Thursday Feb 29th 2012. New manager still no new players. Neil Warnock admits he is still looking to bring one or two in but he cannot see anything happening before the game this weekend with Southampton. Warnock says they have talked about a number of players with two or three clubs but he was not willing to name names. Speaking on Yorkshire Radio, Warnock said, “We are looking to bring a couple in. I think everyone knows that and Matt Mills is one of the names mentioned. We have talked to two or three clubs about a number of players.  “Until there is something concrete, it does not look like anyone will be coming in before the weekend. I read stories here there and everywhere you just have to get on with it until you can get something on the dotted line.”Leeds have so far brought in Danny Webber since the arrival of Warnock. The free agent played for Warnock at Sheffield United and he has been without a club since being released by Portsmouth at the end of last season. Warnock has seen his squad trimmed with loan players Fabian Delph, Andros Townsend and Adam Smith all returning to their parent clubs. Simon Grayson said the last two transfer  window deadline days were his must frustrating as a manager. The sheer folly of letting Gradel and Howson go without properly signed replacements is beginning to haunt the Whites now. Two to three new players were promised by the weekend but still no joy, as Mills doesn’t want come or won’t be allowed come and Robinson wants to stay were he is. Perhaps wages is an issue. We are short of defenders with Alex Bruce apparently out for a fortnight but like Simon Grayson it appears Colin doesn’t fancy Andy O’Brien who has yet to get into a staring squad. So far all that has arrived is a player who hasn’t kicked a ball in over nine months. The feel good factor of Warnock’s arrival will evaporate without some new additions or stand out results. Unless we beat Southampton we can virtually kiss goodbye to our very remote chance of making the play offs. It will be interesting to see what kind of a crowd we get for the live Saint match.

Weds 29th. Who owns Elland Road ? The anonymous owners of Leeds United’s Elland Road stadium could be told to reveal their names under new legislation proposed by Conservative MP Damian Collins. Collins has tabled a parliamentary bill aimed at forcing English and Scottish clubs to name their major shareholders and the owners of their stadiums and training grounds. The proposals would demand greater disclosure about the ownership of Elland Road which was sold by Leeds more than seven years ago and is now the property of off-shore firm Teak Commercial Limited. Both the stadium and United’s training complex at Thorp Arch changed hands in November 2004 when the Leeds board led by Gerald Krasner negotiated their sale to Manchester property developer Jacob Adler. In 2005, Adler transferred the freehold of Elland Road to Teak Commercial Limited, a company registered in the tax haven of the British Virgin Islands. The directors and beneficiaries behind Teak Commercial Limited have never been publicly declared, but Leeds pay an annual seven-figure sum to rent Elland Road. The club negotiated a 25-year lease of the ground after selling it in 2004 and retained the lease after Teak Commercial Limited acquired Elland Road the following year. Collins, the MP for Folkestone and Hyde, told the YEP: “The bill would require more disclosure than just the brass plate on the door. Who are the investors in the company, who are the shareholders and who ultimately controls one of the club’s key assets? Where is money paid to use the stadium going? “In my view it’s essential that these facts are disclosed to allow for full and proper transparency within a football club. Because of the perilous financial state of a lot of clubs, most supporters I speak to really want to know who owns their club, who owns their club’s key assets and facilities and what their intentions are.” Collins’ Football (Financial Transparency) bill will be debated by Parliament on Monday, March 13. The motion calls for “leave to bring in a bill to require a football club playing in the top four tiers of English and Scottish professional football to disclose the identity of its owner and the identity of the owner of its home playing ground (and) training ground.” Collins’ private member’s bill will also seek to end the ‘Football Creditors’ rule which requires clubs in administration to pay all football debts in full before regaining membership of the Premier League or Football League. As when Leeds entered administration in 2007, unsecured creditors often receive a small percentage of the money they are owed as part of a deal to revive an insolvent club. The ownership of United became the subject of fierce scrutiny after the club were bought out of administration in 2007 by the Forward Sports Fund (FSF), an off-shore firm registered in the Caribbean Island of Nevis. The beneficiaries of FSF remained a secret and, amid growing public pressure for more transparency, chairman Ken Bates completed a buy-out of Leeds for an undisclosed sum in April of last year.

Weds 29th. Our thanks to The Square Ball : What Ken Said – 29.02.12 – Taken from Yorkshire Radio’s interview with Leeds United owner Ken Bates today…‘Mr Chairman’ speaks to Ben Fry about Portsmouth, Southampton, Danny Webber, Captain Snoddy and our the play-off chances. He then goes into a 625-word, three minutes and 27 seconds long rant about Leeds United Supporters Trust – some of which is lies, some of which breaches the Data Protection Act which the club abides by under its own Customer Charter and most of it is nonsense. He then attacks UEFA, FIFA, local journalists, non-official Leeds United websites and tweeters. Apparently all the media he owns is amazing though, which is good to know…Ben Fry: Chairman, we’ll start with the new manager and the impact he has had since his arrival week last Saturday. You must be delighted with the effect he’s had on the players and the team? Ken Bates: Well I’m very pleased about that indeed. He has been a breath of fresh air and all the reports I’m getting back is there’s a new spirit about the place and their buzzing. Mind you, to be fair, this always happens when you appoint a new manager because his first speech is always “what’s past is past, everybody now starts afresh, clean sheet, level playing field, prove to me if you’re not in the team prove to me why you should be in the team, prove to me and show to me you’e good enough to stay in the team”. Obviously people are out of favour or feel they haven’t had a fair chance – this always happens in football unfortunately because there’s always a winner and a loser. It inspires them all. So it now means we’ve now got a very large squad but they’ve all got a chance now to demonstrate to Neil Warnock what they are made of. BF: Of course he had a hand in the win against Doncaster and took the team down to Portsmouth to get a point. Is it a good point away from home? KB: It was a very good point. What I think is significant is Shaun Harvey met one of the first-team players after the game in the car park and just said “how do you feel?” and the player said “a month ago we would have lost that game”. Now I thought that was a very significant remark. Long may it continue. BF: And of course it was the second clean sheet in 14 games. An area that needed some work. KB: Yes, and of course Neil is still looking to strengthen that part of the team to enhance our chances of getting in the play-offs. But he’s going about it the right way, and the team are responding to him in the right way. So we’re very hopeful, very optimistic. BF: You mentioned trying to bring in some fresh faces. Is it tough at this time when people are still trying to decide which players they are going to need for the run-in? KB: Well the problem is, you’re looking for a player who will switch just for two months and at the time when they’re probably still trying to make a point to their existing club that they’re worthy of a new contract or an extended one or whatever. So there aren’t many players about. So there’s no point, as I’ve said many times before, in bringing in players just for the sake of bringing them in. Neil won’t do that anyway. So anybody he does bring in, he feels will make a significant contribution to the rest of the season. After all, it’s still nearly a third to go. BF: Now after Andros Townsend abruptly returned to Spurs, Neil Warnock has moved quickly to bring Danny Webber in, a player he knows well until the end of the season. Important that if you’ve got these relationships that you can make the most of them?  KB: Oh yes. Obviously the whole thing is contacts isn’t it? And the advantage of bringing in somebody that you’ve known before is you know their character and you know their attitude and you know their fitness and their commitment. So Danny will be a useful contribution in the next 13 games. BF: One of the chances the new manager has made has been to change the captaincy. He said, obviously nothing against Andy Lonergan, he just doesn’t think goalkeepers are natural captains and he’s gone for Robert Snodgrass. He’s seems a very popular choice. KB: I agree with you. As Neil said, nothing against Andy Lonergan, who has done a good job in difficult circumstances, but at the end of the day when you’re standing on a goal line sometimes 100 yards from the action, it’s very difficult to captain and to give leadership. You sometimes stand there helplessly at the other end of the pitch. I’ve always believed you need somebody in the midfield who can speak to everybody and lead by example and I think in Snoddy, we’ve got one. BF: Now with that point at Pompey at the weekend, do you feel the team are very much in the play-off race? KB: Well we’re four points behind aren’t we? With 13 games to go. And don’t forget when Norwich came through and they got promotion they came from nowhere and surged in the last 13 games. So there’s a lot to play for. And we have to play all the clubs above us. The negative among us will say “oh dear it could be hard”. The positives among us will say they’re all six pointers. Not only are we going to gain three points off club A but club A will also lose three points. BF: Do you think the next four game could be a crucial part of the season with Southampton, Hull, MIddlesbrough and West Ham all teams, like you mention, in that top six. KB: Oh yes. They are crucial but then so are the next four games after that. They’ll be crucial as well. It’s a great run-in until the end of the season, after I have to say a stuttering start to the season which was disappointing from the end of November. BF: Now next up it is a game against Southampton. You must be impressed with the way they have acquitted themselves in the Championship.  KB: A few months ago they were running away with the title, now they’re not. They’re back in the battle and three points on Saturday will very much put us back in contention for the play-offs. BF: It looks like being a big crowd for Saturday’s tea-time game and also, as well, the junior shirt offer seems to have gone down really well. KB: Oh yes. Just goes to show the club has got a heart. We’ve had a good response and I’m very pleased for the youngsters. I just hope they can keep their parents under control when they bring them along with them. BF: Now I know you wanted to touch on LUST. We’ve heard a lot from LUST over the last few weeks and months. What is your thoughts on the impact they are having and the way they are going about their business? KB: Well first of all, they’re not having any impact at all other than in their own minds. The way they are behaving is the most peculiar because they make no impression on the club at all. The only bad impression they are making is a bad one and unfortunately that’s externally from would-be sponsors and maybe investors because they say “who would want to get involved in a mob like that?”. But the fact of the matter is very short, I thought Martin Samuels put it very well in his Daily Mail column. He pointed out… what do they do? They make these open statements to the world and promptly send them to all newspapers and most of them have a laugh and spike them. But Martin Samuels took their claims and analysed them and according to them, with no justification or substantiation, 120 people voted for a march and 80 per cent didn’t. Well so what. We had observers at the last march and it was mostly kids. When they were asked what they were marching for and what they were there for, they said they were there for a laugh. It just about sums it up. Doesn’t make any impression on the management of the club does it? It doesn’t make an impression on the directors of the club. They just make themselves a nuisance. We’re getting to the state now where we’re getting an eight-year-old girl and a nine-year-old boy having written to me saying take no notice of the rudeness. That’s all it is, rudeness. And of course they can hand it out but they can’t take it because all the chanting rude things about me, when I called them morons they were most upset… “how dare he?” … well if you can’t stand the heat get out of the kitchen. They have nothing to offer. They make no contribution and they are just a very small bunch of self-appointed, self-important people, who are an irritant to the overwhelming majority of the Leeds fans who want to get on with supporting their club. And it’s very interesting and as you know there are lots of discussions going on at, if you like, government level with he football authorities in the proposed changes in the football governance of the game. They would like to see more supporter involvement. But if we’re going to have governance of football, it includes governance of supporters groups who should be properly regulated, properly supervised and have to be properly and responsibly reported. And at the moment, they’re not, they’re just a bunch of hooray-henrys. No impression, gives the club a bad name, and all that happens is that if the away clubs, when we play them fear that there is going to be demonstrations or shouting and balling, they just cut our ticket allocations. So it’s another way in which the good fans suffer for the idiocy of the few. I should mention, the chairman, a Mr Gary Cooper – I understand he’s an IT technician so he’s never known how to run a business and make a profit and be accountable. Another thing, he didn’t come to a game last season, he bought a season ticket this year and stated he’s not going to renew next year so who does he think he is? Who does he think he represents? Who does he think he speaks for? Nobody except himself. And another member of the board, their so-called board, lives in America and according to our computer records in his own name, he’s only come to two games in the past six years and they were both play-off semi-finals. So there’s loyal supporters for you. Yeah! Forget LUST. Most people are doing that anyway. BF: People talk about communication between the club and the fans but that’s what the Regional Members Clubs are for. For example, with the Regional Members Clubs conference that was held this season. I mean there is a good network of communication between the club and the fans already isn’t there? KB: Oh yes. Ermm… we have about 35,000 members who are fully paid up, unlike LUST where I gather you can be a member for free. Well you get what you pay for. But what has been encouraging is the fact that Lorna Tinkler has really stepped up the amount of Reginal Members meetings that we have around the country. At one stage we were doing around two per week. And of course you get one-to-one then with the genuine fans who are speaking directly to the management about their concerns. And the concerns about football supporters are all the same. Ticket prices and new players so nothing has changed there. But of course what we have done, we have started having conferences of the regional leaders, the chairmen and the secretaries. So we had an all-day one a couple of months ago which was very productive and very enlightening because it also means we can explain to them in detail why we make certain decisions and they can go back and explain that more fully to their members at their branch meetings. And we intend to extend that. BF: And of course, all the details if you would like to be a club member on the website LeedsUnited.com. Before we let you go today, one issue nationally, which I know it’s something we’ve talked about numerous times and it looks like UEFA are finally going to reduce the number of international games and try and scrap these meaningless friendlies. Have they finally started to listen? KB: Well I think they are only starting to listen under pressure but the real problem of course is FIFA, who are totally divorced from reality and they are the next people to take on. No but the European clubs have done a good job in pointing out to UEFA that as you say meaningless friendlies mean nothing. They annoy the clubs. They disturb their training pattern and they often send players back injured. And I think it’s not altogether coincidental the number of players, just take the players in the Premier League and English football who are calling off with injuries against this week’s spate of friendlies, which as I say are totally meaningless. Before you go, Ben, I think there’s one or a couple of other things I think we need to establish while we’re heading off. First of all, as you know, some of the, I can only describe them as disappointing local journalists have expressed their opinions over matters affecting the club. In many occasions without checking their facts before they rush in to print. You will for example remember all the comparisons made comparing Leeds against Wolverhampton Wanderers and the way they went about appointing a new manager. Wolves were held up by a local paper as a perfect example of their decisive actions and how to do it and compared it with Leeds’ procrastination. Well Wolves didn’t get a manager, having announced through the press who they were interviewing, this that and the other. They all fell away and made themselves look a little bit silly. Compare that with Leeds United who have done absolutely nothing, even though we had hundreds of applications and all of a sudden, we just did it. And for the benefit of all the fans, that’s how we do our business. We don’t talk about it. We don’t do speeches in the press and grab headlines. Just quietly, behind closed doors, get on with the job. And that’s why good managers, over 100 of them applied, want to come to Leeds United because that’s the club they want to work for. Another thing I want to look at is the governance of football and football clubs. Horrified this morning to see that Aston Villa have announced £54million loss and for those who take about investing in the club, I think it’s interesting that Blackpool announced their wage bill is £12million a year when they were in the Premiership, which is exactly what ours is this year in the Championship, which we can’t afford. But we have incurred those liabilities, those obligations. Now that is investment. And something… we’ve only signed loan players. Really? That remark was made by another local newspaper reporter. And I pointed out we signed nine players this year. “Oh no,” he said. “But they are loans.” I said: “Don’t you check your facts before rushing into print.” We’ve signed nine new players this year, plus loans. So I think that Leeds United are in good hands, being responsibly managed and are weathering the current economic storms a lot better than many of our competitors. BF: Chairman, as always, thanks for taking the time to speak to us on Yorkshire Radio. KB: Thank you Ben and just to remind your listeners of course that there are one or two little websites about Leeds United but ours, the Leeds United website, gets over five million page impressions a month. Bigger than nearly every other club in the country, except Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool. So if you want to read about what’s going on, don’t listen to the clap-trap or the tweets and the twots, watch Leeds United’s websites, listen to Yorkshire Radio and LUTV… and buy the programme. You won’t go far wrong. Good, bad or indifferent.

Ben Parker

Weds 29th. Parker return. LEEDS United’s Pontefract-born defender Ben Parker has returned to Elland Road after finishing a month’s loan with League One side Carlisle United. Parker joined Carlisle in a bid to pick up some match fitness after having seven operations on various injuries in the past 30 months. He made five appearances and scored in Carlisle’s 2-1 home win over Chesterfield. Carlisle manager Greg Abbot praised Parker’s efforts with the League One play-off . Parker is now aiming to impress new manager Neil Warnock in a bid to win a new contract as his current deal expires this summer. United’s on-loan right-back, Adam Smith, meanwhile, has returned to Tottenham, who recalled him after their first choice, Kyle Walker, picked up an injury in last Sunday’s game with Arsenal. Smith played three games for Leeds, but did not start at Portsmouth as new manager Neil Warnock preferred Alex Bruce

Weds 29th of Feb 2012. Another trialist. Leeds United have handed Swedish free agent Dulee Johnson a trial at the club. Liberian-born midfielder joined Dutch Eredivisie side De Graafschap last summer on a free transfer from Panetolikos, but his stay was short-lived as he was sacked in October after just four appearances. De Graafschap booted him out after stopped by Police for drink-driving and refusing a blood and breath test – which is illegal in the Netherlands – and has been left without a club ever since. Johnson is now hoping to rebuild his career after being taken on trial by the Whites and has already played and impressed in a closed-door match against Middlesborough at the club’s Thorp Arch training ground which may earn him a contract offer. The 27-year-old would be Neil Warnock’s second signing, after the former QPR and Sheffield United boss brought in former Portsmouth and Sheffield United forward Danny Webber. Warnock is also believed to be on the verge of signing Leicester City defender Matt Mills, who after losing the captaincy due to his falling out with boss Nigel Pearson, has fallen down the pecking order behind Sean St. Ledger, Wes Morgan and Sol Bamba.

Tues Feb 28th. Mills to stay ? Leeds have been linked with the Leicester captain since the weekend and it was reported on Sky Sports on Monday that the two clubs had agreed a deal that would see Mills move to Elland Road for the remainder of the season. Whilst Leeds were announcing their first signing Danny Webber since the arrival of new manager Neil Warnock, Mills played for Leicester reserves in their behind closed doors friendly 3-0 win over Northampton Town. Reports are now suggesting that he wants to remain at the Walker Stadium and fight for his place despite a reported bust up with manager Nigel Pearson that has seen his miss the last two games. Mills joined the foxes last summer from Reading after leading the royals to the play-off final, where despite scoring they were beaten 3-2 by Swansea City. The 25 year old was the Leicester club captain, having made 31 appearances before his recent spell out of the side.

Tues Feb 28th. Barn door Billy nets again. Billy Paynter continues his re-emergence under new manager Neil Warnock by scoring twice in a behind closed doors friendly win over Middlesbrough. The striker brought Leeds level before half time before netting a late winner from the penalty spot in a 2-1 win. Paynter had become the forgotten man at Leeds and he looked to be on his way out at Elland Road after just one substitute`s appearance on the opening day of the season. Warnock watched Paynter in a behind closed doors friendly last week against Hull when he scored in a 4-3 defeat. He had obviously done enough to earn a recall and he was in the squad for the first time as an unused substitute in the 0-0 draw at Portsmouth on Saturday, in Neil Warnock`s first game in charge. The former Swindon striker spent two months on loan at Brighton earlier in the season, where he made ten appearances without scoring. Simon Grayson brought Paynter to Leeds on a free transfer in the summer of 2010 after he scored 29 goals for Swindon in League One, including four against Leeds in the two league meetings. Paynter netted just once for Leeds in his first season at Preston North End in 23 appearances. The 27 year old is contracted to Leeds until the summer of 2013. The game also saw new signing Danny Webber make his debut in a Leeds shirt with him completing 45 minutes of the game

Tues Feb 28th. Parker returns. Ben Parker has returned to Leeds following his one-month loan with Carlisle. The defender made five appearances for Carlisle, scoring once, and leaves with Greg Abbott praising him: ‘the measure of the man came when I spoke to him after the Yeovil game and his comment was “just make sure you go on and get promotion”.’

Danny Webber

Tues Feb 28th 2012. Webber becomes Colin’s first. Leeds United have signed the versatile Danny Webber on a deal until the end of the season. The 30-year-old, who can play out wide or up front, was due to make his first appearance in a Leeds shirt in Tuesday’s behind-closed-doors game against Middlesbrough. Webber has scored 50 goals in almost 250 career appearances and, after learning his trade at Manchester United, he had successful spells at both Watford and Sheffield United. The player also spent two seasons with Portsmouth and was a free agent after his contract expired at the south coast club last summer. Danny worked with United boss Neil Warnock during his time at Bramall Lane, and he also trained with the new manager at Queens Park Rangers earlier this season. Warnock, who was keen to strengthen the wide attacking area following the unexpected departure of Andros Townsend, told the club website: “I know the player well and he’ll be good to have around the place.”


Tues 27th. Robinson linked. Leeds United have reportedly made an enquiry about taking Bolton defender Paul Robinson on loan. Leeds boss Neil Warnock has made defensive reinforcements his top priority since taking over at Elland Road and left-back Robinson is on his list of targets. The 33-year-old is thought to be available on loan this month after finding himself down the pecking order at the Reebok Stadium in recent weeks. This news has alerted a host of Championship clubs to Robinson’s availability, with Southampton and Burnley also expressing an interest in the full-back. However, Leeds are hoping to steal a march on their Championship rivals by luring Robinson to Elland Road as Warnock looks to bolster his squad before this weekend’s visit of high-flying Southampton.

Mon Jan 27th. Sky Sports – Leeds agree a deal with Leicester for Mills  Sky Sports understands Leicester defender Matt Mills is weighing up a loan move to Championship rivals Leeds. MillsDescription: http:/static.lingospot.com/spot/image/spacer.gif has found himself frozen out of things at the King Power Stadium following a reported bust-up with Foxes boss Nigel Pearson.Description: http:/static.lingospot.com/spot/image/spacer.gif The summer signing from Reading was left out of the LeicesterDescription: http:/static.lingospot.com/spot/image/spacer.gif squad for last week’s win over Derby and it appears he does not figure in Pearson’s long-term plans. The news has alerted a number of clubs who are now ready to take the 25-year-old on loan for the rest of the season. New Leeds boss Neil WarnockDescription: http:/static.lingospot.com/spot/image/spacer.gif is keen to bring Mills to Elland Road to bolster his defence and talks between both clubs are thought to be at an advanced stage. Mills is now thought to be weighing up whether or not he should go out on loan with both clubs thought to have agreed terms on a deal.

Warnock in what he does best – moaning at officials

Feb 25th. Portsmouth 0-0 Leeds United. YEP Report. 01 Lonergan, 04 Bruce (Bromby – 11′ ) 22 Lees, 28 White, 48 O’Dea Booked, 08 Brown Booked, 15 Clayton, 16 Pugh, 10 Becchio, 23 Snodgrass, 44 McCormack. Unused Substitutes 29 Thompson, 11 Sam 09 Paynter 18 Forssell. Neil Warnock’s first game in charge of Leeds United ended in frustration as Portsmouth turned in a battling display in a bid to stave off relegation from the Championship. Warnock saw his latest side snatch a last-gasp win from the stands at Elland Road last week, but will be disappointed the Whites failed to convert one of several chances. Ross McCormack came closest to breaking the deadlock when his shot hit the bar and bounced down on to the goalline early in the second half. Robert Snodgrass headed home the rebound, but his follow-up effort was ruled out for offside. The point gained is of little use to either side. Leeds remain four points adrift of the play-offs and Portsmouth, who dropped into the bottom three after being docked 10 points for going into administration, slipped another place courtesy of Coventry’s win over Barnsley. Pompey manager Michael Appleton, forced to sell top goalscorer Erik Huseklepp to Birmingham this week, once again struggled to fill his substitutes’ bench and handed a debut to 21-year-old midfielder Scott Allan, who joined on loan from West Brom on Thursday. Defender Greg Halford returned to the side, while striker Dave Kitson was suspended. Michael Brown was back in Leeds’ starting line-up in place of the departing Andros Townsend, while Warnock handed the captain’s armband to Snodgrass. Leeds were dealt an early blow when defender Alex Bruce was forced off injured in the 11th minute and replaced by Leigh Bromby. Goalkeeper Andy Lonergan tipped away Portsmouth midfielder George Thorne’s corner soon after, while Adam Clayton drove the wrong side of the post for Leeds. Allan almost made a dream start when his long-range shot flashed wide and Pompey team-mate Hayden Mullins’ angled effort was blocked. Both sides were finding it difficult to carve out clear-cut chances. Pompey defender Tal Ben-Haim tried his luck with a wayward 30-yard shot before Leeds came closest to breaking the deadlock just before half-time when Snodgrass’s shot from a half-cleared corner was brilliantly saved by Stephen Henderson. Leeds almost took the lead with their first meaningful attack in the second half. McCormack’s thumping drive from the left edge of the penalty area hit the crossbar and bounced down on the goalline and although Snodgrass followed up to head home, the Scot was deemed to have been in an offside position by referee Phil Gibbs. Pompey pair Ward and Mullins fired in long-range efforts that were blocked and comfortably saved respectively before Henderson rescued his side again, this time saving with his feet to deny Luciano Becchio inside the penalty area in the 58th minute. Henderson saved with his feet again to keep out Bromby’s close-range shot, but just as Leeds began to dominate, Thorne unleashed a 20-yard shot that forced Lonergan into a fine save. Aidy White almost caught Henderson out with a cross-shot that was tipped over, fellow Leeds defender Darren O’Dea headed straight at Henderson in the closing stages and Brown lashed a shot over the bar in the 94th minute. Warnock was convinced McCormack’s effort crossed the line. He said: “McCormack’s shot was a metre over the line. It’s embarrassing really when you see it. It’s not even close. “Apparently the television pictures here are not so good, but if they want to borrow ours, they’ll see it’s not even close. “I’ve asked the official and he said he was in line about 12 yards away. He obviously didn’t see it. “But in fairness, there was a certain handball against us in the first half and that was the same linesman. The sun was obviously causing a problem out there.” Michael Appleton was keen to forget his side’s latest slice of misfortune. He said: “I felt that it looked like a blatant penalty and having watched it back, it has told me what I thought at the time. “But that’s the way it is at the minute and we have to move on quickly.” Appleton’s side were well backed by a partisan 17,571 crowd at Fratton Park and the manager admitted he was delighted with the unity in the Pompey camp. The squad agreed to defer their January wage packets to help keep the club afloat, and Appleton said the move has brought the players closer together on the pitch. He said: “The players are pretty much galvanised together and the unity they’ve got comes from making decisions like they’ve had to make with the wages. “To be quite frank, if they didn’t do what they did, where would the club be? Would we have a club? “Everyone wants the same two or three things. Firstly, we want to try and stay in the Championship, and we’ve got 14 games to do something about it. “Secondly, we want to find an owner who wants to take the club forward, stabilise it for a number of years and not use it as a stepping stone or somewhere to hog the limelight for a year or two.” On another day this would have been a decent point. Both Pompey and Leeds need wins right now. Snodgrass was made captain, a decent call in my view. He  started off in the middle in a free roving role. In the first half he was like a fish out of water as he kept losing the ball. You would expect Leeds to win when they keep a clean sheet but Lady luck didn’t smile too kindly. Surprisingly Warnock didn’t make any substitutions except for the enforced change of Bromby for the injured Bruce. We have lost Howson and Gradel and their replacements of Delph and Townsend have also finished their respective stints for Leeds, although for different reasons. We need a decent addition in midfield and at least one new defender. Realistically we are running out of games to make a last push for the play offs, especially with a difficult March on the horizon.

Feb 24th. Warnock the man for the job – Matteo YEP Neil Warnock is the new Leeds United manager and I’ve got to admit that I just love the passion he has for football. Bringing someone like him in with the way he is and his character – in terms of being outspoken – is something people just like. I’ve certainly listened to him over the years and I think that with him in charge the only way for United is forward. I’m sure Neil will give the players back the belief they might have lost a little. Looking at someone like Luciano Becchio, he hasn’t really hit form and things have been a bit negative since the start of the season. But I really think Becchio will relish playing under Neil. He’ll be telling him: “Look at the size of you, win your headers, don’t let your opponent dominate you – you dominate him.”  Part of Neil’s make-up is his man-management and he will be saying exactly the right things to players. It will be what Martin O’Neill has done since he’s been at Sunderland and you can’t believe the transformation there. Neil won’t stand for anyone not giving 110 per cent. I’m not saying Simon Grayson did either, but Neil will let them know in no uncertain way. I think if you are a Leeds player and you are giving 110 per cent every game and trying your best, then the Leeds fans won’t be on your case one little bit – that’s the one thing that Leeds fans demand. Neil will want players who he knows can get Leeds out of this division and he’ll have a way of playing – he’ll get to know what his best team is and will stick to it as best he can. I think one of the things that cost Simon in the end was that he didn’t have a regular team, week-in, week-out and he found it very hard to pick his best side and so had pressures from fans and other people. Neil will do what he feels is best for the club and pick his team regardless of what anyone else thinks. He’ll make the team solid, will have a holding midfield player who will go nowhere and just have a way of playing. Whether it’s going to be route one or whatever, he’ll have a structure of how this team will play to get out of the Championship. I hark back to the Tony Pulis situation at Stoke. He said to me: “Get in there and get the dressing room lively.” He knew I wasn’t a holding midfield player, but he wanted me to sit in front of the back four and not go anywhere. We had a big, physical side and knew in that division that set-pieces were massive for us. Set-pieces and not conceding silly goals was what we were good at in my time at Stoke and I think those are the things Leeds have struggled with – especially conceding poor goals. You can work as much as you want on the training field, but giving away silly goals kills you. Neil will make sure Leeds don’t do that as well. Looking at all the contenders we’ve talked about, I think Neil was probably the best man for the job. I don’t think anyone else high on the list has the experience or know-how that he has. At the end of the day, some players need a kick up the backside and some need an arm around them and one thing Neil won’t be scared of is doing the former when he needs to. It will be a fresh start for many players and they will all be staking their claim. But there will be new signings, that’s the way football is as players and managers come and go.  I think Neil is a breath of fresh air; he’s very honest and as a player that’s what you want.

Feb 24th.  Larry talks with Clarke and Warnock. Simon Grayson said messages of support exchanged with Lee Clark and Neil Warnock reinforced his sense of goodwill within the game. The 43-year-old was sacked by Leeds chairman Ken Bates at the beginning of the month but has been installed by Huddersfield owner Dean Hoyle as the man to steer the Terriers all the way to the Premier League. Grayson said: “I was out of work for just under three weeks and that’s football. I was slightly surprised when I lost my job, everybody was surprised when (former Huddersfield boss) Lee lost his job and that’s just the nature of the game. “Full credit to Lee, he sent me a text the other night wishing me good luck for the future and we discussed one or two things and I did the same with Neil (new Leeds manager). “That’s how it can be in football. You can have good friends and a lot of people appreciate what you’re trying to do and you respect each other for it.” Grayson, who signed a three-and-a-half year deal at the Galpharm Stadium on Monday, takes charge of his first game when Huddersfield take on Exeter this weekend.

