If you’re a Leeds United supporter and haven’t been living under a rock for the last three months, you’ll be aware of a group by the name of Time To Go, Massimo (“TTGM”). The group was set up in order to protest Massimo Cellino’s ownership of Leeds United Football Club.
Time To Go, Massimo has organized a march commencing at 1.15pm as they march from from City Square and cover the 2.2 miles of ground through Leeds City Centre and Holbeck, before reaching the East Stand of Elland Road prior to the Leeds United vs Reading FC game. The group will also be collecting for St Gemma’s Hospice during the march, and is urging all Leeds United fans to take part.
I spoke with the group briefly this week to ask a few questions seemingly on the mind of many other Leeds fans.
2900Miles: What’s the overall goal for the group?
TTGM: To form a collective of Leeds United fans to ask Massimo Cellino to leave Leeds United, and sell to one of the credible buyers often referenced by the media, and even Massimo Cellino himself.
2900Miles: There’s a March on the Saturday the 16th, do you have an estimate for the number of people taking part?
TTGM: We honestly don’t know. We have laid the groundwork with previous protests and believe it is now up to fellow fans to answer the call to arms. Without their help, we can not drive Massimo Cellino out of the club.
2900Miles: Do you think Massimo Cellino cares about the protests against his ownership?
TTGM: It’s difficult to say. He reacted so swiftly following the chants at the Blackburn game (where he offered to sell to LFU the following day or two later) but has remained quiet about the majority of the protests we’ve undertaken – barring the nuclear response to the poster outside Elland Road.
For us, we will continue protesting to ensure he hears loud and clear from a growing number of Leeds fans who join us daily that we’ve had enough of his toxic ownership.
2900Miles: What are your plans after the march?
TTGM: We are in contact with CARD (Coalition Against Roland Duchatelet – Charlton Athletic owner) to organize a joint protest in the future, a protest against improper owners of our respective football clubs. That’s the future, though, and right now our total focus is on the march taking place on April 16th.
2900Miles: Some of the protests have been very elaborate. How much money has been raised by the group to organize these various protests?
TTGM: Just shy of ten thousand pounds, including merchandise available at TimeToGoMassimo.com
2900Miles: The group seems to have a pretty hardcore following. What would you say to those who are currently on the fence, undecided on whether protesting Cellino’s ownership is the right thing to do?
TTGM: Just look at the press coverage this week alone. If this week was a one-off, it would be bad enough, but it’s constant.
All we want, all we believe all Leeds United fans want, is a football club that can compete on the pitch without being hamstrung by off-field issues such as court cases. The most recent court case (the Lucy Ward case) alone could well cost the club hundreds of thousands of pounds. This should set off alarm bells with fans of the club.
Massimo Cellino has, time and time again, shown himself to not be a fit and proper owner of Leeds United Football Club.
The group added that they would like to send the following message to all Leeds United supporters:
“Our last home game marked two years since Massimo took over at Elland Road, it might as well have been two minutes. This Saturday, Brian McDermott will return to our club to discover that Leeds United very much remains the circus that he left behind. This can not go on.
Our efforts so far have brought us a long way and our stage is set, it’s now down to every one of us to occupy it in the most emphatic manner. It’s numbers that truly legitimise protests, so we ask you to join us and stand shoulder to shoulder with fellow supporters, as we march upon Elland Road. We meet at 1.15pm at City Square; be amongst that number, stand tall, make your voice count, and help us fight for a better Leeds United.“