Weds 31st. United draw Chelsea. Leeds have been handed another home draw in the League Cup Quarter final. This time just the simple task of defeating Chelsea to prevent us reaching the semi-final. This game looks like it will be played on the 19th of November, one week after all the other games, because of the Blues World club championship commitments.

Tonge celebrates his goal

Tues 30th of Oct. Three and easy against Southampton...Leeds 3 (Tonge 34, Diouf 85, Becchio pen 90+1), Southampton 0 United: Ashdown, Peltier (Pugh 90), Lees, Pearce, White, Byram, Austin, Brown, Tonge, Diouf, Varney (Becchio 90). Subs: Kenny, Drury, Green, Norris, Gray.  Referee: C Foy Att: 17,002. A place in the quarter-finals was at stake as United manager Neil Warnock re-shuffled his pack for the visit of Premier League Southampton. Luke Varney returned after illness to take his place in the front-line with El-Hadji Diouf while Jamie Ashdown came in for Paddy Kenny in goal. Southampton, struggling in the Premier League with only one win to their name, made wholesale changes to the starting line-up for the tie. United started the contest brightly and Southampton had some early defending to do. Luke Varney was denied by an offside flag, and both Aidy White and Sam Byram had early crosses cut out. On 14 minutes, Varney came within a whisker of scoring when after latching on to a Diouf header the ball flew narrowly wide. More good attacking play by United led to Michael Tonge heading over the bar. United enjoyed by far the better of the opening exchanges, another effort was deflected into the side-netting, And Varney went close after a great ball by Byram. Moments later, Varney was left wondering just what he had to do to score he showing great reactions to cash in on a defensive effor before delivering what appeared to be a delightful chipped finish only to see it come back off the upright. But Varney did have a hand in the opening goal when his ball in was half-cleared and Michael Tonge was on hand to follow up to drill the ball in. It was no less than Leeds deserved for a dominant first half in which, with a little bit of luck, the scoreline could have been greater. And the second half started in similar vein with United assuming an early control of proceedings, looking to double the advantage to put Southampton under real pressure. United continued to enjoy the better of a game that was producing few chances. Varney was a constant threat, Diouf’s movement caused problems, and the the Premier League side were the ones forced to dig deep into their resistance. A double change for the visitors saw teenager Lloyd Insgrove introduced and he attempted to inject some life into the Saints, but on the rare occasions they came forward, Michael Brown did a sterling job in front of the back four and Jason Pearce and Tom Lees were both solid. And United were rewarded for a strong performance when Rodolph Austin roared forward with five minutes to go and after Kelvin Davis blocked his shot, Diouf was on hand to apply the finishing touch. That was game, set, and match to United, who moved a huge step nearer to Wembley by booking a place in the quarter-finals, and there was even time to add a third goal. Tonge was bundled down in the area and substitute Luciano Becchio stepped up to convert. All in all a terrific performance from Leeds. We shouldn’t get too carried away as the Saints put put their second string but as Colin says you can only beat what’s put in front of you. I think we all would have preferred three points. Varney did well up front and maybe he deserves a chance there because he has been hopeless out wide. Hopefully we will see a similar performance on Friday night at Brighton.

Mon Oct 29th. Leeds United striker El Hadji Diouf: ‘You can hate me but still love my football’. Leeds’ El Hadji Diouf, who was once described byhis current manager as a ‘sewer rat’, loves being booed – because it shows people are paying attention, he tells Glenn Moore of the Independent When El Hadji Diouf gets on the ball at Elland Road tomorrow tonight and runs at the Southampton defence he will not just expect to be booed by the opposing fans, he will relish the prospect. “I like being booed, he says with a gold-toothed smile. “When people boo me I always want to show them I am the best – I know they hate me but I want to say, ‘You can hate me but you can love my football.’ Everyone wants to beats Leeds because they know it is a big team, and there is a big character on the team: myself.” For the Senegalese to be ignored is far worse than being disliked. There is a touch of Oscar Wilde when he says of himself: “My reputation is not me, but it is good to have a reputation. People talking good or bad about you is only publicity.” It was not always thus. Having come to prominence in the 2002 World Cup Diouf had an indifferent spell at Liverpool, attracting unsavoury publicity, including a conviction for spitting. By the time he was playing for Bolton Wanderers the constant baiting by opposition fans was beginning to wear him down. Then came an intervention from the late Gary Speed, Wanderers’ senior pro. “One day I was asking, ‘Why do people boo me every time? I don’t understand.’ He came to see me, took my hand and said, ‘People never boo a bad player. They boo you because you are good and they try and wind you up.’ When he said that I understood. Coming from him it was good.” Diouf now plays for Leeds United, where Speed is still revered for his role in their last title success, in 1992, and we are talking in the office of manager Neil Warnock. The same Warnock who, in January 2010, described Diouf as “lower than a sewer rat” after Diouf had accused Jamie Mackie of QPR, then managed by Warnock, of faking his agony as Mackie lay stricken at Ewood Park with a broken leg. The subsequent union of Warnock and the player he calls his “matador” raised many eyebrows. “Me and the gaffer, it is in the past,” said Diouf.“Lots of people say there are things between us, but the most important thing today is he enjoys working with me and I enjoy working with him. What I like of him we have the same temperament, we want to always win. He is a bad loser and a good gaffer. We are the misunderstood, a lot of people do not know us, but they judge us. “Friends who play with him before, like Adel Taarabt and Armand Traoré, they tell me he is a good gaffer, he loves joking and working hard. So I say to him, ‘Why not I come and play for Leeds?’ I know he thought it was a joke at first but that joke came true. People can hate you, but recognise your talent. He recognised my talent.” Diouf was poised to go to Saudi Arabia when Warnock, searching for players within a limited budget, decided to see if Diouf was serious. The money on offer was a fraction of that available in the desert, and Diouf would have to start on a week-to-week trial basis. “I said, ‘Why not?’ The big challenge today is to be in Leeds. I remember playing here with Liverpool [Diouf’s fifth start in England, Liverpool winning in front of more than 40,000]. The atmosphere was unbelievable. I say to the lads: ‘We can do it. We can be part of the story of Leeds United. People talk about Lucas Radebe, Eric Cantona, why not us?‘ To go up with Leeds would be massive, the biggest thing in my career. “Elland Road has the same atmosphere as Anfield. A lot of teams in the Premier League do not have as exciting a stadium as we have. Leeds has a Premier League stadium and Premier League fans in the wrong division, we have to change that. I think we can do it this season, We just need to believe in ourselves, he [Warnock] won promotion with Sheffield United and QPR, why not here?”A lack of funds is the most likely reason, with takeover negotiations with various parties now having taken more than six months. Having reached the play-off places early on this season Leeds have dipped, with two points from their last three matches, but the 2-1 home victory over Everton in the last round of the Capital One Cup showed what was possible. Diouf was outstanding in that match and has generally been in excellent form. His current contract, however, expires in January and while Leeds have offered him a new one with a significant pay rise he will only say, when asked if he will stay, “We’ll see.” It may depend on whether Warnock will by then have the cash required to give Leeds a realistic chance of going up. “Me and the gaffer have the same ambition: to go into the Premier League,” said Diouf. There he would face again Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher, former Liverpool team-mates who both criticised Diouf in their autobiographies, prompting withering replies, articulated again in L’Equipe earlier this month. “I don’t want to waste any more time talking about them,” says Diouf. “Liverpool is a great club but for me it is in the past, I am looking to the future. When I was at Liverpool we had good players, but we did not make a team. We had a lot of problems there between foreign players and the rest, but I think that goes for many teams.” It was at Liverpool that Diouf was involved in the first of several spitting controversies. “I regret what I did in the past,” he said. “I was young, I don’t do it any more. I apologise to all people I have hurt. It was a result of my background.”Diouf’s upbringing was a difficult one, living in poverty with his grandparents after his father left when he was eight, then moving to France to make his way as a footballer at 14. “It made me independent. I was always looking after myself, then after all my family too. I’m proud about that, and about the charity I have, helping a lot of people in Senegal.” Despite the animosity he attracts, Diouf enjoys playing in England, having spent the last 11 seasons here excepting a brief spell at Rangers. “I have had offers to go to Spain, back to France or Italy, but it is more exciting here. If you play 15 years in football and you don’t play in England it is a big miss.” In the long-term Diouf expresses an interest in coaching and managing, which could be interesting, and there is a book on the horizon: the title …“Misunderstood”He said: “People think they know me, then after meeting in a restaurant, or out somewhere, they talk for five minutes and say, ‘I’m sorry I thought bad things about you before.’ Even my wife. I went to talk to her and she didn’t want to be with me because of what she had read about me in the papers in Senegal and what people say about me, but I am a different person. My reputation is not me.”

Mon 29th of Oct. Colin looking for new recruits. NEIL WARNOCK admits fresh investment in Leeds United cannot come soon enough as heeyes “two or three” new arrivals. The Elland Road club have been in talks with GFH Capital for more than five months over a possible takeover but a breakthrough finally appeared to be made last week when the Dubai-based investment bank provided confirmation that the funds are in place to complete the deal. Further discussions are believed to be planned this week with a view to concluding a saga that has dominated the United news agenda since news of the potential change of ownership emerged in May. For Warnock, agreement on a deal reported to be worth £52m cannot come soon enough as he looks to bolster a side who slipped to a first defeat in seven Championship outings as Birmingham City marked manager Lee Clark’s 40th birthday with a 1-0 win. The Leeds chief, who has been linked with moves for Kenwyne Jones and Cameron Jerome in recent days, admitted: “We need a bit of help now, a couple of players to come into the squad.  “Hopefully, the takeover will come to the fore soon and we will be able to bring another couple in because the squad needs a bit of help and a couple of faces now. “We have got to wait and see what develops on the takeover side. I have been looking for weeks and we have got to help the lads out. “There are two or three players I would like to get but I don’t think we will manage it until the club sorts everything out. “There is not a lot wrong if we could get the two or three in. I just think we’re lacking a little bit of class and a little bit of quality. We are working hard to get them over the line but it is not easy.”Representatives of GFH Capital were again in the Elland Road crowd on Saturday as a spectacular strike by Leroy Lita, a loan target for Warnock earlier in the season, settled a dour game in Birmingham’s favour. Warnock added: “That is football. I don’t think we deserved to lose. The lads gave a much better performance (than in the midweek draw with Charlton) and we were very positive. “We have lost one in eight (league and cup games) so I don’t think we are in a trough. Are we in a trough? Absolutely not. I hope we keep getting these troughs because that’s one defeat in eight. “I think we were unlucky. If we deserved to get beaten then I would say so but we didn’t deserve to lose to Birmingham.  “I thought we tried hard, worked hard, and the problem was that we didn’t have enough creativity. We had a lot of the ball and got into the right areas. We just didn’t do enough with it.”United have an early chance to bounce back with tomorrow bringing a chance to progress to the Capital One Cup quarter-finals for the first time since 1996 when they reached the final. Premier League Southampton stand in the way and Warnock, missing the cup-tied Ryan Hall, is determined to progress. He said: “There is no pressure (tomorrow) so we can enjoy it. It will be a good night and a decent crowd, I am sure. We will see what develops. “We would like to go as far as we can. There is always a Championship club that isn’t far away, so why not us? It is at our place and we will give it a big crack. “I am not going to be resting people or putting out a weak team. I will put out the best side to win the game.” “We have had a timely reminder against an excellent side. We should not be conceding the three goals that we did just before half-time as they are unforgivable when you want to be winning football matches.”

Brum manager celebrates with goalscorer Lita

Sat Oct 27thLita strike sends Leeds to defeat at home…Leeds 0, Birmingham  (Lita 75)1 United: Kenny, Peltier, Lees White 82), Pearce, Pugh, Byram, Norris (Hall 82), Austin, Tonge, Diouf, Becchio. Subs: Ashdown, Drury, Green, Brown, Gray. Referee: G Salisbury Att: 22,152 (1,400 Birmingham) From the Official website. United manager Neil Warnock made changes after the midweek draw with Charlton, and Lee Peltier, Michael Tonge, and Rodolph Austin all returned from injury while Danny Pugh came into the starting line-up in the left-back berth. The visitors arrived on the back of a 3-3 draw at Millwall in midweek and they had the first real chance when Nathan Redmond headed a free-kick wide of the mark. Sam Byram,embarked on one good early run and Birmingham goalkeeper Jack Butland had to react quickly to collect a header from his own defender, but it was the visitors who started well and played some decent stuff. United’s best moment of the opening 20 minutes or so came when El-Hadji Diouf and Michael Tonge combined to play in Byram, but Butland managed to nip in before the United youngster. Shortly before the half-hour, Butland made a rather fortunate block to deny Austin after Danny Pugh found the Jamaican international well placed to unleash a powerful strike on goal. As the game headed towards half-time, United perhaps shaded proceedings, but both sides were looking to play some decent football, although chances were at a premium. United started the second half in positive fashion, and Birmingham had to do some early defending. David Murphy did well to clear away one dangerous ball in from Diouf. Diouf was a threat down the left, and Hayden Mullins halted one advancing run by the striker. Murphy also got in a vital block when Diouf turned and shot after a long ball forward from Paddy Kenny. Diouf also went close on 70 minutes when Byram sent in a good ball, and Butland had to react quickly when Luciano Becchio looked to follow up. But it was 1-0 to the visitors on 75 minutes when Leroy Lita scored with a thumping strike from distance which flew past Kenny. With eight minutes left on the clock, Warncok handed Ryan Hall his first opportunity in a Leeds shirt when he made a double change, Aidy White also coming on, as United looked for a leveller. United did look to press, but Butland did well in collecting balls into the box and he was well protected by a dogged back four as Leeds toiled without any real spark.On the occasion of his 40th birthday, Clark said: “The beer will certainly taste sweeter tonight, that’s for sure. I have family and friends coming down and they were hoping I would get a good result because they know what I am like when we lose. “They didn’t want a soppy faced 40-year-old hanging around them.” Clark was delighted with his team and added:”The first half set the tone. We dictated the tempo and did what we set out to do by nullifying the crowd. Leeds came at us a bit more in the second half but the lads stood strong and defended well.” Warnock : “I am hoping we can bring in new blood. I did ask about Lita before he went to Birmingham. “It would be nice to get everything sorted and bring two or three players in. I think we need something to change us and give us a lift here and there.” I’m fed up to the backteeth of the same bullshit from Warnock. It was he who brought in these players…eleven so far. We have absolutely no creativity with sterile midfielders like Nugent, Green, Brown and ping constant long balls. It’s like Trapattoni football. He has being saying we have no pace in our sde since last season yet this is his team. White and Byram are the only pacy players we have, apart from Poleon who has been sent out on loan to Bury, and guess what he scored again yesterday. He gave Hall just 7 minutes to make a difference even Houdini couldn’t do it seven minutes. Brum came here after drawing at shite Peterbro and have conceded 5 against Barnsley. Get you finger out Warnock. You say you are the only man for the job….so far you ain’t.

