Clean Slate

Posted by on Jun 30, 2022 in Blog | 0 comments

It’s been a short summer since the day Newcastle kept us up, and I’m wondering is the time right for a clean slate?

You’d think that it would be the de facto stance from our board, albeit with new manager. Yes, a clean slate to start again. Indeed, I think it was announced just after the end of the season that Leeds United were getting the loanees back to offer them the chance of a clean slate. All those players who were “out of favour” with Bielsa were allegedly all brought back to ER and an olive branch was extended.

A second chance to prove themselves. You must remember all the talk about Bielsa “losing the dressing room” and “not playing the Youth” etc. etc. etc. How can you forget how our league position was laid entirely at the feet of Bielsa? It was Bielsa’s style of play, his stubborness, his poor team selection, refusal to play the U23s, his continued reluctance to go to Plan B, that was at fault. Nothing to do with the obscene injury list and players who just couldn’t perform on the day.

Although it must seem like a daydream now to those who have conveniently forgotten the terrible run in at the end of the season. Most will have forgotten when we hit the relegation zone. When our fate was taken out of our hands until the last day when Newcastle saved us from the drop. I saw many of the pictures on social media with our new manager’s face superimposed onto Steve McQueen’s in that great film, I wasn’t impressed.

Many said that I was not being fair. I should be glad that he’d done enough to keep us up. He’d only been given 12 games. But the games against Villa and Southampton at home and Palace away, gave me enough insight into his tactics. I knew it would go down to the final game and we would be praying for assistance from The Bar Codes. Relying on The Geordies to win? Every person I saw at the Brentford Community Stadium was anxious until the final minute. Even after Canos got sent off, it was still touch and go. The last 15 minutes seemed like they were never going to end. 

But true to form, Leeds fans went from one extreme to the other within a short 5 days. Less than a week  before the Brentford game, most of us had resigned to losing Kalv and Raphinha. Most fans had written the team off. Most had decided that the players just weren’t good enough and would never get us out of the Championship again. Many had decided once we got relegated we needed to ditch the old wood and start again with the U23 side and the residue of players that wouldn’t have left to join richer clubs in the PL. Within days of us staying up, fans were saying we should get Haaland. His lad, not Alfie. All of a sudden we had gone from Championship no hopers (again) to spending millions to get us into Europe. With the same team. Lawks a luvvy!

How things change though!

Despite the video, showing Kalv just after Christmas 2021

https://twitter.com/CoreyHolmes90/status/1475058637987061763

we knew Brighton would be his last game at ER in our colours. Most have forgotten this video above. Kalvin won’t have though. Probably be embarrassed with this to his dying day. It’ll be wiped soon to save some blushes, however, here is a still from it

Yep. The social media age, Generation Swipe. It was said, “Never in history has so much been documented, by so many, about so little of any consequence to anybody”. Harsh but fair. The folly of fleeting things.

Under Bielsa, in those short four years, everything seemed to have a permanence about it. It felt like it was never going to end. From the moment he came to us, it felt like there was just a natural progression. Certainly, after the Championship title win and then 9th in the 1st season back, it just felt like the next step was Europe and then Champions League. I’m pretty sure the makers of “Take Me Home” never envisaged it would end as it did. Would Kalv and Rapha have gone if Bielsa were still here? I doubt it. He made them the players they were. England International, eh? But Et Tu Brute? no one is ever going to know.

The impact of Bielsa’s era will be remembered with fondness for what it was. The rollercoaster ride into ascendancy will be looked back on in years to come with happiness. When we are fighting to stay up in the perennial relegation battle that we are doomed to without the likes of Kalv and Rapha. His legacy will remain, like his face on the side of the building in Hyde Park, as will Kalvin’s at the bottom of town as you go towards Crown Point Bridge. Is it the case of the folly of fleeting things again? As Hilda Ogden might have said , “many a misguided murial mounted in haste”.

