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SHEZ PLAYOFF CENTRE SPREAD

THE SQUARE BALL


2011-2012 Issue 9 1.50

WE STILL DONT BEAT CHARLTON

56

PULLED FROM SIMONS POT

PAGES

SUE FROM HOWARDS RIDSDALE ERA PART 2 DRUNK NORWEGIANS METROSEXUALS

1987ON 25 YEARS
thesquareball

THAT FIRST FAMILIAR TASTE OF PLAYOFF HEARTBREAK


BLOG MAGAZINE PODCAST FORUM www.thesquareball.net
Fanzine of the Year

A SEASON TO SAVOUR

Contents

Inside
Technical Area
03 Contents 05 Credits Editors Note 26 The Playoff Fallacy Steve Firth on the disappointment of the Charlton defeat of 1987 28 John Sheridan Centre Spread A cool-as-fuck graphic by TBG for the cool-as fuck midfielder 30 My First Time: 1986/7 - A Season To Savour Bremners brave troops came so close to glory in 1987, but fell at the last hurdle 36 Sue From Howards Amitai Winehouses fairytale about a lady in charge of a restaurant business 38 Dreams Are Just Dreams: The Ridsdale Years This Night Has Opened My Eyes: Jon Howes journey through the PR years arrives at part two and Majestyks

Take a step back in time to your favourite era with

Up Front
06 Dear Diary The latest goings on and some silly pictures WHITE WATCHING 10 Leeds United 1-1 West Ham United The ball was in the air quite a lot 12 Leeds United 3-7 Nottingham Forest Just what the fucking fuck? 14 Millwall 0-1 Leeds United A satisfying victory in Bermondsey 16 Leeds United 0-2 Watford Somehow worse than the Forest match

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At the Back
44 It Made Me Want To Cry For The Fans Forest isnt the first time weve been trounced. Billy Bremner didnt take it well at all 48 The Rise Of The Metrosexual Adam Jubb on the man bag phenomenon - and is Neil Warnock the driving force? 51 Little Bits of Leeds Joe Mewis remembers the Vancouver Whitecaps and some very old Leeds United trivia 52 We All Hate Leeds Scum Upcoming games against Derby, Peterborough, Blackpool and Cardiff. Thank god its nearly all over. 54 The Last Word: A Matter Of Opinion Opionions are welcome at Elland Road, as long as you leave them at the turnstile. So says Uniteds CEO, Shaun Harvey.

CHARLES, REVIE, BREMNER, CHARLTON, GILES, CLARKE, CURRIE, SHERIDAN, STRACHAN, McALLISTER, BATTY, HEALY, BOWYER, BECCHIO

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18 We Came For A Party Norwegian columnist Svend spent a long, boozy weekend in Leeds with 499 other Scandinavians 20 We Support Our Local Team Simon Williams on how one becomes a Leeds fan and where the next generation is 22 Turning The Other Cheek Andy P on the delightful denizens of The Den and why Uniteds victory was also a moral one 24 Share Not Share Alike For a mere 32, somebody stands to make 4m out of Leeds United thanks to a new share issue. But who?

9.99

Professionally printed onto 350gsm art board. Handsigned & numbered by the artist.

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Editors Note

Made in Leeds
The Football Supporters Federation Fanzine of the Year
The Square Ball Unit 3, Silver Royd Business Park, Silver Royd Hill, Leeds LS12 4QQ mag@thesquareball.net facebook.com/thesquareball twitter.com/thesquareball EDITED & WRITTEN BY Michael Normanton @Michael_TSB Dan Moylan @DanTSB PRODUCTION & WRITTEN BY Paul ODowd @OddyTSB DESIGN Dan Moylan CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Daniel Chapman @MoscowhiteTSB Wayne Gamble from thebeatengeneration.co.uk @TBG2005 WITH SPECIAL THANKS TO Ian Dobson CONTRIBUTORS Adam Jubb Amitai Winehouse Andrew Butterwick Andy P Joe Mewis Jon Howe Simon Williams Steve Firth Svend Anders Karlsen-Moum PHOTOGRAPHS Diehard82, Eric Howell, Jim O, MAMF, Rowley Birkin QC, Tony M, Umnney PRINTED IN LEEDS BY PPS Grasmere www.grasmeredigital.co.uk 0113 224 8600

THE SQUARE BALL

After sacking Simon Grayson, Shaun Harvey spoke on behalf of the board of Leeds United. We felt with the transfer window 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.