Oct 27thJOINT STATEMENT FROM LEEDS UNITED/GFH CAPITAL Advanced talks continue between Leeds United and GFH Capital…As an obligatory part of this stage of the talks, GFH Capital, which has already provided £2m to the Club with further funds available, has now provided the Leeds United FC owners and management with the necessary proof that it has the funds available to close this transaction. Leeds United chairman Ken Bates said: “It’s been a long road but we are in a good place. Both sides have been in talks over the last few days to finalise this deal. We are keeping focused and hope to complete very soon. The inaccurate reporting of certain journalists who will remain unnamed does not help the situation. Their articles, based upon a lack of knowledge of the intricacies of the deal and the full facts of the positive intentions of GFH Capital, achieve little and lead only to retractions or public apologies at a later date.” David Haigh, Deputy CEO, GFH Capital said: “With the money in place, we are poised to make this deal happen pending agreements and arrangements which are in the interests of the future of Leeds United – we need to make sure all the finer detail is addressed before trading signatures. Despite what has been said recently in media, both sides continue to talk regularly and continue to work hard to get the job done.” Salem Patel, Board Director and Chief Investment Officer, GFH Capital said: “We understand there is some concern related to how Leeds United would be run under our stewardship. It remains important to be clear that Shari’ah law will not hinder this transaction nor will it affect the future operations of the club. Our intention is to provide investment which will facilitate a successful and sustainable future for Leeds United on and off the pitch.”

Weds 24th. Charlton reaction Leeds manager Neil Warnock revealed he is hoping to reinforce his side after watching them play out a “lethargic” 1-1 draw against Charlton at Elland Road. Four days on from their controversial Yorkshire derby with Sheffield Wednesday, which ended with one of their fans being jailed for attacking Owls goalkeeper Chris Kirkland, United will be relieved their supporters were well behaved. It was not an evening either side will remember for long, though, as apart from a period either side of half-time which saw Leeds’ David Norris and Charlton’s Dorian Dervite trade goals, the football on offer was dull. Warnock said: “We were lethargic – plodders. It was a game we should have won so we are disappointed but we were holding on for a point at the end when Paddy Kenny had to make an excellent save. “Maybe it was the changes we had to make to the team, but if you get a point and play badly that’s something.”There was no zip about us, but I am talking to the chairman about trying to bring in some loan players because we need more options.” I’m sorry Neil I’m not having that. When you play Brown, Norris, and Green in midfield you have settled for no creativity. Too much is expected of Diouf for every game and if he has no service (which let’s face it the three listed players are not in the creation stakes) we don’t do anything. Becchio would have needed to be 7 foot 3 inches to reach most of the balls. We need width and pace and this was an ideal game to let Hall on for at least 25 minutes. It’s all very well being difficult to beat and having loads of heart but if it comes without threat or invention it’s not worth having. No takeover is no reason not to defat Charlton Atheltic at home, and to be clinging on at the end for a point is completely embarrasing.

Byram on the attack but no spark from Leeds

Tues Oct 23rdCharlton take a point from Elland Road…Leeds1 (Norris 36), Chatlton (Dervite 49) United: Kenny, Byram, Pearce, Lees, Drury, Green (White 65), Norris, Brown, Varney (Tonge 65), Diouf, Becchio (Gray 77). Subs: Ashdown, Kisnorbo, Pugh, Hall. Referee: N Miller.United manager Neil Warnock made four changes to his starting line-upwith Adam Drury, Luke Varney, David Norris, and Paul Green coming into the side. Rodolph Austin and Lee Peltier missed out through injury while Aidy White and Michael Tonge were among the subs. The first real chance of the game fell to Leeds after 11 minutes when Jason Pearce found space to plant a header over the bar. Moments later, Norris had shot blocked by Leon Cort after showing great skill following a poor Charlton clearance. It wasn’t the most inspiring of opening half hours with neither side finding any real fluency to take a grip on the game. Shortly after the half-hour, El-Hadji Diouf started a flowing move that ended with him trying to barge his way through the Charlton defence. But United were in front on 36 minutes when Varney headed down a Michael Brown ball into the box and Norris fired home from inside the box. The visitors had offered little in the way of a threat, but United had an escape moments before half-time when a cross took a deflection off Tom Lees and hit the woodwork. Charlton were level just minutes into the second half, though, with their first real shot of the night. Lawrie Wilson made a deft touch to Dorian Dervite whose strike from outside of the box squeezed in the far corner. Charlton also created an opening when Salim Kerkar couldn’t quite make a good connection inside the box as the cross came in. The second half was an open affair. Diouf won a couple of corners for Leeds and Charlton looked to attack down the flanks before delivering balls into the box. Chances were few and far between, though, and Paddy Kenny had to be alert to deny Chris Solly after one good move by the visitors. Kerkar also sent a shot wide after some decent play by Charlton. And Kenny had to spead himself well to make a great save in the final minute when Bradley Wright-Phillips got on the end of another low ball into the box. United pressed in stoppage time, the visitors had to hack away a Diouf corner, and from the Charlton break, Kenny had to pull off another fine save. In summary Leeds were shite tonight and against a half decent side they would have been comprehensively beaten. Barnsley played us off the park, as did Sheff Weds in the first half on Friday and again tonight we were well and truly second best. Colin got his tactics well and truly wrong. For God’s sake, when will he learn re Luke Varney ?  Green is obviously not fit still, but with a midfield of Norris, Green and Brown where is the creativity and where is the pace ? Tong has been our best midfielder in the past few weeks and he didn’t start. This was a game where we needed to start strongly with a quick tempo. We have been getting results of late irrespective of our performances, and eventually performances catch up with you. The ball got air sick at one stage and Cort thought it was Christmas with long ball after long ball being meat and drink to him. At one stage Becchio kicked the ball away into the East stand out of pure frustration lack of decent service. Forget about takeover, forget about Ken Bates, forget about lack of resources, forget about Tuesday nights, we have better team than Charlton and again we were putrid, and again our defence conceded. Is there a law about getting the ball down and passing it ? Warnock is becoming like Trapatonni. He will bore our fans out of Elland Road if this doesn’t improve. Yes we got a point but not good enough for me by a long chalk and we need to see 90% improvement against a better side on Saturday.

Oct 23rdVital Leeds. Takeover update.  Leeds United chairman Ken Bates says he hasn`t heard anything from GFH Capital in the past two weeks, the company who are wanting to takeover at Elland Road. GFH have signed an exclusive agreement with Leeds and announced themselves almost four weeks ago that they expected the deal to go through in the near future but Bates says he hasn`t heard from the company in two weeks. Speaking on Yorkshire Radio, Bates said, “It is now over two weeks since we had a big conference call to resolve outstanding matters and since then the other side have been silent. “The latest report is GFH might not invest in Leeds or might not be able to invest in Leeds because of a Sharia law, meaning you can`t smoke, can`t drink, can`t gamble and can`t do anything else but hang on, it hasn`t affected the Abu Dhabi`s purchase of Manchester City or the Kuwaiti`s purchase of Nottingham Forest.”The ball is in their court, I am waiting to hear from them.” The news is the latest in the saga that first started in May. Leeds first broke the news after much speculation regarding a possible investment on May 29th, when the club said they were in talks regarding an investment to secure the long-term future of the club. It was almost a month (June 26th) before the club released their next statement stating that they had entered an exclusivity period with the investor and they would now be allowed to carry out the appropriate due diligence into the club. At the time, they stated that they thought this would be a straight forward affair. There was nothing more from the club until August 9th when they announced that the exclusive period for the investors had now come to an end although they were still in discussions. Leeds United chairman Ken Bates then broke his own personal silence on the investment when the club issued a further statement credited to Bates on August 18th. What Bates did say was little to do with the takeover but he wished that the media and the fans would stop spreading rumours, but after three months of very little what did he expect. Leeds fans then had to wait over a month before any further news broke on the progression of the deal when Bates spoke before the game with Nottingham Forest (September 22nd).  GFH Capital then announced on September 27th that they had signed an exclusive agreement with Leeds regarding the takeover of the club. It is now October 23rd and we seem no closer to the takeover.

Tuesday 23rdTurn you back on the clowns.  Leeds United are urging the club’s fans to make a stand against vile chanting inside stadiums on matchdays. The club’s fans are being asked to turn their backs to the game in response to vile and sick taunts. The new campaign comes in the wake of the game at Sheffield Wednesday when both sets of fans exchanged sick chants. Leeds United CEO Shaun Harvey said: “In an age when so much has been done to improve the game’s image it is sickening that these vile chants can still be heard in and around stadiums up and down the country.”Our fans have been both the perpetrators and the victims of vile and sick chants, particularly with reference to our two fans who lost their lives in Istanbul 12 years, and we don’t believe there is any place for this in football.”We are asking our fans to show their feelings towards any vile chants they may hear by turning their backs in response rather than react in any other way.”The significance of asking fans to turn their backs is in keeping with the respect gestures made by our fans following the loss of Kevin Speight and Chris Loftus in Istanbul, and repeated on the 10th anniversary at Yeovil in 2010.”We are hoping that by our fans taking this action we can go some way to cleaning up this behaviour and send out a message that there is no place for this at Elland Road or any other football stadiums.”

Tues 23rdBates on the Cawley sentenceLeeds United chairman Ken Bates has launched a scathing criticism of the district judge for only sentencing the Leeds fan who slapped Sheffield Wednesday Chris Kirkland, to four months in prison. 21-year-old Aaron Cawley was sentenced on Monday at Sheffield Magistrates Court, just three days after the incident on Friday. Whilst Bates was full of praise for the Police, he feels the sentence given to Cawley was far too lenient and compared it to the person who swam in the Thames earlier this year, causing disruption to the Oxford v Cambridge boat race. Speaking on Yorkshire Radio, Bates said, “I was surprised. The person who jumped in the Thames and buggered up the boat race, they only dealt with him last week and the event happened in the Spring.”He committed the offence on Friday, he was identified and arrested on Saturday and brought immediately to Yorkshire spent the weekend in a Police cell. “That was great and congratulations to the Police but a scathing criticism for the district judge who only gave him 16 weeks. It is a disgrace. “The guy who jumped in the Thames didn`t threaten anybody other than himself, got 26 weeks. How can somebody who commits ABH only get four months? “He will be out in two; it should have been far more severe than that.”
Oct 22nd. From : “We all love Leeds”. This is probably the most sensible piece I have read about the whole incident. “I’m perplexed, a thug belts somebody on a football field and gets four months, I live in a town and if I did the same I would have thought it would have been a heavier sentence. Whatever the time given to the ‘lowlife’ it’s the reputation of the club which concerns me. The club has fortunately been out of the newspapers for the wrong reason for a considerable time, since the bad days of the eighty’s when I was openly spat at for being ‘a Leeds thug’ just for wearing my colours at a seaside resort in Wales. It is said give a dog a bad name and it will stick but thousands of loyal fans travel great distances to follow their team home and away, it would be a travesty if they are painted with the same brush as Aaron Cawley, who’s name will forever be associated with the unacceptable side of football underbelly. It can only be hoped that the FA will take into account the lack of stewards and police presence at the time of the attack. The majority cannot be attacked for a minority but I’m not so sure they won’t use Leeds United as a example… They usually do!”

Oct 22ndMuppet jailed for just 16 weeeks. A Leeds United fan has been jailed for 16 weeks today after he admitted attacking a Sheffield Wednesday goalkeeper during Friday night’s game. Aaron Cawley, 21, from Cheltenham, pleaded guilty to assault and invading the pitch during Sheffield Wednesday’s home match against Leeds. Cawley, who appeared at Sheffield Magistrates’ Court, was arrested after Wednesday keeper Chris Kirkland was pushed in the face during the game at Hillsborough. The incident was one of a number of ugly scenes at the Yorkshire derby, which ended in a 1-1 draw. Kirkland, who has played for England, was shoved to the ground moments after conceding an equaliser in the 76th minute. A man was clearly seen running from the Leeds fans onto the pitch and pushing Kirkland in the face before running back into the crowd. The incident was caught on camera by Sky Sports, which was broadcasting the game. Unemployed labourer Cawley stood in the glass-fronted dock wearing a blue T-shirt which left an“LUFC” tattoo clearly visible on his neck and a Leeds United club crest on his right arm. The court heard that he had been the subject of two football banning orders in the past, which he had breached four times. Despite living with his mother in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, he had supported Leeds United all his life and went to every game – home and away, a district judge was told. Prosecutor Paul Macaulay said Cawley told police he was so drunk he could not remember the incident, which has been seen by millions of TV viewers. District Judge Naomi Redhouse said she had not seen the footage and it was played for her in court today. Mr Macaulay said Cawley told officers he had drunk a number of cans of Stella Artois lager on Friday morning, followed by three-quarters of a litre of vodka – all before he got to Sheffield by train. Once in Sheffield, he had a further seven to 10 pints of cider, the court heard. District Judge Redhouse heard that Cawley, of Blenheim Square, Cheltenham, only realised what he had done when other people told him and then he saw himself clearly on TV. He emailed the police to say sorry and also emailed Sky Sports in the hope that his apology would be passed on to the two clubs and Kirkland. His solicitor, Elizabeth Anderton, tried to tell the judge that reports that her client had bragged about the incident in social networking sites were wrong. But District Judge Redhouse stopped her, saying she had not seen the reports and was not interested. Mr Macaulay told the court the incident happened in about the 77th or 78th minute of the match. Kirkland told police he had been already been hit by an object as he warmed up in front of the Leeds United fans after coming out for the beginning of the second half. The Leeds fans were in the Leppings Lane end of the ground – the area where the Hillsborough disaster claimed 96 lives in 1989. The prosecutor said Cawley came on to the pitch after Leeds scored and, when he stood in front of Kirkland, the goalie thought it was someone just “excessively celebrating” or “taking the mickey out of Mr Kirkland”. Mr Macauley described how Cawley then slapped the keeper on both sides of the face – hardest on the left-hand side. He said Kirkland told police it was like he had been “hit by a ton of bricks and went straight on the floor”. The prosecutor said Kirkland was not seriously injured and Cawley was quickly identified as the perpetrator on the internet.“This was not the most difficult police investigation,” Mr Macaulay said. He added that Cawley was fully co-operative with the police but told them he did not remember what happened after half-time because of his drunken state. He said he left the stadium before the end of the match and a steward opened a gate for him to leave. Cawley told police he had been drinking since 10am. “He saw exactly what he had done on TV although he did not recall what he’d done,” Mr Macaulay said. “He accepted it was clearly him on TV. He made email contact with South Yorkshire Police and Sky TV.” The court heard that in the emails he said: “It was a disgrace and I’m embarrassed by my actions.” He said he had “brought shame on Leeds United Football Club”. The court heard that Cawley has a long history of football-related offending. He was given a three-year football banning order in January 2008 at Leeds Crown Court and another at Derby Magistrates’ Court in November 2008 after breaches. When he breached that order in September last year he was given 10 weeks in a Young Offenders’ Institution. The court was told that Kirkland made a Victim Impact Statement which said: “I feel shocked, upset and angry. “I think the man is a thug and should be caught and put jail. “Anyone who supports what he’s done is just as bad.” Today, Cawley admitted common assault and going on to a football pitch. He was jailed for 16 weeks and ordered to pay £85 costs. The district judge said he will be given a new banning order, probably for five years, but the details of this will be sorted later. Ms Anderton asked the district judge to accept that her client pushed Kirkland rather than slapped him. She said Cawley had shown a “great deal of regret and remorse”. “It’s certainly not something he would ordinarily do,” she said. The solicitor said that, as well as drinking a huge amount of alcohol, her client had also not eaten before the match. She said: “He was absolutely disgusted by his own behaviour.” Ms Anderton said Cawley had lived in the Cheltenham area all his life and had inherited a love of Leeds United from his father. She said her client hoped his apology has reached Kirkland and the two football clubs involved. District Judge Redhouse said she had no choice but to impose an immediate custodial sentence. She said a huge effort had been made to tackle hooliganism in football and “make football an event where there’s no violence and where families are happy to attend with children”. She said footballers were at matches as part of their employment and everyone has the right to be “protected from being assaulted by a stranger” at work. The district judge also noted that, while she had heard all the evidence about how much Cawley had to drink, she did not see any evidence of his drunkenness on the TV footage she had been shown. Friday’s match was marred by a hostile atmosphere between the two sets of fans, culminating in the incident involving Cawley and Kirkland. Wednesday manager Dave Jones – himself the subject of vile chants – urged Leeds fans after the game to clean up their act. Jones, who was cleared of child abuse allegations in 2000, was disgusted by some of the chants directed his way, adding: “I heard a guy on the radio say I get well paid and it’s football banter. “That’s not football banter, I’ve had that for 12 years off them (football fans).” The Football Association has said it will investigate events. There were five arrests for various offences including public order before and after the game, while three people were ejected from the ground and 12 were subject to dispersal orders.

