Lost In Translation, despite being nominated for 4 Academy Awards, was sadly exactly that to the MPO (In fairness, Bill Murray as his Garfield persona would have been made it a better film), and much is the case in point at Leeds United right now.

I don’t mean the Club itself, as frankly the team is going great guns at present and as I said before Excelsior! The dizzy heights of The Premiership beckon. Don’t get me wrong, I am still VERY cross about Sutton, and as far as I am concerned, it will be a monumental stain on the history of Leeds United for the foreseeable future. Every cup draw, whether FA Cup or League Cup, Sutton will be mentioned in the same breath as Histon and Colchester ad infinitum.

What I mean is, that in this age of social media, it has been far too easy for fans and fan groups to get carried away with what they think being a fan is all about. Twenty years ago, the only opportunities fans had to make public comments about our beloved team was via the then Yorkshire Post (and after 3pm the Yorkshire Evening Post) fans page on the Wednesday after the Saturday game. The Leeds United fanzines, like our own “We Are Leeds” were another outlet for fans to voice their opinions in writing.  Old fashioned writing I mean.  By letter, relying on Royal mail of course, and often by the time your letter got to the required destination, things had changed anyway, so sometimes you were unlucky enough to be out of date with your comments.

Enter the age of social media, where you can communicate to the world in seconds in 140 characters. You can post pictures via instagram and snapchat, post youtube videos and live stream via facebook. Even the Luddite led Harrogate branch have begrudgingly had to go into the internet age! Alas, with this great power there needs to be great responsibility, and this is so very sadly lacking.

I have always said that all fans are entitled to their own opinions. We pay hard earned money for the season tickets, gold memberships, away tickets, bus travel on the coach etc. Not to mention those that actually buy programmes and other Leeds United merchandise and of course there is the food and drink that we spend our pennies (pounds more like) at the home games. So, people have the right to say what they want. Within reason of course.

As Sean Connery would say, here endeth the lesson… within reason.

I had quite a bit of feedback from my rant the other month, some people agreed with it, some didn’t. Some people have added us to groups on facebook as well, so when I get a spare few minutes, I have a little perusal and I have seen some of my comments repeated on others posts. What is disturbing of late is the number of comments, whether in jest or not, of fans calling other fans “plastic” and some fans / fans groups generally thinking that they have the right to call themselves better than others.

I believe that this started when a certain person took over our club. As a result of his sad misguided belief of his own self importance, a wedge was driven between us. I remember having a heated discussion with someone who continually sang “Dennis Wise’s Barmy Army” politely referring him back to frequent visits to Stamford Bridge and having to put up with Wise and Le Saux on that touchline. He was a bit miffed when I said I would never sing his name, even if he got us promoted and won the Champions League. However, the munchkin helped us into Division 3. Enough said about that ! Subsequent years under the (un) shrewd guidance of the puppet master and his muppet / puppet, including the takeover by the poorest Arabs on the planet, led to further divides, with fans getting involved and taking sides vociferously. Fast forward to the press heyday of our current owners landing blows with everyone from the FA to the television gods, and every man and his dog has an opinion. It’s like a mad Venn diagram!

Back to the point, no one has the right to say that they are a better Leeds United fan than the next bloke. I certainly don’t agree with anyone speaking on my behalf either, I am very capable of making my views known. Whilst we ( Harrogate branch) are members of the LUSC, anything that the LUSC says publicly is only said with a majority agreement of all members. This does take time given that LUSC members are spread far and wide, and some don’t use social media. It is hard enough to get the Harrogate branch to tell us who they want to vote for as player of the month, let alone any major issue like what they think of new Chairman. So, transpose this on hundreds of thousands of Leeds United fans all over the world, and I find it difficult to believe that any single fan group can wholeheartedly say that they speak for the majority of Leeds United fans, even when blessed with fibre broadband!

The new man Andrea Radrizzani met with some selected fan groups earlier this week, we are being told that the Club would like to engage with the fans more. What I would like to see is that we all have an equal voice about the issues we feel are important to us, and not whoever shouts loudest. We have an opportunity to start a new chapter of the history of Leeds United, so rather than argy bargy, lets get our heads together and bring our collective voices, whilst still maintaining our individual entities and merits, around the table. I am sure there are some good ideas that we can all agree on, which we can realistically take forward. When I say agree on, I don’t want a repeat of the “Who votes for a move to Swillington?” debate in the 2000s where allegedly we all wanted to move out of Elland Road…….

I want us to buy Elland Road back and get the West Stand redeveloped, I would gladly buy a bond to help….. anyone else?