The clear message was that the squad was good enough to be promoted and the only thing holding us back was Simon Graysons management. However, since his departure, we have averaged only 1.25 points per game, a total that if extrapolated across the whole season would see us sitting in 17th place rather than the 10th place that Grayson left us in. Looking back, Graysons record wasnt bad for a man who had the last months of his tenure constantly undermined by Ken and his merry men. As you would expect with any totalitarian regime, the poor results since the axe was swung have necessitated a quick rewriting of history, with the official line now that the squad wasnt actually good enough, has a lack of quality, and is riddled with division. This conveniently fits in with Peter Lorimers assertion that the board have done bugger all wrong. Who controls the past controls the future; who controls the present controls the past. Warnock may not have improved results, but one undoubtedly positive aspect of his reign is the openness hes shown in publicly demanding more from those at the top. Unsurprisingly the official site omitted it, but following the Watford defeat Warnock claimed that, we will have to invest. The chairman knows what I think and I will talk to him when he comes over at Easter. It needs major surgery. This is as big a job and challenge as I have ever had. Demands that we keep hold of our top players (and Darren ODea) have also applied welcome pressure to a board that have so far shown a desire to spend on developing buildings rather than developing the team. Personally speaking, Warnocks playing style hasnt so far endeared him to me, but if he is the man to finally place the football team at the front of the queue for cash then he will have overcome the hurdle that Simon Grayson never could.

All editorial content The Square Ball Limited 2012 The Square Ball is not affiliated to, endorsed by, or connected to Leeds United Football Club. All views expressed are those of the individual contributor and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Square Ball Limited. The Square Ball is a private limited company registered at Companies House. Company no.: 7355076. Registered office: Unit 3, Silver Royd Business Park, Silver Royd Hill, Leeds, LS12 4QQ

Michael
CHRISTOPHER LOFTUS & KEVIN SPEIGHT TWELVE YEARS ON MARCHING ON TOGETHER
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DEAR DIARY...
14TH MARCH
Adam Clayton is buzzing at the prospect of playing in front of 30,000 fans at Elland Road against West Ham. Fortunately, no random drug testing took place at Thorp Arch today. Lloyd Sam is set to join Notts County on loan for the remainder of the season.

16TH MARCH
Bring It On is the storming message from Warnock, as West Ham visit this weekend. Admitting that Leeds will have to win six or seven of the remaining games to be in with a chance of the Play Offs, and that the Hammers are one of the best away sides in the league, suggests hes hedging his bets.

an exclusive chance to get to know the new manager by way of a Q&A. Redders will be on hand in the West Stand car park, should anyone be interested or need their car parked.

goal Forest scored last night. Neil Warnock is embarrassed by the drubbing dished out by Forest and compares the performance to Sunday League or in Darren ODeas case, the Scottish Premier League.

19TH MARCH
The Under 18s keep their title challenge alive with a four-one hammering of Wolves. A brace from Dominic Poleon plus one each from Charlie Taylor and Billy Ions keep up their winning streak under the stewardship of Redders.

wall on Saturday. To concede seven is unbelievable, states the Scot, in an amazing bout of stating the bleeding obvious. Clearly the side had been building up to it with leaking four (Birmingham) and five (Blackpool) its not like Leeds dont have form in this department, Snoddy. Join the Fanpower Stadium and win 30,000 for Leeds United, PLUS, have the say on how that money is spent at your club - so claims the official site, promoting a new nPower competition. Has anyone cleared this with Ken? The totally ludicrous Facebook page asks fans to buy a seat in an equally ludicrous virtual stadium. Should you then win in the prize draw, nPower will donate 30,000 to your club and you can decide into which offshore bank account it is deposited.

references to Turkey: Please protect your club and its reputation and show that Millwall fans have class and common human decency by not displaying flags, shirts etc or indulging in chants relating to past incidents that took place in Turkey. Class? Human decency? This is fucking Bermondsey. They love their mums though. As long as theyre not foreign, or even worse, Northern.

