Monthly Archives: March 2014

Blue Tit Update – March

Following on from my post about putting up the bird boxes in our garden, there has been a hive of activity going on.

March is typically when Blue Tits will start to feed themselves in preparation for the busier nest building month of April. With the weather being so mild it could be easy to think the nesting season has already started. The chorus of bird songs filling our blossom trees around our garden are a pleasant reminder that we are in Spring.

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There have been some long visits to our Peanut filled bird feeder and this photo taken on Mothering Sunday confirms our local Tits are starting to feed themselves up for a busy April.

We have had a couple of the Blue Tits visit our Bird Boxes and in the early mornings there have been sightings of garden greenery being taken into the boxes. It’s not clear if they have taken residency or put down their deposit 🙂 but they are getting close to making a choice.

It’s very exciting and I hope to have some further positive updates and photos should our Blue Tits decide upon a home for their Nest Building. More updates to follow next month.

DarcyB
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Mrs Ken Bates and the missing £1.5m

In a week that has seen Leeds United players paid half their wages (50% more than the majority deserve) and Ken Bates broadcast his self wrote interview on Yorkshire Radio to air his concerns, it certainly has been another “typical” week in the Elland Road saga. Throw in a 4-1 away mauling and the talk of Administration it’s been a hell of a week.

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Leeds United players have been offered the chance to make up their shortfall in salary by putting in a shift

Today (Friday) the head of the PFA explained that they had been in discussions with the club to help negotiate a way through the salary issues. I can’t help but feel that this situation has been caused by the Football League and the PFA are now trying to assist Leeds United. GFH are convinced that Cellino has an obligation to continue to fund the club despite his unsuccessful efforts in taking over the club. This really just reiterates the farcical events and the continued silence from GFH throughout this is unhelpful to say the very least.

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If I dig up Thorp Arch, you say I’ll find Mrs Bates missing £1.5m?

Ken Bates reappeared in another strange twist almost like Moriati in Sherlock Holmes. In typical Bates style he tried his best to sling some more shit into the fan. According to Ken, his wife has lent the owners £1.5m and he was approached by Flowers and co to help fund their takeover. Ken is absolutely disgusted by the way Leeds United and the fans have been treated…… Put a sock in it Ken, you almost had me fooled.

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Wave your shoes if you are fed up of these constant lies

This week also saw a flurry of Twitter revelations regarding the sexuality of our MD David Haigh. These were not nice and actually made me feel sad about the level some of our so called fans have stooped to. David Haigh has certainly not had it easy and I can’t help but feel that GFH have hung him out to dry. It was not that long ago that he left the investment bank to be replaced. This makes me feel that he was their sacrificial lamb. Let’s all leave the personal insults alone and try and find a solution to the situation we are in.

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When we sell LUFC to GFH another dark dawn will be around the corner.

I can’t help but feel that the day Leeds United were sold to GFH, it was not going to be too long before this situation arose. I never felt comfortable about being owned by an investment bank who had one aim, to sell bits of the club to other people. I still don’t truly understand who owns what and this is probably why it’s taking so long to make a decision and communicate with the fans.

In conclusion this week really needs to see us bounce back from the 4-1 mauling at Bournemouth (that hurt to write) and get a win at all costs against Doncaster at Elland Road. It’s not about performances, it’s about grinding out as many points as possible. If we do enter Administration a deduction could very easily drag us into a Relegation scrap. Let’s remain positive mind you, the last official statement from David Haigh confirmed we wouldn’t go into Administration, if only I was that sure!

MOT
DarcyB

Where next for Leeds United?

We all expected the Football League to drag their heels in, some of us even thought there would be a long list of stipulations for Cellino to stick to. This morning however the majority of fans and people in the football world were left stunned by the veto shown to Cellino. Now again Leeds United are in turmoil, the victim, a future of uncertainty returns to our once great club.

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The last eight weeks have been one hell of a Roller Coaster in our recent history. We have seen a potential buyer told to sling his hook by the football league despite our initial reservations over his suitability. Our manager Brian McDermott was fired and rehired amongst a barrage of confusion, who now is being questioned about his suitability to turn things around. Finally we find GFH Capital, the investment bankers running our club struggling to sell our money leaking ship, how they were deemed Fit & Proper by the Football League is certainly questionable.

So where are we now?

Administration??

Despite David Haigh reassuring fans that Administration is extremely unlikely, there are those out there that think it may happen. Danny Mills our former defender thinks it should happen sooner rather than later. So what damage would this do if GFH went down this route? Well Leeds United would certainly lose 10 points minimum which would slot us in with Birmingham City five points above the Relegation Zone.

Ross McCormack along with our other tangible assets would be sold and the club stripped back down to make it an appealing sale. Some would argue that this could open the club up to anybody with a few pounds to their name, but would this be a good thing?

