Sat 28th of November 2015 Evans disappointment Steve Evans voiced his disappointment with his side’s display following Saturday’s 1-0 defeat away to QPR. Charlie Austin’s second-half header won it for the hosts on a frustrating afternoon where Evans admitted United were “poor all over the pitch”. Austin escaped his marker to guide home Alejandro Faurlin’s corner just two minutes after stepping off the bench, and the highly sought after striker would have added a second moments later if it wasn’t for the goalkeeping heroics of Marco Silvestri. Along with debutant Liam Bridcutt and the returning Charlie Taylor, Silvestri was one of three players who escaped Evans’ criticism as he ensured his side remained within a shout of snatching a point with a string of fine saves. But a late bout of pressure proved to be fruitless as United returned to West Yorkshire empty handed. “The reaction is obviously one of disappointment,” Evans said. “I thought we were poor all over the pitch, although I would exclude Taylor and Bridcutt from that criticism and Silvestri, who did his job. “But, for all of the ball that Queens Park Rangers had, the one chance in the first half fell to us. “I don’t think anyone would dispute that Chris Wood should have scored to put us in front, but we’d be clutching at straws if we thought that was the answer. “At half-time we changed it around, we changed the system and I thought we started the second half brightly. “We were more in the game but they had a corner kick and if one individual doesn’t do his job, then the best striker in the Championship will score a goal if you let him run off you unmarked. “I don’t doubt the honesty or integrity of the player involved – he came in the changing room at full time and put his hands up. “But I’d rather him put his shoulder against Charlie Austin and we wouldn’t have gone behind. “Then we rode our luck a little bit after they got their goal, and it took us until late on to have a passage of play – by that point we were chasing the game. “There’s no doubt we should have equalised and maybe, dare I say it, nick the points. But it wasn’t a good day all round and I cannot say I’m happy with that.”

Sat 28th of Nov QPR 1 (Austin 58), UNITED 0 United team: Silvestri, Wootton, Bellusci, Cooper, Taylor, Dallas, Bridcutt, Cook, Mowatt (Botaka 67), Antenucci (Erwin 80), Wood. Subs: Peacock-Farrell, Byram, Adeyemi, Murphy, Doukara. Referee: Peter Bankes Booked: Bridcutt, Wootton, Cook (United) Att: 18,031 (3,220 United) Report from LUFC website


Another shocking United performance

The trip to Queens Park Rangers saw United head coach Steve Evans make two changes from the previous weekend’s home defeat to Rotherham, one of which was enforced as Charlie Taylor returned from illness to replace the suspended Gaetano Berardi at left-back. The other change saw Evans hand a United debut to Liam Bridcutt in midfield, just two days after joining on an emergency loan deal from Sunderland. It meant Luke Murphy dropped to the substitutes’ bench, where he joined young goalkeeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell. Bridcutt was involved early on, but not quite in the way he would have hoped as the midfielder was shown the game’s first yellow card with just seven minutes on the clock after hauling down Junior Hoilett as QPR looked to mount a quick break up-field. Alejandro Faurlin fired the resulting free-kick over the bar from 30 yards out, but goalmouth action was at a premium during the opening exchanges. Marco Silvestri dealt comfortably with a couple of crosses, but both g’keepers remained otherwise untested. Stuart Dallas, minutes after being patched up for a bloody nose, had United’s first sight of goal, volleying well over the crossbar after collecting Lewis Cook’s pass on his chest, before Chris Wood spurned the best chance of the early stages on 26 minutes. The striker latched onto a loose back-pass and calmly rounded the onrushing Robert Green, but the angle was tight and Wood could only blaze over the bar after Green had recovered to re-take his position on the line with defenders closing in. QPR’s best opening fell to Grant Hall shortly after the half-hour mark, rising inside the area to meet a floated corner from the right, but the defender saw his header fly over from close-range. Some last-ditch defending from Taylor ensured Silvestri remained unthreatened between the sticks, before Michael Petrasso smashed a rebound over the bar after seeing his initial goalbound effort blocked by one of his own team-mates inside the area. Nedum Onuoha and Paul Konchesky both tried their luck from range as QPR ended the first half the stronger of the two, but it remained goalless as referee Peter Bankes signalled for the end of a largely forgettable opening 45 minutes. Both sides re-emerged unchanged from the interval and United started the second half in a positive manner as Mirco Antenucci was set free down the right before drilling a low cross all the way through an empty box, while Dallas’ rising strike whistled over Green’s crossbar in front of the travelling fans. But it was Neil Warnock’s QPR who managed to open the deadlock after 58 minutes through substitute Charlie Austin, just two minutes after the striker had stepped off the bench in a double change alongside Tjaronn Chery. Faurlin’s whipped corner found the striker, Rangers’ top goalscorer this term, unmarked inside the area to nod a simple header beyond Silvestri and draw first blood. The hosts’ tails were up, and United did well to survive a flurry of dangerous corners into the box as the home crowd urged their side forward. Austin’s introduction had changed the game, and the striker threatened to notch a second with a powerful header from Matt Phillips’ deep free-kick. Evans was soon prompted into his first change of the afternoon, an attacking move which saw Jordan Botaka replace Alex Mowatt, but QPR continued to press and Silvestri was forced into a stunning reflex save to beat away Austin’s near-post header. The one-way traffic continued, with Faurlin curling a first-time effort wide from 25 yards out after being teed up by Phillips, before the latter came close himself with a low strike on the edge of the area. Silvestri was keeping United in the game, though, and the Italian clawed away Chery’s low attempt from inside the area when the QPR substitute looked destined to pick out the bottom corner. Lee Erwin was brought on for Antenucci as the game entered the final10 minutes, and the Scotsman did force Green into a low save to clutch his ambitious half-volley from out wide. Leeds began to mount some late pressure as they looked to salvage something from the game, with Wood firing over from distance after being found in space by Cook. Cook then came close himself, dragging wide from a tight angle after Dallas’ strike had cannoned into his path, while a low cross was agonisingly cleared from in front of Botaka with the goal gaping. But, despite United’s chances in the closing stages, the hosts saw out the game to claim a victory which they were.


Gary Speed after netting the first in that thriller of a match (4-1 v VFB Stuttgart)

Friday Nov 27th. RIP Gary Speed. On this day four years ago we lost one of our favourites, Gary Speed. He was with Leeds between 1988 and 1996. he played 248 times for the Whites and netted 39 times. who can forget those ghost runs from the left, that superb left foot, that deadly spring and powerful header of a ball and ultimately what a midfeld of Strachan, Batty, McAllister and SPEED. RIP Gary !


Bridcutt at last arrives and will play against QPR

Thurs Nov 26th Evans happy with support in loan market Steve Evans insisted he was satisfied with the support given to him by Massimo Cellino in the emergency loan market after sealing the signing of Liam Bridcutt before last night’s deadline. Leeds United’s drawn-out pursuit of Bridcutt ended in success yesterday when the Sunderland midfielder joined the club until January but Evans failed with a late push to add a striker to his squad. The club’s head coach made approaches for Middlesbrough forward Kike and Swansea City’s Marvin Emnes in the final hours of the Football League’s window but saw both approaches rejected ahead of a 5pm deadline. Evans, who is likely to start Bridcutt away at Queens Park Rangers tomorrow, had hoped to sign as many as three players before the loan market closed and claimed United had spoken with “eight or nine clubs” in the past week – and said he had no complaints about the backing offered to him by Cellino. Cellino’s future as United owner has been in serious doubt for the past month with a Football League disqualification hanging over him and the volatile Italian considering selling his majority stake in the club. But Evans, who missed out on Charlton Athletic’s Tony Watt earlier this week after refusing to meet the striker’s valuation, said: “We’ve been trying to spend money. We were very close on two but couldn’t get there – one with the club and the other with the personal terms. “I’ve been given every encouragement to pick up the phone and identify players. You’re not doing that to kid people on. The one thing I learn about Mr Cellino is that yes is yes and no is no. People might not like the ‘nos’ at times but I don’t think he pussy-foots around. “If he didn’t want to be spending more money he would tell you straight. Until you see players sign on the dotted line you never know one million per cent for sure but we’ve spoken to eight or nine clubs in the last week, all trying to do different bits of business. “In an ideal world we’d have got three players in. We didn’t want four or five. We’ve got one in (Bridcutt) and we think it’s a big improvement but it’s easy to say that. The boy has to come in now and deliver the performances.” Bridcutt, 26, has been frozen out at Sunderland and has not played a first-team game this season but he brings the experience of more than 150 Football League appearances to Elland Road after a successful spell at Brighton between 2010 and 2014. Evans chased Bridcutt for several weeks and his interest in him appeared to have collapsed earlier this month but the United boss resurrected the deal during discussions at Thorp Arch late on Wednesday night, with Bridcutt on the verge of joining Cardiff City on loan. Evans said: “He was the first player I identified to bring in. Everyone knows how good a player Liam can be. He’s a combative, box-to-box midfield player. “I think we all thought it had fallen through. Possibly at lunchtime (on Wednesday) I did think myself that he was going to be going somewhere else but I met him here and for an hour-and-a-half we spoke about football. I expected the kid to say ‘let me sleep on it’ but he didn’t. He had a little chat with his family and then said he wanted to be here. That was important to me.” As Bridcutt arrived, Leeds moved unexpectedly to end Will Buckley’s loan at Elland Road a month ahead of schedule. Buckley joined United from Sunderland on a deal to January while Uwe Rosler was head coach at Leeds and the club agreed the move with a view to a permanent deal but Buckley started only one game and was allowed to rejoin his parent club yesterday. Evans said the decision had been taken because of a plan to offer more game time to Jordan Botaka, the Congo international who Leeds recruited from Dutch club Excelsior in the summer. Evans said: “Everyone can accept that Jordan can be frustrating at times but he’s got electric pace and we’ve been working with him on his decision-making. He’s got great ability “We’ve signed Liam Bridcutt and he’s a loan signing but we want as much as we can to be playing Leeds United players who are here on a permanent basis. That was the main reason for us allowing Will to go back. That was one of the factors.”

Nov 26th Whites fail with Kike and Emnes bids Leeds United failed with late bids to sign Middlesbrough forward Kike and Swansea City striker Marvin Emnes ahead of tonight’s 5pm loan deadline. The YEP understands that United approached both clubs in the hours before the end of the Football League’s window with a view to recruiting one of the forwards until January. Leeds head coach Steve Evans secured the first deal of his short tenure when midfielder Liam Bridcutt joined from Sunderland earlier today and he was pushing to bring a new striker to Elland Road before the deadline passed this evening. Evans refused to name the players concerned but speaking earlier this afternoon he said: I’d like to think it’s not business done. “We’re really waiting at the end of the phone now and we’ve tried desperately hard to strengthen in a number of areas. “We’ve managed to get Liam in the door and literally we’re waiting on one Premier League chairman and one Championship chairman making a decision on whether they can release their player. We’ve got a couple of hours for that phone to ring.” Kike, who cost Boro around £3m last summer, has featured in many of Boro’s games this season, predominantly as a substitute. Dutchman Emnes – a former Boro player – has played only once for Swansea since the summer in a League Cup tie against York City.


Bridcutt will start against QPR

Thurs Nov 26th Bridcutt braced for Hooops debut Professional football can be a nomadic world. On Wednesday afternoon Liam Bridcutt thought he was joining Cardiff City. By 7pm he was sitting in an office at Thorp Arch, letting Steve Evans talk him into a move to Leeds United. Evans had tried to sell the club to Bridcutt at least once before and at points of the past month, Bridcutt was basically sold. His loan from Sunderland was, by anyone’s standards, an on-off transfer which looked to be happening at the start of November but needed a last-ditch phone from United’s head coach at the very moment when Cardiff thought they had a deal. “We had contact a few weeks ago but for one reason or another it didn’t get done when we first thought it would,” Bridcutt said.To be fair, I was close to going somewhere else. I had a few other options because this fell through at one stage. “Then I get a phone call late (on Wednesday) night from the manager, saying he’s been given permission to speak to me. I drove down here to meet him and we had a chat. He convinced me that Leeds were the club for me and I was more than happy to get it done.” It is a measure of Evans’ opinion of Bridcutt – a 26-year-old defensive midfielder with ample experience of the Championship – that he kept lines of communication open with him until the very last minute. Evans thought the transfer was as good as done on November 2 but the delay which followed annoyed Sunderland’s manager, Sam Allardyce, and allowed several other Championship clubs to wade into the bidding. It’s interesting that when Sunderland were in a battle last season and needed some points, Liam was recalled back into their side,” Evans said. I spoke to a couple of Premier League managers who were in opposition and they said he would be fantastic. What I was thinking about him was right.” For Bridcutt, the empty weeks have dragged. He was as keen to move as Sunderland were to send him out on loan. The Wearside club have not used him this season and Allardyce, who replaced Dick Advocaat in October, said publicly that Bridcutt was the only member of his squad who would be allowed to move on before yesterday’s emergency loan deadline. “For me, that’s football,” the former Brighton player said. “I know how it is and I know how quickly things happen. You never know what will come up or when things will change. “It’s much more difficult for my girlfriend and my children than it is for me; my children especially because they’re used to seeing me every day, taking them to school and stuff. The next thing they know, dad’s up and gone again. The way things have worked out I’ll have plenty of time to see them still but moving clubs is part and parcel of the game. If you want to make a name for yourself, if you want a career, you have to make sacrifices. And when I spoke to the manager (Evans), I was clear in my mind about what I wanted to do.” Bridcutt would admit himself that he needs to set his career rolling again. Evans is likely to give him a full debut at Queens Park Rangers tomorrow and Bridcutt says he has been “waiting for this day since the start of the season.” Reserve fixtures aside – including a game for Sunderland Under-21s against Liverpool on Tuesday, a fixture which Cardiff scouted – his last appearance came in May. Unfavourable headlines at the time described him as a “misfit”. This feels like a long time coming,” he said. I’ve been waiting for this day from the start of the season. I had a good pre-season and I was ready to play but things happen with managers. I’ve not had a lot to do with Sam (Allardyce) – he’s only just come through the door himself – but he’s got his own ideas and at the minute I’m not part of that.

