APRIL 2012

April 30th. Colin’s Roadmap. Neil Warnock doesn’t plan to take Paul Robinson back to Elland Road next season. In truth Robsinson only had one decent game and that was away to M’bro. Colin had the following to say regarding his plans : “I go away at the end of May for a couple of weeks and in my own mind I want to have three or four lads lined up by that stage”. In what will be music to Bates’ ears he added : “I’m not convinced it’s all about money. Not in the Championship. Over the years I’ve not always had the best money around but I’ve never been far away. Even at Crystal Palace where I didn’t have a pot for the proverbial. And we never spent a lot at Sheffield United. What we’ve got to use at Leeds is the advantage of the crowd. We’ve got to get pace into the side, we’ve got to get power into the side and we’ve got to get energy”. We’ve got to get the crowd up and at them, not the other way around. At the minute they try and get us going. You’ll see my intentions on Wednesday in what I want to do”. (pic above shows Colin modeling yet another new Leeds United home shirt)

April 30th. Diouf leaves Donny. Doncaster manager Dean Saunders concedes El-Hadji Diouf has almost certainly played his last game for the club. Diouf penned an 18-month deal at the Keepmoat Stadium in January, but clauses in the contract mean the 31-year-old Senegal international is no longer bound to Rovers following their relegation from the Championship. Saunders stated Diouf – strongly linked with a move to Yorkshire neighbours Leeds last week – was “difficult” to manage but praised his contribution to the club and his forward partnership with Billy Sharp before the latter completed a mid-season move to Southampton. “He scored six goals, got 12 assists and I think probably six of those were on Billy’s head in the six-yard box. Obviously Billy’s got a knack of finding space in the box. “He’s a class player, not easy to manage off the pitch, but I only had him for five months and the clauses in his contract are for the Championship, so I think he’ll probably be going to another club, whether it’s Leeds or somewhere else.” 

Mon 30th of April. Becks delighted with welcome – YEP. Former Leeds United striker Jermaine Backford admitted it was great to be back at Elland Road after coming on as a second half substitute for Leicester City. Beckford was warmly received by the crowd during a 45-minute appearance. The forward turned out at Elland Road for the first time since leaving Leeds to join Everton on a free transfer at the end of the 2009-10 campaign – the campaign in which his goal sealed promotion from League One. Beckford, who scored 85 times in three seasons as a first-team regular at Leeds, said: “The reception was amazing and it was brilliant to be back here. “I didn’t expect the reception to be as amazing as it was but I’m always surprised by the Leeds fans. It made me feel humble and it meant a lot to me.”

April 29th. The future. Whilst Colin has failed in the first part of his journey with Leeds United, ie “getting more out of the existing players” than Simon Grayson, the real work starts now. Some people might feel that I’ve harped on too much about Simon Grayson. But if there is one thing I value in life and football for that matter is fairness. History will be kinder to Grayson than some of the spin doctors currently weaving their fabricated stories out of Elland Road might believe.  I’m a forgive and forget kind of guy. However, I nor anyone else will be fooled by tasty quotes or sound bytes here and there. Talk as they say is cheap, but Colin has placed his reputation on the line for his “one last big challenge” of bringing Leeds United back to the Premiership.  From the side that won 2-1 at champions QPR in the final game of  last season, only Ross McCormack featured in that win  and our 1-2 home defeat yesterday. Football is all about “ifs, buts and maybes”. What if Howson and Gradel had remained,  Somma stayed  injure free and even Bradley Johnson played in midfield ? Neil Warnock is a wealthy man. He has invested his money wisely from football like the cute Yorkshire man he is. What’s more he won’t take any shit from Bates. This is what he had to say after Simon Grayson’s side won 2-1 last May at Loftus Road : “They have got a great manager in Simon (Grayson) and I’ve got a lot of time for Ken (Bates). He’s got his critics, but I don’t think they will be far away next year. “They have done remarkably well in the past two years. Going up last year and almost getting in the play-offs this year. “Simon will have learnt from it and it’s no (mean) achievement to have beaten us twice. But I’m not bothered as long as we’ve gone up!” I didn’t like the way he wrote off our season over a month ago when hard working people were still paying through the turnstiles to watch their favourite team play. In fairness he held his hand up to that one, and credit to the man for placing his money where is mouth is (so to speak).  I expect him to get real money out of Bates for quality players or else not fall on his sword but jump up and down on it several times to make sure it is sharp enough. The man who wants to build his own team admits candidly that he’s “the best man for the job”. Jason Pearce, the no nonsense Portsmouth skipper looks like a decent start. Whether he signs the “sewer rat” Diouf is neither here nor there to me as long as we get back to scoring goals prolifically. You can’t give a Surgeon a scalpel and tell him what he can and can’t cut. Somma (who we have sorely missed this season) will hopefully be available towards the end of the Summer, and McCormack and Becchio will be supplemented no doubt by more rivals, with the emphasis being on speed and mentality. Colin feels that he can handle a  precocious talent such as Diouf but a player of that ilk comes with warts and all, and United can ill afford any collateral damage. Leeds have lost their top goal scorer in each of their last two seasons (Beckford and Gradel) due to lack of ambition, but Colin seems relaxed that 18 goal McCormack will put pen to paper. Whether Snodgrass or White sign up is a different matter. The plus side is that they will leave tasty transfer funds behind which Colin can utilise. Such funds haven’t been available in the past with the luxurious new executive boxes taking priority. The negativity around the squad (and a lot of it coming from Colin himself) has left a foul stench around Elland Road. Colin feels that pound for pound he is a better manager than anyone else in the Championship and has clearly mapped out  his strategy of making Elland Road a fortress. All areas of the team will face surgery with the defence about to be shook up the most. Whether Andy Lonergan escapes the cull remains to be seen. He seems to divide Leeds fans right down the middle, but for me makes too many mistakes. Leeds are due to release their “Retained list” on Wednesday 2nd of May with all but four or five convinced for sure that they will be part of Colin’s plans next season. Football’s very own Mister Marmite will have his work cut out not only bringing in the top quality players that he craves, but moving on the vast quantity of ones that he doesn’t want but who may have a year or so left on their contracts. It will be the caliber of players coming through the arrivals door at Thorp Arch that will dictate if season ticket sales will be up or down at Elland Road this coming season. One thing for sure is that the next twelve months in West Yorkshire will not be dull. It will be no easy task to assemble and blend in a new team by mid August, but I wish him well in this venture and hope that the record eight promotion goes to the man who divides his time between Wetherby and Cornwall.

Leeds season 2011/12  in numbers. (0) Points taken off top two in the championship. 1. Own goals for Leeds. Brian Easton put through his own net for Burnley in the 88th minute to bring us level in the game at Elland Road in January. There was still time for Ross McCormack to score a winner. (2) Leeds best winning sequence was two games on four occasions. It hasn`t been done since beating Nottingham Forest and Millwall in November and December. (3) Wins achieved by Neil Warnock in 14 games. (4) Most goals in a game against Hull, Nottingham Forest and Peterborough. (5) Times Robert Snodgrass hit the woodwork, the most by any Leeds player. (6) Penalties conceded. Patrick Kisnorbo conceded two of these. (7) Goals scored by Nottingham Forest at Leeds in a 7-3 defeat, Leeds heaviest in their history. (8) Away wins by Leeds. Only five teams won more on their travels. (9) Number of players sent off this season for Leeds. 10. Amount of goals scored in injury time by Leeds. (11) Record number of home defeats in a season in the clubs history. Only Nottingham Forest lost more at home this season. (12)  Only amount of fouls made by Tom Lees. (13) When Leeds scored first in games they would have finished 13th in the championship. They won 12 and drew 3 of their 18 games when scoring first. (14) Final league position. (15) Amount of assists by Robert Snodgrass. Only Chris Burke of Birmingham (16) had more in the championship. (16) Luciano Becchio and Mikael Forssell both made 16 substitute appearances. The most by any Leeds players. (17) Wins by Leeds this season. (18) Leeds scored the first goal in the game in 18 of their 46 games in the championship. (19) oals scored by leading goalscorer Ross McCormack in all competitions. (20) First time since the 2006/07 season that no Leeds player has reached 20 goals in a season. (21) On second half performances, Leeds would have won 21 of their games and drawn 10 and finished fifth in the championship. (22) Different players cautioned for Leeds this season. (23) Leeds position in the championship against sides in the top half of the table. Leeds won just three times against sides in the top half of the table in twenty-four games. (27) Amount of goals conceded away from home. (28) Leeds conceded the first goal in 28 of their 46 games. (31) Goals scored away from home. (34) Amount of goals scored at Elland Road by Leeds. (35) Players used by Leeds this season. (41) Goals conceded at home. The worst home defensive record in the championship. (42) Most starts in the championship by Ross McCormack, Robert Snodgrass and Adam Clayton. (45) Appearances in the championship by Ross McCormack. The most by any Leeds player. (51). Shots off target by Ross McCormack in the championship. The most by any Leeds player. (61). Points tally at the end of the season. (65) Goals scored by Leeds (68) Goals conceded. (74) Amount of yellow cards shown to Leeds players. (75) Fouls by Adam Clayton, most by any Leeds player. (76) Shots on target by Ross McCormack in the championship. The most by any player in the division. (81). Shots on target by Ross McCormack in all competitions. Most by any Leeds player. (132) Amount of shots in total by Ross McCormack this season. The most by any Leeds player in all competitions. (215) Lowest away support brought to Leeds by Millwall in December. (222). Shots off target by Leeds this season. (289) Shots on target by Leeds this season. (526) Shots in total by Leeds this season having also hit the woodwork 15 times. (528) Fouls made by Leeds players. Only Portsmouth (558) and Watford (537) made more. (1,396) Lowest following taken away by Leeds to Cardiff in April. (2,956) Most away fans brought to Elland Road by West Ham in March. (3,093) Average amount of fans taken by Leeds on their travels this season. The most by any club in the championship. (3,920) Attendances down on average at Elland Road this season. (5,800) Biggest away following of the season at Barnsley. (19,469) Lowest home crowd of the season against Peterborough in April. (23,379) Average attendance at Elland Road this season. (33,366) Highest home crowd of the season against West Ham in March.  (71,155) Amount of supporters in the away end for Leeds in their 23 away games this season. (535,519) Have come through the turnstiles at Elland Road this season.

April 28th. My post to Scratching Shed. I hope Neil Warnock wins promotion for that elusive and record number eight on his mantelpiece. We deserve promotion. Leicester, Wolves and Leeds were all relegated from the Premiership on that fateful day almost 10 years ago. They will be among our competitors for season 2012/13 in the Championship. I listen to all the people who have claimed that Huddersfield Town have gone backwards since Simon Grayson became manager. Personally I don’t care about Huddersfield Town. But let’s look at the facts. When Simon Grayson was sacked after that 4-1 defeat at home to Birmingham City on February 1st, Leeds were 3 points off the play offs. We didn’t have real aspirations of catching the then leaders, West Ham who were 11 points ahead of Leeds at the top of the table, and nor did we feel threatened by 24th placed Coventry City  who were 20 points behind. Ken Bates on sacking Simon Grayson : “We have 18 games to go this season and are still within touching distance of the play-offs, but felt with the transfer window now closed we needed to make the change at this time in the belief that a new managerial team will be able to get more out of the existing squad of players and make the difference”. Neil Warnock has come in and aside from wishing the season was over a month ago can defend his own record with those same players that Mister Bates felt he could lead to the play offs. When queried about the poor defensive players at his disposal, Neil Warnock had this to say on March 9th : “”I’m not in a rush at the back now, I think they’ve listened and come on board with what we wanted and apart from the goal against Southampton, I don’t think they’ve really put a foot wrong in the three games. “And even when they have done, Lonergan’s pulled a good save off so, that’s a good recipe for a back five really so I really couldn’t improve on what I have right now”. Just eleven days later Leeds lost at home by 7-3 (now a home record) to a side that were 10 places below Leeds and had some 19 points less than the Elland Road club. It would be churlish of me to mention that Leeds defeated Notts Forest 4-0 away three months beforehand, but that was under Simon Grayson. Whilst Neil Warnock was not in charge for the entire 18 games, he did have 14 matches at the helm. Leeds won three games, drew four, and lost seven under his stewardship. His return of less than one point per game was less than Simon Grayson’s two points per game.  Mr Bates, whilst currently being busy with other judicial matters, will have difficulty even by his logic in convincing some that the new manager “got the best out of the existing team”. Many can correctly argue that a number of the signings made by Simon Grayson were poor, but Paul Robinson and Danny Webber will have difficulty in convincing many that they were any better, especially when Mr Warnock seemed pleased with his defence back on March 9th. History may be kinder to Simon Grayson than some of the present doomsday brigade may care to mention. Like many, I was unhappy at many of the signings. Having seen Gradel and Howson depart maybe he would have been better falling on his sword. I do however think that Neil Warnock has underachieved with the resources left at his disposal. Why ? Leeds finished 15 points ahead of 24th placed Doncaster Rovers. Leeds finished 27 points (not 11 points) behind table topping Reading. And lastly, instead of “getting more out of the existing squad”, Leeds finished 14 points (not 3 points) behind 6th placed Cardiff City. But then again what do I know. Gerry C Louth.

April 28th. The Scratching Shed – The fallen Fortress. Since the beginning of time men have built fortresses to defend themselves, their people, their pride and their culture. The ancient Egyptians were building fortresses as early as 1800BC on the banks of the Nile. Today, those Egyptian fortress pioneers are turning in their tombs as Leeds United’s very own ‘fortress’ Elland Road ceremonially collapsed. hat happened to our fortress? What happened to our pride? We let our guard down and the fort has been breached. Perhaps it happened last summer when our greatest defensive wall, the imposing East stand, was temporarily deconstructed to allow for the installation of executive boxes. Perhaps then was the time that our enemies penetrated our bastion and set up camp within. Whenever they entered, I’m sure they’re appreciating the excellent facilities that the East stand now has on offer… As gloomy and depressing showers descended upon our once great citadel (forcing the floodlights into a ridiculously early appearance at 2pm in the afternoon), Neil Warnock’s team seemed determined to end the season on an equally gloomy and disheartening note – and they succeeded. Leicester’s teenage debutant Harry Panayiotou touched home an injury-time winner to officially confirm season 2011/2012 as the worst home campaign in Leeds United history. It must be noted that of the eleven home defeats just five occurred during the first fourteen matches, before the ‘dispensing’ of Simon Grayson. Of those five losses, one was a narrow early-season defeat with 9 men (against Middlesbrough) and one was a single-goal reverse against champions Reading. The embarrassing 5-0 and 4-1 scorelines did, at least, come at the hands of play-off qualifiers Blackpool and Birmingham respectively. The loss to South Yorkshire minnows Barnsley was inexcusable. Since Bates, Harvey etc all declared that a new manager would ‘get the best out of the current squad’, the Elland Road faithful have endured six defeats in nine matches. This included the record breaking match against Nottingham Forest (a night when Leeds shipped seven goals for the first time ever at home) and dismal performances against Brighton, Derby, Watford and Leicester. I am of the opinion, as are many others, that a bottom-half final league position would not have occurred if Grayson was still in charge. Nevertheless, Neil Warnock has the task of rebuilding our fortress and even the ancient Egyptians would agree that he’s probably the best man to take on this particular construction project. Today’s starting line-up was less experimental than recent weeks and was largely dictated by injuries and suspensions. Paul Robinson missed out due to injury and is unlikely to be seen again with Warnock stating his intention not to sign the Bolton left-back. Danny Pugh filled in for him today, with Zac Thompson earning another start in the centre of midfield alongside Adam Clayton and Michael Brown. The Foxes’ starting line-up was notable for the inclusion of Elland Road hero Jermaine Beckford, who received a warm reception from the Kop and reciprocated by saluting the crowd as chants pertaining to a certain match at Old Trafford rang through the rafters. The match began in encouraging fashion, with Leeds’ best players (Ross McCormack, Robert Snodgrass and Luciano Becchio) threatening to inspire a rare home victory. Captain Snodgrass had an early chance well saved by the pantomime villain for the day, Kasper Schmeichel. Soon after, Becchio fashioned a chance, only to chip the ball into Schmeichel’s hands. That was about as good as it got, as the match (like the rain) descended into a sloppy, uninspiring affair. When the manager releases his long-awaited and much-anticipated list of retained squad members on Wednesday it is likely to be heavier in attacking players than defensive ones, and with good reason. Leeds’ season-long defensive frailties reared their head once last time as Danny Pugh pitifully lost the ball to Martyn Waghorn, who cut inside before slotting the ball into the bottom corner to give Leicester a first half lead after thirty-nine minutes. All the quality of McCormack and Snodgrass on the wings was being equalled by the sheer lack of quality of full-backs Pugh and Connelly. An educated guess would suggest that two new full-backs are top of Warnock’s wish-list. The second half was largely uninspiring and was not enlivened by the introduction from the bench of Danny Webber and Mikael Forssell, who were both woeful and perhaps are already aware of their absence from the ‘retained list’. Spirits were raised amongst the twenty-five thousand crowd with eight minutes remaining as a good move resulted in Snodgrass flicking the ball past Schmeichel, with Webber tapping into an empty net from inside the six-yard box (his first, and most likely his last, goal for Leeds United). With the prospect of a late victory to finish the season and new found optimism of avoiding the unwanted record defeat, the home crowd roared on the players to push for a second goal. Adam Clayton worked his way round the Leicester defence, but his cut-back was intercepted. Another late attack ended as Forssell overran the ball. As the season entered injury-time for the final occasion, a 1-1 draw was on the cards – a result that would have fairly reflected a hard-fought, low-quality dead rubber. However, as if to hammer a final nail into the coffin of a season to forget, the Foxes produced a late winner as Panayiotou (seemingly offside) deflected the ball beyond Andy Lonergan. At the final whistle, the fans flooded for the exits. There was no traditional end-of-season pitch invasion, nor did that many people remain for the customary lap of honour. The season was finally, finally over and the masses craved the opium of saying goodbye to the fallen fortress as soon as humanly possible.They came. They saw. They conquered. And, as is now predictable for a Leeds home display, not much of a battle was fought. There was only pride to play for today. And we lost.

Sat 28th of April 2012. The awards night at the Pavillion. Robert Snodgrass won both the player of the year and the players player of the year. Tom Lees picked up the young player of the year whilst Aidy Whit won the community player of the year. (yes I don’t know much about it either) Adam Clayton won the goal of the season for his strike in the 1-0 win at Leicester City. Neil Redfearn picked up the chairman`s special award. Redfearn led the under 18 side to second place in the Premier League Academy league behind Newcastle United and he also had a short spell has caretaker manager winning two of his four games following the sacking of Simon Grayson. Earlier in the day, Ross McCormack picked up the Yorkshire Evening Post player of the year prior to the game with Leicester City.

Pearce on his way to Leeds

Sat 28th 2012. Pearse coming to Leeds – The Portsmouth News. Jason Pearce will be Leeds United’s first signing of the new season. He wasn’t played today at Forest having agreed terms with United on his move. His Bio. Having joined Portsmouth as an apprentice in 2004, Pearce rose through the ranks, earning himself a reputation as an honest, no-nonsense defender with a drive to succeed. His professionalism despite his tender years earned him his first pro-contract in June 2006. He failed to make one appearance for Portsmouth during his first stint with the club, and was loaned to Bognor Regis Town and Woking. On 9 August 2007 Pearce moved along the south coast to Bournemouth, signing a two-year contract. He helped get Bournemouth promoted to League 1 from League 2 during the 2009/10 season. On 4 January 2010, Pearce replaced Danny Hollands as first team captain, in a new-look structure that saw veteran striker Steve Fletcher become club captain.[2]. During the 2010/11 season Pearce led the club to the League 1 playoffs, however his involvement in the playoffs saw him sent off in extra time for a foul on Kevin Kilbane in the semi final second leg against Huddersfield Town as Bournemouth were knocked out on penalties and as a result unable to gain a back to back promotion. Pearce did receive Bournemouth‘s Player Of The Year Award for the 2010/11 season. [3]Pearce was sold back to his old club Portsmouth on a three-year contract for an undisclosed fee, reported to be in the region of £300,000, up to £600,000, on 24 June 2011.[4] Pearce joined his new club alongside David Norris when the first team came back from absence on 1 July. Pearce made his debut on 16 August 2011, against Reading, playing as a centre-back. He became an instant fan favourite establishing himself as one of the most consistent quality players in the team. With Portsmouth in financial turmoil he was subject to a bid from Ipswich Town in January 2012, however he said he wanted to stay at Portsmouth under new manager Michael Appleton.[5]When Captain Liam Lawrence was sold to Cardiff City, On 3 March 2012, Pearce was named as the new permanent Captain of Portsmouth. He took over the captain’s armband in the Npower Championship match against Middlesbrough in a 3-1 loss which could have possibly been the club’s last match in existence. This was too much for the 24 year old captain who was reduced to tears at the end of the 90 minutes. Aged 24.

28th. Leeds 1-2 Leicester City. Season ends with defeat – Att. 25,664. 01 Lonergan 02 Connolly 04 Bruce 22 Lees 08 Brown YC 15 Clayton 16 Pugh YC 29 Thompson (Webber – 57′ ) 10 Becchio (Forssell – 75′ ) 23 Snodgrass 44 McCormack. Unused: 05 O’Brien, 20 Nunez, 31 Taylor. Report from YEP. Teenage debutant Harry Panayiotou scored a last-second winner as Leicester City ended the season on a high and condemned Leeds United to an unwanted club record. Martyn Waghorn’s first-half goal had looked to have sent the Whites to an 11th home defeat of the season, only for Danny Webber to equalise with eight minutes remaining. But, with seconds left on the clock, Panayiotou touched in Ben Marshall’s effort, leaving home manager Neil Warnock and his players to confront the linesman about an alleged offside. Warnock’s fury may have been more about a season of underachievement at Elland Road than the goal itself, but the veteran boss – who has promised a summer of change – may hear more about the incident after he appeared to throw his chewing gum at the official at the full-time whistle. And, while 17-year-old Panayiotou may have won it for Leicester, their manager Nigel Pearson – like Warnock a mid-season appointment – will be well aware of the hard work ahead this summer after his big-spending club failed to make their expected promotion push. Both will hope for better next season but, with so little a stake today, it was of no surprise that the goals apart, action was thin on the ground. Of the two, Leeds started the better, with Robert Snodgrass’ volley on the slide blocked by former United keeper Kasper Schmeichel, and Luciano Becchio wasting a one-on-one when he somehow chipped into Schmeichel’s hands from 10 yards. But, with a large number of Warnock’s starting line-up already knowing they will be elsewhere next season, sustained enthusiasm was hard to come by and Leicester grew into the game with Liam Moore’s cross zipping across the six-yard box and narrowly evading everyone. Leeds briefly threatened again as Adam Clayton’s shot was blocked by Wes Morgan, but Leicester were not having to work too hard to keep them at bay and quickly took control. After Marshall’s free-kick had been theatrically saved by Andy Lonergan, they took a 39th-minute lead after a catalogue of Leeds errors. Veteran midfielder Michael Brown kicked off the farcical chain of events, spooning a regulation clearance high and back towards his own goal. Even then, Danny Pugh should have swept things up but, as the left-back missed the ball and fell over, Waghorn pounced and ran on to slot past Lonergan with ease. The same player rapped a close-range volley into Lonergan’s hands four minutes after the half-time break, while Lloyd Dyer would have made it two had his length-of-the-field counter-attack run not ended with his shot being defected over by Pugh. With the season trickling away for both, opportunities were even rarer than they had been in the first half, with Marshall the only player to even try his luck when he twice fired over from distance. Substitute Mikael Forsell did work Schmeichel from 12 yards before, almost completely unexpectedly, Leeds levelled with eight minutes left. Snodgrass was the architect, running at the heart of Leicester’s defence and standing a ball up for Forsell. When possession fell back to him he clipped an effort beyond Schmeichel and, even though the ball was headed for the goal, Webber made sure from a yard. There was still time for more drama, though, with Panayiotou making for a controversial finish when he touched in Marshall’s edge-of-the-box effort. Neil Warnock after the match to LUTV : “That’s as good as we’ve  started really. Once again it’s like a comedy isn’t it with  the goal we conceded. I said at half time lets go and have a go. And the opportunities we had after the goal and the decisions we made and it’s sod’s law and they go and score when it was clearly a  free . As for the foul on Clayton the referee how he’s missed that one ? The Leicester players were saying to me after the game that they thought it was a good free to give away, and then they break away and score. And then we give (the referee) the ball to him because it’s his last game. Why not give him a signed shirt when he’s at it ? The fans today were unbelievable and the noise in 72nd minute in a nothing game.  Doesn’t it just whet the appetite for next season ?  For the fans next season it can’t  get any lower than this really. For the fans I say have a good summer. There will be quite an influx of players. This has to be a fortress next season.  I’ve committed myself now and I don’t think there is anyone better for the job really. This place is going to be a fortress and not a weakness. I want the players I need in as early as I can. I don’t want to be waiting. There’s no time.  The retained list will be done on Wednesday and you’ll probably have it on  Thursday”. (Pic above shows Gerry MacNamee from Dundalk (now living in Leicester) on the commentary panel with Eddie Gray)

Diouf to Leeds ?

