PA Sport imposes picture blackout on Leeds

Press Association Sport has imposed a blackout on all photographic coverage of Leeds United in protest at an ongoing ban of agencies from the League 1 club’s Elland Road ground.

The national agency announced its boycott of Leeds in a service message to all subscribers on Saturday.

As reported by in September, Leeds, under chairman Ken Bates (pictured), has this season banned photographers from PA, Thomson Reuters, Getty Images, Associated Press, the European Press-Photo Agency and Agence-France Presse from attending home matches due to a policy which allows access only to Action Images and Varleys, a company based at Elland Road.

According to senior media sources, it is believed that Leeds want to control all images issued from Elland Road, apparently to give undue prominence to the club’s sponsors and pitchside advertisers.

On Saturday, despite efforts to negotiate access, PA Sport announced it would in future not be issuing any pictures of Leeds players, home or away.

“From today, Press Association Sport’s coverage of Leeds United will be significantly scaled back and our pictures from Leeds United away games will predominantly only feature players from the home team,” a PA statement to subscribers said.

“We understand this may have an affect on your publication. This is a decision we have not taken lightly. However we feel strongly that this is a situation we cannot allow to continue.”

The club has also recently issued a ban to The Guardian newspaper, unhappy at its reporting of Bates’s management of affairs at Elland Road.

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