Feb 24th What Ken said to YR – Thanks to The Square ball for the transcript. Taken from Yorkshire Radio’s interview with Leeds United owner Ken Bates today…‘Mr Chairman’ speaks to Ben Fry about Neil Warnock’s arrival as the new manager, plus the win over Doncaster and the upcoming matches against Portsmouth and Southampton. Warning: it’s unusually reasonable and lacks controversy. Ben Fry: In the context of the season, how important was the win against Doncaster Rovers on Saturday? Ken Bates: Well I think it could prove to be a turning point in the season. To be fair, we have come back from two goals down before but I think that in the way it was done and the spirit in which it was done and of course the fact that it was the entry of the gladiator so to speak which gave us those three points and kept us within touching distance of the play-offs with 14 games to go. BF: Now Neil Warnock was there on the day, he sat in the stand but he couldn’t help himself. He made an instant impact at half-time. I suppose that’s what you would have expected isn’t it? KB: (laughs) Yes, it was quite interesting. It has been a busy few days. He was on his way up to Wolverhampton to be interviewed when I spoke to him on the phone. He was on the plane the next morning at 8.30am with Shaun. Well Shaun flew via Amsterdam and Neil came from London. And we met in our secret hideaway; my office on the Cafe de Paris where we were immediately photographed by one of those intrusive camera phones. (laughs) I’m denying to all and sundry that I hadn’t even spoken to him, which is of course how I do my business anyway and there they are busy snapping away and revealing my terrible untruths in the Mail and The Sun the next day. But we had a long session and at this stage, I know they all say this, but Neil wasn’t particularly motivated by money. He’s got this ambition. He’s one of three managers that’s won promotion seven times and he wants to make it eight. In the way the game’s going, it’s going to be very difficult for someone in the future to be at a club long enough to gain eight. So that’s his ambition; he wants to take Leeds back into the Premiership and crown his own personal career, which you can’t blame him for. We talked and talked and talked and he went home on the Saturday and got home about midnight, drove home and drove up first thing in the morning and he was at the ground just before 12, met all the players in the dressing room and what was nice was he didn’t sort of impose on the respected Neil Redfearn who was the manager for the day and as you said, he couldn’t contain himself and we won. He was at the training ground on Sunday and met all the players and the staff and did the same the last few days. It always happens doesn’t it, you bring a new man in and there’s a breath of fresh air and a different thinking and different attitudes and I’m glad to say, the team has responded to it. BF: And now three points outside the play-offs (correction: it’s five points) and once again, anything seems possible. KB: Well, as I’ve said for a few weeks now, fortunately during our bad patch – and it’s no doubt we’ve had one for two months – other clubs have had similar difficulties. We’re still in with a reasonable chance and it’s up to us and just the way the players are buzzing at the moment, I think it shall be very interesting 10 weeks until the end of the season. BF: Now in the first interviews he’s given, Neil Warnock has made it very clear that he has had a look at the squad. He thinks things need changing around, he thinks some players need to go out on loan and he’d like to bring a couple of faces in. So some work to be done behind the scenes? KB: Oh, I think that work is already taking place. One of the problems you’ve got is that we’ve got such a large squad. Apart from the fact it’s very expensive and unnecessarily so, on the human side it’s very difficult to keep in contact and get to know so many players and keep them happy. The advantage of Neil coming in is it’s a clean slate, no matter what happened before and he’ll start again. And the players are responding. For example, yesterday we had a reserve match against Hull and 10 of the first team players stayed on to watch the game. So that was a bit of a difference. So he thinks the team needs to be juggled with and adjusted rather than an all-out revolution. And that’s what he’s on with and he’s working very hard. I’m now getting used to my 7.15pm calls when we review the game and look at tomorrow. He tried to get Gwyn Williams into trouble by pointing out he’d left work at 4pm and took a half-day. So when I tackled Gwyn about it, he’d gone to a reserve match. So there was insufficient evidence to bring a charge against Gwyn for negligence on duty. I mean, that’s the atmosphere that’s going on at the place now. I think people are very happy with their work.BF: People seem to be very interested to see how the dynamic is going to work between the two of you… I’m trying to tread carefully here… but neither of you are shrinking violets. Would that be fair comment? KB: Well I am a violet, whether I’ve shrunk or not, I don’t know but that comes with old age. But the fact of it is that we don’t waste time skirting the matters, we tackle problems in an honest and open way. It’s much better than skirting around the situations. That takes much longer and sometimes there’s a misunderstanding and sometimes there are mistakes but we say what we think. That sort of makes you controversial, does it? The joke with most people who you ask for their opinion is they don’t give you an opinion. They say, “I’m very glad you asked me that question” and then change it to something else. We say what we think and see it as it is. I’ve know Neil for many years and I remind him of the occasion when Sheffield United won promotion under his managership and I took 12 cases of Champagne, Don Perignon, into the dressing room for all the boys to celebrate. Half of them finished in the back of his car boot and I reminded him of that on Friday. I said “and this time when we win promotion, if there’s Don Perignon in the dressing room it stays there. You’ll get your own case, don’t nick the players’s”. And we just burst out laughing. That’s the relationship we’re having. BF: You seem excited at the prospect of working with him. It seems it’s going to be an exciting challenge. KB: Well, my first conversation with him, he rang me when I was at home and I went into the bedroom and we had a talk. I came out and I said “Suzannah, that man has just made me feel 10 years younger.” And that’s the impact that he’s having on the dressing room. As an aside from a local, loyal wife, her immediate reaction was “God help us!”. BF: Now back to playing matters, his first full game in charge will be a trip to Portsmouth. It’s going to be difficult to know what to expect. Obviously they are a club in deep trouble at the moment. KB: Well you never can tell actually at a club that’s in that situation. One of two things can happen. They’ll either be demoralised, defeated, disheartened and we’ll go and win comfortably or it’s sort of like the battle of the Alamo; they’ll come out fighting, us against the world sort of thing and it will be very, very difficult. It’s very difficult to forecast. Kitson, of course, got himself sent off last Saturday so he won’t be available. So that will be a loss for them. But they have a talented team and you’ve still got some of their players earning £30,000 a week to £50,000 a week from their Premiership years. Unless they were very bad buys, there’s some talent there. So it will be an interesting game. BF: And of course after that it’s back to Elland Road for the tea time kick off against Southampton, who stuttered a bit of late but are still a team to be feared.  KB: Well that will be a cracker. That will be a real test. They started our season badly for us by beating us badly. Well we were well beaten on the first game of the season. Then we seem to wake up and get going. It took us a bit of time to get into our stride. So we owe them one. But they have, as you say, stuttered of late. I can remember in October and Novemeber they were runaway leaders. Now they’re not. So anything is possible and it’ll be a six-pointer for us to close the gap, which is important. It’s looking good. BF: It’s a big game and of course you’d hope for a big crowd and a great offer available to fans as well. Any adult bringing child with them and the child will get a free junior shirt. You’re trying to create a family atmosphere but also a packed house. KB: Er, yeah. I’m sure we’ll get a few more Leeds shirts walking around the Headrow. Let people know we’re the club in town. BF: And obviously a great incentive to encourage more young fans to the club. KB: Yep. Great to encourage them to have a shirt but we want them to support the club and wear a shirt, not the other way round. BF: (Edited in after) And all the details of the free junior shirt offer for the Southampton game is on the website LeedsUnited.com. Junior Season Ticket holders will go into a draw to win one of the match shirts worn by the first team on that day. So all the details for the offer on the website LeedsUnited.com. KB: Ben, in closing, I think I must say something about Simon Grayson. We had him for three years, he did a good job, he stabilised the club and got us promotion. It’s always difficult when you part company with managers. We seem to have drifted away this year, that’s the reason why it was time for a change but I’d like to place on record my thanks to him and his merry men for what they did and wish them well in their new jobs. But of course, it’s Huddersfield, so not too well.

Feb 24th. Townsend leaves. Neil Warnock hit out at Andros Townsend after the unsettled winger walked away from Leeds United, declaring: “It’s his loss.” Townsend informed Warnock of his desire to quit Elland Road today, less than two months after joining Leeds on a half-season loan from Tottenham Hotspur. Warnock was told of Townsend’s intentions during a phone call from the 20-year-old’s agent, and his shock departure comes amid strong rumours that Birmingham City, one of United’s rivals for a  Championship play-off position, are bidding to sign him. Townsend was Leeds’ most high-profile recruit in the January transfer window and he scored during Saturday’s 3-2 win over Doncaster Rovers as Warnock looked on from the stands. The Leeds boss, who officially takes charge of his first match at Portsmouth on Saturday, gave Townsend assurances of regular involvement under him but the winger has chosen to rejoin his parent club, citing disillusionment over his move to Elland Road. Warnock said: “I had no idea he was going to go back. “I changed the system last weekend and he scores. I tell him he’s going to play in that role then his agent calls me to say he isn’t happy, hasn’t been happy here for weeks and wants to go. “I said ‘I don’t suppose it’s anything to do with Birmingham Citywanting him is it?’ “We’ll have to see where he goes. But I don’t want anybody who doesn’t want to play for the club. As far as I’m concerned, if you don’t want to play for the club then you’re better off out the way. “You need drive and that’s what I ask of my players. That’s why with Townsend, it’s his loss. He’s missed out, not us. If he doesn’t want to play for Leeds United, we don’t want him.” 

Feb 24th. Jepson replaces Curle. Ronnie Jepson has left QPR to join Neil Warnock at Leeds United. Jepson remained at Loftus Road as reserve-team boss following Rangers’ recent sacking of Warnock, whose successor Mark Hughes brought in his own coaching staff. But Warnock, who recently took over as Leeds manager, wanted Jepson as part of his backroom team at Elland Road.

Feb 24th. Warnock wants the fans back – YEP. New Leeds United boss Neil Warnock says the fans have to show him they want him to stay around next season. rowds are down on average by almost 4,000 on last season as fans stay away due to high-ticket prices and the running of the club, with top players sold in recent seasons and replaced by loans and journeymen footballers. Fans have demonstrated outside the ground this season on a number of occasions and around 1,000 walked in protest from the city centre to Elland Road recently, prior to the home game with Brighton. Warnock now wants the fans support over the final fourteen games of the season and he wants the fans to show him that they want him to remain at the club next season by showing him there support. Speaking on Yorkshire Radio, Warnock said, “We have only got fourteen games to go. Now I have come and committed myself to the club I have fourteen games this season and the fans have to get behind me and the team now. “Whatever the differences are, they have to put that to bed now. They have to show me that they want me for next season – Do they want me, then they have to show me. If they don`t then I will not be here, so it is up to the fans really. “I am going to do my best over the next fourteen games to show them what we can do.” 

Feb 24th Larry talks with Clarke and Warnock. Simon Grayson said messages of support exchanged with Lee Clark and Neil Warnock reinforced his sense of goodwill within the game. The 43-year-old was sacked by Leeds chairman Ken Bates at the beginning of the month but has been installed by Huddersfield owner Dean Hoyle as the man to steer the Terriers all the way to the Premier League. Grayson said: “I was out of work for just under three weeks and that’s football. I was slightly surprised when I lost my job, everybody was surprised when (former Huddersfield boss) Lee lost his job and that’s just the nature of the game. “Full credit to Lee, he sent me a text the other night wishing me good luck for the future and we discussed one or two things and I did the same with Neil (new Leeds manager). “That’s how it can be in football. You can have good friends and a lot of people appreciate what you’re trying to do and you respect each other for it.” Grayson, who signed a three-and-a-half year deal at the Galpharm Stadium on Monday, takes charge of his first game when Huddersfield take on Exeter this weekend.

Feb 24th. Warnock’s last job is Leeds and defense needs sorting – Daily Mail. Neil Warnock aims to take Leeds into the Barclays Premier League and then walk away from management for good, saying, ‘I don’t want to die in the job.’ The 63-year-old described how being axed by QPR had ‘ripped the guts’ out of him and he was adamant he would retire to his home in the Cornish town of Looe at the end of his 18-month Elland Road contractLast stand: Warnock has signed 18-month deal at Leeds ‘I always wanted one more big challenge, but I don’t see it going on beyond getting Leeds up,’ he said. ‘I would not want to go into the Premier League with this club or any other, to be honest.’ New Leeds United boss Neil Warnock says the club need some input to the squad defensively if they are to have any chance of reaching the play offs this season.  Warnock is desperate to bring in players in defence to improve a side that has already conceded 48 goals this season. Speaking on Yorkshire Radio, Warnock said, “It has been clear over the last couple of months that defensively we are not good enough. “I think we will score goals and create goals and it is whether we can get players in at this stage of the season that can enable us to have a chance, to have runner over the last few games.”At the moment it is difficult to see us having a run without new input, without one or two players, because I do feel we need an input defensively in the squad.”We need a certain type of person as well. We are looking to bring them in and the lads here have an opportunity to do the best they can.”Having watched the last two games on DVD, we do need an input to give us a chance. We also need a certain type and we need one or two leaders around the place on the pitch.”Hopefully we can try and get one or two. If we can`t then we are struggling to reach the play offs.” Warnock is already being rumoured to be wanting to make a raid on his old club Queens Park Rangers. Defenders Peter Ramage and Clint Hill have been lined with a move to Elland Road and former Leeds midfielder Shaun Derry is another who is being linked having played for Warnock at both Crystal Palace and Queens Park Rangers. Warnock has already lost loan players Fabian Delph and Andros Townsend who have returned to their parent clubs and it is also rumoured that another loan player, Adam Smith is keen on a return to his parent club Tottenham Hotspur after less than a month at the club.

Feb 22nd. Grayson takes”financial hit but leaves with dignity” .SIMON GRAYSON took ‘a financial hit’ when agreeing a severance package with Leeds United to become the new manager of Huddersfield Town, the Yorkshire Post can reveal.  The 42-year-old last night signed a three-and-a-half year contract with the League One club to seal a return to management less than three weeks after being sacked at Elland Road. Before being able to accept chairman Dean Hoyle’s offer to succeed Lee Clark, Grayson had to come to agreement with Leeds over the remainder of his deal with the Championship club. Under the terms of the contract that was signed in the summer of 2010, he was entitled to hold out for a larger sum but instead decided the lure of Huddersfield meant financial sacrifice was worthwhile. Grayson told the Yorkshire Post exclusively: “After receiving a call on Friday to say Huddersfield were interested, I then met the chairman on Sunday night and was immediately impressed by what he had to say. “To be honest, I didn’t have much intention to come back into football as quickly and fancied some time off. But after speaking to Dean, I decided I wanted this job. “So, I got in touch with Leeds as there were still a few things that needed sorting out before I could join another club. We came to an agreement as Leeds wanted it done and I just wanted to get on with the rest of my career. “It meant I had to take a bit of a hit financially compared to what I was entitled. But I thought that was a price worth paying to take on a challenge that really excites me.” Grayson will be assisted at Huddersfield by Glynn Snodin and Ian Miller, the same coaching staff who were by his side at Elland Road. The trio look back with pride on their time at Leeds, who they led to promotion from League One in 2010 before securing a seventh-place finish last season. Despite that, Grayson believes he became the victim of a smear campaign after leaving on February 1, including suggestions he had lost the dressing room. He said: “I was really disappointed to lose my job at Leeds but I did leave the club in a better position than when I arrived. So I have been hurt by certain things that have been said and written. “It has been way off the mark and I have been hugely disappointed that people have gone down that line. I left that club with dignity and I have not once bitten back so why others haven’t been able to do the same, I don’t know.” Well Simon you can start with low life Bates and his poodle Lorimer. Grayson inherits a squad sitting fourth in League One, seven points behind Sheffield United, who hold the second automatic promotion place. The new Town chief, whose senior debut in League football came at the club’s old Leeds Road home when a teenager with Leeds, said: “I have seen Huddersfield a couple of times and they are a good team. “As a manager, you don’t often get the chance to take on a club sitting in as promising a position as Huddersfield are right now and we are going to give it everything to go up. “Seven points with 16 games to go in a division as unpredictable as League One does not mean automatic promotion is settled just yet.” Grayson’s links with Town’s rivals have meant his appointment has not been met with universal acclaim among the club’s supporters. Hoyle said: “I am not ignorant to the fact that some supporters may question Simon’s appointment given his history at Leeds United but I will tackle that head on. “It was all about getting the best man for the job and Simon ticks all the boxes. He has a history of success at this level with both Blackpool and Leeds, he has a point to prove following his departure from Leeds, and having met him on Sunday night I know he has the fire in his belly to lead Huddersfield Town into the Championship.” On his past affiliations, Grayson said: “Everyone knows who I support but taking Huddersfield up will mean just as much as it did at Leeds and just as much as it did at Blackpool. “I wasn’t a Blackpool fan when we got promoted (in 2007) but I gave everything to the club as manager. I will be the same here as we chase the success this club deserves.”

Feb 24th. Warnock the man for the job – Matteo – YEP. Neil Warnock is the new Leeds United manager and I’ve got to admit that I just love the passion he has for football. Bringing someone like him in with the way he is and his character – in terms of being outspoken – is something people just like. I’ve certainly listened to him over the years and I think that with him in charge the only way for United is forward. I’m sure Neil will give the players back the belief they might have lost a little. Looking at someone like Luciano Becchio, he hasn’t really hit form and things have been a bit negative since the start of the season. But I really think Becchio will relish playing under Neil. He’ll be telling him: “Look at the size of you, win your headers, don’t let your opponent dominate you – you dominate him.” Part of Neil’s make-up is his man-management and he will be saying exactly the right things to players. It will be what Martin O’Neill has done since he’s been at Sunderland and you can’t believe the transformation there. Neil won’t stand for anyone not giving 110 per cent. I’m not saying Simon Grayson did either, but Neil will let them know in no uncertain way. I think if you are a Leeds player and you are giving 110 per cent every game and trying your best, then the Leeds fans won’t be on your case one little bit – that’s the one thing that Leeds fans demand. Neil will want players who he knows can get Leeds out of this division and he’ll have a way of playing – he’ll get to know what his best team is and will stick to it as best he can. I think one of the things that cost Simon in the end was that he didn’t have a regular team, week-in, week-out and he found it very hard to pick his best side and so had pressures from fans and other people. Neil will do what he feels is best for the club and pick his team regardless of what anyone else thinks. He’ll make the team solid, will have a holding midfield player who will go nowhere and just have a way of playing. Whether it’s going to be route one or whatever, he’ll have a structure of how this team will play to get out of the Championship. I hark back to the Tony Pulis situation at Stoke. He said to me: “Get in there and get the dressing room lively.” He knew I wasn’t a holding midfield player, but he wanted me to sit in front of the back four and not go anywhere. We had a big, physical side and knew in that division that set-pieces were massive for us. Set-pieces and not conceding silly goals was what we were good at in my time at Stoke and I think those are the things Leeds have struggled with – especially conceding poor goals. You can work as much as you want on the training field, but giving away silly goals kills you. Neil will make sure Leeds don’t do that as well. Looking at all the contenders we’ve talked about, I think Neil was probably the best man for the job. I don’t think anyone else high on the list has the experience or know-how that he has. At the end of the day, some players need a kick up the backside and some need an arm around them and one thing Neil won’t be scared of is doing the former when he needs to. It will be a fresh start for many players and they will all be staking their claim. But there will be new signings, that’s the way football is as players and managers come and go.  I think Neil is a breath of fresh air; he’s very honest and as a player that’s what you want.

Curle and Warnock

Feb 22nd. Curle not coming to Leeds. New Notts County boss Keith Curle revealed his desire to be his own man was too great to team up with Neil Warnock at Leeds United. Curle, 48, installed on Monday as successor to Martin Allen, who was sacked after Saturday’s 3-0 defeat at Hartlepool, was new Leeds manager Warnock’s assistant at QPR before the pair were sacked by the Premier League club in January.  Curle, who has signed a two-and-a-half year deal with the Magpies, had the option of becoming Warnock’s assistant again at Leeds, but opted to go his own way with County. He told the club’s official website: “I’ve been working with Neil, and been successful with Neil, but I’ve always had the desire to be number one again. “In my first two jobs that I had, I made mistakes and I knew that I needed to learn the finer points of management again. I assisted Neil, used every day as a learning day from his day-to-day involvement in and around the football club.”Curle, who has previously managed Mansfield, Chester and Torquay, added: “I’m excited, very excited. It’s the resurrection of my managerial career and to come to a club with this amount of history and tradition, it’s a great opportunity for myself.”

Feb 22nd. Bruce looks for fresh start. Recalled Leeds United defender Alex Bruce is hoping to revive his season following the appointment of new manager Neil Warnock. Bruce had fallen down the pecking order this term under former manager Simon Grayson, who was succeeded by Warnock on Saturday following his sacking at the beginning of the month. The defender started Leeds’ 3-2 comeback victory over Doncaster on Saturday to mark just his second appearance for the Whites this season, having spent a short loan stint at neighbours Huddersfield in December. The 27-year-old hopes the arrival of Warnock can reignite his campaign after enduring a frustrating start. He told Leeds’ official website: “This has been the most frustrating time of my career. “I’ve always played the majority of games in a season, but this season it hasn’t gone my way. “I think when you ask footballers they always have spells like this in your career and you have to batten down the hatches and stay mentally strong. Hopefully now I can get my season up and running and play a part.” Warnock met his new side ahead of Saturday’s derby win and spoke to them at half-time as the Whites came back from 2-0 down to triumph.

Feb 22nd Leeds second string try to impress. Leeds United lost 4-3 in a behind closed doors friendly at Thorp Arch against Hull City this afternoon as Neil Warnock got a chance to take a close look at a number of players who will be hoping to work their way back into the first team following his arrival. A strong Leeds side started with nine players who have played for the first team this season but have struggled for regular first team football under previous manager Simon Grayson. Only experienced goalkeeper Maik Taylor and youngster Nathan Turner have not featured for the first team this season of the starting eleven with forgotten man Billy Paynter starting in attack alongside Mikael Forssell. Young on loan Tottenham Hotspur defender Adam Smith was left out of the side that beat Doncaster Rovers on Saturday and he started this friendly alongside Paul Connolly, Leigh Bromby and Charlie Taylor in defence. Zac Thompson, Ramon Nunez and Lloyd Sam joined Turner in midfield. Turner equalised for Leeds after they had fallen behind and they twice took the lead through Sam and Paynter before conceding twice in the closing stages to lose 4-3.

Feb 22n What age was Tony at Leeds? Former LeedsUnited and Eintracht Frankfurt striker Tony Yeboah has admitted he used a fake passport to change his date of birth. The Ghanaian was a star for the English and German clubs in the 1990s and forged a reputation for spectacular goals. There has, though, been some uncertainty over the real age of Yeboah after his date of birth changed from 1964 to 1966. He has therefore explained the circumstances, telling Kicker magazine: “Of course, this is a fishy subject. “When I first came to Germany, I owned a passport with a birth year of 1964. “The truth is that I would not have been able to play senior football in Ghana aged 17, so my birth year was then changed to 1964. “Afterwards, when I was in the German Bundesliga, I was to have my right birthdate in my passport. I was born in 1966.”

Feb 21st 2012. Tippings inspire victory. Fionn and Oisin Tipping made their debut at Elland Road on Saturday with seasoned veteran, Conall (pic’d right) and grumpy old man Greg taking up the rear for United’s spirited come back against Donny. Padna and Geraldine Lane represented the Dunleer contingent of the Louth branch and and all are impressed with Colin as our new manager. Cooley legend, Antoin Watters was first to witness a deal in the making when he was in the restaurant in Monte Carlo  where Neil Warnock, Ken Bates (I wonder did he use his bus pass to get there) and Shaun Harvey were sealing the deal for our new manager.

Feb 21st 2012. The Guardian – Larry’s back to work. Huddersfield have confirmed the appointment of Simon Grayson as their new manager on a three-and-a-half-year deal. The 42-year-old was dismissed as Leeds manager on 1 February but has made a quick return to the dug-out, replacing Lee Clark at the helm of the League One club following his sacking last week. Grayson, who has led both Leeds and Blackpool to promotion from League One, will take his former Elland Road backroom staff of Glyn Snodin and Ian Miller to the Galpharm Stadium and will be briefed with the task of taking Huddersfield up this season. It will not be easy, though, as despite only three defeats this season under Clark, the Terriers are seven points adrift of second-placed Sheffield United in the table, although they have a nine-point cushion ahead of the chasing play-off pack. Their chairman, Dean Hoyle, said promotion is Grayson’s No1 remit: “We are well positioned in the league and I believe we are still in a position to challenge for automatic promotion this season but we do have a gap to make up to second place. I believe this is still achievable given the players we have at this club. “Simon has a proven track record of success in this division. He knows League One inside out and he knows exactly what it takes to get teams promoted to the Championship. Throughout his managerial career he has operated with the pressure to succeed and expectations that go along with that. We are delighted he has taken up the challenge and we look forward to working with him.” We thank Larry for his contribution during the past three years and wish him well in the next chapter of his career with the Terriers, our neighbours.

Feb 21st 2012. Weber the first – Daily Mail.  Neil Warnock has been linked with out of contract Danny Weber. The former Man United protege has been released by our next opponents, last Summer and one would wonder how fit or even good enough he would be to add to our squad. Weber can play up front, out wide or in midfield. Is he better than what we have ? I don’t think so but Warnock likes players who are motivated and he may fit this profile. Maybe the player United need is Shaun Derry who is out of favour with Mark Hughes at QPR. He is certainly the leader type and would be available on loan. 

Feb 21st. Eddie Gray in YEP. Looking at Saturday’s game, you couldn’t have made up the script, could you? I had a chat with Neil Warnock before the game and he spoke about how much he was looking forward to the challenge of managing Leeds United, with us being such a big club. He also said he was just going to pop into the dressing room to show his face beforehand and introduce himself to the players. It didn’t work in the first half, did it! When you actually analyse the game, we were really poor. But it was such a great turnaround, wasn’t it? The thing with this Leeds side this season is that you can’t criticise the battling qualities and the spirit, but let’s be honest, Doncaster should have been out of sight and won the game with the way they played. El-Hadj Diouf, whatever people say about him, ran the whole game and was over and above anyone else on the pitch. He just had that bit of quality and worked his socks off as well. Obviously, Neil went down at half-time and said a few words. Looking at the game, I think the good thing was that we scored when we did, right after Doncaster got their second. We weren’t playing well and the crowd were getting a bit disillusioned and if it had gone another five minutes without us scoring, I think the game would have faded away and our fans would have left. But that goal just gave us a bit of a spur and hope, which we needed. The first goal was so important in terms of scoring when we did and then we went onto equalise and get a winning goal from Luciano Becchio, who I thought played better than of late on Saturday, especially in the second half. I spoke to Neil afterwards as well and he noticed one or two things he’ll be working on this week. And certainly looking at the last couple of games, it shows the enormity of the task he’s got ahead of him. We deserved to get beaten at Coventry and even the most ardent Leeds United fan will struggle to see quite how we beat Doncaster. We’ve some big games to come. I’ve said all along this season that there’s no such a thing as a game when you’d think: ‘We’ll get the three points there.’ Portsmouth is tough next week for instance and then we’ve got that tough run of fixtures in March. Neil will be thankful of having a whole week now to work with the players, not so much as to stamp his tactical know-how on things, but just his personality on the team and to develop a winning mentality. One thing’s for sure, it’s a big job for Neil and will take all of his experience and know-how. Yes, we won on Saturday. But if we’d gone 2-0 down against a West Ham, Hull, Middlesbrough or Southampton, who we play in March, we wouldn’t have gone onto win the game. Against Doncaster, we never started the game well – against a team who are bottom of the league. We’ve spoken about the need to start well so many times this season and Dean Saunders will be saying to himself: ‘How did we lose that game?’  They had so many chances and also hit the woodwork twice and their goalkeeper hardly had a save to make but still saw three go into the back of the net! Neil will take the win. He’s got that experience to run our football club and he’s got that drive and ambition to get us promotion. It will be a real tall order this season, let’s be honest, as there’s a lot of teams in between us and the play-off places, some with games in hand and it’s not going to be easy. But as Neil said to me after the game, Saturday was about winning and we’re still hanging in there. There’s plenty to work on. Defensively, we were poor and the number of balls which flashed across our box and the number of times they got through with just the goalkeeper to beat was unbelievable. To be fair to Doncaster, they didn’t look like a team who are bottom of the league, but they are. For us, yes we might have won, but we must do better. If we play like that against the better sides in this league, we’ll have no chance. We wouldn’t have been here talking about picking three points up, but zero. It underlines the size of the task which is facing Neil.

Feb 21st 2012. YEP – When Phil met Neil. Chief football writer Phil Hay caught up with new Leeds United boss Neil Warnock who admits he is relishing the challenge at Elland Road. By his own admission, Neil Warnock has never been so popular as he was last week. Wanted by Huddersfield, Wolves and Leeds United. Wanted too by a man whose advances he rejected 20 years ago, at a time when Warnock was manager of Notts County and the offer of employment came from Chelsea. He has long been a pantomime villain in Leeds but on Saturday afternoon you would not have known it. The air buzzed and supporters mobbed his car in search of autographs as it parked up at Elland Road. “It’s the most important appointment we’ve made,” said United owner Ken Bates, and the electricity around the stadium was the equivalent of tacit public approval. Leeds, in Bates’ seven years as chairman, have rarely needed a shot in the arm as badly as they did when confirmation of Warnock’s appointment finally arrived. Now 63, Warnock professes to have one big job left in him and he has found it at Elland Road. His refusal to sit idly in the stands as his squad-to-be diced with defeat against Doncaster was proof of the tingle running up his spine. By the skin of their teeth, United’s players carved out a victory, as Warnock told them they must before kick-off. Such was his understanding of the likelihood of Leeds reaching the Championship play-offs that he made sure he was in post and inside Elland Road less than 48 hours after opening negotiations with Bates in Monaco. Those talks followed on from an interview at Wolves. “I’ve never been so popular – which is unusual for me,” Warnock joked. “It’s nice to be wanted and I just felt Leeds were the right club at this moment, with what they were looking for and what I was looking for. “I’ve not slept for about three days. I thought I was going one place one day and then I was in Monaco, talking to the chairman. He was very positive and I think he understood where I was coming from as well. Rather than delaying things, we decided to get it done. “We were going to leave things for a couple of days but I felt it was important, if I was coming, to be there for Doncaster and have an input against Doncaster. I’m glad I was there. “Usually when you come in as a manager, you say it’s going to take you two or three years to build the club. I haven’t got two or three years so I don’t want that. That’s what I said to the players on Saturday – the situation is we have to beat DoncasterRovers, there’s nothing else about it.” In fact, Warnock has around 18 months on his contract, giving him the rest of this season and all of next to earn Leeds the status they crave; to stop them staring upwards to the Premier League and make them a member of that division instead. He has done so before with other prominent clubs, most recently Queens Park Rangers, who sacked him last month, and South Yorkshire club Sheffield United. Back in 1991, similar success at Notts County tempted Bates to offer him the manager’s job at Chelsea. Warnock thought hard and eventually said no, and many assumed that Bates would not ask twice. Two decades later that assumption has been comprehensively confounded. “It was a shame really,” Warnock said. “I was just starting out in my career and I thought London, or going down below Watford – well, I didn’t think anyone lived or survived down there. “I went twice and got stopped on the motorway for four hours on both occasions. I wasn’t really into that. Also, the lads at Notts County put a lot of pressure on me to stay and help them out because we’d got two promotions in two years, and I felt morally obliged to do so. “I think Ken appreciated that but he was surprised when I turned the offer down. Over the years a number of people told me how stupid I was but I always do stupid things. When I left Notts County I went to Torquay for 17 games and they were bottom of the league! I’m not a predictable person. “I just love putting a smile on people’s faces and in the last few years I’ve done well with Crystal Palace and Queens ParkRangers. They were both clubs who needed a bit of a lift and I gave them that. Leeds are in a similar situation.” Warnock was an overwhelming favourite for the job at Elland Road from the moment Leeds sacked Simon Grayson on February 1 but the inevitable debate was over how well the pieces of this jigsaw would fit: a manager as frank and self-determining as Warnock and a chairman as single-minded as Bates. A match made in heaven or hell? “There’s a lot said about that,” Warnock admitted. “When I took over at Crystal Palace the headlines were: me and Simon Jordan, it’s just impossible. It’s the same thing with Ken Bates. “But the thing about (Bates) is that you look at the good things and the bad things. I think he does a lot of good things and I’m not trying to creep round him by saying that. But there are times when you need to tell him what you think is right for the club and he’s got to listen. “We have that relationship where I respect him and he respects me, and we’re both at an age where we want to do well. Make no mistake about that. I think we excite each other.“At my age you haven’t got that long left. I enjoy managing and as long as I keep on enjoying it then I’ll manage. If I don’t enjoy it, I’ll call it a day. The difference is having the drive and I wanted a club that sends hairs up my back. I can’t remember jumping as high as I did for the third goal (against Doncaster).” It is the flush of youthful enthusiasm in a manager with many years and hundreds of competitive games behind him. Leeds need him, of that there is no question – three points adrift of the play-offs with 14 games remaining this season. The situation looks surmountable on paper but the picture is less hopeful for those who have watched United regularly. Delighted as he was on Saturday evening, he did not deny the obvious room for improvement. Warnock is replacing Neil Redfearn, Leeds’ academy coach who held the reins as caretaker through four games and a short period of intense pressure. Criticism of the delay in appointing a new manager was nothing personal against Redfearn but rather a reflection of how necessary a new direction and vision had become. “It needed something like this at the club, looking from the outside,” Warnock said. “You have to have a leader. It’s such a massive club. Neil Redfearn did a really good job in holding the fort but I think Neil was quite relieved (to see Warnock appointed) at the same time. “The pleasing thing for me was listening to TV stations and radio stations, and listening to what the fans thought about me. It was instrumental in me thinking it was the right move. It’s nice to be wanted and I don’t know many fans – there will be a few – who weren’t pleased to see me here. That’s great and I’ve got an opportunity to repay people like that. “The club itself must be one of the top half-a-dozen in the country. There’s no local rivals, it’s just a one club city. They’ve got every ingredient they need. “I really enjoyed myself at QPR and it broke my heart when I left but it was a similar situation. The fans said ‘we didn’t really want you, Warnock, but we’re glad you’ve come.’ The Yorkshire people are like that. They appreciate straight people and I feel I’ve got something to contribute to the club. The challenge is there.”

Feb 21st. Trust gets councillor on board. Leeds United Supporters Trust is honoured and delighted that the Leader of Leeds City Council, Councillor Keith Wakefield, has today announced his support for the Trust and its aims. A statement issued today by the Trust said that Councillor Wakefield is the latest of a number of high-profile supporters of L.U.S.T., joining our Honorary President Nigel Martyn, and several local politicians including Rachel Reeves, Greg Mulholland, Fabian Hamilton and Hilary Benn. Councillor Wakefield said. “I support the Campaign for Change and vision to see Leeds United regain their rightful place in the Premier League. Fans need a greater say in the running of clubs. I’m happy to work with all political groups at the Council to see how we can support the Leeds United Supporters Trust”. And todays statement continued “one of the main aims in the Trust’s Vision Statement is to build positive relations with local bodies, and to have the Leader of L.C.C. on board with the Trust gives greater volume to the fans’ voice. There is growing political support for the role of supporters’ organisations in the governance of football clubs, and last July the Commons Select Committee’s Football Governance Report endorsed the Trust model as the preferred method for giving fans a meaningful voice. Councillor Wakefield’s support will be of great help to L.U.S.T., as we continue to campaign for the fans’ requests for positive change to be heard at our football club”. And the Trust are delighted with Neil Warnock’s appointment, but added “We would urge the club to give more backing to its new manager than has been shown in recent seasons, to concentrate its resources on supporting Neil and the players rather than spending in non-football areas. We also call on the club not to ignore the wider ambitions of the Trust’s Vision Statement. More than a change of manager is required, not only to take Leeds United back to the Premier League, but to repair relations with supporters who have felt disenfranchised by the events of the last seven years. “ And I think that it’s absolutely right that the Trust are keeping up their Campaign for Change. Although there was a buzz around Elland Road on Saturday that hasn’t been there for a while and we can believe that Neil Warnock will guide us to more successful results, we are still left with several issues that need to be addressed. We are still paying some of the highest ticket prices outside the Premiership while the playing squad has been starved of funds and the best players leave the club, and Bates spends the money on dubious property schemes around a stadium he claims not to own. Time for the Trust to bring some new investors into the club to give the new manager the resources he needs to take Leeds United back to where they belong.

