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Leeds United battle Blues

Saturday 13th September saw the first live football match of the season for me. Leeds United have had what some would call an eventful season both on and off the pitch. The die hard supporters like myself would argue that this is quite simply the norm. The away trip to St Andrews is always a pleasure if not solely for the fact that Birmingham City seem to be treading on similar grounds to us.

The sun was out for what turned into a pleasant trip to the ground as me and my friends who are all blue noses greeted the lunch time kick off with similar uneasy expectations. The Sky cameras had their typically unwelcome effect by keeping some fans on their sofas at home. This however is not the problem for Leeds United as we managed to easily sell out our allocation of 2,600.

I was once again undercover sitting in the Home end with my friends and an uninspiring first half saw Birmingham take a deserved lead as the game headed into the last 10 minutes of the first half. The most entertaining moment to come from this dire situation was the fact the shot broke the post holding the net up. After almost 9 minutes the net was repaired and we were put through the torture of 9 minutes of fruitless injury time.
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The traditional half time Bovril couldn’t lift my mood as Birmingham City’s fans around me were talking positively of their first half exploits. I wasn’t exactly sure if it was because they were playing amazingly or more likely it was the fact that we were piss awful.

As the second half started our caretaker manager Neil Redfearn who is more commonly known on Twitter as #doitforredders threw an extra man in midfield which immediately put Birmingham on the back foot. A couple of changes at around the hour mark saw Doukara and Austin introduced to add muscle to the side.

It worked immediately and the slim line fuel efficient Austin seized control in the middle of the park. Doukara oozed power and purpose and the hard working Antenucci never gave up. Ironically it was a mistake my Birmingham that presented my man of the match Alex Mowatt with the opportunity to burst into the box and slot the ball past their keeper. This was a neat finish and a deserved equalizer.

As the game headed into the final ten minutes it became an end to end battle with Birmingham going the closest to snatch the win. A penalty call that bizarrely went our way prevented the opportunity to lose a hard fought point. It wasn’t a penalty but you just don’t expect those decisions to go your way when you are the away side. Another late chance saw a header flash wide and a superb goal line clearance by Warnock.

The whistle brought the game to a well deserved share of the spoils. Birmingham have certainly improved on last season whilst Leeds United displayed some fantastic quick passing moves which resulted in some positive attacking moves. Overall I was very happy with the point and am now very excited about the prospect of visiting Elland Road for the first time this season on Saturday against Huddersfield.

Leeds managed to follow this draw up with a splendid 3-1 at Bournemouth which saw caretaker boss Redfearn earn his 7th point from 9. Leeds United find themselves in the lofty position of 13th heading into this fierce Yorkshire Derby, it will be one titanic battle for sure!

MOT
DarcyB

The new season is finally here

Last season it lasted approximately 12 minutes before Ulloa silenced the Elland Road faithful on the opening day. All the expectation, anticipation, excitement and faith extinguished quickly before most fans had even sat on their seats and familiarized themselves with the new players. Fortunately last season we turned it around and one of last seasons successes Luke Murphy scored an injury time winner to see Leeds win 2-1. Those same feelings extinguished after 12 minutes returning for at least until the next game.
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This blog isn’t about the criticism of last seasons debacle but to highlight what most people in this country are feeling this morning as we sip our morning coffees and teas. It is the first Saturday of the new season and how bloody exciting is it?

We have been pretty fortunate to have a World Cup to keep us entertained during this break, one that for best parts kept our football fix satisfied despite England’s expected early failures. I for one am gutted that the magic disappearing spray (the World Cup highlight for me) won’t be gracing the Football League this season. Mind you knowing our luck it’ll probably end up destroying the sacred grass on Elland Road, let the Premiership boys try it out first on our Non Brazilian Grasses!

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Leeds United fans are used to football dramas on and off the field and despite the change of ownership at Elland Road nobody could’ve scripted the latest change around. In a Summer that’s seen our new Italian owner Cellino dramatically change every detail possible in a bid to stop the club rotting away, every day has had it’s fresh challenges.