Candid interview Colin with LUTV. Re El-Hadji Diouf  to Leeds ?The thing about my signings. I’m not going to comment one way or another. I like players of that quality like El-Hadji Diouf  and Adel Taarbart (of QPR) . The thing that makes them special  also is  that  you are going to get discrepencies in  their makeup. In five a side games at QPR  Adel sometimes walked off when someone’s tried to kick him, and the players are waiting for me to react. Sometimes these players need an arm around them rather than a good kicking. It depends on how you value the player. I do agree everyone deserves a second chance (refering to the “I’d call him a sewer rat but I don’t think he’s as good as that” quote). With someone like Marlon King, he’s done his time and you have to give him a second chance If you talked to Sam Alardyce about El H D at Bolton, he said “you will never get a nicer guy and a player that trains as hard. It’s just that now and again the red mist comes down”.  Sam had two or three great years out of him but said that the West Ham fans wouldn’t have him. He maintains  if they had him in the team they would have gone straight up. In El H case he’s on a Bosmon and players of that quality rarely are available.” Is it hard getting rid of the players that won’t figure in your plans ? “I always try my best to help them move on and with a lot of players it’s not for their better so you do try and help them financially to move them on”. Re stronger teams coming down? “It’ll be just as hard that’s for sure. Look at the teams coming down. For example Wolves don’t have to sell anybody because from my interview there they’ve told me that all the players automatically move to reduced contracts. West Ham’s wage bill this season is around £40M pounds. I don’t look at clubs how much they spend. I  always look at managers at other clubs and I ask “am I better than them” ?And nobody frightens  me next year in the Championship. Whomever I have next season on board I want to win games. I probably should never have said that I want the season to end weeks ago. I’ve gotten loads of letters from fans because of this. Regarding the defeats we’ve had, I have noted what the Forest fans said to me after the 7-3 defeat. You store them things away and I hope to smile to them next season”. Re coming to Leeds ?  “I love to leave supporters in a better situation than when I came. I don’t want to just finish. I knew that I had to have another go, and Sharon (my wife) knew I had to give it another go. James (one of my boys) said that Leeds “this is the one for you dad”. You can’t turn them down. I want that number 8 promotion. When I’m in Morrissons in Wetherby with my trolley the number of Leeds fans that come up to me is incredible. They can’t believe that I am pushing a trolley around. It’s great to meet ordinary people and I’m ordinary too but I’m doing the job I love.” Regarding the pre-season ? “We have a game in Scandinavia and we’ll be down in Cornwall also. I have a house down there and I love it. We’ll mix up the training. They’ll work hard but we’ll have a game of golf also. I’ll do a barbeque for them and I’ll take them to my local pub. Years ago at Sheff United we had a pre-season tour of China. We were organising a tour to see the great wall of China. I went and I tell you that 2 people out of 25 wanted to see the great wall of China. Unbelievable really. One of the wonders of the world and only two out of twenty five wanted to see it. That’s football. “. And the fans of Leeds ?  Since I have been at the club my family and I have been absolutely gobsmacked at the club and the supporters.

27th. YEP – Warnock and the squad. Neil Warnock has been willing this season to end since the Ides of March or thereabouts. His wish will be granted when Leeds United sign off with a dead rubber against Leicester City. United’s boss realised some time ago that a Championship miracle was beyond his club, and he saw no harm in voicing that opinion. “Roll on next season,” said Warnock repeatedly, even while mathematical calculations had Leeds in contention for a play-off position. Certain supporters took umbrage with that, writing to Warnock to complain about what they saw as a premature surrender. “I must admit I’ve had a few letters about my comments,” he said. “They were asking for their money back for this year. One guy wanted 50 quid back because he’d lost a bet with a mate at Burnley. It’s all my fault that we didn’t finish above them. “But I’ve got to stand for that. I’m relieved it’s almost over and I don’t think it could have been much better. It’s time to move on. Long-term I had to plan for next season.” The focus of Warnock’s attention for several weeks and evermore so with the last of 46 league games upon him. Tomorrow’s match against Leicester is the essence of a meaningless clash, contested by two clubs who are finding no consolation in their mid-table positions. United, Warnock admits, have fallen short of the expectancy of their crowd. Leicester, in contrast, have struggled to capitalise on the millions of pounds invested by their owners, initially in support of former manager Sven Goran Eriksson. The experiment with Eriksson ended in abject failure. Warnock watched Leicester lose to West Ham United on Monday night and wondered why Nigel Pearson’s squad are so far down the table, behind nine other clubs. “I can’t understand why West Ham and Leicester aren’t number one and number two,” he said. “They ought to be.” As for his own squad, Warnock says they are where they deserved to be. For brief moments under him – specifically after victories at Middlesbrough and Millwall – sixth place appeared to be attainable but Leeds and Leicester are proof of the adage that leopards don’t change spots; that teams as inconsistent as they have been are unlikely to find a sudden vein of form at the height of the run-in. “If we’d had anything about us we could have got into the play-offs,” Warnock said. “But that shows you the level of the Championship. “We’d have been smudging the picture because I don’t think we were anywhere near good enough. I might get caned for saying that but it’s no good pretending. I wouldn’t be here if there wasn’t something needing doing. “We’re playing Leicester tomorrow and they’ve thrown about £17m at it. They’re not even in the play-offs. The expectations of both clubs are slightly different. Our expectations are because we have such a big fan-base. But when you’ve spent that sort of money, I think the expectation should be far greater. You’ve got to come up with the answers when you spend that sort of money. As much as he tried, Sven found out that the Championship’s a unique league. I’m sure Nigel will have his own squad next year. He’ll be a lot more prudent than Sven but they’ll be a more difficult side to play against next season, I’m sure of that.” Meaningless or not, there are a couple of sub-plots to tomorrow’s match. Leicester’s squad will include striker Jermaine Beckford and goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel, both of whom served Leeds with varying levels of distinction in the past. Neither has played at Elland Road since declining to sign new contracts and moving on. Warnock is also aware that defeat would mark Leeds’ 11th home loss of the league season, a record never seen at Elland Road before. Only once have United suffered 10 home defeats, during the 1946-47 campaign. Warnock is keen to avoid that dubious distinction but ready to swallow it if needs must. Four losses to date have been on his watch, with the other six coming under former manager Simon Grayson and caretaker Neil Redfearn.“There’s nothing I can do about it,” Warnock said. “If we get beat then I’ve got that record. I’m only really thinking about building a new team. “At the end of the season you finish where you deserve to be. You have bad luck here and good luck there but you finish where you should finish. We haven’t been good enough and the manner of some of our defeats has upset me. “But you don’t want unwanted records. It would be a joint-record between me and the other managers who’ve been in charge, though. I wouldn’t be on my own! But we don’t want that.” Yesterday marked a notable anniversary for Leeds, exactly 20 years since the club won the Division One title after beating Sheffield United at Bramall Lane. Warnock was aware of the date and saw present-day significance in it, realising that two decades have passed since the club’s supporters saw a trophy brought to Elland Road, a drought of lengthy proportions. “This is my one opportunity to put out a team that a new generation of Leeds United fans can enjoy watching,” he said. “We’re on the anniversary of 20 years since the club won Division One and the youngsters of today haven’t seen a lot of that. My intention in my period at the club is to build a side that the young generation can be proud of. “We all know the history of the club and ex-players are around the place all the time, to remind you of the tradition. The challenge for me is to build a team with the right type of signings so kids come to the ground excited and we give them a good run for my money. That’s what I’m looking at.” Sorry Neil, I’m not having most of that. On your watch we took no points out of home games versus Forest, Derby and Watford and a miserable one point away to Portsmouth. We should have made the play offs under your watch. End of. This bullshit about not being able to wait until the season is over reallly annoys me. Why would decent hard working Leeds United people bother their arse paying out good money to watch a side going through the motions. Nine times out of ten a side gets a huge lift when a new manager comes in but we have gone backwards during the last two months or so. I have no doubt that when you get “your new team” things may get better, but so far I’m hearing a lot of hot air. I remind you of what you said about our defence on March 9th : “I’m not in a rush at the back now, I think they’ve listened and come on board with what we wanted and apart from the goal against Southampton, I don’t think they’ve really put a foot wrong in the three games. “And even when they have done, Lonergan’s pulled a good save off so, that’s a good recipe for a back five really so I really couln’t imrpove on what I have right now”. Eleven days later we lost 7-3 at home to Notts Forest with the same side, a team who were in 20th position and some 19 points behind us. So forgive me if I’m not doing hand stands right now because I am disgusted at how our season has totally disintegrated in the last number of weeks. Colin you have underachieved with the players at your disposal. Let’s hope the new bunch overachieve.

Friday April 27th. YEP – “Stalinist Bates” and his programme notes. Bates v Levi. Leeds United chairman Ken Bates has been described as an “unreliable” man and witness who takes a “Stalinist approach” to what he writes in the club’s matchday programme. The claims were made yesterday as the latest high-profile courtroom battle between Mr Bates and former club director Melvyn Levi entered its final stages. Mr Levi and his wife Carole have told Leeds County Court they became ill after Mr Bates “ruined their lives” by writing disparaging articles about them. They were forced to carry personal alarms and bolster security at their Leeds home after the programme published their address and invited supporters to look up their telephone number, the hearing was told. The couple seek damages from Mr Bates, Leeds United and Yorkshire Radio, a radio station which broadcasts live commentary of the club’s matches. They have also applied for an injunction against Mr Bates to prevent further harassment. The Leeds chairman has dismissed their allegations as “rubbish”. In his closing speech, the Levis’ barrister Simon Myerson QC told Judge Mark Gosnell that Mr Bates had lied from the witness box. “As a witness he is unreliable and as a man he is also unreliable,” Mr Myerson told the court. “That is an important point because that links into the point as to whether there should be an injunction.” Mr Levi was awarded £50,000 in damages in 2009 after a High Court judge ruled he had been libelled by Mr Bates in the programme. The court has heard that Mr Bates went on to write further articles about Mr Levi and his wife, particularly in relation to separate legal action between the two men. Yorkshire Radio broadcast announcements during or before two Leeds matches, asking anyone who knew Mr Levi’s whereabouts to contact the club, the hearing was told. Mr Myerson said Mr Bates’s programme notes only included information the chairman wanted the club’s fans to hear. “It is a Stalinist approach,” he added. Mr Myerson turned to how Mr Bates owned 76 per cent of Leeds United, a share so large “there isn’t a resolution you can’t pass on your own.” He said: “Is it (Leeds) a separate company, with separate governance and separate procedures, that is able to take a stance different to that of Mr Bates? “In our submission, the evidence is no, it isn’t.” The barrister later added: “A rich man has bought a football club and just does what he likes.” Mr Myerson said the harm done to Mrs Levi had been “collateral damage” in Mr Bates’s “campaign” against Mr Levi. He added that Mrs Levi had said “she had cancer twice but this was worse”. “When she had cancer Melvyn, her husband, was there to support her,” Mr Myerson said, “but the effect of this is that both of them are rendered despairing”. Mr Levi had been the target of “deliberate hurt” from Mr Bates, the court was told. “If they were boys in the playground, no doubt Mr Bates would be dishing out the Chinese burns behind the bike sheds,” Mr Myerson said. Earlier, Mr Bates’s barrister, Jacob Dean, told the court that Mr Levi had himself accepted that he was “not a shrinking violet” and football club owners needed “thick skins”. Mr Dean said: “Mr Levi is a public figure. He chose to enter the world of sport by taking a substantial stake in a football club. “He knew about the controversy that football club owners can attract if things do not go well.” The dispute began after Mr Bates acquired the club from the Yorkshire Consortium, of which Mr Levi was a member, in 2005. Judge Gosnell reserved judgment. He is expected to make a ruling in a few weeks. Arguments about Mr Bates’ and the Levis’ legal costs will be heard at a future hearing.

April 26th 2012. I include this article because of two points really. Firstly, Cardiff and Leeds fans don’t really get on so if Bluebird fans are applauding us it has to be respected. Secondly, the minutes applause for their former manager, Eddie May, resonates with me also, because he was a respected manager of a club called, Dundalk FC. Taken from Footballfancast.com Read on. If Cardiff City could win their last regular home game of the season they would be assured of a place in the playoffs for a third consecutive season. However, before a ball could be kicked, first there was the no small matter of paying official tribute to Eddie May the former much loved and respected Cardiff City manager, who sadly a week prior had passed away suddenly in his sleep. The club had consulted with his family and arranged the tributes in accordance with their wishes, so this was to be a celebration of the man who loved life and Cardiff City FC. There was to be no minute of silence, but a minute of applause instead – It made sense as if Eddie had been there in person, on the centre of the pitch it’s what he would have happened. So with Eddie’s son and son in-law in attendance former Cardiff players along with (Rick Wright the former Cardiff City chairman who had promoted May to the role of manager) taking to the centre of the pitch to play homage and lay a wreath on the centre circle, the minute’s applause that followed continued for nearly three!Accompanied by chants of Eddie Mays barmy Army! The Leeds united fans were an absolute credit to their club joining in the applause and the chanting of Eddie Mays name, which was a massive relief to the Bluebird faithful because when we had looked over at them a whole section of about twenty odd were dressed as St George displaying a flag between them which was worded something along the lines of that they had come to slay the Welsh dragon, it didn’t bode well, we all feared the worse, but what we got was glorious proof that when the situation arises, all of football is indeed one huge family – like most families a bit dysfunctional at times but in dark times the kinship comes to the fore. So therefore I’d like to salute all those connected with Leeds United Football Club in attendance last Saturday at the Cardiff City Stadium and express on behalf of my fellow Bluebird faithful a massive thank you. Onto the match itself, the first attack of the game was Cardiff’s. A Liam Lawrence shot that was parried by the Leeds ‘keeper before being hoofed away. City picked up the loose ball and Turner lofted it back into the Leeds half, former Bluebird favourite Ross McCormick challenged for the ball but he missed judged its flight and a clash of heads ensued and McCormick went down with a head injury so the referee halted play with Cardiff on the attack in a dangerous position. A continuously frenetic first half was calmed by a lengthy stoppage to Leigh Bromby, who was stretchered off with a serious knee injury. At that point Malky Mackay made some tactical changes which made an immediate impact. Some lovely deft touches from Whittingham, now on the left, linked up with Mason and caused Leeds all kind of problems. It was one such move which lead to the opening goal with Mason coolly side footing the ball over the Leeds goalkeeper Andy Lonergan and Cardiff City Stadium erupted with utter joy! My overjoyed companion lifted me off my feet and swung me round like a toddler would be by a drunken Uncle at a wedding! We all started to believe – really believe – we were heading for the play offs. Chance after chance were created by the Bluebirds. Miller hit the woodwork Mason pounced on the rebound only for his shot to be scrambled off the line. Whittingham then rattled the crossbar, McPhail had a shot palmed over it, it was all City who were dominating the game, the halftime whistle we didn’t want to hear came….As it did the heavens opened on us! The second half started with City slow out of the blocks, Marshall was called into action three times in quick succession but it still became party time for Cardiff supporters, mass Ayatollahing, chants of shoot and Eddie Mays Barmy Army broke out and reverberated around the stands. Leeds made two changes and started to chase the game but still with twenty minutes to go, Neil Warnock was indebted to his goalkeeper for keeping his side in the match after he pulled off a wonderful save down to his left to deny Andrew Taylor’s well struck volley. The save proved even more vital a few minutes later, after Leeds managed to get in behind the Bluebirds defence, Snodgrass on the far right hand side made space for Paul Connolly who put in a superb cross that was met by the head of Luciano Becchio – Goal!

YEP on Diouf going to Leeds. LEEDS boss Neil Warnock was reported today to be in talks to bring controversial Senegalese striker El-Hadji Diouf to Elland Road. Diouf’s contract with Doncaster runs out in the summer and it is thought he could be tempted to remain in Yorkshire. The former Liverpool, Bolton, Sunderland and Rangers player was unable to save Doncaster from relegation and could now join Leeds as part of Warnock’s widespread changes to their side. Diouf joined Doncaster at the end of last October as one of the club’s signings under the guidance of agent Willie McKay. But earlier this month he was arrested and then bailed on suspicion of violent disorder at a Manchester club. Doncaster, whose relegation from the Championship was sealed after a 4-3 home defeat against Portsmouth just hours earlier, launched an investigation. Speaking to Sky Sports News , Diouf says he would like to sign for Leeds despite their being bad blood between the player and Neil Warnock in the past.The pair fell out after Warnock accused Diouf of abusing Queens Park Rangers player Jamie Mackie, who was lying on the pitch with a broken leg. The incident led to Warnock labelling Diouf a ‘sewer rat.` Diouf hit back at Warnock by calling him a big s**t but Diouf insists there is no problem between the pair. ‘I know people have talked about the incident between me and Neil Warnock but it is in the past and is not an issue.’I have the utmost respect for Neil Warnock and I’d be delighted to help Leeds gain promotion to the Premier League,” Diouf told Sky Sports News. Speaking on Yorkshire Radio, Warnock said, “He is one of a number of players that I am going to be linked with left, right and centre. Sometimes they are genuine and sometimes they are invented but I will not make a comment on any individual, something that I do not feel I have to do. “What I have to do now is fix my mind on getting the lads signed and then when I have managed to do that I will let the Leeds fans know as soon as possible.” Personally I think this would be a marriage made in hell but here are what the blogs have had to say : 10tonycurriesfanclub : A thoroughly disgusting individual without a single redeeming feature. Sign this piece of garbage and say hello to crowds of 15,000 or less.  9 Bluesman He could add to the all the trouble and fuss at the club! We have a track record of court cases in recent years and that is not just directed at the players. Spits, fouls, abusive, temperamental. Sure he will fit in well – I DON’T THINK!!!! Don’t we have enough on with the other two?? 8 pockman Why should we not be surprised ! The pro Association Football business is slowly but surely turning into something completely without any sense of decency, sportsmanship or perspective – win “at all costs” permeates this sick game. Players “diving” at will, feigning “near death” injuries and then bouncing to their feet when it suits, claiming goals that clearly aren’t etc etc. Sad to say, the combination of Diouf, Warnock and Bates does have a sort of bizarre symmetry. The sporting Corinthians of yesteryear must be spinning in their graves. Looking forward to seeing some good, honest sporting contests at the Olympics – especially those involving one Dwayne Chambers ! 7 sigur_ros_fan WE DO NOT NEED THIS ODIOUS MAN! He will offer nothing to the cause, AND upset team morale – just look what he has acheived(!) in season 201112 both on and off the pitch. I can think of only two footballers who are nastier human beings than him….Cashley Cole and John Terry, nuff said…….6  Henry V L Should fit in nicely! Likes spitting at people. We could have 4 men sent off every game! 5 Newby This seems very unlikely, didn’t NW refer to El-Hadji Diouf as being lower than a sewer rat? The LUFC fans didn’t seem too positive towards EHD this season either; or is that an understatement?4 Rich30 Dear Mr Diouf, If you are in discussions with LUFC, please can you ensure that your wage demands are “un-reasonable” and do not fit within our “player budget” as the fans do not want you and you will never be welcome at our club All the best. 3 drizzlybear when warnock came to join bates at the club i am sure someone asked if leeds could get any dirtier. maybe so! joey barton to follow perhaps?! MOT  2 mousy is it due to lack of funds that we will have to go for these players?????????? lets say that its not the case, and the rumour is completely rubbish. its no way to start builing a team to fight for promotion. 1 Richard L Is it April 1st??? Not withstanding his off the field antics – 6 goals in 80 Liverpoll appearances says it all. Oh and He’s 31 – and at Blackburn was on £30K PLUS £5K per match. The world’s gone mad!

April 26th.YEP – Levi v Bates The case continues. FORMER Leeds United director Melvyn Levi should have been prepared for criticism after choosing to become involved with the game, a lawyer for club owner Ken Bates told a court today. Barrister Jacob Dean was speaking on the fourth day of a courtroom battle between Mr Bates and Leeds businessman Mr Levi, who successfully sued the chairman for libel damages in 2009. Mr Levi and his wife Carole have brought Mr Bates back to court to seek damages for harassment from him, Leeds United and Yorkshire Radio, the radio station which broadcasts live commentary of the club’s matches. The couple, who claim Mr Bates has “ruined their lives”, also seek an injunction against the chairman to prevent further harassment. Mr Dean told Leeds County Court that Melvyn Levi should be prepared for criticism after choosing to become involved in football club ownership. He said: “Mr Levi is a public figure. He chose to enter the world of sport by taking a substantial stake in a football club. “He knew about the controversy that football club owners can attract if things do not go well.”Mr Levi claims radio announcements asking for information on his whereabouts during a Leeds match on Boxing Day 2010 likened him to “a fugitive”. Mr Levi was part of a consortium which took over the club when it was in dire financial trouble in 2004. Mr Bates bought the club in 2005 from a consortium including Mr Levi. Mr Dean added: “He (Mr Levi) accepted that club owners have to have thick skins. “He accepted himself that he is not a shrinking violet.” Mr Dean said that the word “fugitive” was not used in the radio announcement, nor was it suggested that people should go looking for him. The case continues

April 26th. Right in the Gary Kellys. Smudger on his return. Neil Warnock’s number two Ronnie Jepson was spotted at Stadium MK at the weekend, reigniting the rumours that former Leeds United captain Alan Smith is being scouted for a return back to Elland Road. Alan Smith was loaned out by Newcastle United in January to get some first team football after spending two seasons playing a bit part role for the Toon. Since Smith’s departure in 2004 countless rumours and articles have been published regarding his return to Elland Road with no truth in any of these storys. After settling in at the Dons, Smith did an interview with Sky Sports John Fendley (Fenners) about his time since his departure from Leeds United and also for the first time talked about his much talked about return to Elland Road. Smith on Leaving Leeds United: “It was always difficult to leave a club you loved and with feeling you haven’t left your mark, It was difficult being a fan. The connection I’ve had with Leeds United has never changed even when I left for Manchester; I never hid my love for Leeds. As I’ve said before the real story will come out at some point and I think Peter Lorimer has touched on it a little bit about how the deal saved the club at the time but I’ve never spoke about it and don’t really want to. But as I’ve said my admiration and my love for Leeds United has never changed.” Smith on returning to Leeds United: “Yes, I’ve thought about it so much. But there is just something about going back places but when Batts (David Batty) went back when I was a kid he went back and he said to me when you’ve been back once it’s never the same to replicate what we did previously.”Asked if he has been offered the chance to go back to Leeds: It’s never come up to be honest, the offer has never been made to me it’s not been an option. So that would be a very tough decision for me but there is something in my mind which says it would never be the same. Someone once said to me returning back to Leeds United would be like going back to an old girlfriend; it just never seems to work out.”With Smith a free agent this summer, you can be assured this won’t be the only article you will be reading with Alan Smith and Leeds United linked together. But as you can see from Smith’s comments a return to Elland Road will be highly unlikely anytime soon.

Diouf to Leeds ?

April 25th. Diouf to Leeds ? Leeds are (according to Sky Sports) reportedly in talks with El-Hadji Diouf with a view to signing the controversial forward in the summer. The former Liverpool, Bolton, Sunderland and Rangers player will be a free agent at the end of the season, when he will leave relegated Championship outfit Doncaster. And Neil Warnock’s Leeds, who are expected to make changes to their squad in the summer, are ready to offer Diouf a move to Elland Road, according to reports on Sky Sports. The Senegalese moved to Doncaster at the end of last October as one of the club’s signings under the much-debated transfer policy guidance of agent Willie McKay. But Diouf could not save the club from dropping into League One, while he has also continued to attracted headlines for the wrong reasons. Earlier in April, Diouf was bailed by police after being arrested following an incident at a nightclub in Manchester. Diouf was famously labelled “worse than a sewer rat “ by Warnock, but in the Championship there is no doubting his quality. This should be an interesting one to watch.

April 25th. 2012. “I snubbed Beckford twice” – Bates from To Ell and back. Ken Bates has revealed he snubbed the chance to bring back goalscoring legend Jermaine Beckford back to the club – twice. Beckford wrote his place into the annals of the Leeds United history books with 85 goals in three seasons, including the famous winner at Manchester United in the Third Round of the FA Cup in 2010 and scoring in our win over Bristol Rovers that sealed our promotion to the Championship. Beckford left for Everton that summer on a Bosman-free, but stayed at Goodison for little over a year before making his shock switch to big-spending Leicester on transfer-deadline day last August. After an initial sticky start, Beckford has scored a respectable 15 goals for the Foxes and is assured a warm-welcome on Saturday when Leeds face Leicester in the “dead rubber” end of season showdown. However it might have all been so different, had Bates taken up one of two offers he claims to have received to secure Beckford’s services for a second time. In his weekly Wednesday broadcast on Yorkshire Radio, Mr Bates told listeners: “”He was offered to us to come back on a permanent basis on two occasions this season but we declined because we want to move forward.” Beckford inevitably divides opinion amongst Leeds fans, some regard him as a legend whilst others felt he was big-headed and selfish. His talent however is undeniable. Whether or not he would have made much difference this season is very debatable because our failures have been at the back, not so much scoring goals! Sorry Ken, cannot buy this, I feel a more likely reason (and rightfully so) is the £40,000 per week Beckford is rumoured to be getting. What a dickhead Bates is. An absolute arse hole ! What possible good can come out of a statement like that except to prove what an a waste of psace we have for a chairman.

April 25th 2012. The Case continues Levy vs Bates. Leeds United chairman Ken Bates told his lawyer he would publicly offer dinner for two for anyone with information on the whereabouts of an ex-director who is now suing him for harassment, a court heard today. Melvyn Levi and his wife Carole claim they have suffered stress as a result of announcements on the club radio station allegedly likening Mr Levi to a criminal on the run. They also claim comments made by Mr Bates in his programme notes amounted to speculation over the state of their marriage. Mr Levi is seeking damages from Mr Bates, the club and its radio station, Yorkshire Radio, at Leeds County Court. Mr Levi claims 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, Mr Bates was trying to serve a writ against Mr Levi but found out from his wife that he was away until the New Year. The Leeds chairman was pursuing legal action against Mr Levi for £190,400 Mr Bates claims he and another party owed the club. Simon Myerson QC, for Mr Levi, claimed that Bates’s lawyer, Hiren Mistry, had heard from the club that someone spotted the Levis having dinner in Leeds in December, but held back on serving legal papers. Mr Myerson asked him: “Is it because Mr Bates had told you there would be announcements on Yorkshire Radio every day for two weeks offering dinner for two for information provided?” Mr Mistry replied: “He did tell me that, yes.” Mr Myerson continued: “Is it the case Mr Bates said ‘Don’t worry about service. We are going to put a radio announcement out’?” Mr Mistry replied: “Absolutely not. Procedure is procedure.” On hearing about the Levis’ dinner, he said: “If it was concrete we would have acted upon it.” Mr Mistry, who was working for Sinels law firm at the time, told the court he did not instruct the relevant people to serve the legal papers as he wanted to keep legal costs down for Mr Bates and Leeds United. In 2009, Mr Levi successfully sued Mr Bates for libel over articles written in the programme and the Leeds chairman was ordered to pay £50,000 damages plus costs to Mr Levi.  Yesterday in court, Mr 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 2011 speculating as to why the couple had “split” over the festive season. The best thing I say about Bates is that he really is a nasty little man.

