Author Topic: The Super(ish) Leeds United Thread  (Read 40309 times)

Rufus T Firefly

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The Super(ish) Leeds United Thread
« on: January 25, 2007, 08:14:53 PM »
Right - thought about putting this one in at the start of this season and then the notion went off me after a disastrous run! Was then encouraged to give it another rattle when someone put the thread up about which soccer team you supported/followed, and Leeds appeared to be joint third behind Liverpool and Manure. So there's a few other fools out there like Billys Boots and myself!

There used to be a show on Sky Sports called 'Hold the Back Page', in which three soccer journalists would sit with chairman Brian Woolnough, around a small table in a darkened room, and discuss in detail all the football issues of the day. It has been replaced in recent years by Jimmy Hill's Football Supplement.

Back in August/September 2001, Paddy Barclay of the Guardian (I think) stated on Hold the Back Page that Leeds were the next great thing. At the tail end of the preceding season, they had lost a Champions League Semi-Final to Valencia, with a young and ever increasing squad. Barclay's prediction looked about right as Leeds approached Christmas 2001 first in the Premiership. Indeed, if the results for the Calendar year of 2001 had been rattled up for every team, Leeds would have finished top by twelve clear points!

Early in the New Year of 2002, Leeds were away in the 3rd round of the FA Cup to Cardiff City, and despite taking the lead, lost two one. It was to be the start of a long downward spiral that continues to this day, with Leeds on the verge of a visit outside the top two leagues for the first time in their history!

After that Cup defeat, Leeds fell away badly in the league and missed out on the lucrative Champions League. The writing was now on the wall, as this Champions League qualification was essential to pay the huge debts. The following season they just stayed up by winning the second last game of the season away to Arsenal, but all the squad continued to be sold off, much of it for a pittance, and relegation followed the season after.

The first season in the Championship was mid table safety under a new manager, Kevin Blackwell, who had started the season with one professional player on the staff - Gary Kelly! The following season, last year, saw a push for promotion that resulted in a play off place and a heavy defeat to Watford in the play off final. This year the wheels have come off totally. Blackwell has got the sack and been replaced by Dennis Wise and Gus Poyet. That legend  ::) Ken Bates has come in, bought the Club and invested sweet FA - the impression I get is that he wants to get another pay off like Chelsea, as there is no doubt there is great potential with Leeds, i.e. Leeds is the biggest city in the UK with only one football team.

Players are coming and going at an unbelievable rate. Leeds are about to acquire a new keeper who will be their fourth of the season but many of the players brought in are patently not good enough and as a consequence results continue to be dire. Throughout all of this, the family china continues to be sold off for a pittance,; witness Kilgallon's sale to Sheffield United for little over a million. It has reached the stage now where the assistant manager, Gus Poyet, looks like he might be in line for a run!  >:(

This season was always going to be very difficult. This is the last season that Leeds continue to pay the wages (part of) of Robbie Keane and Robbie Fowler. However it coincided with the first season outside the Premiership without the parachute payments. Still and all, I could not see the season that is panning out, and for the first time I believe that they will probably go down, as they are currently six points off safety (effectively seven when goal difference is considered). The situation seems hopeless - new players are required and they need to get to know each other - unfortunately there is no time, and still no sign of replacements for problem positions such as centre half!

The future? Well I would be a bit more optimistic. If Leeds do go down, I feel they will have reached such a low that someone somewhere will decide enough is enough and hopefully Bates will be bought out by people prepared to invest in the squad. There is huge potential within Leeds for those looking to speculate and I would hope that that might happen. Unfortunately though, it is likely that Leeds will need to reach a new low before that happens!! 

Any other Leeds fans out there with a view?  ;D   
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PadraicHenryPearse

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Re: The Super(ish) Leeds United Thread
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2007, 08:22:50 PM »
i'm a notts county fan, see you down here soon.  ;) :)

if you want a real sob story look at our recent past. my old assistant manager is a Leeds fan, still get the odd email from him and he believe's they are down this year aswell and really fears for the club getting back up.