People have argued that there was too much love and affection towards Marcelo. To those I would offer my commiserations, you obviously were never there to see it happen in front of your eyes. Bielsa wasn’t just a man with a slogan. El Loco wasn’t just a myth. He was akin to an art form, like Impressionism or Cubism. It was a Renaissance (Born again for those who never did french O level). It was his ethos. A shining light of aspiration in the seething pit of the money mad “Modern Game” of football. He was a breath of fresh air in the turgid, cesspool stagnation which is the PL. To which Kalv and Rapha have now deepdived into, with the lure of benchwarming in Champions League football – and er – the small bonus of being on three times their current salary? Mebbe? If the shoe fits as they say.

This has all gone now though. We are in the new era of RB Leedsburg. Where the performance will always be more important than the points. (Yeah – never gonna live that one down).

Clean slate? More like wipe the slate and chuck it out of the window.

The transfer window hasn’t even officially opened yet and already Ryan Edmondson has gone. Drameh has never come back from Cardiff. Nohan Kenneh has gone to Hibs. McCarron has gone to Stoke. It looks like young Jamie Shackleton is off too and now there is talk Cresswell is going as well. This is the same Charlie Cresswell, who along with Klaesson, saved our skin and SkinnyJeans against Wolves. Who next? Archie Gray? Summerville? I thought it was Bielsa who refused to play the youth? Wasn’t it was Bielsa who didn’t value the U23s? Surely it was Bielsa who had no faith in our Academy? Bielsa has gone now, so why aren’t we able to hang onto the likes of Cresswell. Is this the future of RB Leedsburg, sorry Leeds United?

Clean slate – my rear end!

But we’ve bought in players who have played in the Champions League! Surely that’s something? Well, Celtic play in the Champions League every year. So do Linfield. It would be interesting to see how they fare in the relegation battle at the bottom of the PL.

The 1st 6 games will be the test of his mettle. The build up to the World Cup break could be the foundation of our battle to stay up. The games after Christmas, when the players come back from international duty +/- injuries, may well be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. That’s if history repeats itself, of course. Will the players come back unharmed after slogging themselves in the punishing heat of a winter World Cup? Who knows?

If they come back and, God forbid, we start losing again, what’s it going to take? Will the board wait til it gets to 5-0, 6-0 and 7-0 before the guillotine gets ready? Or will the 3-0, 4-0 ones be enough to send SkinnyJeans back to leagues where the performance is more important than the points? Groundhog Day is Thursday 2nd February 2023. Might the Board have learnt from their mistakes this time? Might they realise that chopping and changing might just cost them PL survival? Ask Dyche and then ask Burnley.

Clean slate or chopping block?

We’ll see if the Scarlet Pimpernel is around!

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Come Undone

Posted by on May 12, 2022 in Blog | 0 comments

Like the hole in my old 1990s knitted scarf , Leeds United have started to come undone. Judging by last night’s game, we are unravelling at the speed of knots (pun completely intended there). Opportunity to stick a picture of a cat in my blog? Done!

 

There are lots of possible song titles I could use for this blog. The obvious one  would have been; Leeds, Leeds Are Falling Apart Again. I resisted that though. I don’t like that song anyway, the irony has long gone, dissipated into the ether many moons ago. There’s also “Jessie” by Joshua Kadison. Yes, this is an actual song, see excerpt below. If you forget the line about the trailer, it could be how the anti-Bielsa mob could be summed up

If he keeps us up though, they will be vindicated. But if we do avoid relegation, it won’t be because of him, it’ll be in spite of him. We’d have been better off with this Jessie

I chose Come Undone as a nod to Duran Duran, not the Robbie Williams one. I’m not really a fan of his, especially the bitterness when he left Take That, but only because his vitriol put my acrimony to shame! It’s not often my rancour is eclipsed. Some of the lyrics of the Robbie “Come Undone” song do occasionally reflect on the situation that we find ourselves in though, you’ll have to listen to it to understand. But the Duran Duran version really hits home.

