Sunday Sept 25th 2011. Championship’s Top Scorers – McCormack  (Leeds) 8  Lambert  (Southampton) 6  Austin  (Burnley) 5  Barnes (Brighton) 5 Emnes (Middlesbrough) 5  K Phillips (Blackpool) 5 Wood (Birmingham) 5 Andrews (Ipswich) 4 Cole (West Ham) 4 Connolly (Southampton) 4 S Davies (Derby) 4 Lallana (Southampton) 4 Mackail-Smith (Brighton) 4 Earnshaw (Cardiff) 3 Jutkiewicz (Coventry) 3

Friday Sept 23rd 2011. United throw away two points. Brighton 3-3 Leeds United. 01 Lonergan , 22 Lees, 26 Bromby (yc) 28 White, 48 O’Dea, 14 Howson (yc), 15 Claytton, 16 Pugh (yc) (Vayrynen 81) 23 Snodgrass (Forssell 86) 38 Keogh yellow card(Becchio 68) 44 McCormack (yc) – Unused Substitutes : 12 Rachubka, 03 Kisnorbo. Att-20,646 (2,200 Leeds) YEP -GO Green for Argyle,’ was the appeal to Brighton & Hove Albion supporters ahead of last night’s visit from Leeds United in an admirable show of solidarity with troubled Plymouth. By full-time, however, it was the visitors from Leeds who were looking green around the gills after throwing away a two-goal lead in spectacular fashion. Okay, Simon Grayson’s side rescued a point with a dramatic equaliser in stoppage time by Ross McCormack. But that should not be allowed to disguise the glaring defensive deficiencies that, once again, proved their undoing. In 11 league and cup outings this season, Leeds have conceded 21 goals – a ridiculous tally and one that is likely to make a concerted push for promotion nigh on impossible should it not improve soon. The gaping holes that were evident in United’s defence last season have plainly not been plugged, despite the signing of a quality goalkeeper in Andy Lonergan. These deficiencies were why Brighton were able to hit back from being two goals down to come within two minutes of claiming a win that would have put them top of the table – a prospect that looked highly unlikely at the break. Leigh Bromby, in particular, had a bad evening with the former Sheffield United defender being badly at fault for Brighton’s two opening goals. First, he was caught out of position as an unmarked Craig Mackail-Smith latched on to a deft pass by Ashley Barnes before drilling a low shot past Lonergan. Then, just before the hour, Bromby was guilty of a reckless challenge on Mackail-Smith that left the big money summer signing from Peterborough United in a crumpled heap and referee Lee Probert pointing to the spot. Barnes stepped up to send Lonergan the wrong way and ensure a first away win of the season still eludes Leeds. With Albion now having the momentum, they went ahead eight minutes from time when Mackail-Smnith tapped in from close range after being picked out by Barnes. That seemed to be that, only for McCormack to net in the 92nd minute to ensure the 2,200 United fans were at least able to celebrate their side claiming a point. It meant there was also some reward for what had been a hugely impressive first-half display by United, whose free-flowing approach penned Brighton back in their own territory for long periods. Keogh, preferred to Luciano Becchio despite the Argentinian’s game-changing impact against Crystal Palace and Bristol City recently, was the first to capitalise on United’s dominance in the 18th minute. In seven previous appearances, the on-loan Wolves striker had seemed unable to combine an impressive work-rate with a predatory instinct. Bad misses against Bristol City and West Ham United, in particular, suggested Keogh was not going to be the answer as to who will supply the goals should Becchio fail to repeat last season’s goal heroics. Last night, though, he made no mistake when presented with an opening eight yards out after the Seagulls defence had failed miserably to clear the danger following a darting run down the left by Aidy White. Keogh was also involved in Leeds’s second goal four minutes later, the Republic of Ireland striker chasing a long ball forward from Adam Clayton into the corner before pinching the ball off the Brighton defence. He then rolled a pass back to Robert Snodgrass, who in turn found Ross McCormack just outside the Albion penalty area. What happened next is bound to make the Scot a contender for any ‘Goal of the Month’ awards as he spun quickly before unleashing an unstoppable right-foot shot past former Leeds United goalkeeper Casper Ankergren. Brighton regained a foothold in the game two minutes after the restart through Mackail-Smith’s fine finish. The comeback was on and Albion drew level just before the hour when Bromby clattered into the back of Mackail-Smith. Referee Probert had no hesitation in pointing to the spot and Barnes duly sent Lonergan the wrong way with a fiercely struck shot. Now firmly on the back foot, Leeds struggled and seemed destined for a miserable first trip to the American Express Community Stadium when Mackail-Smith netted from close range. That was, however, until McCormack swooped to fire past Ankergren from close range after being picked out by midfielder Jonny Howson. As the sponsors of the Football League’s newest stadium used to say in their adverts, McCormack’s ninth goal in ten appearances really was a case of: That’ll do nicely, sir.In truth, though, Leeds should never have been in the position of having to save the game so late and surely their next move into the transfer market has to be a reliable and commanding stopper who can also organise what is a ridiculously porous backline. Leeds manager Simon Grayson (pictured) criticised his players’ mental approach after they threw away a two-goal half-time lead before snatching a dramatic stoppage-time equaliser in a pulsating 3-3 draw at Brighton. Andy Keogh and Ross McCormack put Leeds in charge but the Seagulls launched a stunning second-half fightback to go ahead through a penalty from Ashley Barnes and two goals from Craig Mackail-Smith. However, Leeds snatched a point in the second minute of stoppage time when McCormack rammed in a cross from skipper Jonathan Howson. Grayson said: “We can’t keep conceding goals and my players must understand it. “We shouldn’t be delighted at getting a point right at the death from the situation that we were in.  “But, on the positive side, we have taken seven points out of nine in the last three games and will always score.“We can’t keep coming from behind to salvage points or wins because somewhere down the line we won’t be able to do that. “It was a fantastic opportunity to beat a good team and you can’t give away leads of 2-0 at half-time. Ultimately it’ll lead to us not being in the play-offs or getting promotion if we continue to do that. “Whatever permutation I use in the back four, we still seem to concede goals. The mindset that we’ve got among certain individuals and possibly as a team isn’t there in terms of trying to keep sheets with a desire to do that. We seem to have these mental dips and drops in concentration levels. “We were absolutely cruising in the first half. How we can have such contrasting performances in either half, I don’t know. Brighton boss Gus Poyet admitted that, in the cold light of day, taking a point from the game would be seen as one gained, in the circumstances. He said: “We were practically out of the game at 2-0 down so we need to be realistic. Credit to the players to get back to 2-2 and then score again. “But there’s no excuses. We made a great effort only to concede in the 92nd minute. “I’m not happy with 3-3, but it can be a point gained from the position that we were in.” Poyet said a major plus point has been the form of strikers Barnes and Mackail-Smith, who now boast 11 goals between them. He added: “Mackail-Smith stormed back after his worst 45 minutes for us in the first half. “It’s been frustrating for him but his goals were well-taken ones and I’m really pleased for him.” Brighton are unbeaten at home in the league since switching to play at the new Amex Stadium, and Poyet is delighted that they are proving difficult opponents. He added: “I was pleased with the mental strength we showed. We are a good team and difficult to beat, but playing two games in 48 hours (following Wednesday’s League Cup loss to Liverpool) wasn’t easy.” Plus Points = 1. We played well in the first half and are a match for any team away from home. 2. McCormack is on fire and looks like he will score in every game, and Aidy White is a real plus at left back. 3. We keep going right until the end and have scored goals in the final five minutes consistently all season.   Negative points = 1. Defence, Defence and Defence. 2. Larry keeps complaining about his defenders but appears powerless to solve it. That’s slightly surprising seeing as he is the guy that signed all our central defenders. 3. Just what has happened to Robert Snodgrass this season. He appears a shadow of the player that runs riot down the flank. 

Friday September 23rd. Man United fans did themselves no favours by unfurling a large banner with “Istanbul” inscribed on it, with reference to the two Leeds fans killed in Turkey by Galatasary fans a number of years ago. Shouts of “Galatasaray, Galatasaray” were also loudly heard from the South Stand were Man United fans were located. Violence broke out after the game between both sets of supporters and one officer had his leg broken. There were round 20 arrests.  See video http://www.thescratchingshed.com/2011/09/manchester-united-knock-leeds-out-of-league-cup/

Thursday Sept 22nd. Pugh signs in at last. Leeds have today confirmed the signing of Danny Pugh on loan. Pugh, now 28, returns to Leeds having played for the club between 2004 & 2006 making 57 appearances. He initially signed as part of the deal that saw Alan Smith move to Manchester United. He started his career at Leeds playing on the left wing and scored 6 goals. He later left to sign for Preston before Joining Stoke where he has played in the Premiership and the Europa League. He rejoins Leeds on a loan contract with an agreement in place to make the move permanent in January. Simon Grayson had identified Pugh as a player to sign before the end of the transfer window, but Stoke pulled the plug on deal. Pugh can play anywhere down the left and in the centre of midfield. Simon Grayson : “We are delighted to bring Danny to the football club. He is a very versatile player and he is an experienced player, who has played both in the Preimer league and the Europa League with Stoke City. He also knows the Championship well, and he knows this club well. Two or three other clubs were in for him, but he jumped at the chance to come here. This was a deal we almost done on deadline day with some of the money that is available, but Tony wanted to keep him at Stoke a while longer, so we’ve brought him in on loan in the first instance and will sign him permanently in January”. Same old speech from Larry and even if it was Tommy McConnville we’d hear the same old  rhetoric. 

