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!
As I sat in the pub convincing myself that the tip I had for the Grand National would come good, something better happened. Rewind back a couple of hours and Leeds United were extremely unlucky going down to another defeat at Wigan. A Jack Butland mistake was the difference between a side firmly in the play offs and a Leeds side playing for the Summer.
Now going back to the better thing that happened, the news broke that Massimo Cellino had won his appeal against the football league. I had to pinch myself at first, not because of the news but because of the timing of it. For once it couldn’t have happened at a better time, as the players were left to think through another defeat, a lift of positive proportions was presented to the club.
I am still a little bit uncertain as to what this will bring but I do now know that anything can be expected. One of the first thoughts in my head was about our manager, how long will he last? The interview that hit social media last week was pretty damning but frankly honest. It is safe to say that those fans who hounded Cellino away from Elland Road on the night of the January transfer window ending are the same ones phoning McDermott and giving him abuse.
I have always sat on the side of the team and where sometimes I’ve expressed my disappointment, I’ve always understood the reasons as to why we are in this situation. The manager is the right person to lead Leeds United forward, it just seems that we need to see what Cellino wants. He was quoted as saying he wants a coach, not a manager, let’s see if this is still the case once he settles in at Elland Road.
One of the other questions on people’s lips is will Cellino still team up with Farnam and his Together Leeds consortium? I’m not too sure about this one, part of me thinks that now he is in control, he doesn’t need to go off course to his own plans. This guy is a self made multi millionaire who likes to make his own decisions. The one fact that remains is that we suddenly have the financial clout to compete.
So as we head into the new week we will see the way that things go. One thing for certain is David Haigh will still be at Elland Road. Personally I think he has been very true and loyal to the club, through these hard times he has still been there to face it front on. I think his role is important as we look to move onwards into the new dawn.
Let’s enjoy this news for what it is and hope we finally get to see some positive changes that we all crave. I’m excited to be at Vicarage Road on Tuesday night to see the first game under our new owners. Oh going back to the Grand National, my horse didn’t even finish, let alone win.