David Haigh has strong commercial ties with Red Bull, so maybe there is some substance in his statement that Leeds United would not go into Administration should the Cellino takeover fall through. There are also rumours that Mike Farnham and his Love Leeds group could now be hurried to the negotiation table. I think that GFH would be aggrieved to sell the club to them at a far lower price to what Cellino agreed.

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Is Vinnie Jones our new owner?

Maybe just maybe David Haigh has managed to convince our hero Vinnie Jones to part with his Hollywood Milllions? Now this is highly unlikely and a lovely fictional scenario, but how cool would this be? It was obvious to all that having Jones at Elland Road on Saturday inspired the team. It could’ve been part of the master plan to show Jones around the club and treat him to the best hospitality that could be offered. The three points were the icing on the cake and Vincent couldn’t wait to throw his money at the club. 😉

Whatever happens it will be a tense few days for all those involved with the club. I was initially disappointed with the Football League and their dismissive attitude towards Cellino, however part of me thinks the King of Corn will return. It’s possible that his sons could be involved and Cellino Senior could bankroll the takeover.

It’s certainly never dull being a Leeds United fan, Bournemouth away tomorrow, three points needed!

MOT
DarcyB
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From Miami with Love… (Via Cagliari, destination Leeds)

Heading into the final few hours of GFH’s deadline to the Football League, we are still none the wiser as to what Harvey is playing at. For those remaining positive, Cellino will have his horse released from the impound and allowed to ride through the once barricaded gates of Elland Road. For those hell bent that the Football League are drawing things out just to rile us all further before denying us salvation, well, ummmm it’s not looking great, we’ve been there before.

So what is going on behind the scenes of the Football League tonight? If there’s one thing that many of us don’t need reminding of, it’s never simple at Leeds United. It’s as if the rule book for all 72 Football League clubs has a separate subsection for our club. For those young enough to vaguely understand who Ken Bates is, I envy you! So why is this hold up happening, especially with Shaun Harvey on board in the Football League?

It seems to stem from one main issue, is this a Legal Case or is it in fact a Civil Case? Now in law the difference is quite clear, however because Leeds United are involved in the equation, it’s not. Not even Rachel Riley could work this out within 30 seconds, the Football League mind you seem to be nearing on 60 days with still no answer. It’s simply unacceptable and embarrassing with a hint of to be expected and dash of typical Leeds luck.

In my opinion and I always tread on the side of caution when expressing this, GFH have publicly stated what the majority of us fans have been asking amongst ourselves. Why has it taken so long and how on earth are we supposed to move onwards with such a large cloud of uncertainty unfairly hovering over our potential owner? To be fair to Cellino he has just let this carry on. He has been complimentary to the Football League and their high standards in conducting this investigation.

The real danger now is what if the Football League deny him ownership of Leeds United? Well David Haigh has come out to quash the fears of administration and a report in the Mail yesterday from a finance expert says it’s not the end for the club. Are these simply statements put out to calm us or is there really truth behind this?

I’m remaining positive whatever the outcome of this ruling on the ownership of Leeds United. If Cellino doesn’t pass the test, then I’m sure we will utilize Plan B but this will be heavily dependent on us the fans. Is this fair? Well I think we are bloody lucky with what we have. Just looking at the League 2 table this evening stunned me to see Portsmouth a couple of defeats away from being in the Relegation Zone. A club like Pompey that only five years ago lived the Premiership Dream, who tasted Silverware, played in Europe and has a wide captive supporter base in it’s own city. It sounds very similar to our club, ok I know we have more fans!

The point of this post is not to spell doom and gloom for Leeds. Cellino could be our knight in shining armor, however on the night of the January transfer window closing it couldn’t have been more opposite. All I am stating is had Leeds beaten Bolton and Reading at home and held on to win at QPR, would we be so hell bent on abusing the current set up on Social Media? Football is so very delicate like that.

Anyway one other thing that I noticed at Burnley last weekend before I depart. Leeds United fans at the game are not always the ones filling Twitter full of negative comments on match day! 😉 let’s get behind the lads against Millwall on Saturday if you are there or like me unable to make it!

MOT
DarcyB

Trip to Turf Moor

Following our quite frankly disgraceful performance against Bolton and disturbing hour against Reading which were both at Elland Road, most were left wondering why they had paid their money to visit the leagues second placed team last weekend. The fact that we are still the best supported Away team in the whole of England confirms just how determined we are as fans. Through adversity and confusion we still made sure that our confidence drained team had a vocal support to push them on as best we could. They say the 12th man is vital for a team, for Leeds United fans it feels like pushing a lorry full of washing machines up a steep hill with the aid of a pallet truck. I’m not quite sure who or whom each analogy relates to, but I think most fans of Leeds understand what I mean.

