September 2012

GFH in discussions

Sat 29th. Is GFH Capital Ken Bates’s Perfect Successor? The Scratching ShedInvestment banks, slowly slurping the lifeblood from a club. To many fans, an investment group purchasing their club would be a nightmare, but this is perhaps too simple. To Leeds, the proposed marriage to GFH Capital might just be a happy one. Investment banks want something back, and that’s why many fans are rightly wary. A few millions draining annually from a club, especially in the Championship, can cripple an otherwise competitive side. Leeds’ poorly timed capital projects highlighted this. But there’s no evidence that GFH Capital will behave in this way – in fact their press release suggests an early stage of significant investment in the side, getting Leeds to the promised land of the Premier League. It’s easily said, not so easily done. Leicester, Bristol City, Nottingham Forest – several clubs have found this. But Leeds is a club too big for the Championship, of that make no mistake. In terms of reputation, every pundit you’ll meet says Leeds are a Premier League side – even Sir Alex Ferguson himself has said on more than one occasion that he misses the club from the EPL – and financially too we’re big enough to avoid relegation scraps upon our return. Leeds’ average attendence in the last season before disillusionment really took hold would put us around 13th in the Premier League this season, despite high ticket prices and 2nd tier football. Our average attendence even now is larger than the capacity of some Premier League stadiums. Meanwhile our turnover seems regularly to outstrip or at least compete with that of demoted teams on Premier League parachute payments, and is easily one of the highest in the Championship. There is scope for massive growth from Leeds United over the next few years, and that makes it an enticing prospect for investment groups. But financial clout doesn’t guarantee success. Eddie Gray has become a stuck record on the failure of Leicester’s promotion push. Leicester are the perfect example of the wrong way to spend money. First and foremost, they employed a clown in Sven Goran Erikson, a man tailed by a media circus, and with noexperience whatsoever of getting out of this physical, 46-match-season league. Then they overpaid a number of up-and-coming players. I’m not alone in concluding that Sven didn’t take to the Championship very successfully, while players went to Leicester sometimes seemingly more interested in the paycheque than in performances on the pitch. Leeds has already proved it possesses a manager capable of turning money into success. Building a promotion team over half a decade at Sheffield’s second club, walking into a circus with a revolving door at manager-level at QPR, and turning them into league champions. This is Neil Warnock – the man who would gain the record for the greatest number of English promotions if Leeds went up on his watch. Say whatever you like about the style of football his teams play – it’s successful. Just look at QPR’s unstoppable march in 2010-11, just look at our utter domination of Premier League high-fliers Everton. Warnock has spent a few hundred thousand here and there, grabbing the phenomenal Rodolph Austin, and talented youngsters like Jason Pearce and Lee Peltier. Not only that, he’s somehow turned a bad-boy with psychological issues playing with demoted Doncaster last season, into the experienced star he should be. He’s also seemed to completely transform talented but very rough diamonds like Tom Lees and Aidy White into mouth-watering prospects for the future, along with his experienced backroom team. Make no mistake, Neil Warnock and his staff are the men to guide Leeds to the Premier League. But how do we come up with the cash? Ken Bates won’t spend his own money on the club – who can blame him, honestly? – and despite genuine interest from wealthy individuals over the past five years, actually forging a deal seems very different to generating interest. Step up GFH Capital, whose recent press release suggests that they understand they must speculate at Leeds before they can accumulate in the Premier League. Arguments that GFH Capital are somehow incapable of running Leeds United are worrying. GFH was caught badly in the recession, making losses in excess of £200m for two years, and is still coming out of its own problems. The deal could also result in yet more hidden ownership, with the funds for a GFHC deal almost certainly coming from a private individual.Yet the company also boasts of its role deals including the “establishment and development” of the First Energy Bank in Bahrain, a $2billion bank specialising in the energy sector. Leeds then, would hardly seem the biggest deal GFHC have been involved in. Despite auditors expressing concern over GFH Capital, it has made profit this year – £20m or so already, I believe – and although there are increasingly worrying doubts expressed everywhere, they don’t look like small-time cowboys to my unrtained eye. The auditors expressed concern that debt could only be paid on time if assets were shifted (there is, of course, no guarantee of this), but GFHC have since restructured some of their debt. While they made heavy losses during the global downturn, they have been in profit for 18 months and will almost certainly be using another individual’s wealth in this investment. None have been more critical of GFH Capital’s ability to successfully lead Leeds back to the Premier League than Duncan Castles, writing for Abu Dhabi-based “The National”. Ken Bates referred to one of the claims made by Castles in his programme notes last weekend, calling them “total rubbish”. Despite the very welcome statement from GFH Capital on Friday, concrete evidence is inevitably difficult to establish on this takeover saga. Yet it seems likely that GFH Capital was the group that left Leeds United in June: “very comfortable that they have the financial resources to support the club and that they will have no issues in satisfying the requirements of the Football League’s Owners and Directors Test, unlike many of the previous approaches we have had to endure.The club have not suggested any change to the party involved in advanced bidding, and if Chairman Bates thinks GFH Capital are sound, that should count for something. Many will know I’m not Mr Bates’ biggest fan, and GFH Capital talk is indeed a cheap way to garner favour with fans. But the noises surrounding Mr Bates over the past four to five months have consistently suggested that his legacy is a key factor in the sale of the club. Make no mistake, Leeds have hit real difficulties this spring, but a younger Bates might just have been contrary enough to have relished the added challenge of an increasingly alienated customer-base and what appeared from the outside short-medium term financial over-extension. As it is, Bates seems to be looking at selling on to an entity willing to continue his strategy for the club.That strategy is an Arsenal-style sustainable strategy that some might argue simply isn’t possible, or makes things unnecessarily difficult, for a club like Leeds – a club that might justifiably expect Premier League football – but that nevertheless has merits once a club is in the Premier League. This“Arsenal” approach has its detractors. We argued last spring that the new financial fair play rules could be exploited through lucrative sponsorship deals from businesses loosely connected to the owners of any given club, we also suggested that setting Leeds’ stall out as a renewable club years before the actual rules took hold might be jumping the gun to our detriment. Nevertheless, the worst that can be levelled at Arsenal is that it has slightly more potential than is realised. Its league positions, going back in time, were: 3rd, 4th, 3rd, 4th, 3rd, 4th, 4th. Arsenal is the embodiment of a mildly successful, stable, football club playing attractive football at the highest level. There’s a lot worse to try to emulate. Indeed, Arsenal aren’t a one-off. Newcastle’s disastrous demotion in 2009 was a shock on a par with Leeds’ demotion in 2004. Protests against chairman Mike Ashley spread, but the club marched straight back to the Premier League. Since then, Newcastle have invested in a good manager, and based their plans on him. Alan Pardew rewarded them with a string of inspired signings, and you’d have to have lived in a cave the last year not to have noticed where this sensible spending ended. GFH Capital could well be the perfect successors for Ken Bates, following his long-term strategy, and establishing Leeds as a sustainable Premier League club. Fans might be concerned about how much could be taken from the club year-by-year, but we can’t see that far to the future. Nevertheless, the prospect of the company failing, and plunging the club into uncertainty will weigh heavily with fans. The YEP have followed Duncan Castles inexpressing caution over this deal. It is too early to judge these prospective buyers, but I see their press release yesterday as positive, and personally I’d cautiously welcome them to the club if their bid was successful. But there are a lot of questions to answer; in my opinion it’s vital for the good of the club that we’re able to have healthy debate.

Sat 29th. Leeds United takeover. More questions than answers ? Phil Hay YEP The blurb on the website of Gulf Finance House (GFH) has all the watchwords expected of a company’s personal profile: innovative, dynamic, high-value. In every sense that is what a reputable investment bank aspires to be. Its mention of money is not coy either. According to GFH it has raised and invested some five billion US dollars in schemes in the Gulf region and beyond. The bank says it has a “track record and specialisation in creating new financial institutions and the conception of high value economic infrastructure projects.”So far so good from the point of view of Leeds United. The organisation behind the only confirmed bid to buy the Elland Road club comes with promises of cash, vision and innovation. But what do others say about it and what is the independent view of this Bahraini banking institution? Earlier this year, KPMG – the consultancy firm responsible for managing Leeds United’s administration in 2007 – audited GFH’s accounts for the three months up to March 31. In a letter to the bank’s board of directors, sent on May 14, KPMG said: “As at March 31, 2012, the Group had accumulated losses of US$300.69million and, as of that date, its current contractual obligations exceeded its liquid assets. “As a result, the ability of the Group to meet its obligations when due depends on its ability to achieve a timely disposal of assets. “These factors indicate the existence of material uncertainties which may cast significant doubt about the Group’s ability to continue as a going concern.” Since then, Gulf Finance House, which made losses in excess of £200million in both 2009 and 2010 but is in profit for the past 18 months, has announced a deal to restructure part of its debt and drawn up a plan to restructure more. GFH said recently that it now expects “sustainable profitability in the long term.”Others are more doubtful. The YEP has seen a document produced this week by a global market investment firm, in which GFH is discussed as a possible investment opportunity. Independent of KPMG’s analysis, the firm declares itself “wary of GFH’s ability to carry on as a going concern given its continued inability to produce cash from its core operations.” The document also says that “we believe GFH is only staying afloat because of its successful debt restructurings and the continued financial support of its shareholders.”The relevance of this to Leeds United is entirely dependent on the true structure of the bid to buy the Championship club. That offer was confirmed by GFH on Thursday morning and is being led by GFH Capital Limited, the private equity firm which is based in Dubai and wholly owned by Gulf Finance House. None of those facts will have come as a surprise to anyone who saw members of GFH Capital’s senior management team at Elland Road for last month’s Championship game against Wolverhampton Wanderers and Saturday’s win over Nottingham Forest. GFH’s statement to the Bahraini stock exchange confirmed a badly kept secret. But neither that announcement nor the statement published by Leeds and Ken Bates last weekend brought us closer to seeing the full picture of the takeover as those on the inside see it. Gulf Finance House said GFH Capital had“signed an exclusive agreement to lead and arrange the acquisition of Leeds City Holdings, the parent company of LUFC.” It did not say on behalf of whom or with whose money. On the whole, this process is further forward, with two sides out in the open. Salem Patel, one of the directors of GFH Capital Limited who attended Elland Road last weekend, signed onto Twitter on Thursday and acquired almost 3,000 followers in 24 hours, the majority of them Leeds supporters. He was warmly received, as would-be investors in football clubs often are. But the combined disclosure from Leeds and Gulf Finance House offered precious little detail that was not known or suspected before. There was no confirmation of whether Bates is planning to sell his 72.85 per cent stake in full or whether United’s chairman wants to retain an interest in the club. There was no stated timescale either. GFH’s statement on Thursday talked of an “acquisition”, which sounds like a takeover by a different description, but went no further. It made a point of saying that the commercial terms of the deal were still subject to a confidentiality clause. The last comment was crucial. It drew a line through all queries about the precise nature of this takeover and the confusion about who precisely is financing the buy-out of Leeds. For many months, GFH Capital were believed to be the brokers for a consortium of wealthy individual investors. That might prove to be the case but no-one on either side of the negotiating table will say so publicly. The other possibility is that Gulf Finance House is itself putting up the money to buy Leeds, with GFH Capital heading up the deal. GFH did not say as much in Thursday’s statement but they made a great effort to justify their involvement to the stock exchange, listing valid points about United’s large fanbase and the income on offer if Leeds are promoted to the Premier League. The Championship club have always been an attractive proposition; a club with untapped potential for anyone with the clout to make them grow rapidly. There are people out there who think they can do so and GFH Capital are leading the race. But at a club where the issue of transparent ownership has been so contentious, two questions were untouched by the events of the past seven days: who, ultimately, is masterminding GFH Capital’s offer? And whose is the money?

Sept 28thGFH Capital Planning “Heavy Investment” – The Scratching Shed. ,GFH Capital have today outlined their future plans for Leeds United in a press release, reiterating that they have been granted an exclusivity deal to “lead and arrange the acquisition of Leeds City Holdings including Leeds United FC from current owners.” It is worth highlighting this, because of the continued uncertainty among fans, to outline that GFH Capital are planning on purchasing the company that owns Leeds United (Leeds City Holdings), and that in purchasing this company they will own 100% of the club. These appear to be negotiations to obtain sole ownership of the club. The press release reads: “[GFH Capital's] 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. This is expected to not only benefit the club and the surrounding community, but also the entire city of Leeds”. The Scratching Shed understands that GFH Capital intend to “invest heavily” in the football club, Elland Road, and the “surrounding community”. We understand that, should GFH Capital successfully purchase the club, their aim is to take Leeds to the Premier League by the end of next season.GFH Capital’s CEO Hisham Alrayes explained: “Like many around the world, people from Bahrain and across the Gulf are passionate about the game of football and notably, English clubs – their successes and hardships are a daily talking point. In so many instances this is what bridges the gap between borders and different cultures. We are excited by our intentions for Leeds United and remain fully focused on the specifics of this deal, hoping to conclude a positive outcome as soon as possible”. The press release should also reassure fans of the company’s abilities, having suffered repeated attacks on its capabilities from one journalist recently: “Our parent company GFH has successfully steered through tough economic times and we find ourselves in a position of strength and in an enviable market position to lead on fantastic deals such as this”Meanwhile, Leeds supporter and Chief Executive of GFH Capital, David Haigh, praised Leeds: “As a club, Leeds United has it all – passionate loyal fans, a great heritage and masses of potential to return to the Premier League with the right, sustainable investment. From a business perspective, ownership of an English football club, notably Leeds United, is a great opportunity if the right strategies are in place to benefit from the significant revenues available from renewed broadcasting rights.From a personal perspective, I have followed Leeds United since childhood and having been back to Elland Road with mybusiness colleague, Salem Patel and our CEO Hisham Alrayes for the last few home games, it makes us even more determined to acquire the club Leeds United and to see the club prosper. The existing infrastructure of the club and the result of the work of Ken Bates means that Leeds United is ready off the field to compete in the premier league”.Salem Patel, Chief Investment Officer at GFH Capital, concludes: From very early on in our approach to this deal, we knew Leeds United FC has pedigree but also offers huge potential in terms of the football, the club and the surrounding area. We are keen on waking this sleeping giant, building on and forging a sustainable long term future for the club – both on and off the pitch. We also hope to take back ownership of Elland Road eventually and continue to work closely with Neil Warnock and the team, we intend to show the fans – some of the most passionate in the game – just how we can ‘March On Together’ to give Leeds United the success it so richly deserves.

When Larry met Jermaine

Sept 28th. Becks joins Larry again. Huddersfield have signed Leicesterstriker Jermaine Beckford on a 93-day emergency loan. The 28-year-old, who had been linked with a return to former club Leeds, will be reunited with Simon Grayson, his manager at Elland Road, in a deal that runs until December 29.A prolific goalscorer with Leeds, finding the net 72 times in 131 league appearances, Beckford has not settled with the Foxes, whom he joined from Everton after struggling to make an impact in the Barclays Premier League.Grayson told the Terriers’ official website: “Jermaine is a good footballer and he adds something different to the squad.”The players we have at the squad all have different qualities and Jermaine is a natural goalscorer – his record speaks for itself.” Having that variation in the squad is perfect for me as manager as it allows the team to adapt to different situations.” Definitely a player we should have signed and we also missed out in Jermaine Jenas who has moved to Notts Forest on a month long loan.

Fri 28th of Sept. Tonge on Leeds. Leeds United midfielder Michael Tonge says that joining the Whites on loan has been ‘like a breath of fresh air’. The 29-year-old joined the west Yorkshire club on a three-month loan from Premier League outfit Stoke City and has played a part in two wins and two defeats for United since joining the club two weeks ago. Arguably the greatest win for Tonge in his short spell at Leeds was in the Whites’ 2-1 surprise victory over Premier League high-flyers Everton in the third round of the Capital One Cup. Goals from youngster Aidan White and Rodolph Austin have set the Championship side with another top-flight opponent in newly-promoted Southampton. Tonge admits he was delighted with the performance and application his side showed in the win over the Toffees, “I was very impressed. We made a really good start to the game, played with a high tempo and we maintained this tempo throughout the whole match.” The central midfielder doesn’t believe that Everton would have been taken aback by the quick start that Leeds made to the game, “I don’t think Everton would have been surprised because we are only in the division below.” The former Sheffield United man believes that the early goal was key and may be imperative in helping Leeds improve their league position,“Although it’s a win the cup, it just keeps up the winning mentality.” He admits that the fourth round tie against Southampton will be an exciting but difficult challenge, “It’s another home game which is important. Southampton are a tough team though and it will be a tough game.”Tonge, who has also enjoyed loan spells at Preston, Derby and Barnsley, says he is really enjoying life at Elland Road, “Coming to Leeds has been like a breath of fresh air. It’s nice to see some familiar faces.” The Leeds loanee, who played under manager Neil Warnock at Sheffield United, says that being reunited with the Whites boss played a part in him coming to the club, “It played a factor but Leeds is a fantastic club anyway.” Tonge admitted that playing alongside former Blade Michael Brown in the Leeds midfield has been great, “It’s been nice playing with Brown again, who I thought was fantastic against Everton by the way. He was a real catalyst in the midfield and got in Everton’s faces.”Tonge also expressed his desire to extend his three-month stay at Elland Road,“I’d love to stay for the season but at the moment I’m just taking it week-by-week.” El Hadji Diouf, who was perhaps the stand out performer for United in their win on Tuesday night, is another of Neil Warnock’s additions to the squad this season, and Tonge was full of praise for his teammate, “I have been impressed, I think he is relishing the opportunity of playing for a club like Leeds.” As well as Neil Warnock and Michael Brown, Tonge has also been reunited with the number 18 shirt,a number which the midfielder admits he likes to acquire, “Yes it has always been a lucky number, usually when you join a club on loan there is normally numbers available from 15 upwards. I tried to get the number 18 shirt at my other clubs but unfortunately they have been taken so I have had to settle for 19′s and other numbers.” In the league, Leeds currently lie in twelfth after an inconsistent start to the campaign. Despite this, Tonge is confident the club can push on and sustain a promotion challenge, “The team spirit is really good. A lot of new players have come in and really gelled. Wins always bring players together. Losing Ross [McCormack] is a big blow, but overall I think our performances have been really good.”Since joining the club, Tonge has been in a United side that lost at Cardiff and to Hull, and most recently defeated Nottingham Forest. Tonge believes that the Hull game in particular could have been very different, “Cardiff was a tough game, they are a good side. Against Hull however we could have been three up and out of sight in the first 15 to 20 minutes if we had just capitalised on our chances.” The United midfielder believes that the Forest game was crucial, “You don’t want to lose three games on the bounce in the Championship so it was really important. Forest are a good team and we put them under a lot of pressure.” Tonge is also optimistic about overcoming the challenge of Bristol City on Saturday, who have played above expectations this season, “We need to use the Everton game and use it to our advantage. Derek McCinnes is a good manager and he has turned things around there. We don’t want to be worrying about them though, we need to focus on ourselves and focus on what we can do to hurt them.”