Weds 25th. Are Webber and Robinson worthy of new contracts ? Danny Webber is tipping Leeds United to be pushing for promotion next season under manager Neil Warnock. Webber was part of the Sheffield United squad that won promotion to the Premier League under Warnock in 2006 and he feels Warnock will sign the right players in the summer to push for promotion next season. Speaking in the Yorkshire Evening Post , Webber said, “I think any team that Neil has put together generally competes for the top six at least. “It`s a case of him getting the people in he requires and the atmosphere he wants for next season. “Obviously, things need freshening up and he`ll get the camaraderie and belief in the camp that everybody needs. “I`m sure if he does that, Leeds will be absolutely flying. “I think Leeds can turn it around, 100 per cent. You look at what Neil did with QPR and the bunch of players there. “He almost also got Crystal Palace in the play-offs when they were near the bottom when he took over. A few more games and they would have been in the play-offs.” Webber is out of contract at Elland Road in the summer after becoming Warnock`s first signing on a short-term deal. The 30 year old has made 12 appearances for Leeds since making his debut as a substitute in the game with Southampton, a game where he could have quite easily have marked his debut with a goal being denied by an inspired Kelvin Davis in the saints goal on more than one occasion. Webber could make his final appearance for Leeds in the home game with Leicester on Saturday and he is desperate to sign off with a goal. “It would be nice to sign off with a win and nice for me to finally hit the back of the net. It`s been absolutely forever! “I know I`ve not played up front in my normal position really, but I`ve had enough chances and I should have put one or two away during my time here,” added Webber. Warnock is expected to announce his released and retained list early next week following the conclusion of the season against Leicester this weekend. The new Leeds boss has stated that ‘major surgery` is required in the summer months with the squad if Leeds are to stand any chance of promotion next season. A number of players have been linked with a move to Elland Road recently with defender Jason Pearce – Portsmouth and midfielder Paul Green – Derby County reported to have already agreed deals to join Leeds in the summer. Meanwhile on loan Leeds United defender Paul Robinson says he is unsure what the future holds for him at the end of the season. Robinson is out of contract at Bolton Wanderers in the summer and he looks set to be released having not played for the Premier League club since early January. He joined Leeds on loan in early March for the remainder of the season, becoming one of only two signings by manager Neil Warnock since his arrival in February. The 33 year old has made ten appearances since his arrival but he is unsure whether he is part of Warnock`s plans for next season. Robinson admits after years of travelling around the country playing football and his family based in the midlands area he has a big decision to make before agreeing a deal with any club during the summer. Speaking on LUTV, Robinson said “I have enjoyed every minute of my time at Leeds and it has been a good place to be around. “I have done a lot of travelling over the past few years and my family are based in the midlands. “It will be sad to leave in the summer but I have a big decision to make. I have to sit down with my family and make a decision.” Robinson admits though, whilst he will be looking to put his family first an offer from Leeds United  would be a hard one to turn down. “I will have to see what comes up. It is a massive club and a massive decision and it will be a difficult one to turn down if it was offered to me,” added Robinson.The defender made his debut at Middlesbrough and he quickly adhered himself to the Leeds fans with his tough tackling, no nonsense approach as Leeds came away that day with all three points in a 2-0 win. Looking on from the sidelines both Webber and Robinson have failed to convince that they are worthy of contracts. Webber can’t score a goal and Robinson at 33 is way off the pace with his best years behind him. The one thing Leeds lack this season throughout the side is real pace. Webber is quick but has the finishing ability of Billy Paynter whilst Robbo’s contract offer may hinge on a certain Aidy White not resigning.  Have either of them improved on what we already had at Elland Road ?

When Shaun met Kenneth

April 24th. The Guardian – Bates in the courthouse.  The Leeds United owner, Ken Bates, rejected accusations that he used his column in the matchday programme to pursue a personal “vendetta” against the club’s former director Melvyn Levi and Levi’s wife, Carole. The Levis are suing Bates personally, Leeds United and the club-owned Yorkshire Radio station, claiming that several of Bates’s programme articles and two Yorkshire Radio broadcasts amounted to harassment of the couple. Bates, giving evidence at Leeds county court, said he continued to write about Levi because of a legal dispute, dating back to 2005, in which he claims a company onnected to Levi owes the club £190,400, which Levi rejects. Levi’s barrister, Simon Myerson QC, accused Bates of wanting to make the Levis’ lives “miserable” and said: “This is the way you conduct a legal dispute. It is not good enough for it to be in the courts. You can write about it in the programme because you own the club.” Bates, who accepted the Levis were “upset”, replied: “I continue to report in the programme on the events surrounding the disappearance of £190,000.” Key to the case is an episode over Christmas 2010, after a representative instructed by Bates to serve a writ on Levi was told by Carole Levi that her husband was away and not back until the new year. Four days later, before and at half-time during Leeds’s match against Leicester City on Boxing Day, Yorkshire Radio broadcast an appeal to listeners to contact the club if they knew of Levi’s whereabouts. Bates then wrote in the programme for the 1 January match against Middlesbrough: “We have not served Mr Levi with his writ as his wife said he was away until the New Year, which makes me speculate as to why they split for the festive season.” In irritable exchanges with Myerson, who represented Levi in his successful libel claim against Bates in 2009 over the Leeds owner’s programme articles, Bates said Myerson had never worked “in the real world”. Myerson said pointedly: “In the real world, people can buy football clubs, have their own column in the programme, and write whatever you like about people you don’t like.” Bates retorted: “You are being pathetic now.” Asked if he has complete control over what he writes in his programme articles, Bates said his wife, Susannah, sees them but otherwise nobody else exercises guidance unless the programme editor, Leeds’s head of communications Paul Dews, “has any issues”. Earlier, the club’s chief executive, Shaun Harvey, said he does scrutinise the articles and “by definition” takes responsibility for their contents, to ensure they are “informative and balanced”. Myerson asked Harvey, referring to the club’s process of printing Bates’s articles in the matchday programme: “Is anybody exercising control or is an elderly man being indulged in his vendettas?” Harvey denied that Bates was being indulged in vendettas. Asked if he was “ashamed of any of this”, Harvey, who said the various legal actions are costing Leeds “a fortune”, replied: “I am certainly not standing here comfortably.” The case continues. Bates drags our great club through the mud and no doubt when he loses this case again, we will be picking up the tab. 

April 24th 2012. BBC – Fans on board a bad idea Leeds United director Peter Lorimer does not envisage a member of the supporters trust having a place on the club’s board. Relations between some fans and the directors have been strained recently but Lorimer does not see a time when the fans have a say in board decisions. “For me it’s never worked at any club,” he told BBC Radio Leeds. “People put a lot of money in and they’re entitled to run the club as they want.” He added: “I think having meetings and talking about things is reasonable but I just don’t think it works on a whole scale. I’ve seen a number of occasions where fans have ended up running a club and it’s ended in disaster.” Lorimer’s place on the Leeds board has seen some fans take against the Scot who had two spells at Elland Road as a player. Chairman of the Leeds United supporters Trust Gary Cooper admitted he has been surprised by some of Lorimer’s comments. “I beg to differ with Mr Lorimer. I don’t know which clubs he’s referring to when he says it doesn’t work,” he told BBC Sport. “Barcelona and Swansea both have fan representation on the board and there’s a number of other clubs who have benefitted from it. “Right now I don’t think we have any relationship with the board whatsoever and that’s sad. I don’t think they see what good we can do for the club.” Despite this, Lorimer says he is unconcerned with how the fans perceive him and has always had their best interests at heart. “I don’t have any problem with how the fans view me,” he continued. “Everything I do is for the good of the football club and the fans and that is my role, to keep in touch with the fans and let them know what we’re doing. “One thing I’ve never done is led the fans down the garden path. I’ve always been up front with them even when they haven’t liked it.” This is what Lorimer and others said when Bates took over the club, and how many have rued their statements. Leeds legend Peter Lorimer has welcomed Ken Bates’ £10m takeover of the club, saying the former Chelsea chairman is “the right man for the job”. Lorimer was a member of the board which had to deal with the club’s huge debts and will stay on in the new era. “The board did a great job knocking £80m off the debts but now the club has to go forward and I’m sure Ken is the right man,” he said. “I’m sure he knows what is needed and what to do about the finances.” The news will be a relief to everyone at the club, who are 14th in the Championship and were in danger of going into administration and being deducted 10 points. “The team has been rebuilt and we are moving ahead,” he said. “The Leeds fans should thank the board. There have been a lot of sleepless nights.” Lorimer’s former team-mate Norman Hunter was similarly relieved by the news. “I’m delighted,” he said. “First and foremost, the situation is resolved at the moment. It was a trying situation and I don’t think it’s enough in the long run but I think Ken Bates will sort something out. “If he does anything like the job he did at Chelsea, the Leeds public will be absolutely delighted.” Leeds’ supporters club chairman Ray Fell also said he expected the fans to give Bates a warm welcome. “We’re looking for stable management and someone who knows the game and he fits the description,” he said. “He does things the Bates way, we’re all aware of that, but if he can do things the right way we’ll all benefit.” Before the news was confirmed, manager Kevin Blackwell said he welcomed the prospect of the former Chelsea chairman’s arrival if it could clear up doubts over their future. “It’d be good news for the players and the club to get out of the uncertainty,” he told BBC Radio Five Live. “With Mr Bates hopefully the club can start to look and move forward.”Blackwell has taken Leeds to within eight points of the play-off places in the Championship and said he was optimistic that Bates could bring in new funds to bolster the team’s chances of a return to the Premiership. “It’s been a difficult job,” he added. “Everyone knows that there were no players left here in June last year. We’ve built from that, we’re halfway up the table and we’re looking up instead of down. “I’ve been very proud to be manager of this football club. We’re proud people up in Yorkshire and things haven’t gone well for us in the two or three years. “I think the fans here deserve some good news – and with investment in the right areas I don’t see why we can’t give it a good push.” Bates is on record as saying he does not think goalkeepers make good managers, but ex-keeper Blackwell laughed off any threat to his job and insisted he would carry on working as hard as he could for the club. “There were no players left here in June but we’ve built on that. We’ve moved halfway up the table and are looking up rather than down,” he said. “What will be will be, but if he comes in with his own ideas, who am I to say he’s wrong?”

April 24th. No fair shake for Brucie. Leeds defender Alex Bruce has hit out at Simon Grayson, claiming he was unfairly treated by the former Elland Road boss. Bruce, who started a lone game under Grayson, is one of several out-of-contract players waiting to hear if they have a future under current manager Neil Warnock. “My time at Leeds has been a little bit bittersweet,” Bruce told the Yorkshire Post. “I don’t think Simon Grayson helped me this season. “In my first year at Leeds, I think I did okay. I was in the team and we were doing all right. For a new signing to get dropped and for him to treat me the way he treated me was a little bit disappointing. “I was pleased to see Neil Warnock come in and I’m sure the lads will do better under him. “My future is up in the air and like every other player who is out of contract at a club, it’s a difficult time. “I’m looking forward to getting this season out of the way and kicking on next season – hopefully that will be at Leeds United. I’m sure with Neil Warnock at the helm that next year the club will be moving in the right direction.”

April 24th. Lees for a nose job. Leeds defender Tom Lees will undergo surgery this summer to repair damage to his nose which he has repeatedly broken this season. The 21-year-old, who has made 44 appearances for Leeds during his breakthrough season, suffered another break during the weekend draw at Cardiff. “It was pretty sore and numb afterwards and I couldn’t feel it,” Lees told the club’s official website. “But I’m getting used to it now. “It was the fourth time I’ve done it since January now so it’s broken and needs putting back in place. I’ve been waiting to get it done so it will wait until after the season.” Lees was first to admit his latest injury paled into insignificance compared to team-mate Leigh Bromby, who will be sidelined for up to a year after rupturing his patella tendon in the same match. “It was pretty sickening to see on the pitch,” Lees added. “We were all just devastated for him because he’s had a few niggles this season and has worked so hard to get fit.”

April 24th. Bromby “out for a year LEEDS United defender Leigh Bromby is to undergo surgery this week after suffering a serious knee injury during Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Cardiff. Bromby, 31, ruptured his patella tendon and was stretchered off in agony after slipping awkwardly unopposed. It is the latest in a number of injury setbacks for the player and he could be ruled out for up to a year. The Dewsbury-born player has struggled to hold down a regular place in the first team at Elland Road this season, but had started in four of Leeds’ last five games under manager Neil Warnock. Bromby, who began his career at Sheffield Wednesday and had two stints at Sheffield United before joining Leeds in September 2009, has made a total of 12 appearances this season. On Bromby’s injury, Warnock said: “He will be out for a long, long time – I’d be surprised if he is back before Christmas. It could be a year.  “I’m gutted and disappointed for him because he has just come back in the team and done well. “He was in agony and required oxygen because he had passed out. But the Cardiff fans were fantastic. “They were very supportive straight away and the ref showed he knew what he was doing. “I want to say a big thank you to everyone for the way they reacted.”

Levi saying That Bates has ruined his life

April 23rd 2012. Bates at it again. YEP. CONTROVERSIAL Leeds United chairman Ken Bates was told today he should be “locked up”, as he returned to court accused of pursuing a campaign of “calculated persecution” against a former director of the club. Leeds County Court was told 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 libel damages to Mr Levi over allegations that he was a “shyster” who tried to blackmail the club over money. Mr Levi has now 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. Mr Levi told the court that he and his wife Carole has been made ill after Mr Bates made a number of distressing remarks about him in the Leeds United match day programme.  In a witness statement handed to the court, Mr Levi said he lived in “constant fear” that Mr Bates would use his programme notes to cause him further distress. He said he had sought the help of a psychiatrist, slept poorly and had become “extremely irritable”, making “family life extremely difficult”. He said he and his wife rarely went out, adding, “It is not an exaggeration that since Mr Bates recommenced his acts of harassment against us, it has completely ruined our lives.” Giving evidence, Mrs Levi suggested that the Leeds United chairman should be “locked up” for the distress he had caused. She said: “Really, he should be locked up. If this is all he can do with his life, he should be locked up. It’s terrible.” Earlier, Mrs Levi had told the court: “Mr Bates has stolen six and a half years of our lives – six and a half precious years. “We are well into our sixties now. We should be having a good time, not sitting in court, boring everybody to pieces. “We are very small fry. I would have thought that he would have taken on somebody on a much larger scale than us.” The 2009 High Court case heard that Mr Levi’s libel action arose out of events surrounding the acquisition of Leeds United Football Club by a consortium headed by Mr Bates in 2005. Mr Levi was one of the members of a consortium – the Yorkshire Consortium – which bought the club about 10 months before Mr Bates’s purchase. The entrepreneur sued over “grave and offensive” libels in three articles written by Mr Bates in the Leeds United programme in 2006 and 2007 and a letter written to club members in August 2007. Part of his case was that, in an article published in a programme in March 2007 entitled The Enemy Within, he was accused of blackmail, of being dishonourable and of making unscrupulous attempts to obtain money which had deterred investors in Leeds United. In his ruling the judge, Sir Charles Gray, said the “sting” of one of the publications lay in the reference to Mr Levi as a “shyster”. “That term would in my judgment have been understood to mean that Mr Levi is someone who engages in sharp, disreputable and dishonest practices,” said Sir Charles. The judge described the allegation of blackmail as “particularly serious”. How Bates lost the case in 2009. Published on Thursday 2 July 2009 LEEDS United chairman Ken Bates has lost his libel battle at the High Court and has been ordered to pay £50,000 in damages to former director Melvyn Levi and faces a legal bill of around £1.5m. A judge in London today ruled in favour of Mr Levi, who brought the action over comments made about him by Mr Bates, claiming he was ‘persecuted’. Following the judgment, Mr Bates, who was not present at today’s hearing, was ordered to make an interim payment for legal costs of 400,000 while the total sum is calculated. The 78-year-old was also refused permission to appeal but can apply directly to the Court of Appeal if he wishes to take the case further. Judge Sir Charles Gray said the libel action arose out of events surrounding the acquisition of Leeds United Football Club by a consortium headed by Mr Bates in 2005. Mr Levi, 65, from Leeds, sued over three articles written by the chairman in the Leeds United programme in 2006 and 2007 and a letter written to club members in August 2007. His claim was that they contained “grave and offensive” libels which “seriously injured” his reputation. He said he was accused of being a “shyster” who had tried to blackmail the club over money. Mr Bates denied libel but the judge ruled today he had failed in his defences of justification and fair comment. The judge said the 50,000 damages he awarded was in respect of the three match programmes “where the defences failed”. Mr Levi’s claim in relation to the letter failed as Sir Charles ruled this was covered by qualified privilege. The judge listed a number of factors he had taken into account when calculating the damages, including the “gravity of the libels” which were “repeated on several occasions over a period of 10 months”. Another relevant factor was the fact “the publishees, principally supporters of the club, were persons whose esteem Mr Levi valued”. Mr Bates had “sought unsuccessfully to justify his statements about Mr Levi and continued to do so in a public trial lasting many days”. The judge added that, in assessing the damages, perhaps the most important factor of all was the “obvious distress and injury to Mr Levi’s feelings caused by the libels”. He added: “In this regard I take account of the gratuitous inclusion in the second publication complained of, dated March 3 2007, of Mr Levi’s home address in Leeds and the reference in the third publication complained of, dated March 10 2007, to his home telephone number being in the telephone book which was in effect an invitation to Leeds fans to pester Mr Levi.” During the nine-day trial last month, Simon Myerson QC, for Mr Levi, said he had been one of the members of a consortium – the Yorkshire Consortium – which bought the club about 10 months before Mr Bates’s purchase and had “rescued it from demise”. He told the judge: “It is in October of 2006 that Mr Bates starts what we say is a campaign, or at least a course, of defamatory comment…” One of the “vehicles” he used, said the QC, was his column in the club’s programme. Part of Mr Levi’s case was that, in an article published in a programme in March 2007, entitled The Enemy Within, he was accused of blackmail, of being dishonourable and of making unscrupulous attempts to obtain money which had deterred investors in Leeds United. The judge said the “sting” of one of the publications lay in the reference to Mr Levi as a “shyster”. “That term would in my judgment have been understood to mean that Mr Levi is someone who engages in sharp, disreputable and dishonest practices,” said Sir Charles. After the hearing, Mr Levi said: “I am happy. All I wanted to do was to clear my name and I have done.” Bates is not fit to be chairman of our great club. His programme notes not only attack people’s integrity but continually lie left right and centre”. The man could crawl under my shoe with a top hat on. 

April 23rd 2012. By Eddie Gray Published on Monday YEP. I think the whole point of the exercise on Saturday was for Neil Warnock to make a final assessment of his players, but I don’t think the performance would have told him too much, to be honest. It wasn’t a great game at Cardiff. I thought we did okay and worked hard, while Andy Lonergan made a couple of great saves to keep us in the game at stages. I know Neil thought we could have got something more out of the game. But overall, I thought Cardiff were the better side. There were about 20 minutes in the second half where we had a lot of possession, but really we only had one effort on target in the 90 minutes. That said, Cardiff didn’t play particularly well. I actually think when they went in front that in the second half, they were sitting deep and thinking that we weren’t going to score anyway. Then when we scored, they picked it up again and were threatening near the end. But I thought they rested on their laurels a bit. Early in the game, I thought Joe Mason caused us a few problems and was lively enough throughout the game. If they played the ball up to him a bit more and attacked us there, we could have had a big problem. He caused some trouble with his pace. With their goal, I think Lonergan misjudged the flight of the ball, with their lad knocking it in from the corner of the six-yard box.  I do think the defenders were half expecting him to come out and take the ball earlier. I think Andy will think he should have come for that – but in saying that, he did make a couple of great saves with the one to deny Taylor in the second half a fantastic one. He also made a good save to stop a shot from Kenny Miller, and if it had gone to 2-0, I think the game would have been finished. At 1-0 down, you always have a chance of sneaking something, which we did. It was a good ball from Paul Connolly and finished well by Luciano Becchio – although Cardiff will have been a bit disappointed by their defending. Luciano did well and of the outfield players on Saturday, he would have taken top marks for me. He won his headers and worked hard against two big central defenders. The game was obviously marred by a disappointing injury for Leigh Bromby. There was no-one near him when he went down and he was just trying to pass the ball; somehow his leg must have just stuck in the ground or something. It’s disappointing for Leigh after recently getting back in favour. He’s not had much luck at the football club at all. Hopefully, he’ll recover and get back playing. It will be a bit of a problem for Neil as I think Leigh will have been one of the players he wanted to keep in and around the squad. Now he’ll have to think about somebody else as Leigh won’t be fit for six months or so. Obviously, Leigh is versatile and can play at centre-back and the full-back positions. Maybe Neil might have a rethink there. I don’t think there’s any doubt there’s going to be a big turnaround of players. We’ll have to wait and see who he brings in and allows to leave. Neil will know what he’s looking for and it will be interesting and exciting to see the players who come into the football club. And it will be interesting to see of the players out of contract who he re-signs. How we’ve performed this season hasn’t been good enough. We are where we are; a mid-table team. When you look at some of the results, it could have been worse than that. But it’s not the results, but the performances which have been disappointing for me. It’s been a very average season, no doubt about that. I think we were a stronger side last year. Looking at the final slot for the play-offs, Cardiff have still an awfully tough game going to Crystal Palace. Although Middlesbrough go to Watford, who are a decent side as well. It will be interesting to see who comes out on top in the play-offs. Blackpool have gained a bit of momentum, while there’s West Ham, who still technically have a chance of second place – but going to Leicester tonight isn’t easy and it could be all over this evening in terms of the automatic promotion spots.

April 21st. 2012. The Guardian. Cardiff City 1-1 Leeds United. 01 Lonergan 04 Bruce 22 Lees 26 Bromby (Connolly – 32′ ) 33 Robinson 15 ClaytonYC (Nunez – 60′ ) 16 Pugh 29 Thompson 10 Becchio 23 Snodgrass 44 McCormack (Webber – 59′ ) Unused Subs : 31 Taylor 18 Forssell. Luciano Becchio’s second-half equaliser ensured Cardiff’s hopes of making the Championship play-offs for a third successive season will go down to the wire. Leeds striker Becchio headed home his 11th goal of the season in the 73rd minute to cancel out Joe Mason’s opener for Cardiff just before half-time and leave the Welsh side with a solitary point from their final home game of the season. It was no less than Leeds deserved for a spirited second-half display and Cardiff, unbeaten now in their last nine matches – albeit with six draws – face a nerve-jangling last-day finale at Crystal Palace in their bid to make it a hat-trick of top-six finishes. Malky Mackay’s side had put destiny in their own hands with two wins in the last seven days, but Becchio’s header means the Bluebirds will require at least a point next weekend at Selhurst Park if closest challengers Middlesbrough beat Southampton later on Saturday. Cardiff were unchanged from the side that beat Derby on Tuesday night, while Alex Bruce, Zac Thompson and Becchio returned for Leeds. Bluebirds midfielder Liam Lawrence had an early effort saved by Leeds goalkeeper Andy Lonergan, and at the other end Ross McCormack headed wide against his former club after good work from Robert Snodgrass. Mason skewed his close-range effort off target as Cardiff sought an early breakthrough, but neither side created a further chance before Leeds defender Leigh Bromby was taken off injured in the 32nd minute. Bromby, who appeared to slip awkwardly unopposed and required immediate medical attention, was replaced by Paul Connolly. That setback appeared to distract the visitors and Cardiff caught them napping to take the lead four minutes before the break, when Mason raced on to Peter Whittingham’s raking pass from inside his own half and held his nerve to lob the ball over the advancing Lonergan from inside the penalty area. City striker Kenny Miller was then denied in fine style by Lonergan, who kept out the Scot’s angled 18-yard drive as Cardiff threatened to increase their lead in time added on at the end of the first half. Leeds began the second half with renewed purpose. Thompson’s fierce shot was blocked by Cardiff defender Ben Turner and Becchio headed wide from 12 yards soon after. Leeds boss Neil Warnock sent on Ramón Núñez and Danny Webber for McCormack and Adam Clayton respectively just before the hour-mark and the visitors then went close when Danny Pugh’s 20-yard effort flew wide. The visitors continued to give as good as they got, but Lonergan was forced into another excellent save in the 70th minute when keeping out Andrew Taylor’s goalbound volley. Leeds then dealt Cardiff’s play-off hopes a blow with the equaliser three minutes later. Substitute Connolly swung over a fine cross from the right and Becchio rose above the home defence to head beyond Cardiff goalkeeper David Marshall into the bottom corner. Cardiff substitute Filip Kiss fired wide from the edge of the area and Whittingham failed to keep his 87th-minute free-kick on target as Leeds held on for a deserved point. Neil Warnock talking to Yorkshire Radio after the match. (Re Leigh Bromby) “He snapped his patella tendon. Really unlucky. All the lads that have been out of the side when I come in have picked up injuries. He’s going to be out for a long while. I didn’t think we should have lost the other night and I don’t think we should have lost today.  Ross (McCormack) how he missed his header I’ll never know. We’re one nil down to what I call an ale house ball. We never put teams under pressure by scoring first. It’s like a broken record showing.  I just want the season over. I only decided this morning on Zac Thompson playing.  I don’t know what he can do apart from kick somebody, but he did well today. You can’t finish a season on his sending off. I thought Tom Lees was our best player my a mile but you  know what you get with Alex (Bruce).He’s a 7 or 8 out of ten player really. Thank goodness the season is over. We want to do business as soon as possible really. I’m leaving it to the staff.  I would have liked to had been there also. (Re players coming in) It’s changing all the time and agents keep ringing you up. It’s a certain type of player for Leeds really. We should have won more games when you look at what we are playing out in the park”.

