Leeds United Takeover Saga

So a New Year is finally here and by the speed of the Recent Christmas Break it’s hardly a surprise. 2013 has flown by and I’m going to use my first blog of 2014 to talk about my guilty pleasure which is Leeds United.

The Whites have had a mixed bag in 2013 and as we start this year there is certainly a more optimistic feel around the club. I was one of the minority of fans who supported Neil Warnock right up to the end, however as it became really messy with players blatantly underperforming it was best for both parties that he parted ways.

I still hold tightly to my chest the fond memories of beating a Gareth Bale inspired Tottenham Hotspur in the FA Cup in what was easily our best team performance under Warnock in 2013. The way we passed the ball around and caused problems to an experienced Premiership team on the day showed the tactical ability that Warnock had. Sadly for him the wheels fell off after this and as March dragged on it was a messy situation that threatened Relegation.

Without a manager heading into April it was always going to be a real marker of intent from our new owners by their appointment. It was also vitally critical it was the correct one as the team were caught up in a relegation battle. David Haigh openly inherited Neil Warnock and now it was the first opportunity to really rubber stamp their team. The usual suspects were banded around and it had me worried, the last thing I wanted was for us to reappoint David O’Leary.

It was time for Leeds United to move forward, a new start and more importantly to appoint a new manager with no prior association to our club. Brian McDermott (not of Leeds Rhinos) was the name that failed to quieten down and I think it was to everyone’s relief that a manager who’d managed in the Premier League with Reading wanted to join Leeds.

Brian had been harshly sacked by Reading and the football world couldn’t believe how he had been treated. It was a brilliant bold statement of intent to get Brian McDermott in charge. The response was immediate and a fantastic come back from behind win against Sheffield Wednesday in his first game had the feel good factor back and more importantly ended the relegation fear.

Leeds finished with 2 further wins and even flirted with the most unlikely of Top 6 finishes. What was evident in these 4 matches under Brian, was his desire and positive man management. The same team that were dismally ripped apart by Watford, Forest and the rest were now putting together determined positive performances.

The summer saw some changes and our first million pound signing since the Quidsdale days filled the fans including myself with fresh optimism. We finally had an owner with both a business head and a desire to do the best for the club and it’s fans. Unfortunately Brian couldn’t perform miracles and we were still stuck with the likes of Pugh (an amazing underdog story) Brown, Tonge and Norris as the new season approached.

It’s clear to everyone involved with Leeds United that the first 5 months of this exciting season are going in the right direction. The club lie 1 point outside of the Playoffs and despite a recent wobble I feel with some squad rotation and new signings we can get back on track in the second half of this season.

2013 has certainly seen most emotions experienced by us all. We have had some awesome Cup highs against Premiership sides Southampton, Everton and Spurs. We have also seen some extremely low points and I still pin point the home defeat to Derby as the worst. A new manager with the desire to take us forward in place and as we start 2014 a new takeover close to completion.

As I refer to the title of my blog it leads nicely to our Take Over Saga. As things stand David Haigh is close to completing a minimum 75% takeover with Andrew Flower of Enterprise Insurance. The funds have been made available to Brian McDermott and there are strong rumors that both Stewart and Kebe will be joining us before the weekend. The rubber stamp is so very very close, so close that the ink is creeping away from the stamp and is touching the paperwork. The football league are the ones that are preventing it from being officially completed.

I for one am full of optimism, it’s certainly not dull being a Leeds United fan. Most were right to voice their dissatisfaction after the Rochdale match, but aside from the Barnsley & Blackburn matches I think we have done as well as we could possibly have hoped for in the last few weeks.

So as I conclude this blog I will highlight my three key points of the last 12 months.

1. Ross McCormack signing his new long term contract and Mowatt signing his improved professional contract tying him to Leeds until 2016.

2. David Haigh understanding how to galvanize the club which has included good offers to attract fans to the club and to encourage our supporters to attend matches.

3. Our amazing traveling supporters, selling out Away games each week has made it very hard to get tickets. This has made my two away trips to Reading & Charlton this season so memorable (for different reasons!)

Oh and 4. Danny Pugh, what a story, from being left out in the reserves, unwanted and on the transfer list he has remained a true professional and grabbed his chance. He has now been a permanent fixture in our team and has added a new dimension to our play. Well done Danny, long may it continue! MOT!!



Posted on January 8, 2014, in Leeds United and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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