June 2012

June 28th. Leeeds Buyers can oil the wheels to glory By Dominic Matteo – YEP. It’s tempting to judge the takeover of a football club on the wealth of the buyers involved. Got piles of money? Come on in, no questions asked. Leeds United seem to be very close to a buy-out and the suggestion that the investors are linked to the Middle East makes you think of one thing – oil. Oil equals big money and big money equals prizes, or so people say. But when you get to the stage where talks are advanced, you have to consider other factors. Do the buyers have a genuine passion for football and do they understand Leeds, the club or the city? Will they give the fans what they want – a top team and overdue success? I’ve got a good feeling about all this and I do think it’s the right time for a change at Elland Road but it’s impossible to know what all this will mean until the new owners sign the deal off, tell us who they are and reveal their intentions. This could be Manchester City Mark II. It could also be a repeat of the Venky’s at Blackburn Rovers – a regime who, to me, are utterly clueless about their club and the game in general. Money is a big deal but the attitude of new owners is vital too. It has to be right. Say what you like about Roman Abramovich but he seems to live and breathe Chelsea. Not everyone agrees with everything he does but he’s delivered the Champions League and he deserves it. Fair enough, he’s spent millions on Chelsea but I honestly think he cares too. That’s what I’ll look for if and when new owners arrive at Elland Road – a real interest in the club they’re running. But let’s not pretend that this doesn’t feel like very positive news. There’s a spark of excitement among the supporters again, a spark I haven’t felt for a while. I went to several home games towards the end of last season and the atmosphere was pretty grim – negative, downbeat and resigned to Leeds achieving little in the Championship. The lads I went with turned up expecting to lose or, at best, barely expecting a win. The club have got the ideal manager in Neil Warnock but they still don’t have the squad. The three signings made so far this summer have made a difference but I could see Warnock trying to sign another six or seven before the season starts. Realistically he probably needs that many. Do Leeds have the money to make it happen? Without investment it seems not. In a summer when the supporters desperately needed encouragement and something to restore their enthusiasm, that’s a huge problem. The crowds were down last season and a poor close-season was only ever likely to encourage more people to stay away. You look for supporters to stick by you through thick and thin but support is a two-way thing. They give you their backing and they look for a reward in return. I got the feeling that many fans were reaching the end of their tether and struggling to see light on the horizon. I don’t think there’s any doubt that a well-planned takeover would be the right deal at the right time. Warnock is such a good manager at Championship level and if he’s given the players he needs then I’m convinced he’ll win promotion next season. It’s not a given but I’d absolutely back him to get Leeds into the Premier League. And if Leeds do win promotion, the club will go from having a stadium with thousands of empty seats to a stadium which is rammed for every home game. When I first joined Leeds there was hardly space to be had at Elland Road and the buzz around the place was brilliant. You could feel it inside the ground and you could feel it around town. People were properly engaged and really optimistic about the club’s chances. That for me is what’s been missing recently. The club’s performances haven’t inspired confidence and neither have many of their signings. I know from speaking to some of the fans that they want to see a few signings which make everyone sit up and think ‘bloody hell, Leeds are going for it here’. It’s pretty clear that some of the best players at the club already really want to see the same. Give Robert Snodgrass something to make him blink and I’m sure he’ll stick around. Footballers never like moving on when good times are coming. It seemed to me that the current board were struggling to make that happen and to give them their due, it’s good that they’ve gone looking for investment and are open to a takeover. The club are financially stable and that’s something to thank Ken Bates for but what’s needed now is progress on the field.

June 28th 2012. Connolly op delays his move out – YEP Paul Connolly’s departure from Leeds United looks likely to be delayed after the defender underwent surgery on a hernia. The transfer-listed player is recovering from an operation carried out earlier this month and is set to miss the start of United’s pre-season training programme. The right-back’s career with Leeds appears to be over after manager Neil Warnock made him available for a move, but he is under contract until the summer of 2013 and has yet to attract any serious offers. Interest in the 28-year-old is likely to remain tentative until he returns to full fitness. Connolly played regularly for Leeds last season but failed to earn the favour of Warnock who placed him on the transfer list at Elland Road within days of the Championship campaign finishing. United’s boss attempted to sign a new right-back by bidding for Joel Ward – the 22-year-old later joined Crystal Palace in a £400,000 deal – and he is now vying for the services of Leicester City’s Lee Peltier. A deal to bring Peltier to Leeds is believed to be close, though much depends on United’s ability to pay a fee in the region of £500,000. Connolly was one of six first-team squad members made available by Warnock last month, starting what the Leeds boss hoped would be a substantial rebuilding project at Elland Road. Connolly has played 64 times in two seasons since moving to Leeds on a free transfer from Derby County in 2010.  The YEP also understands that Billy Paynter – another of United’s transfer-listed players – expects to report back to Thorp Arch for the start of pre-season training on July 11, with a view to fighting for a place in Warnock’s plans. Paynter has made little impact at Elland Road since joining Leeds on a free transfer from Swindon Town and Warnock has deemed him surplus to requirements. But the 27-year-old’s contract also runs for another 12 months and despite initial interest from Portsmouth, he is reluctant to drop out of the Championship. Warnock admitted that he saw Paynter as too similar a player to Argentinian striker Luciano Becchio, saying: “That’s why I decided to put Billy on the transfer list. “If I do bring another striker in, he needs to be slightly different to what those two are.”  Meanwhile, Leeds have signed Republic of Ireland youth international Eoghan Stokes on scholarship forms. Stokes, a 16-year-old striker, is joining United’s academy from St Kevin’s Boys Club in Dublin.

June 27th. More Fixture changes.  Our trip to Huddersfield Town on Saturday December 1 will now kick-off at 12.30pm, our trip to Derby County the following weekend, Saturday December 8, will kick off at 1pm, and our Boxing Day trip to Nottingham Forest will also kick-off at 1pm.We have also been selected for a further TV game by Sky and our trip to Millwall will now take place on Sunday November 18 with a 1.15pm kick-off. It was originally scheduled for Saturday November 17.

Weds June 27th. End of Bates Era – Takeover latest by By Phil Hay – YEP. A leading expert in sports law believes Leeds United are headed for a change of ownership after the club revealed that potential investors are in line to undergo the Football League’s Owners and Directors Test. Richard Cramer, a partner with Leeds-based firm Front Row Legal, said a buy-out of the Championship side was “highly likely” on the strength of a statement revealing that an unnamed group are carrying out due diligence at Elland Road. Leeds have been in talks with potential investors for several weeks – discussions encouraged by the worrying shortage of transfer funds which were hampering the close-season plans of manager Neil Warnock – and the club have taken a big step towards a takeover by entering into a period of “exclusivity” with one party thought to have links to the Middle East. A statement from Leeds read: “Our discussions with them 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 previous approaches we have had to endure.”The Football League’s Owners and Directors Test – formerly the Fit and Proper Persons Test – is carried out by the governing body on any individual acquiring a shareholding of 30 per cent or more in any of its 72 member clubs. At present, Leeds are owned by their chairman, Ken Bates, who bought a 72.85 per cent stake in Leeds little more than a year ago. The need for the would-be investors to undergo the Football League’s test suggests Bates – chairman at Elland Road for the past seven-and-a-half years – is ready to sell a sizeable and potentially controlling interest in United. Cramer told the Yorkshire Evening Post: “Getting to the due diligence stage usually means that a deal is agreed in principle but remains conditional on the prospective buyers making all the necessary enquiries into the financial state of the business. “Without being on the inside, my reading of this would be that they’re 90 per cent there and the fact that we’re into the realms of the Fit and Proper Persons test suggests we’re definitely talking about a takeover if everything goes to plan. “It seems to confirm that Bates is ready to sell.”Signs of progress behind the scenes at Elland Road were apparent last week when deals to sign Adam Drury and Paul Green ended a near two-month wait for new additions to Warnock’s squad. Warnock planned to recruit as many as four players before the end of May but prior to last week a shortage of funds restricted him to the £500,000 capture of centre-back Jason Pearce – a deal agreed on May 4. Warnock is in the middle of a short holiday but could return to work in the coming days to find his situation and transfer pot vastly improved following United’s latest announcement. Leeds have entered into a confidentiality agreement and said they would “not be making any further announcements in the near future.”The Leeds United Supporters Trust welcomed the latest statement, with chairman Gary Cooper telling the YEP: “The Trust believe this is an extremely positive development. “We hope now that the club will act as swiftly as possible and in the best interests of Leeds United to give Neil Warnock the best opportunity to sign who he wants in the transfer window before the new season starts.”

June 26th. At last some news from the Official website : “Further to our previous statement of the 29th May, 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 with them 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. We will not be making any further announcements in the near future.” From the language used here “straightforward process and very comfortable” one can perhaps more steadily believe that we may after all be on course for some decent news by July 1st. Fingers crossed and a couple of Novenas also.

June 25th. 2012. Live games Leeds first match of the season at home to Wolves will be televised live on Sky at 12:45 on August 18th and it wilkl have a different outcome than our first game of 2011/12 (lost 1-3 live at Soton). Please God we will be owned by some Billionaire at that stage. We are also on live away to Sheff Weds on Friday night, October 19th @ 7:45 where Neil Warnock is sure to get a “warm” welcome.

June 25th. 2012. Taken from “The Scratching Shed” – The Supporters Trust met last Wednesday for the first time since the confirmation of talks by the club four weeks ago. You can read a summary on their blog, and a selection of quotes here. During the meeting the Trust called on Leeds United to release another simple update for the fans, who have been left in the dark for a month. Speaking on BBC Radio Leeds the following day, L.U.S.T. Chairman Gary Cooper reasoned: If we can take anything away from the media last night, in terms of what the fans would really appreciate, is something from the club. It’s not been a great season in terms of how fans feel about the club and it would be great if the club could actually come out and give us an indication of what’s going on. We don’t need to know the ins and outs, but it would be nice if the club would include the fans and be friendly to the fans. Fans are desperate for news, they’re desperate for something positive. I would call on the club, please give the supporters some consideration and just a brief statement, just some acknowledgement of what’s going on would be great. We don’t want to put a spanner in the works at all, that’s the last thing we want to do. But I think as supporters, the club must understand that this is of absolute paramount interest to them. What happens in the close-season is crucial to the future of Leeds United. In all honesty I think the fans deserve a little bit of acknowledgement and a short statement – we don’t need to know the confidential stuff, we don’t need to know the private ins and outs – but just let us know that something’s still happening still. Get on and do it, but just think about the fans as well. Meanwhile, speaking in a personal capacity, the Supporters Trust Chairman has said that the Trust had logged their information and actions with a fully independent third party, and that after negotiations resolve themselves, the third party will release the information.

June 26th. Depending on which newspaper you believe Crystal Palace or Bristol City were going to sign Ross McCormack for £1M or £750K respectively, but it didn’t mention which of his toes this would buy.

June 25th “A relief to get a couple of more signings done” – Eddie Gray YEP- We have announced two new signings in Adam Drury and Paul Green and it’s great to see a couple of new faces in at the football club. Neil Warnock is experienced in these matters and has a good track record in signing players on Bosman transfers and they’ve often produced the goods for him, such as Shaun Derry. He knows what is required to get out of this league, so let’s hope Drury, pictured below left, and Green can do the business. Despite the two signings, I don’t think, by any stretch of the imagination, that Neil has finished signing players. I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw another three or four coming in. Some of it might depend on the Robert Snodgrass situation, which seems to have gone pretty quiet. I think Neil himself has said the fans might be disappointed that he’s brought these players in on free transfers. But they are good players, that’s the main thing. The Leeds fans aren’t daft and they will have looked at the team at the end of last season when we were looking pretty thin on the ground and I don’t think it’s any secret that we thought we needed players if we are to be challenging. We’ve now got three in and I’d expect at least another three. There’s no doubt some more will be coming in. What is interesting for me is who will be going out as there’s rumours about the likes of Ross McCormack. We’ll have to wait and see. Green is a player, from what you understand, that Neil had wanted to bring in for a while. I think he sees him capable of having the energy to get up and support the lads up front and getting in the box and nicking a goal or two. He did well at Doncaster and then Derby and looks a good signing. The boy has got talent, no doubt about that and is also an international and hopefully he’ll fit into the scheme of things at Leeds. Neil likes players who get up and down the pitch and as well as getting in the box, I think Green will also protect the back four as he’s a good engine and looks a fit lad. What you can say about the two newcomers is that they have plenty of experience and they know what it takes to play in the Championship and in Drury’s case, what it takes to got out of it. Drury has a good track record and his signing does sort of make you think that Aidy White will be moving on. Norwich offered Drury terms to stay, but the player himself thought he wasn’t probably going to play much football as he didn’t play that much last year. He’s probably thought he might as well move on so he can play every game. Although that’s no guarantee for any player; you still have to produce the goods, no matter what club you come to or what reputation you have. That’s what it’s all about. Neil has now brought in Drury and Jason Pearce to bolster his backline, while he will have been disappointed not to have got Joel Ward, who went to Crystal Palace. He obviously had his mind set on getting him. But the back four is taking shape and as it stands, you’d imagine Tom Lees starting alongside Pearce and Drury at left-back. While with the way things have gone, Neil is obviously in the market for a right-back. The Shrewsbury tie in the Capital One Cup is now on a Saturday, exactly a week before the league season starts and for me, that makes sense. For me, that’s better than playing a pre-season game at the weekend and then the cup game in the week. Playing Saturday-Saturday will give players that extra long break before getting into the season and be totally ready for Wolverhampton. It will give Neil that little bit more confidence that his squad – and starting XI – will be ready for Wolves, which is important. There’s no doubt it’s a tough start to the Championship season for us. In the first three games, we play the three sides who have got relegated, while we are also playing sides who are harbouring ambitions of getting promoted themselves. But given the number of strong teams in the league, I do think it’s going to be like that throughout the season, to be honest. Let’s hope Neil continues to get the players in who he wants – and he seems to have a couple in who he targetted in Drury and Green as he mentioned he had chased them both when he had been at previous clubs. That augers well, while he had also always liked Pearce as well. I’m sorry Eddie. How does that auger well ?  We are signing a 34 year old left back to replace a promising up and coming player (aged 20) from within all because we wouldn’t give him £12k a week and we are letting our top goal scorer (19 goals last season) go for the third season in succession to allegedly replace him with Luke Varney who scored 11 goals in 60 games combined with Portsmouth and Blackpool in the last two seasons…..And all that is before we are giving Michael Brown at 35 a new contract who did Fu** all for us last season except get sent off. The mind boggles. Meanwhile lowly Peterboro with about 6,000 and a dog attending home games can splash £1.3M on a centre forward. Sorry Eddie, it will take a little more than Pearce, Green, Drury and the rest of relegated Portsmouth to lift my drooping spirit right now. 