April 20th. Warnock to be “shrewd” in transfer market. Neil Warnock says it will be a busy time over the summer and he will have to be shrewd to bring in the right players to the club with a mixture of both players requiring a free as well as those available for free. Warnock has stated that major surgery is required at Elland Road and he has already started his summer clear out with three players leaving this week. Ben Parker and Mika Vayrynen have been released by Leeds and Darren O`Dea, who has spent the season on loan at Elland Road from Glasgow Celtic, has been told he will not be offered a contract by the club and is free to leave. Warnock says there will also be further developments around Elland Road before the season ends next weekend. The wheels are already in motion and Warnock will be without his coaching staff team of Mick Jones and Ronnie Jepson this weekend who will be on scouting missions rather than accompanying Warnock at Cardiff City. Speaking on Yorkshire Radio, Warnock said, “Mick Jones and Ronnie Jepson are going to leave me on my own at Cardiff and they are going to be out scouting because we have so many different players to take a look at. “We have to look to the future and that is why Mick and Ronnie will be out looking at players we have targeted. “Hopefully we will try and bring some in as soon as the season ends. There is going to be one or two things happen in the next seven days. Not only Darren but there will be one or two other things around the club taking place around playing squad.” The Leeds boss is also close to signing a couple of unnamed players and he says he intends to use the cash provided by the Leeds board as well as making the most of those players available on a Bosman free transfer. “What funds are available we will try and use and we will also look to take advantage of those players available on a Bosman. We will try and pick the best ones we can. We need quite a number of players so we will not be able to buy everybody we want, we will have to be shrewd in what we do,” added Warnock. Warnock admits he is still unsure as to how many players he will be looking to bring in this summer but he is determined to bring in the right kind of player to the club to make Elland Road a fortress next season. Warnock continued, “I cannot tell you know how many players I will be bringing in because we just need to get a competitive squad and good players with plenty of energy because the place needs to be vibrant.” The rumour mill is sure to go into overdrive in the summer and Vital Leeds will keep you up to date during the summer months with all the players linked with a move to Elland Road as well as those linked with a move away. Hopefully Colin can get the players we need. I like the vibrant piece because we have lacked pace and energy in certain areas all season.

Pearce – centre half with Portsmouth

April 20th 2012. O’Dea to go and Pearse  to replace him ? Sky Sports understands Leeds United are closing in on a deal to make Portsmouth defender Jason Pearce their first signing of the summer. PearceDescription: http:/static.lingospot.com/spot/image/spacer.gif has impressed at PortsmouthDescription: http:/static.lingospot.com/spot/image/spacer.gif since arriving from BournemouthDescription: http:/static.lingospot.com/spot/image/spacer.gif in the summer and he has established himself as a key member of the side, making 43 appearances in all competitions this term. Cash-strapped Pompey are resigned to losing a number of top players to ease their on-going financial problems and Pearce could be one of the first to depart Fratton ParkDescription: http:/static.lingospot.com/spot/image/spacer.gif once the season draws to a close. A number of clubs, including Ipswich have shown an interest in Pearce, but Leeds are hoping to steal a march on their rivals by luring him to Elland Road. Leeds boss Neil WarnockDescription: http:/static.lingospot.com/spot/image/spacer.gif has made defensive recruits his main priority in this summer’s transfer window as he looks to shore up their leaky rearguard. Warnock revealed earlier this month he was confident of agreeing a deal with a mystery player and it is thought Pearce is the man in question.

Friday April 20th. 2012 O’Dea becomes third player to leave and Rogers’ and Payter’s season is over. Darren O’Dea has played his last game for Leeds United with manager Neil Warnock announcing that the on-loan defender will not be offered a permanent deal at Elland Road. O’Dea is to leave Leeds at the end of his season-long loan from Celtic after failing to convince Warnock to sign him when his contract at Parkhead expires in two months’ time. Warnock considered the option closely and met with O’Dea’s agent for preliminary talks last month, suggesting that he would recruit the 25-year-old on a free transfer ahead of the 2012-13 Championship season.But O’Dea’s time at Elland Road has ended with the red card and suspension he incurred at Blackpool on Tuesday night and Warnock is pursuing other options to play in the centre of Leeds’ defence next term. Warnock said: “Whilst he’s done well, I’ve spoken to him and told him I’ll be going in a different direction next season. “I’ve got people in mind who I want to bring in during the summer and I’m working towards making that happen.” O’Dea has made 35 league starts for Leeds since joining the club from Celtic 48 hours before their first league game at Southampton on August 6.But he was dismissed for two bookable offences at Bloomfield Road, and an automatic suspension will rule him out of tomorrow’s clash with Cardiff City. arnock was critical of O’Dea, describing his sending off as “quite deserved and stupid”, and it followed on from a two-man ban incurred by the defender after he accumulated his 10th yellow card of the season at Millwall last month. Warnock also hit out at that caution, saying: “It’s irresponsible and I don’t like that.” Asked if O’Dea’s disciplinary record has influenced his decision to release the defender, Warnock said: “I don’t think it’s helped. “You can’t be having people picking up stupid suspensions. It’s does nobody any good.” O’Dea was keen to secure a permanent move to Elland Road this summer, conceding that his career with Scottish Premier League champions Celtic was effectively over. Speaking after United’s 1-0 win at Millwall, O’Dea said: “At the end of the season I’ll be looking to move on from Celtic. Obviously I’d like to stay at a club like Leeds.” The Irishman’s absence at Cardiff will force another change to United’s defence, and Paul Connolly and Alex Bruce vying for an appearance tomorrow. Midfielder Michael Brown is suspended, serving the last game of a three-match ban, but youngster Zac Thompson could return to United’s squad after completing the suspension imposed on him after his red card at Reading on Good Friday. Warnock, meanwhile, has confirmed that striker Billy Paynter will miss Leeds’ remaining Championship fixtures with an Achilles injury and the club are still awaiting a full assessment of Robbie Rogers’ ankle injury amid concerns that he has cracked a bone. The American winger was hurt during his full debut against Peterborough United last weekend.

April 19th. That’s Rich! – Grayson Slated Over “Waste of Money” Signings at Leed Written by Stephen-Clark. Leeds United chairman Ken Bates further infuriated home fans, and stuck the knife a little further into the back of his former manager Simon Grayson with comments made on Wednesday to Yorkshire Radio. In his weekly “state address” to the clubs official radio station, Bates spoke about the termination of Finnish International Mika Vayraynen’s contact earlier in the week: Vay-ry-en… I can never get his name right; I don’t know why we signed him” he told Ben Fry. “Nice guy but a complete waste of money. Made two starts and cost us half a million quid in fees and salary. I just don’t know why he was signed. And I’m sorry for him but even more sorry for us.Although not a direct criticism of the man who signed him, the comments are another in a string of thinly veiled attacks on the players signed by Simon Grayson. In recent weeks the chairman has taken every opportunity to slate the previous management team, be it the training methods, the quality of the signings or the number of loan players at the club. Bates has commented that the squad is too large and that quality has been sacrificed for the sake of quantity. What is most galling for the Leeds supporters to stomach is the inference that money has been wasted on players. The overall spend on transfers by United this season, has been a paltry £800K on Danny Pugh and Andy Lonergen. Compare that to the £4M raised by the sales of Kasper Schmeichel, Max Gradel and Jonny Howson and it’s a difficult case to argue that there has been a spending spree. The fact that the three players sold were the brightest prospects at the club, one could even say that there has been a loss of focus on the playing side. The fans see money being wasted in other areas that have no bearing on the ultimate aim of the club – to win football matches. £5M spent on refurbishing the newest stand in the ground, to provide plush corporate entertainment is the most notable expenditure at Elland Road this season. When that is added to less headline making loans to the Pavilion (the clubs conference and entertainment facility) and the clubs Media company, then one can understand the fans frustrations. In such a tightly contested division as the Championship, the investment of even a portion of that money could possibly have seen Leeds force their way into the play-off picture. As it is they languish 28 points behind newly promoted Reading, a team they were just three points behind when Simon Grayson was sacked. Now the team are languishing in mid-table, with the only people wasting money being the loyal fans that are paying for tickets to see the team go through the motions. There is plenty of talk emanating from the club that signings are imminent, to enable Neil Warnock to have his squad in place early to prepare for a promotion push next season. The big questions on the lips of Leeds fans are not only who the signings may be, but if we are going to be spending money. As has been proven, new players do not necessarily bring success. They have to be quality, and to get those players the chairman is going to have to part with some cash. Promotion will require him “wasting” more than the half a million pounds squandered on Mika Vayraynen.

April 19th. The Scratching Shed. This Week’s Blame Game: Grayson, Väyrynen and Bates. with Neil Warnock wielding the axe this week, and Peter Lorimer reportedly continuing to last Simon Grayson’s tenure at events, it was perhaps inevitable that we’d look to the past, and the blame game would come back with a vengeance. As part one of the latest round of blame-game, Simon Grayson has spoken publicly about his time at Leeds during BBC’s Late Kickoff: “A few things have come out since I left the football club that I wasn’t too pleased with because I’ve kept my silence and my dignity. I think finishing 7th the previous year we over-achieved. We got ourselves by, just missing out on the play-offs, but then that summer came along and we wanted to invest in players that would take us to the next level, and we didn’t manage to do that, we didn’t get the players that I would’ve liked to have got to really have a go for it and then results dictate eventually what happened, but we weren’t in a bad position when we left. Every manager would [like more money] and I think if you get to a certain position you would like to think that you can go on and take the club to the next level. You look at Southampton and Reading, two teams who are probably going to go up, and they have spent money in the summer with the likes of Jack Cork who went to Southampton and Gorkss who went to Reading, and these were the players who we were trying to sign in the summer but they went elsewhere. There are big expectancy levels at Leeds and sometimes the expectancy levels aren’t matched elsewhere”. Grayson might wish he hadn’t said: “We’ve got a group here who we feel can get promoted but it’s all about succeeding in that “.And following the announcement on Monday that Ben Parker and Mika Väyrynen had been released, Ken Bates said on Wednesday: “[Ben Parker]’s a lovely fella, we just wish him all the best. We really do. Although we’ve finished with him, he’s going to carry on training with us until the end of the season to make sure he’s fit for next season. He continued: Vay-ry-en… I can never get his name right, I don’t know why we signed him. Nice guy but a complete was of money. Made two starts and cost us half a million quid in fees and salary. I just don’t know why he was signed. And I’m sorry for him but even more sorry for us. It’s better that he goes and seeks the rest of his career somewhere else. Bates’ comments didn’t go down well with Väyrynen (i’m told it’s pronounced vie-rye-nun)”who was none too pleased, tweeting: Obviously money can’t buy class!!!Comments from an old man who don’t even no my name.I wanted to play but wasn’t used. My bad!!!! thanks for your support,you guys have been great n deserve big things. #LUFCfans Like Simon Grayson, Ken Bates must be wishing he had never said:” I think we might have unearthed another hidden jewel. He’s 28-29, played 31 times or thereabouts for Finland and he’s a tough midfielder which is something we have been lacking”. Similarly Shaun Harvey must be feeling a bit silly for saying this: “Some very good players are available on free transfers. Forssell and Vayrynen for example –  international footballers without a club. Sometimes I think people would be happy for us to spend £1million on a sack of potatoes just to see us spend £1million “.One thing’s for sure: the blame-game hasn’t done either side any favours at all. Perhaps we should end on a positive note. Two, in fact. 1) Simon Grayson identified last summer: “The money was there to go and sign players, whether it was loan deals or permanent deals we were trying to sign players to make us better and increase the competition. We know we are still a few bodies short but saying that we still have good players here, some of which were enquired about but we managed to keep hold of them, something which is obviously good news “.One of the key things for Grayson was holding onto key players. You might think that Snodgrass was one who was enquired aboutgiven his recent comments. This season Neil Warnock has managed to find what would seem a cushy contract for skipper Snodgrass. In that article Grayson also bemoaned the way players’ moves depended on other players arriving at their club and how he was gazumped on the proposed Puncheon deal. Warnock divulged after the Blackpool game that one player has all but signed and is expected to be announced in the first week of May, with others following soon after. Whatever we think of past mistakes, and whoever we blame for them, the future is looking bright if these are the quality players that Warnock’s been promising. 2) As Ken Bates mentioned in his radio address, Don Revie’s statue will be unveiled soon:” just to remind everybody of the great event on May 5 when the Don Revie statue will be unveiled at 11am. He’s going to stand opposite the new entrance to the East Stand so he’ll be looking across and keeping his eye on who goes in and who goes out. It’ll be a great day. It’s been well organised. There’s functions in the Pavilion and elsewhere. Billy’s Bar will be open and so will Howard’s. So May 5th, if you’re not going anywhere in particular, forget about your shopping or your… 11 o’clock, May 5th, Lowfields Road outside the East Stand is the place to be. I am amazed it hasn’t been done before. And I think it’s a tribute to the fans that they’ve done it. The club hasn’t done it. This is a fans tribute to a great man and I understand from Duncan Revie that he’ll be there with a party of family and friends. So they’re coming up for it. This is going to be a great occasion“.

April 18th. Thanks to the Square Ball again. Taken from Yorkshire Radio’s interview with Leeds United owner Ken Bates today…‘Mr Chairman’ speaks to Ben Fry about the matches against Blackpool and Peterborough. He talks about Ben Parker and Mika Vayrynen leaving the club and some other stuff Ben Fry: Chairman, we’ll start with last night’s defeat to Blackpool. Another loss on the road but a much more spirited performance. Was that the assessment you got from the manager? Ken Bates: Yes, Neil and I chatted for nearly an hour this morning about various aspects of the club as well as the game but his view on it was that some players played well and enhanced their future prospects, others didn’t and should be looking in the mirror this morning, particular O’Dea. It’s just not good enough that he gets sent off. You question his self control and commitment to the club. No doubt the manager will be talking and discussing that with him in the next few days. The view was in the end that we could have won the game. Blackpool weren’t all that great for being one of the so-called better clubs in the division. We had several clear chances that we didn’t take and of course there was a penalty that we should have had with Snoddy. We got neither a penalty or a corner so we got a goal kick. Another referee that got criticism. But let’s not worry about the result, be more interested in the individual performances of certain players. Neil tells me there was much to be encouraged by so we will go to Cardiff in good heart. BF: Talking of being encouraged, obviously Neil got his first home win against Peterborough. Were you encouraged with what you saw in that performance? KB: I was indeed because let’s face it we could have been three up in 10 minutes. How the ball didn’t go in, I do not know. Then of course we gave a goal away with incredibly sloppy defending. About four players decided they were going to try dibble it out of the penalty area, which resulted in their goal. We responded quickly. I was so pleased to see Billy Paynter try so hard and yet what a pity he missed his hat-trick but he was encouraging. I think there is a lot to be taken from the last two games and we shouldn’t be disheartened going into the final two games. BF: You already touched on the Cardiff game. It’s going to be no easy task at the weekend. Leeds United haven’t had a happy times in South Wales so I suppose a chance for Neil to learn a little more about his squad. KB: Yeah, but, again, we murdered Cardiff at home. We should have won. It was one of those games again that we didn’t get what we deserved. So I don’t think there’s any fear going down to Cardiff. And once again, it’s going to give the players, particularly the young ones, a chance to prove what they’re worth and what they’re made of because it’s going to be clubs like Cardiff which we’ll have to beat next season so it’s a very good try-out. BF: Now work is already begun for next season and the club has agreed to mutually cancel the contracts of Ben Parker and Mika Vayrynen. Things didn’t really work out for Vayrynen but Ben Parker is a sad one almost because he’s been plagued by troubles over the last couple of years. KB: Well we’re very sorry for Ben but things have to come to an end. We’ve kept him going for nearly two years now and unfortunately he’s had really bad luck and he’s not going to make it with us and it’s not fair to him. If he goes elsewhere and makes a fresh start, it could be that he does well in another division. He’s a lovely fella, we just wish him all the best. We really do. Although we’ve finished with him, he’s going to carry on training with us until the end of the season to make sure he’s fit for next season. Vay-ry-en… I can never get his name right, I don’t know why we signed him. Nice guy but a complete waste of money. Made two starts and cost us half a million quid in fees and salary. I just don’t know why he was signed. And I’m sorry for him but even more sorry for us. It’s better that he goes and seeks the rest of his career somewhere else. BF: Of course we wish both players all the best for the future. I know when we spoke on Saturday we talked about contracts. It’s only a few days on but has anything moved on? KB: Well things are moving on but behind the scenes. When something is agreed it’ll be announced. Until then it’s just work in progress. We’re talking on new contracts with a number of players. You’ll have to wait until something emerges and we’ll make the announcement. BF: Now obviously we’re approaching the back-end with these two games left. After the Leicester game, it’s the Members’ End of Season Awards. Still a chance to look back on the year, even if it’s not been the year we all hoped for.  KB: Oh yes, I think so. We can look back and take a mature view of the good and bad things. We’ve had some good things, young players coming through and getting good experience and making a sweep at the top at Thorp Arch which is a sign of course of the way we’ll be going forward in the future. I think the players need to be fitter. The fact that some of them can’t cope with two games in a week without being injured is worrying but it demonstrates the fact that there is no substitute for a good pre-season. Don’t do a good pre-season, you don’t last two games in a week. Other clubs are doing it and winning matches so why aren’t we? BF: And of course preceding that is the Leicester game. Traditionally always a good crowd for the final home game and presumably you’d hope for the same? KB: Well I think we’ve sold nearly 24,000 tickets already which tells its own story and there’s 10 days to go. So I think we’re going to have a bumper crowd and a nice way to see it off. Of course, after that we’ve got the Members End of Season Awards dinner which should be fun. And there’s still some tickets left. We’ve sold nearly 800 tickets and 800 people are coming so it’ll be a good night when we can celebrate, if nothing else, that the close season is ahead of us and we have three and a half months to prepare for 2012/13. BF: On the night, the big award is always player of the season. Ross McCormack has got nearly 20 goals, Robert Snodgrass has lead by example. They’d be two leading candidates. Can I push for you for who’d be your man of the year? KB: Well as you know the chairman always makes a special award to somebody who is not necessarily a front-line favourite and in this exclusive interview, Ben, I can reveal I will be announcing it at the dinner. BF: And tickets still available on 08713341919. Just choose option two if you’d like to book. Now a couple of national issues which obviously will affect all clubs. The FA talking about goal-line technology after the FA Cup semi-final at the weekend. It will arrive sooner rather than later but they’re talking about a cost of £250,000 per ground. Would you expect it just to be Premier League or would see it all the way through the Football League as well? KB: Well I don’t think many of the clubs haven’t got £250,000. I personally am not in favour of goal-line technology because I still think it’s down to the referee. And goal-line technology isn’t going to sort out penalties, is it? It’s not going to sort out Derry’s non-foul when he got a three-match red card ban. It’s not going to sort out other players who foul outside the goal-line, away from the goal-line and the referee doesn’t see it. So we’re going to be stuck with referees’ decisions and they haven’t…. I think it’s fair to say the referees haven’t had a good season this season so that anyway if the FA want to introduce goal-line technology, perhaps they should pay for it. BF: You sort of touched on the next issue I was going to mention. Diving is creeping back into the game. It’s been a big debate this week. How do you see it? Do you see it as gamesmanship, trying to take advantage of an opportunity or is it cheating? KB: It’s cheating. How can you call it gamesmanship? It’s cheating. People are deliberately trying to cheat the referee and cheat the other team. It should be an automatic red card and three-match ban for diving. Who can ever forget Drogba when did that dive in the penalty area and the camera was right on his face close up and it showed him opening one eye looking around seeing what people’s reaction was. Disgraceful. He’s just one example of many. Somebody dives, red card, three games. I tell you this much, if that was introduced, diving would stop overnight. Before we forget, just to remind everybody of the great event on May 5 when the Don Revie statue will be unveiled at 11am. He’s going to stand opposite the new entrance to the East Stand so he’ll be looking across and keeping his eye on who goes in and who goes out. It’ll be a great day. It’s been well organised. There’s functions in the Pavilion and elsewhere. Billy’s Bar will be open and so will Howard’s. So May 5th, if you’re not going anywhere in particular, forget about your shopping or your… 11 o’clock, May 5th, Lowfields Road outside the East Stand is the place to be. BF: And of course, a well overdue memorial to everything that Don Revie brought to the club.  KB: Well I am amazed it hasn’t been done before. And I think it’s a tribute to the fans that they’ve done it. The club hasn’t done it. This is a fans tribute to a great man and I understand from Duncan Revie that he’ll be there with a party of family and friends. So they’re coming up for it. This is going to be a great occasion. BF: And more details for the unveiling of the statue will be on LeedsUnited.com in the coming days. And the question that wasn’t asked : Mister Chairman are you happy with Colin’s return of 12 points from 36 seen as you felt he was the man most capable of getting the most out of this set of players and taking us to the play offs and possible even the top two or is that filed away in the back of your brain under irrelevant.

Tuesday 17th of April 2012. Blackpool 1-0 Leeds United. Make that 12 points from 36 or 1.0 points per game. Report from YEP. Angel Martinez’s first goal for Blackpool handed Ian Holloway’s side a significant victory to sink a spirited Leeds United side that finished a man down after Darren O’Dea earned a second yellow card. Wing duo Matt Phillips and Tom Ince had Blackpool on the front foot during the first-half, but the Whites were a threat from set plays and on the counter attack. Robert Snodgrass and Luciano Becchio went close as Neil Warnock’s side grew into the game after the interval, but Martinez sent the majority of a sell-out crowd home happy. Leeds boss Neil Warnock went with the line-up that finished Saturday’s 4-1 win over Peterborough, meaning Paul Robinson and Danny Webber started in place of full-back Charlie Taylor and injured winger Robbie Rogers. Darren O’Dea headed over from Robinson’s cross when unmarked after Blackpool failed to clear a Leeds corner, but the hosts made most of the early running. In the 10th minute, Bloomfield Road burst into song and applause to commemorate the 10th anniversary of former manager Billy Ayre’s death, and Phillips almost provided a fitting tribute by darting in from the left and clipping a shot into the side netting. Ince then effortlessly spun Robinson on halfway before surging towards the area and planting a shot over, and then visiting goalkeeper Andy Lonergan rushed from his goal to thwart Gary Taylor-Fletcher. Shortly before the half hour, Ince collected a return pass from LuaLua and bundled through a clutch of challenge on the edge of the Leeds area to draw a fine save from Lonergan. The game flowed engagingly from end to end as half-time approached and after Phillips nodded beyond the bar from Taylor-Fletcher’s header across goal, Leeds top scorer Ross McCormack had a penalty claim waved away after he appeared to get the better of Crainey. In the 44th minute Lonergan saved from LuaLua’s free-kick after a meaty challenge from O’Dea on Taylor-Fletcher earned the Leeds defender a booking. A counter-attack was launched moments later and Webber cut in from the left to draw a sharp near-post stop from Matt Gilks. Some controlled possession from Leeds at the start of the second period failed to yield any clear cut chances and Lonergan was back in action after the hour, palming a LuaLua effort behind following some clever footwork from Ince. It was a relatively isolated moment of encouragement for the Seasiders, who were becoming increasingly ragged, and Snodgrass had Gilks at full-stretch from a 67th minute free kick before Becchio – on for the injured Billy Paynter – headed over from Adam Clayton’s searching cross. Blackpool substitute Nouha Dicko had Lonergan at full stretch in the 78th minute and he was soon involved in the winning goal. The on-loan Wigan forward engineered space on the right to cross towards Ince and, when his team-mate failed to get the ball under control, Martinez was on hand to stab home. Webber headed off target as Leeds sought an immediate response, but their quest for a point was compromised when O’Dea sent Dicko sprawling. Warnock : “I wish we were hard – I think the sending-offs have been quite pathetic, if I’m honest,” he said. “I can’t remember a good sending off among them. I think my missus could have been sent off for them lot, the ones that we’ve got sent off. “Apart from the young lad (Thompson) falling for the old one-two at Reading I think they’ve been stupid. Sometimes you get a sending-off when it (a tackle) is mis-timed or something like that, but it’s been stupid things since I’ve been at the club.” Holloway : “I’m absolutely delighted – I’m on top of the world. That was as tough a game as you’ll ever have, as tense a game as you’ll ever have and I thought Leeds came here and made it really difficult. Having said that I thought we should have won by more than the one goal we got”.  

Tuesday 17th of April 2012. Grayson – The facts vs Warnock. Larry has finally broken his silence and there is no dear doubt in the world that he received no real financial backing from Ken Bates or Shaun Harvey. Gradel and Howson were both sold and both were not replaced. Under Grayson Leeds United averaged 1.5 points per game (42 points from 28 games) and from teams below Leeds in the table, only Barnsley left with full points. Circa 2 points per game gets a team promoted. Under Neil Warnock Leeds have won 1.09 points per game or 12 points from a possible 33. Added to this we had easier games and it’s not difficult to see how United have totally underachieved under Neil Warnock. Under Warnock we gained 1 point from a possible 12 against Portsmouth (away) and Notts Forest, Derby County and Watford. This was pathetic. In a Championship were sides are doing their best not to get promoted, a mere 9 points from games against the four above (and three were at home) would have placed United in 5th place going into a game away to Blackpool. This to me is the most disappointing aspect of our season. It’s irrelevant if we “are not good enough to go up” because in the play offs, anything can happen. There is no doubt that Warnock will get his own players in and I have no doubt that he will receive greater financial backing from Bates. That said he would want to do a lot better with this money than Paul Robinson and Danny Webber, both of whom have contributed very little. So far the new emperor has talked a good game but delivered absolutely nothing when perhaps we really should be in the play offs, but then again what do I know.