Oct 22nd. Jones wants to move on. SHEFFIELD Wednesday manager Dave Jones wants to draw a line under the crowd trouble which marred their 1-1 draw with Leeds United on Friday night, writes Dom Howson. Jones says he has “no desire to become embroiled in a tit-for-tat war of words” with their Yorkshire rivals after the derby was overshadowed by a Whites fan who invaded the pitch and attacked Owls goalkeeper Chris Kirkland. The Owls chief branded Leeds fans “as vile animals” and called for them to be banned from away grounds afterwards but Leeds chairman Ken Bates believes Jones should have criticised his own supporters for chanting about the murder of two Leeds fans in Istanbul 12 years ago. In a statement, Jones said: “While I have nothing but the highest regard for Ken and his considerable contribution to football over many decades, I feel compelled to issue a response to his comments published in the local media today. “I must make it clear that had I heard Sheffield Wednesday supporters chanting anything of an offensive or abusive nature on Friday evening, I would have rightly and roundly condemned them.There is no place in football or society for vile chants of any nature and I endorse that view completely.”

Oct 21st. Suspect identified and arrested. from To El and Back.Police have arrested a 21-year-old in connection with the attack on Chris Kirkland. The man was believed to have been picked-up in Cheltenhamon Sunday lunchtime. Around 1pm the Gloucestershire force announced” “The investigation is being led by South Yorkshire police. The man currently remains in police custody”.The Daily Mirror yesterday named Aaron Cawley as the suspect, a convicted football hooligan from Cheltenham who unfortunately chose to attach himself to our great club. Cawley has previous and plenty of it, he was banned from every football ground in the country aged just 16 for taking part in the violence after the fateful Leeds v Ipswich game in 2007 when we were relegated to League One and has since breached the order on THREE occasions. The last was in September 2011 when he was caught the previous November heading to Coventry in possession of a rail and match ticket. The order prohibits him from travelling to a city where Leeds are playing on the day of a game. Cawley claimed he was heading to the Bull Ring in Birmingham! Despite being caught red-handed, Cawley declared “I am not a hooligan. I just want to watch Leeds play again.” Proof that he is clearly not the sharpest tool in the box came yesterday when he posted“Chris Kirkland doesn’t want to press charges. That’s a proper result that is. “Just to let you no got home safe and sound just had sex and just been for s***.”And feel sorry for all you mugs phoning my old number enjoy.“Fair play to the mindless tails that wanna grass me up tell someone who gives a f***”A mobile number allegedly belonging to Cawley had been circulated on the Internet. As the heat closed in on Cawley, the coward deleted his Facebook page, however The Sun lifted a couple of photographs from it including one of a bespectacled Cawley as a child posing with former Whites’ striker Robbie Keane.Cawley will no doubt be transferred up to South Yorkshire at some point to face charges and lets hope he is remanded in custody.We still await the wisdom of Ken Bates on this incident, however he will surely be enjoying a glass of Sancerre or two with his Sunday Roast in the knowledge that somebody who is more unpopular and unwelcome at Elland Road does actually exist!

Disgusting scenes at Hillsbro

Oct 20th. Aftermath of clown attacking ‘keeper. The FootballAssociation is investigating the crowd trouble at the Championship match between Sheffield Wednesday and Leeds last night which saw home keeper Chris Kirkland attacked by a fan. A number of Leeds supporters ran on to the pitch after Michael Tonge equalised in the 1-1 draw at Hillsborough and one man confronted Kirkland before shoving him in the face with both hands, knocking him to the floor. An FA spokesman told Press Association Sport: “We are investigating the events of last night and awaiting the referee’s report.”The spokesman went on to say: “The FA condemns the scenes at Hillsborough last night. We have begun an immediate investigation and have been in contact with both clubs. “We would call for the authorities to identify and bring before the courts anyone who was involved in any form of criminal disorder.” Kirkland required medical treatment before he could continue and police are working to identify the man. Chief Superintendent Jason Harwin, of South Yorkshire Police, said a senior investigating officer would be working with a team of officers to identify those responsible for the disruption. He said there had been five arrests for various offences including public order before and after the game, while three people were ejected from the ground and 12 were subject to dispersal orders. In a statement released late last night, he added: “First I would like to thank members of the public who have contacted us with information to help in the ongoing investigations following the incidents at Hillsborough tonight. “Fans have now left the city and there has been no further reported incidents of violence and disorder.” Earlier he said there had been several incidents where seats and bottles were believed to have been thrown inside the ground. Leeds issued a statement after the game pledging to identify the man involved in the incident. It read: “Leeds United Football Club would like to publicly apologise and condemn the action of the fan who came on the pitch and attacked Sheffield Wednesday goalkeeper Chris Kirkland. “The club will fully co-operate with the police and the football authorities in identifying the individual concerned. “After the week football has endured there is no place for this type of behaviour and the majority of Leeds supporters will be ashamed of his actions.” The atmosphere grew increasingly poisonous throughout the match as both sets of fans traded unsavoury chants. A large number of the Leeds fans housed in the Leppings Lane End taunted Wednesday manager Dave Jones while the home supporters sang songs about two Leeds fans killed in Turkey in April 2000. Leeds supporters responded by throwing bottles on to the field and clashing with police. Jones was furious, branding the Leeds supporters “vile animals” and calling for them to be banned from every away ground. The Wednesday boss was also angry at the decision of Leeds boss Neil Warnock to take his players over to the away fans and applaud them. Jones said: “I really am fuming that he sent his players to clap them. For what? Wrecking a stadium? Beating up my goalkeeper? They need to clean their house and get it in order. And they should be banned from every away ground until they sort it out.” Immediately after the game, Warnock told Sky Sports he felt Kirkland had gone down too easily, but later called on the culprit to be jailed. He said: “It’s just so sad and disappointing. The club has made a statement and I’m pleased, we don’t condone that. I hope the authorities and constabulary take the appropriate action. Get him sent to prison and stop it.” Today Warnock, speaking to Sky Sports News, apologised for his post-match comment. Warnock said: “I was out of order saying that. There is nobody should be allowed to get on the pitch and do that to Chris. “It’s a minority who got on the pitch but you only need a small group, a few morons put everyone else to shame.”Warnock said that there had been offensive chanting by both sets of fans during last night’s match. “I talked to the Police afterwards. There were chants about Istanbul, Jimmy Saville, and I got abuse throughout the whole game. Dave got abuse too. I don’t see how anyone can enjoy it.”Ray Fell, the chairman of the Leeds United Supporters’ Club, wants action taken quickly against the assailant.He said: “The only hope for most of us is the police act quickly and this lad is brought to task for it. He let the club down and he let us all down.”Of Jones’ description of Leeds fans as vile animals, Fell added: “I think, in fairness to him, no-one likes and I certainly deplore the chanting that went on. I can understand his anger at that.”Gary Cooper, chairman of the Leeds United Supporters Trust, said banning Leeds fans from away games would not be a proportionate response. He said: “I’m very disappointed by the comments of Dave Jones last night. I realise it was an emotionally-charged situation, but Mr Jones singles out Leeds United supporters, he calls them vile animals. Is that really fair? “As Leeds fans we sort of understand where Mr Jones is coming from because, for a decade or more, we’ve put up with the kind of vile chanting we got from his own supporters last night. “If we’re going to deal with issues in the game, then let’s deal with them, but don’t single us out. You don’t ban all Leeds fans because of the actions of one individual.”Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. Kirkland, who was attacked by a Leeds fan, told the Daily Mail: “I was gutted with conceding and had my head down after I kicked the ball down the field so we could restart the game. “At first I was staring at the ground but when I looked up, I caught a glimpse of someone coming towards me on the pitch. “I thought he was going to give me some abuse but then suddenly he came at me with both hands and I was stunned. “I felt the full force and I was just shocked because you never know what could have been in his hands. “I was sore and really shocked at what happened. “My mind then turned to the possibility of winning the game because we had played ever so well and there were still 15 minutes to go. The rest of the game flew by and then, after the final whistle, the adrenalin goes and you reflect on something like that. It was scary. “I thought of my family watching something like that and it was not a nice feeling to think my daughter saw me assaulted. “I want the authorities to look at what happened and take the appropriate action because, sooner or later, we could be talking about something even more serious.”   

Jones comments that of a manager under pressure

19 Oct 2012Honours end even at Sheffield Wednesday...Sheff Weds  1 (Bothroyd 43), Leeds 1 (Tonge 76) Leeds: Kenny, Peltier (Varney 68), Lees, Pearce, White, Austin (Norris 46), Brown,Tonge, Byram,Becchio, Diouf. Subs: Ashdown, Drury, Green, Gray, Hall Referee: E Ilderton Booked: Jones, Gardner (Weds) Att: 28,582 (5,300 including one idiot Leeds). Manager Neil Warnock was able to name an unchanged side for the televised trip to Sheffield Wednesday as United returned to league action after the international break. New loan signing Ryan Hall was on the subs bench. It was a disjointed opening 10 minutes or so, but Wenesday had the first proper sight on goal when Paddy Kenny appeared to flap at a shot from distance – but the ball came back off the bar and into the United keeper’s hands. The Owls, who were enduring a barren run, appeared to take heart from the early moments and a well crafted chance was wasted with a poor finish. Home goalkeeper Chris Kirkland was called into action on 20 minutes, though, when he had to be alert to claw away a well struck free-kick from Michael Tonge. But the hosts felt aggrieved before the half-hour when their appeals for a penalty fell on deaf ears after claims that Luciano Becchio had handled a corner. The home side were having the better of things, but when Tonge almost picked out Becchio with a cross, Wednesday goalkeeper Kirkland was all at sea, and you sensed a vulnerability at the back for Wednesday. The first half was petering out into something of a stop-start affair with little fluency and the home side were clearly getting frustrated that they had not had the chance to build some momentum given their bright start. But they did get their breakthrough two minutes before the interval when Jay Bothroyd converted a set piece with a well-placed header to beat the outstretched Kenny. Warnock made a change at half-time with Rodolplh Austin, who had returned after the lengthy trip to represent Jamaica, being replaced by David Norris in the midfield. There were a couple of early bookings for the home side as their physical approach continued and Tonge sent a free-kick just over Kirkland’s bar after one foul on the edge of the box. As the game passed the hour mark there was little in the way of entertainment as the clash was shaping up to be a real scrappy affair, but Bothroyd did fluff a half-chance for the home side. Anthony Gardner also won a corner after his shot was turned over the bar. On 65 minutes, it was United who went on the front foot and after Michael Brown had a shot blocked there were appeals for a handball after Norris had an effort blocked. United made an enforced change moments later when skipper Lee Peltier, who appeared to have picked up a knock, was replaced by Luke Varney. And United were level with less than 15 minutes on the clock when Michael Tonge lashed home an equaliser. The celebrations were marred as Wednesday goalkeeper Kirkland received treatment following an apparent incident in the aftermath of the goal. There were little in the way of further chances for either side as the game headed towards the five additional minutes of stoppage time. All the talk naturally surrounded the idiot (who it turns out comes from Cheltenham – Stick to the races you clown)who  attacked Sheff Weds ‘keeper, Chris Kirkland.  Leeds were extraordinarily poor tonight, especially in the first half when we were lucky to go in just one down. Austin was obviously suffering from jet lag and possibly an injury, but there was little excuse for the other players who were not on international duty. Leeds lack of pace throughout the team was badly exposed and Weds were first to every ball. Becchio was lucky not to concede a penalty and possibly stay on the pitch at the same time. Leeds are nothing if not determined and did well to battle back into the game. When Tonge scored there was only going to be one winner. Sadly an eejit attacking Chris Kirkland halted all of that and now you will hear calls  for banning Leeds fans from all grounds in the country. That’s not the answer. There were  vile chants from both sets of supporters, not just Leeds United fans,  a fact Dave Jones seems to ignore. Hopefully he too will regret some of his comments after the game which tarnish all Whites fans, including LUSC Louth branch. Colin’s comments about the keeper going down easily were ill judged and wisely retracted. Nobody can condone what happened but the stewarding of 5,200 fans should be done properly, especially for a feisty Yorkshire derby and in a ground which hasn’t endeared itself to safety in the past. This was not the case. One idiot who already has banning orders against him shouldn’t be allowed in the ground and how he got on and off the pitch with minimal fuss makes the South Yorkshire club’s security look like amateur hour. How Leeds United gave this idiot a ticket in the first half needs also to be investigated . Sadly this story is going to run and run and the last thing we want is for this shameful incident to tarnish our season and our great club. The managers : “They are vile animals,”Dave Jones said. “You talk about racism, the chanting, that’s a form of racism. And then (for the Leeds players) to go and wave at them… not in my book. You don’t wave at them after that.”I thought it had gone out of our game. The authorities have to look at it and sort it. I’m talking about an incident when we should be talking about the football. We’re talking about vile animals. That’s what they are. We talk about racism, but that, we need to sort that.” Jones went on to criticise opposite number Warnock for allowing his players to clap the fans at the end of a game which finished 1-1, adding: “We talk about morals and they go and wave at them…” Meanwhile, Warnock called for Kirkland’s assailant to be given a prison sentence as he described the events at Hillsborough as “an absolute disgrace”. Warnock told Sky Sports 1: “Dave (Jones, Wednesday manager) was saying we shouldn’t thank the crowd but our crowd were fantastic but we’ve got one moron and I can’t tolerate that.”

