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Leeds United have defended their decision to park an open top bus outside Elland Road to celebrate their Championship title and promotion to the Premier League despite telling fans to stay away.

Club officials had asked people to stay away from the stadium but thousands of people turned up to celebrate their first season in back in the Premier League after 16 years.

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Chief executive Angus Kinnear had told fans that they would “celebrate in style” when they could but still fans gathered after their 4-0 win against Charlton.

However, the club later said in a statement that they believed players appearing would help disperse the crowds.

“Following consultation with the Safety Advisory Group 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,” the statement said.

“The safety group believed 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.”



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