Leeds surprised by `textbook' claim

10 February 2010 04:18
Leeds have hit back at claims by Carlisle that the pitch invasion which marred the Johnstone's Paint Trophy clash at Brunton Park on Tuesday night had been handled by stewards and police "in textbook fashion". Carlisle won a penalty shootout 6-5 to book their place in the Wembley final, but Leeds have claimed three of their players were punched or pushed after hundreds of jubilant fans had spilled on to the pitch. Leeds manager Simon Grayson spoke out after the match and the Yorkshire club have since lodged an official complaint with the Football Association. But Carlisle's managing director John Nixon said the situation had been dealt with "in textbook fashion" and that stewards and police officers had worked together to bring the pitch invasion under control "as quickly as possible". Chief Inspector Mark Pannone, of Cumbria Police, who led the policing operation at the match, said the situation had been dealt with "swiftly and robustly". But Leeds chief executive Shaun Harvey countered: "It wasn't textbook in our view. It certainly wasn't the same textbook we would have used. They certainly succeeded in keeping the two sets of supporters apart, which I firmly believe was the priority for them. "What they haven't done is protect the safety of our players, so if the roles had been reversed I would have stopped short of saying it was a textbook approach, although they are entitled to their view as we are to ours."

Source: PA