Leeds United have come undone. It’s falling apart at the seams, right before our eyes.

There’s two more games to go. I thought last night we would have come out fighting. Chelski have a Cup final to think about, we could have had a result against Arsenal on Sunday had we kept 11 men on the pitch. There was a massive build up encouraging fans to get behind the team and the usual segues (not sedgeways) from the manager with his inspirational quotes from some other famous dead person givvying us on. What happened?

Damp squib. Flat as a fart.

Anyone who regularly reads this blog will know how I feel about our new manager and the sacking of Bielsa. I wonder how Bielsa is feeling right now. Seeing the efforts of 3 years of hard slog (on his part and the players too, who objected to it more than we will know), go down the toilet. I wonder if Bielsa could have a meeting with The Board and our new manager today,  would be doing it using a nice powerpoint?

I jest, but I am so incensed with it all. I started off incandescent, then I fumed and now, I’m incensed. We were abysmal last night, from start to finish.

The usual excuses have abounded overnight. It’s not the new managers fault, he only had 10 games to change it. But he didn’t change it, did he? It’s the same. Nothing has changed apart from being much, much more narrower. Plus we have Coops and Phillips back, and Lord Bamford too, for a short while. Bielsa was decried for not having a Plan B. I don’t even think we had a Plan A last night.

You only have to look at Newcastle and Brentford, even Burnley really, and what they did in response to the threat of relegation.

The Geordies spent big. £93 million big. But he also looked to the existing squad too.

Excerpt from Newcastle Chronicle - cheers

They weren’t going to take any chances. And it worked didn’t it? They have leapfrogged us now, and are clear of the dropzone, happily contemplating next season.

Brentford bought Eriksen and Raya, their keeper, came back from injury. He’s made a massive difference. There’s a reason why Toney can smile. They’re more or less safe.

Burnley sold Chris Wood – to Newcastle and then sacked Dyche. I thought they had resigned themselves to relegation at that point and looking to the parachute payment to see them rebound straight back up. But the dead cat bounce back has helped them. We can only hope that the luck has departed them though, or else it’s curtains for us.

The Board took a gamble, and we shall have the result of that gamble soon. Either we stay up or we come undone and we capitulate.

When they sacked Bielsa, even I thought that we’d stay up. I thought typical, they sack Bielsa just before the winning run starts, the new manager would be bound to keep us up and then Bielsa’s sacking would be completely justified. Everyone would believe that Bielsa was the problem, even though our position in the table was down to a combination of the obscene injury list, ridiculous refereeing decisions, some absolutely shocking anti-football /cheating from Wolves, Brentford and Southampton, unlucky deflections and the post and the bar basically expanding by an inch whenever Rodrigo shot near them. 

We were 15th but we had Coops, Bamford and Kalv to come back into the team. We’d had a terrible run since losing 7-0 to Citeh at Christmas, but we’d played Sc*m, Liverpool and Spurs, had two long aways at West Ham and played a hard fought 3-3 against Villa away. We were due to play Leicester and Everton, had the likes of Norwich, Wolves and Watford to go at and winable games against Southampton and Palace too.

How could we not stay up? 

The board came out with the “It was always the plan to bring the new manager in anyway in the summer”, “Bielsa was just too difficult”, “The players couldn’t cope”. Who could forget this little quote?

I can’t. Remember everything, forgive nothing. But if we were safe by now, no one would remember this.

But 10 games later, we’ve come undone. Don’t get me wrong, if that tackle on Joffy at the end of the Southampton game had been given as a penalty, that would have given us a bit of leeway. Mind you, had we defended that free kick better and not been so negative, we’d be 2 points better off.