Feb 21st From Up the Villa. What Villa fans think of Delph. With the news that Fabian Delph has returned to the club slightly earlier than scheduled due to an ankle injury, it got us thinking whether we could use Delph for the remainder of our season. He performed well at Leeds by all accounts, and then caretaker boss Neil Redfearn (Neil Warnock has now taken over) had this to say to the Leeds official website: “Fab will be out for Saturday. He’s gone back to Villa to be assessed, but he’s being monitored and we’re hoping it will be a case of days. “Fab’s a good player. Against Bristol City and Brighton I thought he played well. “He’s a big influence and he’ll be a big loss.” He was due to return after Leeds game on Saturday anyway, so it will be interesting to see how this plays out. Will Warnock look to bring him back to the club? He is a fan favourite and if Leeds don’t want him back I’m sure a number of other Championship clubs would happily take him. Anyway back to our original question and that is whether or not we could use him in the Villa squad for the rest of the season. He started nearly every match at the start of the season before injury allowed Herd to stake a claim for the spot. Could we do with a player like Delph for the rest of the season? Or do think we’ll be okay with what we have for the rest of the campaign? I remain unconvinced with Delph. He’s still only 22, but I thought that while playing with Stan at the start of the season too much of the game bypassed the midfield too easily. I’m not even sure where his best position might be, and with the emergence of Gardner, Delph might find it even harder to get back in. Petrov is a must start in the middle, and with Clark’s injury we may see Herd come back in to the defensive midfield position. Ireland by and large has been impressive, and the aforementioned Gardner has started a couple in the middle recently. Keane will be off after Saturday, and Gabbs will probably take his place in the eleven. At the moment I don’t think we’ll see Delph put much pressure on the starting eleven any time soon, but would we be better keeping Delph on the bench or sending him out on loan in an attempt for him to find the form that had us all pretty excited upon signing him. Bannan usually finds himself on the bench most games, so we could do with another midfield option in there somewhere. Looking forward it’s quite tough to figure out if Delph could have a big Aston Villa future. Most of the time I’m of the thinking that he hasn’t got what it takes to be a consistent Premiership player, but there are times when he looks the part. Stan will be on his way soon, and sadly there looks no way back for Makoun. Hopefully Gardner is here to stay now, so it will be interesting to see what happens with Delph in the summer and going forward.

Warnock and Sam

Sun Feb 19th 2012. It’s time to move on now. Neil Warnock or Colin (in the past to all Leeds) fans has answered the calling. The morale has been at a low point for some time, particularly when nobody replaced Simon Grayson except an inexperienced youth team manager. I have always said that if Grayson was to be sacked he should be replaced by somebody better. Warnock is that man. I would have loved it to have been a few games ago when we arguably would have been at least four points better off. But we are where we are. It’s time to move on. Warnock’s enthusiasm is infectious. “It was fantastic welcome for me on Saturday from turning up at the ground and seeing all the supporters. This is a fantastic club. The club in itself must be in the top half dozen in the country. There’s no local rivals. It’s a one club city and it’s got everything. This is what the Leeds United fans have been calling for……..leadership. This guy has the experience. He has won promotion seven times (the same as Graham Taylor) and he’s looking for the record, number eight…..with Leeds United. We thank Simon Grasyson for the previous three years but we look forward now. Warnock doesn’t suffer fools and he will be fit for Bates. “There’ll be times when I’ll have to tell [Ken Bates] what’s right for the club and he’ll have to listen. We need two or even three players in if we can. Ideally, I’d love to get someone in by the weekend.“ The two egos have landed if you like. Bates is a bollox. We all know that. We all want him gone, but in the meantime we want Leeds pushing hard for promotion. If it’s not to be this year, then it’ll have to be next year.  Shaun Derry who won two promotions with Sheffield United and QPR under Neil Warnock (and also played in the play off final with Leeds) told the Yorkshire Evening Post the following :”He’s a great manager. There is a lot more to him than the ranting. He is very strong tactically”. At 63 Warnock as the enthusiasm as a 17 year old. He knows this is the biggest club he has ever managed. He is a Yorkshire man and had this to say : “Yorkshire people like people to be straight and give of their best. I’ll do that and I feel that I have something to contribute to this club”. Warnock is no mug. He knows what’s needed. It’s no secret that his right hand man, Keith Curle was at the Brighton game. Warnock added : “We are lacking leaders on the pitch. There are no natural leaders in there.” How long have we been saying that ? He added ; “I manage with a lot of energy. That’s the way I am. My demands of the players are very strict but I’ll enjoy it and I’ll want to enjoy it, and as long as I’m enjoying it I’m going to manage. I want to be at a club like this. I can’t remember jumping as high as I did for the third goal. It was good to talk to the players before and at half time and getting the response”. How long I wonder before he takes the captaincy from Lonergan, and how long I wonder before he adds a couple of battlers and leaders to the starting eleven. He’s had Michael Brown before and he says he has someone earmarked already to come in by the weekend. It will be good to have Warnock in the home dugout at Elland Road. We’ve often seen him leave with all the points when with Sheffield United. Ironically Leeds took six points from his QPR last season. Let’s hope he makes it promotion number eight with Leeds United. One thing is for sure, it’s not going to be dull.  Who is Neil Warnock ? Neil Warnock (born 1 December 1948) is an English football manager and retired player, currently in charge of Leeds United. He played as a winger for Chesterfield, Rotherham United, Hartlepool United, Scunthorpe United, Aldershot, Barnsley, York City and Crewe Alexandra, scoring 36 goals from 327 career appearances. He has managed Gainsborough Trinity, Burton Albion, Scarborough, Notts County, Torquay United, Huddersfield Town, Plymouth Argyle, Oldham Athletic, Bury, Sheffield United, Crystal Palace, Queens Park Rangers and Leeds United achieving promotion with seven of them, including taking Notts County, Sheffield United and Queens Park Rangers to the top tier. Born in Sheffield he is a lifelong supporter of Sheffield United, with whom he had his longest managerial spell at eight years, taking them to the League and FA Cup semi finals in 2003.Warnock started his professional playing career with Chesterfield in 1967, before moving on to Rotherham United, Hartlepool United, Scunthorpe United, Aldershot, Barnsley, York City and Crewe Alexandra, making a total of 326 league appearances in an eleven-year playing career. At Hartlepool he won the club’s Player of the Season award in 1972.[2]. He finished his career at Crewe Alexandra in 1979, aged only 30. After being involved in Sunday League coaching his first full managerial job was with Northern Premier League side Gainsborough Trinity in 1981. Following this he managed Burton Albion and Scarborough. At Scarborough he and Paul Evans, his assistant, won the Football Conference title in 1987, making them the first team to win automatic promotion to the Football League following the abolition of the re-election system. He had earlier spent time as a coach at Peterborough United, where he met Posh assistant boss Mick Jones. In late 1988, Warnock became manager of Notts County – then in the Third Division – with Jones as his assistant. Also joining the backroom staff were Warnock’s assistant at Scarborough, Paul Evans, and ex-Scarborough physio Dave Wilson. The four helped County achieved successive promotions to reach the First Division for the 1991–92 season, with Warnock turning down lucrative offers to manage Chelsea and Sunderland during this time. However, Warnock was dismissed in January 1993 after County’s relegation had cost them a place in the new Premier League.[3]In March 1993 he took over as ‘consultant’ at Torquay United, saving the club from relegation from the Football League. Warnock resumed his partnership with Jones, Evans and Wilson at Huddersfield Town, his appointment coming in July 1993. Warnock was quick to inject new blood into the Terriers’ side, snapping up ‘keeper Steve Francis, Darren Bullock, Ronnie Jepson, Tom Cowan and Pat Scully during his first season, all of whom would go on to become mainstays in the 1994/95 promotion season. He also showed faith in Centre of Excellence products such as Chris Billy, Simon Baldry and Andy Booth – a player then struggling to make the breakthrough who would go on to become a club legend in modern times. Despite these acquisitions Town struggled for most of the 1993/94 season, their last at Leeds Road, and Warnock was quick to offload fan favourites Iwan Roberts, Iffy Onoura and Chris Marsden while introducing a more direct style of play. He also did not enjoy the best of relationships with cult hero Phil Starbuck. The run to the final of the Autoglass Trophy coincided with an upturn in league form and a mass optimism further bolstered by the move to the new Alfred McAlpine Stadium for the 1994/95 season. Warnock’s side won the Yorkshire Electricity Cup in late 1994. Warnock’s side were genuine contenders for automatic promotion until falling away in the final few games to finish 5th (the final Play-Off spot that season owing to league re-structuring). They triumphed on penalties over 2nd-placed Brentford after two thrilling ties and went on to beat Bristol Rovers at Wembley. He quit Huddersfield just days after their promotion, but made a swift and surprising return to management at Plymouth Argyle, which had just been relegated to Division Three. In his first season as manager of Plymouth Argyle, Warnock took the club to Division Three play-off glory after finishing 4th in the league. The play-off semi-final was a memorable affair – Argyle played Colchester United and were 1–0 down from the 1st leg, but won 3–1 at Home Park in the 2nd leg. During this game, Warnock was sent off from the dug-out. Warnock responded to this by jumping into the crowd to watch the remainder of the match with the Argyle supporters. The final was the first match that the club had played at Wembley Stadium. A header from Ronnie Mauge on 65 minutes gave Argyle a 1–0 win over Darlington and promotion to Division Two. In February 1997, Warnock was surprisingly sacked as Argyle manager despite his popularity with the supporters. Following his successful period as manager of Plymouth Argyle, Warnock rounded out the 1990s with Oldham Athletic and Bury. He was appointed as manager of his boyhood club Sheffield United on 2 December 1999. In 2002–03, Warnock led Sheffield United to the semi-finals of the FA Cup and League Cup only to lose to Liverpool and Arsenal respectively, as well as the First Division play-off final, with the Blades beaten 3–0 by Wolverhampton Wanderers. This was the first time in his management career that he had lost a play-off contest, as he had achieved four promotions via the playoffs in the 1990s. In 2005 Jones resumed the partnership by taking up the assistant’s post at Bramall Lane, and at the end of the 2005–06 season the club were promoted to the Premiership as runners-up in The Championship. The Blades performed well in their expected relegation battle, and for a long time looked to be heading for survival. However a turning point in the season occurred with victories for both West Ham and Wigan on the final day of the season, condemning Warnock’s side to relegation. Warnock claimed in his autobiography that minutes after the final game of the season, actor and Blades fan Sean Bean burst into his office, blaming Warnock for the team’s relegation in a “foul-mouthed tirade” while Warnock’s wife and daughter were present. Bean denied this, calling Warnock “bitter” and “hypocritical”, and arguing that he would never use such language in front of another man’s wife and children. Warnock resigned from the club following relegation to take some time out of football. A major factor that caused Sheffield United’s relegation was that Fulham beat Liverpool in the penultimate game of the season. Liverpool rested many first team players (due to the fact Liverpool had a Champions League final to look forward to) and consequently lost 1–0. Liverpool started the day in fourth place and finished the league a week later in fifth place. Warnock was frustrated that Liverpool played a weaker team, because it did not give the teams in the relegation battle an equal chance of survival. He spoke to Milan Mandarić about the vacant managerial role at Leicester City in the summer, but was never handed the job.[4] Simon Jordan spoke to Warnock about taking over at Crystal Palace following the sacking of Peter Taylor and, after initially not being keen over the job, he returned to football management with Palace on 11 October 2007.[5][6] Having his personal friend Simon Jordan as Owner and Chairman was certainly a help in him getting the job. Jones returned from his own sabbatical to join Warnock’s team as assistant. Under Warnock and Jones Palace made a massive turn-around, moving from relegation battlers to promotion contenders in the space of six months, with Warnock’s use of youngsters a major factor in the improved performances and results. Palace made the play-offs in the end, but were beaten at the semi-final stage by Bristol City, who went on to lose to Hull City in the final. Warnock stayed on for the 2008–09 season, but on taking the job a year earlier he had made it clear that the Crystal Palace job would be his last managerial role in football, with the club’s finances beginning the take a turn for the worse. The 2009–10 season saw Palace perform well despite being heavily restricted by the club’s poor financial position, which resulted in the club being placed in administration late in January. A 10-point deduction was imposed by the Football League for this.[7] Crystal Palace’s administrator commented that Warnock was ‘let go’ after telling the administrator he did not have the stomach for the fight to save the club.[8]On 1 March 2010 Warnock joined Queens Park Rangers as manager on a three-and-a-half year deal after agreeing compensation with Crystal Palace.[9] His first match in charge was an emphatic 3–1 home win against West Bromwich Albion. He helped QPR comfortably avoid relegation in 2009–10 – including a 2–0 win against former club Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park. Warnock was awarded Manager of the Month for August 2010. Using a new 4–2–3–1 formation built around playmaker Adel Taarabt who went on win the Football League Championship Player of the Year 2011, QPR topped the table for the majority of the 2010–11 season and on 30 April 2011 were promoted as Championship champions after a 2–0 win over Watford. Despite leading the club to the Premier League for the first time in 15 years, he was sacked on 8 January 2012.[10] The owner of QPR, Tony Fernandes, said that the club slipped down to a dangerous position [17th] after a recent poor form. Warnock said: “Obviously I’m very disappointed but, having achieved so much, I leave the club with a great sense of pride. I have enjoyed my time here more than anywhere else and the QPR fans have been brilliant with me – they deserve success. My biggest regret is that the takeover didn’t happen earlier, because that would have given me the opportunity to bring in the targets I’d pinpointed all last summer and probably given us a better chance to succeed in the Premier League. The board at QPR are hugely ambitious and I wish them every success for the future. I’ve been involved in the game a long time and I will be spending the immediate future with my family and friends before deciding my next career move.”[11]Warnock had been spotted in Monte Carlo on 18 February with Leeds United chairman Ken Bates discussing the possibility of Warnock becoming Leeds’ new manager “[12]On 18 February 2012, Warnock joined Leeds United as manager on a one and half year deal taking him up to the end of the 2012–13 season. [13] Before officially taking charge from caretaker manager Neil Redfearn he oversaw Leeds win 3-2 against Doncaster Rovers from the stands on 18 February with Warnock revealing he spoke to the players before the game and at half time.[14]Warnock, who is qualified as a referee,[15] but has never officiated at the very top level, is renowned for his outbursts, which some see as controversial. Run Ins : Stéphane Henchoz – Over an alleged spitting incident in the League Cup semi-final between Sheffield United and Liverpool.[16]Peter Swan – A player for Warnock at Argyle and Bury, he called Warnock “a prick”.[17] Swan refused to play when Warnock was appointed manager at Plymouth, and disrupted training sessions so as to engineer a move to Bury; when Warnock was later appointed as Bury manager, Swan again found a new club.[18]Stephen Hunt – After a match against Reading, Warnock condemned the behaviour of the Royals’ Stephen Hunt. He is said to have commented: “Hunt has proved on a few occasions that he’s a clever type, and his challenge on Nick Montgomery earlier in the game wasn’t clever either”.[19] He also said he looked like he shouldn’t be holding a pint. Michael Johnson – In a 2005–06 Championship game with Derby County, Warnock reacted to a challenge by Johnson on Paul Ifill and was accused of playing a part in getting the opposition player sent off. This led to a face to face confrontation between the two and the Derby fans were incensed by Warnock’s actions. Warnock asserted that the tackle was a bad one and that his reaction had made no difference to the outcome.[20]Shefki Kuqi – During a 2007–08 Championship game with Wolves, Kuqi was spotted gesturing at Palace fans whilst being substituted. As a result the Finnish international was transfer-listed and fined two weeks’ wages, with Warnock stating “I will be transfer-listing him immediately. I don’t accept things like that, so that is the end of the matter.”[21] However it was not, as Kuqi would return the following season after an injury crisis and would gain popularity with some Palace fans, despite again upsetting them by refusing to lower his wage demands at the end of his contract and subsequently leaving the club. El Hadji Diouf – As manager of QPR, Warnock criticized Diouf for his behavior after a challenge between QPR’s Jamie Mackie and Blackburn RoversGael Givet left Mackie with a double fracture in his leg: “For many years I have thought [Diouf] was the gutter type – I was going to call him a sewer rat but that might be insulting to sewer rats. […] I hope he goes abroad because I won’t miss watching him. He is a nasty little person.”[22] Diouf later hit back at Warnock in a newspaper interview where he was quoted saying that Warnock “is a big shit”. Gérard Houllier – See Stéphane Henchoz above. Also involved an argument about United’s allegedly physical approach against Liverpool in the League Cup Semi Final 1st leg, a match in which Liverpool had 5 men cautioned to United’s one.[24]Phil Thompson – See Stéphane Henchoz above. Stan Ternent – A longstanding feud. Most recently in 2001, when Ternent accused Warnock of sending his then assistant manager Kevin Blackwell to listen to his half time teamtalk .[25]Mick Jones – A long-term assistant to Warnock, the pair did not speak for several years after Jones opted to remain at Plymouth Argyle as manager after Warnock was sacked, rather than follow him to Oldham Athletic.[26] The pair reunited as a managerial partnership again in 2005 at Sheffield United and achieved promotion in their first season back together, and were both at Queens Park Rangers.[27]Joe Kinnear – Kinnear remarked that Warnock was a ‘prat’ after a 1–1 draw between Sheffield United and Kinnear’s Nottingham Forest in 2004–05.[28]Kevin Blackwell – Warnock told the press that he wished he’d had the money to spend on players that Blackwell had in the season 2004–2005.[29] Blackwell had previously been Warnock’s assistant at Sheffield United for several years and indeed Warnock had helped Blackwell out for years, working with him at Scarborough, Huddersfield, Torquay, Plymouth et al. Another dispute occurred on 18 April 2006 in a match between Leeds United and Sheffield United at Bramall Lane when Warnock was sent from the touch-line after making a comment to Blackwell over a tackle by Gary Kelly on a Sheffield United player that Warnock deemed a bookable offence, and would have resulted in the Leeds player being sent off.[30]Nigel Worthington – on 18 March 2006 Worthington apparently refused to shake hands with Warnock resulting in Warnock sticking two fingers up at him, an incident over which the FA charged Warnock with improper conduct.[31]Wally Downes – On 20 January 2007, in a match against Reading, Keith Gillespie was sent off seconds after he came on to the pitch, for swiping Reading’s Stephen Hunt in the face. After a protracted departure from the pitch, Warnock performed a stamping motion on the sideline directed towards referee Mark Halsey – referring to an earlier tackle made by Steve Sidwell which Warnock felt warranted a red card as well. Reading coach Wally Downes took exception to his actions, and pushed Warnock, causing a mass brawl on the sidelines. Both Warnock and Downes were sent to the stands as a result. Later Wally Downes admitted a misconduct charge to the FA,[32] was fined £2,000 and given a one-match touchline ban, but it did earn Downes a chant with the Reading fans referring to his attack on Warnock. Gareth Southgate – Accused Southgate on Sky Sports News (shown 19 March 2007) of fielding a weaker starting XI against relegation-threatened Manchester City. Warnock claimed Southgate was “helping out” a friend, City manager Stuart Pearce.[33]Jim Rushton – Warnock, whilst manager of Huddersfield Town, was known to dislike Rushton. Huddersfield played Lincoln City in the FA Cup and Warnock was disappointed with Lee Sinnott and someone being carded and wasn’t happy when he found out that Rushton was to referee a league game between the same two sides and Warnock asked for him to be switched as it would give Lincoln “an unfair advantage”. Before the game Rushton said to Warnock that he knew he had wanted him switched. During the game Warnock was sent off for a “non-violent push” on the linesman. Rushton also refereed the Autoglass Trophy Final in 1994 between Swansea City and Huddersfield. Huddersfield lost 3–1 on penalties. David Elleray – Warnock called him a “bald-headed bloke”, whilst criticizing his decision making ability.[34]Graham Poll – Following what Warnock believed to be a mistake by Poll which led to Arsenal scoring in the FA Cup semi-final in 2003.[35] Poll later revealed he had invented the nickname “Colin Wanker” (an anagram of Neil Warnock) after the incident, due to the abuse he received from Warnock [36]In a Sky Sports documentary, Warnock agreed to be filmed in a personal documentary about his life on and off the pitch. During a match at home to Ipswich Town, Warnock was seen to swear at and verbally abuse one of the assistant referees (also telling the then Ipswich manager that the assistant ‘had been his best player’), perhaps revealing why Warnock is seen as one of the more controversial football managers in England.[37]Richard Beeby – Warnock heavily criticised Beeby in February 2008 after he played on for longer than the designated added time at the end of a match between Bristol City and Palace at Ashton Gate, which led to Bristol City equalising 25 seconds after full-time should have been blown, even claiming Beeby celebrated City’s equaliser.[38] Warnock was subsequently charged with “improper conduct” by the FA.[39] In response, he “admitted the charge and requested a personal hearing”.[40] Warnock was subsequently fined £2,000. Rob Shoebridge – Warnock heavily criticised Rob Shoebridge and his officials after another disputed incident at Ashton Gate, when Freddie Sears gave Palace what they thought was an early lead. However Sears’ effort rebounded back off of the stanchion at the back of the goal and out of it, leading to Shoebridge and his assistants signalling a goal-kick. Palace were then beaten in the penultimate minute of the game, and Warnock claimed that his side had been “cheated” out of a result. Leicester City – When Leicester restructured their debt after going into administration in 2002, enabling them to hold on to a string of Premiership stars who ordinarily would have been sold to stay afloat, they gained promotion to the Premiership, at the expense of Sheffield United, who had to make do with a play-off place. After United failed to gain promotion Warnock revealed his anger at the Leicester situation. Incensed that City could have got into such a state yet continued to compete at the top of the table, with no punishment, Warnock complained to the press, claiming United should have Leicester’s place in the Premiership and the club should have been relegated or booted out the League. Any team now going into administration is automatically deducted 10 points, although even with this punishment Leicester would still have been two points clear of United, albeit with a far stronger team as a result of the move into administration.[42] He added further problems between Leicester fans and himself on 15 July 2010. Warnock told the Ealing Gazette that Leicester were not as big as his current club, Queens Park Rangers.[43]Sean Bean – In a recent tabloid serialisation of Warnock’s autobiography, “Made In Sheffield”, Warnock claims that minutes after the final game of the 2006–07 season Bean burst into his office, blaming  Warnock for the team’s relegation in a “foul-mouthed tirade” while Warnock’s wife and daughter[44] were present. Bean denied this, calling Warnock “bitter” and “hypocritical”, and arguing that he would never use such language in front of another man’s wife and children.[45]Bury – Warnock’s reputation started poorly with Bury fans and finally was destroyed when he was seen wearing a Sheffield Utd tie for an interview at Gigg Lane prior to a match against them. He had the accolade of receiving abuse from the whole stadium when Bury played away to Oldham Athletic where he was held in similar regard.[46]Leeds United – Warnock is commonly referred to as ‘Colin’ by Leeds fans in reference to the unfortunate anagram of his real name. He has been somewhat of a hate figure amongst United fans which started during the brief rivalry with Warnock’s former club Sheffield United following Leeds’ relegation from the Premier League. He will be hoping to turn this around following his appointment as manager in February 2012. Warnock is also critical in the autobiography of several of the chairmen and directors he worked with during his career. The most notable were Derek Pavis (Notts County),[47] Dan McCauley (Plymouth Argyle),[48] Terry Fisher (Huddersfield Town),[49] and Ken Marsden (Gainsborough Trinity). However, Warnock insists in the same publication that he now gets on well with all of them. Warnock has been a lifelong supporter of Sheffield United. He is married to Sharon and has four children, Natalie, James, Amy and William.[50] As of 2010[update], he lived in Richmond, London[51] and had a home in Cornwall.[52]He has published two books, Neil Warnock’s Wembley Way: The Manager’s Inside Story with Rick Cowdery in 1996, which recalls Plymouth Argyle‘s Third Division play-off final win in the same year, and Made in Sheffield: Neil Warnock – My Story, his autobiography, published in 2007.Warnock has been a keen supporter of the British Labour Party.

Sun Feb 19th 2012. McKay slams Bates. Sky Sports. Agent Willie McKay has hit back at Leeds chairman Ken Bates following his criticism of Doncaster’s transfer policy. Speaking before Saturday’s meeting between the two sides at Elland Road, BatesDescription: http:/static.lingospot.com/spot/image/spacer.gif was highly critical of Doncaster using McKay’sDescription: http:/static.lingospot.com/spot/image/spacer.gif expertise to bring in several high-profile new signings. The former ChelseaDescription: http:/static.lingospot.com/spot/image/spacer.gif supremo claimed the experiment was obviously not working, with Doncaster propping up the Championship table. McKay has hit back at Bates and accused him of double standards after loan signing Andros TownsendDescription: http:/static.lingospot.com/spot/image/spacer.gif inspired Leeds’ comeback in the 3-2 win over Doncaster. “I think Ken Bates has got a cheek to question Doncaster’s transfer policy when Leeds’ best player on Saturday was someone they have signed on loan from Tottenham,” McKay told Sky Sports. “I bet all Leeds fans now know who Mamadou BagayokoDescription: http:/static.lingospot.com/spot/image/spacer.gif is after his two goals on Saturday. “I also think Ken Bates has got a cheek to charge Doncaster fans £36 for an adult ticket and £25 for a junior ticket for the game, as he is taking liberties himself by using an OAP bus pass in Monaco.Description: http:/static.lingospot.com/spot/image/spacer.gif” 

Sat Feb 18th 2012. United come back from behind. LUCIANO BECCHIO capped a remarkable fightback to seal all three points in stoppage time, writes Richard Sutcliffe Yorkshire Evening Post. The Argentinian struck in tyhe 93rd minute before running to celebrate with departing caretaker manager Neil Redfearn on the touchline.It means Neil Warnock, who visited the dressing room at half-time after United had been woeful, will take charge tomorrow on the back of a win. wo goals from Mamadou Bagayoko seemingly put the visitors in control before United hit back through Andros Townsend and Adam Clayton. Bagayoko netted his second goal of the afternoon nine minutes into the second half with a tap-in after El Hadj-Diouf had headed Tommy Spurr’s superb cross back across the face of goal. Leeds’ reply was instant, a sweeping move involving Ross McCormack and Luciano Becchio ending with Danny Pugh rolling the ball back to Andros Townsend, who fired into the net. Rovers then wasted a golden chance to put the game to bed on the hour when Bagayoko headed straight at Andy Lonergan just after the hour. Dean Saunders’ men were made to pay for their profligacy ten minutes from time when Clayton volleyed in the equaliser to set up a frantic finale that saw Becchio seal all three points with a stunning finish. Neil Redfearn : “We haven’t always had the results that the performances deserved. It was a nice feeling  (when the players came over to celebrate the winner). It’s about players out there on the pitch and this will give them a massive boost and give Neil a platform. (On promotion re good enough ) On that evidence I don’t see why not. Rather being down its gone buyont.  They’ve made a great decision in my opinion (re Warnock)  and he has a proven track record and six points from 12 looks a lot better now”. Neil Warnock with Eddie Gray after the game : “I said to Becchio at half time “we’ve got to  get you in that hole. You are our best player on the pitch and we got to get you on the ball. It will take two to mark you. (When asked did he see anything to work on ?) It’s the basics . They are very keen and they want to listen. We don’t  need all the players back for corners. We don’t have to have three players back marking one. One can stay in the area and one further up the field.  (Re promo) The thing is when you look at the league everyone wants to help us because nobody keeps winning. If we hadn’t won today I think that would have been that. I said to Mick Jones sat beside me if we win today we anything’s possible. There’sa lot of basics  we have to work on but after three or four days on the training pitch we’ll get that right.  Becchio will win every header after I’m here. We just have to get it to him earlier. When you listen to the crowd around you up here in the stand with their comments it’s brilliant. It just whets the appetite. When I was here many years ago versus Man United, commentating on the radio  (not like the great position a great player like you has in the stand) I was sat up in the clouds and I thought what a cracking atmosphere”. This could be fun but it won’t be dull.

Warnock signs autographs before Donny game

Sat Feb 18th.  Bates eventually appoints Warnoock as LUFC manager. NEIL WARNOCK has promised to get Leeds promoted to the Premier League after being named as the new boss at Elland Road. The former QPR manager has agreed a contract which commits him to the Championship side until the end of next season. Sheffield-born Warnock met with chairman Ken Bates in Monaco yesterday. And today he agreed to replace Simon Grayson, who was sacked by Leeds on February 1. Neil Redfearn has been in temporary charge of first-team affairs but will return to his role with the club’s Academy after today’s game against Doncaster. Leeds currently sit 11th in the Championship — six points behind the play-off places. Warnock, 63, said: “I feel I have one big challenge left in me and believe Leeds is a club that should be in the Premier League. “I want to be the man who is able to deliver this for a set of fans who never cease to amaze me with their numbers and their loyalty. “Having met with Ken Bates it was an easy decision to take up the challenge and with his support, we share the same vision of getting Leeds United in the Premier League. Warnock, who was sacked by QPR last month, famously rejected Bates’ approach to take over as Chelsea manager in 1991 when he was at Notts County. But this time the Leeds chief has got his man. Bates said: We believe the appointment is arguably the most important we have made. “The objective was to appoint a manager who had for a proven track record of getting teams promoted and in Neil we have a man whose record is second to none. “We want to be in the Premier League and we will support Neil in the quest to get us there.” Warnock was in charge of QPR for 20 months and got the club promoted to the Premier League last season. He also won promotion to the top flight with Sheffield United in 2006, having previously led the Blades to semi-finals in both the FA and League Cup. Ray Fell, chairman of Leeds’ supporters club, said: “He’s a man that can motivate us and reopen our season. “There’s no money available so he may bring a loan player in or two — but he’ll give us experience and get the most out of the players on the books, which for the last period hasn’t been happening. Warnock has gotten seven sides promoted and certainly is about to manage the biggest side in his career. Bates clearly would have stuck with his “cheap” choice of Neil Readfearn for the rest of the season if “Redders” had won against Coventry. He couldn’t match Larry’s record and in truth how many points would be better off if Warnock had been appointed on Feb 1st? He wanted the job then and he was available then so why not then? The fans campaign has in my view worked and the right man has been appointed. My point has always been to stick with Grayson unless we got someone better. We have now but why the delay ? He has 18 months to get us promoted and in his six hour chat with Papa Smurf in Monte Carlo last night, I’m sure he drove a hard bargain re resources…resources that weren’t afforded to the previous manager. I have no doubt we will at some stage be clamouring for his head because he is the football equivalent of marmite…you either love him or you hate him. Right now it’s a measure of the respect that Leeds fans have for the Sheffield native that they are believing that he is the right man at the right time to manage Leeds United. Let’s hope he delivers. We have fifteen games to go this season but Neil Warnock, Keith Curle and Mick Jones. As for you Bates you can still Pi** off !