Nov 26th No improvement on last season’s from – Lorimer Saturday’s defeat to Rotherham United was a very demoralising affair. The result itself was disappointing, that really goes without saying, but what frustrated me more was the sinking feeling that compared to last season there’s been no improvement. That might sound a bit over the top but it’s the way I see it and I get the impression that plenty of our supporters share that view. There are players in the squad with potential, no doubt about that. But as a team we look as brittle and inconsistent as we did a year ago. There’s no disguising that fact. It’s ridiculous when you think about it because Uwe Rosler spent quite a bit of money in the summer. Yet here we are, plodding along and showing very few signs of progress. I’m not having a dig at Steve Evans. I actually think he’s done well to get a few decent results out of this squad in quite a short period. But I won’t be alone in thinking that we need better players than we’ve got. I’m still amazed that apart from Sol Bamba, no other defenders were signed before the season started. Anyone who watched us last season knew that our defence needed serious work. It wasn’t good enough for the Championship six months ago and it’s not good enough for the Championship now. I always expect it to leak goals – and on that basis, the opposition must too. On Saturday, against Rotherham, we had a right-back at left-back, a centre-back at right-back and nothing in the way of cover on the bench. Injuries and suspensions have played a part but the reality is that we’re very stretched. I can see why Steve has been so anxious to find players in the loan market because in his position, I’d be trying to sign players too. Loan signings might help but January is where the big improvement can be made and hopefully Steve and the owner can get together and take us up a level. Unless that happens, I don’t see any chance at all of us putting pressure on the top six. I’m sorry to be saying that but it’s the truth. As I sat through the Rotherham match I found it hard to tell myself that we’ve improved one iota. Up until now I’ve been trying my best to be positive and patient. For one thing there’s no captain on the pitch. There’s no experienced player who can rally everyone and give guidance when it’s needed. That’s becoming apparent with some of the younger players. On Saturday, Lewis Cook and Alex Mowatt were running around like blue-a***d flies and desperate for a voice in their ears, telling them what to do and how to get into the game. Don’t forget that Cook is 18. Mowatt’s been around a while longer but he’s only 20. No matter how much talent they have, there are going to be days where their lack of experience counts against them. Those are the occasions where they need older, wiser lads stepping up and helping them out. It’s not acceptable for kids to be carrying the can. The truth is that I wasn’t so surprised by the Rotherham game. I thought we’d win it, I thought we’d have too much for them up front, but I always have the sneaking suspicion that we’ve been flattering to deceive. The result at Huddersfield flattered us. It wasn’t a 3-0 game by any stretch and I don’t think we performed particularly well. If Scott Wootton had been sent off, which he should have been, we might well have lost it. We’re going into a very tough month now and it’s vital that we stay well away from the bottom four. Anyone talking about the play-offs at this stage is kidding themselves. It’s possible, of course, that the season could take off spectacularly but I can only see that happening if some top quality arrives in January. It’s incredible to be saying that because, let’s be honest, Rosler had plenty of resources at his disposal in the summer. He wasn’t short of transfer funds but with Christmas coming we’re under pressure again. As I said, fair play to Steve; he’s managed to get some valuable points in the bag. But it’s papering over the same sort of cracks we all saw last season.


Berardi will now miss just the QPR and Hull games

Nov 24th Berardi sentence reduced on appeal Leeds United defender Gaetano Berardi will serve a two-match ban for his red card against Rotherham United after the suspension was reduced from three games on appeal. United successful challenged the length of Berardi’s ban after asking the Football Association to review his clash with Rotherham striker Leon Best on Saturday. Berardi and Best were both shown straight red cards during the second half of Rotherham’s 1-0 win at Elland Road. Berardi was left with a bloodied nose after Best struck him with an elbow to the face and the Swiss full-back reacted by pushing Best to the ground. The pair faced mandatory three-match suspensions for violent conduct but an Independent Regulatory Commission ruled today that Berardi’s ban was “excessive” in the circumstances. A statement from the FA read: “Leeds United’s Gaetano Berardi has had his three-match suspension reduced to two matches following a successful appeal by the club. “Leeds contested that the standard penalty for the offence was excessive and this claim was upheld with immediate effect following an Independent Regulatory Commission hearing.” Berardi will now miss Saturday’s visit to Queens Park Rangers and next weekend’s clash with Hull City but is in line to return for United’s trip to Charlton Athletic. Head coach Steve Evans seemed to accept the red card after full-time on Saturday, saying: “You can’t react the way Berardi did. “He’s a good kid and he’s been absolutely smashed when you look back at the footage. It’s quite a horrific elbow. He did react but he shouldn’t react. We’ll deal with him in house.” The FA confirmed that is had received United’s appeal and is expected to make a decision on it this afternoon.

Nov 24th No loan players to come in as Cornman shows his hand December last year was a brutal month for Leeds United but that side seemed better placed mentally and positionally in the table than Steve Evans’ current Whites side. Phil Hay reports. By this stage of his reign and this stage of the loan market, Steve Evans thought Leeds United’s squad would be stronger than it is. Instead, the club’s head coach is in a position where even injured players will come under consideration when he picks his team for Queens Park Rangers on Saturday. Evans has less than 72 hours to magic something from the emergency loan window and the inactivity of the past five weeks makes the arrival of new signings before Thursday’s deadline seem less and less likely. Evans’ approach at QPR this weekend will largely depend on existing resources at Elland Road. The 53-year-old’s opinion of the squad he took on from Uwe Rosler has been clear from the outset: talented but thin in areas and short of nous in others. He went as far as saying after a defeat to Blackburn Rovers last month that without any help from the loan market, United might find that avoiding relegation becomes more of a struggle than the club would like. Certain statistics bear his warning out. Leeds found themselves in grave trouble at the halfway point of last season but at this juncture 12 months ago, with 17 Championship games played, the club were a point better off. December was a brutal month for United and Evans needs his players to keep their results in order in the lead-up to Christmas. His options are most stretched defensively, to the extent that Evans admitted after Leeds’ 1-0 defeat to Rotherham United that captain Sol Bamba – absent with a fractured small toe – could feature at QPR “if we need him to.” It’s perhaps a week to 10 days for Sol,” Evans said. “He’s got a minute fracture in his toe and it’s not really a problem. We’d prefer him there than not, of course.” Evans is highly likely to ask for the same commitment from Charlie Taylor, the left-back who contracted glandular fever last month and has not played since October 3. Taylor is due to train this week but the 22-year-old anticipated that his comeback from a debilitating virus would be made against Hull City on December 5. Gaetano Berardi’s red card at home to Rotherham leaves Evans with no alternative. Berardi incurred a three-match ban after clashing with Leon Best in the second half of Saturday’s defeat and will not be eligible again until Leeds travel to Wolverhampton Wanderers on December 17. Beyond the rest of his back four, Sam Byram is the only other full-fit defender available to Evans. It was not surprising to hear Evans say that additions in that area were needed from the loan market. Evans has plenty to consider before Saturday, not only in respect of his own squad but also in respect of QPR’s state. Rangers are technically managerless and in the hands of caretaker Neil Warnock, the former Leeds boss. His assistant and another ex-United manager, Kevin Blackwell, took QPR to Middlesbrough on Friday night after “personal reasons” saw Warnock miss the game. On the pitch, QPR have not scored in four games. Their leading scorer Charlie Austin is nursing a calf injury. Evans will see an opportunity at Loftus Road but he dismissed the idea of dramatic changes, despite Saturday’s defeat to a Rotherham team who were bottom of the Championship before kick-off. You never take players out your team on the basis of one performance where they don’t turn up and deliver,” Evans said. “I looked at Stuart Dallas and he was quite ineffective (against Rotherham) but he’s been very effective in the Cardiff and Huddersfield games so you wouldn’t dream of removing him. “We also have to see who we’re going to bring in. That would influence what we might change.” Leeds were guilty of missing chances against Rotherham but Evans pointed the finger more strongly at his midfield, conceding that it “didn’t get going.” He described 18-year-old Lewis Cook as a “shadow of himself” after a spell away with England’s Under-19s and said Alex Mowatt had also been quiet having figured prominently with eye-catching goals in wins over Huddersfield and Cardiff. “But that’s the younger players,” Evans said. “You have more concerns about the more experienced players when they don’t produce. Kids will have ups and downs.” That explained in part why Evans was targeting older heads in the loan market: Sunderland’s Liam Bridcutt and Kyle Lafferty, the Northern Ireland international who is on the periphery of Norwich City’s Premier League season. Lee Camp, who shone for Rotherham at Elland Road on Saturday, was among the goalkeepers who the United’s boss looked at as potential competition for Marco Silvestri. Evans said he would be “disappointed” if weeks of enquiries and repeated discussions with Leeds owner Massimo Cellino failed to result in a single signing. He cut a deflated figure after Rotherham – the club he managed for three and a half years and quit in September – left Elland Road with a precious win. I’m very low and I’ll be low for a couple of days,” Evans said. “But it’s my job to go in and pick people up. The one thing you learn in this division is that if you lose a game – especially at a club like Leeds United – criticism is going to come.”

Tuesday 24th of November Leeds are shopping in thw wrong market – Eddie Gray Former Leeds United manager Eddie Gray admitted last night that he would be “concerned” if the club failed to finalise any new signings before tomorrow’s loan deadline – but claimed the emergency window was the wrong market for the ilk of player United need. Speaking to the YEP, Gray said the completion of last-minute deals would help head coach in Steve Evans who “seems to know who he wants” but voiced doubt about the impact which temporary signings would have on the club’s long-term form. “I’d be concerned if nothing happens because Steve’s talked a lot about getting players in and he seems to know who he wants,” Gray said. “He obviously thinks we don’t have the right quality and it’ll help him if he gets a couple of players who fit into his way of doing things. “But if you’re signing players in November then they have to be players who’ll walk straight into your team. Anything else is pointless. People have to realise that, at this stage of the season, there aren’t that many good players out there waiting to be signed. “That’s not me making excuses for nothing happening. What I’m saying is that if you’re trying to bring in more quality and the team at Leeds needs more quality, there’s no doubt about that – then this isn’t really the time when you’ve got loads of options available.Steve could probably justify making changes in quite a few positions so I can understand why he’d want new players in. But I also think that if there were players out there who he could get, he’d do the deals – and he’d have probably done them by now.” Evans, who took charge of Leeds in mid-October, anticipated that as many as three players might arrive at Elland Road before the loan deadline passed at 5pm tomorrow. He stated last month that “five or six” signings were needed to turn United into a competitive Championship side but had no expectation of completing that many transfers before the January window. As it stands, Evans is still attempting to push his first deal as head coach over the line. He and United owner Massimo Cellino met at Elland Road for further discussions on Monday and Evans retains the belief that Cellino – despite the Italian’s recent move towards selling the club – is ready to support him financially in the loan market. Interest in Sunderland’s Liam Bridcutt has come to nothing, however, despite protracted talks and last week Norwich City ruled out any deals for striker Kyle Lafferty, another player Evans coveted. Evans remarked recently that it was “maybe easier to make the case for new signings when you’re winning games” but United’s season took a turn for the worse on Saturday with a 1-0 defeat to his former club, Rotherham United. Leeds had gone into the fixture looking for a third straight win against a club at the foot of the Championship. A costly result has sharpened attention on the importance of the run-up to Christmas. Leeds are 16th in the Championship and protected from the bottom three by four points. “This month’s vital,” Gray said. We’re not so far away from the bottom six or seven and if you’re in that position come January, you’re in trouble. That’s a fact. “I hear people say that we’re only nine points off the top six but there are nine or 10 teams in between us and the top six. It’s a big gap. We need results and we need points in this period coming up. After that, if this spell goes well, we might be able to look up the table. “I heard Steve say after the win at Huddersfield (on November 7) that is was nice not to be looking over our shoulders, and he was right. But all of a sudden we’re looking over our shoulders again. Rotherham was a massive disappointment. The team didn’t play well at all. But then I didn’t get carried away with how we played at Huddersfield either. We just scored three great goals there. “I think what the players can’t afford to do is think they’re doing better than they are. I always say that this club should aim for promotion every season but at the moment there’s no point in talking about the gap to the play-offs or anything like that. We need to put a run together, and a run of more than a couple of games.” Leeds go to Queens Park Rangers this weekend, one of five games scheduled before Christmas. Championship leaders Hull City are next on the fixture list, at Elland Road a week on Saturday. Despite their win over Cardiff City last month, United’s form continues to show a marked difference between home and away matches. Thirteen of United’s 19 points this season have come from opposition grounds. That won’t get you anywhere,” Gray said. There’s a problem at home and there’s been a problem for a long time, not just this season. The way I see it, too many of the players don’t have the courage to make mistakes at home. They don’t have the courage to really play. “There was a lot of long balls against Rotherham and if I’m honest, I blame the midfield for that. They should have the courage to say to the defenders ‘give me a short, 10-yard pass and I’ll take it from there.’ “I don’t think it’s about confidence and I don’t think you can teach it. The best players, the top players, have that mentality. It’s natural. The mentality comes from within. If you make a mistake, try again. If you’re scared of making mistakes, you’ll never get on the ball. “I’ve thought for a while and I still feel that communication in the team is a big problem. The players never seem to get onto each other, even when things are going wrong. “It’s pally-pally. That’s fine in terms of the players liking each other but some of my best mates in football used to give me the biggest rollockings. “Maybe that’s just the way the game is now. But what I’d ask is ‘are you happy being comfortable in your career or do you want to win things?’ I’m not seeing that will or that desire.”