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It drives me full of frustration when I see a side like Burnley who has been in the Premier League recently. They will barring a complete slip up be there again next season. The reason of frustration is not just the envy, it’s coupled by the town and surroundings that house the team. Burnley is just a strange place, the grey clouds seem to have attached themselves to the town and the fans are just horrible. It sounds bitter, but I am so pleased that I am not connected to this club. Being a Leeds United fan is much more than being in the Premier League, we actually have so much more going for us despite the unreal plight and situation we find ourselves in. Where Elland Road has been modernized throughout these troubled years, Turf Moor is a dated snapshot of the past. I think the chair I was sat in formed part of the original ground, not that I sat in it mind you.

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The game was full of missed opportunities that seem to follow us around. Top scorer Ross McCormack scored a deft header that really should’ve put us 2-0 clear heading into the break. Instead we saw his goal cancelled out by Burnleys first attack that resulted in an own goal steered past Jack Butland. This was all that happened for them, their fans rightly pleased to be level in a half we outplayed them in.

The second half saw us try and play some patient football. But as soon as we couldn’t clear the ball and were punished for this, we kept trying to hit long balls up to the attack. This became repetitive and disheartening and Burnley saw the match out. Brian McDermott looked rightly frustrated as he trudged off whilst Sean Dyche looked chuffed to pieces.

The journey back gave me time to reflect and I think it’s clear to see that the current team are trying their hardest. It’s the confusion and unknowns going on in the background that are causing the greatest concerns. We now find ourselves in 15th position but we are a long way clear of the bottom three. It’s also worth remembering that there are far worse teams than us in this league.

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Meeting Andy Hughes on the way back to my car made me question a true hero. He is someone in modern day Leeds United history who understood what it meant to play for the club. It’s clear and sometimes easy to forget that not everybody is of the same mould. Andy Hughes is a very good example of a modern day player who realized how important and lucky he was to represent Leeds United. Andy thank you for making that time to say hi and pose for a photo.

For the rest of us we dream of beating Millwall this Saturday and hope that Cellino can get past this guilty verdict of Tax Evasion. It’s never dull at Elland Road!

MOT
DarcyB

Bird Boxes up ready for Spring

This weekend we took full advantage of the sunny weather and did some jobs around the house. In the UK we have been very lucky this weekend with sunshine allowing temperatures to hit just under 20c. There is an extremely positive feeling that Spring is here and we may escape the snow that plagued us last March.

One of my first little jobs this weekend was to remove the horrible buff yellow slabs we have on the front garden. I removed these and laid down a deep bedding of 20mm Gravel which will make it easier when parking the cars but also it looks a hell of a lot better.

A tip run and some moving around the garage sandwiched the main job in the garden. We are keen lovers of nature and have been impressed with the numbers of tits and other house birds that occupy our garden. It’s a colourful canvas of action and noise with them all chirping and fluttering around our suburban neighborhood and at this early part of Spring it’s important to do our Spring Watch duties.

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I’ve put three bird boxes up in the back garden. Two of them are suitable for tits and small birds whilst the other is for Robins and Wrens. The location of the one for the tits is between 3-4 meters high and in a South facing position which means they will stay warm but not too hot. These have been kept away from the bird feeder to prevent too much disruption from other birds. The open fronted type for Robins and Wrens is North facing and around 2 meters high which will be camouflaged by our hanging plants on the fence.

This Sunday evening we were amazed to see that the two hung up on our Garage were visited by a couple of Blue Tits. They went into both boxes probably having a viewing before deciding if they meet their high standards. This is really encouraging after only a few hours of being placed up. I will keep my blog readers updated with any other news.

One thing is for sure, Spring is in the air, let’s hope it’s not a false dawn!

DarcyB

Why Breaking Bad is highly addictive – No Spoilers

They say the greatest things have probably been discovered by somebody else first. There is also the likelihood with a Television Series, that a few people have patiently worked their way from the start and not had the luxury of watching it at their leisure by box set.

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I am very fortunate with the fact that with Breaking Bad I am a sheep. I have heard no end of people talking about it and the final straw came when Chris Evans started watching it and talking about the obvious addiction to it on his Radio 2 Breakfast Show.

This is by no means a spoiler and I will not discuss anything about the plot, that is not fair. I am more intrigued about how a show first aired in 2008 and has just concluded it’s 5th and final season could escape under the radar until now.

I am just coming to the end of the third season and have to say it has totally gripped me. The story is based centrally on a Chemistry teacher called Walter who discovers he has Lung Cancer. In an attempt to raise quick money to give his pregnant wife and disabled son a life after his death he becomes involved with drugs after watching a drug raid with his wife’s husband who works in the DEA.

Walter uses his advanced knowledge of Chemistry to create the perfect Crystal Meth and the show carries on from this.

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The writer of the show has publicly stated that the success of this show is partly down to piracy. This obviously caused some concern within the industry, however the shows success could be down to this very point. The show is not low budget, far from it. It is well written and the actual storyline is pure genius. I am very happy to be a follower and am very much loving the fact that I can watch this show up and to it’s conclusion at my own pace.

For those out there who have not heard or seen Breaking Bad yet I ask only one thing. Get behind me and become the next generation of sheep, it’s totally worth it.

DarcyB