Fri 28th of Sept. Colin outlines his striker criteria Warnock’s options have been depleted by injuries this season and the area of greatest concern is attack, with Ross McCormack facing another few weeks on the sidelines after suffering ankle ligament damage. The Leeds manager has been trying to sign somebody since the loan window opened on 8 September and is hopeful that a deal for an unnamed player will be completed in time for Saturday’s clash with Bristol City.“I’ve made an offer for a striker in the past 48 hours and I’m waiting to hear back,” Warnock told the Yorkshire Evening Post.”I don’t want to say too much but we need another striker. We’ll be able to cope in most areas once a few injured players start coming back but we still look short up front.”Leeds have been linked with Stoke duo Mama Sidebe and Kenwyne Jones over recent weeks. The Whites have three more games to play before they get a fortnight off and Warnock is just aiming to stay in touch with the promotion-chasing pack. “If we get to the international break three points off the play-offs then I’ll settle for that,” Warnock said. “When you think of the games we’ve had and the injuries on top of that, it would probably be better than a lot of people expected.”I spoke about the importance of hanging in there and we’ve managed to do that. We’ve had a few things go against us but we’ve stuck at it and I just want us to make sure we’re in the same shape by the end of next week.”

Friday 28thWhy Leeds United for GFH ?  GFH outline reasons for making club investment By Phil Hay – YEP The Bahraini investment bank behind the proposed takeover of Leeds United has spoken for the first time about the bid, highlighting the size of United’s fanbase and the potential to tap into the wealth of the Premier League as prime attractions. Gulf Finance House confirmed speculation about its involvement in takeover negotiations with Leeds by informing Bahrain’s stock exchange that GFH Capital Limited – a private equity company based in Dubai and owned by Gulf Finance House – had signed an “exclusive agreement to lead and arrange the acquisition of Leeds City Holdings, the parent company of LUFC.” GFH Capital Limited have been working to secure Ken Bates’ 72.85 per cent stake in United for the past four months and yesterday’s statement was the clearest indication yet that the company expects to bring a successful conclusion to talks with the United chairman. It was widely believed that GFH Capital were brokering a deal on behalf of a consortium of buyers but the comments from Gulf Finance House appeared to suggest that the bank itself is planning to put forward the money needed secure control at Elland Road. Gulf Finance House did not comment on the terms of the proposed agreement – the planned buy-out is expected to cost in the region of £52million – and its statement made no mention of a likely completion date. It did not comment either on recent claims that Bates could remain at Elland Road in an advisory role if the bid from Gulf Finance House goes through. Bates has been chairman of United for almost eight years and became the club’s majority shareholder in April of last year. Members of senior management at GFH Capital and Gulf Finance House have attended three of United’s games this season, including Tuesday’s rousing League Cup victory over Everton, and the companies’ approach appears to have been motivated by Leeds’ large and established support and the financial earnings on offer if the club win promotion from the Championship. United lie 12th in the table ahead of tomorrow’s clash with Bristol City, their eighth league game of the season. They have been outside the Premier League since their relegation in 2004. The statement from Gulf Finance House (GFH) said: “GFH would like to confirm that GFH Capital Limited, a 100 per cent subsidiary of Gulf Finance House, has signed an exclusive agreement to lead and arrange the acquisition of Leeds City Holdings, the parent company of LUFC. “According to a recent study by Deloitte, LUFC is one of the best supported clubs in English football with a higher average match-day attendance than most Premier League teams. In addition, LUFC has a large and passionate fan base and a rich history of success in English football over the last 40 years. “Football teams in England have recently received a significant boost due to the re-negotiation of broadcasting rights and it is expected to that from next season each team in the Premier League will receive a minimum of £60m per season due to the increase in broadcasting rights. LUFC would also benefit from this if (they) can achieve promotion to the Premier League.“Due to a confidentially provision, no further details can be given about the commercial terms of the transaction.”United have not responded to GFH’s statement but Bates hinted strongly at their involvement last weekend when he said that Leeds were in talks with a “banking institution” with interests in the Gulf region. The 80-year-old held a lengthy and productive meeting with officials from GFH Capital Limited – including deputy CEO David Haigh and directors Salem Patel and Hisham Alrayes – 24 hours before Saturday’s game against Nottingham Forest. Bates said: “The potential investors are looking to conclude things as soon as possible. “Both parties regret missing the August transfer deadline but we are planning for the January transfer window. “We had one bit of bad luck because the chairman was coming to meet me, we were going to resolve a few things chairman-to-chairman, some things only chairmen can do. “Unfortunately he had to pull out at the last minute for personal reasons but we’re going to try get together as soon as possible.”

Posters say its all really

Thursday 27th. Sept. The Guardian – Inside Sport be David ConnLeeds United supporters parched by lack of top-flight football had theirwelcome draught of it with Tuesday’s 2-1 Capital One Cup victory over Everton in the Elland Road rain, a taste of where the fans believe their club should be. The game was watched by David Haigh, a representative of the Bahrain-based Gulf Finance House (GFH), which has confirmed it is negotiating to “lead and arrange” a takeover of Leeds, having been in talks with the club’s owner, Ken Bates, since as long ago as June. In an 11-minute address on Leeds’s in-house television channel before Saturday’s 2-1 victory over Nottingham Forest, which lifted Leeds to 12th in the Championship, Bates spent almost as long criticising the Leeds United Supporters Trust (Lust) as he did discussing the club’s destiny. He said of the possible investment in Leeds, which is thought to be proposed by private individuals represented by GFH, that there remain “technical points” to resolve, although Bates said there is a confidentiality agreement in place and so he did not explain what the outstanding issues are. If Bates, who lives in Monaco as a UK tax exile, does sell up and leave football completely, he is likely to avoid a Football Association charge of bringing the game into disrepute. The governing body decided to charge Bates, and Leeds United, at the end of August, but is now holding that charge in abeyance. The charge follows the finding in Leeds county court in June that Bates, and the club itself, committed harassment of Melvyn Levi, a former Leeds director, by publishing personal attacks on him in Bates’s chairman’s notes in the club’s match programme. Leeds’s in-house Yorkshire Radio station was also found to have harassed Levi by broadcasting at least six times a public appeal for Levi’s whereabouts, because Bates wanted to sue him. Harassment, his honour Judge Gosnell stated, involves “conduct calculated to cause alarm or distress …objectively judged to be oppressive and unacceptable” and involves “torment of the victim, of an order which would sustain criminal liability”. Bates and Leeds were found to have perpetrated such conduct via the matchday programme, which fans pay £4 to buy, and the radio station supported financially by the club. Levi, 68, told the court this public harassment had a deeply upsetting impact on him and his 69-year-old wife, Carole. Judge Gosnell found the couple had been “made ill“and Levi’s “life had been very significantly affected for the worse”Levi’s barrister, Simon Myerson QC, had asked Bates whether he considered the effect his articles would have on the couple. Bates replied that Carole Levi “doesn’t come into my calculations at all”, and Levi was “big enough to look after himself”. Judge Gosnell said of Bates’s attitude: “I felt his lack of concern, particularly as he must have read the medical evidence on both claimants, was chilling.”Bates was found to have harassed Melvyn Levi but not Carole because she suffered only one act of harassment, not a “course of conduct”. She is appealing. The judge ruled that what was published in Leeds United’s official output was“oppressive and unacceptable … serious enough to sustain criminal liability in the event of breach”. The finding of harassment followed a 2009 high court decision by Sir Charles Gray that Bates had libelled Levi, also in his chairman’s articles published prominently in the match programme. Levi’s lawyer, Nick Collins of Ford and Warren, then wrote to the FA, informing it of the courts’ decisions. On 29 August, an official from the FA’s football governance and regulation division wrote to Collins, saying the FA intended to charge Bates: “I am confident that I will be in a position to confirm the charge with you by telephone tomorrow,” she wrote. The following day, the FA official asked Collins not to release the information“regarding the charge” because the FA was discussing“publication” with its own communications department and Leeds themselves. “It is hoped that this will be resolved today,” she wrote. Collins heard nothing further until last week, when he was told that the charge is not going ahead now, but will be held in abeyance until the conclusion of a further court case Bates is bringing against Levi. Collins is severely critical of that FA decision: “Ken Bates has been found by a judge to have committed harassment, serious enough to sustain criminal liability,” he said. “Any other court actions – which Melvyn Levi will be defending absolutely – are irrelevant. The FA has a duty to protect football and its reputation, and they are declining to act.” Levi, who says his and Carole’s health and happiness have suffered as a result of the harassment, said: “The FA is doing nothing about this behaviour, which I find disgusting. It leaves Ken Bates free to attack other people.” In his LUFCTV address on Saturday, Bates said of Lust, a mutual trust of 8,200 members formed according to the legal regulations of Supporters Direct, the organisation funded by the Premier League: “They are a waste of space, a pain in the arse and achieving nothing.” He described their contribution as“agitation stirred up by those idiots”, and trust members as an “ignorant, illiterate minority”Lust has analysed Leeds’ finances since the club came out of administration in 2007, and argued there has been too much emphasis on building projects, rather than team investment. Leeds have borrowed £5m against two years’ season ticket money (it now costs £582 for a season ticket on the Kop) to build banqueting and other facilities in the east stand. During the August transfer window, Neil Warnock had painfully little money to spend on players, while Leeds sold striker Robert Snodgrass to Norwich City for £3m. In a “vision statement”published last year Lust called for the club to engage more positively with fans, who have remained steadfastly loyal throughout these bleak years. Bates’s programme notes for Tuesday’s Everton match included a personal attack on Gary Cooper, the Lust chairman, stating he was once a member of a “fringe organisation”, and that Lust has a poor relationship with Leeds United’s Disabled Organisation (Ludo). Cooper rejected both completely, and said nobody from the club had contacted him to check these allegations before they were published. Ludo’s chair, Stuart Ramm, confirmed there was “no truth” in the allegation relating to Ludo. Cooper said he now intends to complain to the FA. The FA has declined to comment, except to confirm that the charge of bringing the game into disrepute against Bates and Leeds has been held in abeyance until all legal cases with Levi are concluded. Leeds United refused to comment, including about the takeover talks, in which Bates said there remain “a few things” he wants to resolve with the investors’ chairman. In his evidence during the harassment trial, Bates said he writes his chairman’s articles with the help of his wife in Monaco, before sending them to be published in the programme. Such is life at Leeds United, one of England’s great football clubs, in 2012. Phil Hay talking to Talk Sport today re takeover

Thurs. 27th Sky Sports –Bahraini bid for Leeds United.  A privateequity firm based in the Middle East has announced a deal to take control of Leeds United Football Club. A wholly-owned subsidiary of Bahrain-based Gulf Finance House (GFH) has been in talks with the club’s current owner Ken Bates for several weeks. Equity firm GFH Capital said it had “signed an exclusive agreement to lead and arrange the acquisition of Leeds City Holdings, the parent company of LUFC”. It added Leeds was “one of the best-supported clubs in English football with a higher than average match day attendance than most Premier League teams”. Citing a confidentiality provision, GFH Capital gave no financial details or any acquisition time frame but reports indicate a bid of around £50m for control. Company officials would not comment on whether the Bahraini unit would provide all the money for the purchase or whether other investors might be involved. It said the club would benefit financially from a recent renegotiation of television broadcast rights for football, if it won promotion to the lucrative Premier League. David Haigh, lifetime Leeds supporter and deputy-CEO of the equity firm, also posted a Twitter message hinting at the impending deal.Mr Haigh tweeted: “Good morning everyone. Thank you for all your messages of support. They are very important to us. #LUFC”Last weekend, club chairman Ken Bates confirmed advanced negotiations involving a “banking institution” were taking place, and GFH board members were spotted at Elland Road. Last June, details emerged that 80-year-old Mr Bates, who took control of the club in 2004, was in discussion with investors. Details of a possible sale end a four-month period where fans have been given little information about the club’s future. Having reached the semi-finals of the Uefa Champions League in 2001, the club was relegated from the Premier League in 2004 and dropped into the third tier of English football in 2007 before promotion to the Football League Championship in 2010. The on-field descent came against a backdrop of financial woes, which forced the club to sell key players and ultimately led to administration in 2007. “If you look back since the start of the Premier League, Leeds are without doubt the most successful club not to be in it right now,” Dan Jones, partner at Deloitte’s Sports Business Group, said. “If you can return it to the Premier League, then it could return to being one of the top 20 clubs in the world by revenue – that’s the scale of the club you’re dealing with.” Let’s get the deal done !

Thurs 27thWarnock keeping striking options open Leeds manager Neil Warnock is pondering several possibilities as he continues his search for a replacement striker following injury to Ross McCormack. McCormack, last season’s top scorer at Elland Road with 19 goals, is set to be sidelined for up to two months after damaging ankle ligaments and chipping a bone in his ankle in the recent defeat at Cardiff and Warnock is still keen to replenish his strike force. “I don’t think we could have signed a better replacement than how Diouf played [against Nottingham Forest] on Saturday,” Warnock said. “He was excellent and probably held the ball up better than Ross would have done in that situation. ”We miss Ross’ goals, but still managed to conjure up two and miss a few others, but I’m always looking around and have been for a while now at different types of targets. “I’m looking at those if we’ve no money and those if we have money, different catagories because it would be nice wouldn’t it, looking at Forest’s bench on Saturday, to bring £4million worth of talent on.”

Thurs7th.From “Bluesskipper” – Everton fans unhappy with policing. If you were there on Tuesday night then you will have heard the chants of “Justice for the 96″ and Yorkshire Police, Murderers” what followed was beyond the realms of reasonable policing and a group of Everton fans intend to take some action as a result. A supporters’ group lodged an official complaint with Leeds United after arrests were made at the away game this week. Supporters claimed batons and truncheons were used against them by police and many have made official complaints to Leeds United FC over poor crowd management after the game. James Lyon, of Rice Lane Supporters’ Club, said the group as a whole had lodged a complaint and many of its members had raised individual grievances. James said: “Many fans were not happy with the way things were managed. We have lodged a complaint with Leeds, who I believe will also have to inform the relevant police force.” AnotherFan said: “It was a bottleneck and there was not enough room for everyone to go up, so people started turning back.””Officers than started shouting at people to move and some of the fans started shouting back, saying ‘you killed our mates’.””It was just really poor management on the part of the police.In total seven people were arrested. West Yorkshire police said they were now looking at footage to see if they could bring football banning orders.

Weds 26th. Saints next up in League Cup. Leeds have been drawn at home to Southampton in the next round of the Capital One League Cup with ties being played in the week commencing October 29th. The match will be sandwiched in between playing Birmingham City on Saturday 27th nand a trip to Brightom on FRiday night November 2nd. Colin will be hoping to have a few new additions in on loan for that week and also some of his injured players back.