Oct 18thGFH put “£6M into Leeds”. THE Dubai-basED company looking to buy Leeds United invested £2m in the club this summer – with a source close to the bidders claiming today that the total cash injection was nearer to £6m. Documents submitted to Companies House a fortnight ago revealed a seven-figure payment made by GFH Capital to United’s parent company, Leeds City Holdings Limited. A source at GFH Capital, spoken to by the Yorkshire Evening Post, claimed the £2m figure was around “a third of the money” put into United by the club’s prospective owners since takeover talks began. Companies House shows no reference to other payments, however, and the source was unable to confirm how or when additional investment was made. The transfer of £2m is understood to have taken place during the summer when Leeds were rebuilding their squad and talks between the board at Elland Road and GFH Capital were gathering speed. United have been in negotiations with GFH Capital – a private equity firm wholly owned by Bahraini investment bank Gulf Finance House – over a £52m buy-out of the club for almost five months. The protracted process and investigations into the financial state of Gulf Finance House raised concerns about GFH Capital’s ability to finance a takeover. However, the company has argued its business is separate to that of Gulf Finance House and that it has the cash needed to buy United. It is yet to reveal where that money will come from but a document drawn up for Companies House confirms GFH Capital paid £2m for a “mortgage of shares” in Leeds City Holdings Limited, the firm which owns Leeds. The YEP’s source said: “The company has always maintained that when it takes control of the club, major investment will be made in the football side of the business. The £2m payment is only part of what’s been transferred to Leeds United to help with the running of the club and the signing of players. It’s around a third of the money GFH Capital has paid. It demonstrates that GFH Capital’s commitment to this deal is very strong and that the company has the funds available to complete a cash purchase.”

Oct 18th. Team news for Friday night’s Championship clash between Sheffield Wednesday and Leeds United at Hillsborough. Sheffield Wednesday pair Gary Madine and Joe Mattock are both hoping to shake off a virus in time to face Leeds. The Owls squad has been hit by a bug this week with striker Madine and right-back Mattock the latest to be affected, but manager Dave Jones has no new injury or suspension problems. Defender Reda Johnson will be sidelined for a further four to six weeks with the foot injury that has forced him to miss the last five matches, while midfielder Chris Lines remains sidelined with a groin injury. Kieran Lee (foot) came through a behind-closed-doors friendly unscathed in midweek and is expected to be back in contention. Manager Dave Jones must decide whether to stick with a 4-3-3 formation, leaving Chris O’Grady on his own up front with Jay Bothroyd out wide on the right, or revert back to a 4-4-2. Wednesday, who have taken only one point from their last seven league matches, face their Yorkshire rivals for the first time in over five years. Leeds’ latest signing Ryan Hall will go straight into the squad for Friday night’s clash. Manager Neil Warnock has injury concerns over Michael Tonge and Rudy Austin, who are both doubtful, but fellow midfielders David Norris and Paul Green are both available. Tonge sustained a shoulder injury in the recent win over Barnsley, while Austin, who has been on international duty with Jamaica, has been carrying an ankle injury.Norris returned to the bench against the Tykes following a torn thigh muscle and was a replacement for Tonge early in the second half, while Green, sidelined since mid-August with a knee injury, was an unused substitute in the same match. Warnock has no other new injury or suspension issues, but striker Ross McCormack remains sidelined with an ankle injury as Leeds look to extend their unbeaten league run to five matches.

New signing Hall

Oct 18th. Winger completes move and is determined to take second chanceLeeds United have signed Southend United winger Ryan Hall on loan until January with a view to a permanent move. The 24-year-old scored 14 goals and claimed 25 assists, the highest in the league, for the Shrimpers last season and has attracted interest from both Peterborough United and Blackpool. Hall, who made over 100 appearances for Southend, scoring 23 goals, is known to United manager Neil Warnock after starting his career at Crystal Palace. “I’ve known Ryan for many years and was a big fan of his at Crystal Palace,” said the boss. “All credit to him to come back into my thoughts. I’m looking for a player of his quality. I don’t know if he can do it at this level yet, but he offers something different in the squad. He can give us an option where we could change a game.” Hall also endured a torrid time off the field at Southend. In March 2011 he was sentenced to 20 weeks imprisonment after pleading guilty to affray after an incident outside a Southend nightclub at the club’s Christmas party. He was granted bail pending an appeal against the severity of the sentence, and his sentence was reduced to 12 weeks, with the sentence suspended for a year, and 150 hours of community service. “I’m not right every time, but I do forgive and forget,” said the boss. “I always remember one player who had everything but had a few off the field problems. I told him he could go either way. To the top or otherwise. Unfortunately it was the latter. “Ryan has to put his own house in order, but this is a great opportunity for him. He needs to get away from the South and grasp the opportunity we’ve given him.”He can take people on for fun. I love people who can do that. It’s nice to see. We have a wide pitch and we need people like that who can open defences up.” Hall will go straight into the squad for Friday’s trip to Sheffield Wednesday. New United signing Ryan Hall says he is determined to take the second chance offered by manager Neil Warnock. The pairing previously worked together at Crystal Palace, but by the winger’s own admission, Warnock had to let him go from Selhurst Park. He has since re-emerged as a force at Southend United and the United boss has snapped him up on loan until January with a view to a permanent move. “I’ve been given a second opportunity by the gaffer and I want to grab it with both hands,” said Ryan. “I had him at Crystal Palace and he was a great manager, but I got into a bit of trouble in the wrong place and he had to let go of me. “He said to me then ‘go get your head down and do what you do best’ and he’s come back for me.”It’s a great step and hopefully I can show people what I can do,” said Ryan. “It’s a massive chance for me. “Once I heard there was an opportunity to come here I felt things would go well and I want to take the opportunity to try and play. “The gaffer has told me to keep my head down. It’s time I settled down and played. I would say that I’ve changed. I just want that chance to push on now and say ‘this is me.’ My family are over the moon I’m here and I want to make them proud.” Ryan arrives with a reputation as one of the brightest young talents in the Football League and the boss has said he believes he will add another dimension to his squad. “Hopefully I can get balls in the box, gets shots off, and score as many as I can,” added the winger. “Neil Warnock played me in the Championship before so I know I can play there. I’ll be patient and wait for my chance. I’ll keep doing extras in terms of topping up my fitness”. Paul Sturrock from Southend had this to say : “A lot of i’s and t’s have been dotted and crossed since Ryan decided he wanted to move on. “The way it has been handled has been horrible as he has taken advice that I feel is the wrong advice. “Anthony Grant walked away properly with his head held high and I would have expected that from Ryan. “He has rushed to move on for all sorts of reasons, which is why it has turned out this way. “I don’t hold grudges though as I feel Ryan has been of a great benefit to the football club. “He doesn’t leave under a cloud I just feel he went about it the wrong way.“He didn’t listen, he felt other people had the best way out for him, but I’d like to think after 38-years in the game I know how it should be done. “He is a quality player though so I wish him all the best.”

Oct 18thPlay-offs firmly on agenda – By Lash for Cash Lorimer.I’m not looking to put any pressure on the players at Leeds United but in my opinion they’ve shown themselves to be major contenders for the Championship play-offs. To be joint sixth after 10 games is proof of that, especially when you consider who those games were against – Bolton, Blackburn, Blackpool and Cardiff to name only four opponents. It’s been a hell of a start and, all things considered, a hell of a run of form. At no stage was I entirely confident about how the initial part of the season would go. I had plenty of faith in the players and the management team at Elland Road but with the way the fixture list fell, Leeds could have been anywhere in the table at this stage. If I’d been told that the club would lie seventh with almost a quarter of the season gone, I’d have taken that – and so, I believe, would everyone at the club. It’s easy enough to admire the results but I’ve been just as impressed by the attitude and the desire of the team. They’ve picked up points from games where they seemed to be in trouble – I’m thinking of the draws with Blackburn and Bolton – and they’ve coped pretty well with a schedule which could hardly have been busier. Their form so far is even more impressive when you consider that, the international breaks aside, United have not had a Tuesday off since the Championship season began. That’s not a big deal for a large and healthy squad but it becomes an issue when you lose players to the sort of injuries we’ve seen at Elland Road. With the likes of Ross McCormack, Paul Green and David Norris, their recovery time was set at a month at least. Green missed the best part of two months and it seems unlikely that McCormack will be back before Christmas. In those situations, you’re not talking about the odd game here or there. You’re talking about gaps in the squad for long, inconvenient periods. The upshot is that Rodolph Austin has started every match so far and so has Jason Pearce. Luciano Becchio’s missed only one game and El-Hadji Diouf has played some part in all of them. That’s not asking the impossible of professional players but it’s far from ideal from a manager’s point of view. You’re more vulnerable to things like fatigue and loss of form and less able to be unpredictable with your team selections and tactics. If we’re honest, the last couple of months had the potential to go badly wrong but Leeds have come through them well. They now have the advantage of resuming the season in a stronger state. Norris is back to full fitness and so is Green. There are slight doubts about Austin and Michael Tonge but we seem to be talking about minor injuries rather than major worries. It’s also good to hear that we’ve got Ryan Hall coming in from Southend. He’s a player who offers natural width and that’s something the squad lacks. I also think we’d benefit from bringing in another centre-half, just to provide a bit of cover and reduce the need for Lee Peltier to move across two or three positions. Fill the odd gap and this squad will have a great shout of finishing in the top six. Without being perfect, they couldn’t have hoped for a better start. Give me a bucket Lash. Hopefully the new people when they come in will dispense with your services so you can spend more time in that illustrious establishment of yours “The Commercial”.

Tues Oct 17thI turned down Leeds and Forest to play for Wolves” – Jermaine Pennant  Birmingham Mail. Jermaine Pennant rejected two bids to join Wolves. Jermaine Pennant has revealed he turned down former club Leeds United and hometown club Nottingham Forest. The winger was wanted on loan but opted for Molineux.”Leeds and Nottingham Forest were options”, he said. “But no disrespect to either, because theyre great clubs and going to either one of them would have been good, career-wise and for football reasons, Wolves is closer to home. They’re doing great in the league and they’re a massive club which has just come out of the Premier League.”They’ve kept some of their best players as well so I thought they’d be the best club for me. I was surprised and I was shocked that I got the news that I was available for a loan move. I spoke to my agent and it probably took a week for us both to agree to say do you know what? It might not be a bad idea. We thought about which teams and what would be the best option and chose Wolves.” Pennant is into the final nine months of his contract at Stoke. Good form over the next three months can put him in the shop window for a move from Stoke. “They probably will want me to stay longer than three months if it all goes well. I’m sure if all goes well, Wolves will as well. Im into my last year of my contract in January, Ill have six months left so there will be a lot to discuss. It seems a long way away at the minute, but well see what happens.” It is the cliched win-win situation for both clubs and for Pennant. But he warns it will only come through graft.”You can’t lose if you apply yourself properly,” he said. “I’ve come in to do a job for the club, for myself and for Stoke as well. “If I want to fight for my place and get my place back, I’ve got to produce the goods at Wolves. If I dont get great reviews here, its going to harm my chances. “I’ve got to show why I’m a Premier League player here.” Pennant says the critics would be wrong to suggest he is after an easy life. “People probably will look at it as a come-down but for me, it’s not at all. “I think it’s an opportunity to show other teams and my own manager that Ive still got that hunger for the game and still as sharp and as good as ever.”People say that at 29 you’re at your peak, so hopefully my last few years will be the best I can give.”Hopefully I can show that with my performances for Wolves and that it will take off for me here.”Hopefully good things can come from this deal for both parties.” Personally  I can’t see (a) him being a Colin kind of player and (b) us affording his wages. Ultimately no loss.

Weds Oct 17thHall won’t let us down” – Warnock By Phil Hay YEP. Leeds United manager Neil Warnock has backed Ryan Hall to grasp a second chance under him with the pair set to meet today to finalise Hall’s transfer from Southend United. Warnock confirmed that a deal to bring the 24-year-old to Elland Road on loan with a view to a permanent move in January was “just about there” with Friday night’s Yorkshire derby against Sheffield Wednesday looming. Leeds have been working to sign Hall for a number of weeks, stepping in after Blackpool failed with a bid to take the winger to Bloomfield Road, and Warnock is poised for a reunion with a player he previously managed at Crystal Palace. Hall turned professional with Palace and made his debut under Warnock in 2007 but he was allowed to leave Selhurst Park less than a year later following off-field issues and loan spells with Crawley Town and Dagenham and Redbridge. He joined non-league Bromley before returning to the Football League with Southend in 2010. Hall finished last season as Southend’s top scorer, claiming 14 goals. Warnock told the YEP: “I’m seeing him today and we’re just about there. It’s an opportunity for both of us.“He’s a proper winger who can play on both sides and he definitely has goals in him. But it’s a great move for him too and I hope that’s how he sees it.“He’s similar to a few players in that he made mistakes in the early part of his career and, to be honest, that’s why I got rid of him at Palace. But he obviously listened to what was said at the time because he got his head down, went to Southend and built himself up again”. Room mate for Diouf ? Let’s hope he does as well as Maxi Twist Gradel for us.