Hindsight & Presumption

Hindsight is a marvellous thing isn’t it? But presumption – presumption is the sickener. Hindsight and presumption is the footballing equivalent to Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice. The board presumed we would stay up without Bielsa. The players presumed that murderball wasn’t necessary. The players presumed they didn’t need the harsh training regime that Bielsa forced them into. The players presumed that they had got us promoted, into 9th in the first season up and they didn’t need to do much more than just turn up. Similar to all the new fans at Leeds United who just presumed they would be able to get a ticket when they wanted to. Unlike Austen’s Pride & Prejudice, there’s no happy ending for anyone here. It’s lose lose, unless we stay up of course.

But the truth has been revealed. Or at least last night’s game revealed a lot of truths.

Our fitness has sunk to Paddy Kenny lows. We have about as much pace as Jabba the Hut. Our tackling skills have packed up and gone on their summer holidays already, all they needed was the finesse of the Beradi bloodbath to make them extra special. Our formation looks as steady as the first little pigs’ straw house – in a Force 10 gale. We look as organised and capable as The Prince Regent in BlackAdder The Third, or for those of you who will remember, Selwyn Froggett. Never mind – oh never mind! We have bumbled through in Clouseau fashion since the new managers arrival, somehow winning a few games. I can only hope that in the classic indomitable Peter Sellars’ style, we get the job done in the next few games, somehow. 

I’m fed up of this “oh well, I preferred it in the Chumpionship”. No! I didn’t. We, or rather Bielsa, fought long and hard to get us back where we belong. I don’t want us to go down. Nevermind this “If we go down, we go down fighting” rubbish. We need to fight and not let all this hard work of the last 3 years go to waste. 

The only ones who want us back in the Championship are the EFL. Do we really want to go back to being their cash cow? Not likely

 

 

 

 

 

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Think For A Minute

Posted by on May 10, 2022 in Blog | 0 comments

Those of you who are old enough will remember Think For A Minute by The Housemartins from, wait for it, 1986! Yep, 1986. 32 years ago, the Housemartins told us to just think for a minute.

This is the cover of the single off Ebay, as I don’t have a copy of it anywhere

The 80s was an era of Anti. Anti establishment, anti Thatcher, anti war, basically anti everything. Punk had been at the forefront and then the music became a little less angry. Not helped by S.A.W, the trio that bought us such tragic, but undeniably catchy hit songs in the 80s, from the likes of Kylie and Jason Donovan off Neighbours and Rick Astley. Stock, Aitken and Waterman – they’ve got a lot to answer for.

I was never a massive Housemartins fan. They were from Hull for a start and dressed like casuals in tucked in polo shirts, blue stonewashed  jeans with loafers and white socks. They even went a bit Sam Fox and did the whole acid wash jeans look when they got famous, but Paul Heaton had a good voice. And this song was a good song.

Think For A Minute, if you listen to the lyrics, seems at first to signify a yearning back to the good old days of community spirit, when you did actually leave your doors open, but then you realise it’s more about apathy and the lack of inertia.

Think for a minute.

We’ve got three crucial games to go, we need to think for a minute. The apathy has to end. But it is a big ask.

I honestly don’t know what the worse thing about Saturday’s game was.

There was so much to be disappointed in. There was so much to be cross about. I’m not just on about the display on the pitch either. It was the (in)decision, the poor choices, the football in general.

From the first 10 minutes, in fact from the word go, we were trying to play the ball out from the keeper. We’ve been doing that all season, and it hasn’t really worked. Initially because most of the defence were out anyway at the start of the season, but then, since Bielsa got sacked and Coops and Phillips got back in the team, it hasn’t really improved. We are at the dogend of the season, against Arsenal who are challenging for Chumpions League places. Eddie was never “Leeds” and had a point to prove on Sunday. Raphinha and Ayling combined to leave young Meslier exposed at the worst possible time for a sucker punch. Then for the second goal Raphinha and Ayling were shrugged off down that wing again, and it was a simple pass.