An unknown coaching team have been put in place to replace the failed Reverend McDermott and sidekick Gibbs. Thorp Arch was closed during the off season in a bid to reduce running costs and the players asked to take packed lunches on their pre season tour. Back room staff and old Leeds greats slashed off the wage bills. These things have managed to take a chink out of the rediculous running costs that had drained our club of any chance of survival. Of course the trashy tabloids found it hilarious and in an attempt to rile the majority of Leeds fans by reporting on every minor event happening.

In a summer that saw us release the dead wood, prevent previously agreed deals from going through, seeing our captain sold to a rival championship club and since announced they are the biggest club he’s played for, we have seen it all. Many fans have been vocal in support for the new regime, I’m certainly one of them.

Cellino has been a breath of fresh air and now after 3 months of hard work we find ourselves here, waiting for 3pm to arrive. On most days a trip to Millwall would engulf passion based purely on our rivalry and quite extreme hatred for each other, today it’s got an almost calming and surreal feeling to the seasons curtain raiser.

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Marco Silvestri, Gaetano Berardi, Stuart Taylor, Tommaso Bianchi, Nicky Ajose, Steve Morison, Souleymane Doukara and Zan Benedicic welcome to Leeds United. Embrace the opportunity you have to play for our club. The first day of a new season awaits and you guys all have the chance to be part of something big. This feeling is amazing and one that just sits there and becomes even more prominent as the clock ticks ever closer to 3pm.

To all fans around the country feeling the same about their own clubs it doesn’t need me to tell you to savior the moment. We all have our own expectations and targets for this new season and I’m pretty sure they all start with 3 points on the opening day and the hope the new signings prove to be as exciting as we’d all hoped.

Let’s hope for Leeds fans today the expectation and excitement lasts longer than 12 minutes!

MOT

Cellino revolution gathers pace

This week I listened to the latest interview with eccentric Italian owner Massimo Cellino. Chronic hay fever put aside it was one of the most passionate and exciting interviews I’ve heard since the Champions League years. With Cellino in charge we most certainly seem to be going in the right direction. We have heard many people spout out words in the past with very little substance, ever since Cellino fought the football league to take control he has backed up everything with action. A well known saying actions speak louder than words, Cellino certainly delivers both which is quite exciting in all honesty.
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On our Italian tour Leeds United played their first preseason friendly against a local amateur side FC Gheirdeina. The scoreline of 16-0 certainly raised a few eyebrows and the photo above confirmed that United were dominant from start to finish. Most encouraging moments included a first half hat trick for Noel Hunt and a second half double hat trick for Matt Smith. The latter has been subject to a bid from Millwall which Cellino dismissed immediately by saying I like Matt Smith, he is one we can build a team around. Let’s see where this one goes.

Cellino followed up by saying that he would like to build a stronger team spirit and can’t believe that the squad turns up to home games from their own homes. A team coach is the next purchase on his list and he has also made it clear that he expects all players to live in Leeds. This is music to my ears, I love the passion that our owner is expressing, it all makes complete sense. Massimo also confirmed in one of the most encouraging snippets of his interview that Leeds are nearly debt free pending a deal with GHFC, it’s all positive.

Despite selling Ross McCormack the squad has seen three permanent new signings who are now training and involved in our Italian preseason tour. There are also a couple of loan deals that have options to extend if their season proves to be successful which is a shrewd move. Cellino has sold the dream to the Italian players and stipulated that they must learn English to be part of Leeds United. This is a special project and they want to be part of it. One things for sure we are potentially attracting better players on lower salaries. The overpriced UK market was confirmed by the £11m that Fulham paid for McCormack, I still find it laughable but I’m not complaining.

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Above we have Tommaso Bianchi and Souleymane Doukara who have joined on a 3 year deal and 12 month loan respectively. These are in addition to Matt Taylor and Marco Silvestri who have joined on 2 year and 4 year Deals.