15th MARCH
In his state radio broadcast, Ken Bates claims that due to his straight-talking, down to earth approach, Neil Warnock is no fanny merchant. This is in no way to confuse Colin with any former Leeds managers; Simon Grayson (a fanny magnet) or Dennis Wise (a cunt).

20TH MARCH
Leeds 3 Nottingham Forest 7 (SEVEN) Fans travelling to Millwall are warned that no tickets will be available on the day, and to make matters worse, all trains to and from Kings Cross will be dry... the phrase that strikes right through the heart of every right-minded Leeds fan. Itll be a very early start in Wetherspoons then.

17TH MARCH
Over 33,000 fans and Ken Bates - see a one-all draw with high flying West Ham. Honours end even as the team with one of the biggest squads and highest wage bills in the league earn a draw with West Ham.

MARCH 23RD
Warnock reveals that he thought about making a move for Sheffield Uniteds LUFC fan Nick Montgomery, but decided against breaking up the ClaytonBrown midfield partnership. Monty moved on to Millwall, as did Maik Taylor, who Warnock has strangely allowed to play against Leeds. Hes no Rachubka unfortunately.

With plenty of kids shirts left in the Club Shop stock room following the giveaway against Southampton, the club announce a second free shirt offer. This time, for the Derby game on Easter Monday. Anyone purchasing a junior ticket along with an adult ticket will receive a free (soon to be obsolete) Leeds United home shirt. While Kens in Monaco conserving his ninety days allowance, the marketing dept are having a fantastic time just giving his shit away. It wont end well Blackpool is to be a loyalty game. Fun in the sun. Well, fun. And by fun, I mean on the lash. 6
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Colin was quick to praise the support on the day but was left feeling frustrated and disappointed after letting a one-nil lead slip. If youd care to know his feelings on anything else, then youd best dig deep just 29.99 will buy you a three course meal in the Nicky Chapman Suite and

The official site runs with the headline, Chopped Down By Free Scoring Forest. Do you see what they did there? Thats right, they turned an absolutely comedic football performance into an absolutely unfunny headline. Early renewals for club memberships are available continuing the club policy of charging for services months ahead of them actually being available.

21ST MARCH
Ahead of the Budget, Britain is reported to be 1 trillion in debt, which is pretty much 1 for every

Be A Winner With Enterprise Insurance, offers the club website, as the main club sponsor offer prizes to supporters. The best prize is the advice that if you want cheap car insurance, dont live in Bradford. Advice which is equally valid if you dont mention the insurance element of it.

The club announce the Great United Shirt Auction, where signed, player-worn, match day shirts are offered to raise money for local hospices. Currently, Andy OBrien and Darren ODea shirts are up for auction. Second prize is two Andy OBrien and Darren ODea shirts. The annual South London Great Turkish Flag and Galatasaray Shirt Giveaway looks to have hit a snag for traders, as Millwall fans are urged by their club to refrain from taunting Leeds fans with

MARCH 24TH
The South London Branch of the Galatasary Supporters Club wipe their tears on their Turkish flags as a one-nil defeat at the hands of Leeds spoils their weekend. Millwalls vocal concern regarding our visit to Istanbul and the whereabouts of Gary Speed was touching. Despite warnings from the club themselves, it was a great gesture by the Millwall
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MARCH 22ND
Captain Snodgrass is hoping to banish the unbelievable at Mill-

DEAR DIARY...
stewards... to just let them carry on. friends while the staff take care of the food. Interestingly, for an event on the day that the Lord Almighty rose from the dead, our Lord Almighty, Ken, failed to drop in his now customary AD to the date. Following his rally-cry to get 30,000 fans at Elland Road for the visit of West Ham, he makes another plea to fill the ground. Youve seen who were playing, and the cost of those tickets, right Neil?

MARCH 25TH
If you treated your mum to lunch in Billys Bar for Mothers Day, to prove just how much you love her then its going to cost you to keep your dad sweet too. Fathers Day Lunch in Billys Bar on 22nd June (AD, naturally) will set you back another 22. Each. You just knew there was a valid reason for not renewing your season ticket, didnt you?

deadline looms. Yes, only in Ken Bates world, could March be considered a late deadline - for goods and services you wont receive for a further five months. If you do renew and Leeds gain promotion this season, Ken will reward you with Premier League football at Championship prices. Or in other words, Premier League football at Premier League prices.

making piss-poor teams look like world-beaters. File under same shit, different manager.