Friday 17th of Feb 2012. The Sabotage Times on Warnock’s five maddest moments. After being sacked by QPR Colin is back at Leeds United. These five insane rants show that, whatever fans may think, it’s not going to be dull at Elland Road…Although he kept his cool in the Premier League, seeing the new Leeds United manager rant on a Championship touchline last year was akin to watching King Lear in local rep. His borderline psychosis is too large – too feral – to be contained within such an environment. It belongs on the big stage. Hell the man is so Hollywood it belongs on the big screen.Here are our five favourite moments of managerial lunacy from a man who probably argues with himself in his sleep. Oh Kevin, the betrayal! Warnock’s old assistant Kevin Blackwell had recently moved across Yorkshire to take charge of Leeds, a ‘defection’ that was predictably viewed as an act of treachery by his mad-as-cheese former boss. Some months later the two sides met in the league and trench warfare immediately broke out in the opposing dug-outs as insults were hurled and bickering ensued, the match itself becoming almost a side-show. That was until Sheffield United’s Craig Short and Leeds full-back Gary Kelly clashed in a meaty challenge, prompting Warnock to loudly exclaim, ‘Next time I hope he breaks his fucking leg!’ The fourth official called over Poll who sent an incensed Warnock to the stands. At least that was the plan. Our favourite loon however refused to budge until he was forcibly ejected by a police officer. Movie Madness – 5/5 A full-scale blow-up this one requiring the force of the law. For the false perception of betrayal and the leg-breaking connotation this can only be Annie Wilkes from Misery. Some guys you expect to go down fighting. Warnock you expect to go down in a flurry of insanity, paranoia and ill-feeling. Wally Downes, the big man out of shape. For Warnock madness is a full-time job During a fiery 3-1 defeat at the Madejski Stadium Warnock was infuriated to see one of his Palace players sent off when it was the home side who appeared to be dishing out most of the rough stuff. Shortly afterwards he visibly, almost comically, made an exaggerated stamping motion to…well here the ambiguity lies. Was it to his players, to encourage them to seek revenge on Steve Sidwell after he’d followed through on Chris Armstrong? Or was it for the benefit of the referee to highlight Sidwell’s challenge? The Reading bench all assumed it was the former and briefly all hell broke loose. Reading coach Downes, a rotund man clearly out of shape but still a formidable figure, angrily approached Warnock, initially to thump the agitating tool. Separated by a melee of backroom staff he had to instead settle for hurled accusations and a wagging finger. He said later ‘I was so angry I felt like strangling him. I clearly heard him tell his players on several occasions to ‘do him’’. Both Warnock and Downes were sent to the stands. Movie madness – 4/5 Our resident provocateur-in-chief once again comes up with the goods creating carnage – Tony Montana in Scarface. Serving revenge up cold on RafaSome guys you expect to go down fighting. Warnock you expect to go down in a flurry of insanity, paranoia and ill-feeling. So it proved in 2007 when Sheffield United was immersed in a bitter relegation battle. Their rivals for the drop Fulham faced Liverpool needing an unlikely victory to remain safe. Liverpool, with one eye on their forthcoming Champions League final fielded a significantly weakened side. To the immense chagrin of our Neil obviously. Yet at the time, even with his vast reserves of crabby indignity, he was spreading himself too thin with hate. He had his own club’s turmoil’s to deal with, a contract dispute with his chairman, not to mention the protracted West Ham farrago so, like any decent petty lunatic, he stored up the grievance and unleashed it the following year when, in a quirk of fate, Fulham again faced Pool requiring the three points for safety. In the week leading up the match – a match that did not concern the now out-of-work s**t-stirrer – Warnock pounced, seeking his revenge. He predicted that they would again face a weakened team and, far more seriously, speculated idly about bribery between the Fulham chairman and Liverpool boss. ‘Maybe Rafa gets a yearly hamper from Harrods every year for his team selection?’Rafa, a man not known for his easy-going, water-off-a-ducks-back tolerance for such matters, threatened legal action and added, ‘We knew he was bad as a manager and prehistoric. But we didn’t know he was a person like this.’ Ah Rafa my old chum, you need only have asked. Movie madness – 4/5 For firing off slanderous broadsides and refusing to take it anymore – Howard Beale in Network. Graham Poll, the Arsenal twelfth man In 2003 Warnock guided his beloved Sheffield United to the semi-finals of the FA Cup where they faced a formidable Arsenal side who had yet to be beaten all season. On a sunny spring day at Old Trafford their task was onerous enough without the unintentional assistance of ‘Three-Card’ Poll. The injustice occurred in the 35th minute. First Blades striker Wayne Allison was clearly fouled as United launched a rare attack. He then lay prone on the deck whilst Poll waved play on. As the Gunners quickly moved the ball upfield Michael Tonge raced back to help out his exposed defence. Seeing that Freddie Ljungberg was unmarked he changed direction, only to clatter into the hapless official. The Swede duly received the ball in space, 1-0 to the Arsenal. Poll compounded his error by smiling broadly as he departed the field at half-time, the intention being to show defiance to the loud fusillade of boos emanating from half the ground. The wide grin however only sent Warnock into, what Poll himself later described as, ‘a vein-popping apoplectic frenzy’. Not surprisingly the post-match interview was a veritable gold-mine for rant enthusiasts, Warnock attesting that the ‘Thing from Tring’ had been Arsenal’s ‘best midfielder’, a remark that earned him a four-match touchline ban from the F.A. Movie madness – 3/5 For taking on the authorities with a sarcastic sneer – Alex de Large in A Clockwork Orange Usually Warnock’s perceived slights are entirely personal and often confounding. They spew forth from twisted bowels after festering deep within for some considerable time. El-Hadj Diouf, the ‘sewer rat’ A broken clock tells the right time twice a day and a raving lunatic occasionally has a point. Usually Warnock’s perceived slights are entirely personal and often confounding. They spew forth from twisted bowels after festering deep within for some considerable time. Not in this instance; a rare occurrence of the QPR gaffer speaking instinctively and from the heart and, uniquely, airing thoughts shared by the entire nation. For one glorious minute, he was our spokesman. Following a disgraceful leg-break by the posterboy for c**** El-Hadj Diouf on one of his players during an FA Cup tie against Blackburn Warnock spoke with almost calm, admirable restraint. Yet each word was laced with pure arsenic. Movie madness – 3/5 For rather fabulously evoking karmic justice upon Diouf and therefore believing he controls exterior forces – John Forbes Nash in A Beautiful Mind.

Harvey, Bates and Warnock in Monaco

Friday 17th of Feb. Warnock to become new manager. Peter Sebine and the YEP are reporting that Neil Warnock and Ken Bates met last night and that “Colin” will follow Simon Grayson as the new Leeds United manager.

Disgraceful – but what come to expect


Friday 17th of Feb 2012. The following is a disgraceful article by a former Leeds legend.Whether you liked Simon Grayson or not, he certainly didn’t deserve this. The blog replies are all included.  He has stooped to even a new low for himself. I saw him get flak a couple of weeks ago in the Pavillion. Hopefully he will get more tomorrow and Mr Tipping I am expecting something from your good self. Peter Lorimer YEP – It’s no secret that the team at Leeds United are not in a great way. And anyone who believes this season is over can base that claim on what they’ve seen in the past few weeks and months.I don’t share the negativity because I still think promotion is possible – but only if someone puts their stamp on the dressing room and brings it together. What about your weekly articles in Nov, Dec and Jan saying that Grayson was doing a super job ! Gobshite ! Whether that’s Neil Redfearn or someone else, it’s what we need. Recently, I’ve spoken to three or four of the senior players at Leeds and they’ve been brutally honest about how things were towards the end of Simon Grayson’s time as manager. It’s clear that there’s been a bad atmosphere at Thorp Arch for some time created, in my view, by the fact that so many of players had no involvement under him whatsoever.How can you have a squad of 30 and keep them all happy? Quite simply you can’t and a situation develops where you have two groups: the haves and the have nots. The guys who are in the picture and the guys who aren’t. The same as Doncatser, Leicester, Cardiff, Coventry, Derby and Reading to name but a few – Gobshite ! I thought Simon’s treatment of Paul Connolly was terrible – saying after the 4-1 defeat to Barnsley that certain players would never play for the club again and then only dropping him – and it’s that sort of thing which creates an unsettled camp and bad vibes. Well why didn’t Neil Readfearn name these players in his starting 11 (except Townsend). He didn’t even put Connolly on the bench ! Gobshite! From the conversations I’ve had, it’s clear that the situation was worse than I realised. If we are to get into the play-offs then that’s something the next manager has to take control of and sort out quickly. Well you are on the feckin  board. What the hell is the delay ? Gobshite ! I’m not saying Neil’s not the man for the job but it’s clear that this is a very tough situation to take on. I felt really sorry for him when the fans turned on him at Coventry on Tuesday night. This isn’t his fault and as much as I understand why the performances of the team are frustrating the fans, that sort of criticism isn’t helpful. If you pay your money and see rubbish on the field after getting off work early, and travelling down, see Leeds best player on the night taken off what do you want them to do – throw feckin  Roses ! Gobshite. When a dressing room’s in need of a turnaround, the change doesn’t happ en overnight.But we’ve all taken our share of the criticism. I’ve been criticised, Ken Bates has been criticised and Shaun Harvey’s been criticised. That’s totally out of order because we’ve done b***** all wrong. What the hell have you done right except take thirty pieces of silver and witness from the inside out club being sold down the feckin  river. Gobshite ! The previous manager had a squad of 30-odd players to work with and a squad like that doesn’t come cheap. I believed at the start of the season that we were good enough to get into the play-offs and I still think we should be higher up the table, and I’m not prepared to give up. No-one at the club is. That’s why we sold Gradel and Howson, because we were so strong ! Gobshite ! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – no-one at Leeds United wants promotion more than the board. It’s been our aim for a long time and that’ll never change.We’re in a tough place just now but that’s always the case when a manager leaves, and 15 games is enough time to mount a charge for the play-offs. It wouldn’t be the first time a Championship club has come from behind and forced their way in. It was 18 and now it’s 15. I couldn’t agree more than with some of the following. Lorimer is nothing put a paid spokesman for Ken Bates. 

Scottish international

RichC Friday, February 17, 2012 at 01:27 PM. Kick a man while he’s down eh Peter? dear oh dear. Nobody is saying Grayson is blameless in all this but we all know he will have to forfeit his right to reply in the terms of his severence package. I would dispute your claim that our squad hasn’t come cheap as the most we have paid out is £500k for Pugh with several hundred thousand apiece for Lnergran, McCormack and a few others. The rest of the squad is made up of loan players, passed-it freebies and home grown. And if the board have done nothing wrong can you tell us 1. why you have let the contracts of Johnson, Kilkenny and Howson run down so they go for nothing or have to be sold to cash? These players have not been replaced by similar or better signings. 2. Why was Gradel sold for an undisclosed fee and has not been replaced with a permanent signing of similar or better quality. 3. Why has Aiden White been allowed to reach the last 4 months of his contract with little chance of him signing another? 5. Why are Snodgrass and Clayton about to enter the fianl year of their contracts with no sign of them signing another? Could it be because they see what we see, that the club has little of no chance of gaining promotion under the current regimes way of running the football side of the club? Also can you answer why we pay some of the highest ticket prices in the country when little of it is invested in the team? And how can you work for a Chairman who blames us for putting off potential investors in the club??? Shame on you Peter.  Friday, February 17, 2012 at 01:27 PM I think there’s probably some truth here the trouble is its all too late, weeks ago we were told there was no dressing room rift, we were told the squad was strong enough, we were told money was available and new players would be brought in in January, we were told Grayson was sacked so we had 18 games left to get promotion. The trouble is Peter no one believes anything coming out from Elland Road, I actually think the squad is too big but with little quality, I think Grayson did lose the dressing room, the only thing is I have doubts now that this has come from Bates and yourself. The club should be upfront re a new manager what is happening? do you honestly expect us to believe the intention was to give Redfearn four games to prove himself. I look forward to next Fridays episode of La la land from Peter. fullerton Friday, February 17, 2012 at 01:26 PM If the situation was so bad why did it take so long to act and why is it still unresolved Lorimer? In the past few weeks you have publicly crucified SG and have “called” numerous players. B***** all wrong, b****** all right more like! I never thought I would see the day when of Don’s own could sink so low. Weeton White  Friday, February 17, 2012 at 01:26 PM  “I believed at the start of the season that we were good enough to get into the play-offs”. How did you work that out Peter? We had just sold most of our midfield, including our player of the season and replaced them with what? – a couple of out of contract journeyman players. In this January’s transfer window we followed that by selling our club captain – another midfielder – and you and your fellow directors refused to allow Simon Grayson to replace him. Now you have the nerve to attempt to shovel the blame for our current nightmare on to our former manager, who is unable to defend himself because the Board have gagged him from commenting. It really is beyond belief.  Bridewell Taxi Friday, February 17, 2012 at 01:23 PM Words fail me! What an utterly classless attack on a man who is not currently in a position to defend himself. I’m not stupid enough to suggest that all was well in the dressing room, results suggest as such, but for Lorimer to go public with this is a pathetic attempt to deflect attention away form the clueless running of our club by the current board. How dare he suggest that he, Bates and Harvey are blameless for the current chambles of a club they preside over – what a ridiculously crass statement. Each and every week Lorimer is alienating more amd more supporters of this club who once considered him a hero. He’s backing himself into a corner – if you’re reading Peter, have a good long think about it because come the day the Bates regime crumbles, there may be no way back for you – and what will you have left then? daveedbatley  Friday, February 17, 2012 at 01:23 PM  Peter Lorimer – I lost my respect for you many years ago when I was in my early 20’s and saw you staggering around the newly opened Majestix night club – slobbering over and chatting up women – a drunken shadow of the legend you ONCE was and are no more. Your not even fit to grace Eddie Grays little toe and hopefully you will soon go so far up Bate’s backside that the dross you are spouting in his defence is drowned out. Your role in defending KB will not be forgotten as one day WE will get out club back from his clutches and to me it doesn’t matter what division we play in as long as our club is free and whoever manages it is left to do so with passion and unimpeded from restrictions that no manager should have. Not saying Grayson was perfect but he was never given fair crack of the Whip. And now the club is left drifting while others have dispensed of their managers have taken swift action, and we will probably lose the chance to install a good candidate and end up with a Bates “cheap as chips I’ll do whatever you say Ken “option.  billyboy4 Friday, February 17, 2012 at 01:19 PM Sad to say I have no respect for Lorimer anymore. Used to be a big favourite of mine. Sad way to end it. Friday, February 17, 2012 at 01:18 PM That’s right Peter – lay all the blame at Grayson’s feet., he’s not going to reply in a hurry. And of course the club’s current plight has nothing at all to do with the board. What b*******!! Maybe Grayson did sideline some of the senior players, but that could be because they put in some shocking performances -Connolly and O’Brien are two that spring to mind. It’s hardly any surprise therefore these same players are now turning on him after he’s left and having a good whinge. As for the assertion that no-one at Leeds United wants promotion more than the board – well prove it! I’m afraid that statement just does not ring true.  waynel Friday, February 17, 2012 at 01:18 PM  This sort of article makes me so angry. Lorimer is on the board of directors, he should be giving the fans some insight into the current situation and what the board are doing to appoint a manager and address the current diabolical situation at our club. What he shouldn’t be doing is deflecting all the blame onto a guy who can’t defend himself and claiming none of this is their fault. Absolutely disgraceful Lorimer and bordering on slanderous and I’m surprised the YEP has allowed this to go to print.  lufc83 Friday, February 17, 2012 at 01:16 PM Peter, us, the fans lost any respect we had for you a long time ago, your inane ramblings and sticking up for Ken Bates at every opporunity is very pittiful and painful to see, you have been brainwashed. You say Ken Bates has done nothing wrong and it’s all Grayson’s fault, then why did Ken Bates sanction all the transfers? I think it’s timr you stepped down as director or whatever it is you do at the club and go back to your pub, I have more of an afiliation with dog muck on my shoe than you or anything that comes out of your mouth; it pains me to say it but you were a Leeds legend and an idol to many, but now you are an old, rambling bafoon. 20  Deeda LUFC  Friday, February 17, 2012 at 01:15 PM And I take the bad atmosphere has nothing to do with the fact that the players have seen talented teammates sold or walking out of the club on Bosmans because the club have offered them peanuts for contracts? The likes of Snodgrass, McCormack, Clayton etc aren’t stupid they know that when the time comes they’ll be offered similar peanuts deals and be on their way too. They know they have no future at the club so is it any wonder the moral is so low? And all this whilst admission prices in comparison to what we get are frankly scandalous. Sorry Peter but b***** all wrong? Try b***** all right!  19 Harry Grey Friday, February 17, 2012 at 01:14 PM If the board really really want promotion they will have to employ someone who really really can get us promotion Warnock of McCarthy who have the contacts. Not someone like Redfearn or Clark who have no pedigree but are cheap. 18 rubbers Friday, February 17, 2012 at 01:11 PM Thanks Mr Bates for your latest Friday comments. As usual, you never blame yourself or your mates, this time you are having a go at the ex manager, perhaps this is in order to reduce compensation you need to pay him, you have after all a history of this. It’s also interesting to note your comment about change not happening overnight, but, your mate Shaun, after sacking the manager, said that we need a boost in order to get promotion. Seems a little contradictory to me.  17 teddy39  Friday, February 17, 2012 at 01:10 PM what a disgrace, more propaganda than the nazis, give your head a shake peter. grayson is now the scapegoat without chance to defend himself against bates and his scum associates. please dont print anymore of this rubbish, its an embarrasment to leeds supporters. lebowski Friday, February 17, 2012 at 01:09 PM You can Wipe Simons blood off your hands now Peter. Disgraceful. Classless.


Friday 17th of Feb. New York Times – Rogers thrown a curve ball. After parting ways with the Columbus Crew in M.L.S after last season and making the move overseas, the American wing Robbie Rogers is now settling in with Leeds United where he hopes to soon lead a team that is in transition. In January, Rogers signed with Leeds through 2014 and his appeal for a British work permit was granted, completing the move. While Rogers has enjoyed his time so far at Leeds, the situation has become more complex than he had planned. Initially he was scouted and signed by manager Simon Grayson who was public about how highly he thought of Rogers. All that changed, however, when Grayson was fired Feb. 1 after winning twice in eight games. During that time, the club fell out of a top six position and a spot in the promotion playoffs. Since Grayson left, the club’s stability has not improved as Neil Redfearn was appointed interim manager. “Obviously it’s strange when you come to a club and the guy who brings you here leaves,” Rogers said in a telephone interview. “It kind of makes you wonder if this is the right move. I obviously felt bad for [Grayson]. In my situation, I kind of just smiled at it. It was like: welcome to English football. A few bad results and you might lose your job. But the guys at the club and the club itself have been very welcoming. I’ve dedicated myself so I’m just going to continue to work hard. I’m very happy I made the move over here”Rogers, 24, has enjoyed the professional approach taken by Redfearn the past two weeks but he insists the team is still taking things game-by-game while it is uncertain when a permanent manager will be hired. After last weekend’s loss to Brighton, Leeds is in 10th place in the League Championship, a rung below the Premier League. It trails sixth place Hull City by four points for the final spot in the playoffs. Rogers knows that they are only a few positive results from being back among the top teams in the league. “It hasn’t been anything strange and it’s not unsettling at the club,” Rogers said. “All the players are just focused and taking every game as it comes. We’re in that place where we can fight for promotion. We have a lot of really good players so if we can just get a string of really good results and get our confidence going, I think that we’ll have a great chance of getting promoted.” Since making the move, Rogers has yet to step on the field for Leeds but he is confident he is not far away from his debut. Because of the timing of the M.L.S. season, Rogers arrived at Leeds in the middle of his off-season and had not started in a game since Oct. 27. Once Rogers returns to full match fitness, he is ready to become a key player for Leeds the balance of the season nd move the club forward.” Rogers is well aware that the move overseas was both a challenge and a risk. When he was with Columbus, he was one of the best wings in the league and helped lead the club to a M.L.S. Cup title in 2008, and Supporters Shield trophies in 2008 and 2009. In 2008, he was named to the league’s Best XI.In recent years, however, Rogers admits that his play was inconsistent and one reason is that he missed playing under Sigi Schmid, the coach who left the Crew to take the Seattle job in 2009. The Crew then hired Robert Warzycha but it was not the same. “My first two years in M.L.S. I had Sigi Schmid,” Rogers said. “He knew how to get the best out of his players. My last three years were just kind of inconsistent. My relationship with [Robert Warzycha] was just kind of on and off. He didn’t communicate with me as well as I might have liked. I think he has a good eye for talent but I thought I worked better with Sigi.”Rogers’ contract with M.L.S. expired at the end of last season. The league offered Rogers an extension and it made for a difficult decision. In the end, the biggest reason for Rogers making the move to Leeds is because it gave him the opportunity to challenge himself at a prestigious club that has demanding supporters. “It was extremely difficult decision to leave M.L.S.,” Rogers said. “It is very comfortable to me to stay in the United States and play. It’s a challenge to move to a new country and adapt to this environment. In the end I decided that I wanted to live life where in the end I don’t regret not trying things. I think this is an opportunity that not everyone gets to have.” Before making the decision to sign with Leeds, Rogers also received encouragement from U.S. national team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann. Klinsmann has taken an active role in helping American M.L.S players train with European clubs during the off-season. Rogers has been a regular with the national team since Klinsmann was hired in August. During that time, the California native has earned four caps and has scored once. Klinsmann did not specifically tell Rogers what to do but he did tell him .“He thought that maybe it was time for me to take a chance somewhere,” Rogers said of Klinsmann’s advice. “He didn’t tell me I had to go to England. He just told me to follow my gut and take a chance — not just as a player but as a person as well.” The move overseas is not the first one for Rogers. After he won the 2005 N.C.A.A. championship with the University of Maryland in his freshman year, he signed a professional contract with Heerenveen of the Dutch Eredivise. The move did not last long — Rogers was with the club one year and did not make a first team appearance. In 2007 he returned to the United States to play in M.L.S. Rogers does not look back negatively on his first European experience and remains confident that his second will be more successful mostly because he is more mature. He also believes that everything in his past has brought him to this point and an opportunity to succeed at Leeds United. “I don’t have it in the back of my mind that Heerenveen wasn’t the biggest success so I need to go back to Europe and prove myself,” he said. “I don’t think about it that way. I just think that experience has helped make me what I am today. I’m a strong believe in faith. It happened for a reason. “When you’re younger, everything is about football and when things aren’t going well, you’re thinking about it constantly. But you mature as you get older. You can put those things into the past and enjoy yourself more off the field. When you can do that, you enjoy training more. I’ve just grown a lot. Hopefully in a few years I can look back and say all those experiences made me a really good player.” 

Thursday Feb 16th 2012. One of Sport’s best writers in undoubtedly Phil Hay of the YEP. His words slash through the page like a rapier, and this piece on Ken Bates’ Leeds United is an excellent piece. All Leeds fans should read it as a matter of course. The man calls it as it is and may find a welcome mat hard to fine for the Doncaster game. By Phil Hay YEP – Readferan can’t be blamed but Whites need new boss urgently. Wolverhampton Wanderers parted company with former manager Mick McCarthy around 11am on Monday. On Tuesday afternoon they let it be known that a shortlist was in place and interviews would begin within 48 hours. There is nothing impressive about the timeline involved. Wolves are doing what needs to be done with the urgency expected of a club whose season is perilously balanced.  But note the contrast with Leeds United and the fortnight of procrastination that has followed Simon Grayson’s sacking. These past two weeks are a riddle like no other among many at Elland Road. It is not difficult to spot the glaring contradiction between United’s inactivity and the explanation given for Grayson’s dismissal on February 1. The decision, said chief executive Shaun Harvey, was to salvage what chance remained of qualifying for the Championship’s play-offs. Three games later that chance is a fantasy. Most of us have experienced enough competitive football to know the improbable when we see it. It was the risk United took and the consequence they must have considered when control of their squad passed to Neil Redfearn, for one game at Bristol City initially and then three more subsequently. It was Redfearn’s chance to rise from the position of academy coach to that of first-team manager but the priority was United’s season, not the progression of a respected and likeable coach. Neither have been helped by his exposure to a job which killed the experienced Grayson with multiple cuts. Leeds will say this was a matter of patience; a matter of making the right appointment rather than repenting at leisure. But they stand accused of dealing recklessly with what remains of this season by allowing it to drift at the very moment when clear direction was needed. That their prospects in the Championship were already meagre is neither here nor there, less still a reason to write the remainder of the term off. Try justifying a benign finish to those supporters who paid up front and upwards of £500 a head for season tickets. As ever with Leeds, you join the dots and find yourself staring at a tangled web. Why was no definite plan of action in place when Grayson had been under pressure and waiting for his P45 since the last day of 2011? His future became the elephant in the room as long ago as November and was freely discussed from the start of January onwards, a classic case of when, not if. The logic in “dispensing” with his services as the January transfer window closed, rather than cutting him loose at the turn of the year, seems as nonsensical as it did two weeks ago. It is not typical of Leeds to sit on their hands in these circumstances. Gary McAllister was named as Dennis Wise’s replacement within 24 hours of Wise uprooting, and Grayson wriggled his way out of a contract at Blackpool three days after McAllister’s last game as boss. On both occasions the motivation for quick appointments was the need to keep each season alive; to reach for the play-offs in the games that remained. This time around, nothing. No forthright action and no clarity over whether a definite shortlist is even in place. No certainty either that those names on it are not now hedging their bets with a position at Molineux suddenly available. All of the above makes you wonder if Redfearn’s opportunity was long in the making, a chance which Leeds always intended to give him if and when Grayson was sacked. It is not an exaggeration to say that he was highly regarded at Elland Road, and long before Grayson’s dismissal. That much was shown by Redfearn surviving the cull among United’s academy staff towards the end of 2010. But this job, in these circumstances, was too much to ask of him, an unfair responsibility for someone who can consider himself blameless for the situation Leeds are in. His substitution of Ross McCormack in Tuesday’s defeat at Coventry City was a poor decision, but this year has been a catalogue of poor decisions, and few of them his. The last man who attempted to learn on the job, John Carver, was similarly required to clutch at straws left behind – and to no avail. There is nothing more essential at Elland Road than strong and dominant leadership. This is, in some respects, the perfect storm for a caretaker, as it would be now for an incoming manager: a squad bereft of confidence and form, a disillusioned fanbase whose dejection and militancy is understandably growing, and a Championship position which offers nothing in the way of breathing space. All things considered, play-off qualification demanded a miracle of Redfearn and the man is no Messiah, just an honest, hard-working coach. At the speed with which the Championship is moving, Leeds might require another 28 points to make sixth place their own. The implications of this situation are grave. For one, Leeds will find profitable attendances hard to come by if March and April are loaded with dead rubbers. They will also have a hard task tempting back the 30 per cent of season tickets who, as of last week, have not renewed. But the biggest toll of a poor year is most likely to be taken on the squad at Elland Road. The worst-case scenario is this: Robert Snodgrass asks to leave the club, as a player with his ability and record of service is entitled to do. McCormack and Adam Clayton reach the same contractual position which brought about the sales of Max Gradel and Jonathan Howson. Aidan White is out of contract, with no new deal in sight, and so are four other players. And the four loanees in United’s squad – Darren O’Dea, Fabian Delph, Andros Townsend and Adam Smith – make their excuses and head for the hills. Some of those names divide opinion but it has the makings of an exodus or a clearout by default. Gaps to plug will be plentiful and the size of next season’s transfer budget remains to be seen. If the threat of lower crowds and reduced season-ticket renewals is as real as it seems, the wage bill could find itself directly in the firing line. The hundreds of supporters who marched from Leeds City Square through Holbeck and onto Elland Road last weekend fear the future. They are deeply worried. This is not about Ken Bates, say the Leeds United Supporters Trust, but only Bates can say what happens next. Sat in Monaco, only he can explain why Leeds are on the drift in a season when, in his words, the club “need to get promoted. Not financially but for the fans’ sake”. Brick by brick, step by step, defeat by defeat, on, on, on. Or something like that. Excellent article. Bates has already alluded to the fact that  player budget will be cut to below £9M for next year and that’s without falling attendances. This thriller is set to go right to the finish.

Thurs Feb 16th. Delph a gonner. On-loan midfielder Fabian Delph has been ruled out of Leeds United’s weekend Championship clash at home to Doncaster with an ankle injury. The 22-year-old, who is back at Elland Road on a month’s loan from Aston Villa, has had to return to his parent club for further treatment after picking up the knock during the midweek defeat at Coventry. Delph has suffered from a history of ankle problems which has limited his number of first-team opportunities since signing for Villa in 2009. Caretaker United boss Neil Redfearn confirmed on the club’s official website: “Fab will be out for Saturday. He’s gone back to Villa to be assessed, but he is being monitored and we’re hoping it will be a case of days. “Fab’s a good player. Against Bristol City and Brighton I thought he played well. He’s a big influence and he’ll be a big loss.” Delph’s initial loan period is due to expire after the trip to Portsmouth in a fortnight.

Thursday Feb 16th 2012. Blame us says Snods. Robert Snodgrass claims the players at Leeds must accept responsibility for the club’s inability to clamber back into the play-off positions. The Whites have been in and around the Championship’s top six for much of the season, but their inconsistencies over recent weeks have held them back. A surprise 2-1 defeat away at struggling Coventry on Tuesday has left the club six points adrift of the promotion-chasing pack. Simon Grayson paid the price for failing to put Leeds in contention with his job, and caretaker coach Neil Redfearn saw decisions jeered by certain sections of the travelling support at the Ricoh Arena. Snodgrass admits Leeds desperately need to get their house in order, with the club currently lacking the ‘winning mentality’ required to force their way back into the Premier League. “It’s very, very frustrating right now,” he told the Yorkshire Evening Post. “There’s not really anything to say, apart from that it’s the players’ fault. We as a team know we need to be better. “We can’t sit around and blame anyone else. It’s down to us, the players. We know exactly what to expect in the Championship. It’s our second season here and we should know what to do. “There’s enough talent here for us to go and win matches but it’s down to getting the mindset right, the mental approach to the game. “You need a winning mentality and I don’t think we’ve got it right now. That’s what it takes to be up there at the top.” Meanwhile, reports suggest Leeds will not be approaching Lee Clark regarding their vacant managerial post. Clark was expected to be a leading candidate for the role after being sacked by Huddersfield on Wednesday, but Leeds are understood to be reluctant to appoint a man with no previous coaching experience in the Championship.

Feb 15th 2012. Many who know me have heard me harp on for ages about how pointless it would be to sack Larry without having a better replacement lined up. From what has since transpired I think he really got a very raw deal. The scapegoating has been unbelievable. I have written before about how at least eight and most probably 10 clubs have had bigger budgets than Leeds this season. Larry has been blamed for everything under the sun by our esteemed chairman. The same chairman who said just on January 10th  “His (Grayson’s) record over the last three years is in the first year we got to the play off semi-final, the second year he got us promotion and in the third year we finished seventh. “He is the manager. Don’t start putting pressure on him. “Don’t forget they (supporters) were talking of sacking (Sir Alex) Ferguson when he lost 6-1 (to Manchester City) earlier in the season. Then, they were talking of sacking Wenger. Who else are you going to sack?”  I was going to write an article regarding the size of our squad compared to other Championship squads but The Scratching Shed beat me to it. First let’s remember what Bates said : At 30 players, we have one of the largest squads in the Championship and bigger than some in the Premier League. We have got eighteen games to go, nine at home and nine away. We can still get into the play offs. I think automatic promotion is looking a bit remote. I think we need a fresh start, fresh attitude and we will move on.” More lies in the first instance and 3 points from 9 points of our “winnable games” shows how out of touch the bearded one is with reality when he has given the three game nod to “Redders”. Why wouldn’t I believe Larry over Bates ? The Sabotage Times – Ken Bates and the paying of 28 scandal. Ken Bates’ latest excuse for Grayson’s sacking is that with a squad of 28 we shouldn’t be signing new players, and Grayson’s work with the current squad has not been good enough. Question-marks already hang high above the last bit of his statement. But what about squad sizes? I have a deadline to meet so let’s keep this short: I’ll take the bottom three clubs, the three mid-table clubs (which includes Leeds), and the top three clubs who aren’t newly demoted. Bear in mind players signed and not yet played will not show on these stats. So Kenneth has the benefit of the doubt on each club. Doncaster Rovers – (33) 43 players have been named on matchday this season. 10 players have since left the club. 33 players in the squad. Nottingham Forest – (25) 34 players have been named on match day this season. 05 players have since left the club. 30 players in the squad.

Coventry City – (26) 30 players have been named on match day this season. 04 players have since left the club. 26 players in the squad.

Derby County – (28) 30 players have been named on match day this season. 02 players have since left the club. 28 players in the squad.

Leicester – (30) 30 players have been named on match day this season. 00 players have since left the club. 30 players in the squad.

Leeds United – (28) 33 players have been named on match day this season. 05 players have since left the club. 28 players in the squad.

Southampton – (27) 28 players have been named on match day this season. 01 players have since left the club. 27 players in the squad.

Cardiff – (27) 27 players have been named on match day this season. 00 players have left the club. 27 players in the squad.

Reading – (30) 30 players have been named on match day this season. 00 players have left the club. 30 players in the squad.