I will repeat myself by saying it’s very exciting right now with Leeds United and I’m hoping the small number of negative twitter trolls get on board and move along, this is the best option for us suffering fans. It’s never dull at our club, let’s see what this week brings.

MOT
DarcyB

I’m still in love with Leeds United Ross

So it has finally happened, Ross McCormack today engineered his well publicized move away from Leeds United. Ever since the curtains drew down on last seasons debacle and Cellino started to make his changes to the money leaking ship LUFC, poor old Ross has fallen out of love with the club he declared himself in love with.

I had already accepted this fate well before the news came out confirming his £11m move to Fulham this morning. Initially I was full of praise for how Ross conducted himself over these last four seasons. I couldn’t have said a bad word against our Captain who single handedly kept us up last year (see my post – without Ross McCormacks goals, from 15th to Bottom) http://wp.me/p3Nw2L-8K

The memories of his performances from last season filled my head, he was surely pushed out of the club by Cellino, surely…?
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This was until Ross came out with a typically Ill timed and misjudged statement. In a report published online Ross explained that he had to leave the club, he cited it because Leeds United were no longer the club he fell in love with. Sadly when the Capital city comes a calling and they offer the money it’s easy to fall out of love with anyone or anything.

Ross I would like to put on record my disappointment in this statement. If anything It also confirms the one big difference between players and fans other than the ridiculous salaries. A player will never truly love a football club, unless you are Steven Gerrard who knows only of Liverpool. A player should never say this, the fans love a club, hearing a player say that will always sound out their critics, it’s safe to say you now have plenty of your own.

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Obviously there are two sides to every story, however I’m not really concerned about what you will say now the truth has come out about your feelings. Fans will never leave their club, if we all adopted the same approach we wouldn’t have a club. Going back to my previous point, no player can or will ever love LUFC, that’s the fans job. The ones who do will either stay for their entire career aka Gary Kelly or leave to save the club they love aka Alan Smith. Sadly Ross you have done neither, it’s at this point I’d like to say goodbye to you.

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Fulham FC you are welcome to Ross, he will probably score you some goals and you will probably go back up to the Premiership. One things for sure, the mighty Leeds United will carry on doing what we always do. We will plug on endlessly selling out every away game and singing the boys who play for us week in week out. Cellino is the man who wants what we all want, passion, values, belief and a hard days work for an honest days pay.

The world will never stop turning around, but the love for a club is a fickle word used by many, sadly Ross that includes you.

MOT
DarcyB

Blues Beaten with Relegation Consequences

Saturday saw me and my friend Chris visit St Andrews for the “2nd leg” between our teams. After the totally unexpected 4-0 win for Leeds back in October the season has seen both of our sides struggle for any type of consistency. If anything Leeds record of 2 wins in our last 3 suggested we would go into the fixture as the form side. Either way Birmingham who currently have a European record of having the worst home form this season needed to win. Precariously positioned just above the relegation zone before kick off, it was a time for Birmingham to show some belief and fight for a result that their season depended on. In a strange twist to previous Away days, I found myself sat in the Home End, so saw the games events from a different viewpoint to normal.

Birmingham find themselves in a position that Leeds fans are all too familiar with. They are in an ownership quandary with Carson Yeung currently in jail for money laundering and are trying their best to keep the club running until the seasons end. The squad is unbalanced and there are a handful of players who are either young and inexperienced within the ranks or those who have been injured with very little playing time behind them. The fans that turned up today were very vocal in their support and managed to keep the 3,000 traveling support from Leeds quiet during a disjointed first half.

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A half that was full of probing intent from Birmingham should of seen them score within the first 5 minutes, when put through on goal the young Adeyemi could only lift his shot over the frame of Butlands goal. That was a warning shot in the arm for Leeds and despite lengths of possession the home side couldn’t test former star Jack Butland in the visitors goal. Towards the end of the first half Leeds produced the first shot on target, when Michael Tonge tested Randalph with a low shot. As half time came around there was a positive feel amongst the Birmingham City support who had earlier displayed a flag showing their support for the club whilst venting frustration with the current regime.