Sat 21st of Nov Evans : I thought we had plenty of endeavour but we had a real lack of quality in the middle of the park and in the final third,” Evans said. “When you talk about being brave for Leeds United, you have to get on the ball and take the sting out of it at times, pass it around and invite a Rotherham side to come out from defending. “We never did win the authority today so it ended up being more of a battle than a football match. “They had one chance and they took it. We had four or five – certainly two or three clear-cut chances – but we didn’t take them and it’s fine lines.” Both sides were reduced to 10 men for the final 15 minutes as Leon Best and Gaetano Berardi were shown straight red cards following an altercation by the touchline. Rotherham striker Best caught Berardi with an aerial challenge, leaving the Leeds full-back with a bloody nose and shirt, but Berardi’s reaction also saw him dismissed. Evans said: “I’ve been down and spoken to the referee and I think he’s got an issue with the Rotherham lad (Best) on two occasions. “I think he sent him off for the elbow and then after Berardi got up and chased after him, Best headbutted him. I think they’re going to report him on two things. “When Berardi gets an elbow in the face like that, though, you can’t react and go running and pushing people. You have to get up and get on with the game.” Forget about car parking places Leeds are a car crash right now. We had enough chances to win the game against a shocking Millers side. A goalkeeper. central defender (probably 2), an experienced midfielder and a decent striker are the bare minimum of what this side needs. Cornman needs to back Evans in the transfer market, a market that cleses for loan signings next week. The Louth branch attended in numbers but left with nothing but cold bovril and heartache to show for their day. Pathetic.


Paris remembered

Sat Nov 21st LEEDS 0, ROTHERHAM 1 (Newell 54) Leeds team: Silvestri, Wootton, Bellusci, Cooper, Berardi, Dallas (Botaka 67), Cook (Erwin 85), Murphy (Adeyemi 67), Mowatt, Antenucci, Wood. Subs: Horton, Byram, Buckley, Doukara. Referee: Keith Stroud. Booked: Antenucci, Murphy, Bell (Leeds), Mattock, Broadfoot, Newell, D Ward (Rotherham) Sent off: Berardi (Leeds), Best (Rotherham) Attendance: 25,802 (905 Rotherham) In an unforeseen reversal of roles from the final day of last season, Steve Evans and Neil Redfearn switched dugouts as Rotherham visited a bitterly cold Elland Road for this Yorkshire derby. Evans, coming up against his former side for the first time since leaving the New York Stadium in September, named an unchanged starting line-up from the win at Huddersfield a fortnight earlier. The only notable absence came on the substitutes bench as captain Sol Bamba missed out with a foot injury, meaning Liam Cooper continued with the armband. A somewhat cagey start to proceedings saw little in the way of goalmouth action. The Rotherham defence held firm to clear an Alex Mowatt free-kick to safety and Leon Best smashed an effort high and wide for the Millers, but both goalkeepers remained untested inside the opening 15 minutes. Leeds did have the ball in the back of the net on 18 minutes, though, as Stuart Dallas tapped in a rebound from close-range after Chris Wood’s low strike was parried into his path, but the offside flag was raised against the New Zealand striker. Mowatt, who was being urged to shoot every time he picked up the ball following stunning strikes against Cardiff and Huddersfield, saw his 25-yard effort swerve well wide before the best chance of the opening exchanges fell to the midfielder inside the area. Some smart build-up play between Mirco Antenucci and Dallas set the latter free down the right to cutback for the arriving Mowatt, only for Lee Camp to deny him a third in as many matches which a fine, sprawling save to push the ball behind. That sparked a good spell of Leeds pressure and both Lewis Cook and Antenucci saw efforts blocked inside the area. Antenucci then forced Camp to back-pedal and tip his right-wing cross onto the roof of the net as it dipped perilously towards goal, before Giuseppe Bellusci speculatively fired into the Millers ‘keeper’s arms after the resulting corner had fallen into his path. At the opposite end, Rotherham clipped the woodwork through Richard Smallwood’s free-kick, but the visitors were forced to re-take it after Antenucci was adjudged to have encroached and was subsequently yellow carded. The game headed towards the interval with Leeds continuing to probe for an opening but struggling to find a way past a stern Rotherham defence. Evans’ side almost managed to do that just 10 seconds into the second half, Antenucci driving forward before unleashing a low strike which rolled inches wide of Camp’s far post in a lightening return from the break. Antenucci then saw Wood’s cross late moments later and was unable to connect as Leeds pushed for a way through. But it was the visitors who managed to break the deadlock on 54 minutes, Joe Newell rising inside the area to guide home Smallwood’s pin-point cross from the left with a precise header. Leeds looked to respond and could well have done so four minutes later had it not been for a last-ditch block from Rotherham substitute Harry Toffolo to deny Luke Murphy from getting a clean sight of goal after being slotted through by Wood. Jonson Clarke-Harris forced Silvestri into a comfortable low save at the other end, before Antenucci passed up a great chance to equalise, hammering wide from inside the area following Wood’s cushioned header into his path. vans was prompted into a double change on 67 minutes, introducing Tom Adeyemi and Jordan Botaka in place of Murphy and Dallas, but both teams were soon reduced to 10 men following an altercation by the touchline. Gaetano Berardi for Leeds and Best for Rotherham were given their marching orders after 73 minutes – Best for his aerial challenge on the full-back, and Berardi for his reaction. Evans introduced Lee Erwin for his Leeds debut in place of Lewis Cook as the game headed towards six minutes of added time. Botaka side-footed an effort across the face of goal before Wood’s header was clutched by Camp after a brilliant ball in from the right by Antenucci. Erwin saw his first-time strike blocked by Lee Frecklington as Leeds continued to press in stoppage time. But there proved to be no way through for the hosts and Rotherham could have added a late second as Grant Ward drilled a low strike wide of Silvestri’s far post.

Friday 13th of Nov WYCOMBE 0, UNITED 2 (Erwin 30, Byram 51)   United team: Silvestri (Peacock-Farrell 86), Wootton, Bamba, Bellusci, Berardi (Byram 45), Botaka, Bianchi (Sloth 45), Adeyemi (Phillips 60), Buckley, Doukara, Erwin. Subs: Murphy, Mowatt, Antenucci. Referee: A Woolmer Attendance: 2,216 (767 United) The mid-season friendly away to Wycombe Wanderers saw Steve Evans hand rare starts to Tommaso Bianchi, Lee Erwin and Souleymane Doukara, while the likes of Will Buckley, Jordan Botaka and Tom Adeyemi were also recalled to the team as they looked to catch the eye of the United head coach. The hosts made a lively start and did have the ball in the back of the net just three minutes into the game, only for Max Kretzschmar’s close-range effort to be ruled out for offside after Marco Silvestri had parried a strike into his path. Leeds soon started to get into their stride, though, playing with the air of confidence you would expect from a team who have claimed back-to-back wins in the league. Botaka was the first to threaten, forcing a fine, fingertip save from Wycombe goalkeeper Alex Lynch after meeting Gaetano Berardi’s cross from deep with a goal-bound volley. Lynch was again called upon 10 minutes later and did brilliantly to fly across his line and push Giuseppe Bellusci’s free-kick over the bar, an effort reminiscent of the defender’s unforgettable strike at Bournemouth just over a year ago. Erwin was looking lively in attack – his first appearance in Leeds colours since returning from a loan spell at Bury – and the summer signing twisted and turned his way into space on the edge of the area before stinging Lynch’s palms with an effort from the corner of the box. Lynch was the difference in the early stages and he thwarted Botaka again moments later, tipping the winger’s header onto the bar following Doukara’s inch-perfect cross from the left. The Wycombe ‘keeper was eventually beaten on the half-hour mark, though, as Erwin calmly tucked the ball home from inside the area to give Evans’ side a deserved lead. United took their advantage into the half-time interval and Evans made two changes for the second half, replacing Berardi and Bianchi with Sam Byram and Casper Sloth. Silvestri needed to be alert just four minutes after the restart, pushing away a low strike to deny the hosts an equaliser, but United soon doubled their lead through that man Byram, hammering Doukara’s cutback beyond the helpless Lynch with an emphatic finish in front of the travelling fans. And Botaka could have made it three just two minutes later, seeing his rasping half-volley clawed over the bar by Lynch as his fine display between the sticks continued. The Wycombe stopper remained routed to the spot the next time Botaka came close, watching the winger’s drilled attempt fizz agonisingly wide of the far post after Buckley’s cutback from the right. The closing stages saw a first senior outing for young goalkeeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell, who signed professional terms over the summer, and he looked assured in his brief cameo as United eased to victory. Reflecting on the game Steve Evans had this t say : We were a bit scrappy at times, there were a lot of players who haven’t played a lot of game time with each other. “We asked for certain characteristics, like for the back five to make sure that we don’t concede a goal at any stage in the game. That was to be the case. “I wanted my front two to work extremely hard, which I think they did. Lee Erwin got a goal, which is great, and he was perhaps unlucky not to get a second. “Then we had their young goalkeeper making absolutely super saves – about five or six in a 10 minute spell. “Did we do enough in the final third? I’m not so sure. But that’s not just the strikers. “I remember Casper missing a chance, Doukara missing a chance, Jordan should have done better as well with one of his chances. “Overall, we’re pleased that we were able to get 90 minutes into some players that badly needed it. “Plus we were able to get more minutes into the likes of Bellusci and big Sol. We were able to look after people like Berardi and it was good to get Sam Byram back on the pitch. “Scott Wootton got another 90 minutes and acquitted himself at left-back – there aren’t many times he’ll have played there. “We’re pleased. It was a fantastic following from the Leeds United following once again and we hope they enjoyed it.” It was also Erwin’s first game back in Leeds colours since returning from a loan spell at Bury, and the striker put in a lively display to give Evans something to ponder for next weekend’s derby at Elland Road. “I think we need to get him a bit fitter and a bit sharper, but he is pushing,” “He came from Motherwell and worked so hard in the summer, then he went on loan to Bury and he probably thought his road was ending after being made up at joining Leeds. “I don’t think he really got a fair crack but we’ve brought him in and we’re going to give him that. “He’ll train over the weekend and he’s going to play in Under-21s on Monday with one or two others who need the games. “I want to see him a little bit leaner, the way he was at Motherwell, and a little bit stronger. “But I’m really pleased with the application tonight against a Wycombe side who we knew would give it absolutely everything.”


Allan Clarke (LEGEND)Everything that Lorimer should have been but sadly isn’t anymore because of his 30 pieces of silver

Thurs Nov 11th The way Leeds United has been run is a disgrace” – Alan Clarke Former Leeds United legend and Leeds Fans United ambassador Allan Clarke believes what has happened at his beloved club over the last few years has been nothing short of a disgrace. Leon Wobschall reports. ALLAN CLARKE may not be resident in Yorkshire these days or a regular at matches at Elland Road for that matter, but the pain he feels at the chaotic state of Leeds United – his club and the fans’ club – is searing. A truly legendary player in the Super Leeds era from 1969 to 1978, the man universally known as Sniffer plundered 151 goals in 366 games for the Whites and was their feted goalscoring hero when Don Revie’s team of all-stars lifted the FA Cup for the first time in the Centenary final at Wembley in 1972. Happier days, for sure. Clarke later managed the club in the early eighties and despite being a Black Countryman by birth, the 69-year-old’s heart is very much in Leeds and more specifically Elland Road. Retired he may be, but his dismay at the shambolic situation at his club is felt on a day to day basis. More especially for the supporters, scores of whom used to avidly follow Leeds in the club’s heyday of the late sixties and early seventies during some intoxicating days when he and the likes of Billy Bremner, Peter Lorimer, Eddie Gray et al were king. Those same supporters have had families who now make up the next generation of fans following the Whites with palpable passion like their elders. Through thin and thin. The deep bond along with family is that of Leeds United, for young and old. That was why Clarke agreed to become an ambassador for Leeds Fans United (LFU) earlier this year when he was approached by chief executive Dylan Thwaites, with a view on securing extended fans involvement at Elland Road and a minority stake and representation on the board. Clarke, never one to suffer fools, listened intently to their passionate plans and quickly understood their business acumen and was suitably won over. Clarke said: “When Dylan Thwaites rang me up to say we need to do something with the way the club is going, then I was more than happy and privileged and honoured to be the ambassador for the fans’ group. “Their passion is absolutely wonderful as is the way they have gone about it. You are talking about real businessmen here. “I am just a fan now and not a businessman, but Dylan is an entrepreneur and businessman and he has Leeds United going through his blood. There are other businessmen like that and like myself. “If we can get someone helping to run the club on those lines, then I will be more than happy. And I am sure the gaffer and Billy will be as well. “If we can get someone in the position where they can attend every board meeting who is working on behalf of the fans, that would be massive. “After all, if you haven’t got fans, you haven’t got a football club and I have always said this. “When you look at our fans, we aren’t even in the top league at the minute, which is where we need to be and should be. “But when you are getting six to eight thousand travelling in the second division – I still call it the four divisions – to an away match, that just shows the support of this great club. My club”. “What saddens me as well is that when you look at Man United, Liverpool, Chelsea and Aston Villa and all these clubs who have been taken over by foreign people, they have not had anywhere near the problems that my club, Leeds United, have had in the past 20 years. “What has happened to my club – which to me is the biggest club on the planet and the greatest club – and the way it has been run has been nothing short of a disgrace. It has never happened to those other clubs, but only Leeds United. “It is totally unfair”. “I think the way our fans have been treated over many years now is an absolute disgrace, really. I feel really, really sorry for them. “These things haven’t just happened in the last two or three years, these things have been happening for a lot of years – too long for my liking.” Since arriving on the scene, LFU were thrust into the spotlight late last month and after meeting with owner Massimo Cellino, hopes were high that they could secure an exclusivity agreement after the besieged United owner stated he was happy to sell the club to fans amid considerable and increasing rancour. That offer was subsequently reneged upon, but it has not knocked the resolve of LFU for very real change, buoyed by the fact that Cellino has shown a clear intent to end his association with Leeds, which has rapidly descended into a nightmare, both for him and many increasingly angry supporters. Thwaites remains positive about fan involvement at Leeds and working with whoever successfully negotiates a deal with Cellino, who revealed on Tuesday night that six potential buyers have contacted his representatives to express their interest in potentially buying Leeds. One name doing the rounds is Guiseley co-owner Steve Parkin, multi-millionaire owner of Clipper Logistics Group, who has previously bene linked with a buy-out of the club. Another is former Southampton chairman and Nicola Cortese, although a report in the Daily Mail earlier this week has suggested that the Swiss banker had no interest in purchasing the Elland Road club. One thing that Clarke is fully assured on is that LFU will not go away, with the group remaining in ‘cordial and friendly’ conversations with Cellino, while expressing a desire to work together with a third party to secure a minority stake, at the very least, in the club. Clarke said: “This group are not going to go away easily. “We are going about it in the right and proper manner and hopefully, in the not too distant future, it will be put in the proper hands with the fans having a say. “All I am interested in is the fans having some control in the club and if they can do that, I can die happy.” ARE YOU READING THIS LORIMER ????