So what do these stats tell us? They tell us that it doesn’t matter whether you have a squad of 25 or 33; if you’re players aren’t good enough you will be relegated. They also tell us that those clubs who go on to reach the playoffs or promotion are far less likely to sell players and have to bed new ones in place of old. Reading have kept their players; Cardiff have kept their players; Southampton have offloaded one player. Even the mid-table teams have not chopped and changed to the extent forced upon Leeds United by our inability to sign our best players to new contracts. One extra factor that may explain why one or two are scratching their heads, is that young players will show up on the more frequented pages like Wikipedia. And this again reflects teams’ budgets. Big-spending clubs like Leicester have 8 unused young players in the senior squad. Relegation-embattled clubs like Doncaster Rovers are using every player at their disposal. Leeds falls into the latter category. We have only Will Turner of all our youngsters who is yet to make an appearance for us this season. But even that does not tell the whole story. Teams like Leicester and Southampton have paid to get experienced players as well as young stars, and keep them. Leeds have youngsters (Aidy White, 20; Tom Lees, 21; Zac Thompson, 19) and young loanees (20 year old Smith to come in for 19 year old Thompson, 20 year old Townsend to give competition to 20 year old White on the wing). At 24, Robert Snodgrass is one of the most experienced players in the Leeds team and the one we’re looking to for leadership. Beside him is 34 year old Michael Brown, 40 year old Maik Taylor, 32 year old Andy O’Brien, 30 year old Paddy Kisnorbo. This is where it goes wrong for Leeds. The oldies get injuries, or struggle to keep up with the rigours of a 46 game season. The youngsters make mistakes, and when the game goes the wrong way they’re more prone than experienced heads to panicking. Yet on the wages offered by Leeds, the only experienced heads we can afford are the cast-offs from other Championship clubs. Players who are too old or injury-prone to be considered worthwhile for other clubs to employ. We have a larger squad Southampton – technically – and a similar squad to Leicester – technically – yet the numbers cloud the clear problems for Leeds. Run your eye over our squad, and try to name half a team who are good enough for promotion who have more than two years’ first team experience at a decent level. We’re relying on youngsters to do it all for us. Our young players deserve a chance, but it’s unfair on them to place the pressures of promotion on their still developing shoulders. Of course they’ll come out saying the believe they can do it: who didn’t at that age? But the old hands on our Board – including Peter Lorimer – should surely understand that it’s not a good idea to place all our hopes on them. They’ve shown under “Redders” that when the going gets tough, they’re nowhere to be found. Even if they have talent and skill. Ken Bates laughed at Simon Grayson’s attempts to sign a new player: The first time I said ‘no’ to a player that Simon wanted to buy was last Thursday when he wanted to sign a player who was going to cost us £600,000 a year. I said ‘but you’ve already got six centre-backs, all of who you signed’.” He was, in fact, being misleading, as the player Grayson had wanted to sign was a central midfielder. Not to mention that O’Dea had been signed as much as cover for left-back. The player would have cost ££600,000 per annum. That’s roughly £11.5k per week. Reasonably expensive, but about on a par for a good midfielder who will help gain promotion. Don’t forget, it’s only a season since Bates was laughing at one club’s signing of an unproven product of a top Premiership academy on £10k per week – widely thought to be Jay Simpson for Hull City. Yes, £10k was laughable – because it was going towards an unproven player. That suggests £10k to a proven player is acceptable. Yet Bates is now laughing at Grayson’s attempt to sign a player on £11.5k? Is £1,500 per week really that much in the mind of Leeds United’s chairman? It’s about the equivalent of 50 fans (well less actually) paying £36 for an away ticket. Yet Bates was happy to charge ridiculous prices, pull them away from the Cheese Wedge, stick them into the crappy West Stand, and has thus seen regular boycots of Leeds matches by visiting fans. He says our squad is too big. We have 6 central defenders. Does he suggest we play Alex Bruce in midfield? Or O’Dea? He says our squad is too big: but it’s the same size as mid-table, unambitious Derby County. And who do we have in central midfield? A 34 year old who will almost certainly be leaving at the end of the season, a youngster who will leave in the next month, and Vayrynen and Clayton. Zac Thompson as cover. Hardly a promotion winning squad that you’re paying for Mr. Bates. And this is what’s so strange. Ken Bates flip-flops on just about every issue. He first laughed at spending £10k p/w on an inexperienced player, and now laughs at spending £11.5k p/w on any player whatsoever. Remember Max Gradel? “Ken Bates sensationally reveals that Max Gradel was told he could leave at the end of last season after spending the summer reassuring Leeds United fans we wouldn’t be selling our star winger.” That’s a quote from this site as Ken Bates revealed all on transfer deadline day this autumn. And Simon Grayson on the same day? “The most frustrating day I have had as a manager”. I’m not surprised, Simon. And then, as The Square Ball’s latest podcast pointed out, Ken Bates spent half of a radio address expounding the expense of loanees, before using Arsenal’s Henry as an example of why loanees work: “He’s a free player, free transfer.” No he’s not, Ken. You just said, loanees are bloody expensive! It’s this confusion of contradictory statements that makes Ken Bates such a strange man to consider. Either he’s utterly thick, or he’s massively out of touch. Given his willingness to quote figures at us as if they will absolve him of all wrongdoing, when in fact they prove his double-standards and ill-considered strategies, I’d suggest the latter. Which is worrying. Written by TimPM. I have to say that’s a fantastic article. Here are some of the Bloggers who read it. BLOGS – Boycott my arse there will still be 20’000 idiots there on Sat payin £30 to watch Donny Rovers…mugs! True Leeds fans are staying away from ER35 – Bates is in a No-Win situation re the situation at ER . If you accept his line that he backed Grayson with funds, then he has failed miserably and have to ask why he persisted with Grayson for over 3 years. He employed Grayson, and before that Wise, McAllister and Blackwell, backed his transfer policy and is therefore as much to blame for the club’s current position as anyone.Equally, if he has not backed Grayson, how does he expect the club to compete, and just where has all the money gone? Bates is like a lot of others involved in football, not the financial “wizard”, the astute, clever businessmen he claims to be. After 7 years, of his stated priorities, how many have been acheived? 1. Promotion back to the Premiership – NO 2. Buy back ER – NO 3. Buy back TA – NO 4. Attract new investment – NO In any other walk of life he would be a disaster. Only in the shady, murky world of football finance can these people quite lIterally “get away with murder”. Only in football can they ‘fleece’ loyal supporters, go into administration etc no questions asked by the football authorities. This is the man who “bought” in to Leeds when debts were down to circa £20m only to put the club into administration some 18 months later with debts of £37m. The CVA process and administration were a complete farce leaving Bates in control. Unfortunately, there is no way he will sell up, he dare not open the books to any potential buyer for fear of letting the truth of what has been going on at ER under his tenure becoming public knowledge. -Really enjoyed this article and nodded my head at nearly every paragraph. No one can say that all Grayson’s signing have been good (not by a long shot) but I get the feeling he was constantly reacting in the transfer market (i.e. Forssell, Vayrynen, Brown, Rachubka just before season start and constantly coming up empty in January) and we’ll never know why this was the case – lack of available funds or unable to attract the players. We can’t afford Keogh but Milwall can, we can’t afford 600k a year wages for a central midfield player – it’s more than slightly embarrassing. Two January transfer windows passed us by without decent reinforcements when it was apparant to all but the blind that we were 2 or 3 players short of a play off worthy team. You lose three critical and key members of your squad (OK some will say some negatives about Johnson and Kilkenny but they were regulars that were shoe ins for most matches) and replace them with inferior players and you will struggle. Townsend is no Gradel (loan or permanent) and Brown/Pugh are not as good as Kilkenny/Johnson let alone Howson. The best clubs with the deepest pockets will pick up the best free transfers – and our pockets seem to have stitching just below the opening. -Attended the “Leeds on the road’ on 13th Feb at Cov. Williams and Lorimer spent most of the night blaming Simon Grayson about the state of the club position in the league and the quality of current players. It was shocking really. Never heard such deceit in my life. The best statement I ever heard though was when questioned about season ticket prices and selling tickets cheap to fill the stadium to create the ’12th’ man, our legend Peter stated that they had tried that before and season ticket holders had complained that as the tickets were a lot cheaper, they found themselves sat next to different class of supporter who couldn’t normally afford to get in and it spoilt their day!! Priceless. We have a class system in the Kop!! I absolutely love it!! – TSSMatt7702 I think many people lost respect for Lorimer a long time ago when they realised he had turned into Bates’ fans friendly mouth piece. You can expect nothing less from any employee who toes the party line or loses his job – what other reason does Bates employ him other than to be the friendly face of Leeds United (a legend from a bygone era that most people thought had LUFC running through his spine like a stick of rock from Skegness). I’d listen to Eddie’s comments with far more interest than I ever will from Lorimer again – even if I don’t agree with everything at least I know they are his thoughts and opinions rather than what he is told to say by his boss and the press officer.

Lee Clarke and Terry McDermott

Feb 15th 2012. Lee Clarke has been given the axe by Huddersfield and automatically becomes linked with the Leeds job. Personally, I think he has had enough resources to have had Huddersfield Town promoted by now. Losing 1-0 at home to Sheffield United last night was obviously the last straw for his frustrated chairman. Why should a manager who failed at League One level with probably more resources than was offered to Simon Grayson be capable of making the step up to Leeds United ? The answer of course is self explanatory, but our good friends in the Sabotage Times have had a Terriers fan pen the following article which is enthralling reading. The Sabotage Times – Lee Clark: Everything Wolves And Leeds Need To Know About The Available Gaffer… “I must say, despite growing frustration amongst certain sections of the Galpharm crowd that the sacking of Lee Clark has left me shocked, and not altogether happy. Although it is all too easy for journalists to point at his record of 3 defeats all season and the fact that we’re fourth in the table that does ignore an awful lot of contextual factors, it still isn’t an entirely justified decision. Despite the huge amount of money invested in the squad, Huddersfield Town have no divine right to walk an incredibly competitive league and Lee Clark had rarely seen his Huddersfield Town side outside the play off places during his impressive tenure. We have in my opinion sacked a manager capable of performing in the Championship, and as much as he hadn’t gained promotion he had guaranteed that we competed with the top sides consistently, only falling short at the bitter end. So what can fans of clubs expect from Lee Clark, I list his qualities below. Style of play: When Lee Clark arrived at Huddersfield he promised fast attacking football that would entertain the fans. And this is what he delivered until we lost to a powerful Millwall side in the play offs. After seeing his young team taken apart by a strong team Clark altered his style to a far more pragmatic, less easy on the eye approach, that won points but far less plaudits. He is a subscriber to prozone, so believes in percentages, and attempts to get his sides playing efficient if not wonderfully attractive football. However it must be said that when he gets his team paying his way, they will score goals and overawe many teams. Personality Clark is an emotional man, a constant presence on the touchline, that led to many suggesting he was terrifying his players with his constant touchline antics. He takes things personally and has on occasion decided to ignore the media when results go against him. However he does speak very sensibly after games, pointing out what went well and what could’ve been improved, and he generally comes across very well, if not a little moody. I wish him all the best, and as a Huddersfield fan, I fear we’ve jumped the gun and might live to regret the decision to sack him. Strengths He doesn’t lose many games, and that will always endear him to fans of clubs who need wins. He’s also not afraid to swiftly address problems in his squad. If the team aren’t scoring he’ll delve into the transfer market freely. He can also get a team playing great football and you will see his teams score a lot of goals. He can also spot a good player as proved in the signings of Anthony Pilkington, Jordan Rhodes and Lee Peltier, all bought for a reasonable fee and either sold or likely to be sold for a healthy profit. As seen below though, this penchant for a transfer is also his greatest weakness. Weaknesses Clark is wasteful in the transfer market, and more than happy to spend freely. He has overhauled his squad three times during his Huddersfield tenure, building a good side that only needed adjustments and then replacing them with numerous other players who we certainly didn’t need. All too often he released a good academy graduate and replaced them with an experienced mercenary. The sale of James Berrett and replacing him with Joey Gudjonsson is as bad a piece of business as I can recall. He also seems to lose faith in good players far too swiftly, as numerous players have fallen foul of him and then almost immediately been kicked out of the club or sold on. The likes of Theo Robinson, Donal McDermott and the aforementioned Gudjonsson had great ability to change games but neither lasted long under Clark who appeared to swiftly lose faith with them. He seems to swiftly fall out with people, which seems to have been his greatest downfall as a manager, and also might have led to a premature end to his tenure at the Galpharm. He also failed to ever sort out the defence and we threw too many games away after finding ourselves in comfortable positions. He was also too impulsive in his decisions, he changed everything after the Mllwall game and when we were outperformed by Bournemouth, rather than just working on ways to improve he just went and bought their two best players, neither of whom have been a success at this stage with one already departing the club. Ultimately Clark isn’t as bad a manager as many Huddersfield fans will argue, but isn’t as good a manager as many outside the club will suggest. He did an incredibly good job in terms of league position and ignoring his penchant for drawing games from winning positions, he can certainly count himself to be unlucky. However when the aim was promotion, he had failed to deliver, and to most Huddersfield fans this is all that truly mattered, he will be remembered as a manager who promised a lot but failed to deliver. If a club does hire him, he must learn from mistakes made, learn to use the players he has and not rely on transfers, and he must attempt to get on better with people and stick to his personal football philosophies and not be so easily swayed. I wish him all the best, and as a Huddersfield fan, I fear we’ve jumped the gun and might live to regret the decision to sack him”.

Feb 15th. Thanks to the Square Ball for the following : What Ken Said – 15.02.12 – Redders & Reddies : Taken from Yorkshire Radio’s interview with Leeds United owner Ken Bates today…‘Mr Chairman’ speaks to Ben Fry about giving the defeats to Brighton and Coventry. He talks about Doncaster and a lot of other stuff, which he wasn’t even asked about including a rant at protesters and LUST. A week after revealing Sven won’t be getting the job, he refuses to comment on who the next manager will be because Leeds United do their business “behind closed doors”. He then says reports Mick McCarthy will get the job are far from the mark because he doesn’t have the ex-Wolves boss’ telephone number. Finally, he talks about Fabian Delph and journalists. Note: After this interview, LUST made the following statement: “We are aware of the comments made today by Mr Bates and are currently taking legal advice.” Ben Fry: Chairman, two identical results against Brighton and Coventry. Disappointment last night again against the bottom side. You must be very frustrated? Ken Bates: Yes, it’s very disappointing, isn’t it? We used to be the team that won in the last five minutes but the last two games we’ve played, we’re the team that lost in the last five minutes. I mean, giving away a penalty is unnecessary, it’s as simple as that. So last night’s performance was disappointing and the players should be looking in the mirror this morning and asking themselves what went wrong and why they didn’t play so well. BF: When you look at the league table, it still leaves the club within touching distance – six points outside the play-offs but there is a big chasing pack now isn’t there? KB: Oh yes there is but the whole thing has closed up again. But what is sort of frustrating is that if we won the last two games, we’d be in the play-offs. I mean, that’s what’s frustrating. And at least on paper, Leeds were the stronger team and we should have won but we didn’t. There has to be a lot of heart-searching and soul-searching going on at Thorp Arch this morning. BF: Particularly because the noises coming out of Thorp Arch have been particularly positive, you feel the players are galvanised, it just hasn’t happened for them the last couple of games. KB: Well, there’s nothing I can explain about that. The players are the ones that go on the pitch, the players are the ones who wear the shirt and they are the ones that have to perform for Leeds United. It’s in their hands, I’m afraid. BF: It now puts an added importance on this game on Saturday against Doncaster. It’s an old cliche, but it becomes a must-win now doesn’t it? KB: It does. And interestingly of course, Doncaster is one of these people who have carried out a very interesting experiment, if you like. They’re relying on Willie McKay now bringing in all these so-called top players at minimum salaries and putting them in the shop window to do a deal on somewhere else. So far, clearly, being bottom of the league, it has worked. So it will be interesting to see what team they turn out on Saturday. But I think Doncaster is a sign of the problem facing this game and the different methods people are employing to solve their financial problems, which is now becoming widespread. I’m if you look at Rangers… RANGERS?!.. how can Rangers go? It’s like Manchester United going into administration. Then we have Portsmouth. We’ve lost Darlington this month. Hearts have a big tax bill to pay, which they are trying to sort out with the HMRC, otherwise they could be going. Notts Forest… these are the signs that are now coming that weaknesses of clubs relying on sugar daddies to pay for their business because Notts Forest, you know what the situation is there, but it now turns out that Mr Doughty who dropped dead unexpectedly at 54 had put £75million in. The Indians who are supposed to… who now own Blackburn Rovers, would not appear to be funding in the same way the late Jack Walker’s trust did. And so it goes on… question marks over last night’s opponents Coventry, Bristol City, Watford… where does it end? We have lots of clubs now in more serious trouble than people realise. Rangers and Portsmouth are just the tip of the iceberg. Mind you, as events unfold this spring, the seriousness of the matter will become more apparent. Leeds United will be making serious changes in their approach to the playing staff next season. As I’ve told you repeatedly, our budget this year was £9.5million wage bill which was one of the highest in the division. However it was £12million because we backed Simon, in his judgement, which frankly is now proved not to be the best. And when fans chant “Where has all the money gone?”, well the answer is £2.5m on wages for a start. Where do you think the money comes from? Do you think it grows on trees? So those people prancing up and down, waving their banners, they’ve got no positive solution to what they perceive as a problem. In fact, all they do is add to it by deterring potential investors to come into the club. But even then, they’re not going to come in just to subsidise wages. It will be interesting to see how LUST with their appeal for funds, it will be interesting to see how much they have got so far. I wish them luck. At Chelsea, we tried to raise £15m to buy the ground Stamford Bridge. Took 10 years to make £1.5m. Most of that was from friends of mine. I mean, the fact of the matter is, there’s a tremendous change taking place in football below the surface. When Greg Clarke came in as League chairman, he made a statement which is sort of following up what Lord Triesman said at the FA at a speech at some convention about the amount of clubs that are in debt in the Football League. Clarke said, sorry Greg Clarke said that the chairman said that if the trend wasn’t stopped, the Football League would be nearly a £1billion in debt in five years time. You’ve now got people facing up to it. And I point out that we have 29 players, we have one of the biggest squads probably in England, never mind just the Championship because we supported Simon with what he wanted until two days before the Birmingham game when we said “No, enough is enough. What do you want to get another midfield player on loan for? You’ve already got nine.” So I think that we’ll find out now who truly loves their club and who professes to. And I know the next weeks, two weeks are going to examine the credentials at LUST that are making a lot of noise. Let’s see how much they love the club. But their chairman, we have been looking at our computer, he’s a season ticket holder this season. Didn’t come at all last season. His excuse to me, when I quizzed him nearly a year ago, was family commitments. Well it may be, but it doesn’t justify or qualify him to speak for the ordinary fans does it? And the vice-chairman lives in America. He’s come to two play-off matches. I think ’06, ’08. I may have got the years wrong but I’ve got the principle right. These are based on our computer which says “tickets bought in these people’s names”. It’s not just a case of putting your money where your mouth is, it’s putting your body where your mouth is and actually turn up for a game. We’re looking for an evolution, let’s hope it’s an evolution, but with HMRC, the tax man, having such a ruthless attitude towards football clubs at the moment, it may turn into a revolution and a bloodbath.BF: Let’s bring it back to Leeds United and the managerial situation. People continue to speculate about what’s going to happen next. Still plenty of big-name candidates linked with the job. Will Neil Redfearn still be in charge for Doncaster? KB: We stated he was in charge for the next three games and as I remember, providing my mathematics is better than yours, Doncaster is the third game so he will be, yes. We can’t speculate. The world and his wife have applied for the Leeds United job because it’s a good one and it’s an important one. We don’t do our discussions in public, we don’t comment. It gives you an idea how silly this is that we read about yesterday, was it yesterday? It’s Wednesday… anyway… McCarthy was sacked on Monday. I heard about it at 3pm and I got a text saying McCarthy sacked. The next morning there was an exclusive by Matt Lawton saying we had already approached McCarthy and offered him the job. I don’t even know where McCarthy lives or what his telephone number is. But this is just speculation gone mad. As I said earlier, now the transfer window is closed there’s no speculation and nothing to fill the newspapers other than Suarez, Evra, Tevez and out of work managers. BF: One playing issue to resolve, Fab Delph’s loan is coming towards the back end. Is there a desire to try extend that? KB: Again, you’ve asked me about managers’ decisions and Neil Redfearn is the manager and he will make the decision. Aston Villa always said they wouldn’t extend it so we’ll have to find out but then again that’s a managerial position, not mine.BF: Finally, going back to the Doncaster game then. You’d hope for a loud, supportive crowd on Saturday. It is a Yorkshire derby after all and now a very important game.  KB: Oh yeah. Every game is important but this a big one with the bragging rights. Sorry for the interruption, my wife the editor has pointed out to me that I said Matt Lawton had done the exclusive in yesterday’s Daily Mail and she’s just said it was Matt Barlow. Erm, Barlow… Lawton… they’re both Matts. (reads story) Leeds are ready to offer Mick McCarthy the chance to return to management… blah di blah di blah… and is viewed as the perfect man to guide Leeds back to the top flight”. I mean these… what are these flights of fancy these writers never cease to amaze me. A so-called expert… going off on one… a story about a self-appointed expert called Tom Bower, who writes books exposing the deeds of the famous. I can only say the one about me was totally inaccurate. Not quite libellous, just full of inaccuracies. But Tom Bower’s highlight or lowlight of his career was when he wrote a very serious article about the takeover of Chelsea and he described in detail the meeting where the agent of who I was a client was sat their smoking his cigar in the Dorchester bar with a long list of other people and he went on about it for about 300-400 words in detail, describing my emotions and attitudes etc etc. There was only one problem. The meeting never took place. So the Daily Mail had to publish an extended apology and pay a substantial payment to a nominated charity. The point I’m trying to get at is you really… it’s very dangerous to believe what you read in the newspapers. And what’s annoying, and frustrating for people in the game such as chairman, chief executives and directors and so on, is they know this is nonsense and discount it. They don’t get frustrated or annoyed but the guy in the street reads it, pops up online and it gets swapped around Facebook and tweets Twitter and whatever else you can think of. So the clubs are now fighting disinformation, as well as information. And that’s why Leeds United at least, never comment on players or managers because that’s how we do our business. Behind closed doors. Not in the streets or anywhere around the football club. So now’s the time for fans to get behind Leeds United. Support the club they claim to love and make sure we get three points against Doncaster. Absolutely pathetic ! The man couldn’t lie straight in bed. Despite flogging Gradel, Schmeichel and Howson (£5.2M) he’s already talking about reducing the playing  budget for next year. What investor in his right mind would deal with this guy ? The man is a cancer tearing his way through our great club. After seven years of austerity it’s backwards we are going.  Gobshite !


Feb 15th. 2012. Weds Feb 15th. By Phil Hay YEP – Leeds United’s decision to delay the appointment of a new manager was under fresh scrutiny today after a dire defeat to bottom-of-the-table Coventry City. Neil Redfearn’s spell as caretaker boss took a turn for the worse as a 2-1 loss at the Ricoh Arena struck another blow to United’s faltering hopes of qualifying for the Championship play-offs. Leeds succumbed to two penalties from former Elland Road loanee Gary McSheffrey – the decisive goal coming in injury-time – and Redfearn reacted angrily to United’s performance, admitting his players had “failed to turn up.” Redfearn was berated by United’s supporters after substituting striker Ross McCormack with time running out and the score level at 1-1, and the loss raised further questions about United’s refusal to move quickly to name Grayson’s successor after sacking the 42-year-old with 18 Championship games remaining. Leeds said at the time that the decision was taken to inspire a charge to the play-offs but United have claimed three points from a possible nine under Redfearn and are in danger of dropping out of the fight for sixth place. Redfearn admitted the loss at the Ricoh Arena had hindered his chances of a longer-term opportunity, saying: “I don’t think we turned up. “No disrespect to Coventry but they’re bottom of the league, they’re lacking confidence and they’re struggling. The last thing you want to do is give them a leg up which is what we did. “We came in 1-1 at half-time and we’d been poor if I’m being honest. We didn’t get about them and we carried too many players. “It’s difficult for me because this is on a caretaker basis and I’ve got to be careful with what I say and how it comes across but home truths had to be told at half-time. If you don’t turn up and have a go then you should expect a bollocking.”But Redfearn defended himself after the away crowd reacted to McCormack’s late substitution with chants of “you don’t know what you’re doing.” “They’re entitled to their opinion,” Redfearn said, “but Ross has worked his socks off in the last two games and on a heavy pitch at Bristol City. He looked a bit leggy and it wanted changing. “If the fans can’t accept that then I understand, it’s fair enough. I’m going to make mistakes, and if it’s a mistake made in their eyes then it’s been made in a genuine cause – to try and make us better.”  I don’t ever  recall a caretaker manager having “You don’t know what you’re doing” sung to him three games into his management. Some have said his record before tonight was 50% wins. Guess what it’s 33% now and the way he has gotten his players playing for him it may well be 25% on Saturday.

Tues Feb 13th 2012. Coventry City 2-1 Leeds United. 01 Lonergan, 14 Smith (O’Brien – 74′ ) 22 Lees, 28 White (YC) 48 O’Dea, 15 Clayton, 16 Pugh (YC) 23 Snodgrass, 25 Delph (Brown – 62′ YC ) 10 Becchio, 44 McCormack (Nunez – 83′ ) Unused Subs : 24 Taylor, 17 Townsend. Att – 15,704. A depleted Coventry City, bottom of the Championship deservedly beat Leeds Unted 2-1. Leeds are now six points away from the play offs with one more game played than Birmingham, Hull City and Reading. Readfearn tonight refused to put on an attacking player with 25 minutes to go with Townsend obviously the best option. Bringing on Andy O’Brien for Adam Smith with 16 minutes to go defied logic unless Smith was injured. But bringing off McCormack, our best attacker all night for Nunez was rightly booed by the 3,000 plus travelling Leeds fans. Baffling ! When you sack a manager you have another one lined up, not an not of this depth youth team manager. White, O’Dea and Lonergan are allegedly happy to have Readfearn as manager. As our esteemed and learned Monaghan colleague (Terence McQuaid) has said, you want players to be afraid of the manager and not ones who like him. United are sinking like the Titanic with Bates, Harvey and Williams asleep on the deck chairs. I’ll remind you of what our illustrious absentee chairman said to YR last week : “But we’re in no hurry, we’re not going to make and hurried decision because the next appointment is the big one. Not big necessarily in name, but big in significance for the future of Leeds United. I’m happy to say that we have decided that Neil will be in charge of the team for at least the next three games. That’s Brighton, Coventry and Doncaster. Those three games are all very winnable. We’re only two points, after all the maelstrom, we’re only two points off the play-offs. Win those games and we’re back in the play-offs. Then who knows. So we’ve decided that after his impressive start that Neil has made, not just with his win, but his presence and his attitude around Thorp Arch that he will be given his chance to his demonstrate with a bigger opportunity, a longer opportunity, to demonstrate his abilities. We’ve considered the matter carefully and in no hurry for the future of this football club.” Our best haul from these games is 3 points from 9. Absolute joke !

Tues Feb 13th. Phil Brown has thrown his name into the ring for the United job and admitted that he has sent his CV into Shaun Harvey. Mick McCarthy, after being sacked as manager of Wolves is down to 11/4 as United’s new manager. Meanwhile at Wolves a short list of three managers will be interviewed over the next couple of days. They are Neil Warnock, Alan Curbishely and Steve Bruce all of whom were linked with the Leeds job. Boots are in stand by at Leeds should Brown get the job and are filling up with stocks of fake sun tan lotions.

Tues Feb 13th. Readfearn looking to Sky Blues game. NEIL REDFEARN has urged Leeds United to ignore Coventry City’s perilous league position. The Sky Blues have endured a miserable campaign and sit rock bottom of the Championship, eight points adrift of safety. Despite that, Redfearn insists Leeds cannot afford to take tonight’s opponents lightly. He said : “They are all difficult games. It is that time of season, the business end, and everyone is scrapping for points whether they are trying to stay up or trying to go up. “I don’t think there is an easy game now. Coventry will be a tough test. The players were genuinely gutted in the dressing room (after Saturday’s defeat to Brighton) but we have to bounce back. If we had have won 2-1, we would still have to go to Coventry and get a result. “That will never change. It is about getting ready again and getting prepared – making sure we give a good account of ourselves and get some points.” Leeds were held to a 1-1 draw by Coventry at Elland Road earlier in the season and Redfearn has no fresh injury doubts ahead of the trip to the Midlands. He added: “There were one or two battered and bruised (after Saturday) but we had no pulls or strains. One or two had their heads on the floor but we got their heads up. “What they don’t realise is that this is a fantastic way to earn a living. “They are at a great club and it is an honour to play for such a big club. They should be up for that every day and that is what I will be instilling in them”.

Mon Feb 13th. YEP  HUNDREDS of Leeds United supporters marched through the city on Saturday, calling for changes in the club’s management policy. A march organised by the Leeds United Supporters Trust made its way from City Square to Elland Road before the home match against Brighton, which Leeds lost 2-1.With a police escort, they waved banners emblazoned with the words “Premier League not Premier Inn”, “We’ve Had Enough” and “Morons”. Some also chanted protests at Leeds United owner Ken Bates. The organisers cited United’s failure to achieve promotion to the Premiership and its reliance on loan players while at the same time investing in development of the Elland Road ground. Leeds United Supporters Trust chairman Gary Cooper said: “This is part of our campaign for change we are spearheading for members and fans who have asked us to act for the future of Leeds United.” “There are concerns about just what has been going on over the last year or two, on the pitch and off. “We should have a team that will get us into the Premiership and keep us there. “Supporters are concerned about transfer window activities. We have been selling our best talents or allowing our them to leave including our own home grown captain Jonny Howson who represented the future. We have been replacing them with loan players, who if Mr Bates is to be believed, cost us a lot of money,”He added: “We need a sea-change, whether that is a change or ownership or the way that the club deals with supporters remains to be seen. We need a changed business plan and a changed investment policy. The East Stand was excellent, but did not produce results.” The protest continued at the ground, as the marchers congregated at barriers put up around the entrance

Sun Feb 12th. Latest Betting. Despite the weekend defeat by Brighton, caretaker manager Neil Redfearn is still the favourite to take over at Leeds United. Redfearn is still as short as 6/4 with bodog, whilst Sky Bet have him at 11/4.  Rather alarmingly is the movement of Paul Ince in the market.The former Manchester United player who not be a popular choice by many fans and he is now as short as 3/1 with Sky Bet and is generally around 4/1 to take over. A new name has come into the market with former West Ham and Newcastle manager Glenn Roeder 8/1 with William Hill. Of the former favourites, Neil Warnock is 4/1 and Billy Davies, Dave Jones and Lee Clark are all generally between 10/1and 14/1. Crystal Palace manager Dougie Freedman was linked with the post over the weekend but he is still around 16/1 for the job. Any momentum by appointing a new manager has been lost completely by giving an inexperienced manager the reigns for five games. As I have being saying all season it would be  absolutely ridiculous to sack Larry without having a “better” replacement lined up, and it has come to pass.  The longer it goes on the the less people will attend home games and the further we will fall down the table. The club is being run into the ground by incompetence and by a coward who won’t even attend home matches.

Sun Feb 12th. The Independent. Simon Grayson’s sacking as manager of Leeds United appears to have given new momentum to the campaign to oust Ken Bates as chairman. A protest march was planned for yesterday’s match against Brighton, and the Leeds United Supporters’ Trust – who were told by Bates to “put their money where their mouth is” – are trying to take him up on the offer by inviting any potential investor to contact them with a view to joining forces. Even before Grayson’s departure, the anti-Bates lobby was joined by none other than the manager’s son. Teenager Joe Grayson used Twitter to express his disapproval of the club’s transfer policy, tweeting to his 300 followers: “Wish leeds had rich owners that let their manager spend money. 15 million from sales and not even 1 million spent #Batesout.” When it was suggested that this was not the wisest hashtag coming from the manager’s son, he responded: “Don’t see why people think its bad for me to say #batesout when really I just want what’s best for my football club.” Equally supportive of the campaign are Leeds band the Kaiser Chiefs, who have joined the fray on their current British tour, spelling “Bates Out” on two of their amplifiers. Is the great man concerned by any of this? Naturally, not at all. He had decided some time ago not to attend either the Brighton game or this Saturday’s against Doncaster because they would eat into the 90 days he is allowed to spend in the country as a tax exile. And here is a quote from Mr Bates’ traditionally combative programme notes: “The last word to the various moaners… What have you done? Belly-ached about new club colours, admission prices and everything else that has come into your little heads… If you don’t want to support the club, jolly well stay away and take your money with you instead of hanging round here. We’ve got a job to do and you are in the way.” Jolly well stay away”, a bit like our exiled chairman who we know will run our club “his way”. Seven years of austerity after raping our club blind including paying the fourth highest ticket prices in Britain. Mind you I forgot that we are all “morons”. Parasite !

Sat 10th. Sly Sports – Why we sacked Grayson -Ken Bates has revealed the future of Simon Grayson came to a head when the former Leeds United manager wanted to add another midfielder to the squad.GraysonDescription: http:/static.lingospot.com/spot/image/spacer.gif was sacked by Leeds last month following a 4-1 home defeat by Birmingham CityDescription: http:/static.lingospot.com/spot/image/spacer.gif after three years in charge at Elland Road. Neil Redfearn has been in placed in caretaker control of first-team affairs as chairman BatesDescription: http:/static.lingospot.com/spot/image/spacer.gif takes his time to decide upon Grayson’s long-term successor. Bates has now outlined one of the reasons behind his decision to part with Grayson following the request to sign a midfielder in the January transfer window. “It came to a head when Simon wanted to sign a midfielder which would have cost the club nearly £1.5million over the length of his proposed contract,” wrote Bates in his programme notes for Saturday’s 2-1 home defeat by Brighton & Hove Albion.”We already have nine midfielder players, so I refused – the first time ever! “The current first-team squad is 28 strong. Premier League clubs are only allowed to register 25. “In the circumstances it was decided to part company with Simon and his staff immediately following the Birmingham result.” If that was a three year contract that’s just £10K a week. It just goes to show the pittance the man had to work with. If I was after losing my best midfielder and captain (Jonny Howson) I think it only fitting that I would want a decent one to replace him, and not one that would play for Green Shield stamps. The Leeds fans have finally realised where the real blame lies and on Yorkshire Radio after the Brighton game, almost every caller wanted Bates gone and can’t believe that we have a youth team manager in charge. Eddie Gray was trying to defend the indefensible and was accused of being totally compromised by several callers. He trotted out the usual spin of what a “big panel” of players Leeds have –  most of which were free transfers or loans.