APRIL 2ND
Following the third home defeat since he took charge, Colin claims the squad needs major surgery, which again contradicts the party line spouted by both Ken and Shaun Harvey. Strangely, it also echoes the feelings of the Leeds United Supporters Trust - who have been banned from purchasing tickets, for daring to question the Elland Road boardroom.

MARCH 28TH
For fans wishing to buy tickets for Cardiff, the game has been made a loyalty game - which basically means the club realise youve got to be a bloody loyal Leeds fan to want to travel to south Wales.

MARCH 30TH
The highlights from the clubs accounts are released - although not actually filed with Companies House. Everything is fine, according to the story on the official website, and we reckon we should all just take their word for it and not even bother checking when the full accounts turn up. Billys Bar offers Prime Argentinian Beef... no, not on the menu, but striker Luciano Becchio has drawn the short straw to lunch in Billys Bar this Sunday and be available for photos, autographs and some fucking unbelievable smalltalk.

MARCH 29TH
Warnock faces a defensive dilemma according to the official site - with Bromby and OBrien injured and Darren ODea starting the first of a two match suspension, Colin admits that we are thin on the ground despite Kens many whines about our over-sized squad.

In what looks to have been an April Fools joke released a day early, the official site invites people to the Members End of Season Dinner with the opening line, After an exciting season at Elland Road and as we push for promotion to the Premier League.... As a valued member, just a further 49.50 will buy you a ticket to the dinner, giving you chance to say goodbye to the players who will be worth any money in the Summer. Leeds fans with ten or more away trips this season, have clearly seen enough as the club announce that tickets are still available for the trip to Blackpool. Just seven away trips will now earn you a ticket on the loyalty scheme. Cruelty to donkeys has long been a concern for those visiting Blackpool, but supporters are assured that Paul Rachubka will not be recalled to face his old club.

MARCH 26TH
Millwall confirm that a man has been banned for a considerable amount of time for waving a Turkish flag. The ban is believed to be ten years, which is a year for each IQ point. Cant wait until June for an overly expensive lunch at Elland Road? Then fear not, just 25 will buy you a three course meal on Easter Sunday in Howards Restaurant where you can enjoy quality time with family and 8
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APRIL 1ST
Due to lack of interest, the West Stand ticket office is to be closed. Tickets can now be obtained within the Club Superstore, where space has been made due to a recent removal of junior home shirts.

MARCH 31ST
Today is the last chance to renew your season tickets as the late Leeds lose two-nil at home to Watford, continuing the unwanted blip/streak/season of

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White Watching

npower Championship

Saturday 17th March 2012

LEEDS UNITED 1-1 WEST HAM


of cabbage, mashed potatoes and onion, it serves its purpose to sustain but never to excite - the ultimate manifestation of Leeds Uniteds recruitment policy in food form something to be consumed out of necessity, rather than pleasure? But Colcannon is not an irredeemable dish. It can be revived, even transformed with a lavishing of cream, bacon and ham; indeed, I dare say that with enough expenditure (and the serious dilution/ removal of the cabbage content) it may even be worth consuming out of choice. Leeds fans can suddenly smell that bacon, and so they return - like Lisa Riley to a familysize bag of Maltesers, they flocked back to LS11, seeking a long awaited dalliance with the good life. All supporters have wanted to see is a degree of ambition, some hope, something to cling on to, and under Warnock, those signs theyve desperately sought are just beginning to emerge; tantalising them with a cheeky smile, a wink, maybe a flash of thigh The Nike relegation season shirts and the sky blue Diadora away tops were back out in force - though none sadly adorned with the immortal Ricketts 9 - always an accurate gauge of positivity amongst the fan base. Despite the forecasts, the sun was shining, while the curry sauce outside the ground had somehow achieved new levels of luminescence; inside the stadium even Ben Frys intolerable persona couldnt undermine the mood. And it was the atmosphere that will remain as my most prevailing memory of the day. Its been way too long since I last took my place in the Kop to survey the scene and barely seen a vacant blue seat in view (the East Stand Upper is out of my sight), and the last time I can recall the pre-match rendition of Leeds, Leeds, Leeds sung with such gusto was arguably at the Bristol Rovers game. The cacophony of noise in the opening 15 minutes was a welcome reminder of better days. Almost inevitably the game rather betrayed the occasion; West Ham, despite