ONeill

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Re: The Super(ish) Leeds United Thread
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2007, 08:54:20 PM »
A few things Rufus (for some reason I always had a soft spot for Leeds - I remember being bitterly disappointed when, in 1987, they lost the FA semi final as a 2nd div team to Coventry 3-2 AET)

1. If Leeds had qualified for the CL that season they lost to Cardiff, would they still have avoided the money problems?
2. Are you annoyed that Keane & co are still being paid by Leeds? Could they help Leeds out in this respect or is it down to the clubs they're playing with now?
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Goats Do Shave

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Re: The Super(ish) Leeds United Thread
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2007, 09:15:02 PM »
"WE ALL HATE LEEDS SCUM, WE ALL HATE LEEDS SCUM!!!"

Only jokin' tis a shame the way they have fallen so far. Clubs seem to be able to take the pish with Leeds though...if Kilgannon was sold 3/4 years ago...they'd have got more money!

Do they own Elland Rd??

Rufus T Firefly

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Re: The Super(ish) Leeds United Thread
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2007, 09:50:26 PM »
A few things Rufus (for some reason I always had a soft spot for Leeds - I remember being bitterly disappointed when, in 1987, they lost the FA semi final as a 2nd div team to Coventry 3-2 AET)

1. If Leeds had qualified for the CL that season they lost to Cardiff, would they still have avoided the money problems?
2. Are you annoyed that Keane & co are still being paid by Leeds? Could they help Leeds out in this respect or is it down to the clubs they're playing with now?

1. Good question ONeill, the answer to which we will probably never know. The spending really was high wire stuff without a safety net. They finished fourth that year (and only the top three qualified), but it would have meant entering again at the qualifier stage if they had finished third. If memory serves me well, they needed to get to at least the second stage proper (second group stage) to cover the costs, and of course do that on a regular basis. Ridsdale appears to have had absolute blind faith that this would happen - which probably led to the phrase 'living the dream'.
2. Very much so - but not with the two Robbies - more with the muppets that allowed such a situation to happen. I'd say the two Robbies don't like to see the state that Leeds are in, but Leeds were desperate to sell to get any money. City and Spurs were only wiling to offer something like half the wages. The two Robbies were not keen to take a drop of 20/30k a week. Leeds were therefore that desperate that the only way out was to agree to keep paying the difference until the end of the contract. By the way, I'm not sure if these were the only two this happened to.
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Rufus T Firefly

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Re: The Super(ish) Leeds United Thread
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2007, 09:52:42 PM »
"WE ALL HATE LEEDS SCUM, WE ALL HATE LEEDS SCUM!!!"

Only jokin' tis a shame the way they have fallen so far. Clubs seem to be able to take the pish with Leeds though...if Kilgannon was sold 3/4 years ago...they'd have got more money!

Do they own Elland Rd??

No - it was sold like everything else!  :(
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saffron sam2

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Re: The Super(ish) Leeds United Thread
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2007, 10:02:00 PM »
A few things Rufus (for some reason I always had a soft spot for Leeds - I remember being bitterly disappointed when, in 1987, they lost the FA semi final as a 2nd div team to Coventry 3-2 AET)

1. If Leeds had qualified for the CL that season they lost to Cardiff, would they still have avoided the money problems?
2. Are you annoyed that Keane & co are still being paid by Leeds? Could they help Leeds out in this respect or is it down to the clubs they're playing with now?

1. Good question ONeill, the answer to which we will probably never know. The spending really was high wire stuff without a safety net. They finished fourth that year (and only the top three qualified), but it would have meant entering again at the qualifier stage if they had finished third. If memory serves me well, they needed to get to at least the second stage proper (second group stage) to cover the costs, and of course do that on a regular basis. Ridsdale appears to have had absolute blind faith that this would happen - which probably led to the phrase 'living the dream'.
2. Very much so - but not with the two Robbies - more with the muppets that allowed such a situation to happen. I'd say the two Robbies don't like to see the state that Leeds are in, but Leeds were desperate to sell to get any money. City and Spurs were only wiling to offer something like half the wages. The two Robbies were not keen to take a drop of 20/30k a week. Leeds were therefore that desperate that the only way out was to agree to keep paying the difference until the end of the contract. By the way, I'm not sure if these were the only two this happened to.
I thought the figure was closer to 12 and included among other Stephen McPhail
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Rufus T Firefly