Weds 21st of September 2011. Taken from Yorkshire Radio’s interview with Leeds United owner Ken Bates today… (The Square Ball transcript) ‘Mr Chairman’ speaks to Ben Fry about the match last night, including the team’s performance and the actions of both sets of fans. He gives his thoughts on the big summer arrival – the £7million East Stand development – after its grand opening last night. There’s also a promise of a new signing today (although it’s not looking likely at the moment! Maybe tomorrow). Finally, there’s also a look ahead to Brighton on Friday and a look back at the mixed start to the season. Ben Fry: We’ll start with the Carling Cup last night. Do you believe in the end it was a fair result?Ken Bates: I must say, to be fair, that when I considered over the last few weeks, the Manchester United result over Bolton and indeed Chelsea at the weekend, obviously I was hoping for the upset as much as anybody else was but realistically, I thought that if we don’t lose by more than three goals, it would have been a creditable performance. It was a rare occasion when I got it spot on. I thought one of their goals at least had an element of luck to it and Nunez, of course, in the last few minutes did a Torres by doing all the hard work then nearly hitting the corner flag. Of course, in the first four or five minutes we could have gone 1-0 up anyway by basically playing ping pong in their area but it just didn’t go in. At the end of the day, and in the first 20 minutes I thought we matched them but after that I thought we made the mistake of standing off and letting them play. So after that, I think the game was lost. But I don’t think we have to be downhearted. We were not disgraced, we had some young kids in the side and I know they did as well but I think that all in all, we can still have our heads held high and look forward to Brighton on Friday. BF: Sir Alex showed some respect with his team selection though. There were some big names in there.KB: Well yes. He had no intention of treating us like he did after the shock result two years ago. I mean Giggs, I thought it was brilliant the way he played in central midfield and then still find time and space to walk up the pitch and get in the area. But we had lots of good things, I won’t mention any players, I did used to do so but  bar-none they put in a good performance and just weren’t good enough for the best team in the world. BF: For the players, it will be a learning curve to show them where they want to end up.KB: I think they it will be very valuable for them to watch that game at least twice more for the individual players to see where they went wrong and what they could have done differently. I think there’s a lot of things to take heart from there. BF: Let’s talk about the crowd and we’ll start with the Manchester United crowd. Some of their chanting was particularly inciteful and very offensive. KB: (interrupts) Well I thought the important thing was that our fans were to be commended last night because they didn’t respond when they were chanting about Istanbul and Galatasaray, which is ignorant and despicable. Our fans could have made references to Munich which they didn’t and they have to be admired for that. All credit to all 28,000 Leeds United fans that were there. The unfortunate thing, our fans behaviour was mild of course to the scenes before the game and the scenes after the game. Those people that were involved in it have to think more carefully and a bit more deeply about the implications or consequences of what they do. First of all, the police bill is much higher than normal and that means the money just goes out of the club’s coffers into the police coffers so that means less money for the club. So fans that do that are actually putting some of the money they want to support the club with via the admission price straight into the police’s pockets instead. But secondly, police authorities exchange information so they’ll get a police report. We’re playing Brighton next but we’ll play other clubs shortly and the relative police forces will consider these reports and recently the behaviour of the Leeds fans has been greatly improved, partly because of the Membership scheme so we know who goes and we have very little problems at away games but the police won’t accept that. The police decide how many tickets are allowed for away fans and in recent years we’ve had increased allocations but we’re now going to have to watch it very carefully because the away clubs won’t give as many tickets which means the ordinary, decent law-abiding fans will be the ones that get punished and they’re getting punished by their fellow fans. And it affects Leeds’ reputation as well, the club they love. Those fans who say they want new investment putting in, well who’s going to invest when they read these reports and hear these kind of actions? They don’t think before behaving badly. The consequences are far reaching. BF: Lets move onto a positive for the night. It was the first time some of the fans could use some of the facitilties in the East Stand. You called it a dummy run under the glare of the world’s media – how did it go?KB: Well I think we had a few teething troubles but by in large it went well. I thought all the boxes of course were used, the new boxes were all used last night and people there were impressed. The ordinary fans in the upper tier, not as many as we’d like but that went very well but they were pleased. It also means we can now get a move on probably the safety officer’s group can ease some of the restrictions that there were last night because they want to see how it went. All in all, it’s a great step in the right direction. We’re expecting now each floor to be released to us every couple of weeks so that we’ll be in operation by Christmas. The biggest delay is going to be getting some of the lifts in and the other delay is of course getting the kitchens in that’s why we have to feed people in the Pavilion at the moment. I think I explained on LUTV last night that the sooner we can get the kitchens in, the sooner the whole thing will be back to normal and we’ll have a much better stand and much better facilities for the fans whether they be corporates or ordinary fans. BF: Brighton next on Friday night. Quick turnaround but even quicker for Brighton so it will be an interesting challenge on Friday night. KB: Liverpool of course will be licking their wounds after their humiliation at White Hart Lane when they got stuffed 4-0. This is a game they cannot afford to lose and I think that will be reflected in their team and the way they play. So it will be a test for Brighton. Hopefully extra time and penalties for them so they will be knackered by the time they come off the pitch at 10.30pm and they will be tired. Hopefully we’ll have one more day than them to recover so that will be a good thing because Gus Poyet’s Brighton team haven’t lost there since they opened it. All records have to go some time, so let’s hope Brighton’s goes on Friday. BF: When you now look at the start to the league campaign, just two points away from the play-offs, would you now call it a a decent start. KB: No. I’ve always been consistent, Ben. I’ve said that we were rubbish at Southampton and everybody knows that, the players as well. After that, the Ipwsich and Middlesbrough games were unlucky and we could be in the play-off positions by now if luck had gone our way but these things even themselves out over the season. We’ll hopefully be signing a player today, which will strengthen the squad a bit more and I think that we are probably running into proper form in the second half of the first half, if you know what I mean, of the season. BF: Finally, let’s mention the Howard’s first birthday event, taking place on Friday 30th of September with yourself and Simon in attendance. Very nearly sold out, you must be pleased with the response. KB: I am and I am pleased for the staff, including the chefs because they have worked incredibly hard at Howard’s to provide a really good quality of service and quality of food. It has taken a bit of time to be recognised but it’s coming of age, obviously after a year and news is spreading and it’s an addition to the facilities at Elland Road. We had over 60 diners last night which is very encouraging and we’re now opening Sundays as well so it’s another success story. It’s a success off the field, another facility for our fans and of course puts money in the pot which ultimately goes to Simon’s pot.

Weds Sept 21st. Grayson admits gulf in class. Leeds United manager Simon Grayson admitted his Championship side had fallen foul of a “big gulf” after their Carling Cup third-round tie against Manchester United ended in a 3-0 defeat. Leeds’ bid to repeat their heroics of 2010, when they eliminated Manchester United from the FA Cup, came to nothing as Sir Alex Ferguson’s side recorded a comfortable win at Elland Road. A brace from Michael Owen and a goal from Ryan Giggs killed last night’s tie in the first half, and Grayson expressed disappointment with his side’s performance in a one-sided game. Ferguson left a number of Manchester United’s leading squad members out of his team last night but was still able to field a clutch of top-level Premier League players, and Grayson said: There’s a big gulf between us and them in terms of where we are and where we want to be. “Manchester United are a fantastic team but we had too many individuals who were off it for whatever reason. We gave the ball away too cheaply and too many individuals played as individuals and over-indulged themselves instead of keeping it tight and simple. “It was an occasion where we were on a hiding to nothing and went out to enjoy it but we didn’t really do ourselves justice with how we played, especially in the first half.” Manchester United saw out the closing stages of last night’s tie with 10 players after losing Ezekiel Fryers to injury with no substitutes remaining, and striker Dimitar Berbatov finished the game in the centre of their defence. But the Premier League leaders remained untroubled and Ferguson said: “The first half was a tremendous performance from us. “In the second half, in fairness to Leeds they kept trying and trying and showed a very determined attitude. “They never gave in and we just wanted to make sure we were through.”Leeds were expecting to tie up a loan deal for Stoke City’s Danny Pugh today, in time for Friday’s league game at Brighton and Hove Albion.

Weds Sept 21st. Violence after Man United game. Police have launched a stinging attack on violent football fans at the Leeds United v Manchester United game and promised to hunt the country to bring every one of the hooligans to justice. They called a press conference after Leeds chairman Ken Bates earlier condemned the violent behaviour of rival fans outside Elland Road. Supt Vernon Francis said some of the fans of Leeds United and Manchester United had turned up for the game intent on sheer violence from the outset. He said he was condemning outright the serious violence that took place and said it had been clear from the outset that there was a large number of people who had turned up intent on violence and causing trouble. He said a large amount of damage had been caused and police officers injured, one of them seriously, who had undergone surgery as a result. He said that the violence had involved people of all ages from groups of youngsters right through to those in their fifties accompanied by their own sons and this was a “surprising factor”. The senior officer said he would now be heading an investigation into the violence in a bid to identify all those involved. “Our officers witnessed some appalling behaviour. It was shocking to see people of all ages taking part in the violence, some who had young children there with them. It’s not the sort of behaviour genuine fans or the people of Leeds as a whole want to see. It’s simply not acceptable and anyone who was involved, wherever in the country they live, can expect a knock at the door. We will exhaust every avenue to identify these people and will look at bringing them before the courts and using powers such as football banning orders against them.” A total of 24 arrests had been made for public order offences and more would follow in the coming days.

Tuesday Sept 20th. Leeds were well beaten by Man United at Elland Road in the CC. Report from Richard Sutcliffe of  YEP : Leeds United: Lonergan; Lees, Bromby, O’Dea, White; Snodgrass, Clayton, Howson, Keogh (Vayrynen 52); McCormack (Nunez 66), Becchio (Forssell 52). Unused substitutes: Rachubka, O’Brien, Brown, Taylor. Man United  last night chose Sir Alex Ferguson’s 1,400th game in charge to produce a performance that neatly encapsulated much of his reign at Old Trafford. Just as they have been when up against Premier League opposition for the best part of the last two decades, the Red Devils were simply too good for Leeds United. Two predatory finishes by Michael Owen and a solo wonder goal from Ryan Giggs ensured any hopes Leeds had of repeating their FA Cup heroics of 20 months ago were over before half-time. Simon Grayson’s side had no answer to the marauding visitors, and in particular Giggs who rolled back the years before being substituted during the interval with the game already won. The former Welsh international may be in the Autumn of his career but the Leeds midfield simply couldn’t get close to him. That and the desire of a group of players clearly intent on proving to Ferguson they have a part to play this season meant there was never any real danger of a Carling Cup upset. Instead, English football’s most decorated manager claimed a 20th victory over Leeds in the 35 meetings that have taken place between these most bitter of rivals since he arrived at Old Trafford almost a quarter of a century ago. The enmity between the Uniteds of Leeds and Manchester was apparent throughout last night with absence certainly not having made the heart grow fonder. Both sets of fans unfortunately crossed the line in terms of what is acceptable in the name of rivalry, especially during the first half when a banner mocking the deaths of two Leeds supporters in Istanbul 11 years ago appeared in the away end. It was distasteful and did the 3,100-strong visiting contingent no credit at all. What this sense of mutual hatred did do, though, was make for a crackling atmosphere. With the Gelderd End in fine voice, it was Leeds who fashioned the first chance of the game after just five minutes. A Robert Snodgrass corner was the catalyst, Tom Lees’s powerful header being blocked by Dimitar Berbatov who then got in the way of a fiercely-hit follow-up by Ross McCormack. The Bulgarian may have been starting his first game of the season but, bearing in mind how last night’s tie subsequently panned out, there can be little doubt his intervention at such an early stage proved to be a pivotal moment. Ferguson’s side took full advantage of the let-off on 15 minutes when Berbatov and Ji-Sung Park combined to find Owen, who wriggled away from Lees before rolling a shot across Andy Lonergan and into the net. Leeds fell further behind just after the half-hour mark when Owen, another senior player to have been edged out at Old Trafford by the emergence of such a dynamic set of youngsters this term, once again produced a deadly finish that gave Lonergan no chance. There was no way back for Grayson’s men, though the home fans did have the pleasure of seeing Antonio Valencia somehow shoot wide from six yards with the goal at his mercy after being picked out by Owen. “Are you Torres in disguise,” was the mocking chant but the Leeds supporters’ enjoyment did not last too long with Giggs rounding off a dominant first-half showing by netting the third goal of the night. A quickly-taken corner was Leeds’s undoing this time, the ball finding Giggs who nut-megged Aidy White before finishing with aplomb from a tight angle. The game was definitely up for the hosts, though manager Grayson did try to pep up his troops by bringing on Finnish duo Mikael Forssell and new signing Mika Vayrynen just seven minutes after the restart. The double switch did help to stem the tide, though Owen did come within a whisker of claiming his hat-trick with a floated shot that landed just wide of the post. Leeds responded by applying some pressure of their own as Vayrynen brought a save from Ben Amos, albeit for a linesman’s flag to denote the effort would not have counted. Snodgrass and Adam Clayton then went close before United’s best chance of the night came in stoppage time when Ramon Nunez was played through only to blaze wide with goalkeeper Amos to beat. Leeds may not have managed to find the goal their fans craved but their never-say-die spirit did elicit a deserved round of applause at the final whistle. It was clear the 31,031 crowd recognised the effort that had been put in by Grayson’s men. Losing to the pace-setters in the Premier League is no disgrace. Far worse will happen to many other teams this season, as any Arsenal fan will admit through clenched teeth. The key now for Leeds is to ensure they learn from the experience and take that into the remainder of their Championship campaign, starting with Friday’s trip to high-flying Brighton & Hove Albion.