June 24th. What have other clubs being up to ? Whilst Leeds have been chasing players on free transfers other clubs have been a lot more ambitious in the transfer market. Huddersfield Town are thought to have paid £750,00 to C Palace for highly rated 23 year old forward, Sean Scanlan  on a four and a half year contract. The Terriers are also chasing Leeds top scorer from last season, Ross McCormack, and Neil Warnock may need these funds to strengthen the side elsewhere if money from the alleged takeover doesn’t come to fruition. Wolves completed the signing of Frank Nouble from WHU having already secured the services of Lillestrom striker Bjorn Sigurdarson for £2.4M. Talented C Palace centre back Anthony Gardener has joined Sheffield Wednesday and striker Nile Ranger is due to complete his loan move to Hillsboro this week also. They have also secured the serviced of Chris Maguire from Derby County for £400K and have had talks last week with Leeds target and former Portsmouth player, David Norris. Wednesday are expecting to splash the cash further as they attempt to make it a double promotion in succession. Danny Murphy has had a medical at Blackburn Rvs and they are hoping to get Leon Best either on loan for the season from Newcastle or for a fee of £3.5M. They have had £3M turned down already. Cardiff are keen to attain Craig Bellamy on loan for the season from Liverpool to play up front with Jordan Mutch who has joined in a £2M move from Birmingham City. Keith Andrews is currently in talks with Bolton Wands having rejected a move to Celtic  and their interest in Andy Lonergan is expected to increase if Leeds find the finds to buy Paddy Kenny.  Other news to follow.

June 23rd. The game’s gone crazy : Warnock Restructuring Leeds United In Double Quick Time. Contracts don’t officially expire until the end of June but Warnock has already made three signings and is closing in on three more, Paddy Kenny, Luke Varney and David Norris. It’s all very exciting for Leeds fans until you stop and think about it. Norris is 31, Drury is 33, Kenny is 34 and Varney is 30 in September. It’s true that Pearce is only 24 but there is still a but…Tell me, who were Norris, Varney and Pearce playing for last season? That would be Portsmouth. And where did Portsmouth finish in the table? They were relegated weren’t they. True they suffered a points deduction but even without that, they would have finished in the bottom six. So, you finish in mid table and you want to strengthen the team, what’s the obvious thing to do? Plunder a third of a team that ended up relegated! Inspired! There’s nothing here to generate excitement is there? Green is possibly the best of the bunch and he has spent a career playing for clubs in mid table or below in the Championship. OK Leeds weren’t great last season but will this lot make them better or is it a case of dross replacing dross? One thing’s for sure, the signings do not suggest that there is a Money Bags take over in the offing. You don’t go shopping in a car boot sale when you know you are sitting on a lottery jackpot ticket! In fact the closest Leeds look likely to get to money is Varney. His namesake Reg was the very first person in England to use an automated cash dispenser in the United Kingdom. You can hear Master Bates now! “You want money for transfers Neil? Pop down to Nat West and take fifty quid out of the cashpoint. Oops, sorry, they’re not working at the moment are they?”

June 23rd. Whites back in for Pompey duo – YEP – Phil Hay. Neil Warnock has intensified his push for more signings at Leeds United by reviving his interest in Portsmouth duo David Norris and Luke Varney. Warnock is on the trail of Norris and Varney again after seeing his plans to overhaul United’s squad move forward this week with the acquisition of Norwich City left-back Adam Drury and Derby County midfielder Paul Green. The Leeds manager originally marked out Norris and Varney as targets at the end of the recent Championship season, around the time of his successful approach for Jason Pearce, but a shortage of transfer funds at Elland Road prevented him from making a firm bit for either player. Warnock is believed to have re-iterated his interest in the past seven days but Championship rivals Sheffield Wednesday upped the ante in the pursuit of Norris’ signature by holding talks with him earlier this week. The 31-year-old midfielder is thought to have spoken with the South Yorkshire club on Wednesday and Portsmouth are actively working to sell him as their battle to exit administration goes on. Norris – a player with more than 400 competitive appearances behind him – was linked with a switch Leeds to last summer, prior to his switch from Ipswich Town to Fratton Park, but his career with Portsmouth will end after only one full season on the south coast. Varney, 29, is also preparing to cut his ties with Pompey less than 12 months after joining them from Derby County. The former Crewe Alexandra striker, who scored six times last term, took up an offer from Pompey in July 2011 after completing a season in the Premier League while on loan at Blackpool. Warnock was rumoured to be keen on signing Varney, pictured right, on a temporary basis soon after becoming United’s manager in February and Leeds are looking for another striker with top-scorer Ross McCormack expected to leave Elland Road before the start of the new season.

Comical Peter

Friday June 22nd. 2012. It’s comical Ali I mean Peter Lorimer’s weekly YEP post. It’s funny after we sign a couple of players, albeit freebies again, the Lash writes something about Leeds when this time last week he was writing about France and the Euros. It’s pleasing to see two more players joining Leeds United and you can tell what Neil Warnock’s trying to do by signing the likes of Adam Drury and Paul Green. With Drury and Green, what you see is what you get. They’re tried and tested players who should cut it in the Championship no problem next season. At the core of Neil’s team, his first requirement will be consistency and reliability. I don’t expect every one of his signings to be safe signings, for want of a better word, but he won’t want to take too many gambles either. It’s never a bad thing to give a chance to up-and-coming talent but there’s risk involved in signing players who are yet to prove themselves in the Championship. As ever, finding the right balance is everything. With Green and Drury signed on top of Jason Pearce, the squad already looks more experienced and more suited to our league. Neil will probably feel that he’s on the way to getting his squad together, although it goes without saying that there’s more work to be done. I know that people were getting a bit tense about the lack of signings before Tuesday, and in some ways rightly so. The fixtures are out and we’re getting close to the start of pre-season so the anticipation is starting to build. Everyone, myself included, wants to know how the team is going to look on the first day of the season and every new signing puts another piece of the jigsaw in place. From Neil’s point of view, I totally understand why he’s so keen to make sure that the vast majority of his signings are done and dusted before pre-season training begins on July 11. It is, as Don Revie always used to tell us, a crucial time and in many ways the investment which pays off in the campaign ahead. The form of Luciano Becchio during the last Championship season is a good example of why pre-season is so crucial. For most of his time at Leeds, Becchio’s been one of our bankers – a player you could always depend on. But he was injured during pre-season 12 months ago and he never really hit the heights after that. A summer on the sidelines took its toll. Players who sign for a club late in the day or towards the end of the transfer window can suffer in the same way. They come in cold without the benefit of training sessions or friendlies under the manager who signed them. Every single Leeds player who works with Neil this summer will be 100 per cent clear on his tactics and his expectations. It’s more of a challenge to fit in quickly if you’ve missed some or all of the coaching. That’s why every manager in the country will want their plans in place as soon as possible. Certain deals take longer than others to complete and the market in general feels very slow at the moment but I’m sure we’ll be seeing more movement at Elland Road in the next few weeks. There’s nothing I can say about all the talk of investment but I do know that whatever’s going on, the people involved will be doing what’s best for the club. As far as the squad goes, we’ve three new signings on board already with more to come. I’m encouraged by that and by Neil’s choice of player. It feels like the first steps forward have been taken.

Macca to the Terriers ?

June 22nd 2012. Grayson looks for McCormack – YEP. Huddersfield Town are mounting a bid to sign Ross McCormack, with Leeds United ready to sell their leading scorer. Terriers manager Simon Grayson is eyeing up the player he brought to Elland Road two years ago after the striker failed to agree an extension to his contract. McCormack has rejected the wage increase offered to him by Leeds and United boss Neil Warnock is prepared to listen to offers for the Scot who is about to enter the final year of his existing deal. Bristol City – coached by former Scotland international Derek McInnes – have registered a tentative interest in the 5ft 7in marksman, but the Terriers are ready to table a firm offer following their return to the Championship. Top-flight outfits Wigan Athletic and West Ham United have also been linked with moves for the ex-Rangers trainee. Former Leeds manager Grayson previously signed McCormack from Championship rivals Cardiff City in August 2010, paying a fee of around £300,000 to bring him to West Yorkshire. The 25-year-old experienced a quiet first year with the Whites but found his form during the 2011-12 campaign, scoring 19 times and finishing the term as Leeds’ top scorer. But his reluctance to take up the improved contract put to him cast immediate doubt over his future. Warnock admitted last month that “his representatives made it clear that they’re looking for a more significant increase”. “We’ve agreed to play it by ear and see where things go but he’s going into his last year and it might be that people come in for him now,” he said. Grayson lost out to Warnock in the race to sign midfielder Paul Green from Derby County this week but United are unlikely to obstruct any realistic offer for McCormack. McCormack is one of a number of first-team regulars who are likely to leave Elland Road before the start of the new season. midfielder Adam Clayton remains on the transfer list while Republic of Ireland Under-21 international Aidan White is expected to part company with United when his deal runs out a week on Sunday. All three players would command a fee, providing Warnock with additional transfer funds, but the United boss is still waiting for concrete offers to materialise. Speaking earlier this week, Warnock said: “I’ve had one or two enquiries about players but I’ll only say when we accept an offer and a player moves on.”

June 22nd. Kenny in and Lonergan out ?  FORMER Sheffield United goalkeeper Paddy Kenny looked set today to open talks with Leeds United after his present club Queens Park Rangers signed Robert Green from West Ham. Kenny is now surplus to requirements at QPR, clearing the way for a deal at Elland Road. Leeds manager Neil Warnock has had his eye on Kenny all summer, and is expected to start negotiations soon. He said earlier: “I’ve been with Paddy for a long time and you never say never. But I’d imagine it depends on who QPR buy or bring in first.” It is unclear, however, whether Leeds can afford to finance the deal. Discussions about investment at Elland Road are understood to be ongoing. Kenny, who is also being pursued by Ipswich, is likely to cost in the region of £500,000. His arrival at Leeds would almost certainly lead to the departure of Leeds’s first choice keeper Andy Lonergan, who is thought a likely choice for Bolton Wanderers.

June 21st. Rumours Rumours Rumours Rumours from Unofficial Leeds sites. Bernard Arnault has now become the owner of, English fallen giant soccer club, Leeds United as from the 19th June 2012. After reportedly purchasing the club from former Chelsea FC owner Ken Bates, who also masterminded the sale of the club to Roman Abramovich in July 2003. He has already funded a £500,000 move for veteran goalkeeper Paddy Kenny who has been brought by Neil Warnock (Leeds United Manager) for a fourth time in his career. (Bury, Sheffield United, Queens Park Rangers and now Leeds United). The takeover was kept quiet for a considerable time with Leeds supposedly already having signed 3 players from clubs that are to be unveiled on the 1st July to keep within League stipulations. The deal destined to be a fan favourite for the long time sufferers of Leeds United is reported to be in the region of £41,000,000. It does beg the question why have we signed a 34 year old left back and not Patrice Evra. 

June 21st. Response To Adam Drury Post Carrow Road.net (see below) In response to our article on Adam Drury, we received an e-mail from an ardant Leeds Utd supporter and webmaster, commenting on our views of the way some Leeds fans are viewing their signing of Adam. I didn’t set out to offend at all. We fully understand the frustrations of Leeds fans, it wasn’t so long ago we were in much the same boat. As we always say; it is the fans that always suffer, we wish Leeds supporters all the very best of luck in their fight for their club.. But can we have Snodgrass ..Please hahaha Here is the email we received in full. (and equally good article)  Hi just read your article on Adam Drury and in particular to the misinformed comments from Leeds fans. Unfortunately the situation with us Leeds fans at the moment is that we have a total mistrust of our owner a certain Mr Ken Bates. As you more than most clubs are aware we have sold (or even worse let leave) some of our brightest young talent – that we are now signing a 34 year old (as he will be when the season starts) freebie is seen by the majority of us long standing fans as a further indication of a lack of ambition. This is no way meant as a slight on Adam and indeed everything I have read about him is positive (as it is with Paul Green) but what we are looking for is a real statement of intent. For the club to go out and pay a fee for a player who is really going to make a difference like you did with Grant Holt. Don’t get me wrong we need the Adam Drury’s of this world but he is not the signing that will get the pulse rating – like every club we have fans who you will never please; add in to that the fact that many of us live in the past and have unrealistic expectations and then hopefully you will see that those comments while maybe misinformed are often driven by other factors. We are passionate but flawed……………..