Thursday Nov 12th Evans fancies Lafferty at Leeds NORWICH City striker Kyle Lafferty has gained the interest of Leeds United head coach Steve Evans who has called Canaries boss Alex Neil to check the striker’s availability. Evans admitted he had called to enquire about “one or two players” – potentially suggesting there was also interest in fellow rumoured Norwich target and forward Lewis Grabban. Northern Ireland international Lafferty was wanted by chairman Massimo Cellino in the summer but no approach was made by then head coach Uwe Rosler. However, Lafferty announced this week that he would be willing to leave the Canaries in order to experience first team football ahead of his Euro 2016 assignment with Northern Ireland and Evans confirmed he is potentially interested in bringing the 28-year-old to Elland Road. Lafferty is good friends with United’s fellow Northern Ireland international winger Stuart Dallas and Evans said of Lafferty: “I don’t know Kyle Lafferty but I didn’t like him when he played for Glasgow Rangers because he always gave Glasgow Celtic a problem. “And I didn’t like him last season when he came on and changed the game against Rotherham. I’ve placed a call into Alex Neil just to ask what the situation is. “It was just a call to ask about the availability of one or two players that Alex has. And Alex Neil I know is like myself, he’s a grafter. Alex is a friend and when he gets a minute and a decision he will call me. “Lafferty is a good player but does it mean we can bring him to Elland Road and is he the first person we want in the door? “They are all questions that will remain private but Kyle Lafferty is a lad that whatever happens and I am being totally neutral here as I have never spoken to the kid but he needs to be playing first team football if he’s going to the Euros in the summer.” Evans also insisted Leeds still remain hopeful of signing defensive midfielder Liam Bridcutt on loan, nearly two weeks after initially approaching his parent club Sunderland. Weds Nov 11th Leeds eye Baggies stopper. West Brom keeper Anders Lindegaard has been linked with a January move to Championship outfit Leeds United. The Baggies brought in the Danish keeper on a two-year deal in the summer following Ben Foster’s knee injury but Lindegaard has been unable to usurp Boaz Myhill as West Brom’s first choice custodian. The former Manchester United stopper has managed just one appearance this season and with Foster closing in on a return to fitness, Lindegaard will be pushed further down the Albion pecking order. The Express & Star claim Leeds manager Steve Evans contacted Baggies counterpart Tony Pulis last month regarding a potential loan deal and will launch a move to land the 31-year-old on a permanent basis when the January transfer window opens.


Kyle Lafferty would certainly be a decent addition to the attacking line up

Nov 11t. Leeds target Lafferty ready to leave Norwich Leeds United have been given the green light to bring summer transfer target Kyle Lafferty into Elland Road, with the player admitting he might have to leave Norwich City. Lafferty was a target for Leeds owner Massimo Cellino in pre-season but head coach Uwe Rosler opted against pursuing the Northern Ireland international who stayed at Carrow Road instead. However, he has been unable to establish himself in the Premier League under Alex Neil. Lafferty has been restricted to just two substitute appearances at club level this season. He scored in the first of those, a Capital One Cup win over West Brom, but has since been handed just 13 Premier League minutes. Lafferty is desperate to prove himself in the top flight but Neil has consistently been deaf to his claims. As a result, he has admitted that he may have to move on, with Leeds now in the care of new head coach Steve Evans. “I’m going to have to sit down with the manager in January and have a discussion with him,” said Lafferty. “I know that I will need to play football in the new year and going into the Euros. “It is difficult at my club at present with not playing, but I will keep training and working away in the hope I get my chance.“I’d love to be playing at Norwich but if I have to go out on loan or be sold to play football that might be the way it will be.“For the Euros I want to be in the best shape of my life and need to be playing to do that.”

Weds Nov 11th Cellino says six buyers are interested in club, as Steve Parkin circles Massimo Cellino has revealed that six potential buyers have contacted his representatives to express their interest in buying Leeds.The Italian owner also said that one of the interested parties is a Leeds-based businessman who is keen to go into partnership with him, having previously attempted to buy the club.It was also reported that Steve Parkin, multi-millionaire owner of Clipper Logistics Group, is interested in buying Leeds. He previously attempted to buy the Whites in 2013.He said: What happens to my club is important to me. “I keep my business affairs private. That does not mean I am about to buy Leeds.”Cellino has said he would prefer a buyer to be Leeds-based.

Nov 11th Steve Evans hints at promotion push but admits ‘tough work’ ahead Leeds United head coach Steve Evans has hinted at a possible promotion push after two wins on the bounce.The Whites are nine points away from the play-off places after victories against Huddersfield Town and Cardiff City over the last eight days. Evans admitted that that gap is a considerable distance at this stage of the season.However, he also said he was not satisfied with just keeping the club in the Championship, despite safety being the remit under which owner Massimo Cellino hired him.He said: “The remit I got from the president was to make sure we’re in the Championship. “I don’t want to just make sure we’re in the Championship, but we know we have a lot of tough work to do. “It sounds very simple to say we’re nine points off the play-offs. That’s a lot of points to be so far off at this point in the chasing group, but we’ve come from the bottom group. “We’ve got ourselves a couple of decent wins – the win against Huddersfield on Saturday and the win at Elland Road against Cardiff.”



Bridcutt move in balance

Thurs Nov 5th Bridcutt move in the balance LIAM BRIDCUTT’S loan move to Leeds United is in the balance after Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce described the deal as “confused – like Leeds.” Leeds head coach Steve Evans insisted last night that he was confident of sealing the signing of Bridcutt until January but Allardyce was surprised to see the midfielder report for training with Sunderland yesterday, believing Bridcutt had left for Elland Road. Evans targeted the 26-year-old at the beginning of this week and was hopeful of securing him before Tuesday’s 1-0 win over Evans said on Tuesday that the delay was down to issues “at both ends” but he admitted yesterday that Bridcutt was now the subject of rival interest from other Championship sides. Allardyce, however, thought a transfer to United was in the process of being finalised ahead of Leeds’ visit to Huddersfield Town tomorrow and was at a loss to explain the hold-up. Leeds have been affected by fresh problems this week following the rapid collapse of an offer by owner Massimo Cellino to sell his majority shareholding to supporters group Leeds Fans United. Asked whether Bridcutt would be moving to Elland Road, Allardyce said: “It looks like it’s confused, like Leeds seem to be. It doesn’t look like it’s going through because he turned up here for training. I’ll have to pick the phone up and speak to Steve Evans about it.” Evans said he wanted a decision on Bridcutt to be made by Sunday at the latest and conceded that the former Brighton player was unlikely to complete his move in time to feature at Huddersfield. We’re literally just waiting now and I think he has the right to consider what options that he has,” Evans said. “He’s not going to be joining me this afternoon and playing in a derby for Leeds United where he’s shouting ‘Frank’ but it’s really big Sol. That would be a bit difficult, wouldn’t it? “But we’ll have an answer by Sunday and if not, we’ll make a decision. I’m still confident and it’s the power of Leeds United really. It’s the power of this football club. “I’m absolutely convinced that anybody that doesn’t want to sign for this football club is bonkers.” Evans has been pressing for loan signings ever since his appointment in place of Uwe Rosler and he revealed that he was currently in discussions with another target. “We’re also talking to another player as well,” he said. “We’re trying to be very selective with who we bring into the group as we have got some good players here. We want to make sure first and foremost that we’re getting the best out of the group. “When you go into the dressing room and make a signing it will either lift the eyebrows of everyone or it will lift no-one’s eyebrows. If we managed to get Liam in the door it would lift everyone’s eyebrows because I think the players know him and would welcome it.”