Oct 17th. Donny and Leeds to be fined. Leeds and Doncaster Rovers have been fined for their part in the brawl that marred the February derby clash between the two clubs. Leeds were handed the punishment and warned about their future conduct after admitting a charge of misconduct over the incident on February 18. United’s 3-2 victory over Doncaster – played on the day of Neil Warnock’s appointment as Leeds manager – ended with players from both sides fighting in the tunnel shortly after the final whistle. Trouble flared after Leeds fought back from two goals down to win the game with a goal from Luciano Becchio scored seven minutes into stoppage-time. A Football Association inquiry was delayed while West Yorkshire Police investigated the fracas but the governing body has finally delivered its verdict almost eight months after the Championship fixture took place. Doncaster received a fine of £20,000 having also admitting a breach of FA rule E20(a). United’s penalty is half the maximum £50,000 permitted by FA guidelines for the charge brought against the club. Leeds were accused of a “failure to ensure its players and/or officials conducted themselves in an orderly fashion and/or refrained from provocative behaviour.” The club were previously found guilty of the same offence in May 2011 following a brawl in a game against Burnley. United received a penalty of £12,500 and were“severely warned” about their future conduct having paid a fine of £7,500 after a similar incident at Nottingham Forest earlier in the 2010-11 season.

Weds Oct 17t –Leeds United Investor GFH Has ‘Little Financial Fire Power – Sports Business Daily Global. Accounts of its Bahrain parent company Gulf Finance House show that the Dubai-based investment firm negotiating to takeover Championship club Leeds United, one of English football’s most-famous clubs, “appears to have little financial fire power to complete the deal,” according to Sa’Pinto, French & Weir of REUTERS. According to an internal document from ’10 reviewed by Reuters and verified by four former insiders, the Bahrain company had “previously taken big fees from projects that rarely see completion.” Dubai-based GFH Capital “is in exclusive talks to buy Leeds, which it estimates has a market value of around £52M ($83M).”However, the GFH group “had more than a quarter of a billion dollars of accumulated losses and less than $6M in cash at the end of June.”Leeds Supporters’ Trust Chair Gary Cooper said, “Words don’t buy football clubs; Money buys football clubs. We would expect to see evidence of GFH’s ability to fulfill their claims and promises in the very near future after the takeover.” GFH Capital CEO David Haigh said that“his company had the resources to complete the transaction and buy new players, but gave no further details on the deal, citing a non-disclosure agreement during negotiations.” GFH Capital said that “it can afford the investments to get the club back into the Premier League and buy back the stadium.” The group’s accounts “present a more more equivocal picture.” After losing more than a billion dollars in ’09 and ’10, the group reported a profit of just $381,000 in ’11 — less than a month’s pay for a top EPL player — after “slashing staff costs and canceling staff bonuses already accounted for in previous financial statements”.

Oct 17thWhites are bang on course – Norris from YEP. David Norris declared himself “happy” with Leeds United’s position in the Championship table as he outlined the consistency needed to take the club into the play-offs. The experienced midfielder, who has returned to full fitness from a torn thigh muscle, believes United’s season is shaping up as planned after a return of 17 points from their first 10 games left them on the verge of the Championship’s top six. Leeds are level on points with sixth-placed Huddersfield Town and only four behind Leicester City – the team who hold the division’s second automatic promotion position – having navigated their way through an intense start to the season. Norris watched five of United’s Championship matches from the sidelines after sustaining an injury in last month’s 3-3 draw with Blackburn Rovers but he appeared as a substitute during the second half of United’s win over Barnsley on October 6 and has returned with the club in encouraging form after five games without defeat. The 31-year-old – a veteran of numerous Championship campaigns – said the squad at Elland Road were satisfied with their start but aware of the importance of remaining in touch with the league’s play-off zone throughout the term. United’s season resumes after the international break against Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough on Friday night. “I think we’re happy with where we are,” said Norris. “The teams that do well and are around the play-offs or the top two (in May) will have been there throughout the season. If we want to have aspirations of being in the play-offs, we’re going to have to do the same. “There’ll be games we draw when we should have won, like the Blackburn game. But there’ve also been games where we didn’t play so well but picked up points. It’s typical of this league and it’s a good sign.” Norris contributed heavily to United’s performances during the first month of the season but he was ruled out for four weeks after scans in the aftermath of their draw with Blackburn revealed that he had suffered a muscle tear. He rejoined Neil Warnock’s squad for the visits to Bristol City and Bolton Wanderers but did not feature in either game. United’s manager planned to delay Norris’s comeback until after the international break but the midfielder was called up from the bench against Barnsley following an injury to Michael Tonge. The break which arrived after the clash with Barnsley gave Tonge a fortnight to recover from damaged shoulder ligaments but Norris said: “It didn’t come at an ideal time for me. I’d only just come back and I was raring to get more training time under my belt and a few more games.“The injury was frustrating but it happened in the last international break so I missed a couple of weeks when we had no games. Timing-wise, if it is going to happen then that’s a good time.“I was pretty pleased with the way I started and, hopefully, I can continue that and the team can continue their good form.”Norris, meanwhile, added his voice to the flurry of praise for El-Hadji Diouf’s impressive impact at Elland Road. The former Liverpool forward, who joined Leeds on a half-season contract in August, made his first start for the club in their draw with Blackburn and came to prominence last month, scoring twice in a 3-2 win at Bristol City and flourishing during the United’s unbeaten run. Diouf, 31, was without a club when he first moved to Elland Road on a non-contract basis but his performances prompted his agent, Willie McKay, to push for talks about a longer deal. Norris said:“When he first came in he needed match time and fitness but he’s shown in the last few games what he’s all about and what he’s still got.“We all knew he was a good player. He went for £10m at one point so we knew he would have quality. But his hunger and desire to do well and be a team player has impressed me. He’s been a great signing so far.”

Oct 17thBlackwell grateful to WarnockBury boss Kevin Blackwell has publicly thanked Neil Warnock for agreeing to send teenagers Dominic Poleon and Zac Thompson out on loan. Defender Thompson scored on his debut for bottom club Bury in a 1-1 home draw with Carlisle on Tuesday night when a stoppage-time goal denied Blackwell his first win since taking charge of the Shakers, while striker Poleon played for all but the final four minutes. “I can’t thank Neil Warnock enough,” said Blackwell, who played and coached under Warnock at various clubs, including Huddersfield, Bury and Sheffield United, during a 14-year period before their friendship cooled when the former opted to leave Bramall Lane in 2003 to coach at Leeds. “Neil has to take a lot of credit for what happened here on Tuesday evening.”He gave me an opportunity for me to get two players in that a couple of clubs were after so I have to thank Leeds United and Neil Warnock in particular.”The two young lads from Leeds were absolutely out on their feet after that. For them, the warm up matters, every time they train matters, when they travel in – it matters and I’m really pleased with both of them, the whole team.” Good to see that Colin and Blackie have buried the hatchet and not in each others’ heads.

Oct 16thThompson and Poleon join former Leeds boss at Bury.Bury have captured Leeds United duo Zac Thompson and Dominic Poleon on one-month youth loan deals. The two young professionals link up with former United boss Kevin Blackwell, who took charge of the Shakers last month. Poleon, 19, has made five appearances for Leeds’ first team this season and scored his first goal for the club in their 2-1 win over Nottingham Forest last month. Thompson, also 19, penned a new three-year deal before the international break but has found his opportunities limited since the start of the new season. Both players will stay at Gigg Lane until November 17 after Whites boss Neil Warnock insisted he was keen to see both players gain some experience and regular football elsewhere. Bury are currently bottom of npower League One and have yet to record a victory this season.

Oct 16thConfidence abounds ahead of Sheff Weds trip – By Eddie Gray  YEP.We resume after the international break with a short trip to Hillsborough to face Sheffield Wednesday on Friday night in front of the Sky cameras and it is fair to say they will certainly be under a little bit of pressure. Looking at the league table, they are in the bottom three and haven’t won for eight matches after a good start to the Championship season. Their home form has been pretty average and while they have won a couple, they have already lost three games and for me, it’s a really good opportunity for us to go down there and win the game. Our boys have been playing with a lot of confidence, in contrast to Wednesday and our away record is fairly decent. We look capable of scoring goals, while at home, Wednesday have shown they have conceded a few – ten in total already, which is quite a lot, so that gives us further encouragement. Leeds have had a decent return over the years and Hillsborough has been a happy hunting ground and I’m sure the players will be looking forward to this one. I think the players will have been glad of the break. I know a lot of people thought it might have come at the wrong time for us because we had been going so well, but I actually thought the opposite. They will be refreshed and up for what will be a big derby game, where we will be backed by 5,000 of our supporters. Looking at the Championship table, it hasn’t really settled down yet.Cardiff and Leicester City may be the top two, but there’s only five points 
between us, in seventh, and Cardiff, who are top, so the gap is not a big one.There is nothing in the league at the minute. For us, it was important we kept around that top-six mark ahead of the international break and it was something we managed and we are in an encouraging position and one that we can build on in the run-up to the busy Christmas period and the new year. Leicester are in a good position and I’ve no doubt that they will be thinking about taking charge now. They seem a solid outfit and they had got a bit of stability to their side now and their home form has been particularly impressive.They have played five and won five and scored ten goals and conceded just twice. It is the same with Cardiff, to be fair, who have won their five games as well, scoring 11 and letting in three and looking impressive. Home form will be massively important to whoever get promoted. If we are going to go up, you simply have to be strong at home and it’s that which will get you there. Basically, while you pick things up away from home, the bedrock has got to be the home form. Looking at our home form, we’ve won three out of five and lost just once and it’s going alright, certainly in comparison to last season. As for the stand-out players, the first person you have got to say is El-Hadji Diouf. I, along with everyone else, have been very impressed with him. He’s a top player, everyone knows that. I’ve got to mention Sam Byram as well. He’s come into the side and looked a natural and slotted in really well. The good thing also for Neil now is that he has got the likes of Paul Green and David Norris fit again and they will be pushing for places in the midfield and there will be competition there, which is welcome. If Neil was looking at re-entering the transfer market, I would think he would be looking at a centre-back/centre-forward; just in case we get any injuries in those areas. In terms of other players, Rodolph Austin, has also done really well. I know Neil is just keeping his fingers he comes back from international duty on Thursday with no injuries or jetlag as he will have had a long trip again. I suppose the one consolation if anything happens is that we do have midfielders waiting in the wings that are fit and raring to go.

Weds Oct 10th. Joint statement from GFH Capital and LUFC. Today Leeds United and GFH Capital released a joint statement regarding the continuing takeover situation. The statement was subtitled ‘Parties move to quell speculation’ but if anything raises more questions than it answers. David Haigh from GFH Capital states that no one from the company has been in contact with the Leeds United Supporters Trust which is a direct contradiction to the statement released by LUST last night. The statement reads; Following the latest bout of speculation, which included a number of inaccurate media reports and a statement from the Leeds United Supporters Trust which stated the group had been in direct contact with GFH Capital, the two parties have moved to clarify the situation. David Haigh, Deputy CEO, GFH Capital said: “A lot of nonsense has been written and said by people claiming to have ‘sources’ or inside knowledge, which has resulted in incorrect media reports and even quotes, but as noted before there are confidentiality clauses that are in place, and we are both respectful of those. We are focusing on the transaction and not rumour. “The importance for us to talk to the numerous fans and supporter groups of Leeds United on the acquisition of the club cannot be underestimated but at this time, we have to respect the confidentialities of a deal of this nature. “As such, neither I nor any employee of GFH Capital has been in discussions with the LUST. This is clear from some of the detail within a recent statement from LUST, notably, how GFH Capital ‘has only emerged as potential buyers in the last six weeks.’ In truth, GFH Capital has been working with the current Club owners since June. Salem Patel, Board Director and CIO, GFH Capital said: “Both GFH Capital and the current owners of Leeds United are working hard to ensure as swift a conclusion to this deal as possible and we appreciate the patience and understanding of those waiting for a positive announcement. We will be talking to the various Leeds United supporter groups and their members as soon as we are able.” Leeds United CEO Shaun Harvey said: “There has been a lot of comments from many different quarters as to the proposed investment in Leeds United. As with all speculation not all of it’s correct. And we are pleased that both are able to clarify the situation.” Personally I look forward to LUST’s response to this because we have seen from our own SC’s dealings with LUST that Gary Cooper hasn’t endeared himself to all. So if LUST isn’t privy to GFH’s dealings just what is their agenda ? Why hasn’t GFH come out earlier than now with any statement ? Is Ken Bates trying to put the knife into LUST before he hibernates in Monaco with his booty ?   Maybe Pamela Anderson has all the answers. The confusion goes on and on and on.

Weds Oct 10th. Telegraph. Leeds United buyer Gulf Finance House holds less than £3.6m in cash The Middle East investment-banking group poised to take over Leeds United held less than £4million in cash in June this year, £800million less than at the end of 2008, Daily Telegraph analysis can reveal Bahrain-based Gulf Finance House is the parent company of GFH Capital, which has been in talks with Ken Bates over a buy-out since early summer. According to the stockmarket-listed accounts of the parent company, at the end of June this year the former held only £3.64million in cash, down from £804million at the 2008 year-end. “The financials are the parent company’s not ours,” GFH Capital’s chief executive, David Haigh – who is expected to take up a role – toldThe Daily Telegraph“All I can say is the money is available but I can’t give you any more detail because we are a listed entity.” Haigh added that GFH have long-term investments in the Middle East. “We were set up by the Islamic Development Bank. It’s not just about making money but long-term investments. The original business plan was mega real-estate investments in the Middle East and Dubai,” he said. “The Bahrain Financial Harbour [a flagship GFH development] is like taking Canary Wharf into Bahrain. It’s something we conceptualised, built and developed. “We’ve done something similar in Tunisia for a while but the Arab spring put it on hold. We have done similar things in Qatar and India but because of the changes in the [financial] world in 2008 there have been valuation issues.” Those valuation issues have taken their toll on the value to investors in GFH, and particularly on its capital buffers. The bank’s asset and cash holdings have fallen from £2.17billion at the end of 2008 to £511.3million in June this year. “The property market has slumped and that affects valuations,” Haigh said. “It looks a lot to you but to us, without wishing to sound arrogant, it’s peanuts. Every other bank in the world has had the same things. Since [2008] the business has realigned itself and Tunisia and Bahrain are doing well again. The cash position is improving. We have the money to do this [Leeds deal].” Since the end of 2008, investors have injected £228million cash in new equity. GFH bank’s executive chairman, Esam Yousif Janahi, a Bahraini national, holds the largest share with an 11.26 per cent stake. Haigh describes the other main shareholders as “large Islamic financial institutions and sovereign-wealth funds”. According to its regulatory filings, the only other shareholder with more than five per cent of GFH bank is Kuwait’s Muthanna Investment Company, which describes itself as being involved in a number of financial services. Since the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008, which precipitated the global financial crisis, other giants of the investment banking industry such as Bear Stearns and JP Morgan Chase have suffered their own challenges, at a massive cost to investors. “Ours is very conservative, ethical banking,” said Haigh. “If you look at the Middle East it is sovereign wealth and government-backed. It has been affected but it’s not as bad as elsewhere.” According to Deloitte, in the 2010/11 season, 14 of the 24 Championshipclubs lost £5million or more, £4 was spent for every £3 generated and the wages-to-turnover ratio was 88 per cent. “We believe Leedsis in a fantastically unique position for all sorts of factors,” Haigh said. “We think Leeds has a fantastic existing management and administration on and off the pitch and that, with the right investment, we can build a sustainable future in that. “It is about getting the focus back on the football and ensuring Premier League promotion with engaged, happy fans. We are long-term investors: there is no two- or three-year exit plan.” Seventh-placed Leeds have not released details of their cash flows or balances but declared a pre-tax profit after player trading of £859,000 in 2010/11 on revenues of £32.7million. The decision last year to sell the season-ticket income for this campaign and next – for £5million – could, however, put pressure on future profits. There will also be a need for significant capital expenditure if Haigh realises his plan to repurchase Elland Road. Yorkshire Consortium, the club’s former owner, sold the ground to the property developer Jacob Adler in a sale-and-leaseback agreement. He sold it to an offshore trust. “But Ken [Bates, the club’s chairman-owner, who is conducting the sale] and Leeds have said we’ve allocated sufficient capital to do it,” Haigh said. “There is a clear business plan: to get back into the Premier League and stay there.” 