June 21st. Kenny becomes surplus to requirements. QPR have confirmed the signing of England goalkeeper Robert Green. The 32-year-old has moved to Loftus Road on a Bosman free transfer as his West Ham contract expires this summer. Green, who is currently with the England squad at the European Championship, has agreed a two-year deal. R’s boss Mark Hughes was keen to sign a keeper before the start of the season and also showed an interest in Shay Given, Jack Butland and Ben Foster. But Green’s refusal to sign a new contract at West Ham paved the way for Rangers to bring him to west London. Paddy Kenny will now be made available to other clubs and has been strongly linked with a move to Leeds United. The keeper played under Elland Road boss Neil Warnock at QPR, Sheffield United and Bury. So far there has been no approach made by Leeds for Kenny, although that could change now he is free to move on. Speaking on Talk Sport,(before the deal for Green went through)  Colin had this to say :”Paddy has been with me for years, so never say never. I imagine it will depend on who QPR will get in. We releases a lot of players so we need quite a number of new players. We still need to buy a few more which we are hoping to do in the next few weeks”. My own view here is that Colin has set his stall out from the start that Kenny is the one player he will walk away for if Leeds fail to net (forgive the pun) him. If and when they do, it will be interesting to see Andy Lonergan’s reaction, because Kenny is a far better keeper, and there can be only one number ! Don’t be surprised if Owen Coyle takes Lonergan to Bolton if Kenny comes to Leeds and for the second season in succession we will have changed our goalkeeper.

June 21st. Warnock gets busy and defends Bosman  signings. NEIL WARNOCK wants Leeds United’s capture of free agents Paul Green and Adam Drury this week to be the prelude to a hectic few weeks in the transfer market. The Elland Road club yesterday agreed a two-year deal with Derby County midfielder Green, just 24 hours after sealing an identical agreement with Norwich City left-back Drury. The two signings brought to an end a frustrating few weeks for United’s manager after his initial plan to bring in “three or four” new faces before the end of May faltered following the early arrival of Portsmouth defender Jason Pearce.On-going talks designed to secure investment in Leeds were the cause as any transfer dealings – including the planned capture of No 1 target, QPR goalkeeper Paddy Kenny – had to be put on hold, something that allowed Crystal Palace to nip in and snatch Pompey full-back Joel Ward for £400,000 from under Warnock’s nose. The Leeds chief said: “Getting two more on board to add to Jason Pearce has been a big lift but now, over the next three weeks, we have to push on. We have to get some more of our targets over the line.” Green’s decision came as a blow to Huddersfield Town, who the Yorkshire Post understands made a concerted effort – including a higher wage offer – to sign the former Doncaster Rovers man only for the 29-year-old to opt for Leeds. Warnock said: “Both Paul and Adam had offers from elsewhere but chose us. In Paul’s case, I feel he has been the victim in the past of his own versatility and ability to play anywhere. “The temptation seems to have been to play him all over the shop but I see him firmly in a role where he can sneak into the box and get on the end of things.”With United unlikely to pay out any transfer fees until a cash injection is secured, supporters may have to be patient. Warnock said: “One or two fans may moan about the two signings being free transfers. But my first two signings at QPR were Clint Hill and Shaun Derry on frees and they didn’t do bad, did they?”

Adam Drury – The Professional

June 21st. Taken from “The back page – Carrow Road.Net”- Adam Drury – the right way to do business. This is a good article and merits respect. Look at the actions of Adam Drury over a contract. Drury was offered a 1 year deal, he took his own council and sorted out a deal with another club that suited him for the remaining playing years he has left. He shortly was to be out of contract so could have easily put himself in the shop window by drawing attention to the fact the club offered him only a year . Yes Drury has an agent, but did he hear from Him ? Yes Drury uses Twitter, but gave no clue what so ever what was about to happen . Did he mention one word of wanting to leave ? No Why ? He had more respect for Himself, the club and its fans by going about his dealings quietly and in private, when the deal was finalised, then and only then did he go public. Still being the respectful person he obviously is! Leeds have got themselves a model and loyal professional both on and off the field, added to his playing qualities of an outstanding full back. Leeds have one hell of a person. It saddens me a little to read some of the comments I have read on some Leeds sites concerning Drury, grossly unfair, and grossly uninformed, he is head and shoulders above some of the dross that have pulled on a Leeds shirt over the years. Former Norwich City boss and Leeds United player, Nigel Worthington had this to say : “When I heard it reminded me of my own playing career. I had 11 years at Sheffield Wednesday and went on a two year contract to Leeds as well so it brought back memories, I must admit,” he said. “The training facilities, the stadium and the support really is Premier League quality. “It is a big, big club and they are trying to get everything back together and get the running of the club right financially. It is a very, very good move. I was a bit surprised when I heard the news that he had left the football club. He has done his service and he was a fantastic servant and he was real value for money. “Adam was always a credit to himself and Norwich City Football Club, but Leeds is always an ambitious club. The attitude never changes; whatever league they are in, they want to aim higher. Adam is the ideal character to have in the dressing room and on the football pitch. It is a good move for both parties.”Worthington saw enough of Drury in Premier League action last season to know the dependable left-back can still cut it at Elland Road. “I watched Adam a number of times with my radio work for the BBC and Adam was still performing like he has always performed,” he said. “By that I mean he was turning in good, solid, steady performances and never let anyone down. “I have said it in the past but in my managerial career, my value-for-money signings were Gary Holt for £100,000 and Adam for £300,000. They were absolute snips when you see the service and the commitment that they have given. “Those sort of players are few and far between nowadays and the loyalty that Adam has given to Norwich has been fantastic. It is unusual in the modern day game now. “There is always the potential for the odd individual to do that, but as time moves on it becomes less and less likely, due to the nature of the game. He had his testimonial against Celtic the other week and it was fully deserved.”

Paul Green joins the Whites

June 20th. Paul Green on joining Leeds. “When I knew Leeds were interested, it was nice to come and have a look around, speak to the manager and hear what his aspirations were for the club. “I didn`t need a lot of convincing. You only have to see what he has done in getting other clubs to the Premier League, I am really looking forward to it and it is great to be here. He spoke to me about what he wants to do at the club and I want to be part of it. It is a massive club that are looking to get back into the Premier League and that is what I want to do. My fiance is a Leeds fan also (laughing) and so are quite a few of my friends so I’ll get a few requests for tickets. The training ground is amazing and the fans are incredible. When we came here at Derby and they sang “Marching on together” the hairs tingle on the back of the neck. I’m really looking forward to getting started”. Green has only just returned to the country after being away on international duty with Republic of Ireland at the European championships. The midfielder made just one substitute appearance in Ireland`s three games when they were defeated by Spain in their second game. The 29 year old is now looking forward to a welcome break and returning fully charged for the season ahead. “I am going away for a couple of weeks to recharge the batteries and then I am looking forward to getting back at it.” added Green. Green is Warnock`s second signing in two days after defender Adam Drury agreed to sign for Leeds from Norwich City on July 1st. The pair follow Portsmouth defender Jason Pearce into the club as Warnock looks to build a squad capable of making a sustained push for promotion and earn Warnock a place in the Football League record books with his eighth promotion.

 Louth branch reaction to Green and Drury : Padna Lane – Re Drury – “He’s just the right age and right price” and Re Green – “More class”. Terry McQuaid re Green – “Good player, he played at the Euros and will do well with our other young and promising midfielder, Michael Brown”. RE Green – “A bit ugly but will  do a good job if he stays fit”. Bull Quigley re Drury – “Wow we’re getting the freebies again”. Hopefully Robert Snodgrass will be a bit more enthusiastic about Colin’s signings. Time will tell. 

June 20th. Views on Paul Green taken from Vital Football. Derby County supporter Matt Ward gives us his view on Leeds latest signing Paul Green. We have also had a view from 1879Rovers from the Vital Doncaster Rovers site. Green played for Doncaster for six years before signing for Derby in 2008. Green has signed for Leeds on a two-year deal after coming to the end of his current contract at Derby. Matt`s view: What is his best position?  He has played a number of positions for Derby since joining in 2008. His best position is in the centre of midfield and he will get involved in all the nitty-gritty side of the game. He likes to do the things some players do not like too. Last season he also made a number of appearances at right back and also on the right side of midfield. At 29 does he have much pace?  I wouldn`t say he was fast but he does get up and down the pitch. What is his injury record like? He has had a few injuries in his time at Pride Park. He suffered a foot injury that ruled him out for two months in his second season. The following season, he was once again an almost ever present and a regular for Republic of Ireland before suffering a serious knee injury that ruled him out for six months. I actually think if he had not been injured then another club would have been in for him last summer. A few Premier League clubs were sniffing around before he suffered the knee injury. He returned just before Christmas last season and he was a regular until the end of the season, so I do not think there is a problem with injuries. What are his main strengths and weaknesses? He always gives 100% and he will be popular amongst fans with his commitment and desire. As I have said before, he has got a good engine, puts himself about and he helps out the defence as well as the attack. Are you disappointed to see him leave? Yes, but it has been clear since before the end of last season that he was leaving Derby in the summer. I will keep an eye on him and I hope he does well for Leeds, except for when the play Derby of course. 1879Rovers – Green spent six years at Doncaster and he helped us rise from non-league football to promotion to the championship in six years. He broke into our side as a teenager and he played a huge part in our promotion from the conference. For me, he was man of the match in our play-off final win over Dagenham and Redbridge and he opened the scoring. He was a major player in our rise up the leagues and a great run in the Carling Cup in 2005 when we reached the quarter finals. The year we won promotion to the championship, Rovers form changed dramatically when Green became a regular in the starting eleven just before Christmas. He always had an eye for goal and he chipped in with quite a few during his time with Rovers. He is always up for the fight in the centre of the pitch, he is willing to put his foot in, and he works very hard for the side. Knowing what Leeds fans like in their players, I can see him becoming a huge fans favourite. I hope he personally does very well during his time at Leeds.

Green with the Leeds away shirt

June 20th. Green becomes signing number three. Neil Warnock has completed his second deal in as many days, agreeing to sign centre-mid Paul Green on July 1st. Green is believed to have rejected offers of a new deal at Pride Park prior to agreeing to join Leeds. Aged 29, Green’s career takes in 277 appearances for Doncaster Rovers between 2001-8, and 121 league appearances for Derby County. Green has 12 caps for the Republic of Ireland, the most recent coming as a sub against Spain in Euro 2012. peaking to the Official Site, Warnock said: Paul is another player I’ve been after for a long time, but obviously he was called up by Ireland for the European Championships so we’ve had to be a bit patient. I’ve seen him grow from his days at Doncaster and I’m delighted to have him here. I’ve always thought that he is a player who can create goals as well as score them, and he has just the type of attitude we need at Elland Road.

June 20th. The Scratching Shed- Takeover still on track. The proposed takeover of Leeds United is still on track. Yorkshire Post journalist Richard Sutcliffe tweeted that Warnock is looking to sign his third player very soon – a Bosman, due to the ‘takeover not done yet’. The YEP’s Phil Hay has written today that: Talks are at a “delicate” but advanced stage and edging towards a conclusion. After missing out on high priority signings this Summer, Neil Warnock was believed to have threatened to walk without the promised transfer funds. Warnock met up with current chairman Ken Bates last Wednesday, and said: “Me and Shaun Harvey worked late into the night on Monday to make the deal with Adam happen.”

Drury talks to LUTV

June 20th. Why Drury signed ?  Adam Drury last night revealed he turned down offers from home and abroad before agreeing a two-year deal with Championship club Leeds. “I had offers to go abroad or to other clubs, but Leeds was the stand out choice. I had other options, but the challenge of going to Leeds really appealed to me. “The Hall of Famer’s Carrow Road exit signalled the end of an era at Norwich City for the club’s longest-serving player. Drury had been offered a new Canaries’ contract by former boss Paul Lambert, but his 11-year association will officially end next month with his proposed Elland Road switch. The left-back completed a medical in Yorkshire yesterday and will be unveiled as Neil Warnock’s second signing of the summer on July 1. “Leeds United is a great opportunity for me,” he said. “I had offers to go abroad or to other clubs, but Leeds was the stand out choice. I had other options, but the challenge of going to Leeds really appealed to me. “My medical was on Tuesday morning, and it was weird really, because I haven’t had a medical for 11 years, so I was thinking, ‘What actually happens in these things?’ It was a similar sort of feeling I had to when I joined Norwich in 2001 –feelings of excitement at a fresh start. This was the first time I’ve met Neil Warnock, and it was good to hear what he had to say. I’ve played against his teams before and you know what you’re going to get. “He won’t settle for anything less than challenging for promotion, so he’ll want the same next season and it’s something I want to be part of.” Drury’s loyal service to the Canaries was rewarded with a testimonial game that attracted nearly 19,000 fans to Carrow Road for Celtic’s visit in late May. The 33-year-old conceded it will be a huge wrench to leave that sort of support behind in Norfolk. “The club have always been brilliant to me and I’d like to think I’ve done all right for the club in return,” he told City’s official site. “I’ve had 11 great years, but it had to come to an end at some point, and I’m happy to be leaving the club in a healthy position in the Premier League. Having a testimonial was a fantastic way to end things at Norwich City, and I could think of no better way to finish. “I’ll always look to see how Norwich City get on – their result will always be the first result I look for, without doubt. Being a Norwich City player was a huge honour, and a part of my career that I’ll look back on with pride. It’s a wonderful club with an incredible set of supporters. “My time at Carrow Road has come to an end, but I wish them all the best for the new season and a new era under Chris Hughton. Hopefully with the new manager it will keep things going the way they have been, which I’m sure it will.” Hughton labelled the defender an ‘outstanding servant’ to the Canaries, after making 361 appearances for the club and being involved in three successful promotion campaigns during his career.