Tuesday 17th of April 2012. Vital Leeds  Grayson breaks his silence Former Leeds United manager Simon Grayson has broken his silence two and a half months after leaving the club and said the lack of financial support was the major undoing of his side. Grayson had seen some of his main players leave Elland Road following the clubs promotion to the championship in the summer of 2010. Despite losing the clubs leading goalscorer for the three previous seasons Jermaine Beckford in that summer, Leeds finished a creditable seventh in their first season back in the second tier of English football. Grayson was sacked following the 4-1 home defeat to Birmingham at the end of January despite the club sitting just three points outside the play-off places and Grayson was disappointed with the timing of his dismissal with the position the club were in. Speaking on the BBC Late Kick covering Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, Grayson said,“It is part and parcel of football that you get the sack. I was disappointed at the time because we were in a good position. We was only three points outside the play offs and we were looking to get into the play offs over the remainder of the season.” Leeds chairman Ken Bates has continuously had his say since the departure of Grayson, blaming the size of the squad and the quality of the players Grayson brought into the squad. Grayson has been left disappointed with comments made since his departure and he feels he left the club in a much better position than when he took over in December 2008. “A few things have come out since I have left the football club that I wasn`t too happy about because I have kept my silence and my dignity. It is a fantastic football club and I will never regret the decision to join them. My staff and I left the club in a far better state than it was in when we walked in three years earlier,” added Grayson. Grayson lost further key members of his squad last summer and in the first six months of this season and Grayson says Leeds missed out on replacing players by a lack of investment. Grayson continued.“I would have done things differently had I been given the opportunity. We finished seventh the previous season and over achieved when we just missed out on the play offs. The summer came along, we wanted to invest to take us to the next level, and we didn`t manage to do that. We didn`t get the players that I would have liked to have brought into the squad to really have a go for it. “Results dictate eventually what happens but we weren`t in a bad position when we left. “I think when you get to a certain position you would like to think you can take the club to the next level. You look at Southampton and Reading, they looked like they are going to go up and they spent money in the summer. Jack Cork (Southampton) and Kaspars Gorkss (Reading) and these were players that we wanted to sign in the summer. There are big expectancy levels at Leeds and sometimes they are not matched elsewhere.” As well as losing Bradley Johnson and Neil Kilkenny to free transfers last summer Grayson also saw goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel sold to Leicester City, all three key players in Leeds first season back in the championship.The clubs player of the year Max Gradel was then sold to French side St Etienne before the transfer window closed in August and club captain Jonny Howson was sold to Norwich City in January.

April 16th. 2012. More players to leave. Leeds United manager Neil Warnock says he intends to release those players that are not part of his plans for next season sooner rather than later to give them the opportunity to sort out their own future. Warnock has promised a clear out of those players who are not part of his long-term plans and he started on Monday by terminating the contracts of Ben Parker and Mika Vayrynen who were both out of contract in the summer. Speaking on Yorkshire Radio, Warnock said, “There is going to be quite a lot of movement over the next few weeks and in the summer.”We might as well do things now, when I know they will not form part of my plans. It is going to be the same over the next few weeks. I am going to try to give everybody the opportunity to get themselves fixed up with another club if I am not going to keep them. I have always tried to do that.” The Leeds boss has a number of players out of contract in the summer including Maik Taylor and Lloyd Sam who are currently out on loan with Millwall and Notts County respectively. There are also a number of players with first team experience this season who are also coming to the end of their current deals at Elland Road. Aidy White, Michael Brown, Mikael Forssell, Danny Webber and Alex Bruce are out of contract whilst Darren O`Dea and Paul Robinson will come to the end of their loan deals. Young twins Nathan and Lewis Turner who have yet to feature in the first team for Leeds will also be out of contract after signing their first professional deals last summer.

April 16th. YEP – Good future for Lees. Neil Warnock is confident that Tom Lees can fight on two defensive fronts for Leeds United next season – at centre-half and right-back. he United boss is currently casting his eye over the young stopper’s capabilities on the right- hand side of the defence, having recently switched him from his preferred position in the heart of the back four – where he has played for the majority of this season. While Warnock feels Warwick-born Lees is by no means the finished article defensively, he insists he can become equally adept on both the right and in the centre if he listens, learns and continues with the upward curve he has shown this season, while becoming his Mr Versatile at the back. On Lees, 21, who has started 38 games this season in his first campaign as a fully-fledged Championship player, Warnock said: “You have got to have players who can play in two or three positions. And I think someone like Tom is adequate in both positions and can excel in both, if he puts his mind to it. “But it’s the least of my problems next season!” He added: “I think Tom is going to be a hell of a player over the next 10 years – I know that. “I hope he remembers things I’m telling him now; he might not always agree with me, but in years to come in his career, he’ll remember little tips I’ve given him over the last few months. No doubt next season, he’ll put them in place. “I’ve been like that wherever I’ve been (as manager) and I think a lot of defenders have learnt a lot of good habits.”

April 16th. Parker and Vayrynen to leave Leeds United today confirmed the contracts of both Ben Parker and Mika Vayrynen have been cancelled by mutual consent. The contracts of both players were due to expire in the summer but an early termination has been agreed. Parker, who made his debut against Macclesfield in the Carling Cup in 2007, is likely to remain at Thorp Arch until the end of the season to continue training with the squad. He has made a total of 47 starts for the Whites and seven substitute appearances. Vayrynen has started just three games and made nine appearances from the bench since being signed by Simon Grayson in September. A Leeds United spokesman said: “The club wishes both players every success for the future.”

April 15th. Players linked. Sky Sports understands Blackburn Rovers and Leeds are tracking highly-rated Macclesfield defender Tony Diagne. The 21-year-old left-back has been excellent this season but despite his performances the Silkmen look bound for relegation from the Football League. At 6ft 4in, the towering French-born youngster cuts an impressive figure and has the physique and ability that will see him thrive at a higher level. Rovers and Leeds have had the full-back watched on countless occasions this season, and would have been impressed by his four goals. Relegation will leave the Cheshire outfit vulnerable to bids for their leading players and they will find it very hard to turn down any offers for Diagne. The Mirror have reported Neil Warnock is targeting Portsmouth defender Jason Pearce for a reported £1.5 million bid in the summer as the Leeds United rebuilding work is already under way. Over the coming weeks we will publishing plenty of paper talk as the club will be hitting the gossip columns throughout thesummer. If you believe every story out there it appears the club will be QPR’s feeder club with many of Neil Warnock’s ex-players now on the fringes at Loftus Road. We’ve so far been linked with Paddy Kenny, Clint Hill and the former Leeds United duo of Shaun Derry and Rob Hulse. You may aswell chuck in QPR’s mascot and the tea lady while we are at it. At this stage it is difficult to really read anything into the Jason Pearce story. He has been a long reported target for promotion chasers West Ham and Reading for most of this year. With Portsmouth current financial position, they will see Pearce as a huge assist in helping the club reduce its reported fifty eight million pounds debt. If anything, Leeds United biggest signing this summer will be tying down club captain Robert Snodgrass. Snoddy has been offered a new deal as reported by the clubs official website and will spend the next few days muling over if he can fufill his dream of playing for Leeds United in the English Premier League.

April 15th. Snodgrass final offer .Leeds United chairman Ken Bates says the club have made their final offer to club captain Robert Snodgrass. Boss Neil Warnock revealed earlier this week that Leeds had offered the current club captain who is out of contract next summer a new deal and Bates says the offer is as far as they can go. Speaking on Yorkshire Radio, Bates said, “Snodgrass is a very gifted player and a leader. Ideally, Neil would like to build his team around him, both as a dynamic midfielder/winger and as a captain because he is good captain material. “We have made the offer and we think it is as far as we can go and we should have an answer sooner rather than later.” Snodgrass has made almost 200 appearances for Leeds since signing from Livingston in the summer of 2008. The Scottish international is already being linked with a number of Premier League clubs in the summer with Norwich City, West Brom, Wigan and Bolton leading the chase for the winger.

Paynter and Warnock

April 14th 2012. Report from Peterboro Telegraph. Leeds 4-1 Peterboro. 01 Lonergan 22 Lees 26 Bromby 31 Taylor (Robinson – 46′ ) 48 O’Dea 15 Clayton 16 Pugh 06 Rogers (Webber – 12′ ) 09 Paynter (Becchio – 90′ ) 23 Snodgrass 44 McCormack  Unused Subs : 04 Bruce 20 Nunez 10 25 Webber.  It was an afternoon to forget for Posh as they were outgunned by Leeds United at Elland Road. Goal-shy striker Billy Paynter finally found his scoring boots to help Leeds to a crushing come-from-behind win over Posh that earned Neil Warnock his first home victory as manager. The 27-year-old, signed from Swindon two years ago, had managed just one goal for the club prior to this afternoon and, when he was announced as one of five changes made by Warnock following defeat to Derby on Monday, his name was greeted with sarcastic cheers from fans who had grown tired of waiting for him to prove his worth. He answered them today, though, scoring twice as Warnock’s men replied to Joe Newell’s opener in some style, with Ross McCormack also grabbing a brace to take his tally for the season to 19. Paynter’s first and McCormack’s double came in a chaotic 180-second burst either side of the interval and killed off a Posh side who are still not mathematically safe from relegation and require a point to survive. Today was Paynter’s day, however, and after being handed a rare start ahead of Luciano Becchio, he set about proving to Warnock that he wants to remain in a squad that the veteran boss has repeatedly stated since his February arrival needs major surgery. He had a first-minute one-on-one saved and then had a second-minute header cleared off the line, while Robert Snodgrass was also denied under the bar as Leeds looked to have heeded Warnock’s post-Derby warning that one of his sides would never play so badly again. That quickly looked likely to be a false statement, though, as Posh got on top. George Boyd missed two presentable chances, one after Andy Lonergan came for and missed a cross, the other after teenage defender Charlie Taylor slipped and lost possession. Leigh Bromby’s deflected header then clipped Peterborough’s bar, but Leeds looked shaky at the back and, after another Taylor error, the visitors took the lead when Newell robbed him of possession in the 37th minute and tucked under Lonergan from an acute angle. Boyd should have made it two seconds later but could not adjust his feet after the home keeper shelled Paul Taylor’s shot, meaning that when Paynter scored from a yard in first-half injury time after Paul Jones dropped a Snodgrass shot, it brought Leeds level rather than giving them a lifeline. If Peterborough were stunned by the goal then they were even more shellshocked after the break as McCormack’s quickfire double put them out of sight. First, his weak back-post volley after a Paynter flick somehow bobbled over the top of Jones and then, as Peterborough poured forward, Snodgrass, Danny Webber and Adam Clayton picked them apart to give the Scot a two-yard tap-in. The game was over as a contest now and Leeds probed for chances seemingly at will, with Paynter taking one with 17 minutes left. Tom Lees’ cross found its way to him at the back post and his clinical 12-yard finish belied a man who only 40 minutes previous had scored his maiden home goal for the club. He could and should have had a hat-trick after that, blazing wide when played in by Webber, before Warnock afforded him a standing ovation when he withdrew him with seconds remaining. Interview with Neil Warnock on LUTV (after game). (A smiling manager after his first home win). “I’m pleased.  It’s like pulling teeth out at the moment. We’ve been close. You really don’t know what you get, and that’s the Championship. But we have to build over the next few months. I’ll not be fooled by just one game, because we’re so inconsistent. We had a bit of luck with the goal. To get the goal at half time was quite a plus for us. It was calamitous defending by P’oro. I made my feelings known at half time. Do we come in absolutely desolate with faces on the floor like Derby, Notts Forest and others are do we come in with pride like Soton, M’bro  and WHU ? And they responded to that. They (P’boro) made an awful lot of mistakes . (Re changes) – Billy has been very good all week. You know me I’m a big Becchio fan.  Becks had done a lot of running at Reading and he looked drained. Billy and Rogers have been ever so sharp in training and Charile also, so I told all three they would play. I was disappointed with the goal.  (Re Taylor) I’m sure he won’t do it again. He needs to learn from that and he will.  We will loan him out next season but he is a great prospect and he will learn from the physical side of things.  (Re Billy and plans) Fancy asking me that.  – I haven’t got a clue re next season and Billy. I just want to have a good look. He’s been excellent in training this week.  I’ll look to the future. You can’t say yes or no at the moment. We just have to play it by ear. It’s only one result and you can’t get carried away. (Re Ross McCormack that’s 18 goals now this season)  I thought about Ross all last  night when I saw Le Fondre (for Reading) at West Ham and I see him playing an important part next season whether he’ll start next season or not we’ll see. He never worked as hard in his life.  I though we started well but how we missed those chances I’ll never know. (Re Bpool) – Well I‘m just going to enjoy tonight and have a drink. That comes with come with being a Leeds manager and all three games have gotten something riding on them which is good. They’re all looking forward to the play offs.”    Darren Ferguson : “The first goal for Leeds changed the game. “We could have been more than 1-0 up and were causing them all sorts of problems. But a crazy five minutes killed us. Some of our defending was comical. “We’re making it hard for ourselves, we’re faltering at the death. We wanted to end with momentum, which might not seem important at the moment but it will next season.” For Dundalk fans, number 21 Daniel Kearns was an unused substitute.

April 14th. O’Brien, Robinson and Connolly latest (YEP) Leeds United defender Andy O’Brien is unlikely to play again this season as he recovers from the hamstring strain which denied him a first appearance under manager Neil Warnock. O’Brien has resumed full training with Leeds’ senior squad at Thorp Arch but Warnock is not expecting him to make another appearance before the club begin a major summer overhaul of the squad at Elland Road. The 32-year-old was pencilled in to play in United’s Championship match against Reading on Good Friday, potentially his first start in over five months, but an injury sustained in the lead-up to the game prevented his selection at the Madejski Stadium. O’Brien looks set to finish this season with only six appearances to his name after a year in which his involvement has been restricted by personal problems and fitness concerns. He spent three months away from Elland Road while undergoing treatment for depression and he last turned out in United’s 2-1 defeat to Coventry City on February 14, the final game before Warnock’s appointment as manager. The Leeds boss planned to use the closing stages of the term to make assessments of every player currently available to him but O’Brien is set to miss their remaining matches ahead of a sweeping reshuffle planned by Warnock during the close season. O’Brien has a year to run on the contract he signed upon joining Leeds from Bolton Wanderers in January 2011, and Warnock is still to reveal which members of his existing squad will be surplus to requirements for the 2012-13 term. The Leeds boss said: “O’Brien’s training fully but I don’t know whether he’ll play again this season.” Warnock’s resources in his short time as manager have been limited by a spate of injuries and suspensions, and O’Brien was lined up for a recall at Reading with Darren O’Dea and Paul Connolly both serving bans. Leeds moved to cover themselves for the final fortnight of the Championship season this week by extending Paul Robinson’s loan from Bolton, keeping him at Elland Road until the end of the campaign. The experienced full-back played seven times for United during his initial loan spell and he originally arrived at Elland Road with a view to a permanent deal. Robinson’s contract at Bolton expires this summer, leaving him free to look for a new club. He has no future under Wanderers manager Owen Coyle and recently expressed his desire to move on. But Warnock warned the 33-year-old that he was unlikely to feature in all of Leeds’ final four fixtures, beginning with today’s clash with Peterborough United at Elland Road. The United boss remains keen to analyse other options at left-back, a position where Ben Parker and youngster Charlie Taylor have both played in the past. Taylor made his senior debut for Leeds earlier this season and he was included among Warnock’s substitutes at Reading with the 63-year-old battling a chronic shortage of players. Warnock said: “Paul’s not necessarily going to play in every game. I’ve spoken to him about that. “He wanted to stay until the end of the season but I explained that I might be playing other people at times. He’s quite happy with that.”

April 14. Vital Football – White has had his offer. Leeds United chairman Ken Bates is hoping that the new contract offered to Aidan White will be accepted believing they have made the youngster a very good offer. White had been a regular in the Leeds side this season until his recent ankle injury ruled him out for the remainder of the season and Bates feels the contract offered to White is a good one considering his limited experience at this level. Speaking on Yorkshire Radio, Bates said, “Aidy has had his offer and we hope that he will sign because we think we have made him a very good offer to him seeing as he as only played 30 odd championship matches.” Bates is hopeful that they will know soon one way or the other regarding the future of White and is happy if White does not sign a new deal they will receive compensation because of the players age. “We are hopeful that it will be put to bed, but on the other hand if he doesn`t accept it we will get compensation because he is under 24,” added Bates. The 20 year old has come through the clubs academy system and is out of contract in the summer. Leeds boss Neil Warnock said in the week that he is set to sit down with White, his father and the player`s representative on Monday to discuss the offer made to the versatile youngster.”

April 14th. Rogers latest. Leeds United boss Neil Warnock said Robbie Rogers was unlucky after lasting just twelve minutes in his first start for the club. The winger was forced off after making a bright start to the game and he left the ground on crutches after suffering an ankle injury. Warnock says the player will go for an x-ray on Monday and they are not sure to the extent of the injury at this stage. Speaking on LUTV Warnock said “We don`t know what the problem is at the moment. We are going to send him for an x-ray on Monday.”He is unlucky, in my first home game he was injured after a few minutes and he cannot get a run in the team. He had done really well in training, he looked sharp and I wanted to see him in a match situation, so he is very unlucky.” Rogers has suffered a stuttering start to his Leeds career after signing for the club in January. He made his debut against Doncaster Rovers towards the end of February as a late substitute but he lasted just a few minutes after being knocked out following a clash of heads. He had to wait until the two games over Easter against Reading and Derby County for his next appearances as a brief substitute and the game with Peterborough was to be his first chance to show his capabilities in a Leeds shirt. With just three games remaining this season, the American international looks a major doubt for the final two weeks of the season.

April 13th. Colin on his talks with Norman. Leeds United manager Neil Warnock has given the clearest hint yet that he will lead the club into next season after a week of productive talks with chairman Ken Bates. Warnock admitted to harbouring doubts about United’s future prospects in the Championship ahead of a number of scheduled meetings with Bates, but the 63-year-old said he “felt like taking the challenge on” following fresh discussions about his plans for the summer. He and United’s owner spoke several times this week to review the club’s transfer budget and strategy for a close season when Warnock wants to see “major surgery” and “drastic action” taken on the squad at the Elland Road. Warnock is nearing the end of the first stage of his contract with Leeds – a deal which runs until the summer of 2013 but includes a clause allowing him to leave the club when this season ends – and he warned again that he had no desire to coach a mid-table team in a year when he hopes to seal a record eighth promotion as a domestic manager. Leeds hold 14th place in the Championship heading into tomorrow’s game against Peterborough United, one of four remaining matches, and his meetings between Bates came on the back of a 2-0 loss to Derby County – United’s 10th home defeat of the campaign. Warnock, who insisted upon his arrival in February that the job at Elland Road would be his last in management, said: “Before I spoke to the chairman I possibly did have doubts about next season. I said when I first came here that I didn’t want to be around mid-table. Next season’s a big season for me. “I don’t want to work many more years and if I felt we couldn’t get up there then it would be pointless picking up my money just to put a team out. I’ve never been like that. “The chairman knows how desperate I am – and you can use that word because I am desperate – to bring the players in who can give me the success I want. The incentive for me is a record eight promotions. “I was very pleased with his reaction and I’ve spoken to him numerous times this week. But how I feel at the moment is irrespective of anything. I just feel like taking the challenge on. “If the supporters had been negative towards me or if I thought they didn’t believe in me then it would be easy to walk away at the end of this season. But I’m probably the best man for the job that needs to be done at Leeds. And it’ll be as tough as job as I’ve ever had. “I do feel that I want to put a team together for next season and give it a go. I don’t want people to see me as having a team who are playing out games. I want to have a team who have something to play for. “The challenge is there, I know what I need and I’ve told the chairman what I need. He’s trying as hard as he can to give me what I require to make us successful. I’ll know more in the next few weeks because things are happening behind the scenes all the time.” Bates’ willingness to offer a new contract to club captain Robert Snodgrass was a positive start in Warnock’s eyes. The offer would make the Scotland international the highest earner at Elland Road and would, if accepted, counter the threat of him leaving Leeds this summer. With 12 months left on his existing deal, it not yet certain whether Warnock will have Snodgrass available when the new season starts on August 18. At an official club function on Tuesday night, Snodgrass was reported to have questioned United’s wisdom in selling former club captain Jonathan Howson to Norwich City in January without signing a suitable replacement. Warnock, too, has looked for signs of Leeds’ ambition in his talks with Bates and chief executive Shaun Harvey, asking them to secure key players whose contracts are running down and make funds available to recruit his chosen transfer targets. Warnock remains hopeful of securing his first signing on May 1, three days after the season finishes. “I was very pleased with the reaction of the chairman,” he said. “He listened to what I said and he’s got his own ideas. “But money’s not everything with players. Some of them just want to see the ambition the club’s got. I think Rob (Snodgrass) made that clear in some of his comments this week.  “It’s also about getting the right players with the right attitude, and players who can play for Leeds. This isn’t a normal club. You need a certain type of mentality to play here. “I’ve already told the chairman of three or four players who I’m looking at and I’m speaking to agents regularly. We need to get cracking as soon as the season ends and that’s why I want to get the first one in almost immediately. I hope that’s almost done. I won’t know for sure until the day it’s agreed but I’m optimistic. “We’ve gone through a list of players who are at the club already, giving ticks and minus and the chairman realises where I am. He knows what I’m thinking.” Warnock, who revealed that his intended signing was not a player who had played under him before, admitted after Leeds’ defeat to Derby that certain members of his team were being affected by the realisation that they were likely to be deemed surplus to requirements this summer. “I don’t think players are daft,” he said. “If I’ve got to change things around then I’ll need people to go and make more wages available. It’s not rocket science.” United’s manager promised changes to his line-up against Peterborough tomorrow, looking once again to make a decision on the handful of players who are still to be deemed either valuable or expendable. Michael Brown begins a three-match ban this weekend but Adam Clayton is available after completing a suspension of his own. Leeds are one loss away from recording their worst ever home record in a single league season but Warnock said: “I’ve got to think longer-term now. The home form will change once we sort the team out. “My back’s broad and we aren’t playing well but for all the negativity, I’ve been surprised by how much support I’ve been given. The fans have taken on board the fact that drastic action is needed. I still want to see three or four lads start a game, and Peterborough’s the one game of the four we’ve got left where the other club aren’t going for promotion. “I’ve got to be careful against the other sides with the teams I put out but there’ll be two or three changes tomorrow. I can’t still be wondering about these players in two weeks’ time.”

April 13th. Lorimer the Bates mouthpiece from YEP – UNITED club captain Robert Snodgrass was on the Lorimer’s Bar panel at Elland Road this week and it didn’t take long for the subject of his future to come up. There are two sides to this situation – what Leeds United want to do and what Snodgrass himself wants to do. The club have made it clear they don’t intend to lose him and have offered him a new deal which would make him the highest paid player at the club. And in my opinion it’s in his best interests to stay at Elland Road for at least another year. We’ve got big plans for next season, plans which we believe will get us into the Premier League. It should already be clear to Snodgrass that he’s a very big part of Neil Warnock’s plans and my advice to him would be to stick around and win promotion with us. I’m a huge admirer of Snodgrass. he’s a natural player in the mould of Scottish lads from yesteryear – able to do his own thing and do it in a way which inspires the whole team. He’s been our best player by a mile this season and he’s our club captain. There’s an awful lot going for him here. If he needs convincing of that then you can understand why. We’ve had a disappointing season and a footballer as talented as him doesn’t want to waste years of his career. But we’ve a new manager and a manager with a knack of winning promotion. And by the start of next season I’m sure we’ll have a squad with more ability and potential than we have at present. No doubt Snodgrass will want assurances about the plans for the summer and the plans for the year ahead. He’s entitled to know that our ambition matches his. But as a club we showed our intentions by bringing Neil to Elland Road after sacking Simon Grayson. We wanted a manager who could take us up and we’ve got arguably the most proven boss available. We’re going to be serious contenders next season, of that I’m convinced and Snodgrass would get what he’s looking for by sitting tight, signing his new deal and giving it a go under Neil’s management. Snodgrass has been excellent ever since we first signed him and he doesn’t owe us anything, but we were the club that gave him his opportunity down south and you’d like to think that he’d be willing to give Leeds another chance. It hasn’t worked out this time around and no-one at the club is happy about that and he won’t be either. But he can see how highly we value him, how much we want him to stay and how much the supporters love him. I get the feeling that deep down he’d prefer to stay. He’s got age on his side and it’s not like we’ll be going into next season with just half-a-chance of going up. The plan is to go into next season with every chance of going up and I really hope Snodgrass will be part of that. What a load of bo***x. Look at it from Snodgrass’s perspective. He had been told that Leeds United were serious about promotion this season. Their lack of spending confirmed this. He has seen his previous captain sold, his previous goalkeeper sold and his previous top goal scorer sold. Has Bates suddenly endured some divine inspiration ?  He would also recognise that if he signs a longer contract at Leeds, there is nothing to prevent him from being sold also. If I were Snodgrass I would adopt a wait and see policy and just sit tight.

