Former Leeds forward Noel Whelan has said the FA’s charge for using pyrotechnics on the pitch at Derby as they celebrated the title is a price worth paying.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the boyhood Leeds fan claimed the celebrations were payback for the way Derby acted following their play-off semi-final victory against the Whites the season before.
The two clubs have enjoyed a healthy rivalry ever since Leeds were caught ‘spying’ on Derby’s training sessions in January last year which resulted in the club paying a £200,000 EFL fine.
The two sides faced each other in the play-offs that season where the Rams beat Marcelo Bielsa’s 4-3 on aggregate before losing in the final to Aston Villa.
The FA’s latest charge relates to Leeds’ celebrations at Pride Park in July as they secured the Championship title and a return to the Premier League.
A fine is yet to be issued with Leeds having until the 3rd September to provide a response.
Reacting to news of the charge, Whelan told Football Insider: “I’ll take the fine all day long. There’s no better place to go and celebrate than Derby.
“They celebrated at Elland Road and I think there was quite a bit of damage done to the Leeds changing room.
“All the tiles were broken and the changing room was absolutely destroyed with their celebrations.
“It’s a little bit of payback and if we’ve paid a little bit of money to do so and rub it in their faces, why not?
“We were promoted, that was it and it didn’t matter what ground we were at. We were at Derby and we couldn’t have had a better time of it quite frankly.
“That’s the competitive nature of the game and maybe, just the Derby lads seeing that will give them the fire in the belly for next season.”
In other Leeds news, Football Insider can REVEAL a major update in the club’s bid to sign Ryan Kent.