June 20th. “Why Adam Drury is the most depressing thing for Leeds United” – The Scratching Shed. The signal’s it sends all points to stagnation (the Miserablist is back and not a happy bunny). It’s over, that dream some have had since May, its over. The fallacy of waiting for new owners and an end to the disastrous Bates era, a new approach from the club, medium term planning, keeping our better players and not forgetting the one that was sustaining me, a manager with a footballing soul, non of that is happening. Instead its business as usual, the business Leeds United have been imposing on us since February of total anti-football and a squandering of limited resource on wilting PL cast-offs is well and truly bedded in. In short people, we are doomed to struggle and dross.It is bad enough having a owner/chairman who more than once publicly resolved to close us down, employing a manager who previously expressed his distaste for us, having a squad full of the useless, feckless and ageing without also having to listen to and read the propaganda that comes with it. Marvel as we sell an extra 3000 season tickets on the basis of a 33 year old left-back joining the cause. Sorry did I say 3000, I meant 30! Let us get one thing straight from the beginning, I’m not interested in how well Drury played under Lambert (or Gunn, Roeder, Grant or Worthington for that matter), its the fact he played only 33 league games in the last two seasons that stands out, the best two seasons Norwich City have had in years. Add the fact he has played more than half the league games just once in he last 5 years (less than 100 league games in those 5 seasons) and it all starts to look depressingly familiar. What I fail to grasp is what Drury has got to do with getting into the PL? There is a reason he has spent most of his career in the championship, that is his standard. Why is a manager whose contract expires in May 2013 handing out 2 year contracts? Where is the long term planning? Nowhere and getting less by the day. Who next? Tommy Smith (33), Paddy Kenny (34), Carlos Edwards (33)? Don’t forget Shaun Derry (34) and the youngster Fitz Hall (31). Chris Morgan who is 34 as a player-coach could be added to a coaching team as a already looking like a bouncers convention. Hang on you say, Webber (31) and Robinson (34) didn’t stay, this is true but they did come at Warnock’s request in the first place! Is it all a bad thing? Well I suppose it depends on how you see the road to promotion in 2012-13 going. If you think it is all about 46 games, an horses for courses approach then it matters not, we could get David Beckham, 36, in on loan from LA Galaxy or Luke Beckett 35 in from non league obscurity or even Dean Windass, 42 from the pit of retired despair and it would not matter so long as the job was done (assuming of course all that investment from Cardiff City, Leicester City and Brighton doesn’t pay off and all that parachute money doesn’t work for Wolves, Bolton Wanderers and Blackburn Rovers and that the teams that finished above us, like Blackpool, Hull City, Derby County, Burnley and Birmingham City get worse and that Huddersfield Town, Charlton Athletic and Sheffield Wednesday are not competitive and takeover’s don’t accrue at Watford and Nottingham Forest) . Alternatively you might think that such a decent into a geriatric squad has only one outcome, a kind of guarantee of relegation whether the championship or not, it certainly means a lot of changes next season and the season after. Are we contracted to bring in 15 players, 13 on frees, every season for ever? The third and more cogent school of thought is we are never getting promotion to the PL whilst the Bates regime continues whether under Warnock or whoever. Certainly not whilst so wasting millions in wages for last payday professionals, it is one appalling way of squandering limited resources. Well my view is the third is most likely (but with added fear of League 1 to come) but it doesn’t stop me hoping the fourth option of building a medium term squad based on young quality footballers, but as that is inconsistent with Warnock’s total anti football and the owners tightness we need not detain ourselves with it! With a squad like that we can expect a certain robustness, which is part of the DNA of total anti-football and I can’t see any lightweights in that list referenced (mind you can’t see any footballers either). On the other hand it is hard to see our usual injury time resilience and game-snatching tendency surviving, a first 11 with that average age is going to suffer late in games. Dead-ball wise we will have all the guile needed but we might suffer a bit against counter-attack teams. Maybe we can nip that in the bud with a bit of nearly 30 rough, you know a Bradley Orr 29 here, a Joey Barton 29 needing game time after his 12 game ban their, even maybe the rumoured extensively El Hadji Diouf, 31 going on 12? Life wouldn’t be dull that is for sure, sensationalist and angry but not dull. Lest we forget that Warnock has still a few oldies to play with which he inherited, Bromby (if he is ever fit again), the re-contracted Brown (amazing how a couple of games of thuggery improve your contract chances), O’Brien still has a year to run as does Kisnorbo and Rachubka and the aforementioned young whipper-snapper Paynter whilst the nearly oldie Pugh has 2. That is an extensive dads army our Colin is working up there and all before he cashes in on Clayton (23), Snodgrass (24) and McCormack (25). White (20) leaving will free up some wages for other grizzlies! It is all a bit predictable, (except the Billy Paynter career revival is yet to fully appear). After 5 months of long ball dross, hyperbole press comments and 14 games of hysterical girl antics (resulting in 3 wins, 4 draws and 7 defeats) you can’t expect the Warnock Leeds United total anti football to be mentioned in the same tones as Ajax’s total football of 1968-1974 just yet, but patience is a virtue. Bates’s financial idiocy (the one that lets 20 year olds wanted by PL clubs leave on Bosman’s but sign 33 year old in the same position on two year contracts) is now in perfect sinc with Warnock’s Dad’s Army approach. This site has profiled before the 180 plus different piles of garbage that have picked up wages from Leeds United under false pretences since 2002 but even in that catalogue of misery the average age was less than the one we are building into the squad now. Now go back to your dream, what would we be buying after a takeover and an open checkbook for Hyperbole? Lucio is looking for a club…..

Adam Drury

June 19th. Signing number Two is Drury and Colin speaks out. Norwich City defender Adam Drury has agreed a deal to join Leeds United from July 1. The experienced left back will join on a two-year contract next month after  agreeing a deal to become Neil Warnock’s second signing of the summer. The 33-year-old, who was rewarded with a testimonial match against Celtic at Carrow Road in May, arrives with a wealth of experience, having made over 350 appearances for the Canaries. Adam was a member of the Norwich side which won back to back promotions from League One to the Premier League and he made 16 appearances last term, the majority coming in the second half of the campaign. Adam is out of contract at Norwich this summer and the United manager says he is delighted to welcome the left back to his squad. “From July 1 he will be our player and he’s a player I’ve looked at for many years,” Warnock told the club website. “He’s a very good professional. I think he’s a good defender, he’s quick and I thought we needed a bit of experience in certain places, and that desire and will. And with Adam you know what you’re going to get. “I’m delighted to have him. He’s got the experience we need. He played 16 times for Norwich last season and he’s better than a lot of full backs in the Premier League. “He’s a good lad. That’s half the battle as well. It gives us a good mix because we’ve got young Pearcey on that side as well so we can put that to bed now and move on to a different area. He added: “When you speak to him he’s full of enthusiasm and when you get released from a club you want to prove people wrong.““There’s a few times I’ve wanted to kick him over the years! We’ve always had a rapport when my teams have played against him and I think he knows I’ve always respected him. “I tried to sign him at Sheffield United a few years back and it wasn’t to be, but I’ve kept my eye on him ever since. He’ll love it here. “You can’t play with fear at Elland Road and I think Adam will enjoy that part.” New Canaries manager Chris Hughton told the club’s official website: “I would like to wish Adam all the best for the coming season and in his future career. “He has been an outstanding servant to Norwich City,Description: http:/static.lingospot.com/spot/image/spacer.gif and I was very aware of what he had done for the club before I arrived here. “For a player to be at a club for 11 years, and to play so many games in that time is a very rare thing and a truly outstanding achievement.” Speaking on Yorkshire Radio, Warnock said, “I have not been sat doing nothing. Believe it or not, it has been very hard work. I have been talking to players, and I have missed out on the odd one. “I am looking to bring quite a number in over the next couple of weeks. Behind the scenes, they are trying to get me the resources to do it. The sooner we can get them in the better and if there is a chance of getting someone in then they will be signed. “You just have to do your best. I think the fans know I am working as hard as I can to get what we all want and that is a successful team and only time will tell. “I am working as hard as I have ever done to put a team together. I am going to need support and I am hoping the support will be there.” Leeds return to training for the 2012/13 season in July before starting their pre-season campaign with a five-day trip to the West Country, where they will play Tavistock, Bodmin and Torquay. Warnock is hoping to have the players in before they depart for the West Country, for their first game on July 23rd. “It would be nice if we can have the players in before we go down to the West Country. We will be training morning, afternoon and playing at night. , it is not as if we will just be playing a few games and having a jolly, it will be hard work. “It would be nice if we can get the majority of players in for then and that is what I am hoping will happen.”
Monday June 18th 2012. Fixture List out but still only one signing. LEEDS UNITED kick off the new Championship season on Saturday, August 18 with a home clash against relegated Wolverhampton Wanderers. United’s first away trip is to the seaside, with Neil Warnock’s troops travelling to Bloomfield Road to face Blackpool on Tuesday, August 21 followed four days later by a clash at London Road against Peterborough United. The big West Yorkshire derby at Huddersfield is scheduled for Saturday, December 1, with Simon Grayson’s return to Elland Road coming on Saturday, March 16. United’s Christmas fixtures start with a home clash with Middlesbrough on December 22, followed by a Boxing Day trip to Nottingham Forest. They finish the calendar year with a derby game at Hull City on December 29. United start 2013 with a home encounter with Bolton Wanderers on January 1. They finish the season with a trip to Vicarage Road to face Watford on May 4. United head to Hillsborough to face Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday, October 20 with the reverse clash taking place on Saturday, April 13. “It`s a great fixture to start with. You really can`t have a better game,” Warnock said. “People talk about a tough start and it is, but the six teams we`ve got will also be looking at their starts and thinking: `We`ve got Leeds`. “It`s my job to make it as difficult as possible for those teams.” While that fixture is one of the more attractive first-up encounters, there can be no arguments about Burnley against Bolton being the match of the day. Bolton lost their Premier League status on the last day of last season, and with just 19 miles between them, a local derby was always going to be a tough opening. Add in the fact that Wanderers manager Owen Coyle walked out on Burnley for Bolton in 2010, and the tie has even more riding on it, even if so early in the season. The other relegated side, Blackburn, must head to Ipswich. All eyes will be on them after their disastrous fall out of the Premier League under their much-maligned manager Steve Kean, but Ipswich boss Paul Jewell knows how hard a game it will be. “It doesn`t matter who you play first or last, you know it`s going to be a hard game,” he said. “There are plenty of big clubs in the division who will feel they have the stadium and facilities worthy of the Premier League and getting back there will be the aim.”Over the next few days I will upload the fixtures on our Fixtures/Results page.

June 17th. 2012. Okay where are we now? As the mood of Leeds fans lasted about as long as Ireland’s hopes did in Poland, the next fortnight seems to be the key two weeks of the Summer. There is no fool like an old fool and Colin headed south on holidays convinced that signings would be awaiting him on his return from Cornwall or Devon or wherever he plans to organize his barbeque for Pearce and Pearce and Pearce. After a fresh look around Thorp Arch and then around grassless Elland Road Colin finally found out that low and behold we hadn’t signed a player in his absence. Should he have kept those two marvels Webber and Robinson after all ? Of course not. Bates wouldn’t pull the same one he has been pulling over Larry for the past three years. “He wouldn’t do that. He wouldn’t. He wouldn’t. He wouldn’t.” “I need that eight promotion and I want it with Leeds United”. “I do. I do I do I do”. Colin jumps on board Easy Jet’s next plane to Monte Carlo where he has his face to face with the bearded wonder. “Norman, what’s the feckin’ story ? Me and you we had a deal. You pony up the cash and I’ll get those shysters promotion”. It won’t be pretty but I’ll get them up”. Ken : “There’s been a little change since you went on holliers. Some yanks have shown an interest in buying the club. Can you Adam and Eve it ? I’ve asked for £60M but they’ll only pony up £55M. Gobshites. I’ll take the flamin’ hands off them. Due diligence my arse !” So hang in there for a couple of weeks Colin. I’ll probably settle for £59.95M. They think they have nought Leeds Baseball team and you can buy Diouf, Green, (oh I forgot they are free) and one or two others. You’ll have your record and I’ll have my cash. And by the way Burnley have been on and have offered £400K for that plonker, Clayton so I’ll put that back into your pot. That’s the kind of fella I am. All heart Colin. All heart. Oh and by the way Colin, if we average less than 24,000 this year that comes out of your pot. Okay Colin ? Piss off Ken ! I’m off. You can bring back Larry ! “Oh I did try that whilst you were away on holiday but he told me he’s now working for a chairman that appreciates him. Now that’s some gratitude and all I did for him !”

