Proof that protests have no negative effect on the team TSS February 16, 2016 Leeds United 6 Comments Whether you stand behind Cellino or are against his ownership, last night’s display put to bed the argument our players are affected by protesting fans. It was always a nonsense argument as far as I’m concerned because we’re talking about highly-paid professionals who routinely play in hostile environments away from home. Their own fans protesting against the ownership – while still chanting their support for the team itself – is having no effect whatsoever, and anyone who doesn’t believe that needs only look at last night’s evidence; the best performance we’ve put in for some time and it came while chants calling for Cellino to leave were clearly audible and a massive lightshow was brightening up the Fabian Delph stand. In light of that (pun fully intended), it’d be just as easy to make an argument that fan protests boost team performance. It’s nonsense of course, because again, they’re highly paid professionals and know the protests aren’t aimed at them, but given how badly we’ve played when there’s been no protests at all compared to how well we played last night, the hat fits. Ownership arguments tend to become more nonsensical the smaller the minority of those keeping faith in a controversial owner gets (and Cellino supporters are the minority now, whether they choose to believe it or not), because the anti- crowd don’t want to hate anyone or anything connected to Leeds United, they’ve just been worn down by events. ‘Having a negative effect on the team’ is the routine fall-back position for the rest, a clutching of straws moment when the evidence keeps favouring the other side. It happened with Bates, it happened with GFH and it’s happening again with Massimo Cellino. The simple fact of the matter is, when a club is being run well and fans are excited about their future, there are no protests. But when you’re sat 16th in the league, your owner is constantly fighting (and creating) legal troubles, promises haven’t come close to being met, your fans are being segregated and fined for criticising said owner, peaceful protest is censored by threats from lawyers, the manager changes every few weeks and there’s no real belief we’re heading in the right direction, this happens. For a fleeting moment, back when Adam Pearson was keeping things in check, I genuinely believed we could achieve something with Massimo Cellino. I wouldn’t say I was a full on ‘Cellieber’ (as his more extreme fans have been dubbed), but he seemed to be making the right decisions and I was daring to dream about a brighter future. When Pearson left however, the club started to unravel and it’s continued to trend downwards ever since. I can fully believe there’ll be brighter moments with Cellino once again, but he’s too erratic and emotional for it to last. Perhaps the colour purple and number 17s are bringing him misfortune, for wherever he goes, controversy and chaos soon follows. Whatever it is, I have no confidence in Massimo Cellino as owner of Leeds United Football Club and that opinion- an opinion I collectively share with many others- has no negative effect on the team’s ability to perform.