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Whilst drinking Bovril at half time the conversations between surrounding home fans suggested that this was the best they had seen Birmingham play in a while. From a Leeds point of view, I could see how by hounding the players, they were preventing us from having any real possession which in turn created rushed and hurried plays resulting in lost causes. The second half couldn’t be any worse and the feeling was if we could make some chances that a goal wouldn’t be beyond us. Quite how the second half would turn out following my brave +3.5 goal prediction before the game was a surprise to all.

The sun was out following a period of gloomy rain and the same confident, assured Birmingham side had suddenly appeared to have lost their game plan. The chasing down the ball and clean tidy passing had stopped and Leeds soon realised that there was an opportunity to take advantage of this. The home support could see what was happening and with Leeds first real attacking move of the game, Michael Tonge crossed to Matt Smith who duly headed past the stranded Randalph in the home goal.

Before the crowd could take breath and assess what had just happened, Leeds went straight back up and a cross wasn’t dealt with properly and Danny Pugh who I had earlier lambasted for being inconsistent drove the ball home from just inside the area to make it 2-0. These two goals in two minutes suddenly transformed the once positive St Andrews crowd into a frenzied vocally discontent bunch. Fans got up and left as a familiar ringing of Leeds fans started chanting “We’ve only come, to send you down” echoed around the ground. It was at this point Blackpool scored at Wigan to confirm Birminghams slip into the bottom 3.

As I sat there trying to show my concerns and frustrations, Leeds put together a passing move that felt like an eternity to the Home fans. Each pass was greeted with an Olay and it was at this point it was over as a contest. Leeds made it 3-0 when a McCormack cross was turned into his own net by Caddis and a farce of substitutions by a desperate Lee Clark caused a further wave of disgruntled home fans to leave.

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It was at this point Macheda the most recognized striker who was brought on, scored a consolation with his first real touch. The frustrations were clear to see as Birmingham suddenly looked like a team who could play. A second goal nearly came, but as the game fizzled out after a nasty injury to Alex Mowatt (who required stretchering off) the game ended.

Being a Leeds United fan isn’t easy and this season has had far more downs than ups, but the world hasn’t stopped turning around. This was a great win and it’s when things like this happen, you truly appreciate the frustrations of other teams who are in similar situations. We are very very fortunate to have an amazing fan base and it is because of this that we finally appear to have attracted an owner with the financial clout to manage our demanding expectations.

I really hope Birmingham City avoid relegation and our 7-1 aggregate win can be challenged again next season in a rematch. Birmingham fans deserve better and their summer will be an important one, Wigan at home this Tuesday is also their cup final.

For us it’s been a solid end to a season of unfulfilled promise. A final day win at home to Derby next week would be an unlikely strong end leading into a Summer of excitement and change. I’ve seen 6 away games this season and was fortunate to see 3 wins at Charlton, Yeovil and this game at Birmingham. The defeats at Reading and Burnley were frustrating but the one beating we took at Watford was deserved.

Onto next season!!

MOT
DarcyB

A new era starts at Vicarage Road

As I sit down completing my usual Away prematch ritual, I find myself slightly more excited than normal. The drive down today was pleasant and parking the car a minimal exercise. I’ve had a lovely burger and ale at Mollonys along the High Street and the wander to the ground was not only paved by the golden shirts worn by tonight’s hosts.

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The sunshine is out on a pleasantly warm Spring Evening and the buzz amongst the Leeds United faithful brings back similar memories of that Summer night Semi Final playoff at Elland Road against Preston. It’s been one amazing story since the news broke out on Saturday afternoon that Cellino won his appeal against the Football League.