June 17th. Silence is golden too – YEP. First, the good news. Neil Warnock is back from holiday and, despite plenty of rumours and counter rumours to the contrary, is still manager of Leeds United. And that fact, set alongside the Elland Road club’s confirmation that “talks were taking place regarding investment for the long-term future”, may just offer Whites fans the greatest encouragement yet that this summer could herald a brave new dawn for their club. The silence, as I said last week, since United’s May 29 announcement may well have been deafening but the eternal optimist in me, bolstered it must be said by Warnock’s actions, gets the feeling that it may yet prove to be golden. Why hasn’t the club put out a follow-up statement? Is it a Canadian, American or Kuwaiti takeover? Or is it, as I suggested last week, just a multi-million pound stadium rights naming? Another week and the same questions keep pouring in from Leeds supporters anxious for some news, any news about what’s going on, or not, at LS11. But, just for once, no news really could mean good news. All major financial deals tend to include confidentiality agreements so the lack of information doesn’t necessarily mean that nothing is happening, or that talks have broken down, or that there is an impasse. Maybe, just maybe, the painstaking background work – due diligence as the business types call it – is running its natural course and heading towards a not-too-distant conclusion.  Granted, this is Leeds United and, yes, things tend not to run so smoothly where any football club is concerned but, hey, there’s a first time for everything, right? Okay, if it makes you feel better keep your fingers crossed just in case then but, more importantly, keep the faith. The long game – and I don’t mean route one football – is the hardest to bear, but if Warnock is prepared to wait and bide his time when it comes to revamping the squad he inherited then he must have very good reason for doing so. He must, I would imagine, have been kept informed as regards any potential investment – particularly as his squad plans appear to depend on it – so if he is staying put and fighting on that is surely a hugely positive indicator for fans. The trouble with long drawn out silences is that speculation or, worse still, conspiracy theories are often used to fill the void. That is, after all, human nature – particularly in this Twitter-fuelled age. How else can you explain an email received by a colleague on Wednesday which insisted that a car, boasting Kuwaiti number plates, was seen at Elland Road, a rumour later regurgitated, hundreds of times over no doubt, in desperate tweets by supporters eager for any crumb of comfort. No, this really is wait and see time for all Whites followers and hopefully, a little like a Paul Daniels magic trick, all will be revealed very soon. And if all is not as it seemed then that will be the moment to respond rather than react to what is, at the moment, pure speculation. At least Monday’s announcement of the 2012-13 fixture list will offer a moment’s respite. It will also, no doubt, see the speculation reach wild, fevered levels with the start of pre-season training just a fortnight away. That’s life

June 14th. Colin will have to wait. June 14th. Neil Warnock, who wanted at least two more new signings completed before he went on holiday last month, told the club’s official website: “The main thing I’m concentrating on is the squad and what we can do to strengthen.”I know what I’m looking to achieve before the start of the season to give us the best opportunity of finishing as high as we can and that process is ongoing.” Leeds, understood to be negotiating with a mystery American consortium, have given no indication as to whether the talks are about potential investment or a full takeover and with all transfer activity apparently on hold, Warnock’s patience is set to be tested further. It is being reported on Twitter that United are unlikely to complete any new deals for players until the end of the month. Colin met with Bates the other day in Monte Carlo. No doubt a time frame must have been agreed or else changes would be made.

June 14th. Kenny deal moves closer (but to where ? )By Richard Sutcliffe – YEP LEEDS UNITED transfer target Paddy Kenny wants his future resolved by the end of the month, the Yorkshire Post understands. The former Sheffield United goalkeeper is set to leave Queens Park Rangers this summer and was sounded out about a possible move to Elland Road several weeks ago. A host of other clubs are also interested, including Ipswich Town, but Halifax-born Kenny has indicated to friends that a return to his native county and a reunion with Warnock, under whom he played at both Bramall Lane and Loftus Road, is his preferred option. The 34-year-old, who is available due to the imminent arrival at Rangers of England international Rob Green, had hoped for the deal to be all but done by his scheduled return from holiday today. However, the on-going discussions over possible investment in Leeds mean the club’s transfer dealings have had to be put on hold over the past three weeks. That has alerted other would-be suitors for the Rangers goalkeeper, who has made it clear to all parties that he wants the situation to be resolved by the end of June at the latest. Warnock, too, is keen to clarify when United can give him the go-ahead to step up his attempts to make Kenny his second signing of the summer and flew out to Monaco yesterday to speak at length with chairman Ken Bates. The Leeds manager has had a frustrating start to his rebuilding plans with the “two or three” captures he had hoped to make having failed to materialise before heading off on his own holiday to the Caribbean last month. Instead, he managed to bring in just one, Portsmouth captain Jason Pearce, as Joel Ward opted to join Crystal Palace from Pompey rather than wait for Leeds to resolve the talks over a possible cash injection. Former Doncaster Rovers midfielder Paul Green was another Warnock wanted to snap up on a free transfer from Derby County last month and Huddersfield Town are now trying to hijack the move. ormer Terriers full-back Lee Peltier is another believed to be on the Elland Road radar, though the Leicester City man said yesterday that he had not been informed of any interest from rival clubs and was “looking forward” to returning to pre-season training with the Foxes.

Thursday 14th. League Cup Draw. The draw for the newly revamped League Cup, now sponsored by Capital One, has taken place. Following this the first fixture of the 2012/13 season is known and will see Shrewsbury take on Leeds. This will see The Shrews as the away side. It is possible that the tie could take place on Saturday or Sunday 11th/12th August but Tuesday or Wednesday 14th/15th is more likely, confirmation of a date will come soon.

June 13th. 2012. Peltier to Leeds ? – YEP LEEDS United could finalise a deal to sign Leicester City defender Lee Peltier in the next two weeks, it was reported today.Elland Road manager Neil Warnock has made the signing of a new right-back a priority after failing to secure Joel Ward, who instead joined rivals Crystal Palace for £400,000. Peltier joined Leicester for £750,000 from Huddersfield Town last summer and Huddersfield are also said to be keen to re-sign him, possibly for a fee reduced to as little as £300,000. Peltier made 47 appearances in total for Leicester last season, but his place is under threat with manager Nigel Pearson keen on bringing in Liam Rosenior from his former club, Hull City. Like a lot of people I will believe it when I see him wearing the Leeds shirt. Not until then !

June 13th. Kenny to join Colin again ? ROBERT GREEN’S impending move to Queens Park Rangers has fuelled speculation in the capital concerning a possible switch to Leeds United for Paddy Kenny. The former Sheffield United goalkeeper is understood to be on the radar of Neil Warnock after having previously had two spells playing under the United manager. Kenny has told friends of his interest in a return to Yorkshire but the on-going discussions over possible investment at Elland Road mean all talks over incoming transfers have had to be put on hold. Club officials are believed to be working feverishly behind the scenes to bring cash into the club but until those attempts come to fruition then discussions with targets such as Paul Green of Derby County – who is also interesting Huddersfield Town – must remain on the back burner. However, with Green this week expected to complete his free transfer switch to Loftus Road from West Ham United, sources in London have indicated that Kenny very much remains on the Elland Road radar. Rangers manager Mark Hughes has offered a four-year deal to free agent Green, who is set to undergo a medical at England’s Euro 2012 training camp ahead of Friday’s Group D game with Sweden. Definitely a better keeper than Lonergan but when he is wearing the LUFC shirt, I will believe it then.

June 12th. As the silence from Elland Road regarding investment and takeovers becomes almost deafening, Neil Warnock distanced himself from moving for his former captain, Shaun Derry and spring chicken Michael Brown was to due to make up his mind up regarding the offer of a new but reduced one year contract. Simon Grayson was said to have stolen a march in the bid to sign Paul Green on a free transfer. Meanwhile, Eddie Gray was preaching what we all knew, we need to get quality bodies in- preferably in every area of the squad. Just another normal day around LS 11 I guess.

June 11th. Two more kids sign up. Leeds pair Dominic Poleon and Ross Killock are the latest teenagers to be handed their first professional contracts with the club. Striker Poleon was leading scorer for the Under-18s with 12 goals last season and central defender Killock also made several appearances for the reserves. Both have signed one-year deals. Fellow teenagers Simon Lenighan, Charlie Clamp and Sam Byram have all recently been rewarded with their first deals, while Nathan and Lewis Turner have signed new one-year contracts and defender Monty Gimpel turns professional on July 1.

June 9th. What the #### is going on ? To Ell and back.Org. Ten days after Leeds United confirmed that talks were taking place over a possible investment in the club, we are none the wiser as to whether there has been any progress, or whether the other party has given up and walked away from the deal. The only news to leak out of Elland Road today is that at least one disillusioned player has been telling the Supporters Trust that the players are every bit as cheesed off as the fans over the way the club is going. Over the last few years there have been rumours on several occasions that various people have offered to buy the club from Ken Bates, but each time the stories have come to nothing. But on May 28th the official website actually confirmed that discussions were in progress, something they hadn’t done on any previous occasion, giving us reason to hope that this time it really could happen and we could finally be rid of Bates once and for all.But since then we’ve heard absolutely nothing. Is it a case of ‘no news is good news’, and talks are continuing while the parties want to keep everything confidential? Is it taking so long because and the investor needs to get their head round Bates’ complex web of companies to be sure of what they’re buying? Or is Bates holding out for too much money? Although the old rogue denied the Mail’s story that he wanted £80 million, I wouldn’t put it past him to demand far more than the club is really worth. The longer it all drags on, the less chance Neil Warnock will have of putting a decent squad together for next season. The manager wanted four new signings in place by the end of May, so he won’t be impressed when he returns from holiday to find that we still haven’t added to the solitary purchase of Portsmouth’s Joel Ward. If there is no new money coming into the club soon there is every chance that Warnock will have walked by the time the new season kicks off in August. And today the Leeds United Supporters’ Trust has issued a statement saying they have been “speaking with sources close to the players at Leeds United”. To some extent it tells us what we already know, in that the players a relatively poorly paid, and that some of our key squad members are likely to accept offers to move elsewhere. But it does reveal how bad the mood in the dressing room has become, that one or more players have chosen to make their feelings known through this route. The statement says “They have told us that the players are as disillusioned and disheartened as the fans at the moment, feeling undervalued by the club and totally frustrated by the lack of ambition Leeds United are showing. ..Players fear if they speak their minds openly and publicly at the moment they could be left to rot in the reserves, or be sold to clubs they have no interest in playing for”. (As happened to Ben Parker last season, who was shipped out to Carlisile on loan for daring to tell the truth about the Howson transfer) (not true – GC) “They understand that without an increase in the playing budget at Leeds, the club will need to sell before it can buy, but the only players the club can sell are the ones who want to stay and fight for promotion with Leeds United. A number of players have grown so frustrated by the situation at Leeds United that they are on the verge of giving up, walking away and accepting offers to play elsewhere. Our sources stressed to us that these players do not want to leave Leeds”. And the good news? Sorry, but there isn’t any. We also learned today that our fomer player Matt Kilgallon isn’t likely to be tempted to come back to Elland Road any time soon. According to the Northern Echo he is going to stay at Sunderland and fight for his place, even though he is about to start the final year of his current deal. So it’s pretty clear that unless an investment is secured and some significant new money comes into the club, then we are heading for very difficult times. If the talks do not prove successful (if indeed they are still going at all) it seems quite likely that Neil Warnock will have left the club before the new season starts, along with several of our key players. And if that happens the demonstrations we saw last season will be nothing compared to what is yet to come.

June 9th Players as frustrated as fans – LUST – Marching on together. Leeds United Supporters’ Trust have been speaking with sources close to the players at Leeds United, as frustration grows among fans over the lack of progress on transfers, the current takeover talks, and yesterday’s embarrassing court case. They have been told that the players are as disillusioned and disheartened as the fans at the moment, feeling undervalued by the club and totally frustrated by the lack of ambition Leeds United are showing. Many players have read and fully agree with the aims of LUST’s Vision Statement, and want them to get their views out on their behalf. Their sources say that players fear if they speak their minds openly and publicly at the moment they could be left to rot in the reserves, or be sold to clubs they have no interest in playing for. They are anxious, however, that Leeds supporters should know how they are feeling. The trust has been told that the players are passionate and committed about bringing success to Leeds United. They desperately want to be part of a Leeds United side that wins promotion to the Premier League. With the current situation at the club, though, they cannot see how that will be possible. They understand that without an increase in the playing budget at Leeds, the club will need to sell before it can buy, but the only players the club can sell are the ones who want to stay and fight for promotion with Leeds United. This has put them in a catch-22 situation, not knowing whether they will still be at Leeds next season, or what sort of team they will be playing in. While they want to stay at Elland Road, the players feel completely undervalued by the club. The trust understand that some of the contract offers the club has been making have offered a miserly increase in weekly wages, offers which do not come close to what players could earn elsewhere. They feel that they are nothing more than commodities to Leeds United, and they have compared their disillusionment to that felt by the fans in recent seasons. Their view is that the club does not care about either the players’ or the fans’ opinions enough to share their ambition. A number of players have grown so frustrated by the situation at Leeds United that they are on the verge of giving up, walking away and accepting offers to play elsewhere. Our sources stressed to us that these players do not want to leave Leeds. The players want the fans to know loud and clear that they share our passion for Leeds, and that they have a burning ambition to get our club to the Premier League. Equally, they share in the frustration and pain the fans have been feeling. Players who want to play for Leeds United fear that they will be forced out of the club this summer, and have to go and play elsewhere for the good of their careers and personal futures. They are frustrated that the people in charge of the club do not share the ambition of the players, and the fans, to make Leeds United a great football club again. One of the main aims of the Leeds United Supporters’ Trust Vision Statement is to reunite the club and its fans. The trust want to see harmony between the fans, the players, and the management of Leeds United, so we can build a successful team together. They are pleased to learn that there are players at Leeds United who fully endorse that vision, and who are desperate to help us make it a reality.