Leeds celebrations

Weds 26th of September. Colin happy after “proper cup tie”. NeilWarnock believes that recreating the spirit of 2003 could see LeedsUnited achieve something special in this season’s Capital One Cup. Last night he masterminded a shock 2-1 third-round win over Everton at Elland Road, and quickly hailed it as his best-ever cup win.That is rich praise from a man who a decade ago took his Sheffield United team – who like the Whites were in the second tier – to the last four of both the FA and League Cups.He has reunited some key members of that team in another part of Yorkshire, though, with Michael Brown still as dogged as ever in midfield, Paddy Kenny between the sticks and Michael Tonge returning to form and fitness while on loan from Stoke. There was another ex-Blade present last night too, with Phil Jagielka sitting on Everton`s bench, and Warnock could not help but take a trip down memory lane afterwards. “It was like going back in time, with the weather chucking it down, the fans singing, the officials were great, everything was,” said the 63-year-old, who twice accounted for Leeds during Sheffield United`s own cup runs. “There were a few bandages and blood, the two centre-halves both had stitches, it was a proper cup tie.“Browny showed what he could do at his age and it was like going back in time to when we were all at Sheffield.“We had Jags there watching and I was pleased for Browny and Tongey, who had to do another role. He covered the full back and the winger and we called it the graveyard shift when we were at Sheffield. He was super.”Leeds will be one of 16 teams to go into the hat for the fourth round, having played all three games at home so far with an aggregate score of 9-1. They may well need another home tie to have a chance of going through again, but Warnock knows that is what it takes in knockout football. “When we beat Leeds at Sheffield, Leeds were weak on the night and it was a great cup run.“I think anyone left in this one can win it. You`ve got to have a good night – a good night, a good draw and decent conditions.”But while Leeds can now afford themselves the time to dream of further scalps, Everton have to reflect on a opportunity gone begging. Despite their current standing of third in the Premier League, the League Cup was viewed as their best change of silverware this season. A side sporting six changes from the one which beat Swansea 3-0 on Saturday was unable to deliver, though. Despite the alterations manager David Moyes left himself well stocked by selecting the likes of Sylvain Distin, Victor Anichebe, Johnny Heitinga and Marouane Fellaini, while Nikica Jelavic, Phil Neville and Steven Pienaar were called from the bench. And, according to Heitinga, whose sloppiness contributed to Aidy White’s opening goal, he and his team-mates let a 5,000 strong travelling contingent down.“We came with 5,000 Evertonians, which was great. The support of them was really great. It was because of us that we lost, not them,” he told his club`s official website.“The next round when you see Leeds playing it will still be hard that we’re not continuing in the cup, but that’s football. You need to focus on the next couple of games and we need to bounce back now. Not only for ourselves, for the fans.“The confidence is still in the team because we’ve played really good football the last couple of months, we’re near the top of the league and we want to stay there.“We saw it as a way we could win silverware and it’s the shortest way to a trophy. We are out of the competition now and we need to focus on the league instead.”

The “Matador”

Weds 26th of Sept. Diouf “The Matador” to stay. Leeds United fans should not worry about losing El-Hadji Diouf in the January transfer window following another stellar display, according to his manager, Neil Warnock. The Senegal international was once again at the top of his game last night as Leeds bloodied the noses of Everton and sent the Premier League high-flyers packing in the Carling Cup at the third-round stage. Goals from Aidy White and Rodolph Austin ensured the that Sylvain Distin’s late header was nothing more than a consolation in a 2-1 defeat for Everton, but it was the showing of Diouf that got many talking. He has rarely been a popular figure during his decade-long stay in England, with Warnock himself once comparing him to a sewer rat.The pair have formed an unlikely double act at Elland Road, though, and even though Diouf could walk away from Leeds in January, Warnock is sure that they will remain as football’s odd couple. “Dioufy will not go anywhere else, he’s promised me certain things and I’m happy with that,” Warnock said.“He’s obviously not doing it for money, he’s one of the lowest-paid players at the club. He’s not going to get a stage like this again is he? He’s a matador and you need something like that. “It’s no good going to Saudi Arabia or Dubai or wherever he was going for six or seven times the wages. He’s better off with me, isn’t he? He’s given me his word, if that’s worth it. He’s been straight up with me and I’ve been straight up with him.”

Sept 26thBlackwell back in management. Bury have appointed former Leeds United boss Kevin Blackwell as their new manager. The Shakers had been without a permanent manager since Richie Barker departed to take over at League One rivals Crawley in August, with Peter Shirtliff put in temporary charge.Blackwell takes over at Gigg Lane having previously managed Leeds United as well as Luton Town and Sheffield United.During his time at Elland Road, the former goalkeeper guided the Whites to the Championship play-off final before losing to Watford, while he also went within one match of getting Sheffield United to the Premier League only to be denied again in the Championship’s Wembley showpiece. Bury are without a league win this season and lie bottom of the League One table with just three points from eight matches. Blackwell’s first game in charge will be at Stevenage on Saturday.

Weds 26th of Sept. Colin pays tribute to his “best ever cup win”. Neil Warnock paid tribute to his best League Cup result in more than 20 years of management after Leeds United upset Everton in rousing style at Elland Road. United’s boss watched his injury-depleted team reach the fourth round last night with a 2-1 win over an Everton side tipped to lift the Capital One Cup this season. Leeds were missing countless players due to a mounting injury crisis but an early goal from Aidan White – his first goal for the club – and a second-half tap-in from Rodolph Austin sealed Everton’s fate. Warnock, who took Sheffield United to the semi-finals of both the League Cup and the FA Cup in 2003, said: “That’s probably as good a result and performance as I’ve ever had in the cup, because of the circumstances of us having injuries and Everton being such a good side. “Everyone’s a bit surprised. Even our fans will be surprised. But that’s what football’s about – surprising people. “I’d be surprised if any of the lads didn’t watch it again when they got home.“Everton really wanted to win the competition and that makes the result even better for me. We deserved the win and everything about the game was good.“There wasn’t a weakness in our team. If there had have been a weakness then we’d have got beaten.”United were inspired by another influential performance from El-Hadji Diouf, the controversial forward who has blossomed since joining Leeds on a short-term deal last month.Diouf is tied to United until early January but Warnock allayed concerns that the 31-year-old’s form might encourage other clubs to bid for him around the turn of the year, saying: “Diouf won’t go anywhere else.“He’s promised me certain things and I’m happy with that.“He’s obviously not doing it for money because he’s one of our lowest-paid players but he’s not going to get a stage like this again. He’s a matador and you need someone like that.” Everton boss David Moyes said: “We started terribly and gave Leeds the initiative. We probably lost the game in the opening 20 minutes.”

White buries the first goal

Tues Sept 25th. Leeds United 2-1 Everton CC. Team : 12 Ashdown, 04 Lees, 05 Pearce YC, 25 Byram, 08 Austin, 14 White YC, 16 Pugh, 17 Brown YC, 18 Tonge, 10 Becchio , 21 Diouf. Unsued Subs : 31 Rachubka, 03 Drury, 06 Kisnorbo, 11 Varney, 23 Thompson, 20 Gray, 26 Poleon. Report from BBC Leeds. Leeds produced a rousing display to dump Everton out of the Capital One Cup on a breathless night at Elland Road. Rodolph Austin delivered the knockout blow from close range 20 minutes from time, after Aidan White had given Leeds a dream start after four minutes. Sylvain Distin pulled a goal back with a towering header nine minutes from time and Nikica Jelavic went close as Everton finally found their rhythm. But Leeds stood firm to spark wild celebrations at the final whistle. Everton manager David Moyes wore a look of disbelief at the final whistle, having made six changes from the side that beat Swansea so convincingly on Saturday. And while the Scot may have questioned the commitment of his players, he could not dispute the result on a night when Leeds tackled, battled, denied space and dominated territory to reach the fourth round of the competition for only the second time in the past decade. Tactically smart, Leeds’ work-rate was also admirable, their players often doubling up on Everton’s main threats like Marouane Fellaini, while Victor Anichibe found he had unwelcome, unstinting company throughout. El Hadji Diouf was tremendous throughout, frustrating and counfounding Everton’s defence with a selfless display. This was a rare whiff of the big-time for a club whose staple diet became top-flight football for so long – the glamour was in short supply, however. Thousands of empty seats and the driving Yorkshire rain saw to that. But few were moaning about the weather when White erupted on to a loose ball after four minutes, surged beyond Fellaini and between the Everton centre backs before placing the ball beyond goalkeeper Jan Mucha and into the corner with a clinical left-foot shot. White was on the end of another clever Leeds attack seven minutes before the interval, gathering the ball on the edge of the penalty area after a delighftul exchange of passes between Becchio and Diouf, but his shot was too close to Mucha. Leeds could and should have extended their lead in the dying moments of the first half but Becchio’s close-range header was parried by the unwitting Mucha and Steven Naismith clear the ball off the line. Everton had to improve after the interval and they did. Steven Pienaar fired over from the edge of the penalty area as Everton began to tick. Anichebe picked out Naismith with a pinpoint cross from the left, only for the Scotland international to head woefully wide from six yards. Yet still Leeds remained a danger. Diouf was a constant menace for Everton and his free-kick picked out Danny Pugh on the edge of the area and his uncertain goal-bound shot bobbled through a crowd of players before Austin steered it inside the post to send Elland Road into raptures. Everton finally rose up to find hope and with it purpose to make a game of it. Pienaar’s free-kick wide on the left was headed on by Anichebe and Distin rose up and headed forcefully beyond Leeds goalkeeper Jamie Ashdown. Jelavic tested Ashdown with a header from six yards moments later, while a late penalty shout was waved away when Fellaini’s struck Jason Pearce’s shoulder. But Leeds weathered the cold, the rain and Everton’s storm to cling on. Everton manager David Moyes blamed a poor start, rather than his team selection, as Leeds secured a 2-1 victory in the Capital One Cup third round clash at Elland Road. Distin reduced the deficit with a header but EvertonDescription: http:/ had left themselves with too big a mountain to climb, something Moyes was quick to acknowledge. “We were not very good in the first half, but we got better in the second, but not as good as we’ve been playing,” he said. “We started terribly, gave them the initiative and lost the game in the opening 20 minutes due to the way we started. We gave away a really poor first goal and left ourselves trying to get back into the game.” On whether or not his decision to rest some players was key, he added:”These boys are in the squad and have to be able to show they can come in and play. If you don’t use them, what’s the point in having them? The players want to play and be involved.” Moyes’ assistant Steve Round on Monday spoke of the club’s desire to eventually lift this competition which, despite their Premier League form, is widely viewed as their best chance of silverware. That has now passed for another season at least, leaving Moyes to rue a missed opportunity. “It’s a chance if you get good draws and you play well,” he said. “If you get difficult draws it makes it harder and so does not playing well. We had a combination of that.”Leeds manager Neil Warnock felt his side could have won by an even bigger margin after dumping Everton out of the Capital One Cup at Elland Road. The Championship side secured a fully deserved 2-1 victory thanks to goals from Aidy White and Rodolph Austin, withEvertonDescription: http:/ only managing an 81st-minute reply through defenderSylvain Distin.Description: http:/ The triumph put Leeds through to the fourth round and sent one of the tournament favourites tumbling out, and Warnock believes it was a fair result against a side who are third in the Premier League. “They (Everton) wanted to win it – make no mistake – but I think we deserved it on the night,” Warnock told Sky Sports 2. “I thought we were a little bit sharper, we won the second balls and I think we should have scored one or two other goals, so we’re disappointed that we didn’t, but we never do anything easy.”White’s superb goal gave Leeds the lead after just four minutes and the 20-year-old was delighted to finally open his account for the club. He said: “It’s amazing to finally get it after all these years of waiting.”I’ve been dreaming of finally scoring for Leeds and it has come true and I couldn’t think of a better way to do it than against a really good team.”Asked about how far Leeds could go in the competition now, White said:“Hopefully all the way. “It’s a massive cup and we want to win every game and take every game as it comes, and if we can keep progressing in the cup it’d be brilliant and to get to the final… why not?The Louth Branch had a decent contingent in Bennets  and a superb victory was greeted with the cheers and the respect it deserved from all present. That’s two nice wins in a row, v Forest and Everton and will give the limited squad great confidence. 

The fans in the prawn cocktail seats are happy

Mon 24th of SeptLeeds takeover edging closer.- Phil Hay YEPLeeds United chairman Ken Bates says talks with potential buyers of the club are at an“advanced” stage after a crucial meeting between the two sides yesterday. But the terms of the proposal put forward by bidders from the Middle East – and the future facing Bates if a deal is reached – remain unclear despite a fresh statement issued by United’s chairman and owner. Bates has revealed that advanced talks with senior figures at a “banking institution” based in the Gulf region took place on Friday, hours before Leeds played Nottingham Forest in a Championship fixture at Elland Road. The bidders, who first opened serious negotiations with United four months ago, are believed to be looking to acquire a controlling interest in the Championship club. Bates currently holds a 72.85 per cent stake having bought Leeds from their previous owners – the secretive Forward Sports Fund (FSF) – in April of last year. Representatives of the group attended United’s 2-1 win as guests of United’s chairman. Their number. They have investments and interests throughout the Gulf, North Africa and Asia, including included Salem Patel, David Haigh and Hisham Alrayes– three senior members of senior management at GFH Capital Limited. The Dubai-based private equity firm are widely believed to be brokering the deal to invest in Leeds, though a number of sources suggested at the beginning of last week that GFH Capital Limited had been sidelined from talks following a revised offer from members of the original consortium. The appearance Patel, Haigh and Alrayes at Elland Road indicated that the company remain at the centre of discussions but Bates is still to reveal whether the proposed agreement constitutes a full buy-out or if he would remain at Elland Road in some capacity. He has been chairman of Leeds for almost eight years. The 80-year-old did not disclose the name of the bank involved in discussions but revealed that “this is a company that has offices in Dubai as well as Bahrain and India.” Bates said: “We are well advanced with our discussions but there are a number of technical points that need to be resolved. The potential investors are looking now to get this matter concluded as soon as possible.” His attempt to provide greater disclosure about the future of Leeds came on the back of mounting criticism over the lack of clarity surrounding discussions and the time taken to conclude a deal. Both Leeds and the Middle Eastern consortium agreed to a confidentiality clause when the prospective buyers began due diligence on the club’s accounts in June but the process is still to reach completion almost three months later. The two sides’ failure to strike an agreement reduced the spending power of manager Neil Warnock in the summer transfer window, and Warnock’s plans to improve his squad in the emergency loan market remain dependent on the arrival of outside funding. Bates said: “A football club isn’t the kind of business banks get involved in. Normally it’s outside the normal scope so they have to have a learning curve to understand how a football club works. “When they come in they want to make it a success. To make it a success they have to do the ground work. “Both parties regret that because of factors beyond their control we missed the August window. We’re already planning for the January window.”

Mon 24th of Sept. An admirable response. What a difference a day makes! By Eddie Gray. YEP It has been a rollercoaster week –especially with the injury news about Ross McCormack who is going to be out for a period of time. That was a bit of a blow for the football club and then there was Tuesday night’s defeat to Hull. But I thought that the players responded tremendously well on Saturday against a Nottingham Forest side that had been unbeaten. They took the game to them, they worked extremely hard and even towards the end of the game when they were hanging on, they were all battling hard to make sure of the three points. I thought there were some great individual performances but I think everybody in the side did a job on Saturday. They all put in a good shift and even Paddy Kenny who unusually for him made a mistake for the goal – he made a tremendous save to keep it at 2-1 to us. I thought all the players were terrific and I thought El-Hadji Diouf was instrumental in how we played. We passed the ball around a lot more on Saturday against Forest and I think that was all down to Diouf who was bringing people into the game and making people come into the game. Rodolph Austin and Michael Tonge also worked extremely hard in the middle of the park and I think it was a shrewd move of Neil Warnock’s to play Lee Peltier at centre-back alongside Jason Pearce. That made us look a lot more secure and so right down the middle of the field you had Pearce and Peltier, Austin and Tonge and Luciano Becchio and Diuof who were all very strong. They formed the nucleus of the side. We’ve got to remember that we are not that far away in the league now. It was all doom and gloom before the Forest game but we have beaten a side who are expected to be up there and we made them look very ordinary actually. I think that was down to the players who made them look that way. Forest were unbeaten but I thought our players performed well. We’ve still got plenty of players to come back from injury as well. Paul Green and David Norris are not too far away from coming back now I believe and there’s also an international break coming up. Hopefully, by the time that’s over, all the players will be fit and we’ll not get any more injuries. The biggest concern on Saturday was Peltier coming off with an injury and we’ll just have to see how he is. And it will be interesting to see how NeilWarnock approaches the game against Everton tomorrow in the Capital One Cup. I wonder if he’ll leave anyone out or if he’ll go strong. We’ll just have to wait and see. Young Dominic Poleon also got a start on Saturday and I thought the boy took his goal well. I think he’s still got a bit to learn but for any young boy to score like that at Elland Road in a big game he has got to be delighted. He took it very well. I’ve not seen enough of him really to comment on him and he gave the ball away a little bit but other than that the boy has got to be happy and he was part of the winning side. Obviously, losing McCormack up front for a couple of months is a big blow for the football club but you just hope Diouf keeps producing and Luciano keeps scoring goals. It’s amazing what a difference one game makes to the mood and that’s the strange thing about football. One day everybody is down and out but then the next day we are going to be challenging. But it’s over the course of the season that counts and Neil Warnock is very experienced when it comes to these matters. It’s about being consistent but also about not getting too carried away whether you win a couple of games or you lose a couple of games. Over the period of the season it usually evens out. As far as the demonstrations during the week and the takeover goes, the chairman made a statement on Saturday and I think that’s all that anybody knows. People can talk all they want but nobody really knows what’s happening and I certainly don’t know. And really, to tell the truth, it doesn’t really bother me. All I am interested in is that the team are performing on the pitch, whoever is in charge. That’s the most important thing for the football club –that the team is performing – and they performed well on Saturday. You just hope everybody gets behind the players and the manager. People keep saying about how light the squad is but we had five injured on Saturday and we beat Nottingham Forest! So the squad cannot be that light! Neil would like to add one or two players – of course he would – but you look on Saturday and we had no McCormack, no Green and no Norris.Leigh Bromby is still injured but we still coped with a Forest side who are expected by most people to be up there challenging. You’ve got to give the players credit for that. Next up is Everton who are flying but I think they will come here and they might leave one or two players out. But they’ll still be very, very strong. I looked at the bench on Saturday and Sylvain Distin was on the bench and Steven Naismith was on the bench. Whatever side they play at Elland Road is going to be a strong side and it will be a tough game. But you get shocks in these cups and hopefully we can find one. It’s always exciting when you are playing a Premier League side and we are talking about a Premier League side who on Saturday night were second in the division. They might have dropped down a bit yesterday but they are certainly one of the top teams in the league and this is the best start they have made for years. I’m looking forward to the game and in David Moyes they have got a top class manager with a great knowledge of the game.  He keeps getting Everton into positions where people don’t think they should be. Then on Saturday we go to Bristol City in the league and they are doing all right. It will be another tough match but all the games in this league are tough.I looked at the games on Saturday and Cardiff were two up at Crystal Palace but got beaten 3-2. And then you’ve got Barnsley winning 5-0 at Birmingham. Who would have forecast that result? It doesn’t make any difference who you are playing in this league as there’s only really one team who are really struggling just now and that’s Peterborough.  Other than that everybody is beating each other and it’s definitely an open division.