12th of April. Colin and Norman. Leeds United boss Neil Warnock says he is expecting one of his busiest ever summers in the transfer market as he looks to build a side capable of challenging for promotion next season. Warnock feels that he now knows who will be staying and going in the summer and he is already in discussions with agents about possible new signings for next season. Speaking on Yorkshire Radio, Warnock said “I think on most decisions what I have to make in my own mind I am made up. I am already going down the line of talking to agents and other people regarding recruitment.” Leeds United chairman Ken Bates has been in the country this week and Warnock has been in discussions regarding next season and he believes he is going to get the support required financially. Warnock also knows he will have to play his part by trimming the squad to free up wages. “I have had long chats with the chairman this week and we have to start as soon as the season ends because we do need quite a few players. I think he is going to be very supportive in that respect. He knows how I am and he is going to try as much as he can to get me the finance etc. At the same time, players will be leaving so we will lose people off the wage bill. It is going to be something we do together. He is going to try to find me the finance that I want to get us up at the top end of the table and they are working very hard behind the scenes to get the finance,” continued Warnock. Warnock is wanting to start his clear-out and rebuilding as soon as the season ends and admits he is in for a very busy summer, when he added, “I think it is going to be amongst the busiest summers I have ever had at a football club. I think it is on a par with when I took over at Crystal Palace when we had to change the squad dramatically. We still need a squad of twenty-one players. There are players in contract that I will try to move on or want to move on. There are always some players that will get back into the reckoning but I think the club needs new blood and it needs a certain type of player to come in and the sooner we can get to the end of the season the better.” As well as bringing in new players, Warnock is already in discussions with the players he wants to remain at Elland Road who will be out of contract by next summer. Warnock has already offered young defender Aidan White a new deal and he plans to talk to the versatile player again at the start of next week. He has spoken to captain Robert Snodgrass about a new deal to keep him at the club with the sort after winger out of contract in the summer of 2013. Warnock is expected to start negotiations with this seasons leading goalscorer Ross McCormack and key midfielder Adam Clayton over the next few weeks, with the pair also out of contract next summer. Defender Darren O`Dea is also high on Warnock`s list of players to keep with the Republic of Ireland international on loan with Leeds from Glasgow Celtic until the end of the season.

12th of April. Colin on White .Leeds United boss Neil Warnock is continuing his plans for next season by holding further talks with Aidy White next week. The young defender who came through the clubs academy system is out of contract in the summer and Warnock expects to sit down with White on Monday. Speaking on Yorkshire Radio, Warnock said, “I have spoken to Aidy about it and I will be speaking to his father and a liaison next week regarding his contract. It will probably be Monday, before we go into the Blackpool game on Tuesday.” Warnock has already revealed that he has offered Captain Robert Snodgrass a new deal and plans sit down with leading goalscorer Ross McCormack and midfielder Adam Clayton in the near future. “I wanted to get on with Snodgrass and Aidy first. I have spoken to McCormack and Clayton but I do not think we have actually got down to it at the moment but I will do,” added Warnock. Both McCormack and Clayton are contracted to Leeds until the summer of 2013 and Warnock will be keen to extend their deals has he looks to build a squad capable of winning promotion next season.

April 12th. Colin “not a clue when O’Brien will return”. Neil Warnock says he does not have a clue when defender Andy O`Brien will be back in the squad. O`Brien was all set to make his first start for Warnock in the Good Friday game at Reading before pulling out with a hamstring injury in the week leading up to the game and Warnock says he is not sure if he will be able to return this season. Speaking on Yorkshire Radio, Warnock said, “He was going to play against Reading but he pulled out with a hamstring injury. It was actually a scar tissue injury and he is never going to run without feeling something in that area. I haven`t got a clue at the moment how long Andy will be out for and whether he will be able to play a game before the end of the season.” O`Brien has made just one brief substitute appearance at Coventry City in February since refusing to play for the club following the win at Leicester City in November with the player reportedly suffering from depression. The veteran defender only returned to training with the club at the end of January and Warnock said that the player was a long way short of full fitness following his appointment at the end of February. O`Brien is contracted at Elland Road until the summer of 2013 having signed for the club in January 2011 after a successful loan spell from Bolton Wanderers.

April 12th. Ramon Nunez update – YEP. IF circumstances truly conspired against one Leeds United player on Bank Holiday Monday, it was most definitely Ramon Nunez. Handed a precious opportunity to showcase his wares in his first start under boss Neil Warnock, the Honduran international was entitled to look to the heavens and curse following Michael Brown’s 25th-minute dismissal in the 2-0 loss to Derby County. The veteran’s red mist had the knock-on effect of clipping the wings of the attacking midfielder, initially handed a licence to roam in a “free” role behind Luciano Becchio in a fluid 4-2-3-1 formation. fter that moment, it was all about digging in for the team and doing the hard extra yards defensively to help to compensate for the loss of a team mate. Nunez is the first to admit that the defensive abilities – and the side of his game without the ball –- are a work in progress and don’t come naturally to him. But while Warnock will have chiefly been wanting to scrutinise his offensive skills when handing him his first Championship starting appearance since New Year’s Day against the Rams, maybe – just maybe –- he learned a bit more about Nunez by seeing that he does possess a bit of an “ugly side” and isn’t purely a luxury player.After the game, Warnock admitted to being pleased with the commitment of Nunez, while accepting that the circumstances of the game nullified his potential attacking impact. And the United boss is set to have another look at him in the home clash with Peterborough United on Saturday, hopefully alongside a full quota of players. Nunez, who put in a shift for the team cause in just his sixth league start of the campaign, said: “Working defensively is something every player needs to do. It doesn’t come natural to me and I’m learning day by day to do a better job at it. “Hopefully I can keep playing and we can maintain 11 men on the field. That definitely would have made a difference for me and for the team (on Monday). “My role changed a lot in the game on Monday and I had to do a little bit more on the defensive side and sacrifice the offensive part a bit, which is my game really. “I think it’s always going to be frustrating for any player when you are waiting for an opportunity and working hard and then things in a game go against you. But I was thankful for my opportunity, although, unfortunately, it wasn’t the best of scenarios. “I was willing to do it for the team, but unfortunately, we weren’t able to get a good result. However, I’ll keep positive and keep working hard.” This time last year, Nunez was cutting a dash in an impressive loan spell at Championship strugglers Scunthorpe United which saw him start and score two goals and endear himself to everyone at Glanford Park. While it failed to stop the Iron from ultimately dropping into League One, his progress was noted back at Elland Road with hopes high that he could follow in the footsteps of Davide Somma and turn a productive loan stint firmly to his advantage in the following campaign by bursting on to the first-team scene – as Somma managed after a sparking spell at Lincoln City at the back end of 2009-10. hat has happened to Adam Clayton, who after temporary spells at Peterborough and MK Dons last season, has kicked on impressively in 2011-12 and proved a success story. ut aside from a few flashes here and there, Nunez’s season – despite being handed the fillip of a new four-year deal in the autumn by ex-boss Simon Grayson – has failed to hit the fast lane, with the fact that he has only started back-to-back league games twice so far this term telling its own story. With nothing tangible now riding on United’s campaign, Nunez is pinning his hopes on Warnock handing him an extended chance to propel himself into his plans for 2012-13. Tipped to start against Posh on Saturday, this weekend – all things considered – could be a big one in terms of Nunez’s United future. Warnock is expected to wield the axe and rip up United’s squad at the end of the season, with the smart money being on the playing roster next term looking nothing like it does now. Players, regardless of whether they are out of contract this summer or not, are battling for their futures, with the stakes high for the likes of Nunez, who is adamant that his best days are yet to come at United. The 26-year-old said: “I definitely feel I’ve a lot more to offer. I’ve just been wanting a run of five games at least just to show what I can do and I haven’t had that chance this year. “Maybe in the last four games, I can prove that I can be in the team week-in, week-out. “The manager hasn’t really said much. He just said he wanted to take a look at me (against Derby) and I just have to do my bit. “I have three more years here and hopefully I’m looking to stay all three years and help to get the club promoted. “The last few games are going to be important for me. I wouldn’t say it’s desperate and I’ll just take things game by game, but hopefully, I can raise my level and end the season on a positive note. “It’s a division which is very physical and you don’t play as much football as I’ve been used to at my other teams prior to coming here. “It’s something you have to get used to; I decided to come here for a reason and I want to show my worth.” On Nunez’s display against Derby, Warnock said: “The lad’s not fit enough because he hasn’t played but he tried his hardest (on Monday). “It was difficult to do that (free) role with only 10 men, but I thought that he showed promise here and there. “Hopefully, he will play on Saturday and we might give him an opportunity with a full team to see what he can do.”

12th of April 2012. Home Truths by Dominuc Matteo – YEP. Leeds’ home form simply hasn’t been good enough and it’s something I’ve spoken about all year. They have been alright on the road. Not great, but have picked up results. But it’s been their home form which has let them down and we all know that. At the end of the day, when you are playing at home, you should be relishing it. It’s your territory. But teams have come to Elland Road all season and enjoyed it too much and have had an easy ride. We haven’t been tight enough and not enough tackles have been going in and teams have come in and had plenty of time on the ball and been able to pass it around on a nice big pitch in front of a decent crowd. It shouldn’t be like that. Elland Road should be a place where it should always been a really tough game. You used to get kicked off the field here! I always go back to my Stoke days under Tony Pulis. We weren’t a great team to watch, but I’ll tell you what, we were effective and no-one liked coming to the Britannia – and it’s still the case to this day. It’s a lot of teams’ hardest game of the season and I will bet that no team likes going there. You know you are up against a big, physical side who are going to compete for every ball and be honest. That’s the one thing Leeds have lacked. They have a few good players, but they have just lacked that bit of honesty and endeavour from the players. I just think there’s players who just can’t play at Elland Road; there’s too many of them. I know Neil Warnock has said that 75 per cent of the squad needs major surgery and I think he’s right. It needs to be done from the bottom up. Hopefully, he’ll get the money available to make them happen. Those words he said to Nigel Clough after Monday’s latest home defeat that he will never face a Leeds side like this while I’m in charge again ring very true. It’s just not been good enough. The Leeds fans are an honest bunch and if you gave your all and give total commitment, they will stand by you. You only had to see that in the Southampton game, where even though we got beat, it felt like a win. I don’t think we’ve seen that enough this season.  I notice there’s been a lot in the news this week about managers losing faith with referees following some controversial decisions and I know Neil has spoken about his belief that ex-pros should get involved in the training of referees. The problem for me is lack of consistency. I felt so sorry for Wigan at Chelsea on Saturday, they are really struggling in a relegation battle and then two terrible offside decisions go against them. The decisions just seem to go for the big teams. For me though as an ex-pro, I wouldn’t want to go into refereeing. It’s not a nice job and no-one wants to do it. I think the players have to try and help as well; all you seem to see now are players shouting and swearing at refs all the time. Admittedly, I was as guilty as anyone at doing it when I played! But I still feel the relationship between players and refs isn’t what it used to be. When I started playing in the mid-90s, you had a good rapport with referees. Nowadays, it’s more like the referees’ show and they seem to want to be bigger celebrities than the players. That shouldn’t be the case, referees should get through a game without being noticed, in my opinion. On all these radio phone-ins on Monday mornings, it’s all about referees. I don’t want to talk about referees, but the football, what has happened in the game, who has played well and who hasn’t. Not the referee.

Thursday 12th of April 2012. New deal for Snodgrass. Leeds United have offered captain Robert Snodgrass a new contract giving the midfielder the chance to become the club’s highest paid player. The 24-year-old’s current deal is to expire at the end of next season, with the West Yorkshire side keen to retain their star man. Manager Neil Warnock has revealed that Snodgrass will stay as captain for next season and believes he could be the catalyst for winning promotion to the Premier League. He told the club’s official website: “We’ve offered him a top contract that will make him the highest paid player at the club. “I want him to be our captain next year and I’ve asked him to give us a year to get Leeds United into the Premier League and if we don’t get there at the end of next season, I’ll get him there myself because I’ll help him and let him go. “It would be a massive step forward for Rob for him to nail his colours to the mast. I think he loves the club and has a lot of loyalty, and as captain I think he will support us in what we are trying to do.” Leeds have also revealed that Aidy White will be offered new terms and they are still in negotiations with Ross McCormack and Adam Clayton. Meanwhile, Snodgrass has admitted that it has not been easy to cope with losing a vast amount of home games this season. They have now been beaten 10 times at Elland Road, including a 5-0 loss to Blackpool and a 7-3 reverse against Nottingham Forest. But the Scotland international is determined to change his side’s fortunes and wants the fans to be optimistic heading into the new season. He said: “It’s always difficult because at Elland Road you’re usually talking about winning games, but it hasn’t been that way this season. “Hopefully we can put that right over the last two games against Leicester and Peterborough and give the fans something to shout about. But until that’s done we can’t put our finger on what hasn’t gone right. “There’s massive frustration. We’ve had a massive chance (of the play-offs) and we haven’t taken them. “(Warnock) is confident because he knows the Championship and he knows the players he can bring in to take us to the next level. “I’ve spoken to him and all he is talking about is how we shouldn’t be in this position because of some of the performances. He knows there’s positive signs and with his ambition and drive he could take us to the next level. “Of course everyone wants to be a part of it because Leeds is the place to be and getting this club back to the Premier League would mean something special.” This is a very interesting development. If Snods is tempted to stay he will surely look for proof of the players Warnock is trying to lure to Elland Road.

Weds 11th of April 2012. Challenges ahead. There is no doubt that Neil Warnock will have his work cut out this Summer to retain the players he wants by convincing them of the club’s ambition for promotion to the Premiership. Robert Snodgrass has already delcared his discontent with Leeds United’s policy this season. Instead of building on last season’s 7th plasce, United sold their top goal scorer and captain, Max Gradel and Jonny Howson. A Euro will get you a hundred Euro that our current captain, Robert Snodgrass will leave for Premiership pastures this Summer. And who could blame him ? Beckford left for Everton, Johnson and Howson left for Norwich and Max Gradel left for Saint Etienne. Maybe Leeds are missing Bradley Johnson more than they expected this season, and we all knew that Gradel and Howson would cut the mustard at a higher level. Irrespective of one’s feelings on Grayson’s departure, there is no doubt that Neil Warnock has found the job at Leeds a lot tougher than he expected. Terry McQuaid raised a very good point last night. Maybe he is missing  Keith Curle as his assistant manager. Curle chose to enter management with Notts County. Coincidentally Curle coaxed a hat-trick out of Lloyd Sam a couple of days ago. Robert Snodgrass is obviously frustrated at the direction from the top at Elland Road despite the spin out of Bates or Lorimer. This is what he had to say : “Last season I had offers of Premiership football, the manager told me stuff, but I didn’t see much of it – whether that was him or the chairman.“As a footballer everything here is first class, I love where I live, the only thing missing is the Premier League”. “We’re missing Howson. Weird that we never replaced him. How can you say you’re aiming for promotion and then sell your captain?” This is the thinly disguised statement that means : “I’m out of here in the Summer and who can blame me “! All is not well at Elland Road. I really hope Neil Warnock receives the backing he deserves. It looks like Robinson and O’Dea will be staying and Pugh wants to stay also. Will Clayton and McCormack jump ship ? If Warnock doesn’t get the backing he feels he deserved, he will be out of there in a heart beat. I hear all this talk of a squad too large at Elland Road and yet “we are short of bodies with the injuries and suspensions we have”. Which is it ? Warnock hasn’t done his stuff yet. He has disappointed hugely so far but can justify to a point that it’s not his side yet. But having held his hands up for the Forest capitulation due to fatigue why then play a guy in the middle of the park in his late thirties a few days after playing 90 minutes at Reading one player short ? Robert Snodgrass is sure to generate a fee of £6M upwards. That’s not a bad start for three quality players in the Championship. Once again it is going to be an interesting Summer at Leeds.

Ken Bates “We have 18 games to go this season and are still within touching distance of the play-offs, but felt with the transfer window now closed we needed to make the change at this time in the belief that a new managerial team will be able to get more out of the existing squad of players and make the difference. Simon and his staff have given the club over three good years service and we would like to place on record our thanks and wish them all the best for the future.” Leeds now lie in 14th position in the Championship equidistant from the top (Soton) and the bottom (Doncaster) both 25 points apart. On Tuesday Jan 31st United were 3 points off third placed Blackpool and 11 points off first placed West Ham. United were also 20 points ahead of last placed Coventry City. Today Leeds are 8 points off the play offs and have lost five of the ten games that Neil Warnock has been in charge. His defence so far is that it’s not his team, but if the league were to run ato another ten games instead of four, one would have serious doubts about Leeds remaining in the Champioship. Many will be following transfer activity like  hawks during the next three to four months to see if Leeds can attract and are willing to spend to capture “Leeds United” players. Others will have noted in Norwich City’s 2-1 win at White Hart Lane that the mainstay of their midfield were none other than Bradley Johnson and Jonny Howson. Still think it was good business selling Howson and not throwing Johsnon another few grand a week, Mr Lorimer ?

By Phil Hay Published on Monday 10 April 2012 08:15 The fate of the majority of Leeds United’s players will become clearer this week when Neil Warnock and Ken Bates sit down to discuss contracts, transfer funds and the plan of attack for next season. United’s manager and chairman are preparing to assess the entire squad at Elland Road ahead of a summer in which Warnock expects “drastic action” to be taken on a team who look destined to finish outside the Championship’s play-offs. Bates flew into England from Monaco to attend this afternoon’s game against Derby County, and a pre-planned meeting between him and Warnock will take place prior to Saturday’s clash with Peterborough United. The pair are to broach the subject of formal contract offers to key players with dwindling deals at Elland Road – an offer for Aidan White has already been finalised and is expected to reach the 20-year-old this week – and Warnock’s budget for the close-season will also be on the agenda after his warning that “major surgery” was necessary to make promotion from the Championship possible. They will also determine the future of a large group of players who are out of contract in the summer or who have longer deals but might be deemed surplus to requirements by Warnock. The list of professionals who will become free agents on July 1 includes Danny Webber, Ben Parker, Mika Vayrynen, Michael Brown, Mikael Forssell and Alex Bruce. Vayrynen, Brown, Forssell and Bruce signed contracts which included options to keep them at Elland Road for the 2012-13 but it is not yet clear if Leeds intend to retain any of them. Vayrynen is presently injured and has not played under Warnock, and Forssell has been restricted to substitute appearances. Despite his more regular involvement, 35-year-old Brown – once an integral member of Warnock’s Sheffield United team – revealed that he is still to be approached by Leeds about the possibility of renewing his deal. Warnock has so far prioritised contract offers to White, Robert Snodgrass, Ross McCormack, Adam Clayton and on-loan Celtic defender Darren O’Dea, who plans to part company with his parent club when the season finishes. Snodgrass, McCormack and Clayton are tied to Leeds for a further 12 months, and Snodgrass’ position is the subject of most attention amid expectation of bids for him from Premier League teams. Norwich City tried and failed to prise him away from Elland Road last year, on the back of their promotion from the Championship. His situation is likely to be assessed at this week’s meeting, along with the important matter of the transfer budget which Warnock’s hopes to receive for his first full year as manager. He reiterated the need for substantial investment after last Saturday’s 2-0 loss to Watford but said his meeting with Bates had been scheduled for some time, rather than in response to that disappointing result. Warnock said: “There’s nothing to read into it. It’s just that the chairman’s across this week and it’s better to talk across the table. “I’ve already had a meeting with (chief executive) Shaun Harvey, discussing what I need. “There’s nothing untoward about it but I’d rather we talked when we’re together, not on the telephone. It’s easier that way. “We’d always planned to talk after the Derby County game so people shouldn’t surmise anything. “We decided to get together at this stage because with four games to go we’ll have a clear idea of what needs to be done. “We need a number of players and I think the average fan who’s watched us all season will agree that there’s drastic action needed to some extent. “There are quite a few players out of contract and that’s why we’re getting together – to discuss everybody, people under contract and people who aren’t.” Warnock revealed last week that he was already in the final throes of finalising his first summer signing, with a deal likely to be agreed and completed on May 1. The speed of that proposed deal is an indication of the 63-year-old’s plan to be proactive in the transfer market and piece his squad together before pre-season training starts in early July. He remarked recently that he would attempt to avoid scrambled deals in August with the new term virtually upon him. The 2012-13 season is scheduled to begin on August 18 – delayed due to London’s staging of the Olympic Games. Warnock has not confirmed the identity of his signing-in-waiting but he admitted that he was keen to reach the end of the season and start the rebuilding of his squad in earnest. “It can’t come quick enough,” he said. “We’re close to one (signing) and if we can tie that up it’ll be a good start.” Bates is likely to be receptive to Warnock’s call for changes after describing Leeds’ defeat to Watford as “not acceptable” but he indicated that the size of the senior squad at Elland Road would be reduced next season. United’s chairman voiced further criticism of the management of the squad by former boss Simon Grayson, insisting the group of players at Thorp Arch had grown too large during the latter stages of Grayson’s three-year tenure. Warnock, however, found himself painfully short of options at Reading on Friday as suspensions, injuries and a virus in the camp left him struggling to fill his bench against one of the Championship’s form teams. Speaking last week, Bates said: “We have probably the biggest squad in the league, far too many. “Some may say ‘why did you let Simon Grayson sign them?’ The answer is that you back your manager until you run out of steam or run out of patience. “So we’ll have to cut it. We’ll follow it up by cutting the squad and using more of the kids but hopefully we’ll have a leaner, meaner dressing room with maybe a better spirit in it. “One of the problems with a big squad is you can’t keep them all happy. “The vast majority of players want to play and with a squad of 30 players you can’t keep them happy. “Our Finnish midfielder (Vayrynen), he’s made two starts all season which makes you ask why did we sign him in the first place?” Bates also hit out at the performance of the players against Watford and warned that many were “running out of time” to convince Warnock that they had a role to play at Elland Road next season. “It’s obviously not acceptable but you wonder what their problems are,” Bates said. “They are so inconsistent. “Worryingly for some of the players, they haven’t got much time left to impress Neil so they can be part of his squad next season. “Really, against Watford some of the players just didn’t turn up, other than to collect their wages. “That’s not good enough. Not good enough at any club and certainly not good enough at Leeds.” April 10th 2012. By Phil Hay YEP April 10th 2012. A defiant Neil Warnock vowed to lift Leeds United from the depression of a ruined Championship campaign after Derby County inflicted their 10th home defeat of the season. The United manager claimed his club were at their lowest ebb ahead of a summer clear-out and insisted: “You’ll never see another Neil Warnock side like this.”Derby extended Leeds’ dismal home record with a 2-0 victory at Elland Road, dropping Warnock’s side into the bottom half of the table. The club have lost 10 league games at Elland Road in a single term for the first time since 1947 and will set an unwanted record of 11 defeats if they lose either of their two remaining home matches against Peterborough United and Leicester City. Leeds were handicapped yesterday by a first-half red card shown to Michael Brown, the third United player to be sent off in as many games, but Warnock admitted Nigel Clough’s side deserved the win given to them by goals from Craig Bryson and Steven Davies. The Leeds boss again promised telling changes during the close season, saying: “We haven’t got enough of what I’d call Leeds United players. We should revel in the atmosphere here and that’s what we’ll do next year – absolutely revel in it. “We’ll start at the back and make ourselves solid and strong. We’re not like that at the minute. We need the right players in the right positions and we need to start building. That’s why I’ve been brought in. “Leeds are probably at the bottom of what they’re going to be in the future and thankfully we’re not in a relegation situation. I can’t fault anybody for effort but it’s difficult for the squad because a lot of the players know they won’t be here next season. That’s a difficult scenario. Nobody didn’t put a shift in. We just weren’t good enough on the day. “I said to Nigel ‘enjoy this Nigel because you’ll never ever see another Leeds United team or a Neil Warnock team like this.’ That’s how I feel. The end of the season can’t come quickly enough.” Brown will serve a three-match suspension for his tackle on Theo Robinson, and Warnock said the 35-year-old had been “wrong” to invite a red card by raising his studs in the 25th minute. But the Leeds boss hit out at referee Oliver Langford, claiming the match official had “marked the card” of United midfielder Danny Pugh ahead of kick-off on account of Pugh’s combative approach at Reading on Good Friday. Warnock said: “I don’t think I can complain about the red card. “You don’t have to put the referee in that situation and Michael’s wrong to do it. I don’t think he’s hurt (Robinson) but the action of putting his studs high gave the referee his excuse. But the referee said to Pugh beforehand ‘I saw your game on Friday and I’m marking your card.’ That’s pre-meditated and it’s totally wrong and out of order for a referee to come into the game with that attitude. “The situation is that we went to Reading with a makeshift squad and if we’d got beaten 4-0 and played lovely football then Reading would have enjoyed it. But if you ask Brian (Reading boss Brian McDermott) after the game, if Robert Snodgrass scores the chance he had on 70 minutes then we win the game. That’s football – you don’t lie down.” Clough also claimed that Brown’s dismissal was the right decision, saying: “We were 40-odd yards away and we saw a foot being raised. The referee’s a few yards away and certainly close enough. “But I thought we were on top against 11 men anyway and I was delighted with the start we made.”

April 9th. Leeds United 0-2 Derby County. 01 Lonergan 02 Connolly YC 22 Lees YC 33 Robinson 48 O’Dea 08 Brown RC 16 Pugh 20 Nunez (Rogers – 76′ ) 10 Becchio (Paynter – 69′ ) 23 Snodgrass Booked 44 McCormack (Webber – 82′ ) Unused Subs – 26 Bromby 18 Forssell  Report from BBC Leeds. Derby punished Michael Brown’s red card to record a seventh successive win against Leeds thanks to goals from Craig Bryson and Steven Davies. Minutes after Brown’s first-half dismissal for a stomach-high challenge on Theo Robinson, Bryson curled a 25-yard effort past keeper Andy Lonergan. Derby continued to exploit their one-man advantage and Davies had time to slot home a rebound from his own shot. The result moved the Rams to within five points of the play-off places. Brown’s sending off was Leeds’s third in as many games, and ninth in a disappointing season which sees them locked in mid-table. Derby should have gone ahead in the first minute, but Nathan Tyson headed the rebound from a Jake Buxton chance over an open goal. Leeds enjoyed their best period of the match either side of the interval as chances were spurned by Ross McCormack, Luciano Becchio and Robert Snodgrass before Davies sealed the three points. The result extends manager Neil Warnock’s wait for a first Elland Road win to five games since he took control of the team in February. Just three words : Disillusioned, disenchanted and disgusted !