June 9th. Heat is on over Leeds United investment. YEP – Phil Hay. Leeds United were under increasing pressure to deliver on the prospect of investment today and ease the frustration of manager Neil Warnock. The club have made no comment on the likelihood of a cash injection at Elland Road since announcing 10 days ago that talks were underway with potential investors, but they are facing calls for answers following Warnock’s return from a two-week summer break. Associates of the United boss contacted by the YEP say Warnock is deeply concerned by both the lack of signings made last month and the threat that a shortage of transfer funds poses to his plans for the summer. Leeds continued to work towards an investment deal while Warnock was away in the Caribbean but the club have given no public indication of decisive progress with an American group who were shown around Elland Road and Thorp Arch on May 24. The need for a fresh funding at Elland Road became apparent last month after Warnock’s attempt to sign right-back Joel Ward from Portsmouth failed. Leeds were unable to finance the £400,000 fee originally negotiated with Portsmouth’s administrators. Interest in Derby County midfielder Paul Green was also stifled, despite the Republic of Ireland international being available on a free, and the YEP understands that proposed talks between Warnock and Portsmouth’s David Norris have been delayed due to a lack of available money. Warnock made no secret of his plan to overhaul of United’s squad this summer and he warned when he became manager in February that he would only remain in charge for the 2012-13 campaign if the resources at Elland Road offered a realistic chance of promotion. In his absence during the past fortnight, another of his targets, defender Clint Hill, has taken up a new contract at Queens Park Rangers and a suggestion from goalkeeper Paddy Kenny – published on his Twitter account on Thursday – that a deal to take him from QPR is in place appears to have been premature. Warnock, meanwhile, is still to resolve the future of club captain Robert Snodgrass after offering him a new deal which would make him United’s highest earner. Snodgrass, whose current deal runs out next year, is believed to be reluctant to commit himself to new terms while so much of Warnock’s plans are unfulfilled. The Leeds United Supporters Trust (LUST) heightened the pressure on Leeds further last night by claiming to have been contacted by an intermediary of “disillusioned and disheartened” players at Elland Road. In a statement, LUST said the players concerned were “feeling undervalued and totally frustrated by the lack of ambition Leeds United are showing.”“They desperately want to be part of a Leeds United side that wins promotion to the Premier League,” the statement read. “With the current situation at the club, they cannot see how that will be possible.”

June 8th – The Monstrous Melvyn Levi? Or Perhaps The Prophet of Leeds (The Sratching Shed). Ken Bates has had plenty to say about Melvyn Levi over the years. Some of that was actionable in court with the potential to be criminal. There are strong feelings on both sides, and plenty of vitriol from one. With the history here tracking back to 2004 – eight years ago – perhaps we should re-cap what happened while he was at Leeds for the younger fans among us? History Krasner’s era at Leeds (Levi was a director during that time) saw Leeds relegated, and eventually sold on. The Yorkshire Consortium had saved the club from administration in 2004, and set about cutting Leeds’ astronomical debt to manageable levels. Demotion from the Premiership was a bitter blow, but one almost certain when the Yorkshire Consortium took over in April. It was a horrific time to be a Leeds fan. Ridsdale had given us Rio Ferdinand for a record of around £18m. The price for that was the sale of most of our best players a few years later. In the Championship, Leeds had parachute payments of £7m for two years – a far cry from today’s £12m for four years. In the Premiership, the Yorkshire Consortium had faced debts of over £100m. In the Championship, Leeds’ wage bill was four times the average. There were added problems for the club – not only were they over budget, but they had paid far over the odds for players and couldn’t shift them. The board had no alternative but to sanction the sale of our best players – including Alan Smith whose only option was a move to Manchester United (since Manchester United were the highest bidder to offer cash up-front). Smith’s move saved Leeds the equivalent of another year of parachute payments. £6m was paid by Manchester United, while a further £1m in payoffs was waived by Smith as a goodwill gesture for the club he supported. The Yorkshire Consortium ended up in power struggles, and became very unpopular. Not surprising, given the necessity of selling some of Leeds’ best talent, and Elland Road and Thorp Arch. Both facilities were re-purchasable at well below market value (Bates’ failure to repurchase Thorp Arch in time despite the sale of Fabian Delph for around £6m, was his failing). Elland Road is still re-purchasable for around £12m – far below market value. As you might expect in a split boardroom, there were heroes and villains. Shaun Harvey (through his links to Bradford City’s chairman who had recklessly built up big debts) joined the board, while David Richmond left. Shaun Harvey was quite right in 2004, when he stated: The be all and end all of football clubs is football, football clubs are the 11 men who make up the starting line-up on a Saturday afternoon. Fans are not interested in finance and administration, or how much the board of directors achieve. They care about what happens on the pitch – and that is their club as they see it. “The be all and end all of football clubs is football” – what happened, Shaun? Why are you going along with financial over-extension on facilities you must realise have little to do with the quality of football and have little chance of paying for themselves? Eventually, the consortium found the debt burden too great – they weren’t wealthy by footballing standards – and decided to sell to ex-Chelsea owner Ken Bates (a man whose club was rumoured to have racked up debts as large as Leeds before selling to Abramovich). The consortium had cut debts of over £100m to around £20m. What terrible work. By 2007 Ken Bates and Shaun Harvey would take Leeds into administration. Harvey had previous experience with clubs entering administration, as his club Bradford City had experienced it twice while he was on the board. The previous board having aggressively cut expenditure and having reportedly reduced Leeds’ debts to around £20m, Ken Bates took Leeds into administration with a balance sheet reading roughly £35m of debt. Great job, Ken. To make matters worse, Leeds were relegated to the third division that season for the first time in their history. During the murky administration process, Ken Bates apparently regained control of the club. Melvyn Levi, one of the club’s creditors (having put his personal wealth into the club), gave an interview outside Elland Road: At the end of the day, I just want the best for Leeds United. That’s all we ever came into it all for, for Leeds United. We wanted to make sure that they would survive, but we feel that they ought to survive under a better regime than Ken Bates. At the end of the day, here we are at a magnificent football club, unfortunately in the First Division. If Mr Bates does retain the club I wish him all the very best and hope that he will get us out of here and back into the Championship. However, I don’t think he’s the right man for the job, personally. Mr Bates said he’s looking for further investment. Of course the club always needs investment. But I tell you now, this club to get back to where it should be in the Premiership requires somebody with deep pockets. Probably between £30-50m. We can’t be scratting around with bits and bats of money. The only way Leeds United – this fabulous club this great club- is ever going to get back to the Premiership is with somebody with big pockets. An American, big operators, somebody with the club at heart. And yes, maybe it all wants redeveloping why not? That’s not a problem for me. But at the end of the day if it is going to get redeveloped, let it get redeveloped for the benefit of the citizens of Leeds and for the club, not for an individual’s pockets. Many fans have begun saying this over the past year or two (some a lot longer) – here was the prophetic Melvyn Levi warning us back in 2007. Right Strategy, Wrong Time. And he was right – and here’s why. The Mirror have published illustrations of the wages-revenue ratio of Premiership and Championship clubs using figures from Deloitte analysis. The figures (below) show the only clubs spending less of their revenue on wages than Leeds are Manchester United and Blackpool. Blackpool have notoriously “hit lucky” on promotion to the Premier League, given a massive payment to their owner, and virtually accepted relegation straight back to the Championship. Spending a season in the Premier League on Championship wages, no wonder their ratio is so low. Meanwhile, Manchester United are a one-off club. Prior to the Premiership, Manchester United’s last league win was in 1966-7 – the seventh of their history. Since 1992′s launch of the Premiership they have won 12 times, and benefited massively from the ludicrous income to be had from success in modern football. Meanwhile, Arsenal and Tottenham are the only 2 other clubs to spend at a ratio within 10% of Leeds’ figures. What do Arsenal, Tottenham and Blackpool have in common? They are all clubs who want to maintain the status quo. For Blackpool, they set out to maintain their position and become a perennial playoff team. Arsenal want to continue to build on their place as a top English club (they have won the 2nd most titles, joint with Chelsea, since the Premier League’s creation) as a sustainable business – maybe we should ask why they haven’t won or even challenged for a few years now? – and Tottenham are building on their position as a top-half team, but again making no significant gains despite flashes of brilliance. The teams that rise in the leagues are the ones who spend some money. Norwich City spent at 79%, Swansea City spent at 149%, Queens Park Rangers spent at 183%. Frightening figures, yes, but QPR’s effective buying of the title would only take Leeds 91% of their turnover because of the tremendous size of this club. Norwich’s 79% is only 43% of Leeds’ turnover. And turnover rises when the club shows ambition, and rises still further when the club does well. As Levi said: we can’t be scratting around with bits and bats of money.” Because by foolishly over-extending ourselves financially on “bricks and mortar” – much of which the club doesn’t even own, we are reducing ourselves to pauperage on the playing side of things. It all really boils down to one question: does Ken Bates want to put the club in some kind of stasis until the speculated financial implosion in football occurs, or does he want to chase promotion? Chasing promotion could have been done with Bates at the helm – could have. By now, Leeds have spent (according to Levi) over £3m on the latest court case, Shaun Harvey has admitted under oath that the club have spent “a fortune” on what has been described as a “personal vendetta”. And Bates has not ruled out an appeal on the latest court case, while Levi has hinted at another. Medical evidence at court has shown the Levi’s health has been adversely affected by what has legally been ruled harassment from Ken Bates. You can’t blame him for looking to take Bates and his media organs to the cleaners. Meanwhile, Leeds have borrowed somewhere in the region of £5m on corporate development because (as Lorimer said on Yorkshire Radio) some curtains were tatty and some carpets were worn. I’ve heard rumours that the loan is at fairly unfavourable terms – which is of course unverifiable for us outsiders. Meanwhile, according to our chairman, the club were spending £4m over budget on the playing squad when Simon Grayson was sacked. The initial laughably low budget of around £9.5m looks to have tied Leeds’ hands while the best targets sorted their careers out. The late rise in budget seems to have forced us into speculative deals with injury-plagued Mika Vayrynen and Mikael Forssell, while Danny Pugh was drafted in at a time when Leeds had no first-choice left-back and Max Gradel’s sale was on the cards. £500,000 on Pugh might be used to beat Grayson with – but by September, who was still available? Warnock Walks? And it’s happening all over again. Warnock appears to have been talking to The Mirror. The famous phrase ‘sources close to’ suggests an unofficial chat. According to The Mirror, Ken Bates has failed to deliver ‘promised cash’ and Warnock: claimed he had been offered a budget to give Leeds a shot at winning promotion to the Premier League when he joined in February, but the reality has been different. Leeds now face a second year running, losing our best players and letting the hot properties pass us by. Signing a team good enough for promotion over one year is a massive task; that’s why most clubs do it over a few years. How can we do that when our balance-sheet requires us to either sell off our best talent, or deny them lucrative contracts when they prove to work well for the club? If we lose Robert Snodgrass, will we really find another with a snap of the fingers? Think of the points Snoddy won us by himself last season! With Warnock having been badly affected by the sudden death of his friend and former Forest owner Nigel Doughty, the in-demand manager is seeking one last challenge to achieve what would be a record 8 league promotions for one manager. Warnock was visibly delighted to be at Leeds, looking in awe at his surroundings at Thorp Arch during his initial interview, but he will not stick around forever based on a promise – why should he? And now our owner Ken Bates has crossed the line. He has terrorised a couple of O.A.P.’s using his playthings – a loss-making radio station and a programme column which Shaun Harvey seemed to me to hint he would find difficult to edit. Ken Bates’ past shows a man who has made a fortune from next to nothing. But it also shows a man who has left businesses in a poor state. In 2007 Ireland’s Independent would write: As depositors of the former Irish Trust Bank, which went bust in 1976, can testify, dealing with Bates can be a costly business. Bates was, meanwhile, hardly bathing in the love of fans at Oldham, or Chelsea (who were at the time rumoured to have the same debts as Leeds- that lynch-pin of Bates’ cautionary tales of overspending) when he left. And that leaves us questioning, as does Melvyn Levi: [Is he] a fit-and-proper person if there’s been an injunction awarded against him and he’s harassed somebody where the judge said that the harassments were capable of being criminal? Perhaps Levi summed it up perfectly, when he said: Believe it or not, I haven’t got any bad feelings against Mr Bates, I just don’t understand his motives. Absolutely superb article. 

June 8th. Kenny Leeds bound or another target missed ? YEP LEEDS United’s transfer ambitions appeared to take an upturn today after goalkeeping target Paddy Kenny hinted that he had agreed a transfer from Queens Park Rangers. Halifax-born Kenny tweeted that a move was imminent, as QPR edged closer to signing England international Ben Foster from Birmingham City. Leeds are among several clubs keeping their eye on Kenny. Manager Neil Warnock has worked with him at QPR and Sheffield United. Kenny tweeted: “So excited to get my future sorted a new chapter for me and my family.” His tweet was later deleted. However, it is not clear whether Leeds could afford Kenny, or on whether an injection of cash from new investors is a prerequisite for any new signings. Warnock returns today from holiday and he will be anxious to find out how the transfer targets list is looking. Matthew Kilagllon it appears will now be staying put at Sunderland.