Sun 23rdLeeds United Supporters Trust: “Our Response to Ken Bates’ Update”.  Leeds United Supporters Trust welcome yesterdays comments from Ken Bates, in which he indicated that negotiations with the bidders are progressing positively, and that all involved are working to bring the situation to a conclusion as soon as possible. We are optimistic that this is a sign that the good news for which Leeds fans have been waiting patiently for four months will soon be forthcoming. We were not impressed, however, by a number of other points Mr Bates made in his statement. After a long summer during which little has been heard from the club or Ken Bates, an update on the takeover negotiations from the chairman himself was bound to attract a lot of attention from Leeds fans. Indeed, the statement was hyped up in advance by Yorkshire Radio through its various Twitter accounts, leading to a lot of speculation on Twitter and internet forums about what Mr Bates would say, at a time when most fans were looking forward to our game with Nottingham Forest. While Mr Bates’s comments did include news about the takeover, we think it was unfortunate that fans anxious to hear this update were first forced to listen while Ken aimed disconnected and inaccurate criticism at ourselves, our members, local journalists and supporters on the Elland Road Kop. Having been accused of directing personal abuse at Ken Bates, which, as anyone who has read our statements and comments during the takeover process knows, we have not done, we find it amazing for the L.U.S.T. board to be described in the next breath as “idiots,” “illiterate,” and “a waste of space.” While our board members are well used by now to this wearying treatment, we are not willing to allow Mr Bates to widen his ad hominem attacks to include our more than 8,000 members – branded by Ken as “silly people that follow” L.U.S.T. All Leeds fans are entitled to an opinion, and entitled to express that opinion, whether or not Ken Bates likes what they say. We are also extremely disappointed by his comments regarding the Kop’s support for Neil Warnock’s team. Neil himself has had nothing but praise for the fans since joining Leeds, and indeed has said that our support has been a key factor keeping him at the club, when he has at times been tempted to walk away due to events behind the scenes. Last Tuesday night against Hull, the plummeting attendances – and income – which have characterised Ken Bates’s tenure at Leeds resulted in a sub-20,000 crowd, but the Kop was still full: those 7,000 loyal fans made up almost half of the overall attendance. We do not think that the lifelong fans who have stuck by this club through thick and thin need or deserve lectures from Ken Bates on how to support their team. In our Vision Statement, one of the changes we call for is that the club should change the way it communicates with fans, to create an inclusive atmosphere at Elland Road which will bring supporters flocking back to the ground. We do not see that branding thousands of our fans as “idiots” who do not back the team helps this in any way. Another one of our ambitions is for the club to enjoy good relations with local media, something which Ken Bates’s comments about Phil Hay of the Yorkshire Evening Post will not have helped. Mr Bates referred to Phil’s articles about the financial situation at Leeds United, suggesting he should not try to be a financial expert. Of course, Phil has not tried to be any such thing, but instead reported the opinions of sport finance expert Rob Wilson of Hallam University – who Ken Bates himself has previously cited as providing intelligent commentary on the club’s finances, and who has also helped L.U.S.T. to analyse the accounts. Phil Hay has been as proactive as possible this summer about bringing takeover news to the fans, and we are sure that Leeds fans have appreciated his efforts. This is a role that L.U.S.T. have also tried to play, in the absence of any news from the club about what could be the most important events Leeds United have seen for many years. Contrary to Mr Bates’s claims that our statements “are all inaccurate,” and his implication that we have jeopardised the confidentiality of the bidders, all the information we have shared with Leeds fans has been based on solid information, cross-checked with several sources with knowledge of the negotiations. This includes contacts on the potential buyers’ side, from whom we have had no suggestions that our public comments have caused any of the problems Ken Bates claims. At all times this summer we have respected the confidentiality of the negotiations, and have done what we can to placate the supporters’ anxiety about the slow progress. We have balanced this with our belief that the fans deserve to know what is going on at their club, and will continue to share important information with our members and with all Leeds fans whenever possible.

Sat 22nd Sep 2012 UNITED CHOP DOWN FOREST…Leeds Utd 2(Becchio 14, Poleon 26) Ntts Forest (Blackstock 59) Leeds: Kenny, Lees, Peltier (Varney 66), Pearce, Drury, Diouf, Austin, Tonge, Byram, Poleon (White 66), Becchio (Gray 90). Subs: Ashdown, Kisnorbo, Brown, Payne. Referee: A D’Urso Booked: Pearce (Leeds) Cox (Forest)Att: 24,292. From Official website : United manager Neil Warnock handed Dominic Poleon his full Elland Road debut for the visit of unbeaten Nottingham Forest and welcomed back Adam Drury from injury. United had lost 3-2 to Hull in midweek, but it was Rodolph Austin who had the first shot of the game against Forest when he tested Lee Camp with an early strike from distance. Paddy Kenny also made an early save, following a good move by the visitors. Tom Lees also went close with a header from a corner which was just wide of the mark while Austin had a free-kick blocked after Luciano Becchio was fouled about 25 yards from goal. Forest did have the ball in the net early doors, but the header was disallowed, and when United had the ball in the net there was no doubt. El-Hadji Diouf sent in a cross from the right, Sam Byram arrived at the far post to stab it back across goal, and Becchio made no mistake in giving United an early advantage. And Becchio was the architect when United doubled the advantage 12 minutes later. The South American’s perseverance, saw the ball break to Poleon outside of the box and the young striker lashed home his first goal in a Leeds United shirt. Forest did have an opportunity when Jason Pearce conceded a free-kick on the edge of the box, but Andy Reid’s set-piece wasn’t up to scratch. United were good value for the lead and continued to push and probe against a side who had emerged 7-3 winners at Elland Road last term. And Leeds fashioned out a great chance right on the stroke of half-time when Byram again got the better of Harding to deliver the ball into the box, but Becchio couldn’t keep his shot down. The second period opened evenly, Forest had made two changes during the break, introducing Henri Lansbury and Lewis McGugan, and there were a couple of early delays while both Lee Peltier and Pearce received treatment.But Forest did pull a goal back just before the hour when Dexter Blackstock managed to head home inside the six-yard box after a long throw-in. And United were dealt a further blow midway through tha half when Lee Peltier was forced off with an ankle injury and was replaced by Luke Varney. Aidy White also came on for Poleon, and their first involvement was to defend another long throw that ended with Kenny clawing away a shot. Leeds had some defending to do, but were looking solid and Forest were creating little of any note. McGugan had a free-kick blocked, Lees headed away a ball into the box, and United were digging in. But, as the clock ticked into the final minutes, it was United who found space to get on the front foot, winning a couple of corners while trying to close the game out. Six minutes were added on at the end, but there was no further drama as United secured victory. Neil Warnock : “If I’m honest nobody knows what’s gone off the last few days. We’ve had horrendous problems. That’s what I’m in it today. It makes me really proud. – To see a group of lads give everything it makes me feel proud especially against Forest with the confidence they have. I said to them in dressingroom. Paddy’s made a mistake but he’ll win us the game next week . The first 20 minutes they looked dangerous but 2nd half all they had was a long throw. Becchio  and Diouf were fantastic. Dioufy has never worked as hard as that in his life. We thought about bringing him oiff at the end but he was holding it up and twisting it.  – Pearce should have come off with his ankle . Adams’s taken a knock, Becchio has played through the pain barrier, Pelts has had to come off. It was like emergency ward 10 at the end but players wouldn’t come off”. – (Eddie Gray – I thought Diouf was tremendous  today.” He was tremendous. I thought so also but he’s getting so much fitter.with the games he’s playing he put in a stint today, all of them did.  I thought he really looked sharp today – all of them did”(Eddie- Young Sam Byram is getting better) “I mean I just asked him to play with a smile on his face, but he’s always got a smile on his face so you don’t really have to ask him that.  When you enjoy it you play better. Young Dominic has done very well and he has took his goal really well. He’s still got a lot to learn but he did really well. The fans we fantastic again.   (Re injuries) I’ll worry about that tomorrow” . (Enjoy your glass of wine Neil – Eddie”.

Sat 22nd Sept. Investment Update. Taken from Yorkshire Radio’s interview with Leeds United’s current owner Ken Bates today…“This investment… negotiations have been going on for too long and we all know that. There have been points arising which we have been resolving but I think I should start off by pointing out that our potential investors, let’s call them that, they have problems because a confidentiality agreement was signed. It’s very important to them because they are a banking institution and they are a public company therefore anything that was said can affect their share price which they have to be careful of because it can affect fluctuation in the share price. Secondly, because they’re a banking institution they are under severe regulation. They have regulations that maybe if we had it in England we wouldn’t have had the banking fiasco that we’re still trying to recover from. And this is a company that has offices in Dubai as well as Bahrain. They have investments and interests throughout the Gulf, North Africa and, in fact, Asia including India. So they have a very diverse portfolio in various areas of interest but also shear time difference between the various areas. In our particular remit, they’re using London lawyers so there’s certain logistical problems. However, I’ve discussed it with them at length and there’s certain things I can make public. But before I do that, let’s go back to… we signed the agreement in June and since then there has been non-stop speculation, agitation stirred up by those idiots in LUST. In fact, everything you read on Twitter and any public statements that they put out, are all inaccurate. A lot of it is personal abuse directed against me, which is quite disgraceful and more important I have to say that their behaviour and public utterances as such including Twitter that we have spent quite a lot of time, wasted time, reassuring the potential investors that these ignorant, illiterate minority do not reflect the overwhelming majority of Leeds United. They have are giving the club an undeserved bad name, which hasn’t helped. The fact of the matter is, a football club isn’t the kind of business that banks get involved in. Normally it’s outside the normal scope, so they have to have a learning curve to understand how a football club works. When they come in, they want to make it a success. To make it a success they have to do the ground work. I should say that four of their top people are here and were here yesterday for a long meeting and they are here as our guests today. I was talking to one of them and I said “how many customers do you think you’ve got?” he said “3,000″ I said “how often do you talk to them?” he said “every quarter in a report” I said “we’ve got “150,000 customers, 25,000 who turn up and they want to talk to us every day because that’s what football is like, it’s people’s lives”. And there’s nothing to tell them. In the absence of intel, speculation abounds, gossip becomes a fact and it gets worse and worse. As I put in my programme notes for Tuesday, LUST and Marching on Together are a contradiction in terms. They’re just a waste of space. They’re achieving nothing except making themselves look stupid. Also the silly people that follow them. So let’s go on to be more exact: we are well advanced with our discussions, there are a number of technical points that need to be resolved. Some of the delay has been because of summer holidays because of the heat in the Gulf and a lot of people go to cooler climes and of course our people also had holidays, including lawyers. All these things delay things. But we’re making good progress. We had a very positive meeting yesterday. The potential investors are looking now to get this matter concluded as soon as possible now I can’t say any more than that and I don’t intend to make any more statements. All I will suggest is that Phil Hay tries to be a football writer and not a financial expert which he ain’t. Let’s get on with the business, let’s get on with our business on the field and the fans get behind the team and let our investors and the board get on off the field, to bring this matter to an early conclusion. Both parties regret that because of a lot of factors beyond their control, we missed the August window. We’re already planning for the January window. As I said earlier, we have four of the top people – top executives, directors from the institution… we had one bit of bad luck because the chairman was coming to meet me, we were going to resolve a few things chairman-to-chairman, some things only chairmen can do but unfortunately he had to pull out at the last minute for personal reasons. We’re both disappointed but we’re going to try get together as soon as possible which his personal situation has been resolved.”

Warnock on Leeds. Leeds United boss Neil Warnock says he is unlikelyto bring in a new player before the weekend but admits he could be looking at a different calibre ofsigning this time next week. With new investors reported to be at the table and in talks with the club, Warnock is hoping a deal can be sorted quickly to ensure that Leeds season isn`t over before it has hardly started. A frustrated Warnock is desperate to add to his squad with Ross McCormack the latest player to join the injury list but he admits with the takeover talks on-going he could be looking in a different marketif finances suddenly become available. Speaking on Yorkshire Radio, Warnock said re players coming in  “I am not sure what market we are looking at. The chairman assures me they are doing everything they can to rectify it. “Hopefully it will be sorted as quickly as possible and we know where we are aiming at. A lot of the loan players we targeted in the summer are now gone, there aren`t many that are available and it will then depend on which bracket of player we are looking at.”Warnock admits he doesn`t expect to add to his squad before Saturday but is hopeful that he will have the finances available before the trip to Bristol City the following weekend. “I can`t see anything before the weekend but hopefully before the following weekend we will have some answers to the questions and we will know where we are going. “If the finances are sorted, and the club are looking to bring this extra finance in, then we will be looking at a better type of player than we are currently. “Hopefully, if the situation is sorted then we will try and bring in one or two players longer term rather than just short-term.”They know that I want players sooner rather than later, so they know the urgency regarding it. “I have got assurances they are trying to put something in place so I have just got to leave it with them,” added Warnock. Leeds are now reported to be in talks with a possible new investor after the club failed to agree a deal with a consortium from the Middle East. The talks have been on-going since the end of last season but the club are ready to move on to a new investor. The new investor is reported to be part of the initial group of possible investors but they have decided to go alone in their possible investment into the club. Re Luke Varney - “I think he has been trying too hard, He has been a little bit flat in training but he’ll bounce back”. Re Dominic Poleon - “He has the ability. He has things you can’t coach but he has a decision to make if he wants to have a good career or end up playing Non-League. At times I have had to question his attitude but he has the ability and I’ll be looking at him earlier than I would have been because of the injury situation. Re the injuries and Forest ” We’ve got to stop feeling sorry for ourselves now and take it on the chin.” We are playing Forest on Saturday. We are missing three or four of our best players. We are playing a side that battered us and all the odds are stacked against us but I know the crowd will be good and that’s what you have to do, you have to focus on the better things. I know my team in my head  and I’ll be coaching them tomorrow. But that”s why you get into football for games like these when we will have 20 off thousand raring us on and Forest will bring a  good crowd as well”. We are playing against a side who put seven past us last time and I’m going to revel in it”. Re Davide Somma - “He is doing a little bit more not straight line running but the expectations aren’t that massive but it would be great to have him on the bench for 25 mins as a cameo role but it should be another four weeks before he has some kind of a game” We’ll get Davide back but hopefully sooner rather than later”.