WEds Oct 10th. LUFC Leeds giving trials to Quartet. Leeds United are giving trials to a trio of players at the moment. Defender Ricardo Rocha, defender Stephen Folan, Striker Caleb Folan and striker Joan Pons have all featured for Leeds this week. Experienced defender Rochahas been at Elland Road for the past week in a bid to earn a deal with the club. The Portuguese international has been without a club since being released by Portsmouth at the end of last season. Rocha was named Portsmouth`s player of the season last season but was released to ease the cash strapped clubs financial burden. He recently had a short trial at Ipswich Town. Rocha made his name with Portuguese side Benfica, where he won the league and cup during his five seasons at the Estadio Da Luz. He joined Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur in the summer of 2007 in a deal worth a reported £3.3 million but he struggled during his time at White Hart Lane, making just 18 appearances in three seasons. He left Tottenham and joined Belgium side Standard Liege in the summer of 2009 but after making just four Champions League appearances, he returned to England in February 2010 to sign for Portsmouth. He helped the south coast club reach the FA Cup final, playing in both the semi-final and final. He went on to make 76 appearances for Portsmouth in his two and a half seasons at Fratton Park, including 35 appearances last season. Stephen Folan is a 20-year-old defender currently at Newcastle United. Folan is a versatile player who can play at centre back, left full back or in midfield. He joined Newcastle from the League of Ireland and they were forced to pay £75,000 to two Irish clubs (Mervue United – £36,549 and Salthill Devon – £30,701) in compensation. He has been capped at under 17 level for Ireland. Joan Pons is a 23-year-old striker who has been playing with the Real Sociedad B side in the reserve league of Spanish football. He made 3 starts in 15 appearances for Sociedad last season without scoring. Pons started out at CE Premia before signing for Recreativo Huelva B and he is also known as Joan Pons Barrera. He played in the development squad game with Huddersfield Town on Monday and he had a couple of good chances to open his Leeds account. He found time and space in the Hud0dersfield penalty area but shot straight at Tom Clarke in the Huddersfield goal. He also went close with a free kick, shooting just wide of the target. Meanwhile, United have handed a trial to Leeds-born former Hull and Wigan striker Caleb Folan.

Oct 9th. Hall to sign with Leeds initially on loan. Leeds United are closing in on a loan move for unsettled Southend United winger Ryan Hall – and could seal the deal today.The Shrimpers star, 24, top-scorer at Roots Hall with 14 goals last term and with the best assists record in the whole four divisions in 2011-12, is desperate to move from the club, having seen a loan switch to Blackpool fell through last month. Hall has started just two games for Southend this term and has been told by chairman Ron Martin he will not be welcome back at Roots Hall with player and club at loggerheads. Peterborough United saw a £100,000 bid for Hall rejected on transfer deadline day, prompting rival interest from Blackpool – but the winger was unable to agree terms with the club. Hall, who can play on the left or right, has not been training with any club since his move to the Seasiders fell through. The player has form also. On 3 March 2011 Hall was sentenced to 20 weeks imprisonment after pleading guilty to affray after an incident outside a Southend nightclub at the club’s Christmas party on 19 December 2010. The court heard that Hall retaliated to racist comments made to him, and that he suffered a broken jaw in the altercation.[12] Southend United insisted the player would not be sacked.[13] On 4 March 2011 Hall was granted bail pending an appeal against the severity of the sentence,[14] and his sentence was reduced to 12 weeks, with the sentence suspended for a year, and 150 hours of community service. Looks like he should fit right in.

Tues Oct 10thLUST cautiously welcome Leeds United takeoverChairman Ken Bates with potential new investors at a recent Leeds game. The protracted takeover of Leeds United has inched closer. Leeds United Supporters’ Trust (LUST) last night gave a cautious welcome to GFH Capital’s proposed takeover of the club. The Dubai-based company is bidding to complete a full buy-out of United and has been in discussions with the club for almost five months. Despite drawn-out talks, GFH Capital – which has rejected weekend claims from club chairman Ken Bates that its lawyers are purposefully delaying a takeover – remain positive a deal will be concluded in the near future. Now, LUST has revealed it has spoken to the company’s representatives and received clarification about its plans. A LUST statement said: “From our discussions, we can say that: GFH Capital are very confident that a deal will be concluded in the near future. “They have no major issues left to negotiate, and do not consider their lawyers to be delaying the deal unduly. The details of the deal are being concluded by the respective legal teams. “They intend this deal to be a full takeover of Leeds United. Ken Bates will leave the club and (GFH deputy chief executive) David Haigh will take control. “They view Leeds United as a long-term project, and denied any intention to ‘flip’ (buy and quickly sell) the club. They could not answer questions about funding due to confidentiality agreements, but insist they have a strategy for success and the funds to achieve it. “They confirmed that investment and success on the pitch are at the top of their agenda. Regaining ownership of Elland Road will also be a key aim. They agreed with us that dwindling attendances at Elland Road are a sign of supporter dissatisfaction, and that bringing the crowds back should be a priority. “In line with our Vision Statement, they understand the importance of working with all supporters and supporters’ groups, the local council, police, businesses and the local community, and building positive relations with all. “For our part, given their status as current bidders and their confidence that they will soon conclude a takeover, we welcome GFH Capital’s assurances regarding the aims and ambitions of our Vision Statement. “However, while we acknowledge the need for confidentiality, we retain some concerns over the lack of information about their sources of funding, and will seek clarification of this as a priority should their bid be successful. “We would also stress that, should GFH Capital successfully conclude their takeover, they will be judged by Leeds fans on actions, not words. LUST are guided by our Vision Statement, which has the support of over 8,300 Leeds fans who have joined the Trust as members and shareholders.”Meanwhile, the man at the head of a proposed takeover of Leeds hopes to complete a deal for the club he has described as “a young Pamela Anderson” within three weeks. Leeds chairman Ken Bates opened negotiations with Bahrain-based Gulf Finance House (GFH) in June but a deal remains unsigned. Bates on Saturday said both parties were still keen on completing the deal, blaming lawyers for the delay. And David Haigh, who is the deputy chief executive officer and chief operating officer of GFH Capital, is quoted in the Sun as saying: “Leeds is like a young Pamela Anderson. It’s in great shape, with superb assets and a great future ahead of her. “Like any big acquisition we have to be thorough and that’s the process we’re going through right now. We’re almost there and, hopefully, within three weeks it could be done. “We are working incredibly hard to get the deal done but there are procedures and rules which must be followed.”

Tue Oct 9th“Leeds like a Pamela Anderson” The man heading up the firm looking at a proposed takeover of Leeds United hopes to complete a deal for the club he has described as “a young Pamela Anderson” within weeks. Leeds chairman Ken Bates opened negotiations with Bahrain-based Gulf Finance House (GFH) earlier this year, however talks remain ongoing and a deal unsigned. Bates stated that both parties were still keen on completing the deal, and chose to blame lawyers for the delay. Whilst David Haigh, who is the deputy chief executive officer and chief operating officer of GFH Capital, has likened the Championship side to a young Pamela Anderson of Baywatch fame. “It’s in great shape, with superb assets and a great future ahead of her,” he said.“Like any big acquisition we have to be thorough and that’s the process we’re going through right now. We’re almost there and, hopefully, within three weeks it could be done. We are working incredibly hard to get the deal done but there are procedures and rules which must be followed.”Haigh, who is favourite to becomechairman should a takeover come to fruition, said he believed the club was on target to earn promotion to the Premier League this season, with the Whites currently sitting in seventh spot in the Championship. Haigh, who watched on as Leeds took all three points at home against Barnsley, said current manager Neil Warnock was part of future plans.”We will put finance and resources into the club,” he said. “We are a Middle Eastern bank and we do things sensibly.” If Leeds is like Pamela Anderson the old fossil from Monaco acting as chairman must be Nora Batty.

Oct 7th. International Break. Leeds head into the second Internationalbreak in a respectable 7th(level with 6thplaced Huddersfield on points) having accumulated 17 points from a possible 30. Early pace setters Blackpool have had a bad month and yesterday’s coupon buster saw them lose 2-0 at home to 15thplaced Charlton. In a league where almost any side can beat any other side we have seen some stand out results. Yesterday’s opponents, Barnsley are clearly more comfortable with their attacking blend of football away from Oakwell (having stuffed Birmingham City 5-0 at St Andrews last week)lost 2-0 at home to bottom placed Peterboro just a few days later. Cardiff and Leicester are first and second in the Championship on 22 and 21 points respectively. They have one thing in common apart from investing heavily in their respective squads during the summer. Both sides have won all their five home games. Leeds record on the road is comparable to Cardiff (who won at Ipswich yesterday) and better than Leicester’s who have lost three times on the road. The key to our success this year will be in making Elland Road a fortress. Leeds didn’t play well yesterday but still ground out the victory. Only Hull and Blackburn have taken points away from LS11 this season and if we are to have a chance of promotion we need to be winning at least 14 to 15 matches at home this season. Warnock knows this. Huddersfield are above us on goal difference and have shown their intent by luring Jermaine Beckford back to Yorkshire with some of the funds from the Rhodes sale. He duly scored the only goal at Birmingham yesterday. What aprize for us he could have been ? Realistically it’s hard to see Huddersfield making the top six this season. Brighton and surprise side, Crystal Palace are fifth and fourth respectively. We all saw how clever Dougie Freedman was as a footballer and it’s no surprise to see him cutting the mustard as a manger. Will Palace and Brighton be there for the long haul ? I’ll be surprised if they are. Regarding C Palace, much will depend on what they do with the £10M plus they will receive for Wilfired Zaha in January, who is regarded as the most prized catch in Championship football according to Premiership scouts. Wolves are currently third and have held on to most of their Premiership squad with the resources to invest further in January. Much will depend on the ability of their Nordic manager, the umproven Solbakken. The wily Holloway won’t settle for current 8th position at Blackpool. They narrowly missed out at Wembley last season when they should have put the Hammers to the sword.  He will be seeking a top two spot this time around. The problem is, so will another 10 or 12 clubs. He has the squad to do it but their form has been erratic after a blistering start. Blackburn have spent a small fortune. Steve Keane has been dispensed with and their Indian management expect nothing short of a top two finish. Sherwood and Roy Keane are favourites to land the managerial job. Neither may be any better than Keane. Elsewhere, Forest have invested heavily but lie only in 12th and Steve Bruce wasn’t short of spending a few Euro but Hull City lie only in 10th. The Italians at Watford are expecting Gianfranco Zola to rocket their side into the play offs and Middlesbro want nothing short of a top six finish. Own Coyle is walking a managerial tightrope at Bolton who sit just above the relegation places, and Sheff Wednesday were not shy in spending in the summer but can’t buy a win for love nor money. Burnley having sold Rodriguez to Saints for £7M plus but  are still as inconsistent as ever, and Birmingham are finding out that Lee Clarke talks a better game than managing one with the Brummies sitting in 21st position. Even Bristol City have spent money and Derby who seem to be always languishing around the middle are capable of sneeking a couple of decent results. I suspect when Colin looks at the league table he will have a quiet chuckle to himself, thinking that if he can keep the candle lit until the end of the year, he may be capable of doing his “Reading” with the impetus of new arrivals in January. He knows we can’t keep riding our luck and will be looking to add considerable quality to the team and not the squad. This is the most open Championship in years and the only winners will be the Bookies.