June 8th. Ken Bates under fire over £4M pound vendetta – YEP A FORMER Leeds United director has bitterly criticised Ken Bates for conducting a personal “vendetta” which he claims has cost £4m – money which could otherwise have been available to spend on players. Melvyn Levi launched the attack on Leeds’s chairman and owner after winning a case for harassment and securing a gagging order against Mr Bates, who declined to respond to the comments. Handing down judgment in the case at Leeds County Court yesterday, Judge Mark Gosnell ordered Mr Bates should pay £10,000 in compensation and pay 30 per cent of Mr Levi and his wife’s legal bill. His judgment also criticised Mr Bates’s performance in the witness box during the four-day hearing in April, describing his lack of concern for the Levis as “chilling”. It added: “At times he seemed more concerned with belittling and criticising Mr Myerson (Mr Levi’s barrister) than giving convincing evidence to the court.” The harassment case was the latest episode in a long-running dispute stemming from Mr Bates’s takeover of the club in 2005 from the Yorkshire Consortium, of which Mr Levi was a member. In 2009, Mr Levi won £50,000 in libel damages plus costs after Mr Bates called him a “shyster” and published his home address in match day programme notes. Mr Bates has been trying to force repayment of £190,400 the club was owed at the time of the takeover by a company called Admatch, run by Mr Levi’s friend Robert Weston, who lived in Jersey. Mr Bates claims Mr Levi helped Mr Weston to retain the £190,400 and has been pursuing the debt, initially through the courts in Jersey, for more than six years. The claims, which have now moved to the English courts, are denied. When Leeds United unsuccessfully tried to serve legal papers on Mr Levi at his home just before Christmas 2010, the club’s match-day programme and radio station – Yorkshire Radio – were used to publicise attempts to track him down. Mr Levi and his wife Carole claimed they suffered stress as a result of Mr Levi being likened to a criminal on the run. They also claimed comments made by Mr Bates in his match day programme notes amounted to speculation over the state of their marriage. An announcement on Yorkshire Radio said: “Leeds United are currently searching for the whereabouts of Melvyn Levi to serve him some papers in relation to a High Court action in Jersey. “Now, if you’ve seen the former Leeds United director, you’re being asked to get in touch with Yorkshire Radio and let us know where and when you saw him.” Mr Bates’s programme notes of January 1 2011, entitled “Onwards and Upwards”, said: “As I write, we have not served Mr Levi with his writ as his wife said he was away until New Year which makes me speculate as to why they split for the festive season.” The judge upheld Mr Levi’s harassment claim but not Mrs Levi’s, although he stressed she had been a credible witness who had become “collateral damage in the war between Mr Bates and her husband”.  He said Mr Bates’s actions had been motivated by a “personal grudge” against Mr Levi and he was satisfied a two-year injunction banning him from discussing Mr Levi’s private life in public was necessary to quell the risk of further harassment. Mr Bates is allowed to mention the commercial dispute between the two as well as other non-private matters. Explaining why he was granting the injunction, the judge said: “I cannot think of a better reason than the delving into Mr Levi’s private life in what is a commercial dispute between Mr Levi and Mr Bates which I hope will be resolved by someone else on another day.” Speaking afterwards, Mr Levi said: “I have been fighting him for six and a half years now and it’s long enough. I believe, and I’ve been through it with my lawyers, that Mr Bates or Leeds United or anybody else together have spent coming up to £4m in trying to fight two old age pensioners and that’s what we are.” Commenting on the costs, he added: “It’ll come no doubt out of Leeds United and the consequences of that is that players won’t be bought probably. “I do know if Mr Bates didn’t bother with these actions there would be more money to go into buying players at the club and not have this ridiculous situation where I’m in court every two years with a row with Mr Bates.” In a statement, Leeds United said: “It has been our position throughout that this case could and should have been resolved without getting to Court. From the outset efforts were made by the club to settle the case without substantial costs being incurred. “Mrs Levi’s claim for damages and an injunction failed in its entirety, whilst Mr Levi was awarded a sum of money which he had been offered months previously. The substantial reductions in the costs claimed by Mr Levi reflect the fact that his claim failed in a number of respects. Whilst the Court has granted permission to appeal, the Club will take time to consider its options.” 

June 7th. Bates loses “harassment against Levi” and may have “cost Leeds Unted up to £5M in legal cases against two pensioners” A former Leeds United director has been awarded £10,000 damages in his legal claim against club chairman Ken Bates over stress he suffered over comments made about him in match day programmes. Melvyn Levi and wife Carole also sued Bates over announcements on the club radio station allegedly likening Mr Levi to a criminal on the run. Comments made by Bates in his matchday programme notes amounted to speculation over the state of their marriage. Levi sought damages from Bates, the club and its radio station, Yorkshire Radio, at Leeds County Court. Judge Gosnell this morning Told the court Mr Levi’s claim had been successful The former club director claimed radio announcements asking for information on his whereabouts during a Leeds match on Boxing Day 2010 likened him to “a fugitive”. Over that Christmas period, Bates was trying to serve a writ against Levi but found out from his wife that he was away until the new year. The Leeds chairman was pursuing legal action against Levi for £190,400 Bates claims he and another party owed the club. At an earlier hearing, Bates was accused of using the club’s programme to pursue a personal vendetta and make the lives of the Levis “a misery” after he wrote an article in January last year speculating on why the couple had “split” over the festive season. In 2009 Levi sued Bates for libel over articles written in the programme and the Leeds chairman was ordered to pay £50,000 damages plus costs to Levi. Judge Mark Gosnell also agreed to grant an injunction banning Bates from reporting details about Mr Levi’s private life for the next two years. The judge said it would still be acceptable for Bates to publish objective reports about about ongoing legal proceeding between the two men. He said he considered it necessary to prevent further untruthful or damaging allegations against Mr Levi. Judge Gosnell said the the injunction did not apply in relation to Mrs Levi as he did not consider her to be at risk of having personal details published about her in the future. He said: “She was collateral damage in the war between Mr Bates and Mr Levi.” Mr Levi said : “Mr Bates has always refused the offer to sit around a table to like a reasonable person. My legal team believe these legal cases against two pensioners have cost Leeds United between £4.5 and £5M pounds, money that would have been better spent on the team”. 

June 6th 2012. Verdict due on Ken Bates ‘harassment’ of Leeds United rival – YEP  A COURT is expected to rule tomorrow on whether Leeds United owner Ken Bates must pay damages for allegedly harassing a business rival who is a former director of the club. Leeds County Court heard in April that Mr Bates had harassed Yorkshire businessman Melvyn Levi, who successfully sued him for libel in 2009. Mr Bates was then ordered to pay £50,000 damages to Mr Levi over allegations that he was a “shyster” who tried to blackmail the club over money. Mr Levi has taken Mr Bates back to court, seeking damages for harassment from him, the club and Yorkshire Radio, the station which broadcasts live commentary of United matches. He also seeks an injunction against Mr Bates to prevent further harassment. The two men fell out following Mr Bates’s takeover of the club in 2005. Giving evidence in April, Mr Levi’s wife Carole suggested that the Leeds United chairman should be “locked up” for the distress he had caused. The court is expected to rule on Mr Levi’s action behind closed doors tomorrow morning, with a statement expected later.

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June 6th. Task Number one awaiting Warnock – YEP Leeds United’s verdict over which players to release, which to transfer-list and which to tempt with new contracts made no mention of goalkeeper Andy Lonergan. Virtually every squad member aside from those nursing serious injuries featured in the first stage of United’s summer reshuffle: five freed at the end of their deals, six made available for transfer and no fewer than seven offered extended terms. In all it gave some perspective to the positions where signings were most likely and the areas where signings were most necessary. Manager Neil Warnock transfer-listed Paul Rachubka as he was always liable to do but his retained list made no obvious threat to Lonergan, United’s first-choice for the past 12 months. The likelihood of a bid for Lonergan from Bolton Wanderers, however, and the perennial link between Warnock and Paddy Kenny is fuelling the suggestion that a new keeper will be one of Warnock’s many requirements in the weeks leading up to the start of the new season. Bolton have included Lonergan in a list of six options to join Hungarian Adam Bogdan at the Reebok Stadium, and the 28-year-old is thought to be the preferred choice of Wanderers manager Owen Coyle. Leeds have been aware of Bolton’s interest for some time with the Lancashire club undergoing a changing of the guard in the wake of their relegation from the Premier League. Jussi Jaaskelainen, the veteran Finnish international, parted company with Bolton last month after 15 years of service and more than 500 appearances, leaving Bogdan without experienced cover or proven competition. Coyle is aware that a successful bid for Lonergan will rely not only on Warnock’s willingness to listen to offers but also on a sequence of timely events involving Queens Park Rangers, Birmingham City and Leeds. QPR are vying to sign England international Ben Foster from Birmingham City, a deal which would cost in the region of £5million and pave the way for Kenny’s departure from Loftus Road. Warnock has been instrumental in the success of Kenny’s career, taking him to Sheffield United in 2002 and QPR in 2010, and United’s manager is expected to engage the 34-year-old again this summer – provided Rangers agree to sell Kenny and Leeds’ financial situation improves quickly enough to untie his hands. A shortage of transfer money was apparent at Elland Road last month as approaches for Joel Ward and Paul Green came to nothing, despite Warnock’s belief that he would be able to sign both players. Kenny, like several of Warnock’s other targets, would command a sizeable transfer fee and wages at the top end of United’s budget and it is not clear when or how Leeds will be in a position to finance his strategy without a successful end to active talks with American investors. Warnock is close to the end of his summer holiday and will travel back from the Caribbean later this week amid fervent speculation about United’s ownership. Few developments have been apparent since Leeds announced last week that they were in discussions with prospective investors, a statement which followed the revelation that a North American group had recently been shown around the club’s Elland Road stadium and training ground at Thorp Arch. It is still not clear whether the negotiations are aimed at the acquisition of a minority stake or a full buy-out, and while the noises around Elland Road speak of a takeover, one source told the YEP yesterday that the preference of chairman Ken Bates would be to find an investment “partner” rather than a purchaser. Either way, an influx of cash seems necessary to give Warnock the freedom to begin an overhaul which started and stopped with the £500,000 signing of Jason Pearce from Portsmouth on May 4. Kenny, who has a year left on his contract with QPR, would be likely to cost at least as much. He and Rangers manager Mark Hughes were due to discuss his future last week and the Premier League club are unlikely to consider offers for him until a deal with a replacement is reached. Ipswich Town are also rumoured to be monitoring Kenny. Lonergan, meanwhile, is only 12 months into the three-year contract he signed after joining Leeds from Preston North End for around £100,000, and Warnock has given no public indication of a lack of faith in him. The former England Under-21 international made 38 appearances this season, denied an ever-present record in the Championship by the broken finger he suffered in October. That injury – sustained in a 3-0 win over Doncaster Rovers – came with Lonergan in impressive form and he spent two months in the treatment room before returning in a 1-0 defeat to Reading a week before Christmas. He was hyper-critical of his display in that match, saying: “I don’t think I’ll be picked for the next game, not after that. I don’t deserve to be.” During Lonergan’s period of rehabilitation, former boss Simon Grayson turned to Rachubka with disastrous consequences before signing Alex McCarthy on loan from Reading. By the time Lonergan regained full fitness, Leeds were badly out of sorts and struggling to stay in touch with the Championship’s top six. The second half of Lonergan’s season lacked the consistency of the first but he turned in several commendable displays, not least during a goalless draw at Hull City in March. He was also singled out for praise by Cardiff City manager Malky Mackay after Leeds’ final away fixture of the term in south Wales. Warnock’s policy of naming no spare keeper in his matchday squads left no space for an experienced understudy at Elland Road, leading to Rachubka’s departure on loan to Leyton Orient, but a change in Football League rules allowing for seven substitutes in league games next season will afford Leeds the luxury of a replacement on the bench.

June 6th. Wednesday in for O’Dea and Utd in for Parker. SHEFFIELD Wednesday have joined the chase for former Leeds United defender Darren O’Dea. The Republic of Ireland international has been released by Celtic after spending the majority of last season on loan at Leeds in the Championship. Bolton Wanderers and Burnley are also keen on the 25-year-old who is now with the Ireland squad preparing for Euro 2012. The Owls have also been in talks with Crystal Palace defender Anthony Gardner over the last few days but have yet to finalise a deal. Now 31, Gardner struggled with injuries at former club Hull City but started 25 games for Palace last season in the Championship. SHEFFIELD United are interested in signing former Leeds defender Ben Parker. Parker, whose contract at Elland Road was recently terminated by mutual consent, is understood to feature on Danny Wilson’s wanted list after severing his ties with the Championship club. Wilson, the United manager, has identified reinforcements at left-back as one of his top priorities this summer following Andy Taylor’s departure last week. With Haiti international Lecsinel Jean-Francois set to miss the start of next season with a serious ligament injury, Marcus Williams could be the only experienced option at United’s disposal when the 2012/13 season begins in August. “Ben wants to get his future sorted out as quickly as possible,” a source close to the 24-year-old confirmed last night. “He’s looking forward to a fresh start and is raring to go. “He’s been working hard and wants to get back to doing what he does best which is playing football. “Ben is a good player and there are some good options out there.” United are understood to be in pole position to secure Parker’s services should Wilson decide to pursue his interest. However, they would face competition from neighbours Rotherham and League One rivals Scunthorpe, who have also been monitoring Parker since his departure from West Yorkshire in April. Despite seeing a succession of fitness problems hamper his progress, Parker remains highly regarded in football circles. “He’s had bad luck but he’s not going to make it with us and it’s not fair to him,” Ken Bates, the Leeds chairman, said after Parker’s exit was announced. “He’s a lovely fellow and we wish him all the best. Although he is finished with us, he is going to carry on training to make sure he is fit for next season.” Parker, who was Leeds’ longest serving player, made five appearances for Carlisle during a loan spell in Cumbria last term. He has also represented Bradford City, Darlington and England at youth level.