Sept 20th.Bates attacks LUST and updates fans on takeover- The Scratching Shed.In his programme notes for Leeds United’s 2-3 home defeat to Hull City, Ken Bates was his usual diplomatic self with another attack on the Leeds United Supporters Trust (LUST) alongside characteristic rants about Policing costs and FIFA. He did however offer an update on protracted takeover talks and continued to praise the Leeds United Supporters Club. Ken Bates on the takeover and LUSTRumours abound and continue to circulate about the proposed new investment in Leeds United.Despite the confidentiality agreement, stories keep appearing with varying degrees of accuracy as evidenced by the statements put out by LUST, including a TV Interview some months ago that a deal was ‘imminent’. It wasn’t then and is progressing slowly now. In football everybody expects everything now – but the real world is different. Time does not always have the same urgency to others. Let me Illustrate this. Last February, we agreed to talk to another Middle Eastern party from a different country to those we are talking to now. When in June we announced that we had signed an exclusivity agreement with the potential investors, the first party introducer went bananas. threatening to report Shaun Harvey to me, the Football League and (interestingly) to LUST! They had not taken their interest forward for nearly four months at that stage.The current situation is that as i write, the appropriate documents have not been finalised between the lawyers (although of that, more later), Meanwhile, we continue to run the club and the kids on the Monaco beach have appreciated the free pens! Ignore the speculation which is simply ignorance based on ignorance. Terry Wogan, an unlikely philosopher, wrote in The Times recently: ‘People believe what they want to believe regardless of the facts! Ken Bates on FIFA (and LUST)The international fixture dates have already seriously disrupted the domestic football season. Firstly with the meaningless friendly fixtures in the week before the season started. interrupting vital final training sessions for no reason other than financial gain for those countries involved. Meanwhile the clubs pay the wages and get no compensation if the players come bath injured.If small countries need financial assistance then FIFA should give it direct from the billions they have generated from the huge World Cup profits.There is another way to reduce the internationalfixture list. UEFA already does it at club level, when they have the Champions League for the elite and the Europa League for the next tier of clubs. At internationallevel the fixtures are clogged with the likes of Luxembourg, San Marino, Liechtenstein and the Faroe Islands to name but a few. These countries should play in a qualifying competition with say, the top two competing in the main competition on the following occasion. I have been campaigning for this for years. yet without success. Perhaps LUST could sort it out with all their contacts! Ken Bates on Policing costs and LUSC Following my notes In the last programme, we have had further positive discussions with the Supporters Club (LUSC) about their relationship with Leeds United going forward, we expect these discussions to he resolved in a positive and constructive manner. One thing that has to be acknowledged is that throughout our differences, the Supporters Club have never tried to do anything that would harm the club or its public image. Elsewhere, those that do apparently don’t realise the negative image that creates to the outside world or they simply don’t care about it – despite their hollow protestations of their love and loyalty!  An example of the way it affects Leeds United is police costs. Policing levels (and the resultant costs) are gauged on their assessment of the degree of calm or disturbance likely to occur. Their assessment includes looking at the visitors, any history between the two clubs and the home fans record of behaviour. The better the record, the less Police are needed and the costs come down accordingly.Chairman of the Leeds United Supporters’ Club, Gary Cooper, has  since responded to Ken Bates’ programme notes in an interview with ITV which you can view her

Sept 20th.Leeds in limbo. What now Ken ? YEP Ken Bates was back in Leeds today amid increasing pressure on the Leeds United chairman to decide the future of the Elland Road club. Leeds in limbo. What now Ken ? Bates has returned to the city in the aftermath of fresh demonstrations against him and United’s board, fuelled by uncertainty surrounding the proposed takeover of Leeds. Around 800 supporters staged a protest prior to Tuesday night’s clash with Hull City, calling on Bates to accept the offer from a Middle Eastern consortium to buy his majority stake in United. Negotiations between Leeds and the group of prospective buyers have been continuing for almost four months, and public demands for a resolution are growing alongside a deepening injury crisis at Elland Road. A threadbare United squad suffered their second defeat in four days on Tuesday, losing 3-2 to Hull, and the lack of transfer funds available to manager Neil Warnock during the summer window is threatening to impact on the club’s Championship season. Click here to register and have your say on the Leeds United stories and issues that matter to you The Leeds boss has lost no fewer than four senior players to injury, and striker Ross McCormack is set to miss eight weeks of the term once he undergoes surgery on an ankle injury tomorrow. Warnock has as yet been unable to find a replacement for the Scotland international. Sources on both sides of the takeover remain quietly hopeful of a successful outcome, with one telling the YEP that “significant progress” was expected this week, but the pressure for answers is growing ahead of Saturday’s clash with Nottingham Forest, a game which Bates is planning to attend after flying in from his Monte Carlo home. Leeds United Supporters Trust chairman Gary Cooper told the YEP: “The feeling we get is that a lot of supporters are at the end of their tether. “They deserve to know what’s going on and for a long time I’ve advocated the buyers speaking in some form to offer reassurance. I don’t think it’s solely the club’s responsibility and both sides could put us in the picture without breaking their confidentiality clause. But the Trust are confident that this takeover will be in the best interests of Leeds United and from our point of view the club isn’t stagnating at the moment – it’s going backwards.

Bates and his better half – Suzannah

Sept 20th.The National – New bidder for Leeds in race ? United face new bid from former Middle East consortium member Duncan Castles. Ken Bates has been offered a second option to sell his majority shareholding in Leeds United to Middle East investors.The Yorkshire club, regarded by students of football finance as the “last real franchise left to buy”, has been the subject of takeover discussions for over 100 days without a deal being completed. Leeds chairman had agreed to sell to a consortium fronted by Dubai-based brokers GFH Capital in mid-July only for the bidders to fail to meet payment terms. GFH have subsequently attempted to resurrect that offer, but according to sources close to the negotiations, now face the prospect of being cut out of the deal. It is understood that one of the members of the Middle East consortium has gone solo and offered Bates an alternative package in which he would receive 50% of the purchase price now and remain in place at Elland Road as a consultant. The second tranche of money would be paid when Bates choose to step down. Leeds United Supporters Trust (LUST) have been attempting to force Bates to sell his stake in full, having launched a “Time For Change” campaign including the use of advertising space immediately outside the stadium. “Mr Bates, we believe it is time for change,” said Trust chairman Gary Cooper this week. “If you cannot, or will not support our ambitions on the pitch in a financially prudent manner – and our financial analysis showed how to do that – then please see the club to someone who can.” It is not clear whether the Trust knows who the ultimate beneficial owners of Leeds would be if the GFH Capital bid completes, nor if it has knowledge of how much those owners are prepared to invest in the club. Asked if they knew the answers to those two questions last week, the Trust declined to reply, stating that any information they could release would go to their members first. It is also understood that Bates is undecided about accepting either of these new offers. Commenting on the takeover process this week he said: “Despite the confidentiality agreement, stories keep appearing with varying degrees of accuracy as evidenced by the statements put out by LUST. That included a TV interview that said a deal was ‘imminent’. It wasn’t then and is progressing slowly now. In football everybody expects everything now – but the real world is different.” In his programme noted for Tuesday’s 3-2 Championship loss to Hull City, Bates added: “The current situation is that as I write, the appropriate documents have not been finalised between the lawyers.”

Weds 19th. Sunday League defending Neil Warnock said his team were their own worst enemies after going down 3-2 to Hull City at Elland Road on Tuesday. United had started the contest on the front foot, an early Luciano Becchio penalty appeared to set things up, but despite dominating the early exchanges, the visitors came storming back into the contest and held a 3-1 advantage until Andy Gray scored a second for Leeds in injury time. “We were our own worst enemies,” said the boss. “We could have been two or three up. We had some good chances, and I know their goalie pulled off some good saves, but you have to put them away really. “Then the two goals we conceded…if I said Sunday League…if I’d have been managing in the Sunday League I’d have been disappointed with those two goals if I’m being honest. They were really poor.”I was more concerned with that than with the attack. I didn’t think we missed Ross, our forward play was good, but the goals we conceded…We’re naïve and green behind the ears. Both first two should have been stopped because they were elementary.”If I have to make changes I will do. I’m optimistic, but it’s frustrating for me, and for the lads because they are genuine people, and they made elementary mistakes, and you can’t do that.”All that said, the attitude was great. I have to say the lads were brilliant on that front.”The United boss also praised the Elland Road crowd for the backing they gave to his players.”I thought the crowd were super in the second half,” said the boss. “I’d heard one or two things about the chants, but I thought they got behind us and rallied us.”Everyone would like it if everyone got behind the team, but at least the fans know the players are giving everything. They were super with Dominic when he came on.”That’s how it going to have to be. We’re all going to have to get in the trenches, get together, and get out.” United boss Neil Warnock says he might have more luck on a fishing lake than he has of finding the right men he wants to strengthen his squad.The manager spent the early part of the week scouring to strengthen his squad, following injury to Ross McCormack at the weekend, but he admits he has been drawing blank after blank in his quest to find the men he wants. “We have to find one or two loan players now, but it isn’t easy because the ones I would have wanted have all gone somewhere,” he said. “It’s difficult to bring players in. The players aren’t there. They’re all loaned out.”I’ve not come across a club with a player who is available that I want. I’ve had a couple of clubs on with offers of players that I don’t want, but the sort that I want to improve what we’ve got are few and far between. “It’s been a waste of time on the phone if I’m being honest. I’ve not even had anything warm. It’s been ‘no, no, no.’ I might as well go fishing and stick with the kids if that’s the case.” Colin, you have spent £1.8M on your defence. We heard all about Sunday League defending last season. None of us want Bates but we do expect better than what we have been getting so far. Don’t let Bates paper over the cracks. We got a gift of a start last night with a free penalty before handing the game to a Hull side marshalled in defence by a player you deemed not good enough for Leeds. So just get on with it or maybe some of us the fans should go fishing. We have already conceded more goals than last year and have no more points at the same stage. There is no doubt we have had no luck with injuries, and we are three or four players short. Last year at the same stage of the season a depleted and suspension ravaged Leeds hammered Hull City 4-1 at home. You keep telling us you are the right man for the job. Tactically you need to get your act together. It’s your team. Give Varney a rest for Poleon and is Michael Tonge really good enough ? Bristol |City, Huddersfield and Derby aren’t exactly world beaters and they are sitting above us in the table. Next up it’s  Forest, a side who have yet to win away from home all season. We lost 3-7 at home on your watch to this side last season. Tell  the lads it’s time for revenge with your team and stick up the match report on the wall from last season. No more motivation needed. Just get on with it and less of the whinging with still 37 games to go.

Weds 19th. Problems mounting – Phil Hay YEP Neil Warnock was facing up to multiple set-backs today after watching Leeds United lose 3-2 to Hull City and ruling Ross McCormack out for up to eight weeks. Leeds suffered their first home defeat of the Championship season during an eventful Yorkshire derby at Elland Road last night, and the result wascompounded by news that McCormack’s injury is likely to sideline him until the middle of November. The Scotland international damaged ankle ligaments in Saturday’s 2-1 defeat to Cardiff City and he is set to undergo surgery on Friday after scans revealed a chipped bone. With United’s squad dwindling rapidly, Warnock hoped to bring in a striker on loan to replace McCormack but numerous phone calls failed to secure a replacement in time for last night’s match and the Leeds manager seemed doubtful of sealing a new signing before Saturday’s clash with Nottingham Forest. Warnock said: “It’s not good news about Ross and he’s looking at six to eight weeks. “He might need an operation on Friday because he’s got a little chipped bone alongside the ligaments. It’s as bad as you can get from a twisted ankle without breaking it. “People are asking am I going to be on the phone trying to replace him today? But I might as well go fishing. I’ve phoned everybody in the last few days and I’m not even close to being warm. “All my targets have all gone to other clubs in the Championship and quite rightly. There aren’t many players out there now. I’ve been offered a couple from Premier League clubs but they’re not players I want. “We’ve got a good team here – we just haven’t got a good squad.”


Leeds are mauled at home by the Tigers

Tues Sept 18th. Tigers take the points at Elland Road…Leeds 2(Becchio pen 7, Gray 90) Hull City 3 (Elmohamady 23, Faye 29, Koren 76) Leeds: Kenny, Peltier, Lees, Pearce, White, Byram, Austin, Tonge, Varney (Gray 83), Diouf, Becchio (Poleon 61). Subs: Ashdown, Kisnorbo, Pugh, Brown, Thompson .Referee: R East Booked: Pearce, Tonge, Austin (Leeds), Bruce, Amos (Hull) Report from Official website : United manager Neil Warnock made two enforced changes due to injury, Luke Varney coming in for Adam Drury and El-Hadji Diouf replacing Ross McCormack. And it was Diouf who threatened first when he won an early corner as United mounted the first real attack of the game. Moments later, Diouf was the main man again when he won a penalty after being clipped by Hull defender James Dudgeon on the edge of the box. Luciano Becchio stepped up to take the spot-kick and he coolly converted. It gave United the early advantage and, clearly a real boost, with Rodolph Austin having a shot blocked on the line and Diouf being denied by Ben Amos. The game marked an Elland Road return for Alex Bruce and he was booked inside 20 minutes for excessive protesting. The former United man had made his feelings clear after the penalty decision and clashed with the referee again after a Sam Byram challenge on Abdoulaye Faye. But Hull were level on 23 minutes when the ball broke kindly to Ahmed Elmohamady after a mix-up, and the Egyptian was handed an easy finish. And the visitors were swiftly in front Faye found plenty of space to head a right wing cross beyond the reach of Paddy Kenny. The first half continued to be a feisty affair, but there were no real chances for either side as Hull went in 2-1 to the good. Austin tried his luck at the start of the second period, and his effort was followed by a worrying delay while Becchio received treatment after taking a knock on the ankle. The South American was swiftly replaced by Dominic Poleon. The sub made a couple of early runs to lift the crowd and he also forced a good save from Amos after he cut in from the left. But it was 3-1 to Hull on 76 minutes when Robert Koren finished off a sweeping move forward by tucking the ball Kenny. The goal appeared to end the game as a contest, but United did rally briefly. Amos had to smother when under pressure and Poleon sent a shot wide after good work by Andy Gray. And it was Gray who made his mark in the first minute of stoppage time when he headed home from a corner to reduce the deficit to set up a tense finale. I’m going to be devil’s advocate here. Last season after six games we had 7 points and conceded 10 goals. This year we have 7 points after six games and conceded 11 goals. Has Bates deflected away some of the heat that would have come on the manager? How can we leave Luke Varney on the pitch for 83 minutes when he contributed absolutely nothing and not give Andy Gray at least 20 minutes. Yes we have had a few injuries and yes our squad is wafer thin, but the performances have not been up to scratch either. Huddersfield, Derby and Bristol City are hardly world beaters and none have arguably stronger squads than Leeds. All three are above us currently.Our defence is still very worrying and Blackburn, Cardiff and now Hull have easily hurt us with pace and better ball players especially through midfield. Time to utilise the loan window correctly and get better players in than the Michael Tonges of this world. Anyway, it’s still early days and there is only six games gone but personally I have seen no improvement on last season just yet . Here is what the boss had to say :Neil Warnock to Eddie Gray on LUTV :  (Re early on) “The chances were good and should have been finished off. We won’t win any games if we concede goals like that. The last three games I’ve been very disappointed. We are just green behind the ears, just naiive. There are times you have to be professional. When they get kicked on the ankle you got to  hold the head and learn a few tricks of the trade. It doesn’t come easily. It comes from making mistakes. Dominic did well when he came on and gave us some sparkle. It’s the defending that has cost us tonight. (Re McCormack) he might have to have a little operation on Friday but nothing serious. He is the one player that gives us that little bit of genius. I heard one or two of the callers  but I think they have been fantastic. (Re Bates out)I don’t want to hear the chanting. I thought they were fantastic. Re loan market when you look around all the best players are gone. We aren’t even close, not even warm. There was 5 players we were looking at who have gone to other Championship clubs. Re injuries.. Greeny is a few weeks away. To lose Ross and Adam and also the game at  at Cardiff. I thought we did well in the second half but the third goal killed us”. 

Tuesday Sep 18thTakeover “progressing slowly” – Bates. Leedschairman Ken Bates has confirmed that the club remain the subject of a takeover bid, but it is only progressing slowly. The Elland Road club announced on 26th June they had entered an exclusivity period with potential investors but now, 84 days later, the situation remains unresolved. Leeds have only released a statement to confirm that the exclusivity period had ended but talks remain on going. And 80-year-old Bates said on Tuesday evening:“Despite the confidentiality agreement, stories keep appearing with varying degrees of accuracy as evidenced by the statements put out by LUST (Leeds United Supporters Trust). “That included a TV interview that said a deal was ‘imminent’. It wasn’t then and is progressing slowly now. In football everybody expects everything now – but the real world is different.” Writing in the club programme ahead of tonight’s clash withHull City,Description: http:/ Bates added: “The current situation is that as I write, the appropriate documents have not been finalised between the lawyers.”GFH Capital, who are working on the deal on behalf of a Middle Eastern consortium, have sent representatives to one of United’s games this season but have not made any comment on the nature of the talks. Disgruntled Leeds fans have arranged a protest against Bates, who they accuse of putting off-field investments before the purchase of players, ahead of and during Tuesday night’s Championship game.

Jones to Leeds ?

Sept 18th. Leeds eye up Jones. Neil Warnock is eyeing up KenwyneJones as a replacement for Ross McCormack according to The MirrorMcCormack faces several weeks on the sidelines following an ankle injury sustained in Leeds United’s 2-1 defeat to Cardiff at the weekendand Neil Warnock is under no illusions as to how big the loss is:“Ross is going to be out for a while and that is a big, big blow for us. We could probably get away without anyone but him, especially after the start to the season he has had. He is a major, major player for us.Speaking to the Yorkshire Post, Neil Warnock went on to add that he’s hoping to secure cover by the weekend and The Mirror believe that Kenwyne Jones is top of his most wanted list. Following the acquisition of Michael Owen, it’s believed Stoke City manager Tony Pulis is willing to let Jones go out on loan, but Leeds United will no doubt face stiff competition and the decision will most likely be dictated by who can contribute the highest percentage of his wages. The 27 year old Trinidad & Tobago international joined Stoke City in 2010 for a club record fee of £8m. Since then he’s made 78 appearances, scoring 19 goals. So far this season, Jones has made only one appearance, getting his name on the scoresheet in a 4-3 League Cup defeat to Swindon Town. Leicester are thought to be in a two way fight with Leeds for Jones. How many bloody strikers do they want, and they won’t even play their best one.  This guy, Jones, would be a serious addition to our team if we could nab him. Big, powerful and direct, a brilliant foil for Becchio.

Who need midfield ?

Sept 17thStriker in for the weekend ? Leeds United boss Neil Warnock will be hoping to add to his squad before the game withNottingham Forest at the weekend. Warnock is looking for a replacement for Ross McCormack, who is likely to be on the sidelines for at least two weeks. McCormack was forced off inside five minutes of the game at Cardiff City on Saturday after suffering an ankle injury and Warnock admits that he will not have time to bring in a new player before the home game with Hull City on Tuesday night but he is hoping to have something sorted for the weekend. Speaking on the official website, Warnock said,‘It’s a bit late now because most of the better players have already gone out and I’m not bringing someone in for the sake of it’ ‘It has to be someone who can improve the squad really. ‘We are looking and we’d love to get someone in before the weekend, but the Hull game will be too early.” Warnock is already without Paul Green and David Norris who started the season and defender Adam Drury is also a doubt for Tuesday night after picking up a knock at the weekend. The loss of McCormack could mean a chance for Andy Gray or youngster Dominic Poleon who are still waiting to make their first start this season. El Hadji Diouf and Luke Varney could also be pushing for a place in the starting line-up after starting the weekend`s game on the bench.