Diouf holding the ball up against Barnsley

Oct 6th. Barnsley beaten at Elland Road…Leeds (Becchio pen 42), Barnsley 0 LeedsKenny, Peltier, Pearce, Lees, White, Byram, Austin, Brown, Tonge (Norris 54), Diouf, Becchio (Gray 72). Subs: Ashdown, Drury, Green, Varney, Poleon. Referee: D Deadman Booked: Austin, Becchio, Pearce (Leeds) Davies (Barnsley) Att: 22,569 Report from Official website. United manager Neil Warnock named an unchanged side for the visit of Barnsley, a side who had done the double over Leeds last season. The visitors had lost to Peterborough last time out, but had beaten Birmingham 5-0 at St Andrew’s and started on the front foot at Elland Road with an early chance falling to Jacob Mellis. The visitors looked to apply the early pressure and looked to put Leeds under pressure. Aidy White was United’s biggest early threat with his pace and he did well on 20 minutes, but Luciano Becchio was unable to find the space to turn and get in a shot on goal. Becchio also headed over the bar after El-Hadji Diouf did well down the right before whipping in a great cross. Barnsley goalkeeper Ben Alnwick also had to react well to smother a Rodolph Austin cross at the second time. Austin also sent another cross-cum-shot over the bar. But the visitors were still a threat and Marlon Harewood sent a shot just wide of the upright after an incisive break. United had an opportunity before half-time though when a Lee Peltier run was halted by Stephen Foster on the edge of the box and referee Darren Deadman pointed to the penalty spot. Having scored one at Bolton in midweek, Becchio stepped up again to convert cooly.The spot-kick ensured United went in 1-0 at the break, but Warnock was forced into making a change right at the start of the second period when Michael Tonge suffered a shoulder injury and was replaced by David Norris. Leeds also had the first sight of goal in the second half when Austin tested Alnwick’s reactions with a fierce strike. Thomasz Cywka did have a shot deflected wide on the hour and from the resulant corner Paddy Kenny made a great save to deny Marlon Harewood. Andy Gray replaced Becchio with 19 minutes left on the clock and one Norris cross was just too far in front of his fellow sub to make a decisive touch. Both sides continued to work hard as the game headed towards its conclusion, but chances were at a premium at both ends. Kenny had a save to make in the final minute when Jon Stones got on the end of a free-kick in the box, but Leeds held on. We were blessed today to get all three points as Barnsley played us off the part for large chunks of the game and missed at least four gilt edge chances. We are getting that rub of the green also, no more so than with the penalty which was clearly outside the box. We can’t afford to become complacent because we are clearly not the finished article. That said, we’ll go into the international break content that we have taken an excellent 10 points from the 12 available in our last four matches. We are short on quality but certainly not any lack of effort. This Takover is clearly dragging on with in my view both parties dragging their heels. Thus it is important that we get McCormack back with a fit again Norris, Green etc and this mysterious squad striker “who won’t be one to excite the fans or get them off their backsides but will do a good job” (using Colin’s words). Our own roving reporter at the match was Terry McQuaid. Here is his view. Barnsley should have been out of sight and could easily have won four or five one. Becchio was poor in holding the ball up and Harewood gave a lesson on how to do it, but he wouldn’t finish his dinner. Diouf wasn’t in the game and Leeds best player was easily Brown, who probably was very lucky to stay on the pitch but he did well. Tonge was terrible and Barnsley cut us open time and time again with their quick attacking football. We have very few footballers and it’s hard to watch because we don’t play any football   but 10/10 for effort. Fair play to Hill who was having great sport with the Leeds fans in the West stand. He got involved foolishly in the first half but  came out in the second half singing “marching on together” because the fans he felt were refereeing the match for the referee.     Neil Warnock “Absolutely delightedThis is about coming in @ 4:50. I thought once we changed systems after 20 mins it wasn’t as bad as our fans suggest. You won’t get fluency in a local derby. They are going to have possession. Their problem is playing at home with that system. I thought we had a few chances to put it away. Re M Tongue it’s the ligament that’s damaged, not as bad as a dislocation. Fortunately we have Norris and Green back and won’t do any harm with international break. We worked ever so hard over past few weeks. It’s fantastic to come out with those points and the cup game also. Today I thought we got what we deserved”. (re strengthening the squad) “I’m speaking to Shaun all the time.   we are working all the time. Our squad is a bit thin.  They know what the situation is. Its not rocket science. Well I said to the players we aren’t going to be as strenuous but we have to be ready at Sheff Weds . You know what they are like down there”Barnsley manager Keith Hill launched a furious attack on referee Darren Deadman for awarding the penalty which settled a bad-tempered Yorkshire derby in Leeds United’s favour. Luciano Becchio cheekily chipped the ball down the middle after Deadman had pointed to the spot with half-time approaching. Hill and his players were adamant that Stephen Foster’s challenge on Lee Peltier was just outside the left corner of the area, but the official saw it differently. Hill said after the game: “He (the referee) has got a major decision seriously wrong. That is unexplainable. “When referees don’t apologise when they have made a mistake it becomes a little bit disrespectful at times. I just wonder if the assessor has told the referee a major decision has decided the outcome of the game and he has got it wrong – not wrong, seriously wrong. It wasn’t marginal. “Whose job will it affect? Whose opinion will it affect when they look at that league table and won’t consider the performance?“It will affect a lot of Barnsley supporters who couldn’t make it today. but those who did attend the game will appreciate that we haven’t got a bad team. We missed probably four gilt-edged chances, which is unfortunate, but we will keep our belief.” Leeds manager Neil Warnock said: “It is fair to say the referee didn’t have one of his better games. Both managers agree on that.“I am going to do an ‘Arsene Wenger’ and say nothing about the penalty because I haven’t seen it yet. “I can’t stand watching penalties, but I’m told Luciano just clipped it down the middle. He told our coach Ronnie Jepson, ‘It’s a good job it went in or the gaffer would have killed me’. “That’s five games unbeaten and what my lads have done in the last two or three weeks has been phenomenal. It has exceeded expectations. We were chasing shadows early on, but we changed the system and then looked more threatening going forward.”

It’s never Kenneth’s fault for anything

Oct 6thGFH lawyers are to blame for delay – Bates Leeds Unitedchairman Ken Bates has urged supporters not to blame him for a prolonged takeover saga at Elland Road. Bates opened negotiations with Bahrain-based Gulf Finance House (GFH) in June but, despite a series of statements and counter-statements from both parties, a deal remains unsigned. According to Bates, the delay is nothing to do with him, with the former Chelsea owner claiming he is ready to sign over a club he took control of seven years ago. “I’d like to be able to say something but there is a confidentiality agreement which seems to be a bit one sided,” he said on Saturday.”It makes it difficult to say anything. The real problem is their lawyers because this is a straightforward deal, by anyone’s standards. I don’t know what the delay is, they appear to try and make complications when there is no need to do so.”I understand the share purchase is 171 pages long and I question if they are acting in their client’s best interests. GFH want to complete a deal and we are happy to do a deal with them, but when last-minute things are slipped in, it makes things very difficult.”By GFH’s standards this is not a big deal, so I say to Leeds fans, don’t blame me.”

Oct 6thLeeds United takeover: Funding remains elephant in room – HaySTILL NO AGREEMENT: The takeover of Leeds United appears no nearer to being resolved, with the financing of the deal also shrouded in secrecy. The takeover of Leeds United appears no nearer to being resolved, with the financing of the deal also shrouded in secrecy. For the first time, the basic details of the offer which may or may not give GFH Capital control of Leeds United are relatively clear: the company is acting as the buyer and intends to purchase every last share in the Elland Road club. Precisely how it plans to do so is the burning issue in this endless saga. There is no private consortium behind the bid, the YEP was told this week, and GFH Capital is “the buyer in this acquisition, not an advisor.” What no-one is willing to clarify is how the funds for the takeover have materialised or where they will come from if or when the completion papers are signed. “Those details will emerge in due course,” said a source involved with GFH Capital yesterday. For all that the firm have been described as “the buyers”, with plans to place at least one member of its senior management team on the board or directors at Elland Road, the idea of GFH Capital bidding alone or without significant sources of external support is failing to convince anyone with a clear view of the Dubai-based firm. “If there’s no consortium as such then GFH Capital must have something in the way of an investment plan or strategic partners,” a market analyst in the Middle East told the YEP. “It’s the only way you could see this offer having substance. If the club are valued at £50million, I don’t think you’ll find that amount of money floating around in (GFH Capital’s) accounts.” Leeds have been reticent about the takeover in the past fortnight, adding little to the comments made by chairman and majority shareholder Ken Bates before the club’s win over Nottingham Forest on September 22. A confidentiality clause is still in play, despite the fact that the nuts and bolts of the proposed deal are as public as they have ever been. In contrast to United, GFH Capital have been active in the past week, leading the sort of PR drive which is necessary when the fine details of a football club buy-out come in for analysis. The rhetoric from the company – representatives of which were in the UK yesterday – sounded positive enough: its offer to buy Leeds is not a leveraged deal and would burden the club with no debt; the takeover would also make a clean break from the current incumbents at Elland Road, though the YEP’s source made a point of saying that Bates had “done a very good job in laying the groundwork for the club to go forward.”But the key detail still concerns money: does GFH Capital have it and, if so, what is stopping the sale and transfer of Bates’ shares? In all the comments made this week, there was no mention of specific timescales, aside from Hisham Alrayes – one of GFH Capital’s directors – saying that the Dubai-based firm and its parent company, Gulf Finance House (GFH), were willing to pursue their interest until the turn of the year. Interviewed on CNBC Arabiya, a 24-hour news channel broadcaster from Dubai, Alrayes was asked at length about the GFH Capital’s bid to buy Leeds and spoke openly about the potential value of United as a business. Despite the strong suggestion that the offer had not been made on behalf of a consortium of buyers, translations of Alrayes’ interview noted comments about a “small club of investors” who he said were involved in the process and, by insinuation, helping to fund it. He said a “memorandum of understanding and a non-disclosure agreement has been signed (by GFH Capital) to organise the deal, as well as manage the takeover of Leeds United. “This deal is being prepared by the company itself and a ‘small club of investors’ who are there with GFH to finalise or complete the takeover of Leeds before the end of the year. Today Leeds is debt-free. The current administration and club leadership has been able to provide diversified income and has been able to meet all obligations. The financial health of the club is very good in comparison with other Championship or even Premier League clubs. Our target was to get into a club which was in a good financial position, and Leeds was that club. It’s debt free and its total revenue reached up to £30million in 2011. Furthermore, it has diversified income and with the (financial value of) media rights being increased in the Premier League, reaching the Premier League will cause a leap in the club’s revenue. So this makes it a great investment for anyone entering into this deal.”Asked about the need to pay for and maintain a competitive playing squad at Elland Road, Alrayes replied: “There’s a budget put in place to invest, plus the original investment for buying the club.”GFH Capital has made repeated references to the financial income earned by Premier League clubs from television broadcast rights, a factor on which its strategy appears to be based. Alrayes said: “Today the club’s market value is around £50-60million and if the club reaches the Premier League then the market value will increase. “Clubs in the Premier League are valued at around £150-200million according to the market valuation. The media rights, which were increased in the recent past, are estimated at £60million and made clubs in the Championship a very good investment. The Premier League has its own circumstances and debt and bigger costs but at Championship level you can purchase a club at a reasonable value and advance its value. As we call it from an investment side, growth capital – where you take it from a level to another level.” Growth capital, or expansion capital, is generally defined as money secured through investment by firms whose own revenue is insufficient to fund major projects or expansion plans. Alrayes’ comments could be taking as meaning that someone else will put up cash which GFH Capital and Gulf Finance House don’t independently possess. How the cash is being sourced, neither company will say. upervision of banks in Bahrain falls to the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB). The CBB was contacted by the YEP to ask whether it had been made aware of GFH and GFH Capital’s intentions and whether it had been asked to approve the approach to buy Leeds. It was also asked if it knew the identity of the ultimate investors and whether GFH chairman Esam Janahi was using his personal wealth to help fund the deal. The CBB had not responded at the time of publication.

Thursday Oct 10th. Ken Bates ‘will exit Leeds if Arab takeover succeeds’- YEP  Ken Bates will sever all ties with Leeds United if the takeover mounted by a Dubai-based company successful, it was reported today. The Yorkshire Evening Post says GFH Capital, the company leading the bid to purchase United, is seeking a full buy-out which would end Bates’ seven-and-a-half year association with Leeds. The proposal put forward by the middle-eastern firm has been shrouded in secrecy since the company began negotiating a takeover in May but details are beginning to emerge with discussions between the sides threatening to drag into a fifth month. GFH Capital have talked previously of an“acquisition” of Leeds City Holdings Limited, the parent company of Leeds United, but the YEP says the firm plans to acquire “100 per cent of the club” and establish “entirely new ownership” at Elland Road. It was previously unclear whether Bates – United’s chairman since January 2005 – would retain an interest in the club under GFH Capital’s proposal. The two parties appeared to be closing in on an agreement almost two weeks ago after Bates and representatives of GFH Capital – deputy chief executive David Haigh and board members Salem Patel and Hisham Alrayes – held another round of intensive talks before United’s 2-1 victory over Nottingham Forest, a match which Haigh, Patel and Alrayes all attended. But an agreement is still to be reached, despite GFH Capital saying in a statement last week that it had “begun working on its future strategies for the club.” The statement added: “Its intentions, if successful in its acquisition, is to move the club back to the Premier League as quickly as possible and help to build a sustainable future for the club, both on and off the field”.

Thursday Oct 10th. Diouf on home at Whites shirt – Comical Ali Lorimer. At no point did I ever doubt the talent of El-Hadji Diouf. The things that worried me when he joined Leeds United were his temperament – for obvious reasons – and his general attitude at 31 years of age. When I say attitude I mean his passion and enthusiasm for football. A couple of months ago he seemed to be at a bit of a crossroads. There was an offer for him to play in the Middle East and that made you wonder if his career was starting to wind down. Diouf’s had his chances in football, chances at big clubs like Liverpool and Rangers, but he saw out most of last season with Doncaster Rovers. He had two options in the summer – either take the riches on offer in Saudi Arabia or try to resurrect his reputation in England. I don’t think he’ll regret his decision to stay put and sign for Leeds. Watching his performances, you realise what a waste it would have been had Diouf decided to head for the Middle East. If he’d taken that path, I doubt we’d have heard of him again or at least anything more than a passing mention. I found out in my own career that going to far-flung leagues can be a strange and obscure experience. I played in North America for a time and as much as I still gave all the commitment I could, the whole ethos was so different to being in England. Over here, football is everywhere. It’s back page news every day and often on the front pages too. You get good crowds throughout the Football League and massive crowds if you’re fortunate to play at a very high level. In short, you feel like the game matters and you feel like your performances matter. It’s what a lot of people live for and thrive on. Had Diouf gone to the Middle East, he’d have been in a low-key environment. Perhaps that would have suited him but I’m not so sure. He looks so at home in a Leeds shirt, soaking up the pressure and delighting in the expectation. Many players have found this club too big for them but not Diouf. He’s in his element. It has to be said that his form and contribution so far has been a bonus for Neil Warnock. Let’s not pretend that Diouf was one of Neil’s main signings. He brought him in on non-contract terms and eventually signed him to a deal which is not massive by Championship standards. I’m sure he believed that Diouf had the potential to make waves at Elland Road but the signing was a bit of a gamble. At the moment it’s paying off and if Leeds go on to have a successful season, I feel certain that Diouf will be at the centre of it. In many ways, the unsung or unheralded performers have been the story of the last two months for Leeds. There are plenty of proven Championship players in the squad at Elland Road and some of them have made an impact, but for me three players stand out: Diouf, Rodolph Austin and Sam Byram. In all three cases we had no idea what to expect from them. But nine games in, they’re basically fixtures in the team. It goes to show that the obvious signings and obvious players are not always the best ones.