This was the basis of the frustration that led to Ayling’s rash challenge and the sending off.  Which it was, as it was indefensible. The ball was going out, it was never a goal scoring opportunity. But the rush of blood to the head because of the previous mistakes, was borne out with the mistimed, misjudged tackle. The Arsenal player made a meal of it, just to make sure, but it was a red.

At 2 – 0 down, our manager had to make a change. Even though Raphinha was already dangerously close to another yellow, he left him on and took off Joffy. It was Joffy’s first start! Just leave him on! We were already losing, at least with Joffy we had a chance to score a goal. But Joffy was the sacrificial lamb for a defender to, er make sure we didn’t lose any more? Our goal difference is terrible. Was he honestly  hoping Burnley would leak another 20 goals in the next 3 games? Apathy. We needed to stay positive and look for goal scoring opportunities. We needed to think for a minute.

When Llorente hung back and waited for everyone to move, before he closed in on the far post to shoot past the keeper, we were in with a chance. The noise was immense, we thought we could peg them back at least to a draw. Or at least we could have done if Joffy had still been on. A bit of hope and belief will never go amiss. Leeds United are always asking for the crowd to be positive to help the team. How about Leeds United have a bit more faith that supporters will always get behind the team anyway, and reciprocate with some footballing alacrity on the pitch?

I have to say, it is the majority of supporters who will pledge undying support. Not those who walked out early at Leicester away after they’d spent most of the game slagging the pro Bielsa fans who were still singing Marcelo’s name. They weren’t fussed. Those who stormed out before the end of the Norwich game at ER and missed Joffy’s goal, they weren’t too confident either.

Even in the dark old days of Division 3 football, we were still all turning up. The memories of singing “We’ll score again, don’t know where, don’t know when” in ironic desperation come flooding back. We’ve never needed gimmicks like a drum or anything, we’ve always had enough zeal. Glass half full not half empty. Like the Dark old days of Division 3, we need to seriously think about hoofing the ball up to the striker up front and hoping that he gets on the end of it. No pissing about playing it out from the keeper. Get the ball, get rid. Either into the top of the East or West Stand or up to the only guy who is in front of the half way line.

Back to Sunday, not content with the on pitch antics hacking me off,  there is this:

This from our own fans. This is probably the most disappointing thing.

For those of you who don’t know, before the game, 3,000 shirts were left on the seats in the away end at the Emirates Library. Token gesture. Bit like the big “Yorkshire” sign last weekend, but with T shirts that couldn’t really be rolled into balls and chucked onto the pitch at Raphinha. Incidentally, I wonder what’s on the menu for tomorrow night. Another big sign like “Up North” maybe?

So, on Sunday, it was released on social media that Radrizzani had arranged all these T shirts to be put on the seats for the travelling away support, in support of Stuey, who went in for that challenge and came off worse. For those that got there at “normal” time, they were there, in their resplendent glory, a truly splendid sight to see. For us who arrived at the Arsenal Library in “our” normal time (10 mins before kick off), we were greeted with empty rows. Because our OWN fans, our OWN “All Leeds Are We” fans, felt fit to nick other people’s T shirts.

So much for solidarity then. Some of us are obviously more “Leeds” than others. Not that I was particularly bothered. I’ve never really needed a shirt (or colours for that matter) to show how much of a Leeds fan I am. But a spare T shirt always comes in handy, and I was a bit miffed that there wasn’t one on my seat.

So to see the “stealbay” advert today was a bit of a kick in the teeth to be honest. The T shirts were free, but up to the time of publishing, this one was up to £113 with 19 bids. At least the one underneath it is just going for a tenner (now up at £41 though). The Club will have to do something (again) just like they had to with those yellow flags which were put on the seats at the start of the season for that brilliant display. People were putting them up for £££s within days. The Leeds United superstore will now have to sell these shirts at £10 to stop fans being ripped off by charlatans like this guy.