Thursday 5th of November Peter Lorimer: Cellino can get it right at Leeds United provided he is given the time The current situation at Leeds United and the pressure on Massimo Cellino saddens me. My view on Massimo has always been clear: with him we’ve found an owner who has the finances and ideas to get it right at Elland Road. I genuinely believe that. Unfortunately, what we keep getting time after time is a group of people who seem determined to hound and hassle owners until they give up and walk away from the club. It has to stop because, in the long-term, it’s not going to do the club any good at all. I joined the board at Leeds when Gerald Krasner’s consortium took over in 2004. In that spell one of the club’s directors, David Richmond, had the gates of his house chained up and graffiti sprayed on the walls. Ken Bates got no end of abuse while he was in charge and there were times when Shaun Harvey needed police protection outside his home. That’s totally wrong.Massimo is getting the same treatment. His family had to move away because of the abuse they were receiving in the street. In the past 11 years, four different owners have come under attack and been forced into a position where they had to sell – the Krasner group, Ken, GFH and now Massimo. I don’t know exactly what Massimo will do now but he’s very disillusioned. I’d like to think that things can be patched up but I honestly have my doubts. It’s the not the majority who want him to go. To speak to the people who come into my pub, the fans I talk to on the street, I’m 100 per cent certain of that. The pressure on him is coming from the same small minority who always think they have the right to speak louder than everyone else and decide what goes on here. Yes, we’re all frustrated. There was so much optimism a couple of months ago and now it’s doom and gloom again but that’s in no small part due to results. I accept that Massimo does things his own way but some of the criticism of him has been very unfair. Rosler, for example, had to go. That’s the way I saw it. He’d been backed heavily in the summer and to be perfectly honest, very few of the performances in his 12 games impressed me. It’s not like Massimo wants to be paying people off but that was the right decision. He got slated for it anyway. I saw the supporters group Leeds Fans United talking about buying him out earlier this week, although that seems to have fallen through now. I don’t know if they had the money or if they didn’t, but from what I was reading, they’d raised about £500,000. In reality it’s going to take £30m to £40m to buy this club so you have to question whether they could have got the cash together or provided funding in future. Football clubs like ours need big finance. I’m sorry but they do. Massimo has money, there’s no doubt about that, and he’s put plenty into the club.And when you speak to him in private, you find out how badly he wants it to work. Given enough time I think he’ll make it happen in a very, very tough division. But it’s obvious now that he’s not going to get that time. What worries me is where we go next. Does anyone really think that the way in which owners are treated here will encourage people to invest? Will they not look at the language and the louts who’ve abused Massimo’s family and think ‘that’ll be me if I stick my money in’? There are too many factions and too much anger. The constant aggression and fighting can’t go on. I don’t believe that lots of wealthy people are out there waiting to buy Championship clubs. I just don’t see it. A minority are trying to chase Massimo out without being able to say what will replace him. It’s all very well talking about a fans’ buy-out but what if that goes wrong? What if it doesn’t work or they can’t find the funds? Do we turn on them too? I’ve said before that we can be our own worst enemies at times. The best scenario now would be to restore some calm, let things settle down, let Steve Evans gets a few players in and look for the results to turn around fully. Because the way football works, if the team gets on a roll then suddenly Massimo will be in favour again, just like he was at the start of the summer.I think he can do it here. But I’m honest enough to realise that he might be sick of all this. And I can understand why . Here are the responses. Comment 1 whilst I respect Lorimer’s right to express an opinion as a bone fide Leeds playing legend, talking out of your backside is talking out of your backside regardless of who’s backside is doing the talking. Leeds were pushing for a play off place when in January 2014 rumours began to circulate that the king of corn from Italy was preparing a takeover. Cellino subsequently took over and where are Leeds in the table now? He hired David Hockaday, quite possible the worst managerial hire in Leeds United’s history and that’s saying something (this is the club that once hired Peter Reid after all), then he hired Darko Milanic, and I think it’s safe to say that’s the last we’ll be hearing from him. By default, he hired Neil Redfearn, who subsequently hired Steve Thompson as his number two and Leeds go from being championship whipping boys to promotion form, beating Bournemouth, the stand out team in the division last season, home and away under Redfearn. Then, one Thursday afternoon, I get home to find out that Thompson has been suspended – for no apparent reason – and it’s time to go pear shaped again. Players go on strike, which may have nothing to do with Cellino just as pigs may one day learn to fly. Then Redfearn is forced out along with his missus who claims for unfair dismissal to go along with all of Cellino’s other legal issues. (And she’s not the first as Nigel Gibbs is also claiming unfair dismissal as is some poor sod who seemingly asked for day off to go to his brother’s wedding and got fired). So Leeds go back to playing rubbish and being at the bottom end of the championship which is where Peter’s friends Ken and Shaun also managed to get Leeds before selling up to a set of scumbags called GFH who, in the time-honoured tradition of recent years, also managed to keep Leeds in the bottom half of the championship. The bottom of line is this Cellino has stunk the place out as owner as he was always likely to do because he stank the place out at his last club Cagliari. Leeds have had a succession of owners who have hired a succession of managers (or head coaches if we’re going to be fashionable) and what have Leeds fans, who turn up week in week out and travel the length and breadth of the country had to show for it since being promoted back into the championship in 2010? 7th, 14th, 13th, 15th and 15th, and they’re now 17th. So I would say that Leeds fans have a right to be angry because they’ve had enough of the rubbish served up by Lorimer’s pals for long enough. It’s time for a new broom at Elland Road and I hope the next owners have absolutely nothing to do with Comment 2 It’s been a whirlwind 18 months since MC came in. It’s not as if we hadn’t heard about his impatience with managers but it also appears that attitude applies to players and other staff in the background at ER. What I’d love to hear is why Pearson left after 4 months. I really felt he was going to provide stability and make sure Cellino spent wisely. Did he or was he instrumental in signing Rosler who arrived at around the same time ? I just feel there’s something not right there. There’s been no speculation at all about him since. Stories about Cellino doing 20 jobs suggest he is something of a control freak and is micro managing a massive club where he seems to trust. Comment 3 Yeah lads,lets just forget weve got a bloke running the clubs reputation into the ground..i for one will spend loads more of my money to watch the team not challenging for anything,im quite happy getting involved in a relegation fight,doesnt matter if we have a weak squad,we have massimo,its ok,good times lets just enjoy the r I feel like I’ve made it. All my comments getting removed and now an imposter usi I feel a bit sorry for Massimo,he has just quietly gone about his business,not upset a single person,done everything by the book,best signing Leeds have made in 20 Think we all have had enough to say about massimo,l f u , lust and takeovers . We all have different opinions . Can we just let it lie now and get back to supporting the team. The takeover will happen when it happens . We can’t keep going for each other’s throats. Massimo is here until he sells . All this fighting what’s it going to look like to new investors they might run a mike say we are not worth the hassle. Don’t get me wrong lads I’m as guilty as any1 . But I’ve realize dots doing none of us any good to be split . We have to stick together for the sake of our club. If I offended any1 with my posts I’m sorry . I too lost the plot and forgot you are my fellow leeds fans . The ones I want to share the good times and bad times with. So all I’m saying is get back to the football and don’t mind the y e p what story’s they write . It’s just getting the fans noses out of joint . So lads will we get 3 pts sat . Will belusci keep his place will bamba get back in . M o t forever lads . Remember lads and ladies may I add it’s us against the rest like it has always been. Leeds leeds. Just a repeat of a question that I,ve asked a couple of times, to me it’s something we should all be asking. Who is going to run Leeds United when Cellinos n As a lad I worshipped you as a player, I now feel physically sick when I read the waffle you “spin” to support those who are prepared to line your pockets, and keep you in the public eye. Pity you didn’t preserve the dignity shown by the likes of Eddie and other past players. `Whats Cellino really done wrong ?`… We are shafted thanks to so called “Leeds Fans” Nobody wanted the club but MC the crazy man that he is bought a 75% share. No DD just bought it. Pumped in more money than he expected, has taken GFHs share down to %16. What has he really done wrong compared to the others who’ve had control? He had passion thats what, let his mouth run too much some times but he’s never done anything to hurt the club on purpose. Kept our young players, restructered the academy, brought i yep wind up and showing up all our weaknesses. I do though feel MC is not like the previous scum sucking punters we’ve had regardless of what some say here. I’d have given him until January to show his worth but feel he’s already made the call unless Peter knows differently Still If he backs SE and gets decent players in I’ll put up with the rest of the nonsense. If there is a wealthy buyer out there who will pump money in I’d like that but it just does not feel like there is at the moment. Is anyone out there??? What a shame that a man who was one of my childhood heroes should yet again be reduced to a propaganda puppet for the latest despot to rock up at Elland Road. For what its worth Peter, there isn’t time to list all of the reasons why what you have written here is delusional at best, I’ll restrict myself to a few salient points…. You express the belief that Cellino will get things right at Elland Road…. have you been awake for the last two years ? His ownership of Leeds has been nothing short of a circus riddled with false promises, bizarre behaviour, unprofessional and amateurish in its approach to running a professional sports club. He would buy the ground back the day after he purchased the club, we would be promoted within two years , we would revel in the stylish football we would witness. Cellino has shown that he is not even close to having the wherewithall to run our beloved club, his conduct could at best be described as inept, at worst as tyrannical. I was willing to give the man a chance but he himself has proved himself to be a footballing joke, taking Leeds United with him. You express the point of view that it is a noisy minority who are forcing him out, you are so wrong Peter… put simply we after 12 years of this we have had enough…shame on you, I hope it was worth it .\ The way I see it, the main thing MC did wrong was to interfere in the footballing side of things. If he had put his money in and left the staff and players to get on with things we wouldn’t be in this position. It is still possible, so why not give it a try then selling if that doesn’t work. But why would he? Leeds is one of those clubs people get emotional about. Sometimes we say things in the heat of the moment. But that doesn’t excuse the so-called fans behaviour. We all have opinions, but to force them on others is nothing short of bullying. Those grown-up men and women who shout abuse at MC and harrass his family are a disgrace. Surely we are more tolerant and civilised than to resort to yobbish behavior because we don’t get our own way? At the end of the day, MC was the one who put his hand in his pocket to try and keep us going. Yes, his methods have been questionable, but, if he got the chance to learn from his mistakes, would we be big enough to give him the time? What bothers me, tho, is why the FL are hounding MC over unpaid taxes on a few boys toys, but they managed to find GFH as being fit for ownership, and even now still allowed to hold a stake! If it wasn’t for them we wouldn’t be in this position in the first place! GFH are the criminals, not MC! (All opinions expressed are my own and not paid for with thick, brown envelopl ” Mad Friday, the way Mcdermott was treated before Cellino even officially owned the club, remember Uncle Festa Nelson “Thats all forgiven because he saved the club” Then there was Gibbs and Mccormack being sold Nelson “Thats all forgiven because he saved the club” Then there was the Hockaday Fiasco Nelson “Thats all forgiven because he saved the club” Then there was his public humiliation of hockaday Nelson “Thats all forgiven because he saved the club” Then the was the tiff with Stephen Warnock Nelson “Thats all forgiven because he saved the club” Then we had the non existent milanci who was chosen because “he was handsome” Nelson “Thats all forgiven because he saved the club” Then there was the narrow diamond formation all these managers strangely chose to adopt (or forced to) Nelson “Thats all forgiven because he saved the club” Then Redders came in to save us from Relegation eventually enjoying a winning streak of 5 games in a row before jealous petulant Cellino deliberately undermined him by sacking Thompson and breaking up a winning formula Nelson “Thats all forgiven because he saved the club” Redfearn is offered his own job back only for Massive Ego to change his mind and renaige on it….noooo really ? Nelson “Thats all forgiven because he saved the club” Then Redfearns partner Lucy Ward is sacked after 17 years service (because shes his partner) Nelson “Thats all forgiven because he saved the club” Then there was Matt Childs and the dozens of other staff that have left or been made to leave after run ins with cellino Nelson “Thats all forgiven because he saved the club” Then after a Pearson controled summer Pearson leaves and all hell breaks loose, Byram after refusing a wage reduction is publically insulted by Cellino and surprisingly his form goes down the toilet Nelson “Thats all forgiven because he saved the club” Then Cellino realising the FL were about to ban him again wanted to get revenge first by implementing a limit on away fans, finally backing down after advice from his FRIENDS at “LFU” Nelson “Thats all forgiven because he saved the club” look im sure theres stuff i missed….lots of it and yet people are defending this guy………really >>??? And some of you think hes a better scenario than the fans ownership ?? Oh yes apparently he spends money on leeds……… its not like the Ross Mccormack money funded last years transfer

Thursday 5th of November Cellino now owes Leeds a smooth exit Hay – YP An Italian journalist once told me that he knew Massimo Cellino was selling Cagliari when Cagliari was finally sold. Before Cellino made way for the Giulini family, the press in Sardinia had a habit of discovering that mooted buyers – Qataris, Americans – didn’t actually exist. Cellino left Cagliari of his own accord. Cagliari didn’t chase him out. He let it go because in light of his takeover of Leeds United, he lacked the time, the money or the inclination to run two clubs. What he faces at Leeds is an onslaught by comparison; near-unanimous dissent and immense external pressure, none of it to do with his wealth or his workload. He has known from the start that the Football League despairs of him. His latest ownership ban caught him by surprise – in July Cellino was under the impression that the governing body would not pursue him over the case of the Range Rover – but the League was bound to come for him again. And so it has, pending Cellino’s appeal. He was well aware, too, of opposition to him among swathes of United’s support but last week’s game against Blackburn Rovers was a watershed moment. Prior to it, he had never heard criticism of him with his own ears. News of it had been relayed to him by directors and family members. Cellino cuts an aggressive, thick-skinned figure but he is oddly fragile and easily rattled under fire. There’s a reason why so many of his sackings at Elland Road have been carried out by other people. Cellino no longer plans to attend any of United’s games. Over the weekend he said he was cutting ties with the media and trying to drawing a line under his relationships with the press. So absent, then, and largely incommunicado; circumstances which the 59-year-old can’t stand. They had doubts about his intentions in Cagliari but at Leeds he looks finished. He said so himself in his statement on Monday. That statement was classic Cellino – a veiled cry for sympathy from a chided owner – but the tone came across as beaten and genuine. What he owes Leeds now is a clean exit. Not necessarily a quick exit because takeovers are rarely swift, and the haste with which Cellino bought out GFH caused as many problems as it solved. But he has the capacity to make the process as smooth as it can be and a duty to act with more integrity than he has shown Leeds Fans United (LFU). The supporters’ group were in the box seat last Friday, or so it seemed. Purchasing Cellino’s majority stake was a huge undertaking for LFU, perhaps a step too far given the cost and complexity of a takeover, and there is no denying that LFU’s reaction was extremely public – something Cellino never reacts well to – but the offer to try came directly from him. The quotes are there, on record and in public: “One hundred per cent I will sell to the fans, if they want to buy.” Unexpected though his proposal was, LFU was not caught entirely cold. It has worked on a plan for the purchase of shares for months, albeit with the intention of acquiring a minority stake in the club. The structure of the organisation involves scores of people, many with business backgrounds and acumen. That does not automatically amount to a multi-million pound acquisition but it is proof enough that LFU was in a position to try. The group knew that it would have to play by the same rules as other prospective buyers. It needed money and without sufficient proof of funds, convention said that Cellino was never likely to offer exclusivity. LFU also needed to commit to paying something close to the going rate, particularly if rival parties are willing to. And it needed to accept standard levels of scrutiny. None of this it denied. Cellino called their bluff last week and tempted LFU to show its hand. By showing its hand and taking him on, LFU called his. Once again he is made to look improper. There is support for LFU’s scheme and enthusiam for the idea that clubs don’t need to settle for either the finance, autocracy and whims of a single benefactor or the onset of hopeless mediocrity. Some would call that wishful thinking in the existing climate but others would like to find out. Cellino himself gave the impression that he was keen. Cellino told LFU last week that he would only sell to them; that passing on his shares without profit would be his “legacy” for the club. Yet by Monday the Italian had arranged to meet in London with the representative of another would-be buyer, independent of LFU. Yesterday it appeared that the understanding between him and LFU had collapsed beyond repair. It might be that he is keeping his options open while LFU gets its ducks in a line, and it is his prerogative to sell to whoever he pleases, but it does Cellino no good to be seen as duplicitous. If LFU looked in any way credible to him, he should have given the group an unimpeded shot. The suggestion of selling to LFU was, after all, made by him. Patience will wear thinner as a result of this mess and from a wider perspective, there is a message here for anyone thinking about acquiring the club: look at how it is going for Cellino, look at how it went for GFH and look at how it ended for Ken Bates. Elland Road is not a fertile venue for rash opportunism or blatant profiteering. If it goes awry, the heat is be real and very effective. Cellino never expected to court so much anger. He never truly prepared himself for it. And he does not have much of an answer to it. There is little doubt that he wanted to make something of Leeds United. There is little doubt that he has thrown plenty of cash at the club. But his manner, his attitude, his management and his personality undermined so much of his work, driving him into a corner. People will not find much to thank him for in years to come, even though he dug into his pockets at a time when Leeds could barely pay their monthly wage bill. They will not remember his time fondly. But unlike GFH they might let him go quietly, provided Cellino is willing. I couldn’t agree more. Hockaday shambles. Treatment of Redfearn and his assistant – disgraceful. And now the final act, betraying the fans. Time to piss off !


