Reap What You Sow

Posted by on Sep 22, 2018 in Blog | 0 comments

Not wanting to be carried away on the wave of optimism that is sweeping across the amassed Leeds fans in country (and the ones who don’t support us but want to see us back in the Premier League), I am dodging the addictive enthusiasm by briefly looking back at how far we have actually come since the demise of the miserable beardy bad loser.

Believe it or not, this months blog has been inspired by, of all things, ordering Hull tickets. Hull tickets are £24 plus £1 bates tax for the cheap seats and £27 plus £1 bates tax for the nice(r) seats down the side. They do not have any concession prices for senior citizens or juniors. The reason for this stems from their last few seasons of turmoil. If you remember, when they got bought out, their new owners decided that they wanted to change the name (in an all American franchise-type way) to Hull Tigers (as opposed to Tigers  Tigers Ra Ra Ra). This despite the fact that Hull City Association Football Club has been in existence since 1904 (technically older than us then) and completely against the wishes of the fans. On their return to the Premier League in 2016, the club badge had the “Hull City AFC” “The Tigers” (Ra Ra Ra) removed and instead just had a picture of a tiger on the front. Their crowds have dwindled since the heady days of Phil “Tango” Brown and sealing that brilliant promotion ( that technically we gave them by beating Watford) in 2013. Even with the falling ticket sales, the new owners are still embroiled in a dispute with the fans regarding ticket pricing and now, I believe the Football Supporters Federation are involved as well to help the Hull Supporters Trust to sort this out. The season has begun and ticketing has not been resolved. Interestingly enough, Hull FC (egg chasers) share the same ground/ ticket office/ facilities etc. and they DO have concessions. So much for fans being the heartbeat of the club, hey?

Meanwhile, across the border, in another one of Peter’s flawed attempts at Chairmanship, after hoisting up his white flag to the Malaysians, the Bluebirds were threatened with fire to re brand them into Red Dragons. (oh I am getting the puns in here). Across the proper Pennine border, Blackpool are still neck high in the mire with possibly the worst owners in football history, closely followed by Charlton, whose new owner practically declared that they were merely a feeder club to his European teams. Regular readers need not be reminded about the Blackburns of this world.

Leeds United have had their fair share of difficulties, and this piece is not the case of people in glass houses not chucking bricks. My point is that since Beardy finally got his marching orders from Sig. Cellino we have still had our ups and downs. And, unfortunately s**t sticks, so the phrase “doing a Leeds” is still evident in the ether. However, it seems that whilst we bore the brunt of the full force of the Football League and the hefty points deduction in 2007, like most things in 2018, carefully placed money can now resolve this issue (Villa, Bolton, Sunderland..woo hoo!). Thankfully,  despite all the showboating aerial stunts, projections, coffins and other (un)social media campaigns, Leeds fans have not yet had to resort to throwing tennis balls onto the pitch or boycotting en masse, since Bad Santa took his sack of toys out of Elland Road, without taking a penny in wages – remember. In real terms, we have not had it as bad as some. It is something we can count our blessings on.

Our club went through the lowest of the low in those 10 years. Those who thought that it was bad under Cellino either can’t remember how bad it was, or have chosen to block it all out of their memories. Even before Beardy, there were signs of trouble ahead. For example, the insistence that the majority of the fans voted to move to Swillington and the badly thought out titles of books and DVDs (Leeds United – A Season on Trial, United We Fall and my personal favourite – Peter Ridsdale -My Leeds United). Never has the phrase, you reap what you sow, has been so apt.

From the sublime to the ridiculous. We had Swillington Sewerage Works, the Fullerton Ice Rink and Beeston Super Casino, then the Bates Hotel / Motel , all which would help the Club??? We went from semi-finals in the Champions League to not owning the ground, the Academy, the  training ground and not even the matchday  catering made us any money.

So when Cellino came in and cleared out, he did what no one else had the balls to do. He took back charge, or at least he tried to. He tried to stick two fingers in the face of the Football League, Harvey and his not fit for purpose buddies, Skytvisf**kings**t and everyone else who realistically couldn’t run a Subbuteo football team, let alone a Division 2 outfit. Yes, he made managerial mistakes, but in doing so, he laid the foundations clear for Radrizzani. Yes, under his tutelage we made some random signings, but it was the basis for what we have now….Beradi for one, without Kyle Bartley there would have been no Ayling… But of course, Cellino will never be credited by some people for what he did.

And, back to the now. This Saturday sees a meeting between the Supporters Group and The Club about our Centenary year celebrations. Badges aside, our Club is listening to it’s fans, and in the end, the board did listen to the fans anyway about the crest.  We have secured Bielsa who has transformed our team of end of season relegation dodgers, into tip, top, top of the leaguers, who are being raved about from all four corners.