Monday September 2011. Whilst Ken Bates was busy showing Leeds fans in the Kop the middle index finger for calling for his head, our pleasant chairman was also thinking of reporting Neil Kilkenny to the Football League for blowing kisses at him after he scored an equaliser. Maybe Kilkenny is a moron. Maybe the Kop are morons. Maybe we are all morons except lovable Ken. No he is no moron…..just a gobshite ! Bates said today: “He can’t justify or excuse his behaviour. It shows exactly why we weren’t sad to see him go.“Neither myself or Shaun ever go down to see players on match days. Why would we? “The fact is he asked for a wage which we didn’t think he was worth. “He’s a petulant sod with big ideas of himself. We might report his behaviour to the FA because we’ve got CCTV footage of it.” Kilkenny, who made 144 appearances in three and a half years at Leeds, had been angered by his treatment at the hands of “certain directors”, as well as comments made by Bates last week about the player during a radio interview. Kilkenny said after Saturday’s defeat: “I was made out to be the bad guy by certain directors and I wasn’t. “I said all along that I wanted to stay and obviously the powers above me had a decision to make and they didn’t see me at the club. “I didn’t want to celebrate in front of the fans but I needed to make a point to the chairman and his chief executive because everybody here said hello to me except for the chairman and the chief executive, which is disappointing. “I’ve seen that the chairman said I left Leeds to go to a smaller club and that was very disrespectful to me and Bristol City. “That’s really disappointing but that’s him – what can you do? I did blow a kiss, but I can’t stress enough that it wasn’t to the fans.” Kilkenny, who rejected a new contract at Leeds in October and was not made an improved offer, insists he never wanted to leave the club. He added: “It’s hard to speak out when you’re a Leeds player and things are going on around you. “I was really close to Jermaine Beckford and they let him go on a free transfer. It’s hard to see that, but you can’t say anything. “Over the years it’s happened over and over again and people have blamed the players, but now people are starting to see that when it happens four, five or six times, there’s something else going on. “I can only give my opinion about what I’ve seen at the club. I didn’t want to say anything, but after what Ken Bates has said, I have to say my piece. “I’ve only ever said that I love the club and didn’t want to leave, that’s all. After things that he’s said, I think some people need to stand up to him.”

Sat 17th of September. Leeds United 2-1 Bristol City. 01 Lonergan, 03 Kisnorbo (RC) 22 Lees, 28 White, 48 O’Dea, 14 Howson, 15 Clayton 20 Nunez (Becchio 58) 23 Snodgrass (Forssell 70) 38 Keogh (Bromby 68) 44 McCormack Unused Substitutes : 08 Brown and 12 Rachubka.  Att – 22,655. For the second time in a week United won 2-1 at home. For the second time in a week, McCormack scored a late winner. For the second time in a week at home we were fortunate to win three points. Andy Kehoe should have had a hat-trick in the first fifteen minutes but finishing is not his strong point. Leeds brought back Aidy White and Adam Clayton into the starting eleven and it was the former Man City player who finished brilliantly after just three minutes. Neil Kilkenny scored two goals for Leeds in the last two seasons, but he scored with a fantastic strike just eight minutes after United took the the lead. Bristol started to get on top with Maynard causing chaos against a slow central defence of Kisnorbo and O’Dea. We can’t get away with Kisnorbo and O’Dea as both have no pace. It was 1-1 at half time with Simon Grayson having a lot of talking to do at half time. United were sluggish in the second half and Snodgrass,  Howson and Nunez never got into the match. The latter was replaced by crowd favourite, Luciano Becchio on 58 minutes.  A poor kick out by Lonergan on 64 minutes gave a chance to Maynard . He still had plenty to do but easily rounded O’Dea and Kisnorbo. Kisnorbo’s tackle as last man was poor. The Aussie saw red but Lonergan redeemed himself with a terrific save. Bromby came on for Keogh a minute later and Grayson went for broke by bringing on Forrsell for Snodgrass. Leeds two wide players at the start of the match provided little impact on the game and Bristol City were making chance after chance. With four minutes to go Bromby’s long throw was flicked goalward by Becchio for McCormack to grab a fortunate winner. United are up to 10 points, just 2 points outside the play offs and 7 points off top. Monaghan’s very own Schoolboy McQuaid was in attendance. His verdict : “Don’t know how we won the game today. Two hopeless centre backs with the crowd debating if O’Dea was worse than Kisnorbo or vice versa. We have a centre half playing right full who never got past the half way line, but Whit does get up and down. We are poor and so are Bristol City”. Simon Graysonsaw it slightly different : “This game tests you. It’s full of twists and turns. We could have been three up then they go down the other end and score. We go down to ten men save a penalty but this group have a big heart and we grinded out another win. Obviously Kilkenny puts it in the top corner. He doesn’t do that too often. We do need to see games out and dictate the game. No complaint with the sending off but the tackle was just outside the penalty area. Andy had a great save and he redeemed himself from a poor kick. It lifted the crowd and we got the win. We went 4-4-1 then 4-3-2 as we wanted to win the game. Ross is a good goalscorer and he was in the right place at the right time and proved what a good players he is. Mika will feature on Tuesday night, because he has only once trained with the lads. The most satisfying thing is the three points that we got today. It’s a strange game. We played earlier (in the season) and not got the breaks, but we have today. We have grinded out results. You saw Maynard today  Leicester offered £4m to £5m for him. We will take the win and now prepare for Tuesday at the same time making a few changes”. Keith Millen Bristol City manager :  “We made the worst start possible by conceding a third-minute goal but Neil Kilkenny’s goal got us back into it. When they went down to 10 men we should have scored from the resultant penalty and that’s two we’ve now missed this season. I wasn’t happy with the way we conceded the late goal, either. If you give away goals like that you don’t win football matches.” We all know we need quality in. Nunez is no replacement for Gradel. He onlt wants to attack and is lazy when needed to chase back.  Let’s hope the Fin, Varynen,  shores up the midfield, but apart from Aidy White we have real problems at the back. It’s unfair on Tom Lees playing right back when he is possibly a better centre back than O’Dea and Kisnorbo. I’ve seen milk turn quicker than the pair of them. But then again we don’t want to see Connolly back at right full. It showed character to win the three points from a 1-1 position with just ten men. But Simon Grayson has used up his Lady Luck for some time to come. We wanted six points from these last two home games and that’s what we got. Better sides than C Palace and Bristol City will punish us. Brighton next week will answer some of those questions and Larry will have to shuffle his squad with a game just three days after the Man United match. 

Tuesday Sept 13th 2011. Fin number 2 arrives. Leeds have signed Finland midfielder Mika Vayrynen on a 12-month deal, with the option for a second year. The 29-year-old left Dutch side Heerenveen in the summer. United boss Simon Grayson told the club website: “There were good offers from clubs on the continent but he’s turned them down because of his ambition to play for us. “He has won over 50 caps and has a fantastic pedigree. He can play as an attacking or holding midfielder.” Vayrynen looked set to join Derby in 2007 when they had a bid accepted by PSV Eindhoven but an injury scuppered that deal. He is the second Finland international to join United in less than a week, following the recruitment of striker Mikael Forssell. The central midfield arrives at Elland Road on a one year deal with the option of an additional year should The Whites choose to keep him. Mika, who has spent the majority of his career in the Dutch top flight with spells at PSV Eindhoven and Heereveen has been capped 54 times for the Finland national team and joins fellow Finnish international Mikael Forssell, who is said to be good friends with the midfielder. The move provides Leeds United with much needed cover in central midfield where Simon Grayson was forced to play a fitness-lacking Michael Brown against Crystal Palace on Saturday due to the injury Adam Clayton picked up against Ipswich Town. That’s the midfield sorted. Now what about the central defence and full back positions ? Meanwhile Becchio got through some more valuable minutes on the  pitch in a friendly v Burnley at Throp Arch, and as expected netted again. 

Mon Sept 12th 2011. Players linked with Leeds. Leeds have been linked with former player Danny Pugh and Finland international Mika Vayrynen. Leeds have been strongly linked with Danny Wilson after falling down the pecking order at Liverpool, the Daily Record understands. The 19-year-old has barely featured for the Reds since signing at the start of the 2010/11 season whilst Roy Hodgson was in the Anfield hotseat.  Sporadic appearances in Europa League ties and domestic cup games have been the only relief for Wilson, with current boss Kenny Dalglish now willing to let him leave on loan. It’s now emerged that Leeds boss Simon Grayson has increased his interest in the centre half and could make a move now the loan window for Football League clubs has opened. Grayson is desperate to bolster his side, especially in defence, after a poor start to the season which has see them win only two of their first six games. Conceding goals has been the Whites’ main problem so far this season and Grayson is keen to bring Wilson in to shake up his backline. It would certainly be a coup for the Elland Road boss, with the defender having won the SPL with Rangers and played in the Champions League as a 17-year-old before his move to Liverpool. The player arrived at Anfield from Rangers in a £2M deal rising to £5M with appearances. One thing the lad has is pace and we sorely need that through our central defence.

Sun Sept 11th. Simon Grayson admitted that Leeds showed some “real flaws” in their game and the “biggest compliment was that we were only 2-1 down at half time”. This win didn’t paper over the cracks because the cracks are great big holes. Without the energy and commitment of Adam Clayton in midfield our poor central defence was exposed time and time again. We have two rookies at full back but no pace in the central  defence between O’Dea and Kisnorbo, with the latter being the weak link. Grayson talked about “new signing” Kisnorbo but in reality he is no better than O’Brien, Bromby and Bruce with probably his best days behind him. Unfortunately Simon Grayson’s “flaws” are in poor signings within the transfer window and during the emergency loan period. We secured three lucky points yesterday but I’m sick and tired of hearing “we switched off and they scored easy goals”. It is obvious that a midfield containing Michael Brown is akin to playing with 10 men. He is finished ! We are moving back to the McAllister/Staunton days when we have to score three and four goals just to win games.

Saturday 10th of September 2011. Leeds United 3-2 C Palace Scorers :  McCormack (8) McCarthy (12) Scannell (21) Becchio (71) McCormack (74)-  01 Lonergan, 03 Kisnorbo, 22 Lees, 31 Taylor(YC) 48 O’Dea, 08 Brown (Sam 75) 14 Howson (YC) 20 Nunez (Becchio 58) 23 Snodgrass 38 Keogh (Forssell 58) 44 McCormack. Unused Subs : 11 Sam, 10 Becchio, 18 Forssell Ref: Mathieson Att: 23,916.Simon Grayson was grateful for the “buzz” Luciano Becchio gave his Leeds side as they came from behind to earn a tension-relieving 3-2 win over Crystal Palace in the npower Championship.The Argentinian had not featured for Leeds’ first team since the April 16 draw with Watford owing to a series of hamstring problems. And until Becchio’s 59th-minute return today, the atmosphere inside Elland Road had been riddled with tension, partly owing to the on going protests against owner Ken Bates about a perceived lack of investment, and partly because Paddy McCarthy and Sean Scannell had scored to wipe out Ross McCormack’s opener. But the introduction of Becchio, who had 56 goals for the club before today, prompted a switch in momentum that kicked in with his 57th goal and was completed when McCormack turned in Mikael Forssell’s knockdown to earn United a second win of the season. “Luciano was never going to play much more than 25 to 30 minutes of football because he’s only played 60 minutes in a reserve game,” said Grayson. “His arrival lifted the crowd and gave everybody a buzz. We had to play differently, we went with a longer ball, and him and Mikael Forsell caused problems. “I’m delighted he’s had an impact on the game. He’s a long way off starting a game, but it’s a great boost to have him back.” Even crowd favourite Becchio was overshadowed by McCormack, though, who has finally found his feet at Elland Road following a tricky first season. He scored just twice following a £300,000 move from Cardiff last summer, but already has six to his name this time around and capped a fine all-round display with his late winner – a goal Grayson admitted his side maybe did not deserve. “When we signed Ross I was excited because I knew what he was capable of doing, but for different circumstances he didn’t get a run in the team,” Grayson said of the Scotland international. “He looks fit, strong and you can see his confidence. I’m delighted with him, he’s showing what we wanted. “We didn’t play very well today. The biggest confidence boost was that we were only 2-1 down in the game. We need to be better at not conceding goals and need to stop making fundamental errors. “I’ve sat after a game when we’ve played better than we have today and not won. I know (Palace boss) Dougie Freedman will be disappointed because they probably deserved to win the game.” Freedman, who scored six goals for Leeds during a highly-successful loan spell in the autumn of his career, did not disagree with his opposite number’s assessment. For so long his side had looked in control, with the outstanding Scannell rivalling McCormack for the man-of-the-match award as he ran rings around veteran Michael Brown in chances.” If Leeds deserved to win at Ipswich Town, the least Palace deserved today was three points and by a wider margin than one goal. To take a lead after just eight minutes and to be clinging on for dear life 2-1 down fourteen minutes later is disastrous. We got out of jail today.