To nobody’s great surprise Cornman the Bollox has reneged on his promise to sell the club at cost price to the supporters. Whilst he was busy meeting with another buyer in London, his lawyers told the fans to piss off as he chases the highest bid

Weds 4th of Nov Cellino claims Fans United guilty of ‘telling fairytales Massimo Cellino claimed Leeds Fans United were guilty of “telling fairytales” after he withdrew an offer to sell his majority stake in Leeds United to the supporters group. Leeds Fans United (LFU) accused Cellino of “insincerity” after being informed by his lawyers this morning that he no longer intended to discuss a takeover with the organisation. The message came less than a week after Cellino invited the group to acquire his 77 per cent shareholding in United and end his fraught 18-month spell as owner. Cellino made the offer to LFU officials during a meeting at Elland Road on Friday and the supporters group – set up earlier this year with the original intention of buying a minority share in Leeds – has been working on a deal for the past four days. LFU wanted Cellino to guarantee it a period of exclusivity, effectively protecting it from rival bids while it carried out due diligence, but the 59-year-old has refused that request. Cellino told the YEP: “They say a lot of fairytales. They really are like kids in a sweet shop. “They talk too much. It is dangerous, this kind of publicity.”LFU, which set the price of a buy-out at a minimum of £30million and was still to amass the necessary funding, had earlier attacked Cellino saying: “Leeds Fans Utd has just been informed by the lawyers of Massimo Cellino that he no longer wishes to sell to Leeds fans. GC – If it walks like a pig, talks like a pig, behaves like a pig, it’s usually a pig. The problem is Cellino thinks we are all Pigs whe he is the selfish, lying, deceitful useless PIG.

Weds 4th of Nov. No real surprises in latest episode in Whites saga – as Cellino does U-turn – Phil Hay Off field issues continue to dominate debate among the Leeds United faithful. This latest episode in the Massimo Cellino (the will he, won’t he sell up to supporters) saga does not surprise me in the slightest. It doesnt mean he isn’t selling though. We must continue to push Cellino out. My fear all along with this was that LFU would not have the money to succeed. As someone quite rightly pointed out to me on Monday, if Bayern and Barca can do it then why can’t we? Of course that’s possible, but one slight oversight in maintaining funding is both those clubs have 50k+ attendances week after week and champions league success thrown in. Barca won four major titles in the time it took us to get a home win! We achieved an attendance of 17k last night, ok yes a wet cold Tuesday night – still a similar figure was pulled by Bradford City. We are not the same size as clubs successfully owned by fans and would never succeed, in my opinion, for the above reasons. It’s one thing getting the funds invested to buy the club, but to then bring in new players and fund the servicing of the debts, buy back Elland Road and Thorp Arch with no financial return for its investors is another. Cellino will sell to whoever suits him better and as others have rightly pointed out, he has now obtained free advertising and focus by Sky Sports to bring in other perspective buyers. I just hope he was honest and will be true to his word when he said he wasn’t going to watch any more matches, as based on the fans’ views, it’s time for him to go – let’s hope so – soon. MOT CLICK HERE FOR MORE LEEDS UNITED HEADLINES Six degrees of non-separation DrD, via CALM down (all Leeds United fans). He (Massimo Cellino) was never going to sell. Leeds fans are on the agenda and Cellino needs to act quickly: 1) Appoint a Pearson-type as CEO and stay behind the scenes; 2) Buy Elland Road; 3) Give the current manager until the year end; 4) Buy some Premier League players that are not total seat warming rejects; 5) Sell some decent percentage of shares to Leeds fans and reduce GFH in the process; 6) Get us to the play offs and promotion. Then he can stop sulking as we will all forgive him and love him.

Tues 3rd of November Leeds Fans Utd chief executive Dylan Thwaites: Full interview with Phil Hay YP Cellino offered to sell to Leeds Fans United last week. Phil Hay spoke to LFU chief executive Dylan Thwaites to ask how the deal would work. What is the situation with exclusivity? Do you have it or are you close to getting it? DT: The simple situation is that we got verbal exclusivity when Massimo said he only wanted to sell to Leeds fans. We told him we wanted to bring in third parties who we’ve talked to about funding us in buying a minority stake but he said he only wanted to sell to Leeds fans. Verbally, we take that as exclusivity. I think that’s reasonable. But we know as professionals that we can’t start spending our shareholders money until we’ve got legally-binding exclusivity. The first step with Massimo’s lawyers is ‘let’s get the exclusivity signed’ and then the very next morning we can start due diligence. When will those discussions take place? DT: They’re ongoing. I talked to Massimo (on Monday) night and I’ll meet with his lawyers (today). We’re literally waiting for that letter of exclusivity and then we can get going. Would you expect to get exclusivity immediately? DT: I’d hoped to have it before we did this round of interviews but we need to have it before we press any more buttons. We’ve come as far as we can until we have that. I think they understand that. It’s just a question of making sure it’s delivered now. If they’re obstructive, if they won’t provide exclusivity, what is your next move or what would be your reaction? DT: If they specifically say that they no longer intend to give exclusivity then we can’t go forward with a majority purchase. It’s too much of a risk. We’d revert to our position of partnering with other companies who are interested in buying into Leeds. That’s an entirely viable option for us. That’s what we were set up to do. But buying the whole shareholding offers advantages. The minority stake would then be partnered with a majority stake which is held by Leeds fans, not a third party. What we’re showing is that we’re absolutely able to go in either direction. At the moment we’re working on the basis of what we’ve been given – which is that Massimo wants to sell his shares only to Leeds fans. Do you believe him when he says that? DT: The proof is going to be in the pudding of getting written exclusivity. He did talk about the fact he wanted to only sell to Leeds fans to enough people. We’re not imagining it. There’s no reason not to give us it. In a normal business relationship you would have exclusivity before you started this process so it would be perfectly normal for us to get this. Is there a deadline for securing exclusivity in your eyes? DT: We’re not going to put any lines in the sand. He’s under a great degree of urgency to move this process quickly. We’re in a position to move immediately. The moment we get exclusivity, we’re ready to move. But it doesn’t do anything for us by putting lines in the sand. He either wants to do this deal with Leeds fans and only Leeds fans or he doesn’t – in which case we can revert really smoothly to the partners we’re already talking to. There are many of them and they’re all very capable. If Massimo Cellino was to ask for proof of funds – as tends to be standard practice – before giving exclusivity, would you be able to provide that? DT: We would need a little bit of time to put that in place. The funds aren’t there but there are institutional people who could underwrite it and therefore show proof of funds. The difficulty is that until we’ve done due diligence we don’t know precisely how much funds we’re trying to prove. We know that we’d be buying at cost. We know that’s at least £30m but we don’t know how far it is ahead of that. Has he named a price, then, or have have you specifically asked him to? DT: No. I don’t think we need to do that. We don’t even need to do that when we’re in due diligence. The price is a fixed price. It’s the cost that he’s come in at. That’s an auditable figure, it’s a specific figure, it’s very specific. We can see that he’s put £30m of equity in at Companies House. We can’t see anything else ahead of that yet. But we believe there’ll be other stuff. That’s auditable and it’ll come out during due diligence. That then gives us the maximum price we’d be paying. You mean £30m, plus whatever else you find? DT: Yes. There’s no question that £30m is a serious sum of money. Do you have that cash or access to it? DT: We don’t have that cash because we’ve not started the full fundraising. But the fundraising is in four parts. The primary part is the Community Benefit Scheme (CBS) which is 99 per cent of Leeds fans and the part where over 2,000 people have put at least £100 in. That’s the part that would hold the power, the heritage and the legacy issues for Leeds – things like the club not being able to be moved, or the name changed or the kit colour changed. If we go ahead with a majority deal, the majority owners would be Leeds fans so we’d be able to give the CBS far more power, such as financial probity and the idea that we’re run in a sensible way. If we’re able to go for a majority, the power of the average fan is increased because they’ll be in partnership with Leeds Fans United (LFU). That’s the second phase. LFU would then own the remaining 90 per cent of our shareholding. LFU would be made up of maybe a dozen, probably slightly more, high-net worth Leeds fans, each investing anywhere from £100,000 up into the millions. We probably wouldn’t want anyone to have more than a third of our shares because it’s not meant to be a vehicle for an individual. It’s a vehicle for fans as a whole. This is going to take serious individual backing though, isn’t it? DT: Yes but we’ve already identified about 70 or 80 people who are interested, at least, at this level of investment. Clearly we won’t deliver that many but we think we can deliver a dozen or so from that. So essentially, that’s what’s needed – 12 people making sizeable commitments – to hit the asking price? DT: The way we’ve structured this is that the more we get, the better. If we can get all of our funding this way and find 12 people with £5m each then we’re fine and dandy and we’ve got working capital moving forward there and then. But the likelihood is that we’ll still have a funding gap at that stage. This is where we start to look at debt. It’s an issue we’ve got to be very aware of at Leeds but the debt we’d be taking on, the first form of it, would be debt from Leeds fans – high net worth, wealthy Leeds fans – would would lend £1m interest free but get a premium paid when we get promoted back to the Premier League. So say they get £1.5m back when that happens. The figures we need to work on and understand fully but that would work extremely well for freeing up cash flow. It would also put any debt back to a time when it would be much, much easier to pay. Do you feel like this money is already there, in the sense that it’s already pledged? Or is it more promises that you’re now going to have to follow up and hope people actually deliver on? DT: In the first round, when we launched this, most high net worth people wanted to wait until they could see the product and see what we were actually trying to buy. What we’re doing now is offering a number of products – the chance to be an equity stakeholder and the chance to put money in which would earn a substantial premium when we get promoted back to the Premier League. That’s very positively viewed by a lot of the community. It’s almost paying yourself a reward for helping the club to get back there. If we get back to the Premier League in the next 15 years even, the return is probably better than what you’d get from the banks. Is bank lending an option? Because it would concern some supporters if they thought you were going down that route. DT: We’ve got that as the fourth part, the final option. Institutional funding that would fill any gap after the other three parts have been expended. It needs to be a flexible amount but because Massimo is saying he’ll sell at cost, we don’t envisage it being a difficult amount. Certainly we’d expect interest payments to substantially decline under the new structure. Institutional funding is there as an option and it also helps with proof of funds. We can’t prove funds until we raise funds. We can’t raise funds until we’re in the process so you need to have an underwriter who can underwrite that gap in the meantime. That’s where we’d have to involve institutions. Ultimately, the gap might not be there and institutional funding might not be needed but equally, the gap might be a few million pounds. That would need to be covered. Have you approached those institutions or secured commitments from them? DT: To be fair, in the few days we’ve had to look at this – and two of them were Saturday and Sunday – we’ve not sat down with them yet. It’s not the highest priority part. We’re very comfortable that because the quantum is not enormous, because we can see where we’re raising the other money, it’s a comfortable investment to do. Previously we’ve been approached with an offer – albeit dependant on detail – from a global investment bank that was prepared to run to a loan of about £120m. We’re talking about fractions of that so I don’t think this is a big issue. On the subject of due diligence – people familiar with this process think you’d be looking at a cost of six figures to do it. Would that be a fair estimate? DT: For something like this it would be normal to spend £400,000 to £500,000 on due diligence. Hence the reason why we won’t progress until we’ve got exclusivity. Who would? The good news for us that we’re so full of lawyers, accountants and business owners in our network, we actually think the bulk of due diligence can be undertaken internally. These are people who do that and know what they’re doing. They’d be doing it pro bono (free of charge or at a reduced cost). That’s really helpful. Could it come in below £500,000 then? DT: For us it will come in much cheaper because we’ll get the bulk of it done pro bono. The risk with due diligence is that you do it and then find problems which mean you can’t proceed with a takeover. The money spent is then gone. Do you have the support of the fans who’ve put the cash in to take that risk? DT: We’ve got a clear position where we can only use 10 per cent of the money that’s been raised. That’s very clear. But because we’re doing the vast bulk, and certainly all of the initial due diligence internally, that’s not a problem for us to be worried about. You’re quite right – if due diligence picks up things which means the value (of the club) is lower than even the at-cost figure then we would walk away. The at-cost figure is the maximum figure because if the cost is less than that, we wouldn’t be paying the at-cost figure. We’d walk away or pay the value. If, then, you valued the club at £30m and Massimo Cellino said ‘actually, I’d like £35m’, you wouldn’t be interested? DT: That’s not the agreement we’ve got with Massimo. That’s not the basis of the agreement. The agreement is at cost. That means there’s no negotiation above that maximum figure because the maximum figure is purely auditable. If he can demonstrate that he’s put money in and it’s not been taken out then fine, that’s what’s gone in. Future funding, from the point of view of cash that needs to go in, is an issue. To be fair to him, he has put money into the club at times when it was needed. Have you planned for that at this stage? DT: Yes. We’ve got a broad plan in place which we’re comfortable with. The broad plan is that there are immediate cash flow savings we can implement – things like the acquisition of Elland Road. We can acquire it for £20m and at the moment we’re paying £2m a year on rent. We could fund that with yet another scheme where wealthy fans and people could offer a five per cent bond. Straight away, there’s money that’s back in the club. It’s a simple thing to do and we own Elland Road. So it’s win-win. But all fan-owned clubs have shown an increase in season ticket sales, merchandising, the commercial side. From a Leeds point of view, sponsorship – not least, £500,000 or more from putting someone on the shirts. It is true that it’s difficult to get sponsors when they can see that the fans of the club are so disgruntled. Sponsors don’t want to be associated with disgruntled people. So we’d expect revenues to increase, and attendances. Corporate hospitality has also dwindled a lot over time. That all immediately helps with cash flow. We do think we can operate a football club better than it’s been operated in the past. We’re bringing skill sets of running business of this size, turning around businesses of this size and making them successful. Just because it’s a football scenario doesn’t make it more difficult to run but we would obviously recruit a management team, people with football administration experience. We need that expertise. But a club of Leeds United’s size should not be struggling in the Championship, it really shouldn’t. On top of that, Massimo was insistent that we couldn’t bring in the third parties we’ve been working with for this takeover. The answer from him was no. So once we’ve got the club, we can look at bringing these third parties in. The benefit is that instead of that money going to an owner, the money goes into the club because the majority shareholder won’t be looking to exit the club. If you are able to do this, how long will it take to complete? Because if you do have exclusivity. there’s a period in which only you can try to buy the club – and if you fail to do it, that’s a period in which the club is going to drift? DT: We could do the minority stake purchase in five weeks. The majority part of it would probably take about three months. But with these things you caveat it because it depends what comes up in due diligence. That’s the kind of timeframe and the clock starts from the moment we get the exclusivity letter. On the subject of GFH, the bank has made no comment about whether it would be willing to deal with you or sell its minority stake to you. How does that affect you? DT: They have no power. We believe, although we can’t be sure until they do due diligence, that they could drag along with Massimo in this. The price we agree with Massimo, they could agree to as well. In the sense that GFH can insist that you buy its shares at the same value? DT: Yes. We think it’s unlikely. We’d be fine with it and we’d then own 100 per cent but my gut feeling is that they wouldn’t want to go ahead with that. It would be a substantial reduction in the value that they’ve told their shareholders they’ve got in Leeds United. We can handle it if they do. If not, they’re a silent partner. It doesn’t really affect us. If we came to increase equity in the club, they’d have to put their hand in their pocket or dilute. Is there a point now at which you need due diligence to be starting? DT: Really, the time pressure is on Massimo rather than us. If he doesn’t win his appeal (against Football League disqualification), there’s going to be an interesting period where there’s a danger of the club heading more in the direction of relegation which devalues the business and makes it less likely that he can achieve even the at-cost figure. It seems to us like we don’t need to put ourselves under time pressure. We’re ready to go. he just needs to give us exclusivity. If he wants to delay for whatever reason, that’s his prerogative. In a way, we’ll find out the veracity of what he said – whether he really meant that he’d only sell to Leeds fans. There are undoubtedly fans out there who think this is a bad idea or doubt that it can work. What would you say to them that would convince them that this is better than holding out for somebody rich to buy the club? DT: All the supporters clubs have come out in support of what we’re doing. They can see and they recognise that we’re proper Leeds fans who are doing this with the right reasons at heart. I think it’s a very Yorkshire trait to fend for yourself and not to whinge and moan and think that someone will come and rescue us if we cry about it enough. That’s why whenever anyone puts an online poll up, we seem to get 90, 95 per cent support. I think that plays to our Yorkshireness – why wait for a white knight? We’ve waited 12 years. It hasn’t happened so we can sort this out ourselves. We’re ready to get on with it. Let’s get on with it.