The poster says it all

Sept 17th. LUST message. The Leeds United Supporters’ Trust’smessage is now displayed outside Elland Road for the fans to see, after our new advert was unveiled this morning. The advert reads,‘Leeds United Supporters’ Trust believe our club should match the ambition of our fans,’ and asks fans to join the Trust, which now has over 8,000 members.  With a prime position outside the main entrance to the East Stand on Lowfields Road, the advert will be in place for an initial period of a month, during which time it will be seen by thousands of visitors to Elland Road. Several of our members had suggested that L.U.S.T. should use spaces around Elland Road to make our message about the need for positive change at Leeds United more widely known. Acting on these ideas, the Trust board worked with local company City Ads to find the right location for an advert. Graphic designer Wayne Gamble (The Beaten Generation) produced the artwork for us, and the sign was put in place on Saturday 15th September. We think the advert is a great example of how, by listening to our members and working with local companies, L.U.S.T. can make things happen at Elland Road. Although the new advert was not toasted by a win for Leeds at Cardiff, we hope it will bring more luck to Neil Warnock and his players in the upcoming games against Hull, Nottingham Forest and Everton.

Austin celebrates

Sept 17th. Rudolph on Cardiff defeat. Rodolph Austin called on Leeds United to respond to their 2-1 loss at Cardiff City by taking maximum points from successive home games against Hull City and Nottingham Forest. The midfielder turned his thoughts to a pressurised week of Championship football at Elland Road after a convincing second-half display from Cardiff condemned Leeds to their second league defeat of the season. Craig Bellamy and Peter Whittingham scored in the space of five minutes to earn City three valuable points, despite Austin pulling a goal back with an audacious free-kick late in the game. Austin described United’s defeat as “unfortunate” but urged his team-mates not to lose confidence on the back of a tiring defeat which dropped the club to ninth in the Championship table. The result in Wales was compounded by injuries to Ross McCormack and Adam Drury, weakening a squad already reduced by other absentees, but Austin said a haul of six points was a realistic target from this week’s games against two other clubs inside the Championship’s top six. Hull come to Elland Road tomorrow night fresh from an impressive rout of Millwall, and Forest are due in Leeds this weekend having fought back from two goals down to earn a draw against Birmingham City on Saturday. Austin said: “We have to give it our all and get maximum points from this week. We can do it – we just need to believe in ourselves.” A point at Cardiff would have been very good for us and we were in the game for a long time. The goals we conceded were unfortunate but that’s how football goes. We just need to get back to winning ways as quickly as possible.” Bellamy opened the scoring in the 68th minute, converting a sublime free-kick from the edge of Leeds’ box four minutes after appearing as a substitute. Austin echoed the thoughts of United manager, Neil Warnock by admitting a disjointed wall had given Bellamy too clear a chance to attack goalkeeper Paddy Kenny. Cardiff took full advantage of the opening goal and settled the game with a penalty from Peter Whittingham five minutes later. Austin reduced their lead 13 minutes from time when he thumped a 25-yard free-kick beyond City’s keeper, David Marshall, but Leeds were unable to force an equaliser. Austin said: “They came out in the second half and started pushing. You could see they wanted to score. “Craig Bellamy scored a nice free-kick and you have to give him credit for that but our wall should have been more positive. “With my goal, I like to shoot and it was in my range so I stepped up and took it. I was very happy with that and it put us back in the game. It’s just unfortunate that we couldn’t get another goal.” Warnock could be without McCormack, Drury, David Norris and Paul Green for tomorrow’s clash with Hull, but he revealed that Green is ahead of schedule in his fight to overcome a knee injury. The Leeds boss, who is bidding to sign a striker on loan in time for the Yorkshire derby, said: “Paul might only be two weeks now whereas we thought he’d be another month. If we can get through this period with some sort of team then we might have one or two back, ready to help. “I wanted to leave Luke Varney and El-Hadji Diouf out on Saturday to keep them right for tomorrow. But then McCormack gets injured and Adam Drury gets injured. Sometimes you can’t win.” 

McCormack injured again

Monday Sept 19th. Colin requests funds to replace Macca. Leeds United manager Neil Warnock has requested funds to sign a new strikeron loan after losing Ross McCormack to injury in Saturday’s defeat to Cardiff City. Warnock wants Leeds to stretch their budget and sanction another signing in response to an appearance in Cardiff which brought customary disappointment and more pressure to bear on United’s squad. The Welsh capital is no sanctuary for Leeds, who last won there in 1984, and second-half goals from Cardiff substitute Craig Bellamy and chief architect Peter Whittingham extended the trend of the past three decades. Warnock felt aggrieved by United’s second defeat of the Championship season but spoke with greater concern about the twisted ankle suffered by McCormack and the muscle problem which forced the half-time substitution of left-back Adam Drury. Drury is a doubt for tomorrow’s game against Hull City but might conceivably recover in time to play. McCormack’s injury is a more serious matter, too swollen to allow full prognosis over the weekend but unlikely to heal before the international break begins on October 7. The Scotland international will undergo scans this week. Though a shortage of transfer money has been evident at Elland Road for many weeks, Warnock used the emergency loan market to sign Stoke City’s Michael Tonge last Thursday, a deal made necessary by injuries to David Norris and Paul Green. The United boss is now looking for Leeds to make additional cash available in the absence of McCormack, a player he described ruefully as “our only Bellamy.” Leeds were linked last week with a move for Stoke forward Cameron Jerome. Asked how much scope he had to replace McCormack, Warnock said: “That I don’t know but I’ll be asking the question, obviously. “We could do with another loan player now because of the injuries we’ve got and the number of games coming up. We know we’re a thin squad and I knew that if we got two or three injuries – which we have – it would put a lot of pressure on us. “Ross has twisted his ankle quite severely. I don’t think there’s any break but we can’t see for all the swelling at the moment. I’d imagine he’d be out for a few weeks at least.” Warnock warned some time ago that the size of his small squad might bring Leeds to this point, and Drury’s leg problem took to four the number of senior players affected by varying degrees of injury since the Championship season began on August 18. The emergency loan market offered a reprieve of sorts after the last week of the summer window came and went without any movement at Elland Road, but the recruitment of Tonge on a 93-day deal from Stoke eased Warnock’s stress about the range of his resources for all of 48 hours. Two things speak critically of the levels of investment in United’s squad: the options available to Cardiff manager Malky Mackay on Saturday, allowing him to use Bellamy to such good effect in the second half, and the sight of Warnock wading into the loan market after each and every injury. Warnock joked afterwards that while Cardiff turned to Bellamy to break United’s back, his last throw of the dice was Dominic Poleon, a teenager who turned professional three months ago. He is not alone in thinking the balance in his squad is wrong. There is a bigger picture behind all of this, namely the proposed takeover of Leeds by a Middle Eastern consortium which has staggered through the best part of four months and still hangs in the air. A source involved in the deal told the YEP that “significant progress” was anticipated this week but Warnock and the club’s supporters have digested hopeful whispers like that with increasing frustration and cynicism. All Warnock knew on Saturday night was that the injury to McCormack had left him short-handed in a week of back-to-back home fixtures against Hull and Nottingham Forest.

Cardiff blues for Leeds yet again

Leeds clap their fans

Sat 15th. Leeds leave Cardiff empty handed…Cardiff 2-1 Leeds United Kenny, Peltier, Lees, Pearce, Drury (Diouf 46 (Report from LUFC website)), Byram, Tonge, Austin, White, McCormack (Varney 6, Poleon 83), Becchio. Subs: Ashdown, Kisnorbo, Brown, Gray.Referee: P Tierney. United manager Neil Warnock handed a debut to new loan signing Michael Tonge in the centre of the park, while Luke Varney dropped down the bench with Sam Byram and Aidy White taking up the wide midfield roles. But Varney was involved inside the opening seven minutes when, worryingly, Ross McCormack left the field with what appeared to be an ankle injury.And the sub had an early shot blocked after Sam Byram did well down the right and delivered a cross into the box. That was in the 12th minute, and by then United had to deal with a couple of threats from the home side with balls into the box. Chances were at a premium during a bitty opening half hour with neither side really taking a grip on proceedings. Paddy Kenny did have a couple of balls to collect, one an effort from distance from Heidar Helguson which the United keeper dealt with comfortably. The first half had largely been a stop-start affair, littered with stoppages, and there was little fluidity about the game. Cardiff did head over, following a corner, in the first of the three minutes of stoppage time, and Varney looked to latch on to a long ball as Leeds broke, but there was little else before the whistle went to end a half completely devoid of entertainment.El-Hadji Diouf replaced Adam Drury at the start of the second half while Leeds were looking solid, in terms of entertainment value, they game was crying out for a spark, and Kenny had to save from close range at the start of the half. Jordan Mutch also sent a shot wide for the home side. When the hosts threatened again, Jason Pearce made a good block to avert the danger, and when Leeds came forward the referee’s whistle brought a halt to proceedings as Luciano Becchio looked to forge a chance. A close offside call also denied Diouf when he volleyed over the bar. Cardiff threatened again with a ball from deep into the box while Varney drilled a cross into the six-yard box which was cleared. And Tommy Smith wasted the best chance of the game shortly after the hour when he volleyed over from close range.enny also had to save well when Mark Hudson found space in the box and attempted to steer a header wide of the United keeper.But Cardiff were in front in on 66 minutes when Craig Bellamy drilled home an angled free-kick from the edge of the box after Michael Tonge was booked for a foul. The former Liverpool man unleashed an unstoppable strike which left Kenny with no chance.ive minutes later, Cardiff had an opportunity to double that advantage when Tom Lees was adjudged to have given away a penalty. Peter Whittingham stepped up to take the spot kick and his cool left foot finish made it 2-0.But Leeds did get back in it on 76 minutes when Rodolph Austin levelled with a long range free-kick. Like Bellamy, the Jamaican international picked his spot, the bottom left hand corner, and drilled the ball beyond the flailing dive of David Marshall.The Cardiff keeper was called upon again moments later to clear an Aidy White cross when both Becchio and Varney were advancing dangerously. At the other end, Kenny got down well to deny Smith, who drilled in a low shot from distance. But United fashioned out another chance with less than five minutes on the clock when Austin found space on the right and picked out Peltier with a great cross. The skipper got up well, but his header was over the top.That proved to be the last meaningful action of the game as United’s frustrating record at Cardiff continued. This game was televised on the excellent, with half time analysis from Gary McAllister and Andy Gray. United were very much in the game in the first half but chances at either end were at a premium. McCormack was a big loss, being stretchered off after five minutes, and his replacement Varney did really nothing for us. Mutch was lucky to stay on the pitch after a terrible tackle on Peltier. Makay changed tactics for the second half and Leeds were chasing shadows after that as the Welsh side created chance after chance. Paddy Kenny has been a superb addition and he produced some fantastic saves, as they waltzed through our midfield and defence time and time again. Austin’s free kick was a great effort and Peltier could have rescued an undeserved but welcome point when he should have scored with an easy header in the last minute. In truth, we were very much second best and it is a worrying trend that first Blackpool, and now Cardiff dominated a second half against us.We can stop teams playing to a degree but when they get organised their better players cause us difficulties.  Next up is Hull, but Colin can’t persist with the ineffective Varney, who was later replaced by young Poleon. Our midfield create nothing, and against Cardiff we pumped balls forward endlessly in the air for Becchio who was getting dominated by Hudson. Colin is going to have to format a plan B or else we will continually get nothing from trips to places like Cardiff, B’pool, B’burn, Leicester, Bolton etc. and be seen as a one trick pony with no variation. Warnock said : “I am disappointed. The goal is  a fantastic strike but our wall was very poor. “We need to be a little bit more professional in certain departments. We are a little bit naive at times. “I think we did well. You cannot fault the effortbut we are now struggling injury wise. We have had a few injuries, which will make it difficult for Tuesday and we have to keep going,” added Warnock. “We came back well and we are disappointed, we could have scored an equaliser late on through Lee Peltier.” Malky Mackay saw the game more my way : “Half-time changed the game. Leeds came and worked very hard, were compact and disciplined” “They negated space in the wide areas and did their homework by watching our game against Wolves. “We spoke at half-time, upped the tempo and attacked them in different areas in the second half. We had 19 chances at goal and Paddy Kenny made three or four magnificent saves. On another day we  could have scored four or five. “After half-time we looked a different team. It’s early days in the division, but I’m delighted with the win.”

Tonge – Many of us thought he hd retired

Sept 13th 2012. Tonge joins United on loan. Leeds United have signed Stoke City midfielder Michael Tonge on loan until December. The 29-year-old completed the move today (Sept 13) and trained with his new team-mates for the first time ahead of Saturday’s trip to Cardiff City. Michael is well known to manager Neil Warnock with the midfielder having made over 300 appearances for Sheffield United, the majority coming under the current Leeds boss. He joined Premier League Stoke in 2008 and has played in the UEFA Cup for the Potters. “There’s anumber of players I’ve been looking at with the injuries we have,” Warnock told the club website. “It was vital we did something in time for Cardiff. Michael hasn’t been involved with the first team, but he’s played some under-21 games so he’s fit. He knows how I play, I don’t have to explain things, and he’ll fit in well with what we have here. “A loan had to be someone we wanted and Michael fits the category and I think he’ll fit in well. He’s desperate to do well. I like that, and I like him as a person. He gives us that passing ability we maybe don’t have and he’ll fit in well. “It’s about fitting the ingredients and he’s in the Norris/Green mould which is what we want. He’s excited and couldn’t wait to get started. “There was a lot of names bandied about, but I said we would wait for him so I’m pleased.” There will be some who to see this a cheap option on a player who has played little football in the past four years and disappointment will prevail over not attaining the much more accomplished Jermaine Jenas.

Jenas link

Sunday Sept 9thJenas to Leeds ?  The Sunday People claim TottenhamHotspur are prepared to let Jermain Jenas join Leeds United on an emergency loan basis. The 29-year-old England midfielder was expected to leave White Hart Lane during the transfer window, but a move to Sunderland collapsed. Jenas started last season on loan at Aston Villa before an achilles injury forced his premature return to Spurs. After six months in recovery, Jenas made his return on the 25th of August, coming on as a substitute during Tottenham’s 1-1 draw with West Brom. After starting his career with Nottingham Forest, Jenas transferred to Newcastle United in 2002 for £5m before joining Tottenham Hotspur in 2005 for £7m. He’s made 387 appearances scoring 42 times, and also won 21 caps for the English national side. With David Norris and Paul Green both out injured, Neil Warnock will be desperately trying to reinforce his midfield.There is no doubt that a fit Jenas offers a lot more ability than Norris or Green to Leeds and this would be a welcome addition if Spurs would accommodate his wages.

Leeds fans getting in the spirit of the takeover

Sat Sept 8thLeeds fans still in dark after 100 days – By Phil Hay. It has been a difficult summer for the club communication-wise, wrote Leeds United chairman Ken Bates in his programme column last Saturday. He could have stopped that sentence after the word club.His column continued: “We signed a confidentiality agreement with the potential investors which means we have said very little. “Because of this, rumours are rife, speculation about this has given licence to small groups of so-called fans with a hidden agenda to make wild unsubstantiated statements about the future of the club.“What I will suggest is that when you read a so-called press release or statement on the web, don’t take it at face value. Ask yourself: is there any evidence to support what is written? Is it just speculation, gossip? Or is there some other motive?” Protracted The Leeds United Supporters Trust (LUST) won’t mind me saying that he’s talking about them. But on the subject of the protracted takeover of Leeds he could as easily be talking about me or any of the journalists who have attempted to unpick this blurred story. Yes, a confidentiality clause exists and yes, it leaves hints and whispers to fill the vacuum. The alternative is complete silence – convenient for some involved in the deal but less than satisfactory for the rest of us. A contact close to the process admitted for the first time on Tuesday that the commitment to non-disclosure was“making life difficult”. There are people on the inside who would genuinely like to speak. So another week and still no outcome, despite suggestions from the Middle East that the consortium attempting to purchase Leeds are losing their rag after more than 100 days of work. We could speculate again about the reasons for the delay – indemnity, a lack of funds, a reluctance on the part of the current owner to sell – but far better now to concentrate on the few available facts. Bates’s column talked around the takeover rather than talking about it specifically, mentioning other club owners who had “invested for the wrong reasons”and saying he was “determined that when I move on my legacy will be that the club is in safe hands” with people who can “take Leeds United to the next level.” But more relevant was his run-down of the demands made of any party who approach United with the intention of investing in or buying the club. The list went as follows: “A) Proof of Funds? (ie: Have they got the money?) B) Who are they? (ie: Who owns the negotiating company?) C) Fit and Proper Persons? (ie: Who are the proposed directors and will they pass the Owners and Directors’ Test with the Football League and the FA?) D) What is the proposed method of running the club? (ie: State your business plan?) E) What is your reason for wanting to invest in the club (ie: show us your motives for investing?)”Were this process entirely closed-off and devoid of any detail at all then the answers to those questions would be known to only a select few. But Leeds have already clarified many of those issues, and clarified them positively, in the statement they published on June 26. It was that statement which convinced the public that a change of ownership at Elland Road was on the cards. In it, United said: “Leeds United can confirm they have granted an exclusivity period to enable a potential investor to carry out the appropriate due diligence. It is anticipated this will be a fairly straightforward process. “A confidentiality clause prevents the club from making any further comment. However, our discussions have left us very comfortable that they have the financial resources to support the club and that they will have no issues in satisfying the requirements of the Football League’s Owners and Directors Test, unlike many of the previous approaches we have had to endure.”From that we can deduce several things: the buyers had the funds needed to get their foot in the door at Elland Road; the buyers were expected to meet Football League requirements; and on the basis that Leeds believe they are fit and proper, the identities of some or all of those involved must have been known. If nothing else we know names and faces of individuals at GFH Capital Limited, the Dubai-based firm brokering the sale. That covers A, B and C. As for the consortium’s plans and their motives for investing, you could debate whose business that is. It is right for Leeds to attempt to ward off anyone who might be reckless with the club but it is hard to know how many credible investors would be happy to have their business strategy picked over and vetted. If the consortium can finance the deal and neither the Football League nor the Football Association see a problem then how they run Leeds United is up to them. They should know that they will run it under intense scrutiny as Bates has done for almost eight years. Had this group from the Middle East failed on some or all of Bates’s key points, it is hard to see how this deal would have life in it after 100 days and more. When the club spoke as openly as they have at any stage on June 26, they gave the impression of smooth waters ahead and an acceptable bidder at the table. Was that statement unsubstantiated or an accurate reflection of a good offer? And if the offer was good, what’s the problem? Amid rumours, speculation and everything else, it is safe to say this: in no way was the takeover of Leeds supposed to take this long. One of the most damning portrayals of the apathy surrounding Leeds United last season was the size of the crowd for their League Cup tie against Manchester United. It should have sold itself but the attendance fell 7,000 short of Elland Road’s capacity. Two years earlier, every seat had been taken for Leeds’ game against Liverpool. More people attended last season’s Championship match against West Ham United than the plum draw in the League Cup’s third round. Leeds’ meeting with Manchester United was a Category A fixture, meaning tickets in many areas peaked at £36. So credit where it’s due after the club’s decision to make this month’s tie against Everton Category C; and not only that but to fix junior prices across the stadium at £11. There is money to be made from another high-profile draw, not least because Sky Sports’ broadcast will earn Leeds a tv fee of £125,000, and United need cash. Injuries to David Norris and Michael Brown in addition to the loss of Paul Green have caused a problem in one of the few areas where Neil Warnock did not expect to be short. A midfielder on loan is now as much of a necessity as a striker or a right winger. But the attempt to attract a large crowd for the game against Everton is a healthy policy, especially because the tie is a prime opportunity for two clubs served so well by Gary Speed to jointly remember the late Welshman. United have done much to acknowledge Speed and plans are afoot for a memorial match in honour of the midfielder who died at the age 42 last year.