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Re: The Super(ish) Leeds United Thread
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2007, 10:09:22 PM »
A few things Rufus (for some reason I always had a soft spot for Leeds - I remember being bitterly disappointed when, in 1987, they lost the FA semi final as a 2nd div team to Coventry 3-2 AET)

1. If Leeds had qualified for the CL that season they lost to Cardiff, would they still have avoided the money problems?
2. Are you annoyed that Keane & co are still being paid by Leeds? Could they help Leeds out in this respect or is it down to the clubs they're playing with now?

1. Good question ONeill, the answer to which we will probably never know. The spending really was high wire stuff without a safety net. They finished fourth that year (and only the top three qualified), but it would have meant entering again at the qualifier stage if they had finished third. If memory serves me well, they needed to get to at least the second stage proper (second group stage) to cover the costs, and of course do that on a regular basis. Ridsdale appears to have had absolute blind faith that this would happen - which probably led to the phrase 'living the dream'.
2. Very much so - but not with the two Robbies - more with the muppets that allowed such a situation to happen. I'd say the two Robbies don't like to see the state that Leeds are in, but Leeds were desperate to sell to get any money. City and Spurs were only wiling to offer something like half the wages. The two Robbies were not keen to take a drop of 20/30k a week. Leeds were therefore that desperate that the only way out was to agree to keep paying the difference until the end of the contract. By the way, I'm not sure if these were the only two this happened to.
I thought the figure was closer to 12 and included among other Stephen McPhail

You're probably right SS - I do know that the two Robbies were the most high profile! Eirik Bakke as an example didn't want to leave the Club this season, despite Leeds desperation to get rid. This snippet from wikipedia gives an idea of what was happening;

Quote
Speculation continued as to Bakke's future when Eirik was left out of the Leeds United squad for the match against Sheffield Wednesday on 27 August 2006 with some in the press and supporters speculating that this was due to an imminent transfer. A Club statement was released on 29 August 2006 by Leeds United effectively stating that Eirik had played his last game in Leeds United colours [1]. Bakke however stated he would like to stay at the club [2] and still trained with the club, despite not playing, not wanting to return to playing in Norway at that point in time [3]. The problem occurred due to Eirik's 23,000 a week wages and 4,000 appearance fees[4] which were originally agreed during Ridsdale's "Living The Dream" yet the club could no longer afford to pay those type of wages in the league they were currently playing in. Leeds tried to resolve the issue attempting to meet the player half way so that Eirik could stay at the club on lesser wages but Bakke's agent stated he wanted ALL of his money[4]. The situation didn't look good for Eirik with current Leeds chairman Ken Bates already having terminated Seth Johnson's contract due to excessive wages since he has been at the club, determined to make Leeds a successful and profitable club once more.
.   >:(

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Blacksheep

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Re: The Super(ish) Leeds United Thread
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2007, 10:39:16 PM »
I thought they got 130m for Rio? Best deal ever. How come that didn't bail them out? I'll never kick a man when he's down. Leeds are down.
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AZOffaly

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Re: The Super(ish) Leeds United Thread
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2007, 10:42:08 PM »
Quote
130m for Rio?

Jaysus, you wouldn't get that for the city, never mind count Duckula. I think the fee was 30 mill.

Rufus T Firefly

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Re: The Super(ish) Leeds United Thread
« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2007, 10:48:36 PM »
I thought they got 130m for Rio? Best deal ever. How come that didn't bail them out? I'll never kick a man when he's down. Leeds are down.

AZ is right, and the Rio deal represented a rare piece of good business - bought for 18 million and sold for a profit of 12 million after getting a couple of very good years out of him! Unfortunately 30 million ain't much good when the debt is 100 million plus.

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dodo

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Re: The Super(ish) Leeds United Thread
« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2007, 10:57:09 PM »
The 30m for Ferdinand is dependant on winning Premierships, FA cups and CLs. Basically 30m was the figure released to make it sound like great business.