Nov 3rd. Evans delighted with win A “very proud” Steve Evans was full of praise for the response of his United side after returning to winning ways with a 1-0 victory over Cardiff City on Tuesday night. Alex Mowatt’s stunning second-half strike – the midfielder’s first goal of the season – sealed a long overdue three points for the hosts as Evans oversaw his first win since taking charge. At the end of the game I was quite an emotional man, I was welling up,” he said. “If I achieve nothing else I have won a game in charge of a famous football club at Elland Road. “We were all down after the Blackburn game and my birthday on Friday was the worst birthday I have had. I then spoke to the players about having some passion and drive. “I’ve always had a phrase that if two teams turn up with equal ability then it’s passion and drive that wins football matches. “I’m very proud now. I was so down after last Thursday but had to lift them and I told them the minimum we needed was effort.” Asked about Mowatt’s winning strike, Evans added: “I think it was a special goal worthy of winning any match. “I have seen Alex score from that kind of range with ease with such quality as an opposition manager and I told him at half-time to take one on. “Alex is on the way back up.”

Nov 3rd Elland Road blessed Ever feared Elland Road might have been cursed for Leeds United after almost eight months without a home win?Well, Blessingprior to Tuesday night’s long-awaited victory over Cardiff City, the centre circle and dressing room were “blessed” with holy water by Monsignor Philip Moger of St Anne’s Cathedral, Leeds (pictured above) at the request of chairman Massimo Cellino in a bid to turn our fortunes. and it clearly had the desired effect, with United claiming a vital three points and ending a 30-year hoodoo over the Bluebirds thanks to Alex Mowatt’s stunning strike.

Nov 3rd Leeds 1 (Mowatt 63), CARDIFF 0 United team: Silvestri, Wootton, Cooper, Bellusci, Berardi, Dallas (Byram 82), Murphy, Cook, Mowatt (Phillips 87), Antenucci (Doukara 90+2), Wood. Subs: Horton, Sloth, Buckley, Botaka. Referee: Carl Boyeson. Booked: Bellusci (United), Whittingham (Cardiff). Att: 17,914 (184 Cardiff) Official website


Mowatt celebrates his screamer and why not

The midweek visit of Cardiff City saw United head coach Steve Evans make three changes from the home defeat to Blackburn Rovers five days earlier. Two of those were enforced, with Giuseppe Bellusci replacing the suspended Sol Bamba in defence, while Alex Mowatt came in for on-loan Tom Adeyemi who was ineligible to face his parent club. Elsewhere, Scott Wootton was handed a start at right back in place of Sam Byram. The hosts made a solid if unspectacular start at Elland Road, controlling possession without truly testing the Cardiff defence inside the opening 15 minutes. Mirco Antenucci had an early penalty appeal waved away after going down under pressure from former United captain Lee Peltier, before Cardiff had their first sight of goal at the opposite end as Alex Revell – a player who worked under Evans during his time at Rotheram – lashed a speculative half-volley high and wide from range. Final balls were once again proving to be a source of frustration for Evans’ side, with a number of deliveries towards the area easily dealt with by the Cardiff defence. United’s first effort on goal came after 29 minutes, though, as the lively Stuart Dallas burst forward before dragging a low 25-yard effort wide of David Marshall’s far post. That appeared to lift the home crowd and their team, with Antenucci threatening moments later after Gaetano Berardi and Dallas had combined. Berardi’s ball from deep was played back across goal by the outstretched leg of Dallas, but Antenucci, somewhat off-balance under pressure from two blue shirts, was just unable to turn the ball on target from a tight angle. It signalled the start of a good period for United, with only some last-ditch Cardiff defending denying Mowatt from hammering home Dallas’ low cross, before the Northern Ireland winger called Marshall into action with a stinging strike after cutting inside from the right. A strong end to the opening 45 minutes saw Lewis Cook smash over from distance before Chris Wood headed Bellusci’s deep cross wide as the sides went in level at the break. A quiet start to the second period saw few chances for either team and the game was crying out for inspiration as we passed the hour mark. But that duly came on 63 minutes through Mowatt’s first goal of the season, a thunderous 25-yard strike which left Marshall helpless as it whistled into the top corner. It was just the lift Elland Road needed and United looked good for their lead. Marco Silvestri did need to be alert at the opposite end, though, pushing away Joe Mason’s effort before clutching Sean MowattvCardiffMowattvCardiff3Morrison’s header. The visitors pushed men forward but struggled to carve out too many chances of note, with both Sammy Ameobi and Kenwyne Jones introduced in attack. Evans brought Byram on in the closing stages, replacing Dallas on the right, and the youngster was involved almost immediately, skipping his way towards the byline before seeing his chipped cross held by Marshall in the air. United came agonisingly close to putting the game to bed with six minutes remaining on the clock as Chris Wood seized upon a loose ball and rounded the onrushing Marshall. But the angle was tight for the striker, and he slammed into the side-netting with blue shirts covering on the line. Evans’ men then held firm during four minutes of added time to claim a first home win in 13 matches and a first victory over Cardiff for over 30 years.

Nov 3rd Leeds United fans hope Massimo Cellino will sell them club for £30m Leeds chairman Massimo Cellino will sell his majority stake in the club for £30m, according to Leeds Fans United chief executive Dylan Thwaites. Cellino announced on Friday that he was willing to agree a takeover with supporters and forgo any profit. “Massimo invited us to buy his majority stake and has agreed to sell to us at cost, at the money he has put into the club,” Thwaites told BBC Radio Leeds.If we look at Companies House there’s certainly £30m or so of new equity.” He added: “There might be other agreements and investments that will be found in due diligence and that is all auditable. “We’ll be left with a figure that is a maximum amount we will be paying for Leeds United and that is not a negotiable figure, it is an audited one.” Leeds Fans United was set up in April with the aim of raising £10m to buy a minority stake in the club and secure representation on the board. Despite the requirement to now raise three times that amount, Thwaites is confident the group can proceed with the takeover. “There are four tiers,” he said. “The first tier is the community benefit society and we had a big surge in people investing in that in the last three days. “The next tier is high-net-worth, wealthy Leeds fans investing into Leeds Fans United. These can be in sums of hundreds of thousands or millions. We’ve had an astonishing number of people come forward in the last few days to do this. “If we’re still at a shortfall then we have a great debt scheme to bring debt to the club but that debt would be from Leeds fans. The debt payments would be interest-free and would be deferred until we got into the Premier League. “The final tier would be to go to institutional investors to make up the gap if we needed to.” Leeds, who are 19th in the Championship, host Cardiff City on Tuesday.


Bridcutt whom Sunderland paid Brighton 4M pounds for

Nov 3rd Bridcutt move to Leeds not done yet Liam Bridcutt has been denied the chance to make his Leeds United debut in tonight’s clash with Cardiff City after the club failed to complete his move from Sunderland in time. The midfielder is poised to join Leeds on an emergency loan until January but United missed the 12pm deadline set for him to feature at Elland Road this evening. Leeds and Sunderland are understood to have agreed a deal but the move is still to be signed off at both ends. Bridcutt, 26, is expected to finalise his transfer ahead of Saturday’s Yorkshire derby at Huddersfield Town. The former Brighton player is out of favour at the Stadium of Light and has been targeted by United head coach Steve Evans following Leeds’ recent poor run of form. Evans refused to disclose Bridcutt’s identity yesterday but confirmed that he was close to a signing. Evans said: “We’ve identified a number of players in each position and my first choice in this department of this team would be the one that we’re very close to.”

Nov 2nd Leeds United chairman ‘will not attend games’ Leeds United chairman Massimo Cellino will no longer attend the team’s games because of calls for him to leave. Cellino, who is appealing against a second Football League ban for failing its owners’ and directors’ test, has agreed in principle to sell the club to supporters’ group Leeds Fans United. He told the club website: “It pains me to make this decision. “But what I was subjected to at the Blackburn game left me feeling I had no other option but to take a step away.” Leeds lost 2-0 to Blackburn on Thursday to leave them without a win at Elland Road since March. The following day Cellino, who took over the Championship club in April 2014, announced that he was willing to sell his majority stake to supporters. The Italian added: “After the time, effort and emotion I have given to the club to try and enable us to move forward, it hurt me a lot to hear the fans singing what they did on Thursday night. “The fans made it clear they believe I am no longer the best person for this job, and for the first time I am starting to think that they may be correct.” Leeds, who are 19th in the second tier, host Cardiff City on Tuesday.

Nov 2nd Supporters’ group confident of takeover deal Leeds Fans United chief executive Dylan Thwaites believes it is the only group to which Massimo Cellino is willing to sell his majority stake. The Italian announced on Friday that he was willing to agree a takeover with supporters and forgo any profit. Thwaites said: “Massimo was absolutely clear that he was only selling to fans. “It’s Leeds United – there are always rumours. But I think it would be crazy for anyone to seek to steal this deal from the Leeds fans.” He continued: “The level of hostility generated would be a death blow to any sensible bid plan.” Cellino, who is still going ahead with his appeal against a Football League ban after failing its owners’ and directors’ test for a second time, told BBC Radio Leeds he was “sad and embarrassed” about how his ownership of the Championship club had turned out. Leeds are currently 19th in the Championship after only two wins from their opening 14 games, with Steve Evans recently becoming the fifth head coach appointed since Cellino took over the club in April 2014. Thwaites is confident LFU, which was launched in April with the aim of buying a minority stake in the club, will get exclusivity on the deal in the near future. “He was adamant that he would only sell to Leeds fans,” he said. “This clearly gives us an exclusive position. Of course, as professionals we need this signing and we expect to have that shortly.”

Nov 2nd United close to addition Steve Evans says United “may have one” new signing in time for Tuesday night’s visit of Cardiff City. Speaking ahead of the Elland Road clash, the head coach was “just waiting on the final answer” from the player in question. Since his arrival at the club a fortnight ago, Evans has made little secret of his attempts to boost the squad with new additions, primarily in the emergency loan market before looking ahead to January’s window. “We’ve been trying desperately hard to add to the squad in the last three or four days,” he said.”But to bring players in with the quality that we’re trying to bring in, takes more than just a couple of hours on the telephone. “We may have one done today, we’re just waiting on the final answer. “More importantly, it won’t stop at that. The aim is to have two or three new players in before the emergency loan market closes. “Then we’ll take a look at the squad in January and see where we are. “I don’t think anything lifts the dressing room better than seeing a good player walk in. We’re trying to strengthen with two or three quality players and it’s no hidden secret which positions we are trying to strengthen.”

Oct 30th Leeds chairman agrees to sell club to fans Leeds chairman Massimo Cellino has agreed in principle to sell his share in the club to supporters’ group Leeds Fans United. The Italian, who is currently appealing against a Football League ban, met with fans on Friday. He said he would sell his majority share, without making a profit. “100% I will sell to the fans, if they want to buy it and look after the club. The fans are the only asset the club has,” he told BBC Radio Leeds. “I’m sad and embarrassed. My dream was to do my best but I’ve achieved nothing and family aren’t even with me. “I’m trying to protect the club but at the same time it means I have exposed myself. The result is that the fans say ‘Massimo it’s time to go’.” Leeds Fans United launched in April with the aim of buying a minority stake in the club and securing representation on the board. They tweeted: “Leeds Fans Utd has today reached agreement in principle with Massimo Cellino to purchase a majority stake in Leeds United Football Club.” Many supporters called on Cellino – who has been banned from running the club twice since his 2014 arrival – to leave Elland Road after a 2-0 home defeat by Blackburn on Thursday left them 18th in the Championship. United would be the highest placed English club to be owned by their fans.