Norris injury blow

Sept 7th. Senator out for a month. LEEDS United have suffered another injury blow with midfielder David Norris facing a month on the sidelines after tearing a thigh muscle. Norris will miss up to four weeks of the season with an injury diagnosed in the days after last weekend’s 3-3 draw with Blackburn Rovers at Elland Road. The 31-year-old completed 90 minutes against Blackburn but an examination of his injury revealed a torn muscle, adding him to a casualty list which already includes Paul Green. Manager Neil Warnock saw his midfield ranks depleted last month by the loss of Green to a knee injury – the ex-Derby County player is likely to be absent until early October – and Norris’ set-back is threatening to leave him short of options when Leeds visit Cardiff City a week tomorrow. United also have doubts over the fitness of Michael Brown, who is carrying a hamstring strain, and Norris’ injury will almost certainly intensify the search for loan signings when the Football League’s emergency window opens tonight. Warnock, who has previously voiced concern about a ”thin squad” at Elland Road, said: “It’s another blow and I’m really disappointed for him. He’s had a great start to the season. “He’ll be looking at three to four weeks so it’s not long-term but we’ve already lost Paul Green and we’ve got Michael Brown struggling with a hamstring strain. We’re looking thin in that area now.” Norris has started and finished all four of United’s Championship fixtures this season, developing a promising partnership with Rodolph Austin in the centre of midfield, but his injury could rule him out of as many as six games. Leeds have five league matches scheduled before their Yorkshire derby with Barnsley on October 6 and the club are also due to meet Everton in the third round of the Capital One Cup on Tuesday, September 25. United saw Ramon Nunez, their transfer-listed forward, damage a cruciate knee ligament in a youth-team game on Monday – an injury which could force him to miss most of the season – and right-back Paul Connolly is set to return early from a month-long loan at Portsmouth after aggravating a groin problem. Connolly, who is also in the transfer list at Elland Road and underwent surgery on a hernia in the summer, and is destined for the treatment room at Thorp Arch after limping out of Portsmouth’s Johnstone’s Paint Trophy tie against Bournemouth on Tuesday night.

Sept 7thIdeal chance to end the isolation – By Dominic Matteo If you’re a Premier League player with a foot in the loan market then the chances are this past week has not been a good one. The introduction of fixed 25-man squads in the Premier League means a footballer’s situation is no longer a secret. In short, if you reach September and find yourself being linked with loan moves elsewhere you know you’re surplus to requirements – for the next few months at least. How will players react to that? They’ll react as you’d expect them to. They’ll feel isolated by their club and they’ll wish they’d found a move before the FIFA transfer window closed. Some would rather sit about and take their money than up sticks and walk out into the Football League. I know how it feels to be unwanted – Blackburn Rovers made that very clear to me – but I can’t see why anyone would prefer to kick their heels than play proper, first-team football. Sitting in the reserves is the most pointless existence, especially if you’re an experienced player with plenty to offer. I hated playing in reserves games, absolutely hated it. I’ll admit that openly. I saw some point in them when you were coming back from injury but at other times they were demoralising fitness exercises – and not very good ones. I was jealous of the lads who were in the first team and I resented the fact that they were going off to big games while I played behind closed doors. Most clubs stage reserve games behind closed doors these days. You don’t even get a crowd. When I finally forced my way out of Blackburn, the best offer I had was Stoke City. It wasn’t the most obvious move for me but I decided to go there and throw myself into it. I loved the feeling of training all week and playing when it mattered. Eighteen months later we won promotion. Happy, happy days. So I’d question the sanity of any player who is surplus to requirements at a Premier League club, receives an offer to join Leeds United on loan and decides to say ‘no’. Fair enough if they’ve got better options or a good reason to go elsewhere but I can’t accept that anyone would rather play in behind-closed-doors friendlies than experience the sort of atmosphere we saw at Elland Road on Saturday. United’s game against Blackburn was a cracker. The emergency loan market is not a particularly popular subject in Leeds. A lot of supporters take the view that United have been too reliant on it over the years and used it as an alternative to making big, permanent signings. Some would say – and I do agree with this – that a number of the players brought in on emergency loans in the past few years have not made a great impact. But I don’t think it’s fair to claim that loan signings are poor signings full stop. That’s a bit simplistic. There are good players out there at this time of year. To me, trying to find effective loanees in February or March is a tough ask because the market grows so thin but virtually every Premier League side has a group of four or five players available at the moment. The key is signing the right people. That sounds obvious but I’ll give you an example: When Leeds were fighting to get into the Championship play-offs in 2011, they brought in Jake Livermore and Barry Bannan. Were they ideal options to shore up the midfield? I’m not having a go at either of them because they’re talented lads but you’re talking about two inexperienced arrivals at a time when the heat was on and Leeds were struggling to get over the line. It’s one thing running the show in youth-team games or reserve matches but it’s another altogether when you’re throwing the likes of Bannan and Livermore into the heat of Elland Road. The atmosphere’s tense and the crowd can get anxious; that’s when you need players who’ve been there and done it under the same sort of pressure. Neil Warnock has loaded his squad with experienced footballers and his strategy is already paying off. For the first time in a while I can see real camaraderie among his players and they’ve had a good month. But Warnock needs more players. Of course he does. I know I sound like a broken record but it’s clear for everyone to see. I feel the same about the loan window as I did about the summer window – give the manager some money and he’ll spend it well. He’ll raise the potential of a very good team. He’s an excellent judge of player from what I’ve seen and let’s face it, he’s extremely well connected. I can’t see him bringing in unproven kids. I made this point a few weeks ago but I’ll make it again – why, when you’ve got a guy with seven promotions on his record and a good first month of the season behind him, would you think twice about backing him to the tune of a couple more signings? Is it not common sense? We’re told that the aim of the club is to get promotion and I really think that with a bit of strengthening this side have a chance – a chance Leeds should be doing everything to take.

Sept 5th. Congrats to Tom - Leeds United defender Tom Lees has been called up to the England Under 21 squad.Lees missed out on the initial squad but has been added to Stuart Pearce’s selection following injuries to Jack Rodwell and Henri Lansbury forced the pair to withdraw. The 21-year-old was added on Tuesday evening ahead of tomorrow night’s clash with Azerbaijan. The side will also face Norway. Lees has had an impressive start to the season with Leeds United, putting in a few key performances for the Whites. The academy product at Elland Road recently signed a long-term contract keeping him at the club until 2016.

Sept 5th. The mangle dancing to a different tune – The Scratching Shed. The issue of Elland Road boycotts has no doubt been playing on many of our minds lately. It’s going to be, as we watch in increasingly jaded disbelief as the bearded miser hangs in there dribbling nonsensical bile into the 11/12 season despite obvious, excruciatingly real interest from potential outside purchasers of our wayward vessel. When I consider the respective arguments on the subject, I’ve recently become aware that my inner dialogue closely mimics the lyrics of Armand Van Helden’s 1999 floor-filler and yelp for individualism ‘You Don’t Know Me’. Thought it’d be worth explaining that one early. A mass boycott sounds wonderfully powerful in theory, but ignores a fundamental truth: we do not all support the same Leeds United, and people are going to get narked about the implication that they do. Each of our relationships with the club is different, based on so much of the practical stuff on which football relationships develop: when we first walked through the turnstiles, the company we keep, the stuff we shout and responses to that stuff we perceive, right down to the angle and viewpoint from which most fixtures have been watched. Effectively we’re all dating a partner who conceals the fact they’re seeing everyone else from us using a stunning mastery of the dark arts. Added to that, people don’t want to be told that they need to do something about their soured relationship before they’ve truly admitted it to themselves. People don’t want to be told what to do at the best of times. Edicts from a moral high-ground, even one as valid as that looking down on the carnage of the Bates years, are never going to sit well here. It’s not going to be rationally considered; it’s going to feel like a cutting barb at any other loved one or cherished artefact from childhood, and be taken very personally indeed. There’s also some less deep-rooted concerns working against a successful boycott. For part-timers like me, there are also times when personal narratives draw you to your season’s fixture selections. This is very true of our League Cup third round tie. An Everton-supporting old mate of mine and I have been waiting on any old cup match between our respective loves for the best part of a decade. To finally draw it and then get wind that the high profile-ish TV fixture is being targeted by some as the perfect mass-boycott – well, as an anti-Bates bore myself, it’s a bit awkward isn’t it? To have that little bit of pleasure in a personal rivalry tested, or be a small part of larger statement? Shucks. If I end up going, I will be trying really hard not to have much fun. This is my church. This is where I heal my hurts. Yes, it’s time for another explanatory excerpt from the same (golden?) era of commercial dance music as Van Helden. There’s been some talk that some sort of campaign of hands-on ‘re-education’ aimed at the supposedly apathetic of the fanbase needs to be taken on. The objectives are noble, but the truth is probably that there’s a majority who know full well that Bates isn’t a benign influence on proceedings – it’s just that the personalisation of the experience means they’re able to separate church from state with more ease than it’d be assumed. Their relationship with the mighty white gods can never be tainted by such crass influences as the tight-fisted merchant in the temple. People are going to need serious reassurances to just not go. “We’ve only just met Rodolph and it’s been going so well so far – when will we get to see him again?” is just one of many similar concerns. If a boycott is achieved, there should be preparations for fallout. Some people are going to need a heavyweight group hug. Aside from all this cod philosophising over late 90s house beats, our team, against the odds, seems to be decent, and it would be a bit of a shame to give them no-one to impress. If injuries and/or suspensions strike this extremely thin group, a vaguely intimidating Elland Road is going to be even more important in keeping the points tally ticking. And as fans, you can’t help but want that to happen. When you start hoping for defeats and -10 administrations just to show Ken that his policies have failed, you might as well not boycott, but pack it in forever. This is not an argument to do the opposite and pack the place to the rafters – but surely the repeated struggles over the 20k mark doesn’t exactly suggest that the Bates strategy is heartily backed here. Ken knows full stadiums and full tills with him at the helm are not even a dream his tendency towards delusion can conjure. We’ll surely all get behind a short sharp shock of ‘make things worse to make things better’ in a situation without a glimmer of hope, in which he’s sold every last asset and scared off every potential investor on earth. It may seem very much like that time is now, but it’s not quite. While there’s an offer on the table that just requires the use of one of them damn BICs, continuing to hold our own on the pitch, with a few fans in the stands, might just be a major lever in getting one of the suitors of our club to get in that office and point a gun, metaphorical or otherwise, at the old codger’s head. You’ve had the close of a transfer window to squeeze out a last taunt to the morons, and we might even politely ignore you inevitably claiming the early sparks of this season as your own, Ken, so just go. Go. Go. We’ve been waiting like muppets for this beat to drop way too long, and pride means we can’t leave our little dance floors now. There’s some solo shapes to be cut with the right DJ on the decks.

Sept 5thTakeover latest – Phil Hay – YEP. The fate of the Leeds United takeover was increasingly uncertain today amid claims that the buyers will walk away unless a sale is finalised before the end of the week. The proposed purchase of Leeds by a Middle Eastern consortium appears to be on a knife-edge with sources at home and abroad indicating that the buy-out has reached a “make or break” stage after three months of talks.Further discussions are planned in the next 48 hours and the brokers of the deal maintained their strict silence last night as doubts about the takeover continued to grow. GFH Capital Limited, the Dubai-based company fronting the planned buy-out, failed to answer a request by the YEP for clarification about the consortium’s intentions. A contact at United’s end of negotiations played down the possibility of the process collapsing if talks before the weekend came and went without an agreement, saying the offer from the Middle East was “still there”, but the prospective new owners appear to be losing patience after failing to force the hand of current owner Ken Bates. The identity of United’s would-be buyers has never been confirmed despite firm indications that a member of Bahrain’s ruling family, Sheikh Abdulrahman bin Mubarak Al-Khalifa, is one of the individuals behind the approach made to Bates as far back as May. Their bid has been led by GFH Capital – a private equity firm in Dubai – and two members of the company’s senior management team attended United’s Championship game against Wolverhampton Wanderers on August 18. One of them, deputy chief executive David Haigh, was telephoned directly by the YEP last night but did not respond. The buyers and United have been bound by a confidentiality agreement ever since Leeds announced on June 26 that the Middle Eastern consortium had agreed an “exclusivity period” with the club and begun inspecting the accounts at Elland Road. But a deal agreed in principle between the two sides has been delayed by a number of obstacles, including a wrangle over an indemnity clause protecting the investors from any unforeseen liabilities arising from the purchase of the club. Legal experts say an indemnity clause is a standard feature of most deals involving the sale of a business. The takeover appeared to be on the brink of collapse four weeks ago before a flurry of negotiations revived the process. The consortium are said to see forthcoming discussions as a“very last attempt” to convince Bates to sell his 72.85 per cent stake. A source close to the club told the YEP: “The deal’s still there to be done but it’s going to need movement on both sides.”

September 5th 2012. LEEDS United’s plans to take Shaun Derry on loan have been scuppered after the midfielder was included in QPR’s 25-man squad.The Chronicle understands former boss Neil Warnock was keen to bring the 34-year-old back to Yorkshire for a second spell at Elland Road. Derry has made just two substitute appearances for Rangers this season, and has slipped even further down the pecking order after the return to fitness of Alejandro Faurlin and the arrival of Esteban Granero from Real Madrid.However, the former Crystal Palace man made the And R’s chief Mark Hughes insists he has no plans to send the veteran out on loan. He said: “All of those in the 25-man squad figure in our plans, even with the new players coming in.”

September 5th. Bobby Davison on Leeds trialist and Hulse and Campbell linked. Leeds United trialist Peter Poloskei has received a vote of confidence from former Whites striker Bobby Davison. Davison managed 24-year-old Poloskei at Ferencvaros and said the forward resembled a “young Dean Ashton” when the Hungarian club signed him in 2008.Poloskei is a free agent who recently completed a trial with Coventry City, and he appeared and scored for Leeds’ Under-21s in their development league win over Wigan Athletic on Monday.United manager Neil Warnock has spoken repeatedly about the need to add forwards to his squad after the final stages of the summer transfer window passed quietly at Elland Road. The Football League’s emergency loan market opens at the end of this week and Warnock was invited to bid for DJ Campbell after QPR announced yesterday that the striker had been omitted from their 25-man squad submitted to the Premier League for the first half of the domestic season. Warnock took Campbell to QPR from Blackpool last summer, paying more than £1million to complete the deal. Former United striker Rob Hulse – a player Warnock has signed twice in the past – was also left out of Rangers’ squad, making him available for a loan move elsewhere. But Warnock continues to be hampered by a lack of funds and Leeds took the chance to assess Poloskei during a 90-minute outing in a 3-1 win over Wigan at Elland Road. Forward Sean Myler – a 19-year-old product of the academy at Everton – also appeared as a substitute. Davison said: “Peter is big, quick and can finish. “When I worked with him at Ferencvaros he could have done with believing in himself a bit more but that may have changed. We took him on a free as he seemed a good prospect. Peter was 19 or 20 at the time and in many ways he reminded of a young Dean Ashton. He did well for Ferencvaros.”

