The last thing we need, is a hiding off Leeds!

Posted on July 27th, 2009 | 26 Comments |

Sick as ****
Sick as ****
Once upon a time, comparisons were made between the clubs based on positive notes such as the club history, the passion of the fans and their desire for success diluted with a realistic and humorous outlook on the game. Instead, the familiarity these days is apparent for a different reason. It doesn’t take a genius to draw a parallel between our decline and that of our old friends down the road, Leeds United. That’s why people have been doing it for the last couple of years or more.

Mismanagement and poor finances off the field together with mismanagement and poor performances on the field led to the downfall of the once great Leeds. A club who, less than 20 years ago (just less mind), were the English Champions. Holding off the challenge of their bitter rivals across the Pennines to take the 1991/1992 title, while the destiny of Newcastle United was being re-charted dramatically by a certain messiah (ahem….).

Of course, being in the second tier wasn’t entirely alien to Leeds, once they’d succumbed to relegation from the giddy heights of the Premier League. Leeds United’s very own messiah, Don Revie pulled off a similar feat to that of Mr Keegan, in saving them from the third tier in the ’60s, before going one better than King Kev did for us in the ’90s and leading the club to glory with Championships and Cups coming out of their ears. Ok, so we’re not that alike then……

They were also previously ensconced in the old Division Two for eight years before they rose again to the First Division in the ’89-90 season and onto yet more glory taking the number one spot in the top flight two years later. All this despite being under the stewardship of Howard Wilkinson, the last English manager to win the top flight.

In truth, Wilkinson was obviously a half-decent manager in most people’s eyes yet trying tell that to a Makem. However, if you’re going to fail miserably, it may as well be at the expense of that lot down the A19 and their Premiership status, via a record-breaking low points total.

Leeds, under the tutelage of George Graham and David O’Leary, established themselves in the Premier League and made in-roads into Europe. Not unlike Newcastle United but slightly ahead of the town in their financial freefall. By now, Peter Ridsdale had taken out loans against the likelihood of continuing Champions League football (sound familiar?). When they failed to capitalise, there was a gaping hole where their repayment vehicle should have been and Leeds had just picked up the biggest parking fine going.

The following years saw Leeds fire-fighting but the inevitable sale of their big guns to balance the books and the subesequent tension between successive managers Terry Venables and Peter Reid and Ridsdale. Neither was happy with the prospect of losing their best players nor with the inevitable scenario of Ridsdale reneging on his promise that they wouldn’t be sold.
Gerald Krasner, an insolvency specialist, led a consortium of local businessmen which took over Leeds and under his chairmanship oversaw the sale of the clubs’ assets, including senior and emerging youth players of any value. In the 2003-2004 season, Leeds finally fell with a thump back into the second tier.

The plummet was just beginning but having been forced to sell both their training ground and their Elland Road stadium in the autumn of 2004, for a brief spell it seemed the rot was stopping. The board finally sold the club to Ken Bates for £10 million. Kevin Blackwell was already installed as manager and stabilized the team by signing players on free transfers and low wages and Leeds finished the ’04–05 season mid-table in the Championship.

Unfortunately, the following season started badly and the loveable Dennis Wise was unable to stop the club sailing into uncharted territory. In the year 2007, Leeds Utd slipped into the third tier of English football for the first time in their history but not before entering administration. However HM Revenue & Customs challenged the CVA, a decision which could ultimately have resulted in the liquidation of the club. Under league rules, if the club were still in administration at the start of the next season, Leeds would have been prevented from starting their campaign by the Football League.

And so Ken Bates bought the club once again and despite a 15 point deduction, Wise guided them to the play-off places and when little Dennis left to darken our doors, former fans’s favourite Gary McAllister narrowly missed out on promotion. With a run of poor results in 2008, McAllister was sacked and Simon Grayson installed. Grayson did well but could only get as far as the play-off semis.
And so Leeds Utd begin another term in League One.

So, both clubs steeped in history, with impressively large stadiums and passionate die-hard supporters, trying to get the golden eras back but having gone into financial meltdown. What else is familiar?

Staff and ex-staff for one thing. In recent years, we’ve raided Elland Road for the likes of Woodgate, Bowyer, Speed, Batty, Viduka, Smith and (wincing) Dennis Wise though arguably, other than Speed and Woodgate, they had their better years down the road. Both clubs are also about as currently popular as one another though ironically, given the theme, for different reasons. Leeds, however, are still said to be the most hated team in the country. It’s nice to be top of something though, eh?

So then, enough of my waffle about Leeds, this is a Newcastle blog after all but their’s should have been a lesson we all learned from.

Some quite frightening scenarios that have been painfully played out for the Leeds faithful and to which we teeter dangerously towards. While we’re on our current path to oblivion, Leeds are essentially building from scratch and have a plethora of talented youngsters and a resolve to claw their way back to where they belong. We may well pass them on the way down. Hopefully we’ll come to a fork in the road and make the right choice, or at least someone will make it for us.
In the meantime, let’s hope the result of our arranged friendly this week isn’t another indication of the changing fortunes of two great clubs.

I really couldn’t take another kicking while we’re down.

NUFCBlog Author: bowburnmag bowburnmag has written 234 articles on this blog.