Sat 10th of Feb. Vital Football  Williams – We nearly sacked Grayson after Barnsley. Leeds United technical director Gwyn Williams says the club came very close to sacking Simon Grayson after the defeat at Barnsley. Leeds lost 4-1 at Barnsley on New Year`s Eve and Williams says the club almost changed things then but they felt following another heavy defeat, this time at home to Birmingham City by the same scoreline the change had to be made. Speaking on Yorkshire Radio, Williams said, “We had a good first season back in the championship but it was disappointing in the end because in the last six games we fell away. “We were looking for a major improvement this year, but for me, since September it has been difficult. The Palace and Bristol City games were difficult, we didn`t play well but we won and it never got any better really.”It culminated in a big defeat at Barnsley and we were close to changing something then. We let it go another month but after the Birmingham game we felt a change was needed.” Well why didn’t you? It wouldn’t have anything to do with a new manager wanting funds to spend in January ?????? The leaks are coming good and fast at the moment. First Bates and now our missing in action technical director  (until lately)Gwyn Williams.

Sat 10th. Leeds United 1-2 Brighton Report from BBC Leeds. 01 Lonergan, 14 Smith, 22 Lees, 28 White (Townsend – 81′ ) 48 O’Dea , 15 Clayton YC, 16 Pugh, 25 Delph YC, 10 Becchio YC, 23 Snodgrass YC, 44 McCormack (Nunez – 90′ ) Unused Subs : 24 Taylor, 04 Bruce, 08 Brown.   Brighton moved above Leeds in the Championship after Alan Navarro’s injury-time winner maintained the Seagulls’ unbeaten record in 2012. Craig Mackail-Smith gave the visitors the lead from Vicente Rodriguez’s cross with 13 minutes to go. But Luciano Becchio headed the home side level two minutes later. Navarro’s deflected low drive clinched the three points for the away side, condemning Neil Redfearn to his first defeat in temporary charge of Leeds. Redfearn’s side had looked to have done enough to earn a point, but the final whistle signalled an angry response from the home fans, who held a pre-match protest march against chairman Ken Bates. The hosts should have been ahead inside four minutes – Becchio’s header grazing the post after Snodgrass had turned inside Joe Mattock. And they had a penalty claim turned down soon after when Smith’s cross from the right fell to Ross McCormack, who teed up a shot before appearing to be clattered to the ground by Adam El-Abd. Brighton enjoyed a spell of pressure before half-time, and they almost went ahead after the break when Andrew Lonergan produced a fine one-handed save to keep out an Ashley Barnes shot. Leeds enjoyed most of the possession but they fell behind when Mackail-Smith stole a yard in the area to notch his eighth goal of the season. Becchio peeled off his marker at the front post to level with 11 minutes remaining, but there was still more drama to come, Liam Bridcutt winning the ball to give Navarro the chance to seal victory. Leeds temporary manager Neil Redfearn: “Conceding two so late is a trait which has run through this season and you can understand why it’s been a problem. “What they [the players] don’t realise is, this is a fantastic club and a fantastic way to earn a living. I need to instil that in them – the problems that have been there in the past are there to see. “It’s a lack of professionalism and that’s something that has run through for a while.” Brighton manager Gus Poyet (on speculation linking him with Leeds): I am lucky at the moment. It’s a good time to be at Brighton, I make a lot of decisions. “I say there is no chance [of wanting to leave], but it is difficult to say when the place [Leeds] is so spectacular for me. “It would be great. I would love, in the future, to manage Leeds. I would love to come back, but at the moment the timing is not quite right. For those who want me back, I am sorry.” Our great club which was three points off the play offs when the previous manager was sacked has been placed for five games into the capability of a manager  who wasn’t even a success at Bridlington Town and  York City among others…….And people ask me why we should have kept  Larry ? That’s why !!!!!

Sat 10th of Feb. Who is Neil Readfearn ? Neil David Redfearn (born 20 June 1965) is an English former footballer and manager who is currently U18 coach, Reserve team manager and caretaker manager at Leeds. Redfearn played 790 matches in the Football League, the fifth highest total of all-time, and more than a thousand first team games overall in a career that has spanned 24 years. He has had spells as caretaker manager of Halifax and york City and as manager of Scarborough and Nortwitch  Victoria.  Born in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire,  Redfearn began his career at Bolton in 1982, having previously been on the books of Notts Forest youth team. He later made his name as goalscoring midfielder at lower-division sides Lincol and Doncaster Rvs.  At Halifax, he also got his first taste of management, being appointed caretaker manager alongside Tony Parker following the resignaton of Paul Bracewell. on 30 August. His spell as caretaker manager came to an end on 12 October following the appointment o Alan Little. Redfearn started a second spell in caretaker charge on 4 March 2002 due to the enforced absence of Little. However, his contract with the club was terminated on 25 April and having been snubbed for the permanent manager’s job he joined Boston Utd as player coach. Redfearn spent the better part of two years at Boston, before finishing his Football League career at Rochdale in the spring of 2004] Rochdale did not offer him a new contract at the end of the season meaning he finished his Football League career with 790 appearances and so being fifth in the all-time list of most Football League appearances. His  last league appearance for Rochdale took his total to . after which Redfearn dropped down to the Conference, where he became player-coach at Scarborough, managed at the time by his former Oldham teammate Nick Henry. He signed a new contract with Scarborough in April 2005When Henry was sacked on 24 October Redfearn was named caretaker manager before being appointed permanently on 1 November while remaining registered as a player Redfearn resigned on 6 July 2006 after Mark Patterson was brought in as assistant manager He subsequently signed with Northern Premier League First Division side Bradford Park Avenue later that month He made his 1,000th competitive appearance on 4 November 2006, when Bradford Park Avenue faced Solihull in the second qualifying round of the FA TrophyRedfearn quit Bradford Park Avenue in March 2007, joining Northern Premier League First Division rivalsStockbridge Park Steels  but left on 19 June to become manager of Conference side Nortwitch Victoria.  He resigned on 17 September 2007, after the club only managed one point from their first nine games, leaving them bottom of the Conference National.He joined Northern Premier League Premier division club Frickley Athletic  as a player in September 2007. He left the club over a month later to join Bridlington Town  on 5 November.  He left them in January 2008 after the departure of manager Ash Berry. He was appointed as York City’s youth team coach in February. He joined Emley in July, where he would play when his commitments with York’s youth team allowed Redfearn moved onto Salford City of the NPL division one northin October 2008. He took over as caretaker manager at York on 21 November 2008, following Colin Walker’s sacking and was in charge for the team’s 2–2 draw against Crawley Town. Following Matin Foyle’s appointment as manager on 24 November, Redfearn took up the position of assistant manager at the club]Redfearn left York over a month later after being appointed coach of the under-18 academy team at Leeds on 30 December and he assumed this role on 1 January 2009. He took over as manager of the Leeds Reserve team in December 2010 following the sacking of Neil Thompson . He was appointed caretaker managere at Leeds following the sacking of manager Simon Grayson. It was later confirmed by club Chairman Ken Bates that Redfearn would retain the managerial post for the following three games. The statistical record of Neil Redfearn’s previous attempts at managing football teams. It reads as follows:- P58, W10, D13, L35. This is the man chosen to replace Larry for at least five games. The mind boggles.

Friday 9th.   YEP – Lorimer’s YEP column  (the lapdog) “.I see the selection of the next Leeds United manager as a crucial decision for the future of the football club. Whoever replaces Simon Grayson must bridge the gap and take us to the Premier League, the goal we’ve all been aiming for. It’s an important call and there’s a danger in these situations of rushing into an appointment you later regret. It’s fortunate for us that we have Neil Redfearn ready and able to manage the squad while the process continues. It’s given us the breathing space we need to get this decision right and, from what Ken Bates is saying, it’s not impossible that Neil will secure the job himself. Make no mistake, his chances of doing so will be dependent on results – that’s always the case for a caretaker manager. But why shouldn’t the club consider what’s available internally as well as considering the managers who’ve put themselves forward externally? Neil’s a very capable coach and there’s no reason to rule him out just because he’s not a ‘big name’. I always remember the story Harry Reynolds, the old Leeds chairman, tells about the appointment of Don Revie. He was driving to sign up a more experienced manager when it occurred to him that he already had someone at Elland Road ready and willing to do the job. Leeds took a leap of faith with Don and the rest is history. It proved to be our golden era. Maybe Neil will prove himself to be an excellent manager in waiting, or maybe not. All I know is that he deserves the opportunity to show what he can do and I’m sure that in the meantime consideration of all the other candidates will continue. It might look from the outside like little has been happening, but everyone is aware of the need to take our time and avoid any mistakes. Obviously a number of supporters will be looking, or hoping, for the arrival of a manager they know and recognise – someone with a big reputation. That’s one route open to us, but the obvious choice is not always the successful choice – look at Steve McClaren at Nottingham Forest and Sven-Goran Eriksson at Leicester City. In both instances we all expected them to achieve big things in a short period of time. In both instances they were out the door without making any impression at all. I can’t speak for either of those men but often what you’re looking for is a manager with ambition, drive and a will to win, rather than someone with a name. Nigel Adkins at Southampton is a very good example of that – low profile, unfamiliar, but extremely good at his job and clearly desperate to succeed. I’d love to see what Southampton’s fans were saying about him when he first went there. That’s not to say that Neil Redfearn will land the job at Leeds, but if he shows promise in the next few games then it would be daft not to consider him. Any decision has to be open-minded”. Peter – you were the man praising Larry few weeks ago, but then again when you accept the Bates shilling you become his dummy. Gobshite ! .

Weds 8th of Feb. 2012. Bates to give Redfearn a chance. Leeds United caretaker manager Neil Redfearn will stay in charge for at least the next three games, chairman Ken Bates has confirmed. Redfearn was handed first-team duties in the wake of the sacking of Simon Grayson last week and led the club to a 3-0 win at Bristol City on Saturday . “I’m happy to say that Neil will be in charge for at least the next three games,” he told Yorkshire Radio.  “That’s Brighton, Coventry and Doncaster, three very winnable games.”  He added: “We’ve decided that after his impressive start, not just with the win, but his presence around Thorp Arch that he will be given his chance to demonstrate his abilities while we consider the future. “It’s a big step up for him, but against that he has a wealth of experience.” Meanwhile, Bates added that former England and Leicester City boss Sven-Goran Eriksson had applied for the Elland Road vacancy. “We’ve had Sven-Goran Eriksson apply, but he won’t be coming,” the former Chelsea chairman continued. “We’re in no hurry, there’ll be no hurried appointment because the next appointment is a big appointment, not necessarily in name, but for the future of the club.” Sacking Larry and replacing him with our youth team manager and then mocking an applicant for the job. What a clown our chairman is.

Weds 8th of Feb 2012. Dougie linked with Leeds. Sky Sports. Crystal Palace boss Dougie Freedman has emerged as one of Leeds United’s top targets, Sky Sports understands. Leeds chief Ken BatesDescription: http:/static.lingospot.com/spot/image/spacer.gif has had a plethora of applications since sacking Simon GraysonDescription: http:/static.lingospot.com/spot/image/spacer.gif last month, and he is considering his options carefully. Bates is believed to be wanting a young manager who can work well with the club’s outstanding youth system. That has seen his sights turn to Freedman,Description: http:/static.lingospot.com/spot/image/spacer.gif who is a cult figure at Elland Road despite only a loan spell with the club during his playing days. Freedman played for Leeds on-loan in 2008, helping them to the play-off finals before losing to Doncaster. Now after emerging as one of the best young managers in British football, Freedman is set to become a target for Leeds again. Freedman became Palace boss on New Year’s Day 2011 and guided them to safety in the final few months of the season, and he has continued to build on that success. Palace have now opened talks over a new deal for Freedman, who as well as mounting a promotion push this term led them to the Carling Cup semi-finals. Bates, though, could be ready to try and prise Freedman away and offer him the chance to succeed Grayson with the West Yorkshire giants.

Weds 8th of Feb 2012. Hill happy with Leeds link (YEP). BARNSLEY manager Keith Hill has refused to rule out a move to Yorkshire rivals Leeds United. Speaking at a press conference ahead of tomorrow’s home game with Birmingham City, Hill admitted that it was ‘brilliant’ to be linked with the job vacated by Simon Grayson. Bizarrely, he even quoted Manuel, the Spanish waiter from TV’s Fawlty Towers, when asked if he had been approached. The Tykes have inflicted defeats on Leeds both home and away this season with Hill winning a host of admirers for his results on a limited budget. He has only been working in the Championship seven months but transformed his previous club Rochdale from a mid-table League Two outfit to promotion contenders in League One. Asked about links with the Leeds job, Hill said: “It’s brilliant with respect to myself. I suppose it proves that people are actually taking note – if that’s the case – of the job that we are doing at Barnsley on the resources that we are doing. That’s all it is. Speculation I suppose. At this moment in time.” On whether he would be interested, however, he added: “To be perfectly honest, somebody once said to me ‘You’re only ever three games away from the sack as a manager’. So I would never rule anything out.” Pressed further, he said: “I’m interested in my family. I’m interested in Barnsley Football Club. I’m interested in looking after David Flitcroft (his assistant). That’s it. I’m interested in football. Put it that way.” Hill’s refusal to pour cold water on mounting speculation spoke volumes about his possible interest in the move. When asked if there had been any approach, he said: “Manuel. I know nothing!” which merely added fuel to the fire. Ironically, one of Oakwell’s all-time greats – former captain Neil Redfearn – is currently the bookies’ favourite for the Leeds job after winning his first game in caretaker charge against Bristol City last weekend. He has subsequently been given another three games to prove his worth by chairman Ken Bates. Hill, 42, joined the Tykes last summer and soon won over the doubters who questioned his credentials and off-beat style of management. “I feel I am doing a very good job. I think people are actually accepting what we are doing now and how we do things,” he reflected. “It’s a work in progress. There can’t be this quick fix succession with respect to spending what you haven’t got and then finding yourselves in administration like so many clubs have done. It’s progressive development – that’s what we are capable of doing. “We got promoted at Rochdale with a budget of £1.2m, I got Rochdale to ninth in League One with a budget of £1.3m and that is ‘bird seed’ with respect to some of the money being spent in League One and in League Two. “Probably that’s what people are acknowledging now,” he added. “They are acknowledging managers who can actually do something with the money that’s available from a football club rather than spending copious amounts of money in compiling a debt and then leaving through the front or back door. “As long as myself and the team are getting credit for what we are trying to achieve, and this football club is, then I’m all for it.”Barnsley have struggled to stay in the Championship for five years since winning promotion under Andy Ritchie in 2006 but are now 15 points clear of the relegation zone and only 12 away from Hill’s target of 51 for safety. “At the beginning of the season everyone said ‘relegation’ and we were being called the ‘new Scunthorpe’,” Hill said. “All the pundits had us in the bottom three, including ex-managers, and there was a doubt about the player recruitment and a doubt about myself. “But we are fighting above our weight,” he insisted. “Definitely. One hundred per cent. You have to pinch yourself sometimes when you consider the wages that the teams below are paying. Anything is achievable. We are eight points outside the play-offs and 15 from the bottom three so you have to aim for the play-offs.” Assessing the task ahead, Hill said: “It’s continual motion trying to drive forward. At every juncture, at the end of a game we are assessing, evaluating, trying to progress, trying to learn from our mistakes, and trying to improve. “Not just from the playing side but the football club as a whole. The training facilities, the match day pitch, the changing rooms, the gymnasium, the hotels that we stay at, the coach firm that we use. “It’s just progressively trying to improve every aspect that will make us that percentage better as a viable concern and as a football team because I am very mindful of results. And so I should be because results and player performances will keep me in a job and, hopefully, will increase more speculation”.

Weds 8th of February 2012. Thanks again to The Square Ball for their transcript of Bates weekly  interview with YR. Taken from Yorkshire Radio’s interview with Leeds United owner Ken Bates today…‘Mr Chairman’ speaks to Ben Fry about giving Neil Redfearn three more matches in charge of the team, plus other candidates for the manager’s job. He looks back to the Bristol City match and ahead to the Brighton game. Ben Fry: Chairman, after a difficult week you must have been pleased with three points and a clean sheet against Bristol City. Ken Bates: Well obviously we’re delighted, particularly because it was the first clean sheet since December 3 – two months ago – and it’s something we’ve had to look at, the defence, because we had one of the worst goals-conceded records in the league. But the boys did well against Bristol on Saturday and let’s not take away anything from their victory. Obviously the knockers will say ‘well they only had nine men’. The fact of the matter is, the game was won when there was still 11 men on the pitch. McCormack was through, he would have scored but the guy pulled him down for a professional foul and was sent off. But more importantly, the team changed their tactics and they played differently. It was very encouraging, particularly all the fans who went down in such terrible weather. BF: Some credit to the players as well to be able to focus because when there is a managerial change, it can upset everything behind the scenes, can’t it? KB: Yes it can but on this particular occasion, the fact of the matter is, they has been… I don’t need to say very much because the players have been speaking. It’s quite clear there has been a different attitude and atmosphere in the dressing room and it’s reflecting in what they’re saying and they’re also training much harder during the week than they have been doing recently and I think that should reflect on their fitness.BF: Neil Redfearn obviously proved popular amongst the players. Are you please with the way he has handled himself in the last seven days? KB: Well of course I am because it’s a big step up for him but against that, he has a wealth of experience, played over 1000 games and of course he used to play for Mervyn Day when he was at Charlton so it helps the fact that the step up has been eased by those relationships he has. Who will be the next manager? Well as you can imagine, we have been inundated with applications from the cheeky to the outlandish. We’ve had an application from an 11-year-old boy who obviously has high ambitions in the game and we had PlayStation manager of 2010, who also fancies his chances, having won the competition on the computer. We’ve had Sven Eriksson, would you believe? Don’t worry girls you’ll have to be disappointed I’m afraid. He won’t be coming. We’ve had two very old people and some people also outside the country. But we’re in no hurry, we’re not going to make and hurried decision because the next appointment is the big one. Not big necessarily in name, but big in significance for the future of Leeds United. I’m happy to say that we have decided that Neil will be in charge of the team for at least the next three games. That’s Brighton, Coventry and Doncaster. Those three games are all very winnable. We’re only two points, after all the maelstrom, we’re only two points off the play-offs. Win those games and we’re back in the play-offs. Then who knows. So we’ve decided that after his impressive start that Neil has made, not just with his win, but his presence and his attitude around Thorp Arch that he will be given his chance to his demonstrate with a bigger opportunity, a longer opportunity, to demonstrate his abilities. We’ve considered the matter carefully and in no hurry for the future. I think it’s a joke to sack Larry without having somebody lined up to replace him except a youth team manager with no managerial experience.  BF: You mention applications from all spectres of football, do you think this again demonstrates that the Leeds United position is one of the most sought after in football? KB: Well Leeds United is a big club. It now has a first-class stadium. It has a big fan-base. We’re the only big city in the country that’s only got one club so that’s an advantage. It’s part of any would-be manager’s ambitions to manage a big club and Leeds is that. But it also brings a wealth of unwanted applications for the wrong reasons and that’s why we’re having to be careful. We don’t want an instant miracle maker. The fans think it’s a good idea but you rarely find one. We’ll have to get somebody who wants to come to Leeds for the right reasons. Also they have to be in the right marital situation because there have been other clubs who have had managers who haven’t lived in the town. Their families haven’t moved up and their kids are at school. That’s all very well but it’s no good for Leeds United. We need people who are settled in their private lives and their wife or partner is supportive and prepared to move up and get involved with the behind the scenes operation of the club because a football club is like an iceberg, as I have said so many times, all the fans see is the tip which is on match days and the gossip in the newspapers of course and that’s the only bit that shows on the surface. But under the surface, unseen and unknown and unreported, there’s an awful lot of work that goes on and it culminates with what goes on on matchdays. And we have to make sure that the manager is available, and his partner, to get involved in the operation of the club. Out of sight, out of mind, but it’s a really important job. What a disgraceful and underhand dig at Larry and his alleged marital situation from a lowlife who was married three times. This has nothing to do with football in any shape or form. Gobshite with a capital G.BF: Over the last seven days, the bookmakers have been having a field day with about seven or eight different being favourite then drifting in the betting. It gives the impression that they’ve got no idea what’s going on. Are you still very open-minded at this stage and is that why Neil Redfearn has been given a bit more time? KB: Well we actually thought we would find a real outsider, put loads of money on him, then appoint him and we’d get enough to pay his wages for a year. But after consulting the Football League, they told us we couldn’t do that so we decided not to. But, I’ll come back to what I’ve said already. We’re looking very carefully at the options and the implications of anybody. What baggage do they come with? We’re in no hurry so the speculation will have to continue. Meanwhile, Neil Redfearn is in the seat and has an opportunity to prove he’s the man for the job, and he does that by winning games. And at the moment, anyway, he’s made a good start and he’s got all the players behind him. BF: You mention Neil Redfearn will be in charge for the next three games and in fact the next four games are against teams below Leeds in the table. It’s a big opportunity to make up ground isn’t it? KB: It’s a big opportunity for us and for the players. In November the players assured me they were good enough to get promotion. And despite all the turbulence taking place and the poor performance in December we’re still within striking distance and this is a great opportunity for the players, led by Neil Redfearn to get back in the play-offs. One or two other clubs have started stuttering. Southampton is now no longer the invincible side they were a couple of months ago. Middlesbrough have slipped a bit. And of course, in the meantime, Birmingham have come through. So there’s still everything to play for. Just a word on the back four. I thought Simon was a bit harsh after we lost against Birmingham to blame it on the naivety and youth of the back four. These are kids that did very well against Arsenal and held them for 70 minutes and then surprise, surprise, the winner was scored by a loan player. The sort of player that isn’t very popular with some of the fans at Elland Road. It just goes to show that it doesn’t pay to be too sweeping in your statements or condemnations. BF: Brighton the visitors on Saturday. Difficult to know what to expect because they’ve had good patches then difficult times on their arrival in the Championship. KB: Well they started off with a good start didn’t they? And early on, they led the league. Of course last Saturday they had one of their players sent off. One of their better players. It’ll be interesting to see. Gus Poyet is coming up, making his return to Elland Road. So he’ll be wanting to make a point, but it’s up to our boys and if they play as well as they can and they’re organised as they should be and if our lethal striking partnership take advantage of the opportunities we have created then it should give us 48 points and should put us on the road to the play-offs. BF: And also, it’s worth pointing out, you won’t be here to see the action at Elland Road on Saturday. KB: That’s so… when the get the fixture list in the summer we sit down and plan our 90 days which the silly rules allow you. In view of the fact we have been back in the country just over a week, I won’t be coming over until March. Probably the right decision because as you can hear, I’ve picked up a cold and the weather in Leeds is a lot colder than it is Monte Carlo. So it means some of these overseas supporters probably won’t be coming this Saturday either, which is unfortunate. But those that do, that walk the talk and walk the walk, get behind the team and make sure we get our three points. That’s the important thing, three points. Bullshit Ken. You are are afraid to show your face until all the flak dies down you cowardly sh**. BF: Chairman, as always, thanks for taking the time to speak to us on Yorkshire Radio. KB: Thank you very much, Ben. And by the way, congratulations on your Rajar figures. I’m not sure if you’re too modest to read them out but with DAB and Sky and the Internet, you’ve now built up a very substantial, solid support. And of course, it’s significant at a time when the BBC, foolishly in my opinion, have got their priorities wrong and are cutting back on local sports coverage on the radio. It’s a great opportunity to make Yorkshire Radio even more pre-eminent. It’s a pity because I think the BBC should have a duty to provide local radio far more than the elite rubbish I’ve been watching in South Africa, which does the BBC and Britain no good at all. And of course, we’re wasting money there that should be spent on Britain. But there you go, one man’s foolishness is another man’s opportunity. So congratulations to all at Yorkshire Radio and keep going. 


Tues 7th of February. Talk Sport Keys and Gray. The former Sky duo talk to Johnny Giles about the Simon Grayson sacking and about his time at Leeds. http://www.talksport.co.uk/radio/richard-keys-and-andy-gray/blog/2012-02-07/giles-grayson-did-good-job-leeds-under-difficult-circumstances

Tuesday 7th of Feb. 2012. YEP – Readfern giving players “confidence” – McCormack – It won’t have escaped Leeds United fans’ notice that during an at-times difficult January that the club’s Championship fixture list the following month was a tad kinder. Long, but winnable, trips to Bristol City and Portsmouth and an away appointment at basement boys Coventry City, not to mention home games with lowly Doncaster Rovers and Gus Poyet’s Brighton and Hove Albion, without a win in 10 against United and having won at Elland Road just once in their history. The common theme being that they are all against sides below United in the league. Representing the sort of run of games that caretaker boss Neil Redfearn could hardly have cherry-picked much better in terms of staking his own claims for the full-time United managerial post. Saturday’s three-goal victory at Ashton Gate represented nothing less than a dream start and if it generates winning momentum for the rest of this month the Redfearn bandwagon will gather some ‘legs’. Early days, granted. But a few more W’s this month and present chairman Ken Bates and the board might just have a headache or two, according to striker Ross McCormack, who says in terms of early impressions that Redfearn couldn’t have made a much more telling impact. The Scot, who fired his 15th goal of the season in the West Country, having also netted the decisive strike in the reverse fixture against City at Elland Road, said: “If we go and win a few games in a row, then the chairman’s going to have a headache in terms of giving Redders the job. “If we go and win six in a row, I’m sure Neil will get the job! But we’ve got to take it one day at a time and every day, we’re striving to be the best we can be and climb the league. “We know Neil from the club and he’s a great guy. He’s given everyone the confidence to express themselves and it stands us in good stead. “I think you saw that from Darren O’Dea and Tom Lees willing to take the ball out from at the back. Redders gave them that confidence in the few days before the game that if you give the ball away, don’t be scared to take it again. “Obviously, the old manager has gone now and first and foremost, I’ve got to give Simon Grayson and the team credit for what him and his team did for the club. He took us out of League One and made us a force in this division. “We’re still only just off the play-offs and he can keep his head held high, in terms of what he’s done. He came in and gave the place a lift and everyone is focused to try and get into the play-offs”Almost exactly 12 months ago, United came away from Ashton Gate with a major shot in the arm following an impressive 2-0 victory. Saturday’s circumstances – and conditions – were different, with the hosts ultimately finding themselves down to nine men, although the confidence levels that the players will have exuded when they got back on the team bus for the trip home will have felt the same. For United’s main men ‘up top’ in top-scorer McCormack and target-man Luciano Becchio, the sense of well-being at both finding the net in a league game for the second time in a fortnight will have been palpable. While several rivals dropped points or were frozen off, United – belatedly – filled their boots and none more so than McCormack, who admits he has one eye on the Championship golden boot after netting for the third successive match and fourth time in five league games this new year. His scoring exploits are threatening to rewind the clock to early season when the goal poacher blazed a trail at the top of the charts with Southampton’s Rickie Lambert, with the former hitting seven times in eight league matches, with his goal-den run including six in consecutive Championship games. While having to settle for one late on at Ashton Gate, on another day he could have brought home the match ball, with officials ruling out three goals for offside, with each decision leaving the ex-Cardiff City and Glasgow Rangers frontman scratching his head somewhat. McCormack, level at the top of the Championship scoring table with Lambert – both players having netted 14 league games so far, said: “To be honest, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t thinking about it (the Golden Boot). But it’s one game at a time, one goal at a time. “I got three ruled out for offside (at Bristol) and I’m not really sure any of them were. But on another day, I’d have maybe got two or three, but it wasn’t to be. “I’ve had goals disallowed that shouldn’t have been and missed chances, but the main thing is that we won the game on Saturday and it was convincing, albeit against nine men. “Personally, I’m not worried if I go five or six games without scoring. I know I’ll keep getting chances; if I miss, I’m not worried. “Last season I got two or something and now it’s 15. As I’ve said, it’s about games and (playing) games give you confidence and confidence breeds goals. “It was nice for me and Luciano to score. Luciano was injured for a little bit of the season and after coming back in, probably hasn’t scored as many as he’d have liked. But it showed on Saturday, the goals are coming and hopefully we can build up a decent relationship. “We had a game plan in the first 15 minutes to not concede and stay compact, with myself and Luciano dropping back to their deep midfielder and we had to counterattack. “Because make no mistake, we’ve got players like Snods (Robert Snodgrass), Aidy White, Clayts (Adam Clayton) and Fab (Fabian Delph) that will hurt anyone on the counter. “The game was probably spoiled when they went down to 10 men. The message we could hear from their dug-out was for them to stay in the game and the longer it stayed 1-0, there was always a chance they could come back into it. “So we needed the second goal and thankfully, we got it – although not as early as we would have liked. “The first red card was a stone-waller, but I’m sure about the second one. Unfortunately, it was a second booking and it can happen. “But the main thing for us was getting the win. Some had games called off and I’ve been on the other flip side, where you have got games in hand and I don’t think you want that. “You want the points on the board and thankfully, we’ve got that, so that puts pressure on the team above us to keep winning.”

Billy “Job Done” Davies

Feb 6th. “Billy Job Done” would welcome Leeds approach. Billy Davies has refused to rule himself out of the running for the Leeds job but insists he will only return to management when the right opportunity comes along. The Scottish manager, 47, has been out of work since parting company with Nottingham Forest in June last year. Asked if he would be tempted by a move to Elland Road, Davies said: “I’m prepared to listen to anybody. I’ve got no preference – Scotland, England or abroad. I’m very happy and very much looking forward to discussing with any interested party. That will be at any level. I don’t care what division it is in. I will always give them the courtesy.” He added: “We will wait and see and wait until the right thing comes along and then get back in again.” The former Motherwell, Preston and Derby County boss says he is willing to bide his time for the right job. Speaking at Monday’s William Hill Scottish Cup draw, he added: “I’m very comfortable taking the break at the moment and watching different levels of football. “I’m getting to England and watching the Premier League and the Championship and I’m getting up here to Scotland to watch Division One and the Scottish Premier League. “I’m also taking time out watching my two sons play and I’ve not seen them play for a number of years. “I’m enjoying the break and I’m waiting for the right moment. “I’ve had conversations, it hasn’t fitted. I’ll wait for the right moment, the right club with the right ambition. When that comes along, I’ll go back into the hairy, scary football management again.”

The Betting

Sat 4th of Feb.  Leeds United official statement. Leeds United can confirm that the club has been inundated with credible approaches for the vacant managerial position since the departure of Simon Grayson and his staff last Wednesday. The club will begin the process of examining the expressions of interest early next week. We can confirm at this stage that no approaches have been made directly or indirectly to potential candidates, either in work or currently looking for employment although we have been offered the services of many who are currently in work. Boyle Sports have installed Dave Jones as favourite to replace Larry. He has come in from nowhere to 6/4. Some of the names on this list border on insanity. Gary Kelly @ 20/1 and Staunton @ 66/1 ????

Sat Feb 4th. The Grayson years. The new Leeds United manager will have his work cut out regarding transfer funds, even in the Summer. Let’s hope whom ever comes in does so on his own terms, and has experience of getting a Championship side into the Premiership. I fear under the current regime that may not happen. A lot has been talked and written about the quantity of players Simon Grayson has brought to the football club. When you shop in Lidl instead of Superquinn you know what to expect re quality. We’ve been in Lidl now for the past three and a half years. The Grayson signings :  2008-09 : Richard Naylor – Originally on loan, Mike Grella – Joined originally on trial, Carl Dickinson – loan Lee Trundle – loan, Sam Sodje – loan, Liam Dickinson – loan, Darryl Flahavan – loan. 