Friday Sept. 09th 2011. Leeds transfer policy according to YEP. On Wednesday, Ken Bates through his weekly phone rant on LUTV, fired a broadside at Phil Hay YEP’s chief Leeds reporter. This is an articulate and detailed study of Simon Grayson and Ken Bates’ transfer policy at Leeds United. Read on. “Last Friday, each of the Premier League’s clubs supplied their governing body with what is loosely termed a 25-man squad.The figure is a misnomer since players under the age of 21 do not count towards the Premier League limit, explaining why Jack Wilshere was absent from Arsenal’s squad and Jack Rodwell took up no space in Everton’s.Friday’s submissions essentially revealed which senior footballers are out in the cold. Not too many, as it turns out. Of the 20 Premier League teams, only two – Stoke City and Queens Park Rangers – rendered established players redundant for the first half of the season and even then in relatively small numbers. Stoke confirmed that Danny Pugh, Tom Soares, Danny Collins and Michael Tonge would not be used in league games before January. QPR took the same stance with Rob Hulse, Patrick Agyemang, Hogan Ephraim, Danny Shittu and Petter Vaagan Moen. As a starting point for Football League managers, the list of explicitly-surplus players – in other words, players whose availability does not require the effort of a phone call – looks fairly shallow. It does not explain why Leeds United have spoken so enthusiastically about the announcement of Premier League squads or indicate that the possibilities in front of manager Simon Grayson are better now than they were before the transfer deadline passed. With a handful of exceptions, Grayson is reliant on one of two things – readiness among Premier League coaches to loan players from within their 25-man groups or the breed of raw professional who has given erratic service to Leeds in Grayson’s time as manager. Favours on one hand, gambles on the other. It should not have come to this; not after a transfer window in which Leeds had ample time and clout to bring their squad up to strength. The Football League’s emergency window scarcely deserves its title – so often used to improve under-performing teams rather than solve genuine selection issues – but it has an emergency feel about it this season. The fate of few clubs will depend on the business they do between now and the fourth Thursday in November, the day the loan market closes. It is more likely to depend on the business they completed in 100-odd days of summer. Leeds United’s transfer window can only be graded as a severe anticlimax. It is futile to say otherwise. There are teams in the Championship who were prone to a hard summer but Leeds, as a profitable club with two strong years to sell themselves on, are not in that category. The opportunity provided by the emergency loan market is no excuse for United’s drift through the close season. There is a running theme to discussions about transfers at Elland Road – that players in England and abroad are falling over each other to join Leeds. From the events of this summer you can only surmise that the vast majority of those who would sign in the blink of an eye are not good enough to merit the chance. Grayson’s preferred footballer would seem to be one who United cannot attract through reputation alone. Even allowing for his bad luck and frantic efforts on deadline day, either Grayson’s sights are set too high or his budget and wage structure are set too low. There are few other credible explanations for the complicated process of recruiting players since the end of last season. Leeds are not at all oblivious to criticism. Both Grayson and his chairman, Ken Bates, have discussed it and countered it with various arguments. Chief among them was the claim that, regardless of the number of incoming signings, a vital task in the summer window was the retention of United’s most treasured squad members. “Sometimes the most important thing is to keep your better players,” Grayson said, a comment echoed by Bates before Leeds’ first home game of the season. It lost its weight when Max Gradel was sold on the last day of the window and his chosen replacement declined to sign. United took the unusual step of naming their target as Southampton’s Jason Puncheon and stating that a deal with him was virtually completed until QPR arrived on the scene. The contest at that point became a mis-match. But it was a risk on Leeds’ part to agree to sell Gradel so late in the day and attempt to fill his shirt with a winger who was bound to have more than one admiring club. The failed move for Puncheon is a perfect example of why many of United’s fans were vexed by the sluggish progress made in the transfer market in May, June and July. The argument has never been that Leeds – at least before the exit of Gradel – are greatly weaker as a team than they were last season. Certain performances so far this season prove that they are not. It simply seemed that United were failing to move forward with any great strides. With the transfer window closed and the emergency market open, the truth is apparent to anyone who wants to see it. Grayson admitted that the club are “still a few bodies short”. It is an odd position to be in, considering his assertion in May that his plans for this summer did not require extensive changes to the squad. He is left now with the emergency window and all it has to offer: loans up to a maximum of 93 days and subject to recall clauses after 28. Those limitations are one of the reasons why he talked last week of the overwhelming merit of standard, long-term loans. Among 18 previous emergency deals agreed by Grayson are some successes – Sam Sodje, Andy O’Brien and Eric Lichaj included. Before Grayson’s time, Dougie Freedman, who comes to Elland Road tomorrow as Crystal Palace manager, was another. But past dabbles in the Football League market also reveal how unreliable it can be. Liam Dickinson, Jake Livermore and Barry Bannan go down as temporary signings who brought little to the table at crucial junctures. Of those senior Premier League players made available, Pugh was the strongest option for Leeds – left-footed, flexible and well-versed in Championship football. He goes to show that the transfer market never truly dries up. But recent years do not define Leeds as a club who thrive on short-term answers. Their momentum as a team has come from players at the core of the club: Jermaine Beckford, Luciano Becchio, Robert Snodgrass, Jonny Howson and Gradel to name a number of examples. The success of this season rests on the crux of Grayson’s squad, a crux which the emergency market might struggle to alter. Excellent article and difficult to find any flaws in it. 

Thursday 8th of September 2011. Fin flies in. Leeds United have signed former Chelsea and Birmingham City striker Mikael Forssell until the end of the season. The 30-year-old had been playing for Hannover 96 in Germany for the last three years but was out of contract. “I’ve missed English football and I really wanted to come back here,” the Finland international said. “To come to a club like Leeds is fantastic. I’ve been working hard and training over the summer.” Forssell joined Chelsea from HJK Helsinki in July 1998 and made 53 appearances scoring 12 goals. Before signing for Birmingham in 2005, for £3m, he went on loan to Crystal Palace and Borussia Moenchengladbach. He also had two loan spells at St Andrew’s before making his switch permanent. In total he played 118 games for Blues, scoring 37 goals before leaving for Germany in July 2008. “I played against Leeds a couple of times for Birmingham but now I’m on this side and it’s fantastic,” he added. “It is such an historic club, the team is good, the lads are positive, the facilities are unbelievable and the fans look brilliant.” Larry has gotten a lot of his loan and short term deals wrong. For every Ramon Nunez there has been two or three Amdy Fayes, but this looks like a decent bit of business. Forrsell must be reasonably fit having played with Finland and he has always been a clinical finisher. Wilkipedia Mikael Kaj Forssell (born 15 March 1981) is a Finnish footballer who plays for N Power Championship team Leeds United. He plays for the Finnish national team.[1] He plays as a Striker. Born in Steinfurt,[2] Germany, and considered one of the most talented Finnish footballers of all time, Forssell made his Veikkausliiga debut for HJK at the age of just 16.[1]His goal-scoring form for Finland’s youth teams made him a target for a host of Europe’s top clubs, and in 1998 the 17-year-old striker was snapped up by Chelsea who at the time were managed by Gianluca Vialli. He made his debut as a substitute against Arsenal FC and then 3 days later Forrsell made his start for the club when he scored two goals against Oxford United. His first league goal came 3 weeks later when he scored against Nottingham Forest.[3] However when Chelsea signed Chris Sutton for £10 million Forssell was loaned out twice to Crystal Palace of the then First Division. Where he scored 16 league goals in just over 50 appearances for the club Forssell found it hard to find a place in the Chelsea first team with Gianfranco Zola, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, Tore Andre Flo and Eidur Gudjohnson who were all all ahead of him in the pecking order,[3] After initially impressing new manager Claudio Ranieri scoring in 4 consecutive games for Chelsea. He was sent out on loan again and had spells at Borussia Mönchengladbach of the German Bundesliga and twice to Birmingham City of the Premier League. Forssell scored seven Bundesliga goals for Mönchengladbach in the spring of 2003 and then 17 Premier League goals for Birmingham in the 2003–04 season (more league goals than any other Chelsea player), during which he was the division’s joint fourth highest goalscorer. He was named Premier League Player of the Month for March 2004.[4] A month in which he scored a brace in a 4-1 win against Leeds United.[5] He finished the season with 17 Premier League goals for Birmingham. He returned to Birmingham on loan for the 2004–05 season, but suffered the second serious knee injury of his career, which ruined his season. After returning from his serious knee injury he did make cameo appearance’s that season for Chelsea playing against Bayern Munich in The Champions League and in the final home match of the season against Charlton Athletic as Chelsea celebrated their first Premier League trophy for 50 years.[6][7]In the summer of 2005, Forssell joined Birmingham on a three-year deal for a fee of £3 million, after Chelsea decided that he did not figure in their long term plans. He struggled in the 2005–06 season, not having found his best form after his injury, and could not save Birmingham from relegation. Forssell suffered another cruel injury blow to his other knee during training in October 2006. This left him on the sidelines until he returned to training in February 2007 after undergoing operations on both knees. He was set to take a medical at Hamburger SV, but it was reported that he failed.[citation needed] He remained at Birmingham to have another go at resurrecting his career. His 2007–08 pre-season performances were good, he scored five goals in five games. His manager, Steve Bruce, was enthusiastic about his return to form. He continued his good form into the start of the season, scoring the opening goal of the match against Chelsea and consolidating his good form with two assists in the next three matches. He scored his first hat-trick at club level on 1 March 2008, in the 4–1 win over Tottenham Hotspur, a so-called “perfect hat-trick” – one goal scored with the left foot, one with the right, and one with the head.[8] In his final season at Birmingham he finished the season as their top scorer with 9 goals and was unable to prevent the club being relegated from The Premier League.[9]In May 2008, following the club’s relegation from the Premier League, Forssell signed a pre-contract agreement to join Hannover 96 on a free transfer when his Birmingham contract expired at the end of June. His contract with Hannover ran out at the end of the 2010–11 season.[10][11]On his pre-season debut for Hannover, he scored 10 goals including an eight-minute hat-trick in one friendly game against amateurs FC Boffzen. The game ended up as a 23–0 win.[12]After leaving Hannover when his contract expired at the end of the 2010–11 season, Forssell had trials with clubs including West Ham United[13] and Leeds United[14] of the English Football League Championship (second tier). The striker joined Leeds United on 8th September 2011, on a deal until the end of the season. Following a successful trial with the club, he returned from international duty playing with Finland to conclude the deal. -