See Gary Kelly is not the fans favourite anymore due to the revelation that he is still earning 46,000 a week.

Mourne Rover

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Re: The Super(ish) Leeds United Thread
« Reply #12 on: January 25, 2007, 10:57:47 PM »
There are still plenty of Leeds fans about, but we tend to keep a low profile these days. The great frustration is that the team which reached the semi final of the 2001 Champions League was put together within a reasonable budget. Robbie Keane was there on loan, but was cuptied in Europe, and Ridsdale then paid well over the odds to buy him for 12m. He then bought Fowler, who was past his best and yet another striker, for a further 12m and threw in Seth Johnston for another overpriced 6m. This meant 30m in transfers and another 30m in wages, which effectively left the club bankrupt. It's difficult to get excited about the journeymen at Elland Road these days, and relegation to the old third division is a growing prospect. But, if we hang on, and the younger players start to come through again, the size of the fan base means a revival is never out of the question. 

Rufus T Firefly

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Re: The Super(ish) Leeds United Thread
« Reply #13 on: January 25, 2007, 11:16:13 PM »
The 30m for Ferdinand is dependant on winning Premierships, FA cups and CLs. Basically 30m was the figure released to make it sound like great business.

I don't know exactly dodo - but it wasn't a kick in the arse off it;

wikipedia

Quote
On 22 July 2002, Ferdinand joined another Premier League club, Manchester United, on a five year deal to become the most expensive British footballer in history, the world's most expensive defender again (a title he had lost in 2001 to Lilian Thuram) and also the premier league's second most expensive player after the arrival of Andriy Shevchenko to Chelsea (whose transfer price was also about 30 million but is believed that Shevchenko's price is greater). The fee included a basic element in the high twenty millions, and some conditional elements, which allowed Leeds to tell their fans that the were selling him for over thirty million. Leeds later took a single payment in place of all the contingent elements when they were desperate for cash during their financial crisis. The final book value of Ferdinand's contract in Manchester United's accounts was 31.12 million.[1] This included agents' fees of 400k, with Leeds receiving 30.72 million.

Mourne Rover wrote

Quote
The great frustration is that the team which reached the semi final of the 2001 Champions League was put together within a reasonable budget. Robbie Keane was there on loan, but was cuptied in Europe, and Ridsdale then paid well over the odds to buy him for 12m. He then bought Fowler, who was past his best and yet another striker, for a further 12m and threw in Seth Johnston for another overpriced 6m. This meant 30m in transfers and another 30m in wages, which effectively left the club bankrupt.

100% correct MR, and you could probably throw in Duberry for 5 million on top of that. Ridsdale wanted Leeds to be like Manure witha large squad. Ferguson's penchant for rotating his four strikers at the time (Sheringham, Cole, Yorke and Solskjaer I think) was made much of and was the inspiration for Ridsdale's madness.

Legend has it that Seth Johnson and his agent went into the meeting with Ridsdale, with the agent promising something like 18k a week but stating that they would try and brass out for 20k a week, and Ridsdale's opening gambit was 28k a week, to which came the immortal reply, 'Where do I sign?'   

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Mourne Rover

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Re: The Super(ish) Leeds United Thread
« Reply #14 on: January 25, 2007, 11:30:49 PM »
Seth Johston's agent has basically confirmed that story, but his version is that he told Johnston to say nothing during the negotiations with Ridsdale, leave the talking to him and they might end up with 15k a week if they were lucky. Ridsdale's first offer was 30k, Johnston said nothing as ordered, and the agent was speechless. Ridsdale took this as a refusal and upped the offer to 38k. They both found their voices and signed immediately.

Leeds also apparently made a 12m profit from the Champions League in 2001, so Ridsdale, believing that bigger sums would roll in every year, spent the lot on giving Gary Kelly, then the reserve right back, a six year contract at 46k per week. It does not expire until this summer, and yet you will still hear people say that Kelly deserves credit for sticking with Leeds.

Ridsdale must be the most disastrous chairman in the history of English football.