Yes, it is early days still, but it is looking like the sun is shining….







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Millwall Madness

Posted by on Sep 18, 2018 in Chairman Charley | 0 comments

I asked The Chairman if he wanted to write a few words about a very eventful trip to The Big Smoke and the preceding events leading up to it, but nothing yet. So I decided to do it for him instead.

Went to Millwall. Got stuck on the way down on the A14 because of the roadworks. There was a bridge but it was clearly broken. Didn’t have a very long pub stop. It took forever to get to the ground. We only just got in before kick off. Had a pie in the ground. We drew one all. Fell asleep on the way back and slept through the terrible traffic, missing the 4 lanes going down to 1 lane on the M1.

here is the link to the roadworks which cost us so much time

The End


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Small boys, jumpers for goalposts

Posted by on Sep 2, 2018 in Blog | 0 comments

Enduring image…isn’t it?

Not so much nowadays, Ron Manager. Plus, I don’t even know if, in this modern world of political correctness, you could even say, “small boys, in the park, jumpers for goalposts” anymore without someone showing you a yellow card for the lack of inclusivity. Should I say vertically challenged, self identifiers, in a green space, clothing dedicated as vertical structures? Oh and, by the way, this isn’t an excuse to pay homage to the Fast Show, it is merely to demonstrate how much football has changed.

For the better? Not so sure about that. On the flipside, can you imagine a 21st century version of The Fast Show? An hour of complete inoffensiveness, now that would be something. Oh hang on, it’s the BBC . Normal telly then!

After coming home from the hard fought 0-0 against the Smoggies last night and after much heated debate in the Golden Lion about a point gained over two points dropped, that phrase popped into my head. It suddenly occurred to me that Friday nights game was about as far away from “jumpers for goalposts” as it could be.

To me, the result wasn’t so much the issue, as the style of football that we had to endure. Well, it wasn’t football really was it? It was 90 minutes of the antithesis of football. There was no skill there. No perfect through passes, no floated crosses, no one-touch silkiness, no intricate cross field fluidity. NADA. It was typical Pulis, niggling, pushing and shoving and blocking. Anti football as my friend, Alan Barker put it. A team of 6 foot plus built-like- brick-shithouses giants, but with all the stability of the first of the three little pigs’ houses. You huff and you puff and you blow the house in.

That would have never happened in the park. If you fell over, everyone just ignored you and carried on playing. If you kept rolling about on the pitch as if a sniper had got you, you would suffer the indignity of being picked last next time, along with the fat kid. Or even worse, never being asked at all. In those days, it was all about getting the ball and legging it up half the pitch, to smack in that wonder goal. The goal which people would still be going on about next half term.

The worse thing was that we let THEM drag US down to their level. Gone was the one-touch finesse of Derby and Norwich away. Gone was the “We’re Leeds United, we’re taking the piss” swagger of the first few games. It was replaced by the same dross that we spewed out last season against the likes of Cardiff and Wolves. Where all we could do was try and hack people down. The same stupid tackles that saw off most of our team at some point in 2017-18 in a flurry of red cards and costs us our points so dearly. Until New Year we were on the up and then it all just fell away, the most sendings off for many a season.

I was never lucky enough to see John Charles play, and at the time, not old enough to fully understand what the great Don Revie did in the Golden Leeds United era. I am lucky enough to have seen the videos of them and the great skillful play of the likes of Pele, Cruyff and the latter years of our own Championship winning side, not to mention the craftiness of Roberto Carlos (look him up younger readers). We have seen what Bielsa can do to the team, he has improved it enormously already. Remember it is the same team as last season, bar Douglas and Klich. It is too soon to say what style of football he plays, as he is still essentially tinkering, until he finds it. God knows what happened at Preston! Must have been a blip. The positive is that the players are able to adapt, even though they are the same players, they are not limited to one role. The team are pushing forward at speed but still covering the defence.  Look at Douglas flying down the wing, like a young(er) Tony Dorigo, it’s not just Ayling that can put a cross in. I am hoping that Bielsa can bring out more of the potential out of the team the longer he works with them. I am also hoping that he can build a resilience in them, so they stick with the game plan and resist the “play ugly” timewasting, cheating crap that the rest of the league resorts to.

As I was walking away from the ground, I heard someone say ” well that’s it, everyone has worked Bielsa out, that’s our season gone”. I thought, Jeez, it’s only August and you’ve given up already. There’s another 7 months to go at. What sort of a football fan are you, if you call it quits before the season has even started going! In the days of jumpers for goalposts, you could have been playing football from dawn to dusk. Doing “next goal wins” for hours until the person who brought the ball actually scored a goal and won. You needed stamina in those days to play the beautiful game. We’ve still got plenty of time before February to go up as Champions.

Beans on toast for tea. Marvellous!


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