By Noel Whelan

24th Jul, 2020 | 12:12pm

'Look, I know...' - Exclusive: Whelan delivers first-hand verdict as Leeds hit by heavy fire

Noel Whelan admits he has been left feeling torn after Leeds United came under fire for their Championship title celebrations this week.

The former Leeds striker and boyhood fan at Elland Road, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, has given his first-hand verdict after Wednesday’s trophy lift.

As reported by the BBC, the Whites have come under criticism for parading the trophy on an open-top bus after sending out repeated messages for fans to celebrate their title win from home.

In a statement relayed via the BBC, Leeds defended the decision by saying it was a “contingency to assist dispersal should a crowd congregate at Elland Road” and would help signal an end to proceedings.

Whelan, who was at the ground on Wednesday night, admits he can see both sides of the argument.

“I didn’t really know anything about it, I was at the ground from one o’clock, the only time I heard about it was when things were coming out as tweets,” Whelan told Football Insider.

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“Look, there were plenty of people there, whether they decided last minute to do that, I’m not sure but look, I know there’s a lot of fans out there who are disappointed by the fact they weren’t given the opportunity to come down and experience that.

“A lot of people came down and just took the chance – I can see one side of the club and their point of view, absolutely – if you come out, show the trophy then everything disappears and go home.

“I will give them credit, they weren’t out on the pitch for long celebrating, they did straight across there with the trophy on show – I was pretty much straight out the ground and everyone was disappearing so I guess on that front it was right.

“Maybe things could have been done a little bit different but it’s an opportunity for the lads to get on an open-top bus and show the trophy off, to get those pictures taken on the evening of winning the Championship.

“It’s a difficult one for me because from a player’s note, putting on my player’s head, I’d have wanted that experience as well on the evening.” 

In other Leeds United news, Alex Bruce has been left gobsmacked after a “huge coup” at Elland Road.

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