Well hello! Good morning my old friend! Do come in; how have you been keeping? I must say youre looking every bit as well as I remember you lovely to have you back. Please make yourself at home Ah yes, thats right, Ive kept your old resting place between the rose tinted sentimentality and hang on in there, it will get better areas of my cerebral real estate make yourself comfortable. Thats how things were playing out in my mind on Saturday morning. The beloved old friend? That was the pre-match buzz absent for so long, but its re-arrival was emphatic and widespread, evidence of it was everywhere. On the back of the Middlesbrough performance, Twitter timelines and internet message boards had played host to a thriving hotbed of optimism, belief and excitement throughout the week, a positivity that most strikingly manifested itself in the form of ticket sales. This season especially, its become increasingly easy for many to fall out of love with Leeds United. While even during much of our League One stint, a Leeds United detox diet seemed uncontemplatable, the last twelve months or so have changed a lot of views. Maybe on St. Patricks Day, it would seem somewhat appropriate to use the traditional Irish dish of Colcannon as a metaphor: at its most basic, a dish comprised

having bought anything that breathes and commands a seven-figure fee since August, were rather less ambitious in their intentions on the pitch. Despite the resources afforded to him, Sam Allardyce doesnt seem to favour the obvious steamroller the league option, preferring rather to suffocate the life out of teams before hoping to capitalise on his plethora of attacking talent at the other end in laymans terms, hes got a team of big bastards who are pretty handy from set pieces. Hes a bit of an enigma is Big Sam. Hes always tried to market himself as some sort of progressive visionary within the English game, even touting himself for the Real Madrid job, yet his teams play in a style more akin to an Aidy Boothroyd outfit, rather than a Pep Guardiola team. Then theres that headset take that fucking thing off, Sam! It doesnt so much make you look like one of your sophisticated continental cousins, more like a fat middle-aged sales rep who desperately tries to impress bystanders by having loud Bluetooth-enabled conversations in the dining area of a Premier Inn, while contemplating whether his expense account might stretch to a full English breakfast Chances were few and far between throughout that first period, a fine Snoddy free-kick the closest Leeds came, until the rather harsh intervention of the referee denied him an injury time opener, a push by Becchio enough to cut short the celebration. The second half was a continuation of the war of attrition. Although for spells the crowd remained quiet, it was a good silence, not one spawned of resignation or a worry

about where the next mistake was coming from. Rather it was a genuine tension: something was really riding on this game, and Leeds could salvage it! Football matters, Leeds games always matter, but its been a while since one really mattered - this was a fixture forever just a moment away from lighting the blue touch paper As it happened, it didnt even take a goal: it just took Paul Robinson. On the hour mark, our new left-back took it upon himself to embark on a lung-busting run forward, he even decreed to allow two Hammers players to posit themselves between him and the ball nothing was going to stop him, at least until the referee intervened. Promptly booked, he raced back to his position to roars of acclaim from the Geldard; moments later he launched himself into another tackle that nearly left Mark Noble in row K of the North East Corner, his actions igniting all four sides of the stadium into spine tingling verse I remain convinced that the thunder on the way home was a by-product of that challenge. Shortly after, Michael Brown threw himself at Keith ONeill and a mass fracas ensued, players jostled, and the rage in Becchios face was a joy to behold DIRTY LEEDS ARE BACK! That Luciano put Leeds in front was wholly apt, as he chased the ball down to keep a corner alive, then lunged at the ball as it cannoned off the bar; the manic celebrations were reminiscent of the Millwall play-off semi-final. Ending up on a different row of seats, staring at the roof of the Kop, is always a good way to mark a goal. It was a great pity that Collins should intervene at the end, and sickeningly ironic that it came from a corner conceded after a sliced George McCartney cross hes even fucking shit when he contributes something. I started the week believing we needed a minimum return of six points; I guess our slim play-off hopes might now be defined at The New Den. Were ready for a battle.