Weds 7th of September 2011. Bates on LUTV. Ken Bates gave his usual interview on Wednesday to LUTV from his tax free exile in Monte Carlo which I listened to with interest. Ben Fry Yorkshire Radio : There has been stories in the local media and national media relating to Leeds about players who may be coming in or not coming in, players who have left the club. How have you felt about how these issues have been reported ?Ken Bates: Well a bit disappointed because so many of them are off-centre or totally inaccurate. Of course the trouble is, the responsibility of that usually lies fairly and squarely at the feet of the agents who are trying to stimulate business. Perfect example is this fella Ranger who I’d never ever heard of and it’s clearly planted by his agent. We never at any time had any interest in him. A 20 year old, at the moment he’s on bail after an alleged affray outside a nightclub in Newcastle. As far as I know, he’s a fringe player at Newcastle and the rumour was that we wouldn’t buy him because the asking price was too high. I don’t see how the price could be asked if we hadn’t enquired about the player. Total load of rubbish. The agent in question has got form. He was Beckford’s agent. We always used to call him email agent because he couldn’t be bothered to come up and see us. He always used to just send emails. There’s no way we’re doing business with him again and we’re certainly not interested in that particular player. That’s just airy fairy. It’s a shame the YEP didn’t check that before they printed it because the article was slanted against Leeds United. It was unfair. Then we had Robbie Savage doing a two-page spread of Leeds is the one club he’d delay his retirement for. Robbie Savage was offered to me in May by his agent who I know quite well. I immediately passed the offer on to Simon Grayson who said “he’s not coming here while I’m manager”. Robbie Savage has baggage. He’s in the media more than bloody Beckham which says a lot. We don’t want that kind of player at that age. Then of course we’ve got Gradel. I see Phil Hay says it was a “controversial sale”. There was nothing controversial about it, we didn’t want him to go. We tried to give him a new contract and his agent gave us the hard-luck story about how he had the chance to play in Europe, he’s French-based although he comes from the Ivory Coast originally blah-di-blah-di-blah-di-blah, misses his family, misses his dogs, I dunno, whatever. We were offered £3m for him from West Ham after the offered us £1.5m and we told them to shove it. They came back the day before and offered us £3m but we weren’t prepared to sell him to our competitors. Then three clubs came in for him. Max faxed text his transfer request to Shaun on the day before the transfer window closed. So we had little option to accept it because otherwise it would be another Beckford and he would leave at the end of the season on a free. So we did the best deal we did, Shaun did and he made a silk purse out of a pig’s ear. There’s a five per cent levy out of the fee which goes to central distributions and we bought Max from Leicester with a 17.5 per cent sell-on so, if you like, overall 22.5 per cent of the transfer fee goes elsewhere but we still got a substantial sum which comes in in two payments over the next year and that goes into Simon’s transfer pot. BF: You talk about the transfer pot. Does that actually then include any payments which can be made towards loan deals which can be done from tomorrow?KB: Oh yeah, oh yes. In fact, we already have two of them now. We already have Keogh and we have O’Dea and they are included in the budget. I’ve explained it before and I’ll explain it again. And I’ll do it slowly for the benefit of those people who don’t really want to hear. (Speaks slowly) Simon has a budget every year. On top of that budget, if he’s sold a player, like Schmeichel, it’s added to the budget. If he buys a player like Lonergan, then what we pay for Lonergan is deducted from the budget. Now the money we get for Max Gradel goes into Simon’s budget. That’s how it works. That budget also means wages. So if we extend a player’s contract at an increased sum that comes out of the budget. And of course sometimes you sign players on free transfers and pay high wages. Sometimes you sign players and you have to pay a transfer fee and lower wages. All comes out of the same pot. Simon is very disappointed that so many deals collapsed around his ears this last week. The problem and the reversal against that is that the would-be selling club leave it until the last minute to make their own mind up. But now the clubs have announced their 25-man squads, me and Simon can now start talking about theta players that are not in the 25-man squads which means they will not get a first-team game for their club this year and they may therefore prefer to play for another club and get regularly first team football. BF: Can we expect some new faces before the Crystal Palace game?KB: Well if you asked me last week if we can expect some new faces before the transfer deadline, I would have said yes. It’s in the lap of the Gods, it’s up to Simon. He does the negotiation. Simon gets the players and when they’re identified and have agreed to come, Shaun does the financial negotiations. That’s how it works here. I introduced that years and years ago because there used to be a lot of allegations about managers being involved in transfers and taking bungs. Interestingly, when I first signed Glenn Hoddle, he was the first person to say I don’t want to be involved in the transfer negotiations saying “I’ll identify them, you go do it”. I’ve done that ever since. Not that I’m suggesting that Simon or the agents are in any way dishonourable but by introducing that break between player selection and costs of players, you have that split. BF: Now talking of the players for Saturday, one name who could feature is Luciano Becchio. He played in a behind-closed doors game yesterday. How much of a boost would that be? KB: Well Luciano is a proven goalscorer and we probably missed him for the first few games of the season so he’ll be very welcome back. And of course, we’ve also negotiated to sign Mikael Forssell and he’s a very good player. I had him when he made his debut at 17 and scored two goals. He’s 30, so is still young footballer-wise. He’s fit, he’s strong, he’s big and he wants to play in England. He turned down the chance to go to Greece. He wants to stay in England and he wants to play for us so we’re hoping we can tie that one down. That will of course give us six strikers for two positions and some of those strikers can play on the wing as well. So we’re fairly strong there and that’s good. We know what we want and we want to strengthen our defence and strengthen our midfield and that’s what Simon is working on. BF: Now on Sunday there was the Lord Harewood commemorative lunch held here at Elland Road. A celebration of his 50 years as president. Were you please with how it went?KB: Oh, delighted. I think it was a tribute to everybody who organised it. Deborah Ware was the Master of Ceremonies, for want of a better phrase, and she did the whole thing very well. I thought the catering was first class. It was a great event and it was nice to have 50 ordinary fans, members selected at random, and of course we had a good selection, a representation of the Regional Members Club chairmen and secretaries which was nice too. At the end of the commemoration, which I think went very well, we had a spontaneous Q&A which rounded off the day very nicely. BF: Some people feel they don’t get to ask you questions often, did you enjoy that interactions with the fans?KB: Oh yeah, sure. I think that it’s important to make sure it’s not hijacked by people with their hidden agendas. I can remember one guy about 18 months ago standing up and making a speech claiming this, claiming that, claiming the other, saying he’s a member of Leeds United Supporters Trust, not that that impressed me very much because they’ve never done anything to help the club. I see they have revised themselves recently but I’ve seen nothing. You always have to worry about unelected, self-appointed, self-important, speakers for the fans. Under our system, we don’t need those people because all the fans write in and if they are coherent and sensible they get a response one way or the other but we just ignore the people who send in abuse. I must say, to be fair, in the seven years I have been here, there hasn’t been much. I was talking to a lady in Billy’s Bar this week and I asked if she had been practicing her ‘Bates Out’ shout and she said there’s quite a few who she just tells to ‘shut up’ because they don’t know what they’re talking about. She must be 60, the old… she’s a really old supporter. I’ve had quite a few letters commenting on the ‘Morons’ as I have now tagged them but they don’t know what they’re shouting about anyway. It’s totally unrealistic. Yes, we would like more money in the club and yes we’re working hard to do it but that kind of behaviour doesn’t help. In fact, it could frighten off a potential investor… don’t want to get involved with that lot. You have to be patient because if you think of the number of so-called investors who just turn out to be con men, I know that the Yorkshire Consortium had their share of being subjected to people’s chance attempts to take over or invest in the club when they didn’t have any money. The latest story was Bill Kenwright at Everton. This guy came in and introduced himself as the head of the Asian operations at ICI and they didn’t do due diligence. Belatedly, they thought they would check up on it and they found out he was living in a one bedroomed flat in Manchester, ICI had never heard of him and his financial consultant was a council tenant in London. So I mean, they just take the mickey. The fact of the matter is, financial markets are in turmoil, you see the share market collapsing every day, all the aggravation of the Euro Zone and America. A lot of people a drawing their horns in and saying better safe than sorry. I gather Bill Fotherby, there’s a voice from the past said recently that we should spend big with an open chequebook. They gambled and it came off and they got promotion. Ridsdale gambled with an open chequebook, drawn on somebody else’s account and he failed miserably. Money doesn’t necessarily buy you success. And as Norwich, and Swansea and Blackpool have demonstrated in the past, success comes without money if you have got good management, which we think we have. BF: The Manchester Unite game gets closer. We talked last week about what would happen with the East Stand upper. There is an update.KB: Yes, the figures aren’t finalised yet and the contractors are working against time to get it cleaned up and proved for safety… the health and safety officers. We think we’ll have about 1,500-1,800 upper tier tickets available. We’ll also have some of the fourth-floor new boxes available of which we have now sold 10 on a seasonal basis anyway which is very good on a standing start and a product you can’t see yet. The third-floor boxes will be open so the whole of the East Stand lower will be open. Quite a lot of the exec areas will be open although albeit not in a completely finished state. We hope to have 1,500 or so in the upper tier so I think we are looking at about 36,500 total capacity and they are going well. On that, when big matches come up there’s always big moans and groans about tickets. No matter what you do, you can please everybody but we have tried very hard this time. Season ticket holders are guaranteed a ticket, I think until 5.15pm tonight because you can’t keep them forever otherwise they could not turn up on the day of the match and then you can’t sell the ticket so we had to set a deadline. After that, they have to take their chance. Members who have bought tickets for Crystal Palace or Bristol City can then buy a ticket for Manchester United so that separates the regulars from the casuals and all those fans who have bought a ticket for Crystal Palace or Bristol City before the cup draw came out, they’re guaranteed to get a ticket as well. So we have tried to be as far as we can. After that, they go on general sale to the members. I do not anticipate any tickets being available for non-members. We’re still taking membership applications so that as far as I think we can go and as well as we can do. Manchester United have taken, they’re entitled to 4,500 tickets that they can claim but they settled for 3,000 so they have to whole of the South Stand and the South-East corner. BF: We’re only in September but Christmas is on the horizon now and it’s going to be another busy time at Elland Road. A few events coming up. The first of those though is a Football Event with the 20th anniversary of the title-winning season at the end of October. It should be a fantastic night. KB: Oh, I think so. We’ve invited as many of the title-winning team as possible. Howard Wilkinson is coming and of course some of the existing team will be there as well so it should be great. Nostalgic night.BF: And as well the members’ Christmas party has been confirmed for December 30th for that. Always a big success.KB: It’s super and now we have got a bigger capacity. On the 19th we’ve got the famous carol concert and once against we’ll be able to do a much bigger show this year and we’ll be getting the reindeer down for the kids to see. Of course we’ve got Christmas day which will be another big day. Elland Road is beginning to buzz. Progress is being made all around. We’ll finish up about the team but before we do that we’ve have now got our museum lady appointed who is going to be in charge of designing and operating and marketing the museum – Helen Castle. She started on the 1st. As you can see outside, the framework of the entrance to the East Stand is going up at a rate of knots. I’m very pleased with the workmanship and dedication that Caddicks have shown. They’ve done very well. Then of course, on the field, the fact of the matter is we were dreadful against Southampton and all the players knew that, the referee cost us the game against Middlesbrough and Ipswich. We stuffed Hull and West Ham was a cracking game where Max missed a penalty and Kisnorbo scored one of the best goals of his career but unfortunately it was in the wrong bloody direction. So I think, only five games gone out of 46. The panic in the Kop has set in too early. Well not in all the Kop, some parts of the Kop but there may also be a hidden agenda at work there. But Lees has come through out of nowhere, Aidy White has been playing well, Zac Thompson has done well when he has come on, Taylor and the Turner brothers so but we’re not looking too bad. Clayton is another one. He’s won man of the match twice. And all those players… I think Clayton cost us £50,000, apart from that, they’re all products of the youth team. So the youth team is working, we’ve got our goalscorers and we’ve got to strengthen the team. BF: Crystal Palace the opposition on Saturday, probably exceeding expectations to be fair?KB: Yeah, I think they have but again, it’s only five games, I can remember a few years ago when some club ran away in the early days of the season and towards the end of the season they disappeared without a trace. So we’re going alright. We haven’t got the number of points we’d like to have. I think that will improve. The players are aware of the pressure. Some players won’t join Leeds United because of the pressure. They don’t want the challenge. They feel they are not big enough to take the responsibility. That’s one of the reasons why some players don’t want to come but I’m quietly confident and I think at Christmas we’ll hear different things because we’re hearing a few moans and groans now. I’d like to thank all the people who have sent me very supportive letters. Logical letters who can see what we’re trying to do. We’re not trying to build a team, we’e trying to build a club – one that will survive and sustain and succeed on a long-term basis, not just be a flash in the pan. BF: There has been some criticism as well of Yorkshire Radio, that we haven’t been asking you the right questions and we haven’t been putting the fans’ points across. We feel like we’ve dealt with all the big issues, and tried to ask you everything people want to know.KB: Well yeah, I mean, I think you have to be fair. I never know what you said off air. Which isn’t always nice and pleasant between us, but I mean we’re both big boys we can stand up for that. No I think you try to present, obviously try to present, the club’s story, but there are valid questions to be asked and you asked them. You can’t ask me questions like “where’s all the money gone then innit” (cockney voice), like one idiot who was asked why he was chanting “Bates Out”, he said “cos we’re in the red” (cockney voice) and this guy by the way is a political student – so God help the country in 20 years time when he gets his inevitable seat in the Houses of Commons because we’re one of the few clubs in the country who aren’t in the red. And of course, Mr Ridsdale, fresh from his triumphs at Elland Road, is now doing his best to save Plymouth Argyle. The players threatened to go on strike last Saturday. If they had done, Plymouth would have gone out of the league because the rule is if you don’t fulfil your fixtures you’re out, no appeal, you’re out. They’re still there by the skin of their teeth. No, we’re doing alright, we’re building a club for the long-term. It may take a bit longer than some fans want, but so be it. Our record in last three years is League One play-off semi-finals, League One automatic promotion, Championship 7th. We’ve equitted ourselves well versus Liverpool, Tottenham, Arsenal and Manchester United which suggests there is quality in the team. We know there may be one or two weaknesses and they will have to be addressed and they will be addressed. But we are not signing players for the sake of signing them. And the other thing fans should think about is if they are too critical of the team, what does that make the existing players feel like when they come out on a Saturday afternoon? The golden rule in football is they are the finest players in the world for as long as they are here. And finally Ben, of course, I heard it said by people who should know better, which they would know if they searched the records, that I own Yorkshire Radio. It is of course part of the Leeds United group. (Which Ken owns 72.85% of)