Just think for a minute, stop being so selfish. I know times are hard, and if it is to pay for your increase in your leccy bill, at least put that in your description to stop other Leeds fans from slagging you off for ripping them off.

All it takes is a minute, just think

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Balls

Posted by on May 6, 2022 in Blog | 0 comments

Balls.

At the risk of sounding a complete mysogynist, the next 16 days are going to depend on balls. The next four games will rest on balls. It sounds funny, doesn’t it? But it isn’t a joke.

Next season, and future seasons, will basically depend on balls and how we handle them in the next 16 days.

Footballs

It’s going to depend on how good we are at putting the ball in the back of the net. Just for clarity, the oppositions’ net. That’s just for starters. But it is also highly dependent on stopping the opposition getting the ball into the back of our net. That makes it sound so easy doesn’t it? Someone put a picture on facebook of our predicted team formation against Citeh on Sunday. It was a diagram of all of the team, apart from Raphinha, stood in the 6 yard box. If that had been the actual plan, that may have worked. After all, focusing all your efforts on defence kept Sean Dyche and Burnley up all this time. People laughed at Burnley – they’re not laughing now. Dyche and his particular style of  negative football may be gone but they are in with a better chance of staying up than us. This used to be us defending…..

Ballwork – working with balls

We are also highly dependent on the simple skill of passing the ball to each other. Also another basic. Our players really need to string a couple of passes together. Unless of course, the rest of  our season is going to depend on long balls from Meslier straight to Dan James, bypassing defence and midfield. Technically this happened against Citeh anyway, when we got the ball. The long ball game hasn’t been seen in a long time at Leeds United. Not since the heyday of Colin et al and Steve Mo-ri-sonnn, where Paddy Kenny lumping the ball upfield was the preferred option because our midfield was so inept. But, it isn’t just the ability to pass it, but to get on the end of it, trap it, pass it and shoot. BielsaBall – how I miss it!

Blocking the ball

We need to get back to being able to block the ball and protect Meslier like we did the other  season. Remember that game, with that video that “went viral”? Someone put a David Attenborough voice over on it, hunting like a pack of wolves, or something, and someone else put the Titanic music over it?

this is the link from the original in case you have forgotten

https://twitter.com/LUFCMOTcom/status/1266635560304676864

and this is the story from the article two short years ago

https://the72.co.uk/169520/simply-amazing-leeds-united-fans-comment-on-video-and-bielsa-quote/

Those were the days eh? When the team was fit and not injury ridden.

The best example in recent times of not being able to block a ball was that Ward Prowse free kick. We always knew that if we gave Southampton a free kick, they would score from it. We always knew that Ward Prowse would swing one in over the wall. He always does. So why did we think it fit to lie someone on the pitch behind the wall? What was the point of that? Especially against someone who always curls the ball? Or was it more of the case that having someone on the ground is “on trend” for free kicks in the PL, so everyone has to do it to fit in? A man on the near post or even a couple nearer the touchline would have been a better tactic. We were clinging onto a slim lead, not 3 -0 up.

A speciality free kick taker. Remember them? We used to have one of those. Ian Harte, Gary Mac, Kalvin Phillips even, before Bielsa turned him into the defensive midfielding maestro he excelled in so much in the Euros. Now we don’t even have a speciality penalty taker, let alone anyone with a deadly right or left foot. I don’t know whether it is because we just don’t have anyone who wishes to step up and take that gauntlet, or whether we just aren’t confident with a dead ball full stop.

Grow a pair

At the risk of getting cancelled, we need to grow a pair. At some point over the weekend, I saw a comment saying that it looked like the team had been c*strated. Someone else watched that Citeh game and thought, like me, that the team looked a mere shadow of it’s former self. Not just in terms of the inability to win a game, defend etc. etc. etc. But genuinely, it looked like we had lost our balls. Citeh didn’t even break into a sweat. I know it was widely publicised that when the new manager came in he “adopted new strategies” and decided to designate “group leaders”. Well that’s all fine and good, but has that actually materialised into results? (Wins against Wolves, Norwich and Watford?) This is the table as it stands

At first glance, ours looks better as it doesn’t have so much red on it, then you realise it’s because we didn’t have a game that week!