Mattie Kilgallon

June 4th. Kilgallon on Warnock’s list – YEP Kilgallon has emerged as a target for Leeds manager Neil Warnock, a move which would bring the Sunderland defender back to the club where he started his career. Warnock is believed to have watched Kilgallon towards the end of the season and would find Sunderland receptive to offers – but the prospect of another bid for Mills has been dampened by Leicester City’s £3m asking price. Leeds attempted to sign Mills on loan in February, less than a week after Warnock’s appointment as boss, and the former Reading captain is available this summer after a fall-out with Leicester manager Nigel Pearson. Mills has three years remaining on his £25,000-a-week deal, however, and City are anxious to recoup much of the £5m fee they paid to sign him from Reading last summer. Leicester have already rejected Celtic’s offer of a swap deal involving Kelvin Wilson and their financial demands are expected to rule Leeds out of the running. But United, who hope a quick conclusion to ongoing talks with prospective investors will resolve a shortage of transfer funds at Elland Road, appear to see Kilgallon as a capable option having already added centre-back Jason Pearce to their defensive ranks. The 28-year-old made almost 100 appearances for Leeds before leaving to join Warnock at Sheffield United in a £1.75m deal in January 2007. He played only 11 times for Sunderland during the recent Premier League campaign but enjoyed an impressive resurgence under Martin O’Neill during the closing weeks of the season. Speculation on Wearside, however, suggests O’Neill will look to move Kilgallon on this summer with his contract entering its final year. Discussions between Leeds and an American group over substantial investment at Elland Road, meanwhile, are likely to gather pace in the coming days.  Warnock will return after a summer holiday later this week.

June 4th 2012. Lancashire New. Lonergan up for grabs ? According to reports Bolton Wanderers are interested in Leeds United goalkeeper Andy Lonergan. Bolton News claims Wanderers boss Owen Coyle is eyeing the 28-year-old stopper. It is understood he wants experienced competition for Adam Bogdan next season and has drawn up a shortlist of half a dozen possible candidates, headed by the former Preston North End player. Lonergan was first choice at Elland Road and also captained the side for a spell last season, but with Neil Warnock looking to bring in his trusted former charge Paddy Kenny from QPR, he could be made available. Coyle is looking for a new recruit between the sticks with veteran Jussi Jaaskelainen closing in on a move to West Ham United.

Transfer Rumours : Week 1 INEl Hadji Diouf – (Doncaster) Alan Smith – (Newcastle) Jermaine Beckford – (Leicester) Stuart Beavon – (Wycombe Wanderers) Jason Pearce – (Portsmouth) Signed Greg Halford  (Portsmouth) Joel Ward – (Portsmouth) Luke Varney – (Portsmouth) David Norris – (Portsmouth) Ben Watson – (Wigan Athletic) Paul Green – (Derby County) Darren Ambrose – (Crystal Palace) Sol Bamba – (Leicester City) Matt Mills – (Leicester City)  Out Aidy White – (Newcastle United) Ramon Nunez – (Doncaster Rovers)  Week 2  IN George Boyd – (Peterborough United) George Friend –  Doncaster Rovers) Simon Gillett – (Doncaster Rovers) Tommy Spurr – (Doncaster Rovers) Richard Keogh – (Coventry City) Week 3 IN Clint Hill – (QPR) Paddy Kenny – (QPR) Michael Owen – Manchester United) OUT Adam Clayton – (Bolton & Burnley) Week 4 IN Steve Davies – (Derby County) Ian Harte – (Reading) OUT Ross McCormack – (Wigan & West Ham) Aidy White – (Celtic & Arsenal) Billy Paynter – (Portsmouth) Luciano Becchio – (Sheffield Wednesday) Robert Snodgrass – (Norwich, Newcastle, Stoke & West Brom) Week 5 IN Shaun Derry – (QPR) Jamie Mackie – (QPR) Tommy Smith – (QPR) Lee Peltier – (Leicester City) OUT Ross McCormack – (Huddersfield Town)

June 2nd. June 2nd. Kilgallon on way back to Leeds ? Sunderland Chronicle MATT KILGALLON is a summer transfer target for his old club Leeds United.Leeds boss Neil Warnock was at the Stadium of Light towards the end of last season to watch the defender in action. And, with Kilgallon about to enter the final year of his contract, any bid for the 28-year-old’s services will leave Black Cats boss Martin O’Neill with a decision to make. Kilgallon is one of three centre-backs with only 12 months of their current deals still to run – with Michael Turner and Titus Bramble in the same situation – which means they could leave on Bosman fee transfers at the end of next season. Turner is almost certain to be offered a new contract but O’Neill is likely to offload either Kilgallon or Bramble to avoid losing them for nothing next summer – and to create room in his squad as he presses ahead with plans to bring in out-of-contract Aston Villa defender Carlos Cuellar. O’Neill can also call upon experienced ex-Manchester United centre-backs John O’Shea and Wes Brown, but is keen to add versatile Spaniard Cuellar – a player he took to Villa Park in 2008. Warnock is aware of the situation on Wearside and is ready to test the water with a bid for Kilgallon. who he also signed while in charge of Sheffield United, paying Leeds £2m for his services in January 2007. Kilgallon joined Sunderland three years later, but his Black Cats’ career was going nowhere until O’Neill took over. Written off by the man who signed him, Steve Bruce, after only seven games in a Sunderland shirt, Kilgallon was farmed out to Middlesbrough and Doncaster on loan in the 2010-11 season.   And by last November, he was pinning his hopes on being allowed to join a Championship side on trial. But O’Neill took over in December and an injury crisis at the turn of the year saw him hand Kilgallon another chance. And he did not disappoint, playing his part in Sunderland’s 1-0 win over Manchester City on New Year’s Day and – even after an ankle injury sidelined him for six weeks – he returned at the end of March and played in all-but-one of the final eight games of the campaign. Kilgallon’s performances showed that he is capable of being a squad player at Sunderland, but O’Neill’s summer rebuilding work may mean that he will be one of those sacrificed to make way for new faces. Meanwhile, Sunderland striker Ryan Noble has undergone a hernia operation but is expected to be fit to resume pre-season training with the Black Cats next month. The 20-year-old spent loan spells at Derby and Hartlepool United last season, spending the final two months of the season at Pools where he scored two goals in nine appearances.

June 1st Leeds fight it out with Huddersfield for Peltier. NEWLY-PROMOTED Huddersfield are battling it out with Leeds in a fight to land Leicester defender Lee Peltier. Town only sold the right-back to Nigel Pearson’s team last summer in a £750,000 deal. But the Foxes want to cash in on him as Pearson plans to raid Hull for Liam Rosenior and make him his first-choice full-back. That news has prompted Terriers boss Simon Grayson to make an inquiry but he faces stiff competition from Leeds for the defender. It is thought that Peltier will be available for around £500,000, and that will be no problem to the Terriers who have promised to back their manager, Simon Grayson all the way after winning promotion.

June 1st. Leeds wait on Harvey’s return – YEP.  TALKS over a possible investment deal at Leeds United are expected to recommence once chief executive Shaun Harvey returns from this week’s Football League summer conference. The Championship club have been in discussions with an unnamed group from the United States, who are understood to have toured both Elland Road and Thorp Arch eight days ago. United, who have remained tight-lipped beyond the initial admission that talks had taken place, are actively seeking, at the very least, a cash injection to help facilitate Neil Warnock’s attempts to build a squad capable of winning promotion next season. Confirmation of the club’s willingness to listen to interested parties has led to tentative enquiries from elsewhere but the Chicago-based bidders who were in Leeds last week are believed to be the only group at anywhere near an advanced stage. With the Americans taking time to ponder their next move, Harvey, a League board member, was able to fly out to take part in the summer conference, which is seen as a key feature of the football calendar as chairmen and chief executives from all 72 member clubs come together to decide the future direction of the Championship plus Leagues One and Two. Last year, for instance, agreement was reached on the financial fair play system that will come into force in 2012-13, while yesterday it was revealed that a new sponsor had been found for the League Cup. It was also agreed that from next season teams can have seven players on the bench instead of five.

June 1st. “The fans just want to see ambition” –LUST – YEP. “ All we want is our football club to share our vision and ambition for Leeds United”, says Gary Cooper. It doesn’t seem like much to ask does it? Particularly when that involves developing a regular and meaningful dialogue, through a bona fide Government-backed independent fans group, and working together to achieve a return to the Premier League. However, the Leeds United Supporters Trust has been branded trouble makers, amongst other things, by club owner Ken Bates for adopting such a, well, mild-mannered stance. “We are not anti-Ken Bates,” declares trust chairman Cooper. “And we’re not against some of the things Mr Bates has done in terms of investing in better facilities and more executive boxes to increase potential revenue streams in the future. “But Leeds United is a football club, not a property development company, and the fans are, after all, the club’s most fundamental income stream – so you’d think their views were fairly important. “If supporters feel disenchanted and taken for granted, and if they feel there’s not enough investment in the team, despite ticket prices being high, what’s the incentive to keep coming back and stumping up their hard-earned cash? “Back in February, Mr Bates told the trust to ‘put its money where its mouth is’, but what he doesn’t seem to grasp is that the fans put their hearts where their mouths are week in, week out. “At the Championship play-off final against Watford at the Millennium Stadium back in 2006 we were hammered on the pitch, but 40,000 Leeds United fans were absolutely outstanding in Cardiff. They more than fulfilled their part of the bargain. “And Neil Warnock has already seen last season, when play-off chances were slim, how Leeds supporters will rally behind their team, so surely the club should be harnessing that and tapping into it?”  Apparently not. People who joined in the trust-organised march for change earlier this year and continued anti-Bates protests before Warnock’s appointment were branded “morons” by Mr Bates. United even moved to prevent Cooper and other members of the LUST board from buying tickets to away games towards the end of the season as the impasse extended. “The ridiculous thing about that was I’m also a founder member of my local regional members club (set up by Mr Bates to replace the old supporters club) in Hull,” Cooper explained, “so the club weren’t only preventing the LUST chairman from attending away games, they were stopping me, as a paid up member of an RMC, from doing so. It was crazy.” It will, though, take much more than that to dent Cooper’s support for the club he clearly adores. “My first memories of Leeds United go way back to the 1970 FA Cup final against Chelsea,” he confides. “My mum told me Billy Bremner was the best player in the world and Leeds United was the greatest team in the world and I was sold. “I remember proudly wearing a replica kit, with a curtain cut out of the number four sewn on the back, at primary school! I’m 46 now and still devoted to Leeds United.” It must be all the more frustrating then to see relations between the club and its global fanbase at such an all-time low? “It is madness when you think about it. We’re the fifth largest supporters trust in the country, have Government and UEFA approval, and yet Mr Bates and chief executive Shaun Harvey won’t talk to us.” However, if Mr Bates hoped LUST would simply go away he couldn’t have been more wrong – 700 more joined this week as the club ponders a major investment, or possibly a takeover, offer. “Twelve months ago we had 294 members,” Cooper says matter of factly. “Now we have 6,000 plus and that includes all the local MPs who have signed up. In addition, Leeds City Council are partners and West Yorkshire Police work with us really, really well.”Doesn’t sound like the activities of a bunch of irrational, reactionary revolutionaries does it. “The vision statement was put together by all our members,” Cooper continues, “not just me and a few board members. It represents the views of all supporters who have joined us.  “We aim to speak with one voice and we try to canvass opinion amongst members and, more importantly, act on their comments. “We piloted the free-to-join model, which has been monitored closely by Supporters Direct, and that has worked really well and I can see other trusts adopting it,” Cooper added. “We couldn’t exist without our shareholders but what we’ve found is that after they’ve joined people have been keen to put money into the organisation anyway, so it’s been win-win really. “United’s attendances, history and media coverage all prove we’re a big club – we just want the club to match our ambition by putting together a team capable of getting us back to where we belong – the Premier League.” The next move is yours Ken.

Friday June 1st. It’s all about patience now By Herr Lorimer YEP –  When it comes to potential investment in Leeds United, my personal view is that it’s best to sit back and let the people who matter get on with talking business and doing the deals. I don’t see any point in speculating about what might happen in the future or what a takeover would mean for the club. If and when something happens, that’s the time to look ahead and think about the direction Leeds United are going in. The club confirmed this week that they are talking to investors and I know that our supporters will be desperate for news but I’d urge everyone to be patient. The business side of football can be very complex and people rarely throw money at a club overnight. Whatever’s going on – and I prefer to keep my distance from situations like this – it’ll all pan out at its own speed. But I’m not at all shocked that there are individuals out there who want to get involved with Leeds.  The fact that investors are speaking to the club is, in my view, down to the way Leeds United have been run for several years. We’re financially stable with none of the massive debts we had in the past. Nobody in their right minds would be interested in buying a debt-ridden club – not unless they had so much money that wasting millions of pounds was no problem to them. In my eyes, Leeds are a very attractive proposition. We’ve got an excellent fanbase and we’re on a very sound footing. In terms of what happens on the pitch, this season was a big disappointment but we’re aiming to make amends for that next year. I know there have been little criticisms of us and of the way we operate but I honestly believe that the way Leeds have been run under Ken Bates has been to the club’s benefit. He said he’d never risk our future health by spending what we couldn’t afford and he’s been true to his word. We were lucky when he led the buy-out of the club in 2005 that he was willing to take on the mess at Elland Road. Nobody else seemed to be interested – and in a way I don’t blame them. The financial situation at Leeds was desperate and there were times when I couldn’t see any way out. The difference now is that we’re not desperate and we’re not in need of an overnight saviour.  The board can judge every approach on its merit and take the time to consider them properly. I’m sure that one of their main concerns would be making sure that when the club passes on to new owners, those owners are able to take the club forward and look after us in the long term. Whether that’s about to happen now, I really don’t know. It’s not my business to get involved and I think it’s best if everyone steps back and lets this sort itself out. I know it’s hard to be patient and everyone’s eager for news but whatever happens will be for the best, I’m certain of that. His comments are about as neutral as the Syrian President’s and the Lash has sold his soul down the river years ago as far as decent Leeds fans are concerned.

June 1st.The Americans consider the position as Shaun Harvey jets out to Portugal for the Football League AGM. Leeds are linked with a move for Leicester right full back Peltier, and and Sunderland centre half and ex Leeds Matt Kilgallon.