Weds Sept 7th. On his way back ? Sky Sports are reporting that Leeds United are lining up a move to bring Stoke City midfielder Danny Pugh back to Elland Road on loan. Pugh has appeared as a substitute in the Potters’ opening three Premier League games of the season, but has subsequently been left out of the 25-man squad for the first half of the campaign. Stoke boss Tony Pulis is now prepared to let the 28-year-old join a Championship club on loan, with team-mates Danny Collins, Michael Tonge and Tom Soares also expected to head out of the Britannia Stadium. Leeds are understood to be interested in Pugh, who undertook a spell in the second tier with former club Preston North End last season. Whites boss Simon Grayson is a big fan of the former Manchester United youngster and is weighing up a temporary swoop for a player who can also operate at left-back. Pugh previously made over 50 appearances during two years at Leeds before leaving for Preston in 2006. Pugh is a decent player who performed well at Leeds and always had an eye for goal. He can play at left back and left side of midfield and would be a decent addition. 

Weds September 7th. 2011. Fin in or out ? Mikael Forssell was flying back to England from international duty today in the hope of pushing through a move to Leeds United. The out-of-contract striker completed a two-game stint with Finland against the Netherlands last night and was due to jet back to Manchester this afternoon with a view to clarifying his immediate future. The 30-year-old trained with Leeds for two weeks last month and is keen to join on a full-time basis after ending a spell in the German Bundesliga with Hannover 96. His efforts at Thorp Arch caught the eye of manager Simon Grayson and the Leeds boss has not ruled out a deal despite admitting improvements to other areas of his squad were a greater priority. United are expected to enter the Football League’s emergency loan market when it opens tomorrow after the summer window closed without any additions to the five signings made by Grayson since the end of last term. A winger and a defender are high on Leeds’ list of priorities after their controversial sale of Max Gradel to St Etienne and a thwarted plan to recruit Eric Lichaj from Aston Villa. But Forssell continues to interest United and the forward remains unattached despite receiving offers from a number of rival clubs. The former Chelsea and Birmingham City forward followed his trial at Thorp Arch by linking up with Finland for their Euro 2012 qualifying fixtures in Moldova on Saturday and at home to Holland last night. As a free agent he would be able to join an English club outside FIFA’s transfer window. Grayson revealed last month that Forssell was “desperate” to agree terms with Leeds and said the forward saw his trial as a “big opportunity”. However, United’s manager hinted ahead of the transfer deadline that his budget might dictate any attempt to add Forssell to his squad. Sign him up !

Tuesday September 6th 2011. Luciano Becchio came through 60 minutes of a friendly versus Hull City at Thorp Arch and may find a place in the squad for Saturday’s game againt C Palace. Grayson : “It was good to see Luciano back. The plan was to give him 45 minutes but things went well and we gave him an hour and he felt good afterwards”.

Monday Sept 5th 2011. Sheep’s head wants to play for Leeds.  Ex Derby County captain Robbie Savage has issued a ‘come and get me’ plea to Leeds United boss Simon Grayson. Savage, 36 declared on his twitter page that Leeds United is a club he’d love to play for but conceded it probably won’t happen. The former Welsh international is set to retire at the end of the season. “People are saying why don’t you have a year at Leeds !! That’s probably only club could tempt me for 1 year ! Great club but won’t happen.” Savage also claimed that he was the fittest player last year at Derby and that he would have done a far better job at Leeds than Michael Brown. Gordan Brown would have done a better job than Michael Brown than what we have seen so far this season.

Sunday September 4th 2011. The incomings over the past year or so. I’ve been delving through the statistics over the past year or so. The following players were brought in by Simon Grayson last season . I hope I haven’t left anyone out. How many have been a success in your eyes ?  May 22nd 2010 Kasper Schmeichel (free) 2 year contract, June 2nd 2010 Billy Paynter (free) 3 year contract, June 10th 2010 Paul Connolly (undisclosed) 3 year contract, June 16th 2010 Federico Bessone  (free) 3 year contract, July7th  2010 Neil Collins (undisclosed) 3 year contract, July 9th 2010 Lloyd Sam (free) 2 year contract, July 30th 2010 Alex Bruce (thought to be £250,000) 2 year contract, August 4th 2010 Sanchez Watt (loan for season from Arsenal) August 21st 2010 Adam Clayton (Undisclosed from Man City) 3 year contract, August 27th Ross McCormack (undisclosed from Cardiff City) 3 year contract, August 31st Sanchez Watt (one year loan from Arsenal) August 31st 2010 Amdy Faye (Free) short-term contract, Sept 11th Jason Brown (short term loan from Blackburn Rvs) Sept 23rd George McCartney (loan followed by season long loan from Sunderland) Oct   Andy O’Brien (loan followed by undisclosed fee to Bolton W) 2.5 year contract, October 14th Ben Alnwick (month long loan from Spurs) Jan 1th 2011 Zac Thompson (short 6 month long contract and then undisclosed from Everton) Jan 21st David Gonzalez (loan to end of season from Man City) Feb 9th 2011 Eric Lichaj (loan from Aston Villa for one month then emergency loan to season end) March 7th 2011 Barry Bannan (short term loan from A Villa) March 24th Jake Livermore (loan to end of season from Spurs) – New season 2011. June 24th Paul Rachubka (free after leaving Blackpool) 2 year contract, July 11th 2011 Michael Brown (free after leaving Blackpool) one year contract with option for 2nd, July 24th 2011 Andy Lonergan (Undisclosed thought to be £150,000 from Preston NE) August 4th 2011 Darren O’Dea (season long loan from Celtic) August 15th 2011 Andy Keogh (loan from Wolves until January 2nd with view to permanent move)

Sunday September 4th 2011.Sign him up. Whilst Leeds United are still pondering whether to sign trialist Mikael Forssell the Finland striker played a key part in Finland`s win over Moldova. Forssell netted his 26th national goal from the penalty spot as Finland beat Moldova 4-1 in their Euro 2012 qualifier. The 30 year old made it 3-0 when he sent the Moldovan goalkeeper the wrong way from the spot. Forssell was also involved in two of the other three goals scored by Finland. Kasper Hamalainen opened the scoring for Finland, when Forssell`s near post-flicked header, was put in at the far post by Hamalainen. The striker was also involved in Finland`s fourth goal when he put Moldovan defender Igor Armas under pressure at the far post and he could only divert the ball into his own goal. Leeds have yet to make a decision on the former Chelsea and Birmingham City striker who spent last season with Bundesliga side Hannover96 before being released at the end of last season. In my view this guy is a proven fox in the box finisher along the same lines as Somma, but they key word here is proven. What’s the delay Larry ?  Sign him up or is his agent also greedy and does he too want to settle in some remote part of Finland with his family ?

Sun Sept 2nd 2011. Ranger for Leeds ? Newcastle have told Nile Ranger he will not be allowed to leave the club on a temporary basis when the loan window opens next week. The 20-year-old was poised to leave the club on transfer deadline-day with Birmingham and Leeds both waiting in the wings. Newcastle, however, are only prepared to allow the striker to leave the club if it is a loan deal with a view to a permanent switch. Ranger is valued at £1.5 million by Newcastle who are said to be unhappy with the player over his off-the-field antics. His agent Nick Rubery told the Sunday Sun: “United have made it clear there will be no movement. “It is frustrating for Nile he will not get that opportunity, but it is not up to him or us. “He just has to get on with the situation and work hard.” This one just looks like his agent trying to drum up a move for him and use Leeds name as a benchmark for interested teams. 