I know I sound critical, and I am bitter, I cannot deny that.

We could and should have beaten Palace. Leicester were poor and Villa, well their form isn’t exactly brilliant, is it? Burnley play Villa twice in the space of two weeks. Southampton, I’ve already discussed, we cannot go one nil up and then defend it for 45+ minutes. That’s what Southgate did, and look how that worked out! We needed to go for the jugular and get another goal to settle our nerves, but we sat back and the rest is history as they say. It is now out of our hands and we can only rely on teams around us losing which is a horrible state of affairs. Until the City game, it was squeaky bum time. I had hoped Citeh would have other things on their mind, but in truth, they could have played the U23 side that was here the other day, and the result would have been the same.

Now, even with my undying optimism, I have to say despair is creeping in. For the last decade, my super power was my unwavering optimism. I always thought that we would get promoted until it was mathematically impossible. Now, until it is mathematically impossible, I am hanging on to the thinnest thread that is the relegation fight back.

Whatever happens, my season ticket, like many others’, has been renewed. This will be my 28th consecutive season, I simply couldn’t afford one before then. You didn’t need to buy a season ticket when I started going, you could just pay on the turnstile, and as for away tickets, it was never that hard to get one. I bought a season ticket because I was proud to be Leeds. I still am. It’s my club. There’s many more in the branch who have done longer. Leeds United belongs to us. The current custodians are merely temporary. We are the permanent ones, win, lose or draw.

I spoke to a guy the other day who said he didn’t think there were that many who were long term season ticket holders, apart from the ones who bought into the bond scheme. He seemed to think there was less than 500. It would be interesting to know how many people there actually are who, without fail, have held season tickets for 20, 30, even 40 years. The Chairman, Charley Megginson is one, The Secretary of the branch another. Maybe I should do a poll? Or maybe just ask Leeds United directly. 

As it stands though, whether we stay up or go down, ecstatic or sarcastic or cynical or bitter, I remain Always Leeds Always Loyal

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May 2022 update

Posted by on May 3, 2022 in News and Events | 0 comments

Update for May 2022 includes monthly branch meeting and details regarding up coming events.

Monthly Branch Meeting

The monthly branch meeting was held on Sunday 1st May 2022 at the Londesborough Club. Thank you to all those who attended.

LUSC exec minutes were discussed as were the minutes from the SAB. Hopefully everyone managed to renew their season tickets, at least the deadline was extended to the Monday after a bit of fervent emailing about problems with the website. Dave Poole asked that the size of the font used on the scoreboard be raised once again as it is impossible to read it from where he is sat. The point was made that when our new manager told everyone at the LUSC Annual Quiz about the trip to Oz, he probably shouldn’t have. Everyone who attended the Quiz was thanked, see AOB. Memberships have closed, but two new members have already filled in forms for next season. Deputy Yates was reminded that even he has to fill in a renewal form. The two raffle prizes for the hospitality tickets raised just short of £1000. Thanks to all who bought tickets, it will go some way to the cost of the sponsorship of Joffy. We are ok finance wise for travel for this season, and with the help of the football cards etc. it will go some way to mitigate any losses we will sustain for the next two aways where tickets are scarce, Brentford especially. We will look to run a bus to Brentford and share with another branch for our potential final game (!!!). Annual BBQ (see AOB) was discussed and trip to Bradford. There will be no further monthly branch meetings this season. The next official meeting will be the AGM in July (date to be confirmed). The next time we meet up will be at the Annual BBQ.