Related Posts:

26 Responses

  1. Wrote along the same theme earlier on my own site (from a Leeds point of view)

    I guess fans of the two clubs have become kindred spirits in a sense. We’ve been there as you say and know how devastating it is for the fans of the club.

    I wish you every success in the new season and hope both teams will be back “where we belong” sooner rather than later.

    All the best, MOT

  2. MOT – Didn’t get mine out quick enough!!

    I read your’s just after I published mine actually and enjoyed it.

    I agree with your sentiments.

    Should you read this again, all the best from up the road too.

  3. 52 – I know I do.

    For spiteful reasons obviously but I think that’s ok when it comes to the mancs.

  4. They are a group of fans entirely lacking class, cheering our demise when we weren’t even playing them. I hope they pay with their blood one day.

  5. 52 leeds were officially named the most hated side in the country though i have always liked leeds ps i think you went a little harsh on the i hope they pay with their blood one day but i can understand why you were pi$$ed off even though i never knew they cheered our demise when we werent even playing them ………….though villa are the ones i am realy pi$$ed at with them wanting us to go down than more than they wanted themselves to finish 5th ……………. i hope we get to repay the favour some day…………..although i will find it hard as i would always want the toon to finish 5th rather than ANY side go down

  6. Top notch post BBM.

    I am hoping that if Ashley’s done one good thing it’s that he cleared enough of our debts to prevent us from ‘doing a Leeds’. At least enough to mean that we can be rescued before any formal administration (should it come to that).

    Having said that, I’m not sure how it works. Does an owner simply decide to put us in administration and that’s it?

  7. Personally, I think Manure’s “fans” are the most despised in the country – they are the most arrogant, they are exceptionally abusive and their knowledge of football tends to be minimal, largely due to being glory hunters from other parts of the country who just want to be associated with success.

    I have known a few Leeds United fans over the years – and their attitude and outlook on football life is remarkably similar to our own – fiercely proud and loyal, generally come from the club’s catchment area, and an entertaining sense of humour. Obviously there are similarities in being from “one club cities” ……

    I missed them in the Prem because they always led the opposition to “Scumchester”……

  8. Morning guys – off topic but don’t know if you seen the reports that the Profitable Group have pulled their alleged bid. Syk Sports is reporting that they could not provide proof of funds. Well, well, just as we were predicting. They clearly never had any intention of buying the Toon and were just using it as a way of increasing their profile. Thank god for that.

  9. “Should you read this again, all the best from up the road too.”

    Cheers mate. May take a few years but I’m sure there’ll be a happy ending for both clubs. Frustrating to see teams like Bangor City getting massive investment whilst we continue to suffer at the hands of our respective chairmen. All the best.

  10. geordie deb says:
    July 28, 2009 at 9:03 am

    “Morning guys – off topic but don’t know if you seen the reports that the Profitable Group have pulled their alleged bid.”

    I telt yez aal aboot the Profitable Group. There never was a bid, they were just using us like a strumpet in a bordello.

    MOT, Bangor City????

  11. MOT says:
    July 28, 2009 at 7:23 pm

    “Why didn’t he got to Leeds Uni, it’s an excellent university!”

    Not too happy with Ken Beast then? ;-)

  12. “Not too happy with Ken Beast then?”

    I rank him alongside Osama Bin Laden, George Bush and the late Saddam Hussein.

    I accept he “saved” our club in some ways, but he’s added to it’s destruction in others. I can’t decide whether he’s here for the ego-trip or is a leech determined to suck whatever funds he can from us undesering fans.

  13. MOT says:
    July 28, 2009 at 8:45 pm

    “I rank him alongside Osama Bin Laden, George Bush and the late Saddam Hussein.”

    Better than I thought then!

    Is he still writing those wonderful programme notes? The ones that always seem to end up in the courtroom?

  14. “Is he still writing those wonderful programme notes? The ones that always seem to end up in the courtroom?”

    Oh yes. He uses the matchday programme as his own blog. That and the official site. I can’t believe he doesn’t get sued more often. Laughed so hard when Levy won the courtcase I was almost in tears. He still came out afterwards and critisised the judges decision.

    He just deosn’t seem to be able to keep his mouth shut. Some of the things he says you know instantly will end up in court, yet he continues regardless. I think he actually enjoys the legal disputes.

    The one club that doesn’t need more bad publicity is Leeds United. We’re not the most loved club as it is and he isn’t helping matters by dragging us through court (and the gutter press) every other week. Never a dull moment at Elland Road.

  15. MOT says:
    July 29, 2009 at 11:17 am

    “Ps. Heading up your way soonish. You expecting a better result tonight?”


    Writing for myself, I’m certainly not expecting Newcastle to be anywhere near as bad as they were at Leyton. Even with our recent difficulties, that just had to be a one-off. So, I’m expecting a better result than a humiliating 6-1 defeat at least!

  16. MOT – I’ll go for 2-1 to the Mags. Yes, I’m a little unhinged…

    Hope it’s a decent game and you enjoy the trip pal.
    I’ve got a game of my own tonight so won’t make it otherwise I’d have let you buy me a beer :D

  17. Always enjoy the trip to Newcastle. It’s been too long.

    Would also have thought Leyton Orient was a one off. We’re playing well though and gave Blackburn a tough game. Had it not been for Paul Robinson (who we spent the game singing “You’re Leeds and you know you are” to) that scoreline would have been a lot different.

    I’ll go with a draw.