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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!