Time for Cellino to go

Sat Oct 31st Massimo Cellino: Leeds chairman agrees to sell club to fans – Adam Pope BBC Leeds  Leeds chairman Massimo Cellino has agreed in principle to sell his share in the club to supporters’ group Leeds Fans United. The Italian, who is currently appealing against a Football League ban, met with fans on Friday. He said he would sell his majority share, without making a profit. “100% I will sell to the fans, if they want to buy it and look after the club. The fans are the only asset the club has,” he told BBC Radio Leeds. “I’m sad and embarrassed. My dream was to do my best but I’ve achieved nothing and family aren’t even with me. “I’m trying to protect the club but at the same time it means I have exposed myself. The result is that the fans say ‘Massimo it’s time to go’.” Leeds Fans United launched in April with the aim of buying a minority stake in the club and securing representation on the board. They tweeted: “Leeds Fans Utd has today reached agreement in principle with Massimo Cellino to purchase a majority stake in Leeds United Football Club.” Many supporters called on Cellino – who has been banned from running the club twice since his 2014 arrival – to leave Elland Road after a 2-0 home defeat by Blackburn on Thursday left them 18th in the Championship. United would be the highest placed English club to be owned by their fans. Leeds United are winless at Elland Road since March Analysis: Adam Pope, BBC Radio Leeds “This is coming at the same time that he is facing another ban from the Football League. There has been a lot of pressure on him from the fans and the national media this week. I think it is the fans chanting against him at Thursday’s game that has made up his mind. He sounded genuinely distraught. “There is a real malcontent around the club at the moment. He’s done some good in his time there but I believe the time is right for a change. “I’ve spoken to Leeds Fans United and I don’t know how much money there is there now but I know that there are people willing to back their initiative.” Cellino’s biggest controversies: a timeline

April 2014: After initially being prevented from buying the club he successfully appeals and becomes the majority owner.May 2014: Manager Brian McDermott leaves the club after the end of the season. August 2014: His surprise replacement David Hockaday is sacked after just six matches. October 2014: Slovenian Darko Milanic is sacked after six games and just 32 days in charge. December 2014: Cellino is banned from running the club by the Football League after an Italian court finds him guilty of tax evasion. He appeals against the decision but is unsuccessful. March 2015: Cellino’s ban is extended from March to the end of the 2014-15 season. May 2015: Replaces Neil Redfearn as head coach with former Brentford and Wigan boss Uwe Rosler. October 2015: On the same day he sacks Rosler and replaces him with Steve Evans the Italian is banned from running the club by the Football League for a second time. He has submitted his appeal against this decision. It is understood he faces further legal cases in his home country


Evans believes United need five or six players in

Sat 31st of Oct Evans planning on shake up at Leeds STEVE EVANS is targeting the addition of ‘two or three’ signings before the closure of the emergency loan window on November 25 to desperately try and reinvigorate Leeds United’s increasingly troubled campaign. Crisis-hit United are doing it tough on all counts and slumped to their fourth successive defeat at Elland Road in Thursday night’s limp 2-0 Roses loss to Blackburn Rovers, extending the club’s winless streak to a worrying six matches. Eighteenth-placed Leeds just three points above the drop zone ahead of today’s Championship programme return to action at home to Cardiff City on Tuesday, when they will be without suspended captain Sol Bamba and midfielder Tom Adeyemi, ineligible under the terms of his season-long loan from the Bluebirds. Picking up the pieces from United’s latest Elland Road defeat, Evans acknowledged that the club requires five or six new players, adding that a ‘massive’ January transfer window of surgery was required to seriously turn the club’s fortunes around. In the short term, the Scot is focusing his attentions on bringing some loan recruits before the deadline in 26 days as he aims to emulate the mini-renaissance that some key signings afforded him at Rotherham just over 12 months ago. Just prior to last year’s window closure, Evans brought in Tom Lawrence, Reece James, Emmanuel Ledesma and current United defender Scott Wootton, with the Millers subsequently embarking on a six-match unbeaten run to the turn of the year to steady the ship after a poor run. Evans is now striving for another quick fix to prevent the on-pitch crisis deepening further after a meagre return of just two wins in 13 league matches in 2015-16 thus far. He said: I don’t think it’s five or six (signings) by Tuesday or five or six in this window. The window in January will be a massive one. “But before then there’s lot of points at stake. Maybe two or three before the (loan) window (closes) and that might take you from where we are to suddenly being a very good side. “But to go where we want to go, we have to be much better in a lot of areas. “If two or three can get us to where we want to be, then it’ll be two or three. I can certainly bring in two or three.” Evans, who turned 53 yesterday, will attempt to make headway on the transfer front this weekend, with a new goalkeeper, a fresh centre-half and striking option likely to be high on his list. Off the pitch, United irate supporters made their feelings known in no uncertain terms in calling on owner Massimo Cellino to quit the club on Thursday with the situation becoming increasingly toxic. Evans, whose birthday ‘celebrations’ are likely to have been considerably muted yesterday, given Thursday’s events, said: One hundred per cent, I’ve not allowed myself to get involved in the off the field situation. “I’ve kept myself away from it and I’ll continue to do so, whatever decisions the board or the owner make. That’s their remit. “All I can do is report up the line that we need to do certain things. I’m not one of those to drive home, say ‘it’s my birthday’ and forget about Leeds United. It’s my job to be working to on bringing players in to add to what we have. “Conversations with the owner will continue. It has to be done in as very measured way. We’ve got some good players in there, but I said to them, the minimum we demand is that we have 11 or 14 players who come into the dressing room and they’ve given absolutely everything for the cause. “I didn’t really see that in the first half if I’m being honest. I saw people shy away from the ball, people shy away from making positive runs, from defensively doing a job. That’s when people talk about being brave and playing for Leeds United.”


Cornman agrees to sell his shares to fans group and finally do the right thing by Leeds…..GO

Fri Oct 30th Cornman “agrees to sell his shares to fansgroup” Leeds United owner Massimo Cellino last night offered to sell his majority stake to supporters group Leeds Fans United in a sensational development which signalled his intention to quit the club. Cellino made his offer during talks at Elland Road on Friday, less than 24 hours after facing calls to abandon his tenure during a 2-0 defeat to Blackburn Rovers. The Italian’s fraught period in charge of Leeds reached a new depth as a crowd of more than 19,000 chanted en masse for Cellino to sell the club amid a poor run of form and fresh off-field turmoil. Cellino is facing a Football League ban for the second time in his 18 months in charge and will be disqualified until June of next year unless he overturns the ruling. The 59-year-old has appealed his ban but his decision to offer his shares to Leeds Fan United is a clear indication of his willingness to walk away. Cellino told the BBC: One hundred per cent I will sell to the fans, if they want to buy it and look after the club. The fans are the only asset the club has.” A statement from Leeds Fans United said: Leeds Fans Utd has reached agreement in principle with Massimo Cellino to purchase a majority stake in Leeds United Football Club.” Leeds Fans United was formed earlier this year with the aim of buying a minority shareholding in Leeds. It has raised in the region of £500,000 through supporter donations. The group has been in regular contact with Cellino recently and he made his offer following fresh discussions on Friday. Leeds Fans United is yet to comment on whether it has the necessary backing in place to take up his proposal. Cellino has not named a price but he is understood to have told Leeds Fans United that he will sell his stake “without profit”. The former Cagliari owner purchased a 75 per cent shareholding in Leeds from Gulf Finance House through his UK firm Eleonora Sport Limited in April 2014. Cellino paid an upfront fee of £5m to buy out GFH and was due to pay a further £5m in December of last year. His original deal involved the repayment of more than £20m of debt owed to GFH, though he spent his initial months at Elland Road trying to renegotiate that sum. Amid rumours of takeover bids late last year – at a time when Cellino was facing his first Football League ban – he was rumoured to have valued his stake at around £60m. Large sums of cash, meanwhile, were injected in United in return for equity earlier this year. That money is believed to have come from Cellino and Eleonora Sport Limited. Cellino’s spell at the helm of United has been dogged by constant controversy, disruption and legal battles. The Italian has sacked no fewer than five managers and head coaches in that period and last night’s defeat left United facing up to a relegation battle in the Championship

. Fri Oct 30th Club It’s high time we stuck by a manager at Leeds – Ricthie WHAT is going on behind the scenes at Leeds United has got to be impacting upon the players and with this possible new ban for the owner, people are probably talking about that more than what is going on in regards to things on the pitch. If players are not talking about Massimo Cellino having another ban, they are probably talking about him sacking another manager. It is all a bit of a circus, we keep talking about it in this column, but what more can we do? As for players maybe thinking: ‘Well, a manager here won’t last that long’ and try and hide under that, they should not be thinking that way, for me. Maybe one or two will, though. It is difficult for players. Obviously, Uwe Rosler had so many months at the club trying to instil what he wanted into the players and then a new manager comes in. Managers have different views and ways of wanting to play and Steve Evans will have. It is difficult for players; one week, they may be told to play it out from the back and the next week, it could be a case of ‘don’t do’. After three games, Steve is still without a win. You do feel for him in his situation. But at the end of the day, he wanted the job here too. He knew what he was coming into when taking the job. He will know that he has got to get it right quickly with Massimo Cellino in charge. You have a bit of sympathy for Steve in that he did not know about this new ban for the owner coming up. But Steve is experienced enough to take things on the chin. He has just got to get on with it and work things out with the players. Leeds players got plenty of stick from fans following the Blackburn game on Thursday night, which was understandable. But what I will say is that I don’t think any player goes out on the pitch not to try. The situation that Leeds find themselves in, the players would be forgiven for (not) having a semblance of what they are really supposed to be doing. That said, there is no excuse for not running your socks off in every single game. Sometimes, the fans think they don’t see that happening. For whatever reason – and there are several – it is just not happening for Leeds. Not just in football, but in other professions, people want stability and that military regulation. In football, it’s a case of this is the way we play and what we do within that system. If the way you play changes every two months, then you can’t get things settled and you basically you usually don’t get results consistently. The Blackburn performance was poor. For a new manager coming in, it is difficult in terms of whether to rip into the players in the dressing room at half-time or after the full-time whistle and the confidence of the Leeds players will be especially fragile at the minute. There’s a time for doing it, otherwise it loses its effect for me. You have to be very, very careful as a manager to pick your times when you do have a real pop. Sometimes, you have to be philosophical about certain results and respond in an easier and technical way. If you get a rollicking every three minutes about what you are doing, you will turn off. Confidence is low at Leeds at the minute and it will take some work to get it back. A draw, say when you are losing 3-1 and draw 3-3 or a narrow win against a top club might just help Leeds. They won at Derby earlier this season and beat the likes of Bournemouth last year too. It might just be something like that gets Leeds going again. But at the minute, the consistency level is just not happening. It’s tough for the fans, it goes without saying I feel for them and I have said it many times before. Leeds are the biggest club outside the Premier League. The biggest thing for me is that they have simply got to keep a manager for a while and finally let someone have a good run at it. I am not talking about six months, but a season. If he doesn’t get it right, then fine – look at someone else. Consistency in players comes from them knowing the way to play and the system and to know what they are doing.

Thurs Oct 30th “It’s a nightmare” – Cellino considering his future at Leeds LEEDS owner Massimo Cellino has admitted he is considering his future at the club and that his spell in charge is proving to be “a nightmare”. The 59-year-old Italian lodged his appeal against a second Football League ban in 12 months on Wednesday, having failed its owners’ and directors’ test last week following another tax conviction in Italy. Steve Evans recently became the club’s sixth head coach since Cellino took control of the club in April 2014, but he has yet to win in three games and Leeds are without a home victory in nearly eight months after Thursday night’s 2-0 defeat to Blackburn. I’m losing my balls,” Cellino told The Times, who have reported rumours of renewed interest in the club from Red Bull. Ten years ago, I had more balls, but since I came here it’s been a nightmare. “Now I have a low quality of life. I feel shame when I walk to the shop to buy cigarettes if we lose a game. “I convinced my family to come here and they have run away. “It’s like being at a party where you’re not welcome. It’s killing me. Every night I lie awake, asking myself, ‘Am I good enough?’.” If Cellino loses his appeal he will be banned from office until June next year. His previous disqualification in relation to a tax conviction in Italy ran from January to May. On his latest conviction, for failing to pay VAT on an imported Range Rover, Cellino said:It never went out of the garage. “I sent it back to America and bought my son a diesel car the day after.”The holding company cannot keep this club without me running it. To save money I do 20 jobs. If they ban me and someone else comes in who does not fight for the club, it is dead.Cellino said he did remember Lucy Ward, partner of former head coach Neil Redfearn and the club’s former welfare officer, who has filed a case against the Italian for sexual discrimination and unfair dismissal. He had previously said he did not know her. Listen, you don’t know how many names I see every day,” he said. “But yes, I remembered – the blonde girl who works in the academy.” The former Cagliari owner, who pleads his innocence in relation to an outstanding charge of embezzlement in Italy, added: I’m not a coward. Life is not just about enjoyment. But I ask myself if it’s better if I leave. Only failing to make the fans happy can hurt me. “You think I can sell a club in five minutes? Who gets hurt in the meantime? Last season someone sent me a lot of bulls***ters.”