2009-10 Shane Higgs, Jason Crowe, Patrick Kisnorbo, Mike Doyle – Season long loan, Leigh Bromby, Davide Somma – Joined originally on trial, Max Gradel -Joined originally on loan, Sam Vokes – loan, David Martin – loan, Hogan Ephraim – loan, Tony Capaldi – loan, Shane Lowry – loan, Gary McSheffrey – loan, Neil Collins – Joined originally on loan, Sanchez Watt – loan (joined again for season long loan 2010-11) Paul Dickov – short-term deal. 2010-11 Kasper Schmeichel, Billy Paynter, Federico Bessone, Paul Connolly, Alex Bruce (no real chance allowed), Lloyd Sam Adam Clayton – Originally on loan, Ross McCormack, Jason Brown – loan, Amdy Faye -short-term deal, George McCartney – loan, Ramon Nunez – Joined originally on trial, Ben Alnwick loan – never played, Andy O’Brien – Originally on loan, Eric Lichaj – loan, David Gonzalez loan – never played Barry Bannan – loan, Jake Livermore – loan. 2011-12 Paul Rachubka, Michael Brown, Andy Lonergan, Alex McCarthy short term loan, Maik Traylor short term out of contract signing, Darren O’Dea (season long loan), Mikael Forssell (short term out of contract signing), Andy Keogh (loan signing), Danny Pugh) Mika Varynen (out of contract) Andre Townsend, Fabian Delph,  Adam Smith. I make that 53 players. Many were undisclosed because Bates hates disclosing how much comes in and goes out. From all information out there I reckon I’m not too far away with the following :

Money signings – Neil Collins in £350K Bradley Johnson in £250K Leigh Bromby £200K Max Gradel £200K Alex Bruce £300K Ross McCormack £350K, Adam Clayton £150K, Andy Lonergan £200K  Danny Pugh out £500K –Total = £2.5M.

Money Sales- Fabian Delph £6.5M rising to £8M Luke Garbutt – £600K to Everton o be expected Howson £2M to Norwich City Bradley Johnson  F Kilkenny FOC Gradel £2M Schmeichel £1.2M Neil Collins £450K Elliott Kebbie  to Atletico Madrid  £500K – Total Potentially £14.75M and currently £11.55M

Notable players who were allowed leave on frees : Beckford Nil (worth £3M) Kilkenny FOC  B Johnson FOC Frazer Richardson (high wages)

Minimum Profit = £9.05Million

Ken Bates has always said that what money comes in ahead of budget (unplanned revenue if you like) goes into the manager’s transfer kitty. The following high profile games will have comes into that category, FA Cup and CC games v the following : Man United  (2)+ Arsenal (3 times) Spurs (2) Revenue from these games estimated at £6M minimum.

£15.05Million profit to the football club

Bates has said in his Ipswich Town programme notes that he has spent £20M on the ground in the past five years. This is for a ground he “doesn’t own”. Where has that money come from ?  It looks like Larry has provided most of that money. Many will argue that Larry has brought a lot of poor players to the football club and there is no disputing that. But just think about one thing for a second. Bates said during the week that he refused to sanction the signing of a player for Leeds who would be on £600,000 a year. That’s just £11,500 a week so you can imagine the type of quality our club attracts re wages when we bring in a free signing.

Macca and Snods

Sat Feb 5th 2012. Bristol City 0-3 Leeds United. BBC Report 01 Lonergan, 14 Smith, 22 Lees, 28 White, 48 O’Dea , 15 Clayton (YC), 16 Pugh, 25 Delph 10 Becchio, 23 Snodgrass (YC)44 McCormack Unused Subs : 4 Taylor 04 Bruce 08 Brown 17 Townsend 06 Rogers -Ref: Linington -Att: 15,257 (1,962 Leeds). Managerless Leeds claimed a first away win in five matches with a comfortable victory over nine-man Bristol City. Robert Snodgrass gave Leeds the lead with a low shot, before City’s James Wilson was shown red for bringing down Scottish striker Ross McCormack. City were down to nine men when Yannick Bolasie was shown a second yellow. McCormack added a second for Leeds when he struck home an angled shot before Luciano Becchio completed the scoring by converting Aidan White’s cross. Against a Leeds side playing their first game since the midweek sacking of Simon Grayson, City were the first to provide excitement following a scrappy opening period. Leeds keeper Andy Lonergan went full stretch to keep out Bolasie’s strike, before being tested by a powerful drive from his old Elland Road team-mate Neil Kilkenny. Lonergan was again called into action to keep out Albert Adomah’s angled drive. However, the tide turned once Snodgrass had given Leeds the lead, against the run of play in their first meaningful attack just before the break, wrong footing home keeper David James after a swift break involving Becchio, Danny Pugh and McCormack. Leeds were then not only a goal up at half-time, but a man up too, when City had Wilson sent off. And he was followed down the tunnel by Bolasie, in the 57th minute, for two challenges on loan signing Adam Smith. Leeds then dominated the rest of the game, striking twice in the final 11 minutes to secure a victory which lifts them to ninth in the Championship, just four points adrift of a play-off spot. Speaking on Yorkshire Radio, Redfearn said, “I thought it was a tough game. For thirty minutes, I thought Bristol were the better side if I am being honest.”In that half hour, I thought we were resilient, worked hard, worked hard on our shape, we looked after one another, we watched on another`s backs, covering up and down the pitch and if you look at Bristol City they are one of the form sides in the division. “It was always going to be a difficult game and the conditions made it worse. Bristol made a great start but after we got the goal I thought there was only ever going to be one winner. It ended up a really professional performance.” “What was really important today and upper most in our minds was to keep a clean sheet. We knew if we kept a clean sheet we have the people in the side that can score goals, there is no two ways about it. “I thought everyone to a man, from one to eleven, we defended from the front. I thought Luciano and Ross stopped them playing out from the back and we were making David James kick and to be fair to old Jamesy, he cannot kick as well as he used to. He wants to throw out and play out, we were aware of that, and it played into our hands. “To be fair to Bristol, I thought they were excellent for thirty minutes and it was a real old battle and a test for us and we came through that test but it was the first half hour of the game that won us the game.” We should have been out of the game after 30 minutes as Neil Kilkenny ran the show. City manager Derek McInnes said: “I thought the referee got the sending off of James Wilson right, but felt the red card for Yannick Bolasie was very harsh indeed. Snodgrass did what we does best by scoring and when Bristol went down to ten men, it was game over. Lets face it, we’ve had plenty of practice. United used the ball well by making the pitch look bigger with Delph in particular taking control. It was good to see Becchio get a goal because he is still a pale shadow of the guy we had last year. Neil Readfearn will be happy with the performance but still the defence is giving up chances and better teams will expose us. His timing may be very good because Brighton (H), Coventry (A), Doncaster R (H) and Portsmouth (A) all look like winnable fixtures. We’re two points off the play offs. Hopefully the powers that be (typo – should be power that is Bates) will appoint an experienced manager and let us kick on for the rest of the season.

Thanks for the memories – Simon

Sat Feb 4th 2012. Larry says goodbye. P Hay YEP – Grayson has thanked Leeds United’s fans for their backing during his time as manager and admitted he left Elland Road with “a tear in my eye”. In a statement, Grayson described the club’s supporters as “magnificent” and paid tribute to the players and staff who worked under him during three years in charge. In a statement, Grayson described the club’s supporters as “magnificent” and paid tribute to the players and staff who worked under him during three years in charge. Grayson was sacked by Leeds on Wednesday afternoon after 169 games at the helm, with the club four places below the Championship’s play-off positions. United said they “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”. Grayson is in the process of agreeing a severance package, having left Leeds with 18 months remaining on his contract, and the matter is understood to be in the hands of the League Managers’ Association. Grayson said: “At the moment it’s difficult to make a full statement as legalities haven’t been formalised but I didn’t want to wait to express my thanks to the Leeds fans who’ve been magnificent throughout my time at the club. “Everyone knows how I feel about the club. There have been so many great moments throughout the three years I’ve been manager, and I hope you realise what it means to me to have been the manager of Leeds United.”Promotion from League One in 2010 was the highlight of the 42-year-old’s tenure at Elland Road, and his reputation was enhanced by repeated impressive performances against Premier League sides in cup competitions. United’s first year back in the Championship ended with the club one place beneath the play-offs but Grayson’s squad struggled to maintain pace with the top six this season. He and coaches Ian Miller, Glynn Snodin and Andy Beasley left Leeds after Tuesday night’s 4-1 defeat to Birmingham City, with United lying 10th in the table. Grayson, who began his playing career at Elland Road in the 1980s but moved on to Leicester City in 1992, said: “I had a tear in my eye when I left the club 20 years ago and I had a tear in my eye again (on Wednesday). “The only difference was I went with one bin liner of stuff 20 years ago – this time it was three! “I’d like to thank all the players who have played within my three years. Also, my thanks go to all my staff who’ve been helpful during my period in charge. I wish you, the supporters, all the best for the future and maybe one day I may get the chance to come back to this great football club.” Speculation about Grayson’s likely replacement has been rife since his dismissal, and the club said they had received numerous approaches from “credible” candidates since taking the decision to sack him. But United revealed that they were still to begin considering expressions of interest and plan do so early next week. The club placed under-18s coach Neil Redfearn in caretaker charge for today’s Championship match at Bristol City and owner Ken Bates is due to fly to England from Monaco before United’s match against Brighton on February 11. Former Sheffield United and Queens Park Rangers boss Neil Warnock is among the favourites for the post and is believed to be interested in replacing Grayson, but the YEP understands that Roberto Di Matteo – a close friend of Bates who played for Chelsea while Bates was chairman at Stamford Bridge – is unlikely to be named as Leeds’ new boss. A raft of other names, including Crystal Palace’s Dougie Freedman, Barnsley’s Keith Hill and former Leeds captain Gordon Strachan, have also been linked with the job at Elland Road, and Huddersfield Town’s Lee Clark attracted huge support in the betting markets in the 48 hours after Grayson’s dismissal. Clark, who took charge of Huddersfield a fortnight before Leeds appointed Grayson in December 2008, denied receiving any contract from Leeds, and United in turn insisted they were still to make an approach to any potential candidate. Clark is not expected to be among the names Bates and his board weigh up next week. Asked if United had attempted to make contact, Clark said: “Not to me, no. “I am aware of (the situation at Leeds) and I’ve been linked with a number of jobs over the past 12 months. All it does is stress that we’re doing a good job. “It’s speculation and until I’m told otherwise, I’m the manager of Huddersfield Town. It (speculation) is part of the job.” A statement from Leeds said: “Leeds United can confirm that the club have been inundated with credible approaches for the vacant managerial position since the departure of Simon Grayson and his staff on Wednesday. “The club will begin the process of examining the expressions of interest early next week. “We can confirm at this stage that no approaches have been made, either directly or indirectly, to potential candidates, either in work or currently looking for employment, although we have been offered the services of many who are currently in work.”

Antic – Not a chance

Feb 4th BBC – Antic wants Leeds job. Former Serbia boss Raddy Antic has set his sights on the vacant manager’s job at npower Championship side Leeds. The 63-year-old has applied for the post occupied until earlier this week by Simon Grayson. Sources close to Antic have revealed the hugely experienced coach is ready to return to the English game and would relish the opportunity to resume his career at Elland Road. Bookmakers William Hill installed Huddersfield’s Lee Clark as a 5/4 favourite and were quoting former QPR manager Neil Warnock at 7/2. Antic’s press agent Paul Gough said: “Radomir will undoubtedly be one of the most experienced and qualified coaches to apply for the Leeds job. “He is hugely qualified and immensely hungry for the opportunity. He would love the chance to boss at Elland Road – it is something he knows he would be very successful at.”

Friday Feb 3rd. YEP -Nobody has been approached. No one has been approached. Leeds United have left the door to the manager’s job at Elland Road wide open by revealing they will take their first steps towards an appointment in the early part of next week. The race to replace Simon Grayson is set to begin in earnest on Monday as United prepare to narrow down a flurry of applications and other potential candidates for the post. Leeds are not believed to have settled on a preferred choice but they will weigh up the possibility of a firm approach to Neil Warnock with the former Sheffield United boss ranked among the most proven and obvious options. United sacked Grayson on Wednesday in the hope of mounting a run to the Championship play-offs during the final 18 games of the season, but the club have made it clear that they will take time in deciding their next move after three years of Grayson’s management. Leeds said in a statement: “We can confirm at this stage that no approaches have been made, either directly or indirectly, to potential candidates, either in work or currently looking for employment, although we have been offered the services of many who are currently in work.” United were poised to meet Bristol City at Ashton Gate this afternoon, with academy coach Neil Redfearn taking charge of his first fixture as caretaker boss.

Friday at Feb 3rd. Cooley White has his say. After another transfer window that saw very little action around Elland Road and now the dismissal of Larry there is not too much to be optimistic about for the rest of the season. A win against Birmingham on Tuesday night would have seen us equal the points tally we had this time last year. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I checked my phone after training and seen the score line. Zigic just seems to find goal scoring form when he plays against us. At St Andrews earlier in the season (a game we played well in and should have came away with at least a point) he popped up and got the only goal that day. This defeat was the end of the Grayson tenure at Leeds and it was fitting that the away fans on Tuesday night were singing ”Your getting sacked in the morning!!!”’ I was sad to hear that Larry was sacked, must admit I did have alot of time for him. He gave 3 good years service with notable highlights including the win at Old Trafford and gaining promotion from League One. The timing of this was well planned by Bates & Co. If this had happened a few weeks ago when we fell out of the top six maybe, a new manager would have been given more money to spend and maybe he could get a Centre Half to solve the main problem which Simon couldn’t do in 3 years. Looks like it will be Neil Warnock who will succeed Larry. I read last night in one of the forums that he has said that he is keeping an eye on the situation at Leeds. Personally I hate him but if he can turn things around then who cares. He has a good track record for getting promotion and at the end of the day that is what we want. For the rest of the season I think we have alot of hard work to do if we are going to get back up to challenge for a play off place. I can see us just getting into them but alot rests on the run of games that sees us play Southhampton, Hull, Boro, West Ham, Forest and Millwall in March. This will define our season. Heading over next week for the Brighton game I hope to see a new manager and the attendance improve because at the end of the day we should be all together and try to get the ship back on course. This will start on Saturday away to Bristol City. Antoin Watters – Cooley.

Friday Feb 3rd. Leeds refuse to rush into appointment. R Sutcliffe – YEP –  LEEDS UNITED have no plans to approach any potential successor to Simon Grayson until after the weekend at the earliest, the Yorkshire Post can reveal. The Elland Road club has been inundated with applications since news first broke on Wednesday that 42-year-old Grayson had been sacked after a little over three years in charge. Chairman Ken Bates has spent the past 24 hours sifting through the list of potential candidates but is in no rush to make a decision with Neil Redfearn having been put in temporary charge for tomorrow’s game at Bristol City. Among those believed to have registered their interest is former Sheffield United manager Neil Warnock, who within hours of the vacancy arising had been installed as the bookmakers’ favourite. Former West Bromwich Albion boss Roberto Di Matteo was another to feature strongly in the early betting along with Gordon Strachan and Steve Bruce, while yesterday saw Huddersfield Town manager Lee Clark’s odds slashed dramatically following suggestions that United chairman Bates was an admirer. However, despite a flurry of bets on the Terriers chief, this newspaper understands that the 39-year-old is not under consideration by Leeds due to the club wanting a manager with experience of getting a team into the Premier League. Brighton & Hove Albion manager Gus Poyet, who yesterday distanced himself from a possible return to Elland Road, is another not on United’s radar due to the club hierarchy being unhappy at the manner of his departure in 2007 when the Uruguayan quit suddenly on the eve of an important home game against Millwall to take up a role as Juande Ramos’s right hand man at Tottenham Hotspur. A wish to appoint a manager with a proven record in the Championship would seem to open the door for both Warnock, who has led three teams to promotion from the second tier, and Di Matteo, the Italian having taken West Brom into the Premier League as runners-up behind Newcastle United in 2010. Both would represent intriguing appointments with Warnock’s track record of achieving success on a budget chiming with chairman Bates’s thoughts.  The 63-year-old, who following his sacking by QPR last month was sounded out about a possible vacancy at Ipswich Town, is keen on a return to Yorkshire. Di Matteo, meanwhile, has established a reputation as a bright managerial prospect following stints in charge of West Brom and Milton Keynes Dons. From his four years as a key member of the Chelsea midfield, he is also close with Bates and his wife Suzannah, so much so that Zoe, Di Matteo’s wife, and the couple’s children were guests at the United chairman’s 80th birthday party late last year. Others to have been linked with the job since Grayson’s exit include Paul Ince, MK Dons chief Karl Robinson and former Leeds striker Dougie Freedman, while caretaker manager Redfearn last night also declared his interest. He said: “I am capable, that goes without saying. But the bottom line is the decision is up to the club.”


Di Matteo



Thurs Feb 2nd. The men in the frame. Larry has moved on and now it’s time to get a successor in worthy of taking our great club forward. Ken Bates track record isn’t great when choosing a manager, and Grayson was arguably  head and shoulders above all his previous appointees. The new name in the frame is Lee Clarke. This is his record after leaving as Norwich assistant manager. On 12 December 2008, Clark was officially unveiled as the new manager of League One side Huddersfield Town signing a three-and-a-half year contract. In his first season at the club he helped them to a ninth-placed finish in League One. They also only lost two home league games under Clark in the 2008–09 season. In his second season in charge Clark helped Huddersfield to secure a play-off spot and became the first manager to win three Manager of the Month award in a single season since Roberto Martinez in 2007–08.[8] Huddersfield were defeated by Millwall in the 2009-10 play-off semi-final. In the 2010–11 season, Clark guided Huddersfield to a third-placed finish in the league, earning them a place in the Play-Offs after a club-record 25-game unbeaten run in the league. They reached the final after beating Bournemouth 4–2 on penalties, but lost 3–0 to Peterborough in the Old Trafford final. In July 2011, he agreed a new rolling contract with the club.[9]Clark continued breaking records at the beginning of the 2011/12 season, after 18 games of the current season their unbeaten run currently stands at 43 games, the 2nd longest domestic league unbeaten run in English football history. Clarke is the sort of manager that Bates may go for. He is young, raw and obviosuly talented but he has yet to get Huddersfield promoted. He has had big resources at that level and this is his fourth season there and has twice lost in the play-offs. Neil Warnock is the fans choice which in itself is extraordinary, and a huge compliment to him. The reason being that he nevert endeared himself to United fans when he was Sheff Utd manager, but perhaps more so out of jealousy as he used to regularly take 3 points from Leeds. Surprisingly as QPR manager he lost both games last season to United.  Warnock is the equivalent of soccer marmite – you either love him or hate him. There is no doubt that he knows this division inside and out. Whether there is room for two big egos at Elland Road may be the deciding factor for Bates not to choose the former QPR and Sheff United ( among others) manager. Leeds fans would be willing to trade the disliking of Warnock for his ability in getting teams promoted to the Holy Land that is the Premiership.  He is 63 years old now but would be up for the Leeds job in a heartbeat. It would unquestionably be the biggest club he could manage and would bring him back to his beloved Yorkshire. He would want to come to Leeds on his terms and this will be the deciding factor Bates will have against him. After all when has Bates ever given the fans what they want ? Roberto di Matteo would certainly fit the Ken Bates profile in all but one scenario. He may be too expensive unless a huge carrot of financial reward is offered by promotion. He is currently working as assistant manage at Chelsea and his wage packet would easily double and most likely treble what Grayson was on. In 2008 he took over as manager of MK Dons and guided them to the League One play off semi final where they lost on penalties to Scunthrope. He was head hunted by WBA and won promotion to the Premiership in his first season in charge when they finished second to Newcastle United. His side played some wonderful football in the Premiership but he was sacked in February 2011 and was not long out of work before he became assistant manager at Chelsea in June 2011. There are plenty of other names in the frame such as Dennis Wise, John Sheridan, Gordan Strachan, Billy Davies and Steve Bruce. I don’t think Bates would forgive Wise for walking away the first time and many would wonder was it the Gus Poyet factor that eliminated those 15 points so quickly back in League One. Poyet would be popular at Elland Road but he has already ruled himself out and I don’t see Strachan, Bruce or even Sheridan working for Bates. Bates has said that he admires Keith Hill of Barnsley who has already taken six points from Leeds this season. He is outspoken, confident and a strong character. There is a hell of a difference between  managing Barnsley and managing a side like Leeds United. He has already claimed that pound for pound he is the best mnager in the Championship. He is only 42 but his appointment would not go down well with the supporters, even though he has won promotion at Rochdale and steadied the ship at Oakwell. There are others who would fit the Bates profile such as his old friend Gianfranco Zola and maybe even Darren Ferguson. The distaste that a Ferguson would bring to Leeds United fans wouldn’t dissuade our Ken, but would Ferguson walk out of Peterboro a second time ? Like the fans I would like to see Warnock get a crack but  we will never second guess Bates. My instinct tells me that Bates will go for Lee Clarke and I don’t think that would be a wise choice.  I’ll row in behind any manager and maybe Neil Readfearn who Bates likes might be given a crack until the end of the season. There is one thing for sure, it’s never dull being a Leeds fan.

Thurs Feb 2nd. 2012 Clarke becomes new favourite. Neil Warnock was initially odds-on to replace Simon Grayson as Leeds manager, but his price has now drifted following reports that he is not the number one choice to take over at Elland Road. Warnock has almost the ideal CV to ensure Leeds are promoted back into the Premier League in the near future, helping both Sheffield United and then most recently QPR achieve this feat. However, it is believed that Lee Clark is the preferred choice of chairman Ken Bates to be appointed and now the favourite choice of punters. Being the current boss of Huddersfield, the move may appeal to Clark as he would not have to relocate and would get the chance to test his managerial ability at a higher level in the Championship. But having come so close to getting Huddersfield promoted in the last two seasons and once again being fully involved in the promotion picture in the current campaign, there is every chance that he has unfinished business at the club. Meanwhile, some fans will point to the fact that Clark has spent relatively big for League One standards and still not managed to get Huddersfield promoted, which does not bode well for what he would achieve at Leeds. Furthermore, the fact that Clark worked so hard to convince star striker Jordan Rhodes to remain at Huddersfield in the transfer window would make little sense if he then turned his back on the club and its ambitions. Regardless, Clark has been backed into 5/4 from 10/1 to be appointed as the next Leeds manager, with Warnock remaining fancied at 6/4. There is certainly no doubt that Clark’s stock is fairly high despite his possible underachievement at Huddersfield, as he has been linked with the Leicester job in the past, while earlier this season he was rumoured to be a leading contender to take over at former club Sunderland.

Thurs Feb 2nd. Phil Hay – YEP – Warnock favourite. Neil Warnock has emerged as the early favourite to become Leeds United’s next manager after the club called time on Simon Grayson’s three-year reign. Warnock is among the options being touted for the Elland Road job in the wake of Grayson’s sacking yesterday afternoon. Leeds dismissed Grayson less than 24 hours after a 4-1 defeat to Birmingham City, citing the need to get “more out of the existing squad” and enhance the club’s prospects of qualifying for the Championship play-offs this season. Warnock attracted an immediate flurry of bets as speculation about Grayson’s likely replacement began and he is the early frontrunner after his own sacking by Queens Park Rangers three weeks ago. The 63-year-old has a recent and impressive track record in the Championship having steered Sheffield United to promotion at Leeds’ expense in 2006 and QPR to the title five years later. United chairman Ken Bates has courted Warnock once before, trying unsuccessfully to appoint him as Chelsea boss while chairman at Stamford Bridge in 1991. Warnock rejected the offer in favour of remaining at the helm of Notts County but sources close to him indicate that he would be interested in the post vacated by Grayson. He is not believed to have received any contact from Leeds yesterday. Former Sunderland manager Steve Bruce – whose son Alex is a defender on United’s books – and Chelsea assistant Roberto Di Matteo – a player who joined Chelsea during Bates’ reign in West London – are other possible candidates, though it is understood that Di Matteo is unlikely to leave his current job to link up with Bates again. Ex-United captain Gordon Strachan and Huddersfield Town’s Lee Clark have also been backed in the betting markets. Grayson, meanwhile, departed Elland Road along with first-team coaches Glynn Snodin and Ian Miller after 169 game in charge. Goalkeeper coach Andy Beasley has also left the club having come to Leeds while Dennis Wise was manager. United’s announcement came a day after their heavy defeat to Birmingham and the closure of the January transfer window, with United openly admitting to doubts about Grayson’s ability to raise his squad from 10th position to a play-off spot during the final 18 games of the term. Chief executive Shaun Harvey said: “We have 18 games to go 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.” Leeds’ reserve and under-18s coach, Neil Redfearn, has taken temporary charge of the senior squad and could act as caretaker during Saturday’s league match away to Bristol City. Redfearn is highly regarded at Elland Road due to his work with United’s academy and chairman Ken Bates said: “Look how under his control the players have been coming through the academy. “It’s a tribute to the work we do at the lower levels. “He’ll bring a fresh face and it gives us time to rethink and move on.”Grayson was unavailable for comment with the 42-year-old believed to be in the process of agreeing a severance package with United. The former Blackpool boss had 18 months remaining on the three-year deal he signed in the summer of 2010.

Thurs Feb 2nd 2012. Redfearn on Grayson and managing Leeds. Leeds caretaker manager Neil Redfearn says he has the right credentials to keep the job. The 46-year-old reserve-team and Academy coach was placed in temporary charge at Elland Road on Wednesday following the sacking of Simon Grayson, assistant boss Glynn Snodin and coach Ian Miller. Former Barnsley and Charlton midfielder Redfearn, who has previously managed Scarborough and Northwich Victoria, told Sky Sports: “I’m capable that goes without saying, but the bottom line is the decision is up to the club. The decision is out of my hands. “From my point of view I’m only interested in Saturday’s game and making sure everything’s ready for whatever happens and whatever happens I will take it in my stride. “I’m not putting myself under any pressure either way. I’m in this position now and have still got a lot of good friends at this club that I want to help through in the short-term future, and if I can get some results for Leeds United and if that benefits whatever happens then great.” Redfearn left his position as caretaker manager at York to take over as Leeds’ Under-18s coach in January 2009. He paid tribute to former boss Simon Grayson,  “It was a shock,” It came all of a sudden on Wednesday. I got a call and found out the news. I’ve been here the three years Simon has been here, but these things happen in football. “It’s about how you react when you pick the pieces up. We have a big game against Bristol City on Saturday and it’s about doing well there and getting a result there.” 


Thurs Feb 2nd. Sky pundit Peter Beagrie on Grayson sacking and the contenders for his old job. First and foremost, I’d like to go on record and say Simon Grayson did an outstanding job for Leeds United. He took over a club that was languishing in League One and a succession of managers hadn’t been able to get them out of their rut. He took them to the play-off final in his first season, only to be denied by Doncaster, but next season he took them out of the third tier via automatic promotion. Last season’s seventh-place finish in the Championship was, for me, an over-achievement. There were far bigger and better-quality squads in that division and I felt he covered himself in glory, even though they just missed out on the play-offs. Of course, expectation levels rose but he has had to cope with the loss of players such as Jermaine Beckford,Description: http:/static.lingospot.com/spot/image/spacer.gif Max Gradel, Jonny Howson, Bradley Johnson and Neil Kilkenny. The chairman has a long-term plan whereby he wants to invest in the stadium first and the team second and it wasn’t easy for Grayson to work under those conditions. The moment Neil Warnock lost his job at Queens Park Rangers, every manager in the Championship came under pressure, particularly the ones at the bigger clubs. Three defeats over the Christmas period saw them slip out of the top six and they are currently down in 10th place. However, they are still only four points off fourth position with 18 games to go. Obviously, the 4-1 defeat at home in midweek was a blow, but they were defeated by a resurgent Birmingham side on a long unbeaten run.So when the news of his departure came this week I wasn’t surprised, but I was disappointed. Simon still fancied their chances of finishing in the top six, but the club have decided to see if somebody else can get more out of that squad of players. I feel some of the players need to take some responsibility for what’s happened because a lot of fundamental individual errors have been made; we saw that against Birmingham on Tuesday night. Going forward they have been a joy to watch, but Grayson ultimately lost his job because he was unable to find a defensive formula. He has never been able to find a central defensive pairing, in particular, that could produce stability. Chief executive Shaun HarveyDescription: http:/static.lingospot.com/spot/image/spacer.gif has come out and said a decision had to be made and with a large part of the season left, someone else will now get the opportunity to make a difference at Elland Road. The moment Neil WarnockDescription: http:/static.lingospot.com/spot/image/spacer.gif lost his job at Queens Park Rangers, every manager in the Championship came under pressure, particularly the ones at the bigger clubs. The two main men under pressure, as far as I was concerned, were Paul Jewell at Ipswich and also Grayson. Unfortunately the midweek results went badly for Simon (a 4-1 home defeat) and very well for Paul (a 5-1 win against leaders West Ham). That saw the axe fall on one, while the other is safe. Jewell was arguably under more pressure because Ipswich might suit Warnock better geographically, but he is now one of the big favourites for the Leeds job. He has a history of getting people out of that division and an excellent track record, but will he want to go and work in Yorkshire again? He often used to let Stuart McCallDescription: http:/static.lingospot.com/spot/image/spacer.gif do most of the coaching at Sheffield UnitedDescription: http:/static.lingospot.com/spot/image/spacer.gif and he’d go up at the end of the week to put a finer point on things. He may not want to move north, but when he thinks with clarity, surely Leeds, one of the highest-profile jobs around, is one that would encourage him to compromise? Some fans may not like his associations with Yorkshire rivals Sheffield United, but if a former Celtic player like Maurice Johnston can be a success at Rangers then why can’t Warnock be a success at Leeds? You need to look at the bigger picture and find the best man for the job. Neil Redfearn (a Yorkshire legend from his ‘it’s just like watching Brazil’ days at Barnsley) has been given the job on a caretaker basis and he will fancy it full-time. Other names such as Paul Ince have been mentioned and there will not be a shortage of applicants. I wouldn’t see the Leeds job as a poisoned chalice; it’s a club with stature and it’s a club with a huge following. Ken Bates chose the right man for the job when he appointed Grayson and now he needs to be equally as astute with his choice this time. Finally, I wish Simon Grayson all the best. He definitely has a big future in the game.

Thurs. Feb 2nd. 2012. Goal.com. Leeds chase Warnock. – Leeds United eye Neil Warnock appointment as chairman Ken Bates defends Simon Grayson sacking. The 42-year-old was axed on Wednesday despite his side being sat just four points behind the playoff places, with the ex-QPR boss heavily linked with the vacant job at Elland Road. Former England and Leeds defender Danny Mills believes the timing of the sacking has a lot to do with the recent availability of former QPR boss Neil Warnock, sacked this month in favour of Mark Hughes. “He got sacked for QPR because he is basically known as a Championship manager who will get you up. That’s what he has done time and time again. “That has probably swung Ken Bates’s decision.” Any deal is thought to hinge on Warnock’s wage demands, with Bates unlikely to match the former QPR boss’s £15,000-a-week salary, a figure close to double what former boss Grayson was said to be earning.