Sat Sept 3rd. Deadline Days affecting Championship clubs. 12:17: Emile Sinclair, Macclesfield to Peterborough (undisclosed), 13:30: Ryan Bertrand, Chelsea to Bristol City (loan), 13:44: Max Gradel, Leeds to St Etienne (£2.5m)14:06: Scott Parker, West Ham to Tottenham (£5m) 14:16: Peter Ramage, QPR to Crystal Palace (loan extension) 15:00: Jamie Griffiths, Ipswich to Plymouth (loan) 16:33: Henri Lansbury, Arsenal to West Ham (loan) 16:55: David Bentley, Tottenham to West Ham (loan)17:00: Joe Garner, Nottm Forest to Watford (undisc) 17:16: Jed Wallace, Lewes to Portsmouth (undisc) 17:32: Ben Turner, Coventry to Cardiff (£750,000) 17:54: Dany N’Guessan, Leicester to Millwall (undisc) 18:11: James Hurst, West Brom to Blackpool (loan) 18:12: Shane Byrne, Leicester to Bury (loan) 18:38: Dean Overson, Burnley to Bradford (undisc) 18:51: Jordan Brown, West Ham to Aldershot (loan) 19:32: Jamie Devitt, Hull to Bradford (loan) 20:01: Daniel Bogdanovic, Sheffield United to Blackpool (undisc) 20:10: Cody McDonald, Norwich to Coventry (undisc) 20:48: Junior Stanislas, West Ham to Burnley (undisc) 21:12: David Ball, Peterborough to Rochdale (loan) 21:50: Guy Demel, Hamburg to West Ham (undisc) 21:51: Liam Feeney, Bournemouth to Millwall (undisc) 22:10: Jonathan Franks, Middlesbrough to Oxford (loan) 22:35: Martyn Waghorn, Leicester to Hull (loan) 22:36: Scott Dann, Birmingham to Blackburn (£6m)  22:45: Fede Bessone, Leeds to Swansea (undisc) 22:49: Pablo Ibanez, West Brom to Birmingham (£1.5m) 22:50: Wade Elliott, Burnley to Birmingham (£500,000) 22:51: Jermaine Beckford, Everton to Leicester (£4.5m) 22:55: Cameron Jerome, Birmingham to Stoke (£4m) 22:57: Jay Simpson, Hull to Millwall (loan))

Sat Sept 3rd. Those who missed out on 25 man squad. The Premier League’s 25 man squads have been announced and there’s a few players who missed the cut that may have caught Simon Grayson’s attention. Amongst those that have missed out on a place in their respective clubs final 25 are former Leeds United players Rob Hulse, Danny Pugh and one time loanee Hogan Ephraim. Below is a list of notable exclusions : Danny Collins, Tom Soares, Danny Pugh, Michael Tonge, Patrick Agyemang, Rob Hulse, Petter Vaagan Moen, , Danny Shittu

Sat Sept 3rd. Bessone back with Swans. The shock move came in the final hours of the transfer window on Wednesday night with Bessone happy to put a nightmare twelve months at Elland Road behind him. The left back made the switch from the Liberty Stadium to Elland Road in the summer of 2010 when he signed a three-year deal at Leeds. Bessone was a regular in the opening month of the season, starting Leeds first eight games but he didn`t feature again after suffering an injury in the 5-2 defeat at Barnsley in September. Speaking in the Yorkshire Evening Post , Bessone said : “To be honest, I couldn`t enjoy it like I did at Swansea. I played six league games and two cup games; that`s all. After that, I didn`t have the confidence of the manager and went on loan to Charlton, which was good for me. “The style just didn`t suit me at Leeds. I didn`t see any team play like Swansea did in the Championship. I went to Swansea to watch the game against Leeds last season and you could see the difference between the teams. “I feel sorry it didn`t work out as I wanted to show them (Leeds) my quality and I couldn`t. “But Leeds is in the past now and I want to enjoy it at Swansea.s I used to play with and I still know most of them so I`m happy.” Bessone spent the second half of last season on loan at League One side Charlton Athletic and he was placed on the transfer list by Simon Grayson in the summer. Leeds released him from his contract so that he could return to Swansea and the chance of Premier League football.

Sat Sept 2nd. 2011. One of the better blogs out there. Normanton Whites Saturday, September 3, 2011 at 06:20 PM We all like a good rant and a good moan at times thats part and part of supporting Leeds always has and always will be! I feel that Graysons problems stem from not building on from when we were 2nd in the league at Xmas, we there on merit and everyone knew we just needed a bit more quality and depth in the squad to be there or there abouts come the end of the season. Sadly that never happened because of lack of funds, bad loan signings or poor management, whatever but we missed out on the playoffs. Like most fans I honestly expected that Bradley Johnson would stay or I hoped he would and that we could hang onto our best core players and in the summer invest (not 10s of millions but maybe 2,3,4 million say) in areas where we clearly struggling and have a crack at the playofs this season. This never happened for whatever reason and then we loose Gradel and sign absolutely no one on final couple of days of the transfer window….. Now we are bombarded with lame excuses and utter bullsh*t from all involved with Leeds about are present situation, how unlucky we were over capturing new signings, and that Max wanted to leave and there was nothing we could do to keep him, the list goes on and on. (Its this bullsh*t and lies that infuriates the fans more than anything, just tell us the truth) The fans have a damn right to be nervous and worried and vent there anger to all concerned because we could and should have built on our position of 2nd in the league at Xmas. All I can see now is we have gone backwards and I honestly feel that Grayson is as much to blame as anyone for our plight, with his tactics, his signings, his inability to find his best team, all the players seem nervous and some just out of position. I hope I am proved wrong and he stays and gets us promoted!!!! but my head tells me that he as taken our club as far as he can and before much longer in my honest opinion I think should be replaced sooner rarther than later before its too late,how much longer do we give him???

Sat Sept 3rd 2011. Paynter and deadline day by Grayson. Simon Grayson insists Billy Paynter remains in his thoughts – despite a proposed move to Brighton falling through on transfer deadline day. The Seagulls, whose boss Gus Poyet tried to land Paynter just before he left Swindon Town for Leeds United in the summer of 2010, were in discussions with the Whites to sign the striker on Wednesday, but the proposed deal collapsed after the two clubs failed to agree a fee. And Paynter, who has done it tough since arriving at Elland Road, remains keen on proving himself at United according to boss Grayson. Grayson said: “There was an enquiry about him (Paynter) and I gave a club the opportunity to see where they wanted to take it and nothing came of it. “I’ve spoken to him about the situation and he realises he is part of my plans and is going to be part of a group that is hopefully pushing for promotion this year. “I’ve been fair to the lad. He’s been injured a little bit and not been in the team on a frequent basis and we’ve also brought Andy Keogh and we’ve (Ross) McCormack, who is playing well and Luciano (Becchio) is also coming back. But Billy is part of that group and be part of the squad. “But sometimes when someone comes in for a player, you have to be honest with them and see what their opinion of it is. He wanted to see what was out there, but it didn’t happen. “He said to me he wasn’t over keen on leaving because he wants to prove to people here he is a good player and the player everyone expected when we signed him.” We should have banked the £150K as Paynter is not good enough.

Friday Sept 2nd 2011. YEP on Grayson’s Deadline day despair. Exasperated Leeds United boss Simon Grayson admits the run-up to Wednesday night’s transfer deadline represented the most frustrating time of his managerial career. Grayson saw deal after deal fall through on a fraught deadline day after at one stage having up to three new t for Max Gradel. But the late market machinations worked firmly against Grayson, with money generated from the sales of Kasper Schmeichel and Gradel at his disposal to add to a meagre tally of just five summer signings. Making a major departure from his usual policy of not commenting on transfer deals until they are completed, Grayson decided to change tack for once in a bid to convince disgruntled Whites supporters the club did all they could in their bid for signings following the big-money exit of Gradel. Grayson said: “I can understand the fans’ frustration. Too right I can. That’s why I’ve come out to try and justify what happened (on deadline day). “I don’t normally name players I go for. That’s the way I’ve worked in the past and probably will in the future. But I just feel this is the right thing to do to explain to fans what I was trying to do.“I’ve got to say it was the most frustrating day I’ve had as a manager. Probably not just Wednesday, but the last couple of days (of the window), from the early part of the morning – and I mean early part – right the way through to the last few hours of the window. I was stuck behind my desk on the phones all the time, trying to do some deals. “It’s amazing how deals can change so quickly. At certain stages by around (deadline-day) dinner-time or just after, we had three more or less done and dusted. All the players needed to do was sign.“Then different circumstances didn’t make them happen. That’s the most frustrating part because as much as everybody is looking from the outside and thinking we’ve not done anything, believe me I was working my socks off to try and achieve two, three or even four players to come in. “I was so close to doing deals and for various reasons, they changed. An example was Jason Puncheon, who agreed to sign for us at dinner-time and changed his mind ten for whatever reason, which turned out to be he went to QPR instead. I’d agreed a deal with Southampton to bring the lad here to replace Max, but unfortunately, it fell through.“I’d agreed with another Premier League international defender to come here because another defender was coming to that club and he was surplus to requirements. But that got changed as that player went elsewhere and the one I was going to sign then decided he felt had another opportunity to play at that Premiership club.“There’s no secret that I wanted to sign Eric Lichaj, but he got injured in a reserve game and is out for two to three months with a hip injury. “Then there were other numerous ones which just couldn’t get done for clubs changing their mind. “There was another international player where the deal was more or less agreed to do it and at the last minute that club changed their minds because another deal fell through. “Another player I looked to sign after the Puncheon deal feel through was close to being done and then the player went to the Premier League instead. That’s what you are up against sometimes and hopefully everyone will understand the situation. “At one stage, it looked like we had the players, but then they fell by the wayside. “From then on, I wasn’t going in during the last two or three hours of the deadline to bring in players who I didn’t think would be good enough who maybe people would look at as panic buys. “I was excited by some of the players I was looking to sign. It’s hugely frustrating…“One player I couldn’t even get hold of because his phone was off after his club agreed a deal and he couldn’t be contacted. It was bad day at the office. Grayson now has no option but to wait for next week’ opening of the emergency loan market – which enables managers to bring in recruits for a minimum of 28 days or a maximum of 93 and you sense that can’t come soon enough. He added: “It’s not the ideal situation as other people keep telling as you are in the hands of other clubs. But I suppose it’s all settled down as Premier League clubs will have their 25-man squads and players will be out of it and there will be some good players out there.”

