Leeds release statement on behalf of their players after hotel lobby footage goes viral
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Leeds United have issued a statement after members of their first-team squad were criticised for ignoring fans at a hotel.
In the build-up to Sunday's Premier League clash between Leeds against Bournemouth, fan footage emerged showing Javi Gracia's side leaving their hotel, two hours before kick-off.
As you can see in the footage below, a group of supporters congregated around the lobby, including a young Leeds supporter, who was holding an autograph book.
But despite waving at several players, nobody interacted or even looked at the child – a sequence of events that angered many fans on social media.
On Monday afternoon, Leeds released a statement to address both the performance against Bournemouth, and what happened prior to kick-off at the Vitality Stadium.
They wrote: "A message from the players.
"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."
Here's how fans reacted to the above statement on social media.
One commented on Leeds' post, saying: "Get those headphones off, and appreciate those who support you in your job, in which you are incredibly lucky to have. Set an example to the next generation."
A second wrote: "I can understand the players refusing autographs/pictures before the game but there is zero acknowledgment for any of the fans in that video. No fist bumps, no smiles, not even eye contact."
A third added: "As weak and meaningless as most of the performances this year. Why is the captain not in front of a camera delivering this in person. Shambles."
Leeds, who sit just one point above the Premier League drop zone, suffered a 4-1 defeat to Bournemouth on Sunday.
Goals from Jefferson Lerma , Dominic Solanke and Antoine Semenyo sealed a deserved victory for Gary O'Neil's side.
Thought on the incident?
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