April 9th. Our thanks to The Square Ball once again. Taken from Yorkshire Radio’s interview with Leeds United owner Ken Bates yesterday…‘Mr Chairman’ speaks to Ben Fry before the Derby match about the defeat to Reading, but as I messed up recording the opening 30 seconds we’re missing the first question from young Ben and the first bit of Ken’s answer. The first question was about the Reading match and how Zac Thompson was sent off. Ken’s response was something to do with Jonny Howson on his debut fouling someone and Shaun Derry sticking up for him to the ref…. Ken Bates: …harsh on the kid. It’s his first game. Give him a bollocking and get on with it. And to be fair to the referee he did. Unfortunately, about an hour later, Jonny Howson committed another one so he got his card anyway. I mean, Zac’s only a baby at 19 and he’ll learn. He’s done very well this year and in some respects that sending off, he’ll probably learn a lot more from that. But down to 10 men after 12 minutes, I thought the guys were magnificent. In fact, Reading never looked like scoring. Of course we we had two great chances. How Snoddy missed that open goal, I do not know. 99 out of 100, even 999 out of 1000, he’d bury that. That’s football. I though Lonergan played well and made some magnificent saves but the whole team’s attitude and commitment throughout… if they’d played like that all season, Southampton would be looking up at us today in the league table. Ben Fry: That inconsistency must leave you scratching your head. I guess when you say that’s football, that is the game isn’t it? KB: It’s very frustrating isn’t it? I think obviously we’re already holding our post-mortem and looking into the season at what went wrong, why it went wrong and why we did certain things. Some of the things are puzzling. For example, we’ve done a survey over the last two years and the results found midweek games over the last two seasons have been poor… they’ve been appalling. That suggests we can’t play two games a week. That suggests we’re not fit enough. That then raises questions about the fitness regime, practice previously, pre-season preparations… I mean, everything has to be examined and will be examined and re-examined by Neil Warnock to make sure we get off to a flying start next season. Some of the players in the squad give the impression they don’t care. Some of the players give the impression they are playing well within themselves. Others you feeling there is more to get out with proper management and that is Neil’s determination to do for next season. So I think you can expect the next four games to be possibly a bit choppy and a bit choppy because Neil will try give some of the youngsters a chance to blood them for next season and give them a bit of experience so they can hit the ground running. On top of that there are one or two players who Neil feels have not had a fair chance this season and therefore give them a chance in the last four games to demonstrate what they can do. BF: Would it be fair to say there’s players playing for their futures at Leeds United? KB: I think there are players playing for their futures all throughout the league these last four or five games and no doubt there are at Elland Road. Some of them should be wondering what life holds in store for them if they are not here next year. There’s an awful lot of unemployment out there and there’s going to be more as clubs cut down on their squads. Our squad is ridiculous. 30 in number. That’s got to go down by seven at least without even starting. Then, that will leave us 23 of the existing squad and some of the squad I think Neil wants to change. So it’s up to the players to prove to Neil they’re worthy of a chance next year. Simple as that. BF: Injuries and suspensions are starting to take their toll as well. It’s a big squad but maybe not necessarily numbers… KB: (interrupts) well, yeah, but on the other hand you look at some of the injuries and it’s the same players picking up the same injuries all the time so are they past it? Are they not fit? Once again, it comes back to are they being trained properly? Are they being pushed to their limits in training and always playing within their limits over 90 minutes in the football game? We don’t know. But we’re beginning to find out and there’s already a shake-up started at Thorp Arch because it may be that some people there haven’t been doing their job as they should have been. On the other hand, they may not have had proper leadership. It’s early to delve too deeply. Unfortunately of course, a lot of the information that we do and conclusions that we do draw will clearly have to stay behind closed doors. BF: Five games to go. Obviously from the way you’re talking you’ve written off the play-offs. Mathematically it’s still there but realistically too much to do? KB: Well, if we won the next five games, that would give us 15 points and it would give us 72 points. Marginally, in view of the way the other clubs are going, mathematically we could possibly scrape in but our goal difference is against us. I think it’s more realistic that we started planning now for next season. BF: And important today the home fans see the team win at Elland Road because the home form this year hasn’t been up to scratch has it?B: It’s been disgraceful. Absolutely appalling. No excuse for it. We’ve been unlucky once or twice. West Ham and Southampton I would think of. We’ve been lucky a few times. Burnley comes to mind for example. The old saying is that the league tables never lie. Well they really do. BF: And obviously as well, given the majority of fans, this is where they see the team. It can sometimes give them a false impression of what the team is capable of anyway because not all the fans have seen these magnificent away performances. KB: No, they did the Reading one and they did the Middlesbrough one though. (laughs) BF: (laughs) Today as well, the club working hard to engage with the next generation of fans isn’t it because you need these fans…KB: (interrupts) You do… and the trouble is, whatever you do, here’s always somebody who finds fault in it. There’s always been an argument to let kids in for a quid and that kind of thing, which in my opinion a) never works and b) more importantly, you upset the regulars who pay full price. I had a letter about this shirt offer from a guy complaining about the fact that it wasn’t fair that his son was a season ticket holder. So I rang him up and we had a discussion about it. I said, but hang on, that’s your complaint in your first paragraph and in your fourth paragraph you’re telling me to make special offers to kids to get them into the club. Now which one do you want? And to be fair, which one do you want? He burst out laughing and then he rang me back and he said “I want you to know that my son said he doesn’t want the free shirt, he wants to go into the draw for the free shirt”. You can’t win. BF: Season ticket holders will go in that draw so hopefully they might get themselves a signed shirt. You’ve touched on it already. Thoughts already turning to next season. There’s a feeling that it’s better to do the work early rather than later. Is that how you’re sort of looking to approach it? KB: Well I’ve always tried to do that but it’s very, very difficult in this division. Added to the fact that May, June, July… it’s a three-and-a-half month close season. And we’ve got the Olympics and we’ve got the Paralympics. You say so what’s that going to do then… well the answer is that a lot of players, managers and agents will be away at different times. So, for example, you want to speak to a player, his agent’s on holiday. You like to buy a player, but the manager’s on holiday. And so it goes on. Here at Leeds we always try and get a full complement of staff at all times to deal with whatever opportunity comes up. It takes two to tango. It’s very difficult. The other problem is that early in the close season or this transfer window if you like, agents have unrealistic ideas of what their players are worth and think “I’ll hang on and a better offer will come along”. So if you buy too early you could be in danger of overpaying both for the player and the wages. Believe me, when the fans say flash the cash and where’s it all gone, we have flashed the cash. In fact I was doing a check yesterday and including transfer fees, plus agents fees, plus VAT and so and so, this year we would have spent £13.5m all in on playing staff. Also, looking forward, the central distribution from the league go down but £650,000 this year. That’s the equivalent to two home games. Of course, we got rid of Simon Grayson and we agreed with him and his sidekicks a compromise agreement. It still has to be paid for. All these things mount up. And of course we’ve frozen our season tickets, despite the fact the rent has gone up by three per cent. So it’s a balancing act all the time. The answer is yes, we continue to look for addition investment, for partners to come into Leeds United but believe me, when you read a multi-millionaire Russian is only putting half of his £25m into Reading up front and the other half follows some other time, it makes you realise even multi-millionaires are feeling the pinch. And is he a multi-millionaire at all? We don’t know. But I can assure you the fans, not for want of trying, but there’s an awful lot of conmen out there, there’s an awful lot of mythical millions. BF: So you think the task for all clubs, not just for Leeds but in general, is going to get tougher rather than easier for next season? KB: Well you think that Gerald Kransner who was me predecessor chairman here and he’s now part of an insolvency firm and they are the administrator at Port Vale and he’s firm brought out a survey last week that said at least one in five clubs are in the fertiliser. I expect they are being cautious. I think there my be more than one in five. When you think of the mess that Rangers are in, you ask yourself ‘is anybody safe?’. If you have 60,000 gates, guarantee European appearances next season and always know you’re always going to win or be second in the league, mind you it isn’t quite up to our standards, you have to wonder how they could have got in such a terrible mess. BF: Well let’s hope Leeds are back on track today with three points at home and we wish you a happy Easter. KB: It would be a nice way of ending it, wouldn’t it. I wasn’t too unhappy on Good Friday. It would have been nice if we had got three points but really encouraging and I enjoyed the display and I hope the fact the fans are just as entertained today by the virtue of three points.

April 8th. QPR players linked. Leeds are once again being strongly linked with three of Warnock`s former players at Queens Park Rangers in today`s Sunday Mail. Goalkeeper Paddy Kenny, defender Clint Hill and former Leeds midfielder Shaun Derry all continue to be linked with a move to Elland Road in the summer. Kenny, Hill and Derry have all worked With Warnock at previous clubs. Kenny was part of the Sheffield United and Queens Park Rangers sides to gain promotion from the championship and he also played for Warnock during his time at Bury. Hill also played for Warnock at both Crystal Palace and Queens Park Rangers. Derry has played at Warnock`s previous two clubs Crystal Palace and Queens Park Rangers and he could make a return to Elland Road after leaving in 2007.
April 8th. Portsmouth duo for Leeds? According to The People today, Leeds United are interested in Hermann Hreidarsson. The defender joined Coventry City on a deal from Portsmouth in January for the rest of the season but injured his shoulder in the defeat at Blackpool and after surgery is now out for the season. Hreidarsson said on March 31st on Soccer Am that he has not been at Coventry since he injured himself. The paper claims that Neil Warnock wants both Jason Pierce and Hreidarsson to boost the Leeds squad

April 6th. Reading 2-0 Leeds United. 01 Lonergan 04 Bruce 22 Lees 26 Bromby 33 Robinson Booked 08 Brown 16 Pugh Booked 29 Thompson Dismissed 10 Becchio Booked (Forssell – 87′ ) 23 Snodgrass (Webber – 85′ ) 44 McCormack (Rogers – 85′ ) Unused : 31 Taylor 09 Paynter. YEP report. Substitute Adam Le Fondre’s late double sent Reading top of the npower Championship following a gritty win over 10-man Leeds United. The former Rotherham striker came off the bench to net twice in the final six minutes of a pulsating and at times ill-tempered clash at the Madejski Stadium as the visitors paid the price for the early sending-off of defender Zac Thompson. Playing his first match since January 31, the youngster was sent off by referee Darren Drysdale after just 12 minutes, leaving Leeds to absorb wave after wave of Reading attacks. Ian Harte’s teasing cross evaded everyone before striking a post after 20 minutes while, after the break, Alex Pearce saw his header cleared en route to goal. Leeds had their chances to win it late on, with Ross McCormack and Robert Snodgrass going close without success. Le Fondre thought he had put his side ahead with eight minutes remaining, only to be denied by an offside flag, but he made the most of his next two sights of goal to fire the Royals to the division’s summit. An already feisty atmosphere in front of a near full house intensified early on with the dismissal of Thompson for a wild lunge on Jobi McAnuff. Immediately Reading seized the initiative and the visitors were fortunate to survive a scare in the 20th minute when Harte’s vicious cross thumped against goalkeeper Andy Lonergan’s left-hand post as he looked on. Leeds could easily have been reduced to nine men two minutes later when Danny Pugh’s terrible challenge on Jem Karacan went unpunished. Despite their one-man advantage, the hosts failed to create a chance of any major significance for the remainder of the opening period. Leeds accelerated out of the traps in the second, with Robert Snodgrass drawing a good save from Adam Federici. But Reading responded well and Pearce nodded Harte’s set-piece onto the roof of the net after 60 minutes. Leeds were more than happy to soak up the pressure, and their sponge-like approach to defending almost paid dividends but McCormack’s 20-yard effort rebounded to safety off an upright. McCormack then teed up Snodgrass 12 yards out but Federici produced a good save, before the former Cardiff man’s thunderous free-kick brought a fumble out of the Australian. At the other end, Pearce’s goalbound header was cleared off the line and Le Fondre followed up McAnuff’s deflected effort to slide home – only for his celebrations to be cut short by an offside flag. But with seven minutes remaining, Reading finally found a way through. Jimmy Kebe’s deep cross to the back post was met by Hal Robson-Kanu who sent a delicate header back across goal for Le Fondre to chest home. Two minutes later Le Fondre completed the job. Again the required finish came from less than two yards but the former Rotherham man was on hand to knock in Jason Roberts’s cross-shot and spark mass delirium among the home supporters.Leeds boss Neil Warnock could not fault his players for their efforts, but he rued the red card shown to Thompson – insisting the crime did not merit its punishment. “We had the best chances,” he said. “I can’t ask any more. I thought they were fantastic under the circumstances. We had a makeshift team and to have a man sent off so early on made it even harder. “I thought he (Thompson) was unlucky. The trouble is he set off with two feet but he’s landed two or three feet before. “What the assessor’s saying is if two feet are off the floor it’s a red card but he’s not hurt the kid. “I thought Pugh’s tackle was far worse. I thought Pugh should have got sent off.” Reading manager Brian McDermott paid tribute to the impact made by Le Fondre, but insisted he has not pigeon-holed the 25-year-old as a super-sub just yet. “If you want someone to score a goal for you to win a game, we’ve got the perfect man and he’s done it again,” he said. “I just thought he could nick us a goal and that’s what he’s done. He’s come off the bench before and scored goals and won us games. He had another one that was disallowed as well, so he could have had a hat-trick in 20-odd minutes. “I don’t think about impact subs. Noel (Hunt) has done well with Robbo (Jason Roberts) up front, we’ve got Simon Church as well, we’ve got Benik Afobe.” McDermott admitted it had been a tough match. “We just had to keep going,” he said. “Leeds knew what they were doing, and their manager knew what he was doing, so it was very difficult for us. “There were a lot of tackles and one or two that were questionable to say the least. “The first one he (the referee) made the decision to send the young guy off and the second one Pugh made a tackle on Jem which was a certain red card and he should have been sent off.” JEM Karacan’s season is over after breaking his ankle in Friday’s brutal 2-0 win against Neil Warnock’s Leeds United.The 23-year-old was hurt by Michael’s Brown trailing leg as the United midfielder tried to block the ball. Karacan was lucky to escape serious injury moments earlier in Friday’s fiery clash when the Turkish youngster was on the receiving end of a high-footed Danny Pugh lunge that went unpunished by referee Darren Drysdale. Brian McDermott said: “I’m really upset for Jem. Some of the tackles did not belong in the game. “I’m devastated for him. He’s played such a pivotal part in the team.” Royals had to sweat for the victory, with two late Adam Le Fondre goals sealing the win which briefly sent them to the top of the Championship table. Meanwhile Leeds manager Neil Warnock has fumed at Zac Thompson’s sending off, saying the Reading players influenced the referee’s decision. The former QPR and Sheffield United manager is never known to be short of excuses but gave his verdict on this case. Thompson was sent off on 12 minutes, which changed the whole complex of the game. Leeds did manager to hold out for over an hour with ten men but were not able to stop Reading scoring two goals late on. Warnock said after the 2-0 loss: ‘Straight away he gives the red card and I thought the kid was unlucky, having watched it three or four times. The ref only sees it once but when you`ve got the crowd and five or six players around you straight away, you tend to react. I don`t think it`s a red card, not when you see it in slow motion.’ ‘I thought Pugh`s tackle was worse. He should have been sent off and Hunt`s challenge on Lonergan was a disgrace. The players were fantastic under the circumstances. We had a makeshift team and I didn`t think they had a shot on goal until they scored. We played really well under the cosh and I`m right pleased.’ Leeds very much played a physical game, with several challenges flying in but not necessarily unfair.

Aptil 5th 2012. Short of bodies for Reading. Leeds United manager Neil Warnock says he does not have a clue what side he will put out at Reading on Friday. Warnock had already promised to ring the changes after a poor performance against Watford last Saturday and he will also face some enforced changes. Darren O`Dea, Adam Clayton and Paul Connolly will all miss the game through suspension. Aidy White looks set to miss the rest of the season with an ankle injury and Warnock says a couple of the squad are laid low with a virus. Speaking on Yorkshire Radio, Warnock said, “When you look at the way we played against Watford. There is also the three players suspended, Aidy White is injured and a couple of the lads have viruses, there are all sorts of problems at the club at the minute. “Has we talk, I haven`t got a clue what the team will be on Friday and we are playing the best team in the league.” Youngster Zac Thompson is expected to make his first appearance since the arrival of Warnock. The 19 year old has made seven appearances for Leeds this season but he hasn`t played since Simon Grayson`s last game in charge. Ramon Nunez and Danny Webber could be fighting for the right to replace Aidy White on the right wing. Leigh Bromby could replace Connolly in defence after returning on the bench in the defeat to Watford. Bromby has not played since suffering a injury in the defeat to Southampton at the start of March.

April 5th. Brown wants a new deal. Fresh after claiming that Leeds fans Leeds United midfielder Michael Brown is hoping he has done enough to earn himself a new deal at Elland Road. The midfielder joined Leeds last summer on a one year deal with the option of another year and he is hoping he has done enough impress new manager Neil Warnock since his arrival in February to earn a new deal. Speaking on Yorkshire Radio, Brown said, “We will wait and see what the club want to do but I think have done enough. I think I could have done a lot better this season but some of it was down to form and some down to opportunity and selection. “I am just glad to be playing football and play as many games as I can for the team and hopefully I am here next season with a new deal and ready to go with a few new players and then a big push to try and get us in the Premier League.” The 35 year old has made 23 appearances for Leeds this season and he has started all eight games since Warnock arrived. The arrival of the manager, who he worked with during their time together at Sheffield United, saw an upturn in form for the midfielder. He recently scored his first goal for the club in the team`s home defeat to Nottingham Forest. But Leeds fans weren’t impressed with some of his comments whisalt accusing the fans for some poor home performances. Brown commented about the squad and the atmosphere inside Elland Road : ‘There’s lots of things we’re just not doing right at the moment. It’s a shame, we’ve got a good bunch of players, a good team, good lads, but we certainly have to have a bit more grit and determination not to roll over. ‘I think our home form is one reason. Once we go one behind you can hear the place go flat and I think that kills us. ‘It’s very difficult because we know the fans’ frustration because they want success at the club and the frustration has gone on now for a long time and we’ve got to try and change that as a group and as a club and have everybody together. It’s going to take a bit of time to do that. ‘The group we’ve got, it’s been happening for a while. When I came in I never thought it was a positive environment. I could see it was very difficult because at every home game – and we had very young players on the pitch – there would be a protest about the club and that goes on to the players straight away.’ Personally I think we need hungrier, quicker, younger and a more physical presence in the middle of the park, and we can’t be serious about promotion with a 36 year old Michael Brown in the side next season.

April 5th. Sky Sports – White to stay on  ?Leeds wide man Aidy White could be out for the rest of the season – but is set to be rewarded with a new contract at the club. The 20-year-old youth team product was forced off just before half-time in Saturday’s home defeat to WatfordDescription: http:/static.lingospot.com/spot/image/spacer.gif and left Elland Road on crutches. But Leeds fans are unlikely to have seen the last of White. After rejecting a contract offer from the club in December, new boss Neil WarnockDescription: http:/static.lingospot.com/spot/image/spacer.gif is confident the youngster will be signing a new deal shortly. Warnock said: “We’re finalising a contract offer that we should be getting to him in seven days I think.” White had previously been utilised at left-back before Warnock decided to play the Republic of IrelandDescription: http:/static.lingospot.com/spot/image/spacer.gif Under-21 international further forward. But Leeds will have to find a new solution on the left flank with White set to miss the remainder of the campaign. Warnock added: “There’s no break in it, that’s the good thing, but I’d be very surprised if he plays again this season and it’s a shame because he’s done very well.”

April 5th. John Reynolds passes away. Many of you would have known John Reynolds who was the uniformed official who used to let you through the gates of Elland Road and also gave stadium tours always with a kind and jovial word. John passed away in Wakefield Hospice at the age of 45, after a lengthy battle with illness. He leaves his wife Maureen and son Stephen behind.

Taken from Yorkshire Radio’s interview with Leeds United owner Ken Bates today…What Ken Said – ‘Mr Chairman’ speaks to Ben Fry about the defeat to Watford on Saturday and our slim chances of making the play-offs. He then looks ahead to the match at Reading and the current injuries and suspensions. There’s also the changes to the ticket office during the week and finally Ken talks about finances… although not about our accounts and the key issues surrounding them. Our thanks to our good  friends at The Square Ball for the transcript. Ben Fry: Chairman, we’ll start with Saturday and unfortunately disappointment again at home to Watford. Just as it looks like the team are going in the right direction, sadly they slip back. Ken Bates: Well, I mean, was this the same team that murdered Southampton, deserved to edge it against West Ham and comprehensively beat Middlesbrough? I can’t believe it! It’s obviously not acceptable but you wonder what their problems are. They are so inconsistent. But… I won’t say worryingly because we’ve only got six games to go but worryingly for some of the players, they haven’t got much time left to impress Neil so they can be part of his squad next season. BF: The gap to the play-offs place is now six points but Neil said it’s the way the team are playing rather than the gap which probably rules the play-off push out this season. Is that probably fair? KB: I think that’s fair comment, yes. Well, in fairy land we’ll win the next six games, get in the play-offs, walk the play-offs and be playing Manchester United next year. In real life though, it’s of course a bit different. All I know, financially, the whole story at the moment in football is doom and gloom. You’ve got Mr Krasner who’s a partner in Begbies Traynor currently doing the administration of Port Vale, and he’s come out with a statement this week that they’ve done a survey of all the Football League clubs and they reckon one in five are in difficulties. I think they’re being optimistic. I suspect from what I hear that it’s much more than that. I mean there’s one club who are in danger of going out of the Football League who will probably close if they get relegated because the central funds are so small. You’ve still got agents living in cloud cuckoo land and you’ve got players who think they are worth more than they are. It was interesting to hear this week that there’s a club in League One where their left-back was earning £300 a week and he murdered the man he was marking who was earning £10,000 a week. So you don’t always get what you pay for. And as Liverpool have found out with Mr Carroll, spending big money certainly isn’t the answer to all clubs’ problems. BF: We’ll come back to Leeds United’s finances at the end but I just want to talk about the home form. The away form this season is probably promotion form. You look at the home form, closer to relegation form. It’s difficult to quite put your finger on where it has goon wrong at home this season isn’t it? KB: Well it is indeed because some of the games we’ve lost have been a joke. I mean Blackpool’s 5-0 win, well that was down to goalkeeper. Simon Grayson said that his back four when we lost to Birmingham, he said his back for were “young and amateurish” – well he signed them and picked them. So when you’re not doing well, most of the problems and most of the faults lie at the door of the players but then you have to look at the players and say who signed them in the first place, why were they signed, why were they deemed such a good purchase at the time. But really, against Watford, some of the players just didn’t turn up other than to collect their wages. That’s not good enough. Not good enough at any club, certainly not good enough at Leeds. BF: Now Neil Warnock after Saturday said that, as you mentioned at the start, a lot of the players have to convince him of their worth for next season and he’s said that work is already underway for next season and that the club are close sealing their first summer signing. KB: Well, I don’t know about well underway, it’s the same old story about it all sailing along smoothly on the top but underneath it’s peddling like hell with its webbed feet. Yes, Neil did identify one player soon after he came and we have been stalking him since, well, almost since Neil arrived. I think we’re nearly there with a deal but of course, being Leeds, we’re not going to announce anything until we’ve done it otherwise you’re just alerting other people. BF: Back to playing matters then and next up it’s a tough task against Reading on Saturday, aided by some suspensions. Going to be a difficult afternoon isn’t it? KB: Well it is but against that, one man’s disappointment is another man’s opportunity. We’re very disappointed and surprised that Connolly picked up a unnecessary second booking against Watford. I don’t know if he was thinking he could have the Easter weekend off but he won’t be because he’ll be working even if he isn’t on the pitch. We’re down to barebones with injuries and suspensions but that one was totally unnecessary and I think he should apologise to the rest of the team. He let himself down and let the team down. But we always seem to pull rabbits out of the hat away from home. Reading play good football. Apart from being asleep in the first minute when they came here and of course that was Aidy White who let in that goal. We held them but simply couldn’t get an equaliser. So I think it will be a good game. They’ll be up for it but I think we will be as well. We’re on the box so some players who think they are better than they are, well they have got a great opportunity to be in the showcase and the entire nation will be watching them. As we know, the TV doesn’t have anywhere to hide with the action replays and the details analysis by the arm-chair experts. BF: Neil has sort of said Reading, he thinks, are the best team in the Championship this year. They’ve taken their time and they’ve built a squad and almost tackled the division the right way haven’t they? They haven’t just been a flash in the pan, they’ve built themselves into the position where they are today.  KB: They have, and they haven’t splashed the cash either. They built slowly and surely and have a very good manager in McDermott. Watch him on TV, he’s very quietly spoken and unassuming and obviously he’s getting the best out of his players and John Madjeski is a mate of mine. If we’re not going to go up then I’d like him to go up but that’s after Good Friday. BF: And then Easter Monday, back to Elland Road, it’s the Generations United game. You’d hope to see as many young fans here as possible to get another taste of what it’s like to see Leeds play.  KB: I think it’s a great idea. I can boast about it because I had nothing to do with it. I think it’s a great idea and it was last time we did it so hopefully it will be a success on Easter Monday. A good way to wrap up the Easter weekend. Hopefully with three points. BF: And of course, all the details for Generations United on the website LeedsUnited.com or you can call the ticket office on 08713341992. Talking of the ticket office, the club are always trying to improve the fans’ experience and the club are actually now putting some ticket office booths inside the Elland Road store, trying to make everything almost like one place, trying to try make it easier for fans. How did this come about? KB: Well, Katie Holmes’ idea, it was. A good one it is too. On average during the week, with the exception of exceptional games, there’s very little activity at the box office. It just means people are standing around waiting for customers that don’t come when they could be working on other matters. The other thing of course is that if somebody comes to the ticket office then wants to buy something from the club shop, they’ve got to walk about 130 yards or more, which isn’t fun if you’re infirm or more importantly if it’s chucking down with good old Yorkshire rain. So the idea being, that by closing the ticket office Monday-Thursday, other than for big midweek matches of course, we’re putting a sales point in the store. People who are going to both things can just go to the store and get their ticket and go and if they just want to go to the desk and get the ticket well it’s still there. There’s plenty of parking on non-matchdays and it makes sense. If people come by bus, it’s just by the bus stop. BF: Now let’s move back to the financial side of football. I know you mentioned it earlier on but the club have announced their financial results last week and in the current climate, you must be please with the results and the support the club is receiving from the fans.  KB: Well, actions speak louder than words. The fact of the matter is we do have a good, strong commercial department. We’ve been fortunate. We’ve been aided by good cup runs over the last couple of years. We’ve had another one this year. But there’s a determination not to waste money and in fact we’re just completing yet another efficiency drive. Every year we go through and examine everything we do and say how can we do it better, more efficiently and cheaper. That’s what we’re just finishing off now for this year. So we’ve got an exceptional management team behind the scenes. If the players were as good as the team at Elland Road are, we’d be in Europe by now. I’m very pleased but you know, it’s cautious, cautious, cautious. And we’ve made those results despite, in my opinion, some very poor signings who haven’t delivered what they were signed for and are hopelessly overpaid. I was reading in the paper this morning about another club that lost £7.7million last year. Every club that’s bringing their results out are experiencing financial difficulties. BF: And given the, you know, that the home form has been indifferent this year, you must be delighted with the continued support of the regular fans and the corporate community as well.  KB: Well I am. I mean, last year we hit over 26,000 average gate (TSB: 27,299) but more important, I’m conscious of the financial climate outside so when we did our budget we budgeted for 24,000. So there’s always some idiot in the press who will seize on that. The fact of the matter is we budgeted for 24,000 and as of today, we’ve averaged 23,530. So we’re in striking distance of our budget and of course the slight shortfall has been more than amply covered by our game with Arsenal. We mustn’t get complacent about that because there’s no guarantee. We’ve been really very lucky with cup runs and cup draws and we obviously can’ t take that for granted. The thing we have to remember is the new TV deal that the Football League have negotiated isn’t as good as the old one and we’ll be having £600,000 less income from the league. We’ve frozen our season ticket prices but the rent is still going up at three per cent per annum so we have to be careful. On the other hand, we have probably the biggest squad in the league… I don’t know why. Far too many. And some may say that well “why did you let Simon Grayson sign them” and the answer is well you better back your manager until you run out of steam or run out of patience. So we’ll have to cut it. We’ll follow it up by cutting the squad and using more of the kids but hopefully we’ll have a leaner, meaner dressing room with maybe a better sprit in it. One of the problems with a big squad is of course you can’t keep them all happy. The vast majority of players want to play and with a squad of 30 players you can’t keep them happy. Our Finnish midfielder, I think he’s made two starts all season, which makes you ask why did we sign him in the first place? BF: But chairman, the financial results then. The club’s in a stable position and ready to keep making that push forward? KB: Yes. But we’re not going to spend money we haven’t got. But we’ve got assets and if we sell any players then Neil will have any money to strengthen any weaknesses he thinks there are. So there’s a lot to be cheerful about. Our season tickets have just passed 10,000 – a number which is the same as last year. So the doom and gloom mongers have been proved wrong again. As you say, the support is fantastic. We have a strong membership club, regional branches are opening all the time. Our strength throughout the country, we’re already growing through the power of the internet and we have a few more plans coming along which will greatly enhance our communications to the fans. Not to the small self-interested groups but to the ordinary fans, including corporate fans who just get on with the job of supporting Leeds United, the club they love. BF: As always chairman, thanks for taking the time to speak to us on Yorkshire Radio. KB: Thank you Ben and let’s wish everybody a very happy Easter. Hopefully with some results that make us even happier.