Sept 3rdhNunez blow for United - Leeds striker Ramon Nunez could be set for a lengthy spell out after suffering a knee injury. Nunez was in action for United’s development squad against Wigan at Elland Road on Monday afternoon but lasted just 15 minutes before going to ground in some pain while running with the ball. The Honduran left the field on a stretcher and the npower Championship club are assessing the extent of the injury. However, Under-21s coach Neil Redfearn is preparing himself for bad news. He told the club’s official website: “It didn’t look good and when a player goes down like that your initial reaction is that it could be a long-term. If that’s the case it’s a shame for him, but he will be assessed as to what the extent is before we find out.” Nunez was placed on the transfer list by manager Neil Warnock at the end of last season, but has featured as an over-age player in the development squad matches this term.

Wakey wakey Ken

Sunday Sept 2nd. There is only one Ken Bates In a Summer when Ken Bates has brought his reputation to an even lower low, I thought some of the following lines from “Moscow White from the superb Square Ball’s first edition of the season is right on the money and I’m quoting from yesterday’s excellent hard copy : “LUST helped the takeover happen…………by responding directly to Ken Bates’ suggestion that if they want investment in Leeds , they should go and find someone to invest , by doing exactly that. They found several people in fact, who were happy to talk to LUST about what Leeds United could be in the future, while Bates continued griping on about disappearing Sheiks and tight Yorkshiremen. LUST’ major achievement, though has been in building relationships that KenBates has singularly failed to build, and at times to wilfully destroy, during his seven and a half year reign. Where Ken Bates can’t claim, in the face of the anti-Bates chanting heard at away grounds all over the country, that anywhere near a majority of over 9,000 season ticket holders support his membership, LUST have a membership of over 7,000 fans who have willingly signed up to back them. Where Ken Bates’ lack of attention to detail drove players to distraction waiting for decent contracts, and sent them looking for success elsewhere, LUST have had a dialogue with senior players and released a statement on their behalf calling for the club to change, and appointed Nigel Martyn as their Honorary President. Where Ken Bates was fighting Yorkshire Police in court over costs, LUST was working with them on the logistics of a peaceful protest march, and carrying out a football policing survey to see where match days could improve. Where Ken Bates has accused Yorkshire Businesses of not supporting the club, LUST have discussed the future of the club with local business people who want to work with Leeds United, but not with Ken Bates. Where Ken Bates was lambasting the council for not funding the buyback of Thorp Arch, LUST were signing up Council leader Ken Wakefield as a Trust shareholder and welcoming his support. Where Ken Bates was dismissing the Parliamentary commission into football governance and barking into his programme notes about expenses, LUST have gained local MPs Rachael Reeves, Greg Mulholland, Fabian Hamilton and Hillary Benn. Where Ken Bates has banned BBC Leeds and The Guardian from Elland Road LUST has stepped in to provide the mdedia with a fan’s perspective of Leeds United. In short where Ken Bates has Fucked up, LUST have swept up. Leeds United Supportres’ Trust have got the keys to the city; all Ken bates has is the keys to Elland Road. And he doesn’nt even own them. This is just part of an excellent article . There is another few pages, but I think most fans will agree it’s hard to argue with any of the above. The man is a cancer in our club.

Now for some quotes from hisprogramme notes from yesterday’s Blackburn Rvs game : “However today is a big test…just relegated, rich Indian owners and having a financial advantage with the parachute payments for the next four seasons…….It was interesting to review the CCC results. No less than eight of the reportedly “rich” clubs were knocked out by opponents from lower divisions. Perhaps money and big squads are not the answer. Food for thought for the small minority clamouring for somebody else to finance their Premier league dreams”(Just like the the Norwich midfield of Leeds players yesterday at White Hart Lane , eh Ken ?“Because of this rumours are rife, speculation about this has given licence to small groups of s-called fans with hidden agenda to make wild unsubstantiated statements about the future of our club. I am deeply conscious that so many clubs have been acquired by so called rich owners who have invested for all the wrong reasons and are now a shadow of their former selves.” This is from a man who is in possession of 72.85% of Leeds City Holdings, that he bought in 2011 for persons unknown for an amount unknown that makes him the majority owner of LUFC and he talks about clubs being shadows of their former selves after bringing our great club in and out of the third division for the only time in its history (of which Leeds spent almost half of his reign in League One) as his only achievement in seven and a half years at the helm. And of course there is the simple matter of having what everyone seems to agree is a fantastic offer on the table for his 72.85% except Ken himself. The mind boggles.

Sept 1st. Diouf signs until January (at least) Leeds United have signed El-Hadji Diouf on a short-term contract until January. The 31-year-old Senegalese international put pen to paper on the deal after Saturday’s clash with Blackburn Rovers. The player scored his first goal for the club and was instrumental in a performance that saw United come from two goals behind to draw 3-3. Diouf, who boasts a wealth of experience, having played in the top flight for Liverpool, Bolton, and Blackburn, initially joined the club on a non-contract basis on the eve of the new season. He made his debut against Shrewsbury Town in the Capital One Cup and has featured in every game so far this season. His first start came at Peterborough last weekend. United manager Neil Warnock was delighted to complete the signing of the player on a longer-term basis, despite Diouf attracting interest from a number of clubs on the continent. “I’m delighted we’ve been able to get it done,” said the boss. “I think everyone has seen why we wanted Dioufy here, and what he brings to the squad. “He is a quality player, he has plenty of experience, and he’s good in and around the dressing room.” 

Louth on tour v Blackburn 2012

Sat Sept 1stSix goal thriller at Elland Road.  Leeds 3 (Diouf 43, McCormack 57, Becchio 65) Blackburn Rvs 3 (Olsson 19, Gomes 26, Rochina 84). LeedsKenny, Peltier, Lees, Pearce, Drury, Diouf, Austin, Norris, Varney (Byram 90), McCormack, Becchio. Subs: Ashdown, Kisnorbo, White, Brown, Gray, Poleon. Referee: N Swarbrick. Booked: Varney (Leeds), Formica (Blackburn). Report from the Official website.United entertained a Blackburn side packed with former Premier League players boosted by the anticipated signing of El-Hadji Diouf on a short-term deal until January. Blackburn included their most recent addition, Jordan Rhodes, in the starting line-up for his debut while goalkeeper Paul Robinson made his competitive return to Elland Road. The visitors arrived with an unbeaten record in the league and Paddy Kenny was the first goalkeeper to be called upon when he beat away a Morten Gamst Pedersen shot after some good build-up play by Blackburn. The isitors started the game strongly and put Leeds under some early pressure, but United soaked up those early attacks, and looked to get a foothold in the game. But Blackburn did get their noses in front inside the opening 20 minutes. Pedersen played a diagonal defensive splitting ball and Markus Olsson was able to escape in space before drilling the ball past Kenny to make it 1-0. Moments later, Kenny was called upon again to save well from Pedersen after Blackburn moved it forward quickly and incisively once again. It was 2-0 before the half-hour though when Pedersen and Olsson were involved again and Nuno Gomes drilled a shot past Kenny with the aid of a deflection. There was a huge penalty appeal from United when RossMcCormack claimed he had been dragged down by Grant Hanley, but the referee waved away the shouts and awarded a corner. Leeds were back in it shortly before half-time, though when after Blackburn twice cleared the ball off line, Diouf was rewarded for his perseverance when he stabbed the ball home from close range for his first goal for the club. And Diouf almost made it 2-2 within a minute when a McCormack free-kick was half-cleared and Robinson made a stunning save to deny the United man. The former United keeper also made another important save in stoppage time and after struggling for the opening half-hour, United finished with a final 15-minute flurry that had Blackburn hanging on. Leeds started the second half on the front foot and Gael Givet made a decisive block as Luke Varney looked to drill the ball into the six yard box. At the other end, Danny Murphy sent a shot wide at the second attempt after his first was blocked. United were soon on level terms, though, when Ross McCormack finished off a move that started with a long ball forward by stabbing beyond Robinson to level matters. Still Leeds fought, and when David Norris lifted a Diouf corner into the box, Lucianio Becchio saw his header blocked right on the line. There was no denying Becchio on 65 minutes though when he headed home from close range after some horrendous defending by the visitors following another Diouf ball into the box. United were temporarily celebrating again moments later when Jason Pearce headed home a McCormack free-kick, but the referee ruled the ‘goal’ out for a foul by the central defender. Still Leeds came, though, and Robinson had to save a stinging shot from Becchio. Diouf went close again with just over 10 minutes remaining, but it was Blackburn who levelled followed a contentious free-kick. The ball was played into the box, and Ruben Rochina scored with a back-heel through a crowd of players which slipped past an unsighted Kenny. Five minutes of of stoppage time ensured the game remained in the balance, and United had another penalty shout waved away during the final moments. At the other end, Dickson Etuhu shot wide. And, right at the very death, Diouf stabbed a shot over the bar after showing more guile to work himself the opening. Alternative Report from : “The Scratching Shed : At 3:30, Leeds were down and out of this match, being completely outplayed by a classy and expensive Blackburn Rovers side. By 5:00, Elland Road was rueing an agonising injury time miss from El Hadji Diouf as the Whites settled for a thrilling 3-3 draw. Following the comfortable midweek victory over Oxford United, Neil Warnock reverted back to the team who defeated Peterborough in the last league match. Luciano Becchio and Ross McCormack were reinstated in attack, whilst Luke Varney and David Norris returned in midfield. On paper, Leeds have a strong first eleven, but yet another damp squib of a transfer deadline day left the home bench failing to inspire and the squad as lightweight as ever. In contrast, the forever under pressure Steve Kean was able to name an intimidating team full of experience at the highest level including Morten Gamst Pedersen, Nuno Gomes and former England international Danny Murphy. Perhaps most intimidating of all was the inclusion of Jordan Rhodes, the league’s most expensive and sought after marksman. At £8million, Rhodes price tag easily dwarfed that of the entire Leeds squad and served as a reminder of the gulf in financial clout between a recent Premier League team with parachute payments and a club seemingly heading for further financial meltdown if the glacial-paced takeover fails to materialise. The financial chasm on show soon transitioned into a chasm of quality, skill and talent as the away side dominated the opening exchanges. Paddy Kenny was forced into a number of early saves as Leeds failed to gain a grip on the match. In spite of rampant recent performances, Rodolph Austin was struggling to make any impression in the midfield as he and David Norris were left chasing shadows. Particularly vulnerable was the Leeds’ right flank, where Captain Lee Peltier and Blackburn-old-boy El Hadji Diouf were frequently the embarrassed victims of ruthless left-wing attacks. It was no surprise, therefore, when Markus Olsson broke free down the left and swept into the penalty area before dispatching the first goal conceded by Leeds at home this season. Both Peltier and Diouf looked horribly out of position as the move unfolded, and Kenny was left red-faced as the ball was lashed under him. Minutes later, Blackburn struck a second. Again the attack came down the left hand side before the ball was cut across the 18 yard line for Nuno Gomes to clip into the far side of the net. Heads dropped in the stands. Blackburn’s dominance and superiority was so vast that murmurings of a heavy thrashing spread like Chinese whispers. Frustration grew both on and off the pitch as the Whites began to concede petulant fouls in their desperation to create even a single chance in the first half. The fans’ attention alternated between deriding the referee and steadfastly chanting the “Bates Out” mantra. But this is football. And, as we all know, it is the most unpredictable of games. As they say, it only takes a moment of magic or a scrambled fluke to change a match. El Hadji Diouf’s 43rd minute lifeline goal was certainly one of the latter category, prodding the ball over the line following a woeful display of goalkeeping from ex-Leeds hero Paul Robinson. Suddenly, Leeds were alive. Diouf and Varney had swapped flanks, patching up the right-wing defensive frailties. Attacks began to flow. Moments after pulling Leeds back into the match, Diouf could have equalised as he headed goalwards a McCormack free-kick, only for Robinson to tip acrobatically over the crossbar. Half time arrived and brought a chorus of scorn for the officials, but there was a new found optimism in the air. Warnock’s men began the second half as they finished the first. Blackburn’s flowing football dissolved under the crushing wave of Leeds pressure. On 57 minutes, Adam Drury sent the ball upfield. Luciano Becchio jumped, but neither he nor his marker got a touch, allowing the ball to run through to Ross McCormack on the edge of the penalty area. From there McCormack unleashed a sublime half-volley across Robinson to emphatically snatch an equaliser which had seemed so out of reach after half an hour. It was McCormack’s first league goal of the season, and he will have been very satisfied to outshine his Scottish compatriot Rhodes, who was being adeptly shackled by Jason Pearce. There would only be one winner from here. Elland Road sensed a third goal was on the cards and so it proved. Just 10 minutes after the equaliser, Leeds completed a frankly staggering comeback as some comical Blackburn defending sent the ball into the path of Luciano Becchio. The Argentinean’s header beat Robinson at his near post, and left Leeds dreaming of a third victory in four games. “Bates Out” soon evolved into ironic chants of “Kean Out” as the gloom of the first half turned into delirious euphoria. Jason Pearce hit the back of the net to make it 4-2, only for the referee to disallow the goal with one of several dubious decisions which would leave Neil Warnock enraged post-match. Leeds pressed for a fourth, but it was Blackburn who would strike a hammer blow. A questionably awarded free kick found its way to Ruben Rochina, who deftly back-heeled past Paddy Kenny to deflate the home support. Up went the fourth official’s board to reveal 5 minutes of stoppage time. Blackburn attacked, threatening to well and truly rain on the parade. But the last chance of a thrilling match would fall to El Hadji Diouf with seconds remaining. As the ball fell fortuitously to his feet in the area, the stage was set to become a hero and win over his remaining doubters by snatching a stunning winner against his former employers. Diouf swung his left foot, a defender slid in, Robinson flailed, and the ball cleared the crossbar. Today was not to have a final dramatic twist. Despite the feeling of deflation at the final whistle, this was an excellent match and a very good result against possibly the strongest team in the division. From a position of inevitable defeat, Leeds showed all the fight, spirit and winning mentality that you would expect of a Neil Warnock side. And long may it continue. How I saw it Leeds never got out of the traps and were totally overrun in midfield. Along the right flank there was little or no understanding between Diouf and Peltier and one or both were at blame for the first goal. When Diouf was switched to the other wing and then up front later on, he ran the show. But in between, Danny Murphy was allowed time and space to pass Leeds to death, with the superb Nuno Gomez making coming deep and making unmatched runs all over the pitch. When they went 2-0 up Leeds could have had no complaints and their fans started chanting ;“How shit are you because we never win away”. Neil Warnock’s teams don’t do midfield. Norris was extremely poor and Varney…well the less said the better, suffice to say how he managed to stay on until the 91st minute defied belief. In truth Rovers could and should have been three or four goals up, but when Diouf pulled one back on 43 minutes you felt that if Leeds could get organised properly at half time, they could draw or even win this game against a powder puff Rovers rear guard. Very few managers do half time team talks better than Colin and a few cups may have been flung about at LS11 during the interval. It worked. Leeds came out a different side in the second half in the sweltering heat and it was no surprise that Leeds were 3-2 up within 20 minutes from a super strike my McCormack and a typical Becchio header. The Kop started chanting : “Paddy Kenny is having a party – bring the vodka and some Charlie” and the ground was rocking. United had chances to stretch the lead but failed to take them. More and more Leeds began to sit back and let Blackburn come on to them, like they did against Wolves and like they did against Blackpool. Eventually the goal came, in 84th minute through substitute Rochina. Both sides had chances to win it, none better than Diouf, in the 94th minute when he blasted over from three yards out. It was a thrilling game and one could say a point gained or two points dropped. I would be in the latter camp. In an extremely warm day we should have used our bench earlier than the 91st minute when White’s pace certainly would have exposed the limitations of the Blackburn fullbacks, and put the lifeless Varney out of his misery. Oh for the wizardry of Snodgrass on the wing who left Match of the Day audiences drooling at White Hart Lane last night (scoring for Norwich in 1-1 draw) instead of doing his stuff for Leeds. Yes we have Austin who works ever so hard and sticks his foot in but finds it impossible to find a white shirt from 20 yards, yes we have the very promising partnership of Pearce and Lees (although the latter was naive for the equalizer), Drury adds experience at 34 at left back, Kenny is a very good keeper, McCormack, Becchio and Diouf are as good as any three in the division at what they do, but we are certainly three players short (particularly in the middle of the park and flank areas and we do lack pace going forward). Four games gone and seventh isn’t too bad but can you imagine the abuse Larry would have taken had his side conceded three goals at home ? It’s not about negativity. It’s about positivity and the loan market opens in a week’s time. Colin knows what he needs. He will have to dispense with some of his cautionary approach but let’s see what the next International break brings us. Premiership clubs have submitted their lists of 25 players and if decent Pros want game time, they’ll have to move on. Finally, it was good to see Paul Robinson give the Kop the Leeds salute before and after the game, and it was very good to have the company of the Cooley Watters brigade and Leeds own Pete Sebine.  Here is how the bosses saw the match ; “I thought his contribution (Diouf)in the second half was good. He missed a good chance but they missed one a minute before,Warnock said. The game was a good advert for the Championship but we were disappointed that the referee gave a free-kick against Tom Lees when Pedersen backed into him in the build-up to their third. “Bill Shankly once said referees know the rules, they just don’t know the game.”It was disappointing to be denied a win by a decision like that. I am so proud of my team for battling back from two down.” Kean was also unhappy with referee Neil Swarbrick. “It was a roller-coaster game and looking back we will think it was a decent point, but at two up we were in total control,” he said. “We felt we were on the wrong end of refereeing decisions for two of the goals. The big turning point was when the referee didn’t give a foul on our keeper Paul Robinson, who couldn’t punch the ball with both hands and they scored their first goal. “If we had gone in two goals up at half-time I think we would have won but full credit to Leeds. They had a real go. We have gone four league games unbeaten which is a solid start.”