Any Other Business

Annual LUSC Quiz

The Annual LUSC Quiz was held in the Eddie Gray Suite on Thursday 14th April. Thanks to all who attended. There was a lively question and answer session with the new manager who turned up with his lad. He was particularly helpful with the situation with pre season, even though he wasn’t meant to, and really he could have talked all night but we had to start the quiz at some point before we got kicked out. Our branch plus Ripon turned out a decent showing. Team Deputy Yates, comprising of The Deputy, James Proctor and Ricky Greenwood (Rob Cartman stuck on motorway) did the best of all of us coming 6th out of 17 or 18, with Griffin and Fullerton on form, the rest of us didn’t stick chance. The rest of our teams comprising of Ripon Mark, Jordan and Morro, Smuff and his merry men, Messrs Dargan, Vickers and two others (who we once left behind at an away game and have forgiven us!) and us, Dave Poole and Peter Hart did our very best, but at least none of us came last. Next year, more revising, less drink. Remember, there’s always a question about the superbowl (that’s american football to you and me) and there will be one on some obscure TV programme that no one watches. The Choir? What’s that all about?

Annual BBQ.

The branch annual BBQ will be held on Saturday 28th May 2022. Aiming to open the doors at 2pm and the Chef to start food at 3pm. We will be ordering the usual from Addymans Butchers and Deputy Yates will look to source the vegetarian option from Asda, as well as remembering the tomato sauce. The duck and pancakes with all the usual trimmings will be available, as will the home made coleslaw and, Callum’s mum permitting, a tasty chocolate cake will add to the ice cream and meringues with fruit for dessert. As the “pay on the door” scheme to help towards BBQ costs failed last time, we will just aim to sell as many raffle tickets as possible to help out or people can just donate some money towards it. Please note, you MUST be an LUSC branch member to buy a raffle ticket.

The top two raffle prizes will be a signed and framed Leeds shirt and an autographed Kalvin Phillips boot in a case. The rest of the prizes will also include a kindly donated Ice Hockey family ticket and a Planet Ice ice skating family ticket, various other Leeds United items which have been kindly donated and some alcohol (also kindly donated). Any other donations gratefully accepted. Please let us know so we can put up a list of winning prizes in advance of the day. There will be the usual killer pool and table tennis  tournament, and hopefully it will be a good send off to the season, rather than the Premier League as a whole! We will look to invite the LUSC exec Top Table as usual and see who else we can get as well. 

Remember, the branch is a not for profit organisation. Any monies made will go straight back to our members in the form of subsidised travel, Annual Quiz and other event fees, branch costs like postage / envelopes / stationary, prizes for our raffles and next years’ Annual BBQ. Not forgetting the Player Sponsorship next season (if we can afford it).

Bradford

Anyone who can make the do for Tommy and Carol in Bradford on Friday 13th May 2022  needs to get in touch as soon as poss. The branch will look to subsidise travel but we need to know numbers.

Branch AGM

This will be held on the first Sunday of July that we can sort out with the Londesborough. It normally is the same day as the main LUSC AGM. Details to follow. If anyone has any items for the agenda, please note, these need to be received in WRITING 4 weeks before the day of the AGM.

Memberships and Renewals

Renewal forms will be sent out June sometime. You MUST fill in a renewal form EVERY year, even if you do not have to pay for your membership. New membership forms must be returned with two passport sized photographs for your LUSC photocard. It is much easier if you can print and return your form, but if you do not have access to a printer, we will send you a form in the post, provided you tell us. Forms will be available at the AGM or on the bus, but you must fill one in to be a member.

Season Tickets

Now that the club has gone all hitech and digital, (despite the poor reception at ER), we will be expected to use our phones and the QR codes that will be sent out. Leeds United are yet to officially confirm but the feeling is that they will send out emails with the QR code which can be printed off. It is imperative however, if you want us to try to help buy you away tickets, you MUST add us to your friends and family by sending us a request via the new platform. Further info at AGM. 

 

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