Weds Oct 3rd 2012. Leeds United takeover: Haigh’s left frustrated by confidentiality agreement by Phil Hay YEP. David Haigh, one of the men leading the proposed takeover of Leeds United, has voiced frustration over his inability to provide more detailed information about the plan to acquire the Elland Road club. Haigh – deputy chief executive at GFH Capital, the Dubai-based firm fronting a bid to buy Leeds – said the confidentiality clause agreed as part of takeover negotiations was preventing him from publicly revealing the precise nature of the deal. Confirmation of GFH Capital’s involvement in talks with Leeds was confirmed last week by Gulf Finance House, the Bahraini investment bank which wholly owns GFH Capital. Analysis of Gulf Finance House’s accounts, which revealed heavy losses made in 2009 and 2010 and appeared to show that the bank has around $5million in liquid cash, raised questions about how GFH Capital would fund a takeover of Leeds and claims that its bid might saddle the club with sizeable debts. Sources close to GFH Capital have told the YEP that it operates separately to Gulf Finance House and works off different balance sheets. Speculation has set the cost of purchasing chairman Ken Bates’ 72.85 per cent stake in United at around £52million. In an interview published in the Middle East, Haigh told “It’s frustrating that we can’t be open about the deal due to the confidentiality agreement that’s in place. “There’ve been a lot of stories about funding and debt and so on that we’d love to answer but we’re just not in a position to do so. “We know that the fans want answers and we are massively grateful for all the positive messages of support we have received since our involvement came to light. “All I can say at this stage is that we’re all working extremely hard to make this deal happen.” Discussions between GFH Capital and Leeds have been on-going for almost five months.

Ridsdale still in trouble

Oct 3rdEx chairman Ridsdale received lengthy ban. Former LeedsUnited chairman Peter Ridsdale has been banned from holding any company directorships for seven and a half years following an investigation into financial irregularities by the Insolvency Service. The ruling relates to payments totalling £347,000 made by Cardiff to Ridsdale between May 2007 and March 2009 during his spell as their chairman. The monies should have been directed to the 60-year-old’s WH Sports Group (WHSG) consultancy service. WHSG was liquidated in April 2009 with liabilities of £478,698, including significant tax debts of £442, 353 owed to HM Revenue and Customs. Ridsdale’s wife Sophie served as a co-director a WHSG and has been banned until April 2016. Claire Entwistle, director of company investigations north at the Insolvency Service, said: “As someone who has had many directorships, Mr Ridsdale ought to be aware of the responsibilities that come with such a position. “The protection of limited liability is available to those who comply with their obligations as company directors. “If those obligations are ignored, the protection will be withdrawn, as Mr Ridsdale has found to his cost.” Ridsdale’s role as chairman of football at Preston North End will not be affected and following the verdict he issued his own statement through the club. The former Plymouth chief said: “I can confirm that I have agreed a voluntary undertaking not to act as a company director as a result of ongoing issues with a personal matter which occurred in 2009. “I am currently undertaking a role of ‘Chairman of Football’ at Preston North End but am not a director nor at any time have I sought to be one.”

Weds Oct 3rd. Diouf not going to stay for “pocket money”. Sky Sportsunderstands Leeds United ace El Hadji Diouf is set for discussions over a new contract at the club later this week. Diouf has been a revelation at Elland Road this season since his arrival on a free transfer in the summer. The Senegal international is currently on a short-term deal at Leeds which expires in January and his form has not gone unnoticed by rival clubs. Diouf has scored three goals for Leeds and turned in a man-of-the-match display in Leeds’ 2-1 win over high-flyingEvertonDescription: http:/ in the Capital One Cup last week. Leeds are looking to tie down the former LiverpoolDescription: http:/ and Bolton man to a new deal and the player’s agent,Willie McKay,Description: http:/ admits Diouf would be happy to sign a long-term contract if the terms are right. “I am meeting Neil Warnock to discuss a new deal for El Hadji as his current contract expires in January,” McKay told “I believe El Hadji has shown he is the best player in the Championship and the interest in him has been amazing. “I have been contacted by two Premier League clubs who have asked about his situation in January. “I know El Hadji wants to stay at Leeds and as he loves it there and wants to help them get promotion.” McKay added: “The manager took a gamble to sign El Hadji and he signed for Leeds not for the money, but for the manager because he is one of the lowest paid players at the club. “The deal he is on is a tenth of the deal he was previously on and I think he has proved to the Leeds fans he is committed and he has worked harder than ever before. “I know the manager is desperate to keep him and El Hadji is desperate to stay, but this could be El Hadji’s last contract and it has to be right. “El Hadji is happy to sign a long-term contract for two or three years, but the terms have to be right.”

Becchio converts his penalty against Bolton

Free header for Davies

Oct 3rd. Coyle not happy with referee and Warnock claims responsibility for Davies goals. Bolton manager Owen Coyle tried hisbest not to be critical of referee Phil Dowd after his side’s 2-2 draw with Leeds. Two headers from Kevin Davies bookended a competitive Roses game, with Leeds equalising through Sam Byram and going ahead thanks to Luciano Becchio’s penalty in between times. Coyle had issues with the award of Leeds’ penalty, where Matt Mills was judged to have fouled Byram, while he felt his side should have had a spot-kick of their own. “The first one should have been given on Keith (Andrews), when he was totally upended, but it’s so obvious. “We had a stonewall decision,” he said. “And then you get to Leeds’. I’m loathe to call it a soft award because it wasn’t even that. Soft doesn’t do it merit. But our performance level in the first half was outstanding, in terms of passing and the chances we created.”It should have been three points, but we need to keep banging on the door and decisions can’t go on being as cruel as they are. But we will take our medicine and come through the other side smiling.”The United boss said: “It’s probably my fault for giving Rudy Kevin Davies to mark. “He doesn’t know much about him and he’s been caught at two set-pieces so I have to hold my hands up to that. I gave Davies to the wrong person. “But it’s a fabulous point when you look at the games we’ve had in the last 12 days or so – five games in that time. “I can’t fault the players and they’ve given me everything. It’s not very often you come to a place like Bolton and you’re disappointed with a draw. We’re improving every week.Leeds fought back from Davies’ eighth-minute opener to take the lead through a Sam Byram header and a Luciano Becchio penalty either side of half-time. Davies replied in the 79th minute but Leeds went within inches of snatching a victory when El-Hadji Diouf – the former Bolton player who captained Leeds last night – clipped the crossbar in the third minute of injury-time. The chance was reminiscent of the close-range opportunity which Diouf fired over the bar at the end of last month’s 3-3 draw with Blackburn Rovers, another of the forward’s former employers. Warnock said: “That would have topped it off but he did the same against Blackburn, missing a great chance. I don’t think he wants to disappoint his old clubs.”

Tuesday October 2nd Honours end even at the Reebok Stadium...Bolton 2 (K Davies 14, 79) Leeds 2 (Byram 45, Becchio pen 47) Bolton: United: Kenny, Peltier, Lees, Pearce, Drury, Byram, Brown, Austin, Tonge, Diouf, Becchio. Subs: Ashdown, Varney, White, Norris, Gray, Thompson, Poleon.Referee: P Dowd Booked: K Davies, Spearing (Bolton), Peltier, Brown (Leeds) Att: 21,258 (4,000 Leeds)Report from Official websiteUnited manager Neil Warnock made one change to his starting line-up, Adam Drury returning for Aidy White, while there wasalso a change with the captain’s armband, El-Hadji Diouf leading the team out. Bolton had lost at home to Crystal Palace the previous weekend while United were on the back of three successive victories, and the contest opened with a crunching challenge from Michael Brown, leaving a Bolton man needing treatment. United manager Neil Warnock also received an early talking to from referee Phil Dowd. The home side made the early running with some good passing, and after Paddy Kenny parried one shot from distance, Drury blocked the follow-up strike. Bolton were 1-0 up inside the quarter-hour, though, when Kevin Davies arrived at the far post to routinely head home a corner kick.Moments later, Keith Andrews found space to get in a shot and Kenny had to react well again. And so Bolton’s dominant opening continued, Chris Eagles rattling the post with a fierce curling strike from distance. There was another opportunity when after some good inter-play, Benik Afobe found the space to bear down on goal, but while he lifted the ball over the advancing Kenny, he also sent it just wide of the upright. United did fashion out an opening just before the half-hour mark when Sam Byram cut in from the right and curled a shot just wide of Adam Bogdan’s upright. Rodolph Austin also picked out Luciano Becchio with a good ball over the top, but the South American had too much to do to keep it at his feet. As the game headed towards half-time, Kevin Davies won a free-kick just outside of the box, and Eagles tried his luck with a shot which went just wide. But Leeds were level a minute before half-time when El-Hadji Diouf whipped in a free-kick and Byram did well to flick the ball beyond the reach of Bogdan into the far corner. And Byram played a key role just after the re-start when he won a penalty after advancing into the box – referee Dowd had no doubts in pointing to the spot after Bolton defender appeared to clip his heels – and Luciano Becchio stepped up to stroke Leeds into the lead. With the scoreline turned around in a matter of minutes, Bolton had to force a way back into the game and Kenny was called upon to save from Andrews, parrying before smothering a follow-up strike. Zat Knight also headed a free-kick wide. When Leeds came forward, a Drury cross was cleared when Becchio was well placed to apply a finishing touch. Two Diouf crosses were also dealt with as Leeds looked to create a third. Diouf also teed up a free-kick which Austin struck wide. As the game entered the final 15 minutes the advantage was looking good for Leeds. Bolton were causing a minimal threat and when they did, particularly with set-pieces, United were getting men behind the ball and looking solid. But on 79 minutes, another set-piece proved United’s undoing when Kevin Davies again headed home a corner kick. That was the cue for Bolton to throw men forward in search of a winner and Leeds had some defending to do as the game entered three minutes of time added on. Yet in the third of those minutes it was Leeds who almost won the game when Diouf found space on the angle and sent a stinging strike against the upright. In summary Bolton could have been out of sight in the first twenty minutes, but Leeds are nothing but resolute and did well to claw their way back into the game and go ahead. The defensive frailties are still there and it was disappointing to concede two goals from corner kicks, especially when Kevin Davies is the first man that has to be marked in the box from set plays. It’s the fourth time we have failed to hold on to leads. Peltier had another difficult night with Eagles skinning him time after time. The £800K we spent on him so far is looking like a poor investment and Drury will have better games when Aidy White’s(unlucky to be dropped)  pace could have been more beneficial.  Diouf(who was captain tonight – nice touch that) , just like versus Blackburn could and should have won it at the death. The positives are as follows : a decent point at a side who have just been relegated from the Premiership, great character to come from behind, Sam Byram gets better and better with every game, and of course a point on a Tuesday night is very welcome. Now let’s sign off for the International break with a win against bogey side Barnsley. Neil Warnock : “It’s a hard earned point really but we’re disappointed to concede two goals. Disppointed with the Davies goal. Now we regroup and get ready for Barnsley. Sam took his goal well and he did well for the penalty. I think we are a btter side than we were six weeks ago. We are getting used to each other. When we got back in the game we stamped our authority.I felt it was appropriate to give Dioufy the armband tonight, but he doesn’t want to be disliked by his former teams after the two chances he missed against Blackburn and here tonight. They are a great bunch of lads. There’s no big time Charlies here . We’ll be glad to have a break after Saturday.(Re new signing)  I’ll be speaking to Sean tomorrow about a striker. It would be nice to have another body on the bench for Saturday”.

Zac Thompson

Tuesday October 2nd. 19 year old Zac Thompson has signed a new three year contract at Leeds. He has made 11 senior appearances since turning pro in 2011. Colin : “We have high hopes for Zac. He is a young lad who will have to go out on loan to get some games and see how the real world is.”.  

Austin runs to goalscorer Tonge to celebrate

Sat Aug 29th. Bristol City 2-3 Leeds United. Leeds United: Kenny, Peltier, Lees, Pearce, White, Byram, Brown, Tonge, Austin, Diouf, Becchio (Gray 89). Subs not used: Ashdown, Drury, Varney, Pugh, Norris, Poleon.Referee: S Attwell (Warwicks). Attendance: 15,692.YEP Report – EL-HADJI Diouf enhanced his growing popularity at Elland Road by guiding Leeds United to a deserved win over Bristol City. The Senegalese international scored twice to help secure a 3-2 victory at Ashton Gate. And Michael Tonge’s brilliant finish in the dying stages of the match put the seal on a strong second-half display from Leeds, negating an injury-time reply from Bristol City. Both sides raised the tempo of the game after a slow first period and United had two good chances to open the scoring shortly after the interval. Rodolph Austin wasted a golden opportunity by heading Diouf’s free-kick against the crossbar, and the Jamaican saw goalkeeper Tom Heaton dive to parry another headed finish after he and Diouf combined in the same fashion 60 seconds later. Liam Fontaine should have struck at the other end when he met Martyn Woolford’s free-kick and stabbed the ball wide but Diouf finally broke the deadlock on 63 minutesfollowing a great run from Sam Byram. The young right-back broke away from City defender Louis Carey and whipped the ball into the centre of the box where Diouf was waiting to turn home a low shot. But City responded seven minutes later as Richard Foster curled a teasing cross to the far post and Albert Adomah dived in to equalise with a flying header. Tonge’s had a stabbed effort disallowed moments later after Diouf struck a post with a corner, but Diouf effectively settled the match 10 minutes from time when Fontaine failed to clear a flick off Luciano Becchio. Tonge then put the result beyond doubt when he ran into space 20 yards from goal and lashed a classy strike beyond Heaton, and City’s second goal – an effort which Byram appeared to knock into his own net – came too late to matter. We almost committed hari kari by sitting back on a 1-0 win and letting City who were a shambles in defence come at us. Leeds have lost more points than any other Championship side this season when ahead. Credit where credit is due, United stuck at it and deservedly won the three points with that Man Diouf inspirational again. Leeds best player on the pitch however was young Sam Byram. Colin deserves great credit for making peace with Diouf, knowing that he would gain flak for same, but as Colin says he certainly is the United “Matador”. It was good to Michael Tonge, who has turned in some very good performances of late, get the winner to complete a marvellous week for Leeds. A striker will be joining us early next week and we are starting to get some players back from injury, with Norris on the bench and Green not to far away.   Neil Warnock said: “What a fantastic week. To beat Forest, Everton and Bristol City over such a short space of time with seven players out injured is tremendous.” We passed the ball too much in the first half and I always felt we could step up a gear. Bristol were unlucky with injuries, but we had a goal disallowed, which I felt was harsh. I think we are still some way away from having Premier League potential. At this level you are judged on the strength of your bench and we have been bringing on first year professionals.”I named pretty much the same team as played against Everton and that was a really tough game so to come up with another victory did them great credit.” City manager Derek McInnes said:“George has a shocking injury with a break and dislocation to an ankle. I am so sorry because his season is over. We keep slitting our own throats with defensive errors and you can’t always score a boatload of goals to win games.”I’m annoyed because I keep having to stand here and make the same comments. It’s my responsibility to make us defend better and that was why I brought George in. Now I have to look at the left-back position again. We also lost substitute Joe Bryan with concussion so it is a big problem.”