’t receive more attention from the team. On a matchday, we go on an activation walk, and before and after that, we stop for pictures and signatures to make sure we engage with the fans and to make sure we are on time.”
The father of one of the children in the video spoke to the Yorkshire Post on Monday and backed several of the players. “Luke Ayling fist bumped him, Javi Gracia came and tickled his chin and had a conversation with him, Jack Harrison had a laugh with him, Adam Forshaw walked down the stairs with his hand out to high-five him, and Brenden Aaronson signed an autograph,” the man claimed.
With Manchester City and Newcastle coming next, followed by trips to West Ham and Tottenham at Elland Road to finish the season, Leeds may have the toughest schedule among the clubs fighting for survival.
They let up 23 goals in April, the most by any top-flight team since Birmingham gave up 23 goals in April 1965, setting a Premier League record for a single month.