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Tonight as I headed towards Vicarage Road the news broke that Massimo Cellino had officially taken control, the promise this takeover brings is unknown but for one thing it’s come at the ideal time. Reports of the club declaring debts of £9.5m a handful of months before the Football Leagues fair play rules come into play confirms once again that this was needed to not only compete but to survive.

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As I sit soaking up the inevitable vocal support that we bring to every ground we visit, I wonder what the future brings. Vicarage Road is a ground currently going through some development and the new stand being built to my left is a visual state of intent from the Pozza family keen to get Watford up to the promised land.

Since 2006 and that horrible memory at Cardiff it’s clear to see that whilst Watford enjoyed a year in the Premiership, Leeds United via League One are now competing on a level playing field. Tonight sees Leeds v Watford, Cagliari v Udinese, Cellino v Pozza, it’s Italy v The Football League.

So as kick off approaches let’s enjoy this moment a little longer. It’s fun being a Leeds fan!

MOT
DarcyB

From 15th to Bottom without McCormacks Goals

It’s safe to say that frustration reached boiling point after our home defeat to Charlton. It was so much that even our loyal Captain received his fair share of criticism following his 94th minute penalty miss that denied Leeds a much needed point. The debate amongst fans of the club and supporters across the country is where would Leeds United be without Roscos goals? The findings make pretty disturbing reading, even though 2014 has been a terrible year for Leeds.

It’s at this point that I understand we simply wouldn’t have played minus Ross McCormack. This is based on taking his goals away from our tally. Assume for the point of this post that we have Noel Hunt playing in his place. In fairness this would be pretty accurate! 😉 It is also worth reiterating that when I say with or without Ross I mean with or without his goals scored.

Leeds first league win?
With Ross in the side, Leeds United secured a last minute 2-1 victory against Brighton on the opening day at Elland Road. Without Ross we would have to wait until the first game of September where a 1-0 win away at Bolton was achieved courtesy of a Luke Varney 6th minute strike.

Longest Unbeaten Run?
With Ross in the team, an unbeaten run of 5 matches in December propelled Leeds towards the play off places. Without Ross in this Leeds team would see the side manage a season best 3 match unbeaten run (1 win & 2 draws) during the same month.

Longest winless run?
With Ross in the side the longest we have had to wait for a victory is 7 matches stretching over the Christmas period and the whole of January. Without Ross it is the last 11 matches we haven’t won in.

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Victories that were lost?
That memorable 4-2 victory at The Valley that included a delayed kick off and a 4 goal masterpiece from Ross would have turned into a miserable 2-0 defeat. The impressive 2-0 home victory against promotion chasing Wigan (our best performance all season) would’ve been a 0-0 affair. Beating Yeovil 2-0 at Elland Road once again would’ve been a 0-0 draw without Ross and our last victory against Millwall would have ended in a 1-1 draw.

League Position?
With Ross McCormack and his league goals we find ourselves sat in 15th position comfortably ahead of the Relegation Zone with 7 games remaining. Without Ross not only would we be rock bottom in 24th position but we would be 10 points behind 23rd place Yeovil with the worst goal difference in the league on 24 points and minus 35.

The scary fact is that without Ross McCormack we would have only won 4 matches this season whilst scoring 23 goals. The even more disturbing fact is the slump we find ourselves in with him in the side. Since the turn of the year we have only won 12 points from 16 matches, without Ross we would only have 6 points in 2014.

The Stats?

With Ross McCormacks Goal

P W D L F A G/D PTS Position
39. 13. 8. 18. 52. 58 -6. 47. 15th

Without Ross McCormacks Goals

P W D L F A G/D PTS Position
39. 4. 12. 23.23. 58 -35. 24. 24th

I think we need to make sure his contribution is recognized in what has been a challenging season. The 2013/14 season needs to be quickly put to bed. Once the future of our club is decided one thing is for sure, their will be a big overhaul in the Summer. The biggest decision is will it be under the leadership of Brian McDermott or not?

MOT
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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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