Ken Bates on Yorkshire Radio after Transfer Deadline day with Ben Fry. Ben Fry: We’re sat here the day after the transfer window has closed. We’ll start with Max Gradel. We talked last week when you said you were keen to keep the player, did his transfer request change the situation? Ken Bates: Well I think, so there’s no possible misunderstanding from the fans let’s hear the full story. We never wanted Max to go and in fact towards the end of last season we started talking to him about an extended contract. His agent came to see me and he’s a nice guy is Max’s agent. He came to see Shaun and said look, this is the situation, Max has got a chance to play in European Champions League or Europa League football and obviously that’s too grand an attraction for him not to want to go and therefore it would be such an improvement for him because Max is French speaking and of course he comes from the Ivory Coast that we would not stand in his way. He loves Leeds but he wants to the change. And we thought that was pretty logical, we can stand in the way of a player improving himself and obviously we’re not in a position to offer him European football for a few seasons yet so we said yes, no problem. Then, from Max’s point of view, it started going wrong because all the clubs that were supposed to be coming in for him didn’t and then we got enquiries from him from English clubs. West Ham offered us a silly £1.5million for him but over three years. Well, you know, that would mean we wouldn’t have the player and we wouldn’t have the money so why should we sell him to West Ham, a competitor of ours anyway? So, we turned it down and then what’s their name… Sochaux came on to us and offered us, I think €800,000 or something so we told them to shove it. That was the end of that and they came back with an offer of €1.8million with €500,000 add-ons and we told them to shove that as well because at that stage we wanted to keep Max. But that brought a matter to a head when Max, first of all. put in his transfer request and then we told him what the possible options were and he said “I don’t want to stay in England, I want to go to France.” So Nice came in for him but didn’t offer… and finally St Etienne did and it’s so complicated because Max was playing for Ivory Coast in Rwanda which is somewhere in the centre of Africa. He was actually in Amsterdam on the closing day of the transfer deadline so he had to get to there and have a medical and sign before he went out. So we had to let him go. We didn’t want him to go. It’s not a particularly good deal for us because, well to be fair we bought him for £100,000 from Leicester but they have got a 17.5% sell-on so the fee we get, they’ll get 17.5% and there’s a 5% levy which goes to the league so by the time we’ve finished it won’t be that much but we’ve got a substantial sum of about £1.75million net over a year and that goes in Simon’s pot. So the full story is, we wanted Max to sign a new contract, he had decided via his agent that he wanted to go to Europe and even when he had the opportunity of playing in the Premiership he still wanted to go to Europe. I think he’s probably happier there in his French ambiance. So he’s gone. We wish him well. I hope he hasn’t made a mistake. We’ll follow his career in future with interest but meanwhile life goes on.BF: Now we’ve spoken to Simon, he said yesterday was one of the most frustrating of his managerial career. The transfer window can do that to you though can’t it ? KB: Well the problem is, where we are as a Championship club we are very much at the end of the domino effect. If you re trying to sign good players, you really want players from leading Championship clubs or alternatively fringe players from Premiership clubs with on to-purchase or to buy or loan. The trouble is, the clubs in the Premiership, the really big, rich clubs like Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United won’t decide what to do with their players until they are finished with their bargaining and they are taking mega millions which of course we are not. And yet this trickle down effect, they won’t do anything about their players until they have got what they want and there’s a lot of “well I’m hoping to sell A which means I’ll sign B and I’ll be able to release C”. If they don’t sell A then they can’t sign B and they keep C as a back-up. You see how complicated it is? We’re sort of half way down the food chain so we have to wait for what’s left. I know Simon particularly and Gwyn Williams and Shaun Harvey have worked incredible hard this summer. It’s all back-hand loaded. I mean the frenzy, if you like, is like sharks at feeding time. Simon requested Puncheon. We had him lined up at 6pm, at 8pm we were told he was thinking about it and 11pm I watched him on Sky running through doors of QPR’s offices at 10.30pm to beat the deadline. Again, you can’t blame him because he had to chance of going to a Premiership club who think he’s good enough, he obviously does and why should he come play for a Championship club? But all is not lost. If you look over the summer, Kisnorbo is back, he’s been out for 18 months so he’s a new player, Nunez who came from nowhere, we’re just about to negotiate a new contract with him so he’s obviously a proven goalscorer. Luciano Becchio is now in full training and should be available for Palace or Bristol City. Tom Lees is a revelation as is Clayton. We’re far from dispirited. Aidy White has come through and has had his first disappointment by being unfairly sent off and the appeal against his red card has been lost so it gives them a bit of a problem for the Palace game but we can get through that. And of course in a week’s time or 10 days time we can then start looking for emergency loans with a view for then buying in the January window. So, an awful lot of clubs now, Premiership clubs have to name their 25-man squad. Now most Premiership clubs have got a lot more than 25 players on their books. So if you are not in the 25, you are now being told basically you’re not going to get a first team game for a year. They’ll still get the money, but they won’t play. We don’t want players who are just in it for the money anyway. If they want to play we should have a good chance of strengthening the squad in the way Simon wants to do it by increasing our numbers with quality players. I’ve said before, there’s no point signing players for the sake of signing them. So it’s not all downbeat. BF: Did the lateness of Max’s deal frustrate you in that there wasn’t then a lot of time to reinvest the funds?KB: Precisely. I mean, for example if we had known a month ago we were going to get the money that we eventually did get, or should I say getting for Gradel because we don’t get it that quickly because the French club has to send the money to the French FA and the French FA have to send it to the English FA and then the English FA have to send it to us so we get t eventually. I was reading the paper yesterday, over 40 forms to sign by clubs when a player moves from one country to another because of all the various rules and regulations so it’s a very time consuming process and the FA will be swamped at the moment with all these last minute things coming through. Anyway, to go back to the original question, yes it would have been better if we could have planned because I don’t like these last minute frenzies. We are not the master of the situation, we’re at the mercy of the elements.BF: Yesterday it was confirmed that Fede Bessone’s contract and that of Mike Grella’s had been cancelled. Do you wish them well, it just didn’t work for them ? KB: Well, neither of them, they were good signings on paper, in fact last season Grella did well for us at the beginning part of it anyway but they weren’t getting anywhere and we just cancelled their contract by mutual consent and we saved a whole load of wages which of course once again goes into Simon’s pot. BF: Now you touched on Aidy White and the decision to send him off. I know you’re not keen on criticising referees but there has been two games in particular which could have cost Leeds six points with sendings off already this season…KB: (Interrupts) Well Aidy White getting sent off certainly cost us three points and I watched that incident again and again and again and it was innocent. The guy pushed him as they were running and they both fell. Well he push him, Aidy fell on him and they both fell down. I didn’t even think it was a yellow card, not even a free-kick. Not a yellow card and certainly not a red card. That’s life. We just have to take that with us because we know in the course of the season, our players should have been carded and they’re not, we’ll get penalties we don’t deserve or free-kicks. It evens itself out, it’s just bloody annoying when it comes at the start of the season like the Middlesbrough game when I thought the referee, I never criticise referees, but I thought that day he had a very bad game at the office. And Steve Gibson, an old mate of mine who is the chairman of Middlesbrough, we both agreed that day the referee spoiled the game and we don’t think any of the three players should have been sent. Up to the time when Gradel was sent off it was a cracking game and we could have been two goals up but that’s life, it’ll get better. BF: Now the Man Utd draw was made at the weekend for the Carling Cup. Could the draw have been any better? KB: Well, I thought well hang on we’ve got Manchester United. We had Liverpool three years ago, Manchester United two years ago followed by Spurs and last year we had Arsenal. So I thought with our luck we’d have Shrewsbury. Manchester United at home – well thank you very much. Once again, it will be a good test. It’ll be good experience for our players. I was saying even if we get a draw, and he reminded me of course that the Carling Cup is a sudden death and one chance to make it. On the other hand, United are playing on the Sunday so I’m sure he’ll move his team around a bit for the Tuesday. Of course, he has got so many good players he’ll still put out a great team. It’ll be a great experience for our fans to experience the big time again and it’s a bit of a diversion from the league.BF: You mentioned the scheduling, was there a lot of tooing and froing with the Manchester United game being on Sunday and the Brighton game for Leeds on the Friday? KB: To be fair, Manchester United didn’t give us any problems but there was a suggestion that Sky wanted us to play on the Wednesday and we were reluctant to do that because of Brighton on a Friday night. United raised no objections so we’re now playing on the Tuesday and we’re live on Sky as well so that’s welcome. Brighton are playing Liverpool on the Wednesday and Sky want that as well so we thought then that our game might be in jeopardy on the Friday night but Brighton have said no, they’ll play it. So Brighton are playing the Wednesday and the Friday which gives them just one day to recover and we play on the Tuesday and Friday which gives us two days to recover. BF: And how much of the East Stand will be available for the game? Obviously, I presume you’d like as much as possible. KB: Well as we speak, Shaun’s in a meeting with the safety team and the police. As it stands at the moment, we think that – the lower tier is unaffected – it’s a question of access and how many of the toilets have been connected for the upper tier which is now of course on the fifth floor for the standard tickets although the might find it a bit better quality when the get them. The other question is how many hospitality packages we can do. At the moment, we’re think we might have to use the Pavilion to feed the hospitality packages that night. So the short answer is, as my father-in-law used to say to me years ago, as near as I can tell you, I don’t know. We’re hoping we’ll have somewhere between 35,000 and 37,000″

Thurs Sept 1st 2011.Note from our chairman, Greg Tipping warts and all. - I am so annoyed its difficult to express, Larry one of us !! sick hearing it, He can F*** off now, Lies and incompetence some him up, just to mention ONLY 3 things from him recently : 1. Side this year would be stronger than last year, NOT TRUE (please don’t respond on this one, I simply wont agree), at best we have an average Championship side and talk of promotion outside of Leeds circles is being laughed at rightly. 2. Several signings would be made and some money was there to spend. 3 signings (2 were Free and 2 are goal keepers) 1 loan player, numerous players left some were poor anyway, but Killa, Johnson, Sm’kel and Gradel are of reasonable quality and not properly replaced 3. When the signings did not materialize larry then backtracked and said it was more important that we keep our Best Players, even when he knew Gradel was going !! I could go on and on with his deception not even to mention his incompetence, He has brought in scores of players over the last 2.5 years all of which have been poor to awful with 1 exception Gradel and he decides to leave (Clayton not yet proven), Why would Gradel want to leave for French football speaks more about where Leeds are going and what we are about than just his personal greed for money. I really am so annoyed with this, that only Larry and Bates (real moron) leaving will help begin the appeasement, I genuinely, for the first time since a child, will find it difficult to watch this Leeds team. Its not that we don’t have a team to compete or that we did not spend any money nor have the ambition as a club to get promoted, It’s the lies, deception and rudeness that sickens my stomach. See you when or if I ever calm down. Regards Greg.

Thursday Sept 1st 2011. From YEP re Leeds deadline disaster. LEEDS United suffered more transfer misery as their bid to land several beat-the-deadline signings hit a frustrating impasse. United were thought to be in the market for a left-back, midfielder and striker to bolster their squad, hit by recent departures and injuries, but copped a day of frustration to end a fraught summer on the recruitment front. On the outward front, a late move from Brighton and Hove Albion for Billy Paynter fell through with the Seagulls and Leeds unable to agree a fee. Albion are thought to have made a £150,000 bid for Paynter up front with the fee rising to £250,000, but Leeds snubbed the offer and despite some more haggling, the deal couldn’t be completed. Albion boss Gus Poyet had been tracking Paynter since losing out to former club United in the race to sign the Scouse striker from Swindon Town when he opted to head north to Elland Road in the summer of 2010. Paynter was also the subject of rumoured interest from Coventry, but the Midlanders instead opted to press ahead with the signing of Norwich City frontman Cody McDonald. Meanwhile, Brendan Rodgers’ new boys Swansea City made a shock late move to re-sign old boy Fede Bessone as defensive cover, with the out-in-the-cold United left-back having endured a nightmare spell at Elland Road since heading to the club from the Liberty Stadium in June 2010. The Argentinian, who spent the second half of last season on loan at Charlton Athletic, hasn’t tasted first-team action for United since last September after making his name with the Swans. Elsewhere, United were thwarted in their pursuit of central midfield target Sammy Clingan, right, after making enquiries about the Coventry City captain, out of contract next summer, in the run-up to the deadline. Rumours abounded that cash-strapped City may be forced to let the Northern Ireland international leave. But the departure of central defender Ben Turner to Cardiff City and a sell-on clause following the big-money £8m transfer of Birmingham City and ex-Sky Blues centre-half Scott Dann to Blackburn Rovers is believed to have eased the pressure to sell, with boss Andy Thorn receiving reassurances that Clingan would stay. And United’s hopes of a beat-the-deadline move for ex-loan full-back Eric Lichaj were scuppered after it was revealed the US international tore a thigh muscle playing for Aston Villa in their Carling Cup clash with Hereford United. Triallist Mikael Forssell remains an ongoing option for United boss Simon Grayson, as his signing didn’t have to be finalised before yesterday’s 11pm deadline due to his status as a free agent.

Weds 31st of August. Two strikers left Leeds. Grella and Gradel gone. West Ham (David Bentley from Spurs and Henri Lansbury from Arsenal and Guy Demal Ivory Coast international from Hamburg)and Leicester (Jermaine Beckford plus half of the Championship’s top players) were busy bringing in top quality but bargain bucket Leeds were invisible. A new low for even Bates not to spend any of the £4M recouped for Gradel and Schmeichel except the £200K for Lonergan. Leede fans are absolutely disgusted by the inaction of Leeds United.