Promotion from League One

Yeovil on that final day

Always one to celebrate with his players

Larry thanks the fans

Leave with your head held high Larry

Thurs Feb 2nd. By Phil Hay YEP – Simon Grayson sacked : Leeds United job consumed “next Revie” after a bright start .In Grayson we trust, or so supporters of Leeds United used to say. The next Don Revie others were heard to claim. It is a measure of Simon Grayson’s performance as manager that he was ever spoken about in such endearing terms. But ultimately the suspicion that this season – his third at Elland Road – would prove a step too far was sadly accurate.  The surprise about yesterday’s sacking is how long it took to come. As far back as August, when this season began, Grayson’s future was debated in terms of a doomed coach.  The debate contradicted his record: the most credible, statistically, of any Leeds manager since David O’Leary and one supported by the tangible achievements of promotion from League One and a seventh-place finish in the Championship. Historically, those achievements bore no comparison with the peaks in United’s history. But in relative terms, he had carried the club forward from the woeful trough of demotion to England’s third division. Last summer still contrived to spawn sweepstakes about how many more weeks and matches the 42-year-old would last. I interviewed Grayson at United’s training ground near Wetherby 48 hours before their last pre-season friendly against Newcastle United. He looked weary and sounded frustrated – an unusual state for a manager on the eve of a new season, and an odd state for Grayson himself. High in his list of agreeable attributes was natural optimism and a good sense of humour. Anyone accepting the job he took on in December 2008 needed both. Recruited from Blackpool against the wishes of the Lancashire club, he was the third coach to grapple with Leeds in League One and the second in less than 18 months.  The strain was too great for Dennis Wise, and five straight defeats and a deflated dressing room did for Gary McAllister.  United analysed Grayson’s track record and made his brief plain and simple – do what you did at Blackpool and get Leeds United the hell out of League One. He did so at the second attempt after first stomaching a play-off semi-final defeat to Millwall in 2009. “Simon’s a man for all seasons,” said Ken Bates in the wake of that result, “including next season.” With the support of his chairman unequivocal, Grayson set out on a campaign which would represent his crowning glory as manager of Leeds. Promotion to the Championship was won through a mixture of hyper-consistent form and nail-biting survival; 12 matches without defeat at the start of the season, four straight losses during a period of desperate anxiety over Easter. As Norwich City ran away with a title which United once seemed certain to claim, a 2-1 win over Bristol Rovers achieved with 10 players on the last day of the term was an apt way for Leeds to crash across the line. Grayson and his players were feted for that promotion and Leeds rewarded him by turning his one-year rolling contract into a secure, three year deal. He parted company with the club yesterday with 18 months left on it. It might not have occurred to him in the summer of 2010 that his star would fall in so short a period but the writing was on the wall as United’s second season in the Championship began in August. The difficulty for Grayson, and for his club, was the definition of ambition and an understanding of what amounted to success. In League One, his target was self-evident. As a Championship side, the outlook was more blurred. Leeds entered the league with Grayson talking about the priority of avoiding relegation and Bates promising season-tickets holders that United were not in the division to “make up the numbers.” In claiming seventh place after 46 games, Grayson’s squad comfortably cleared the middle ground. It was, as Grayson said, a position the club and their supporters would have willing accepted nine months earlier. But on the last day of the term, that claim sounded disingenuous. Leeds had been sixth with seven matches to go and a club in command of a play-off place.  With Easter upon him – seemingly Grayson’s version of the Ides of March – their results and conviction disintegrated. United finished behind six other clubs and entered the close-season consumed by a sense of deflation. Criticism from the public was split between Grayson and his employers: Grayson for the appalling defensive record which saw 81 league goals conceded and Leeds for what many perceived as an inadequate wage bill and transfer budget. Grayson never complained about money and consistently fought the club’s side of that argument. His success in the transfer market with what budget he had was hit and miss. But an endless procession of loanees (33 in his time alone) and free transfers begged the question of whether he and his squad were punching above their weight. And behind all that was the prickly subject of contracts: contracts that key players were so reluctant to renew or extend. Jermaine Beckford, his most prolific forward, left Elland Road for nothing after scoring the goal which sealed promotion, and Neil Kilkenny and Bradley Johnson followed suit last summer, unable to agree fresh terms at Elland Road. This season, Max Gradel – United’s existing player of the year – was sold on the last day of the summer transfer window and Jonathan Howson was last month’s the high-profile departure. Bates called Howson’s £2million sale to Norwich “inevitable” and many supporters agreed, though not for the same reasons.  There is something routine about the trickle of prized assets out of Elland Road and Grayson’s replacement will take a seat at his desk wondering if Robert Snodgrass and Aidan White are next. Under Grayson, Leeds took different forms: pragmatic in League One but fluid and expansive in the Championship, at least until the start of this season.  During the 2010-11 season, United were as proficient in attack as the were inept in defence. Luciano Becchio scored 20 goals and Gradel 18.  Howson came into his own in a free role behind a lone striker. For all their flaws and their eventual lack of stamina over 46 matches, Grayson’s squad blew a breath of fresh air through a wonderfully competitive league. It represented healthy progress and a chance for development in the summer that followed. Instead, transfer target after transfer target slipped through United’s fingers in a window which chief executive Shaun Harvey later described as “ugly.”  Pessimism was rife as the season began and it rarely lifted, not even when September and October yielded four wins and a draw from five fixtures. An injury to Becchio denied Grayson the use of his preferred formation and Leeds gradually became rigid and predictable, no longer the carefree Championship side they once were. Grayson’s tactics began to flounder.  Some gripes about his man-management were aired privately and with hindsight his treatment of Andy O’Brien seemed rash and ill-advised. Performances deteriorated in the run-up to Christmas and comments from Bates made it clear that the form was unacceptable. Grayson appeared to be hanging by a thread after a 4-1 rout at Barnsley on New Year’s Eve but kept himself in post with the most improbable of victories over Burnley 48 hours later, sprinting up the touchline in celebration.  Without the bizarre chain of events in Leeds’ 3-1 win over Ipswich Town on January 21, he might not have made it as far as Tuesday’s loss to Birmingham – a game which summed up the weakness that stalked him mercilessly in the Championship. At no stage of the past two seasons did United’s defensive problems subside.  It was the Achilles Heel of a coach who leaves Elland Road with a share of the blame but a commendable record of 84 wins and 40 draws from 169 competitive matches. As a manager, his reputation is in tact and enhanced.  As a person, it was hard for those of us within in the media not to warm to his personality – accommodating, accepting of criticism and always ready to answer questions.  But as his tenure began to unravel, supporters yearned for more from him on and off the pitch; better results and performances and more clarity about the extent of his clout in the transfer market. On Tuesday night, he bemoaned a “naive and inexperienced” defence on the day when Leeds’ only signing in what remained of the January window was a 20-year-old full-back from Tottenham Hotspur. You feared then that the situation had lost all logic and sense.  Bates was absent from Elland Road, nearing the end of a holiday in South Africa, but waited less than 24 hours to sanction the dismissal of his manager and backroom staff. Whether Grayson still held the faith of the club’s supporters is debatable but he leaves with their respect in spades, most of it owning to that fine afternoon on May 8, 2010 and the multiple occasions when his team used cup competitions to torment the great and good of the Premier League. And he leaves knowing that when Kevin Blackwell was sacked by Leeds in 2006, he walked with banners calling for his head.  The only banner at Elland Road on Tuesday night, displayed in the South Stand, called instead for the departure of Bates.  So it was that United’s chairman returned home last night to address a team with no manager and a mutinous fanbase who are no longer aiming questions at Grayson.  His dismissal was sad but strangely inevitable and he goes with his head held high.  The doubts about Leeds’ ambition, vision and financial policies now burn hotter than ever, and right beneath Bates.


Thurs Feb 2nd. Dom Matteo – YEP on Grayson and new manager. Simon Grayson is no longer Leeds United manager and talk has switched to his successor and obviously Neil Warnock is the favourite and it’s easy to see why. Looking at it, he’s the one man who knows how to get a team out of this division into the Premier League.He’s done it on numerous occasions, is vastly experienced and his track record speaks for itself and he’s definitely the no.1 contender for me. Of the other possible contenders, you’ve also got a lot of good young managers linked as well and people are talking about the likes of Lee Clark, Roberto di Matteo and Karl Robinson. Personally, I do think it’s important the board takes a little bit of time, but invariably they quickly want a manager in place and the players do need to know who the boss is. Ideally, I think if you are going to make a managerial change, it’s always good to give a month for the new manager to maybe in bring in his own ideas and players in, like with Mark Hughes at QPR.  Someone will now come in with the window closed and it’s a strange one in that aspect. But I think after the Birmingham game, the board probably thought a 4-1 defeat at home was just such a poor result and that it was the right time to do it. The performance itself actually wasn’t that bad, but unfortunately it was schoolboy mistakes which cost us again. Even though the players got a few good results last month, let’s face it, the team weren’t playing well and there seemed to be no continuity between the players. It seemed like they were all going out playing on their own. For a Simon Grayson team, it was never usually like that and we got used to them always bouncing back from bad results with a good performance or two. There were a lot of rumours going around the ground after the Birmingham game about Simon’s future and while nothing was said to me, it was clear things were getting talked about. And the rumours proved true, which was obviously disappointing. I wish Simon well. He’s a good guy who did a good job and people have got to remember that. He gave three years of good service, is a Leeds fan at heart and gave his absolute everything. I think his win ratio was the best of all Leeds managers of all time apparently and he can walk away with his head held high. He brought some good times back to the club and got them promoted and having spoken to him a few times, I really believed he thought he could get us to the Premier League this year as the league isn’t all that strong and we’re still not that far from the play-offs. It’s disappointing to see him go, but the club obviously felt it was time for a change. Maybe it was time for a change for him as well and I’m sure there will be a lot of clubs looking at him, in time, as well. He’s still a young manager and he’ll dust himself down, have a bit of time off and maybe have a holiday or something and then want to get back into it as he’s a football guy.


Thurs Feb 2nd. Gus Poyet rules himself out. The Argus – Surrey. Gus Poyet has ruled himself out of the running for the manager’s job at Leeds. And the Albion boss says his old club were wrong to get rid of Simon Grayson. Poyet, 10-1 with the bookies to return to Elland Road, told The Argus: “It’s a massive club and it’s great place to manage, I’ve got no doubt. “I would go back to Leeds at any time, of course not right now. “We’ll see what happens because, like I said, it’s a magnificent place to manage.” Poyet, who was No. 2 at Leeds to Dennis Wise, is mystified by Ken Bates’ decision to axe Grayson, with the Yorkshiremen still very much in the hunt for a play-off place. He said: “I didn’t understand the decision. I like Ken Bates a lot but I’m sorry Ken, wrong. “You are only able to base your opinion on the results. I’ve seen Simon’s record at Leeds and I think it’s very good, so I don’t know if it is something we don’t know. “Maybe that is the only situation but at the end of the day he’s the chairman, he makes decisions, you live by your decisions. We’ll see what happens. “I think you can analyse if it is right or not at the end of the season.” Albion’s next away game is at Leeds on Saturday week.


Thurs Feb 2nd. 2012. Ince in the frame – Sporting Life .Paul Ince is reportedly interested in filling the vacant managerial role at Leeds United and is being considered for the post by chairman Ken Bates. The Whites are on the hunt for a new manager following the sacking of Simon Grayson on Wednesday. Grayson was shown the door after seeing Leeds lose five of their last seven Championship games, with a run of three successive defeats over the Christmas period dumping them out of the top six. Ince is reportedly a frontrunner to succeed him in the job and Bates is thought to be weighing up the ex-England international.The 44-year-old has not managed since leaving Notts County in April last year after an ill-fated five months at the helm, with the Magpies losing a club record nine successive games under his tenure. Ince has also spent two stints in charge at MK Dons, guiding the club to the League Two trophy and promotion in 2008, as well as the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy. The former Manchester United midfielder started his managerial career in charge of Macclesfield Town, while his two spells at the Dons came either side of a short and hapless stint at Blackburn, where he won just three games in 17. He is the latest name to emerge in connection with the Leeds post, with Neil Warnock, Roberto Di Matteo and Steve Bruce also reportedly in the frame. Other names to have been linked to the role are Leeds United legends Gordan Strachan, Lucas Radebe and Gary McAllister. Youth team manager Neil Redfearn has been placed in temporary charge until a new manager is appointed.

Thurs Feb 2nd. YEP – Bates takes share of blame as fans make their feelings known.THE sacking of Simon Grayson was “inevitable” and the “worst kept secret in football,” according to Leeds United supporters on the forums and message boards last night. With chairman Ken Bates always “looking over his shoulder” and the club reluctant to commit money for new signings in the January transfer window, fans felt Grayson’s days were numbered. There were mixed feelings over whether Grayson was suitable for the job, with some opting to reflect on the highlights of his three years at Elland Road – chiefly the 1-0 victory at Old Trafford in the FA Cup third round in 2010 and promotion back to the Championship later that year – and claiming he was a “scapegoat” for the board. Others said Grayson was out of his depth and pointed to a number of poor performances this season, despite Leeds being just three points off the play-offs. In tune with the recent mutinous atmosphere at Elland Road, there was nobody prepared to back Bates’s decision, with many saying the sacking was conveniently timed so a new manager could not bring in expensive new signings in the transfer window. “Only Bates could sack a manager the day after deadline day, making sure any new manager will have no money to spend as this would be one of the first questions any new manager would ask,” said one commentator. Others were more succinct: “Bates is a blinded owner who is interested only in making money. Grayson did a fantastic job with means available,” read one Tweet. “(Bates is) Doing absolutely nothing for the football part of the football club,” said another. Some took the opportunity to dissect some of the long-standing problems at the club. “In Grayson’s three years as manager, we have seen approximately 60 players come to the club… an average of 20 a season. “Look at any of the recently-promoted clubs, they have had stability in their playing staff through keeping the quality and adding to it.” Another comment read: “We have one of the highest average attendances in English football, we have loyal fans who pay more than half of what Premier League fans have to pay, we have sponsorship and commercial deals coming through all of the time, yet the invest (sic) in quality players is not there.” Views were also split on who should be brought in, with Neil Warnock the favourite.  “Warnock is our best bet for promotion and none of the other likely candidates are any better than Grayson,” one fan said, before adding intriguingly: “My 50p is on (Ole Gunnar) Solskjaer.” “Bates wouldn’t want the likes of Warnock or (Billy) Davies as manager; he wouldn’t get on with them, too much of a personality clash. “My money’s on (Roberto) Di Matteo, cheap option for Bates and he’ll fall in line, another yes man. If Bates really wants a shot at the Premier League, Warnock’s the man.”

. Thurs Feb 2nd 2012. Richard Sutcliffe YEP on Grayson’s time at Leeds. EVEN when the pressure was on with speculation raging over his future as Leeds United manager, Simon Grayson was rarely someone to be fazed. Nor did he lose his sense of humour. Typical was Monday’s exchange with this reporter when, after answering questions about all manner of subjects from the January transfer window through to his own job security, there was a slight pause.  “So, are you going to ask me about Alan Smith?” The one-time Leeds United hero, a major transfer target of Grayson’s the previous summer, had joined Milton Keynes Dons on loan just a couple of days earlier so was on the list of topics to be covered.  “Okay, Simon, Alan Smith. Was he on your list of targets during this window?” The reply was succinct and to the point. “No comment.” Then, as if affronted by the question, a stern-faced Grayson stood up as if setting off towards the door before turning back at the last moment with a broad smile on his face. For the next couple of minutes, the United manager then outlined his stance on Smith and why his lack of football had deterred the club making a fresh approach for the Newcastle United midfielder. It was Grayson all over, keeping from all but his close and loyal circle of friends the undoubted pressure he was feeling after what had been a testing couple of months which had also included the enforced sale of his captain Jonny Howson. The same could be said about similarly difficult periods earlier in his 37-month reign – even the chastening home defeats to the likes of Swindon Town, Blackpool and Preston North End were unable to shatter the veneer of calmness that Grayson invariably exuded. By Tuesday night, however, something had changed. I was in the Elland Road tunnel when Grayson emerged half-an-hour or so after the final whistle had blown at the end of United’s 4-1 defeat to Birmingham City. For the first time, he looked a beaten man, his eyes betraying the emotions of a man who sensed a fatal blow had been inflicted on his tenure at the helm of a club he has supported since childhood.  Listening to the interview he then conducted with Eddie Gray for Yorkshire Radio merely added to my belief that even Grayson’s ability to ride the knocks that come every manager’s way had been stretched to the limit. He was saying all the right things about “needing to work hard on the training pitch” and taking “confidence from how we played for an hour”.  But, for the first time, Grayson’s words sounded hollow – almost as if he did not believe them himself. Less than 12 hours later, the 42-year-old’s reign was over – the final act coming via a summons from chief executive Shaun Harvey to Thorp Arch, where he and his coaching staff were told of their dismissals. Sackings are, of course, a sad fact of life for any manager. No one bar Sir Alex Ferguson in the modern game is immune from the axe, with even Arsene Wenger having come under increasing pressure at Arsenal over the past 12 months. What Grayson was able to do, however, amid the sadness of having to clear his desk yesterday morning was look back with pride on the job he has done at Elland Road. Certainly, Leeds United are in a much healthier shape than they were when he walked through the door to succeed Gary McAllister just before Christmas, 2008. During the intervening years, promotion from what to Leeds was fast becoming the wasteland of League One was secured along with the end of a near-three decade wait for a victory at Old Trafford against bitter rivals Manchester United. Battling draws at Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal in the FA Cup were also notable, not least for allowing United’s long-suffering supporters to bask in the glow of their club being back in the spotlight for all the right reasons. Restoring that sense of pride to Leeds mattered to Grayson, a boyhood fan who went on to realise his dream by joining the staff as an apprentice. Handed his debut by Billy Bremner, Ripon-born Grayson may have then had to leave Elland Road to become an established first-team regular, but he never lost his links to Leeds. Coming back as manager, therefore, felt right. It also meant he understood the joy that winning at Old Trafford gave supporters. He also knew just how vital escaping League One was for United and that the manager who then took the club back into the Premier League would be assured a place in history. As Grayson celebrated his second anniversary in charge at Christmas, 2010, it looked increasingly like he could be that man to end the club’s exile from the elite. A 2-0 victory over runaway leaders QPR at Elland Road on the final Saturday before the festive season had nudged Leeds up to second in the table. They were there on merit, too, with the manner in which Neil Warnock’s side had been comprehensively beaten suggesting United had the artillery to rein in even the Londoners during the second half of the campaign. Coming on the back of a thrilling fightback at Burnley a week earlier that had seen a 2-0 deficit at half-time turned into all three points come the final whistle, the sky really did seem the limit for Grayson. With hindsight, however, that win at home to QPR was, even allowing for United’s 1-1 draw at Arsenal a couple of weeks later, to be the last true high point of his reign.On Boxing Day and eight days after QPR had been dismissed, a two-goal lead at Leicester City was squandered and Leeds had to settle for a point. It was the same story two days later when Portsmouth escaped with a point despite seeming down and out at 3-1. The defensive frailty that had peaked in the autumn when Preston North End became the first side to score six goals in a league game at Elland Road had returned. And, despite wholesale changes in personnel at the back over the past year and a switch of goalkeeper in the summer, it never really went away, culminating in the four-goal salvo from Nikola Zigic that brought the curtain down on Grayson’s reign.

Eddie Gray

Thursday Feb 2nd 2012. Eddie Gray on Leeds. YEP – Former Leeds United manager and player Eddie Gray has urged the club to appoint a young manager as Grayson’s successor after former QPR and Sheffield United manager Neil Warnock emerged as an early favourite. “I don’t know if the club have their mind on anybody,” Gray said. “I think they will be looking for somebody youngish but with a bit of experience. “Everyone has put two and two together because he is available and he has a track record of getting people up. But I don’t know if they will go for Neil just because he is available. “Simon is clever and would probably have known he would be under pressure. “He is still a young manager and he will get another job and he will bounce back. “He can walk for the job he has done with his head held high. “Getting promotion was a great moment and he brought the fans a lot of joy at Old Trafford (when Leeds beat Manchester United in the FA Cup) and there were some good moments for him.”

Weds Feb 1st 2012. Betting on manager to succeed Larry. Neil Warnock ranges from 4/9 with Skybet to 4/5 with Paddy Power. Steve Bruce ranges from 3/1 with Ladbrokes to 6/1 with Boyle Sports. Roberto di Matteo ranges from 4/1 with Ladbrokes to 8/1 with Skybet. Gary Kelly (are you having a laugh) ranges from 4/1 with Paddy Power to 14/1 with Skybet. Others that range from 12/1 out as far as 30/1 are Lee Clarke, Mick McCarthy, Neil Redfearn, Alan Curbishly, Billy Davies, Dan Petrescu, Gus Poyet, Dennis Wise, Dave Jones, Gordan Strachan, JF Hasselbaink, John Sheridan, Nigel Worthington, Keith Hill, Carl Robinson, Paul Dikov,  Ginafranco Zola, Eddie Gray, Andy Ritchie, Darren Ferguson  and @ 10,000/1 Greg Tipping with Betfair after sticking needles in Simon Grayson dolls for the past six months.

The man who has run our club into the ground

Weds Feb 1st. Mister Chairman speaks out.  Ken Bates has been giving his reasons why Larry got the chop. “We have to acknowledge the previous three seasons Simon got us to the League One play-offs then promotion and then we finished seventh (in the Championship) and we have backed him all the way,” Bates told Yorkshire Radio. “At 30 players, we have one of the largest squads in the Championship and bigger than some in the Premier League. Bates forgets that a number of these players are young kids who came through the ranks at Elland Road and would be on very low money. “We spent over £12m on wages so why are people blaming me for the recent results? “All the money we have received has gone back into the squad. The manager decides who he wants to buy, we as the board just pay for it. I only said no once.” Not true. This famous 30% over budget (which was 22% a few weeks ago and we lost Howson) doesn’t count the income from Gradel, Schmeichel, Howson and Kebbe – circa £5M.  Bates believes that a fresh start could see Leeds still remain in the promotion hunt. “Simon told me in November we were going to win promotion. I am a little bit disappointed he mentioned last night he has been working under financial constraints. “We are over 30% over budget on players wages. What I don’t understand is why we are where we are with what we have spent. “Since the present system wasn’t working we want something fresh. “Having said that, thanks to Simon, but we have to move on. “We have got 18 games to go and we can still get into the play-offs but we need a fresh start, fresh look and fresh attitude. “We are building a club first and a team second and we are making progress when so many people are having financial difficulties.” We have spent £20M on the Ground (as per programme notes v Ipswich) on a ground that we allegedly don’t own. Give me a break. and  “Contrary to some of the nutters on twitter we backed him all the way. The first time I said no to a player that Simon wanted to buy was last Thursday when he wanted to sign a player who was going to cost us £600,000 a year. I said, ‘you`ve already got six centre backs` all of whom he has signed. Very little defence here in the quality of central defenders brought to the club. However, Peterboro had a £1.9M bid turned down for two Crawley Town last night. Peterboro are 17th in the Championship and 7,555 fans at their laast home game. When did Leeds last pay £1.9M for two players ?“At 30, we have probably got one of the largest squads in the championship and a bigger squad than many clubs in the Premiership. Our wage budget was £9.5 million this year and we have spent over £12 million. So these people who are blaming me for the results do not know what they are talking about. “Every penny we have made from transfer fees as gone back into team on transfer fees or wages. Not in a million years is this statement true. “If you sign a player on a free transfer on £500,000 a year on a three year contract you are committing up to £1.5 million, which is a tremendous amount of money. “We have six strikers and six centre backs and all of a sudden I cannot understand why any of them are not good enough. We have three teenagers in the back four. “He is the manager and he decides who he wanted to buy. We as a club and me as chairman just authorise it. We just pay for it. The facts of the matter are we have conceded more goals than almost any other club in the championship has. Therefore we have reached as far as we can and the present system isn`t working. “We have got eighteen games to go, nine at home and nine away. We can still get into the play offs. I think automatic promotion is looking a bit remote. I think we need a fresh start, fresh attitude and we will move on.” Simon told me in November we were going to win promotion. These players have not become bad players overnight. “There is a problem somewhere and we do not know what it is. I am a little bit disappointed what Simon said after last night, when he said he was working within financial constraints, Jesus, he has spent nearly 30% over budget on players wages. Some people are banging on about loan players. Who scored the winner against us when played at the Emirates? It was a loan player wasn`t it. Thierry Henry. – There is a big difference between Henry and Townsend and Smith. “It is not a question of money we spend on transfer fees, it is the quality of player you get. He is a free player, free transfer. Do we pay £35 million for Carroll or £50 million for Torres? So money itself doesn`t mean anything. The important thing is the quality and value for money. What I do not understand is why we are where we are with what we have spent. “Don`t forget, when we were beaten by Barnsley 4-1. Their wage bill was £4.5 million and ours was £11.5 million, so we were clearly not getting value for money are we. So seeing as the present system is not working we need a fresh look. Having said that, thank you to Simon for what he has done and his two assistants but we have to move on.” If that’s the case Leeds shouldn’t have beaten Leicester or Ipswich, both of whom have bigger budgets. Paul Jewell lost nine homes in a row but was backed in the transfer market with decent finance…..and what happened last night…Ipswich Town 5-1 West Ham. Going By Bates logic Big Sam and Jewell shold be unemployed. As I sign off Jermaine Beckford has just equalised for Leicester v Boro. Bates laughed at the player being offered to us a few weeks ago. Ken’s right because Ken is always right. Gobshite !

Weds Feb 1st. The Sabotage Times. Today’s sacking of Simon Grayson from his position as manager of Leeds United has seemed inevitable since mid-December and is symbolic of the prevailing bad mood that has completely enveloped the club from top to bottom. My prevailing mood right now is one of sadness, because Grayson was clearly operating with both hands tied behind his back, having no power to keep his current players or bring in the players he would want to fulfil his dream, as a Leeds born player and fan, of managing the club in the Premiership. For this reason I would forgive Grayson for the constant reliance on short term loan players (for which he had a very poor success rate) and I would also partially forgive him for the continual plethora of ‘dead wood’ we seemed to collect each season, and can only shift from the books with a mutual termination of a contract. Grayson had an immediately positive effect on Leeds upon his appointment in December 2008, and was the trigger required in getting us out of the murky depths of League One, albeit at the second attempt. He has overseen a gradual improvement in the team’s fortunes year on year until, sadly, this season. With jewels in the form of Max Gradel and Jonny Howson sold from under him, Grayson has seen a squad that over-achieved last season slowly dissembled into a mixed bag of over the hill short term contracts, loanees and promising but unfulfilled youngsters. To what extent you can blame Grayson for the development of this situation is the key question. Debates are raging amongst Leeds fans, and whilst there can be no doubt that the finances and long term strategy are not in place to firstly attract and then retain players of sufficient quality to get us in to the Premiership, the fact remains that we still have a talented first eleven (if not squad). This, unfortunately, is the only change in the hierarchy of the club we are likely to see in the immediate future .This was showns last night against Birmingham. For the first 45 minutes Leeds played fluent attacking football for the first time at home all season, and should have been at least a couple of goals clear at half time. It was all set up for a rousing victory in the second half, despite Birmingham drawing level, but instead the fans were treated to Grayson’s Achilles heel once again; the art of defending. The worm began to turn for me this season as I realised that, after three years, we still simply couldn’t defend. The points thrown away by sloppy defending are laughable, but the stark reality raises serious flaws about Grayson’s management. The frequent chopping and changing of the back four screamed out that the Manager had little belief in his players, and little structure to his game plan for defending. How much of this is down to his backroom staff is always open to debate, and personally I think Messrs Snodin and Miller are as culpable in this situation as Grayson himself. But like the players, the staff are Grayson’s appointments. In summary, the sacking of Simon Grayson today is the pinnacle of the ongoing doom that is surrounding the club. I feel deep sadness for him because every Leeds fan wanted him to succeed and he was doing the best with what he had, but what he had wasn’t good enough, in terms of players and management skills. Too many times this season I have walked away from Elland Road thinking ‘I don’t think Grayson can lift these players’, and that comes down to management. His hands have been tied to a large extent, and you wonder how close he has come to ‘walking’, but he is also culpable of never solving the defensive issues, meddling with formations and substitutions with baffling frequency and ultimately not delivering in a results business. Simon Grayson delivered some good times to Elland Road, but whilst the current regime remains in place today was inevitable. This, unfortunately, is the only change in the hierarchy of the club we are likely to see in the immediate future, and it was clear that we had gone as far as we could under Grayson. It will be interesting to see how a different Manager (the fifth under Ken Bates Chairmanship) performs with the squad Grayson has left him, and that will answer many searching questions that Leeds fans ask themselves. Maybe that will shape our immediate future and change the mood? Good luck Simon and thanks.

Cheerio Simon

Weds Feb 1st 2012. Larry gets the axe.YEP – Simon Grayson has been relieved of his duties as manager of Leeds United. The club have acted swiftly following their 4-1 defeat to Birmingham last night. Chief executive Shaun Harvey said: “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.” Neil Redfearn, the club’s youth team manager, has been placed in temporary charge.Grayson, 42, who replaced Gary McAllister as manager of his boyhood club in December 2008, has come under increasing pressure in recent weeks as Leeds have fallen out of the top six in the npower Championship. Last night’s home defeat was the final straw for chairman Ken Bates, who is now in the hunt for his fifth Leeds manager during his seven years at the club. Former Blackpool boss Grayson, who began his playing career at the club, steered Leeds to promotion from npower League One in 2010 and missed out on the Championship play-offs by three points last season, but so far the club have failed to mount a serious promotion challenge this time around. Former Sheffield United manager Neil Warnock, who has just lost his job as boss of QPR, and Chelsea assistant manager Roberto di Matteo are among the early front-runners to replace Grayson. From the dozens of texts coming in it’s clear that most Louth Branch members want Neil Warnock to replace Larry. I’ve read the statement and ask why was he not sacked three weeks ago to allow the new manager funds and some time  to bring in new players. I had thought that Shaun Harvey had left the club because he’s been as quiet as a church mouse except when requesting Max Gradel and Jonny Howson’s agents numbers. I’d like to hear Larry’s side of things because it looks like that he has received no backing what so ever financially. He definitely alluded to one or two things on YR after the match. To lose arguably two out of his best three players in August and January and replace them with loan signings was never going to be helpful. Unfortunately the bargain buys and loan signings have been well off the mark and last night’s result prompted the gun to be fired. In truth the gun was loaded weeks ago but Bates was was waiting for February first to pull the trigger. Grayson has a huge love for Leeds United and reminds me of Ally McCoist at Glasgow Rangers. Both have had their best players sold from under them and have had little or no support to replace that quality. Both should have walked away a long time ago, but may have been blinded by their love for their respective clubs. Some say that Bates is next to go. I don’t see it that way. Our new manager will inherit a side that is just three points off the play offs and with 18 games to go there should be no reason not to reach the play offs if he is tactically more astute than Larry. Call it the Martin O’Neill effect if you like. Snodgrass, Delph, McCormack, Becchio, Lees, Lonergan and others possess quality. Maybe the new man can get more out of them than Larry, and succeed with some additions in the emergency window. Don’t depend on Ken Bates to make an astute appointment.  Dennis Wise inherited a side with just one point  from safety in the Championship  but succeeded in getting the team relegated to the third tier in the following 30 plus games. Gary McAllister got Leeds knocked out of the FA Cup at non league Histon. I wish Larry well. We have had some good times to remember him by. I just hope the next manager arrives on his own terms and not the just chairman’s and preferably without a Chelsea connection.

Weds Feb 1st. Brendan Ormsby on sacking. PONTEFRACT Collieries’ former Leeds United captain Brendon Ormsby believes Neil Warnock could be the right man for the Leeds United job following the sacking of Simon Grayson. Warnock, now out of a job after being sacked by QPR last month, has been immediately installed as the bookies’ favourite to take charge at Elland Road and Colls boss Ormsby reckons he could give the club a shake-up it may need. Speaking on Talksport about Grayson’s departure, he said: “It’s not really a surprise. There were a lot of rumours this might happen. “The fans are not happy. They might be only one win off the play-offs, but Leeds have always had big expectations and the fans want them back in the Premier League as soon as possible. “They can see the ground being rebuilt and the work going on there, but they’d rather that money was spent on players. “People have been upset over the last couple of seasons at the number of loan players brought in and a lot of them are just young boys in football terms. “It’s annoying the fans that other clubs are buying players, yet we seem to be selling our best players and brining in youngsters on loan. “They need a bit more experience throughout the team. Then when the going gets tough, they can stand up and be counted. “Warnock’s name has been bandied about and he would shake the club up. I’d like to think he would do that and bring in regular signings and not just loan players and kids.”

Weds Feb 1st 2012. Taken from to Ell and Back. To Ell and Back. His win rate was 50%. He was the first Leeds boss to win at Old Trafford since Allan Clarke in 1981. He led United out of the wilderness of the Third tier of English football. Yes, the history books should be very kind to Simon Grayson’s three-year stint at Leeds. Despite Ken Bates’ manipulation of the figures, Grayson has worked micracles this season. I honestly thought there was an element of truth in Adrian Durham (Talksport’s) August prediction that we were heading back to League One given the fact that under the current fiscal regime. After all, any team losing the likes of Neil Kilkenny, Bradley Johnson and Max Gradel would struggle to match the previous season’s achievement where we more than consolidated our return to the Championship. Sure, Grayson was not without his faults. In the riposte to the critics who have blasted his sacking, Ken Bates has pointed out that the absence of transfer-fees does not necessary mean expenditure on players reduces to nil – wages etc need to be factored in. Even some of Grayson’s free transfers, Im thinking along the lines of Forsell, Valrynen, Connolly etc have been poor but still clog up the wage bill. His over reliance on the loan-market, something like 37 loans in the last three years is another criticism for those who wanted him removed. However with his hands effectively tied and his pockets picked, really he was forced to shop in the bargain basement for Bosman’s and free-agents. Those who have commanded a fee have generally performed well such as Lonergan, McCormack, Pugh…. Even the greats drop clangers, I am not anti-Man U blinkered enough not to acknowledge Ferguson as a great – even though I loathe the man, but is David De Guea really worth £17.8m and then there was Juan Sebastian Veron… Bates yet again is out of touch with the Leeds fans, who he dismisses as the “vocal minority” – Simon is nothing more than a scapegoat for his and Shaun Harvey’s gross mismanagement of the club.

Weds Feb 1st 2012. Paul Martin on transfers. Another transfer window closes and more disappointment for us Leeds fans. I was expecting a couple of decent signings especially when we sold Jonny, but when we didn’t sign anybody before the weekend I didn’t think much would happen in the last couple of days.We needed a couple of good experienced defenders in [the last three years] as was evident tonight against Birmingham when Zigic scored four with just four touches. Young White got skinned twice for Burke to set up two goals and O Dee and Lees got caught out for three headed goals by Zigic.Grayson was lamenting on Yorkshire Radio after the game about the young an inexperienced players across his back line, why the hell didn’t he do something about this during the last month.When I was over at the Ipswich game recently I couldn’t help notice how small a team we are, we have no big powerful players in the squad either in defense or attack.The Emergency Transfer Window opens next week whether we bring anyone in is anybody’s guess, we definitely needs a good center half.On tonight’s game Leeds actually played very well for the first hour, we should have scored three goals in the first twenty minutes,Becchio could have had a hatrick and Snodgrass missed a sitter in the first few minutes and with our defense we were made pay big time later on. Before the new-year I thought if we strengthened the team with a bit of experience and quality we could finish in the top six around fourth. but after this lost opportunity I think we will be lucky to finish 10th or better, I hope im wrong.I know people might not be thinking about going over for a game after tonight but Ryanair have a good deal for the Forest match on Tuesday 20th March for 26euro return, you wont get over for the rest of the season any cheaper than that. Regards Paul Martin Carrick