April 2nd. United go to play. YEP IT has been a rollercoaster season for Leeds United – so what better way to end it than on a rollercoaster.The Elland Road players and manager Neil Warnock spent a day sampling the rides and feeding the animals at the Flamingo Land theme park near Malton. The visit was arranged as part of Flamingo Land’s sponsorship of the United academy. We caught up with Warnock and with Leeds players Michael Brown and Danny Webber. For pics click on attached. http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/neil-warnock-video-exclusive-play-offs-are-beyond-us-now-let-s-look-to-the-summer-1-441398 8 Meanwhile Eddie Gray believes Neil Warnock has a busy Summer ahead of him. LEEDS United legend Eddie Gray says the Whites can expect at least six notable new arrivals this summer with manager Neil Warnock expected to make a “major overhaul” to the club’s starting XI. And Gray, among those hugely disappointed by Saturday’s capitulation against Watford, admits based on the weekend display there is not one player at Elland Road who could not be replaced. United’s 2012 Championship promotion chase looks to be over as while the Whites are still only six points off the play-offs, Saturday’s performance showed that Leeds are some way from being a side capable of challenging for that much yearned place back in the Premier League. An exasperated Warnock admitted his men are currently “miles away” from the required standard and Gray is in no doubt that this summer will see one of the club’s biggest shake-ups in years. Well documented have been United’s defensive troubles – an area Gray has regularly stated needs improving – and with Warnock stressing last week that Robert Snodgrass, Ross McCormack, Adam Clayton and Aidy White were the four Whites players whose contracts he wanted extended – defensive recruits seem certain. Gray, though, admits his former club were lacking in every department at the weekend and expects a major overhaul of the Leeds side as a whole. “I think Neil Warnock will want to bring at least half a dozen players to the football club,” Gray told the YEP. “I think there’ll be a few players who will move on – I don’t know who they’ll be and Neil will make his own mind up about that but I think the way Neil has been talking to the media and in private, I think it will be a major overhaul. “It’s up to Neil who stays but when you look at the performance on Saturday, he more or less said after the game that there wasn’t anyone who performed well though you have to look at the season overall.”Warnock has also stated his desire to seal the signature of centre-back Darren O’Dea on a permanent deal – the Irishman currently on loan from Celtic – and with the 25-year-old suspended at the weekend United’s defence was at sixes and sevens against Watford. Two Chris Iwelumo strikes at either end of the game settled the contest 2-0 in the London side’s favour with the Whites roundly booed off at the full-time whistle. It’s a far cry from when Gray was a player – when Leeds were among the best clubs in Europe – but the former winger admits United no longer have a divine right to win matches even in the second tier of English football. “We are Leeds United playing Watford and I think the fans think we just need to turn up to win the game,” said Gray. “But it wasn’t going to be like that. “I think that’s what gets the fans frustrated, they think we should beat Watford but we have got to be realistic and we have got to look at it and think there are a lot of teams in this league as good as us. “Watford should have beaten us down there as well as they missed a penalty with a minute to go which would have put them 2-0 up. “We then equalised with a penalty in the 95th minute.” Despite that, Leeds actually remain above the Hornets in the table – Warnock’s side currently 10th – but for all that Gray hopes there is still an outside chance of a late surge towards the play-offs, the Scottish legend knows deep down that the Whites are heading for a 10th season outside of the top flight next year. Like every Whites fan, Gray is desperate for his side to return to the promised land and the Leeds favourite admits this year’s Championship was weaker than normal but Gray expects nothing to be easy in 2012-13 whatever recruitments are made next term. “It’s disappointing but I’ve said all along this season, for us to get promotion, even though we were getting results earlier, performances would have to improve,” he said. “If you are not playing well then eventually it will catch up with you. “When you actually look at the league, we have been in that mid-table position for a long time and other teams have been slipping up. “We’ve not been playing well and not been getting the points return required to challenge and while you hope it will happen, it’s very doubtful now. “I look at it and this will be another season and as each season passes the harder it gets because you have got teams coming down from the Premier League and they are coming down with that cash.“This year it has been the kind of Championship where most teams can beat each other and you look at Blackpool beating Southampton 3-0 on Saturday. “Hull City got beaten by Coventry at home and it’s just that type of league where I don’t think there is a lot between a lot of the sides.” Of that there seems little doubt – United’s results themselves proof of the unpredictability of this season’s Championship – Leeds 4-0 winners at Nottingham Forest last autumn only to be turned over by the same side, 7-3 at Elland Road last month. Anything, it seems, is possible. Few, nevertheless, will expect a Whites win in United’s next Championship fixture – at second-placed Reading on Good Friday – and you sense Gray won’t have a Whites win on his football coupon, for all that he knows United seem to currently be better suited playing away. “Neil will try to get his players wound up for the Reading game and we have got to give it our best and try and win the game,” said Gray. “But you look at Reading and their home record plus the type of players they have got and they have got a lot of pace in their side. “They have got their two wide players – Jobi McAnuff and Jimmy Kebe and then you have got the power of Jason Roberts up front and it will be a difficult game for us down there. “They are flying along, they got a tremendous win against West Ham and they are on the best run in the league now. You would imagine it will be difficult but we do seem to be suited better to playing away from home. “I think we are better when teams have got to come at us and when teams just sit in there I think we find it difficult to break them down. “Away from home you might get a little bit more space and time to play but it will be very difficult down at Reading. “It will be a big surprise if we win the game, let’s put it that way.” 

April 1st. April 1st but more fool me if there has been a change at ER. Ken Bates “We have 18 games to go this season and are still within touching distance of the play-offs, but felt with the transfer window now closed we needed to make the change at this time in the belief that a new managerial team will be able to get more out of the existing squad of players and make the difference. Simon and his staff have given the club over three good years service and we would like to place on record our thanks and wish them all the best for the future.” These were the words spoken by our chairman after Grayson was sacked. New manager but no change for Leeds fans. It’s now 12 games since Grayson’s sacking (Weds Feb 1st) Many of us felt that with a new manager, better ideas, more experienced and canny, better tactically and a with a couple of decent loan signings we could still make the play offs. After all we were only 3 points behind Blackpool in 5th. Many of us called for Neil Warnock who could muster the courage and desire in our bewildering side and make that late gate crash for the play offs. After all why not Leeds this year to come on the blind side with a surging run ? Indeed our chairman hinted that with a decent run we might even make automatic promotion if “one or two results went our way”. In those 11 games we have taken 15 points from a possible 36 on offer. Mister Chairman felt that our youth team manager was worth four games, and Mister Redfearn chipped in with two wins v (Bristol City and Doncaster) and two defeats (v Brighton and Coventry). Step forward the fans’ favourite. Neil Warnock with his vast experience, he surely would sort out our leaky defence and bring the best out of Becchio, Snodgrass and McCormack. Better still, whilst Redfearn only accumulated six points from a possible twelve, other teams had the jitters also, and United were still three points off sixth place. Neil had seen “one or two things” during the Doncaster game and relished the challenge of lighting up Yorkshire’s finest side. A scoreless draw at Pompey wasn’t great but the clean sheet to some felt like 3 points in itself. Step forward the live TV cameras and United batter Southampton but alas the points are dropped but at least we kept the higher moral ground with the neutral. The manager liked what he saw and felt the defence was strong enough and “apart from one error he couldn’t ask anymore from them”. Paul Robinson was drafted in for his experience and sat on the bench during a fortunate scoreless draw at Hull but that clean sheet again was marvellous. When two goals were scored away to M’bro without reply, this was the kind of stuff we were waiting for. In a drab St Patricks Day match v West Ham a defender went missing and hey presto the Hammers took a late point back to East London. LUSC member present, Terry McQuaid : “A poor game with two poor teams”.  Once gain fortune smiled on Leeds as other results went our way and we were still only five points off three teams in play off positions. The chairman was still very happy and relived delightful tales of happy, smiling players at Thorp Arch.  The manager chose to ignore the late window as he appeared happy with his lot. Ken Bates programme notes for Forest  (re WHU game) “I thought once again the “new” Leeds United gave their all, played great football only to have two points snatched away at the end” : Step forward Notts Forest, a side who occupied 19th position and just four points ahead of second last Doncaster Rovers. The “new” Leeds United suffered their worst home defeat since they were formed in 1919 and the lads from Sherwood Forest looked like Barcelona against Dundalk with a 7-3 annihilation. Paddy Kettle phoned to ask “was there a mistake with the video printer”. Alas Paddy, the video printer was indeed not faulty but the entire Leeds team were. Still our resident expert (in Monaco) had the answer : Well, midweek wasn’t a disappointment was it… it was a disaster and almost disbelief. On the other hand, I’ve been thinking on it… Manchester United 8 Arsenal 2, Manchester United 1 Man City 6… so this season it would seem to be the season of aberrational results. There’s nothing we can do about the Notts Forest game, we’ve just got to put it behind us and forget it and move on with our lives”. Thanks for that enlightenment, Papa Smurf. United bounced back with a 1-0 win at Millwall. Who cares that Snods wasn’t  given a straight red after two minutes and that the Lions felt they should have had two more penalties. After all we owed them more than one and last year their fan club thought they were in Istanbul. Next up Watford, the side that were eight points behind Leeds when Neil Warnock took charge at Fratton Park. This was the game to really send a message out that we were serious regarding the play offs. Unfortunately Robinson hadn’t read the script and the Hornets stung after just five minutes through his glaring error. Still, 85 more minutes left to get level. Alas the “new” Leeds were bereft of ideas and were fortunate to lose only 0-2 as our defence thought Becchio was ten feet tall with their long range passing. Leeds avoided midfield so please forgive me for not doing cartwheels since the arrival of Mr Warnock. 9 points from from 24 points is very poor in my book, especially when all around us are are feeling the jitters. 1 point at home from  12 is disastrous. Watford were eight points behind Leeds before Warnock’s first game in charge. They are now level on 57 points. Some people feel that Sean Dyches has a better side than Leeds United. Leeds United have Becchio, McCormack, Snodgrass, Clayton, White and Lees plus hardened pros like Robinson and Brown. I have no doubt that Neil Warnock will do much better next season with his own side assembled during the Summer, and I have no doubt that Mr Warnock would have done a lot better with Gradel and Howson in his side. Alas, they are gone.  But do me a favour. Please don’t try and convince me that he is doing well with the players he currently has at his disposal. This “new” Leeds doesn’t look any better than the “old” Leeds  and we have at this point in time thrown away one of the easiest chances we will ever have of making the Championship play offs. So please don’t piss down my back and try and convince me that it’s raining because behind it all most Leeds fans will be disappointed that our Messiah couldn’t do any better than the previous mortal with the same deck of cards. To end on a positive note, Warnock will have “his serious chat (re transfers) with the chairman over Easter” and he is the man to drive Leeds forward, but only with (as  I have said all along) proper financial  backing, something no Leeds manager has had since Kevin Blackwell. Nearly £15M has come in on transfer fees (Delph, Schmeichel, Gradel, Howson) in the past three years which has been deprived from team strengthening. Warnock will have better joy loosening the purse strings than his predecessors had,  because shiny East Stand executive lounges won’t get Leeds into the Premiership and he won’t stand (no pun intended) for that. Rant over.

March 31st 2012. Leeds United 0-2 Watford. Leeds United: Lonergan; Connolly, Lees, Bruce, Robinson; Snodgrass, Brown, Clayton (Nunez 68), White (Webber 46); McCormack, Becchio (Forssell 87). Not used: Bromby and Thompson. ruce, Robinson; Snodgrass, Brown, Clayton (Nunez 68), White (Webber 46); McCormack, Becchio (Forssell 87). Not used: Bromby and Thompson. Report from Watford Observer – Watford’s memorable March ended in the best way possible as Chris Iwelumo’s brace and a tremendous team performance earned the Hornets a 2-0 victory at Leeds United for just the club’s second ever win league win at Elland Road and a first since October 1988. Having started the day eight points off the play-offs following Birmingham City’s win at Doncaster Rovers last night, the Hornets moved to back within six of the top six by taking their points tally for an unbeaten month to 17 out of a possible 21. Iwelumo may get the headlines for scoring just the second and third goals since moving to Vicarage Road last summer but both him and Troy Deeney were outstanding and never gave the hosts’ nervous-looking backline a moment’s peace. That appetite for work was repeated throughout the team in a determined and resolute performance that also bore the confidence that comes from winning four of the last six games and keeping clean sheets in two of the last three. Watford might have won by more – Deeney should have capitalised on a one-on-one situation in the second half – although the hosts should have equalised even though Tomasz Kuszczak pulled off a fine double save after the break. Sean Dyche was always going to have to make one change from the side that beat Coventry City last time out following Alex Kacaniklic’s recall by Fulham but it was no real surprise that he made two. Mark Yeates returned to the starting line-up in place of Kacaniklic but this was the type of game that was always likely to see Iwelumo favoured ahead of Joe Garner in attack and so it proved. Neil Warnock made one adjustment to the team that bounced back from the amazing 7-3 home defeat at the hands of Nottingham Forest to win 1-0 at Millwall last time out, with Paul Connolly coming in for the suspended Darren O’Dea. However, there was plenty of Hornets’ interest in the Leeds match day 16. On-loan Bolton Wanderers defender and Vicarage Road fans’ favourite Paul Robinson started, with Danny Webber and Leigh Bromby on the bench. The visitors had the better of the opening exchanges and created the first chance in the fourth minute when Yeates knocked a Lloyd Doyley throw back to the right-back to cross but Iwelumo got underneath his half-volley and scooped it over the top from eight yards. But the big striker was to make no mistake with his next opportunity a minute later, although the Hornets were grateful for the contribution from an old boy. Robinson slipped inside his own half, allowing Deeney to run at the defence and the forward did superbly to slide his strike partner in down the side and Iwelumo did the rest emphatically, beating Andy Lonergan with a first-time finish inside his near post to make it 1-0 and score just his second Watford goal. Leeds attempted to react to that setback, with their first chances arriving in the 11th minute. First Robert Snodgrass cut in off the right and struck a left-footed curling effort that Jonathan Hogg did well to head behind for a corner. That set piece was swung in from the right by the Leeds skipper and Alex Bruce connected with a header but put it over the top. However, Watford nearly had another opening soon after, again originating from a Doyley throw on the right. This one was flicked on by Iwelumo at the near post and Tom Lees initially missed his clearance inside the six-yard box but was able to get the ball away as Deeney prepared to pounce. Luciano Becchio picked up the first yellow card of the match in the 17th minute and he only had himself to blame for sarcastically applauding referee Paul Tierney for awarding the hosts a free-kick. That set piece was also headed over by Bruce but soon after the Hornets had another good chance when Carl Dickinson released Deeney in space on the right side of the area and the in-form striker chose to hit his shot first time from a fairly tight angle and Lonergan blocked it at his near post. Watford continued to threaten going forward and in the 24th minute Yeates fed the overlapping Doyley, who held off a challenge and got to the byline before cutting the ball back but Connolly head read the danger and was able to clear ahead of Sean Murray. McCormack fired a useful effort from the left angle of the area a yard over before – and perhaps predictably at some stage in the contest – Robinson received a yellow card against his first club for a mistimed challenge on Hogg. Dickinson levelled up that particular left-back score in the 39th minute when he received the same punishment for a late tackle on Aidan White. Leeds were down to ten men for a few minutes as the half drew to a close as Bruce received a bloody nose after coming off worse in an aerial confrontation with Iwelumo. But during this period Kuszczak had to make a smart stop at his near post, tipping behind Snodgrass’ rising drive from an acute angle on the right side of the area.But in the last of four minutes of added time at the end of the half, Watford had another chance when Deeney got in between Bruce and Lees to latch onto John Eustace’s through ball and although he had to hit the shot early, the Hornets forward forced Lonergan to push the right-footed shot behind. However, the referee decided there was insufficient time left to take the corner. Warnock made a change at start of the second half, bringing on Vicarage Road old boy Webber for White, and it was the hosts who had the first chance after the break when Snodgrass toyed with the opposition defence on the right side of the area but his effort lacked power and Kuszczak was able to save comfortably. Leeds’ card count rose to three in the 50th minute when Adam Clayton was penalised for a foul on Hogg before Deeney’s pass found Iwelumo in space to his left but he mishit his shot and Lonergan was untroubled. Having been booked minutes before, Clayton was foolish to kick out at Eustace when the pair tangled but the referee let the midfielder off with a lecture. However – and although Kuszczak took credit – Leeds really should have equalised in the 56th minute. The situation arose from a free-kick that was swung in from the right, Bruce connected with a diving header that Kuszczak was only able to parry into the path of Snodgrass, who looked to have a routine finish. But from inside the six-yard box, the Elland Road skipper struck the ball straight at the Hornets keeper and then was able to get his legs around the follow up. Murray saw an attempted curler deflected through to Lonergan before Connolly was booked for a foul on Eustace. Leeds then made their second change, with Ramon Nunez replacing Clayton and the substitute’s first involvement was to hit a superb strike from the left edge of the area that flew narrowly wide of Kuszczak’s far post with the keeper beaten.Bruce, who was by now wearing a shirt without a number, headed over as Leeds continued to look for a way back before Dyche made his first change, with Forsyth coming on for Yeates with 17 minutes remaining. The Hornets continued to put their bodies on the line, quite literally in Hogg’s case when he took a drive from Nunez full in the face before Lees fired the rebound from the edge of the area over. A second goal for Watford would have won the game – and it really should have arrived nine minutes from time. Again a Leeds defender slipped, this time it was Lees, presenting Deeney with a clear run on goal. The Watford striker advanced on Lonergan, visibly weighing his options, and in the end decided to try and place the ball around him but the Leeds keeper read his intentions and saved. However, the ball broke back for Deeney on the left edge of the six-yard box but he was unable to squeeze it in from an acute angle and then Iwelumo was thwarted by a combination of Lees and Lonergan. Mikael Forssell came on for Becchio for the closing stages but the Hornets then did make the game safe. The Hornets won possession around the United box and after Hogg had seen a shot blocked, Murray did well to cut in and lay the ball off to Deeney, who saw his shot superbly blocked by Lonergan but the ball broke for Iwelumo to half-volley home his second. A bad afternoon for the hosts got even worse in injury time when Connolly was rightly booked for a second time after chopping down Forsyth – the right-back didn’t even wait to see for his fate and was walking off the pitch before the cards were shown. Deeney might have added a third when his late shot was deflected over but all that was that was left was for the Hornets to celebrate a truly memorable awayday – and the hosts to be booed off by those white-shirted fans still inside Elland Road. Interview – Eddie Gray with Neil Warnock on YR after match : “I’ve been better Eddie. A lot disappointing today. I’ve said all along I need questions answering. You can’t have 20 odd thousand turning up for that drivel. They are an average team are Watford and we haven’t a clue how to beat that. An experienced player makes a simple mistake – Robbo. Other than that I’m so disappointed. If you play at Leeds United you have to die for the shirt, you have to  wear your heart on your sleeve. Can Players cope ?They talk about big expectations, the pitch too big and all this rubbish. Its difficult for you Eddie. What we are missing is a few quality players. We haven’t enough of everything, quality, guts desire – we need surgery. The same mistakes,  the same results . It’s drastic and now I know why I was brought to the club. Well  when I look at that performance it’s a good deal we aren’t in relegation fight. I thought some of the characters went missing today. The only thing that was good was the crowd. Heaven knows what team I’ll  put out next week. To get sent off next week like that (Connolly)  it’s irresponsible. He obviously doesn’t want to play against Reading (Connolly) that’s the way I look at that. I’ll go with the kids. We’re not going to win anyway. I can’t ask 20 odd thousand to pay and watch that. There’s no way I’m  going to tolerate watching that. Watford, flipiin’ heck  – They’re not exactly the bees knees Eddie”. You can say that again Neil not the feckin Bees Knees alright but who is going to pay and watch that shite next week. Watford manager Sean Dyche hailed Iwelumo’s contribution, adding: “Big Chris has been excellent all season. “He has been questioned all his career so it is not a problem to him. When he is ready to deliver he is a real handful. “I am more than happy with winning 2-0 at Leeds. It was a very good, thorough performance. “I knew we were coming to a club who have just got a manager who is very successful, so we knew he would have them up for it. We had to come here ready to battle, fight and of course play. I thought we did that very well.” 

Sat 20th of March 2012. Big Profits YEP LEEDS UNITED made a profit of £3.5m in their first year back in the Championship. The Elland Road outfit enjoyed a major financial boost by returning to the second tier as gate receipts soared along with central funding from the Football League. Turnover was up 19 per cent as a result to £32.6m as Leeds saw the total profit the once-troubled club has made since exiting administration in 2007 break through the £10m barrier. United’s figures, which relate to the year ending June 30, 2011, compare favourably with recent financial trends across English football. In 2010-11, Nottingham Forest and Bristol City both lost more than £11m after over-stretching themselves in the push for the Premier League.  Sheffield United, meanwhile, lost £13.6m last season. Following the release of the figures yesterday, Leeds have now made a surplus in four consecutive years with 2007-08 seeing the club make £4.5m. The following 12 months saw United make £15,000, while in 2009-10 – when promotion from League One was secured – a profit of £2.072m was posted. Perhaps the most encouraging aspect of the most recent figures, however, is that a surplus was made without having to sell any players.  In 2009-10, for instance, the sale of Fabian Delph turned what would have been an operating loss of £670,000 into a seven-figure surplus. Players sales were also responsible for the small profit made in the previous year. Last season, however, United made an operating profit of £939,000 before player sales were taken into account. A major reason for this was the huge increase in central payments from the League that clubs in the Championship receive compared to those in League One. For Leeds, this meant a substantial rise from the £757,000 banked in their promotion year to £4,637,000 last term. Other income that rose considerably once back in the second tier included gate receipts, which were up 8.3 per cent to £12,711,000 – or around 39 per cent of turnover.  Taking Arsenal to an FA Cup replay also boosted the Elland Road coffers due to both ties being shown live on television. Costs also rose following promotion to the Championship with the wage bill rising significantly from £7.7m to £11.6m. The rent on Elland Road and Thorp Arch also went up during the year – a rise is factored in every October as part of the 25-year lease signed in 2004 – but these increases were more than offset by the extra income promotion brought. One recent outlay not included in the figures released yesterday was the cost of building the new East Stand extension, which opened just before Christmas. According to Leeds City Council’s planning documents last summer, the cost of the work was around £7.5m. United have taken out a loan of £5m to part-fund the development, suggesting they were able to cover a third of the money from existing club funds. Yesterday’s figures also revealed Leeds City Holdings, the parent company of Leeds United, made an overall profit of £2.98m on turnover of £34.445m. Operating profit was £509,000. Last season saw Leeds finish seventh in the Championship. New manager Neil Warnock is looking for his first home win this afternoon against Watford.