Report: Adam Jubb @Ken_DeMange TSB

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npower Championship

Tuesday 20th March 2012

LEEDS UNITED 3-7 NOTTS FOREST


If I had a quid for everyone who asked me, Ooh, what happened with Leeds last night then? Id be able to buy a baseball bat to hit them all with. What happened? Well this was a freak scoreline. However beyond the drubbing and the ridiculous result, the cracks which have long been expanding burst into open chasms. Forest werent bothered about playing football, like Leeds. But their constant hoofballs and misplaced passes were punctuated by their willingness to gamble in attack, to take a chance and go, ah what the hell. All aided ably by the rather hapless Andy Lonergan. The facts have long been clear: the Chairman said the same squad was good enough when Simon Grayson was in charge but now were still a few loans short of a bank. Umm. Anyway. The squad is not good enough. Thats the bottom line. Neil Warnock knows it, Ken Bates knows it, everyone knows it. One keeps harking back to Graysons tenure but the point remains, Leeds were only a few quality players short of a promotion charge. The continued exodus of dead wood has long been overdue and were now down to the bare bones; the incomings though, just to make a change, have been thin on the ground. Warnock has regularly mentioned his need to get one or two players here and there. The same question seems to pop up with Leeds, namely why the hell do the team never turn up on a Tuesday night game? Another was what the hell had changed so much since the draw against West Ham on Saturday? Warnock was generous to his players in

public but one hopes the half-time hairdryer stayed firmly lodged up their backsides. He said that managers learn more about their players when theyre losing, but one would be most surprised if Warnock hasnt already made his mind up about much of the squad. For fucks sake Neil, dont give us excuses. Are we really supposed to believe that seasoned professionals who train regularly and have expert fitness guidance are only capable of playing one match a week? The match was an utter debacle. After five minutes, Leeds had taken the lead through a Rob Snodgrass penalty, after Ross McCormack was tripped in the box by Adlene Guedioura. But even by then, Dexter Blackstock had nearly put Forest ahead when his toe poke squirmed away off the post Minutes later, Guedioura atoned. The Leeds defence backed off and his speculative drive from 35-odd yards swerved in the air and past a helpless Andy Lonergan. The match was painfully poor; football was sacrificed for hoofball as both sides struggled to keep the ball on the deck and when it did come down, Paul Robinson was meting out some hefty challenges, one of which ended up with him going in the book. As Leeds went back down the other end, Snodgrass made a run into the box and centred for Aidy White, but his audacious

backheel was easily cleared. From the resulting corner, Forest broke with staggering ease. Andy Reids pass to Radoslaw Majewksi had Leeds struggling for cover and sure enough, Garath McCleary found himself in acres of space down the right. His finish looped over Lonegan. Forest continued to press and Leeds defence continued to crumble. First, Lonergan didnt get close to collecting a cross, which allowed McCleary a shot off target, before Reid crossed for Blackstock to head home, out-jumping the hapless Tom Lees. I have recently been very complimentary of Lees and he has improved immensely this season, but fatigue or not, there was no excuse for his inept performance. One wonders whether the public criticism by his manager had affected him, but after being at fault for West Hams late equaliser, hes treading a thin line. Snodgrass was doing his best to help Leeds back into things and when his right wing cross found Luciano Becchio alone in the Forest box, the Argentine made no mistake. What happened next was a thing of real beauty - a miracle if you will. For Leeds, Michael Brown has never so much as even troubled an opposition keeper with anything other than his mouth, but he does have the odd stunner in him. His half volley with the outside of his right foot from just outside the box was one of the most surprising moments Ive ever had as a Leeds fan. Sadly, the elation wasnt to last. McCleary latched on to a long ball down the Leeds left and even with the angle against him, managed to fire a rasping shot into the far corner past Lonergan. Reid was again involved when he found McCleary unmarked in the box for his hat

trick, as his shot went underneath Lonergan. Leeds were just about still going and Snodgrass was unlucky when his fierce drive was acrobatically saved by Lee Camp. But McCleary then made it six with a run and shot from down the Leeds left, and late on Blackstock made it a record-breaking seven. So, these cracks. Warnock has Bates in a corner: fail to back him and Warnock will walk, regardless of what happens in the next 18 months, and Warnock will be done with football. Its the same old situation. Bates needs to back his manager in the transfer window, yet there is no precedent here, despite the fans optimism. Oddly, this result didnt leave us any worse off than before the match. *Straws* Too many good players have left Leeds, and were left with the likes of Danny Pugh. He cost *half a million* pounds. Read that again: what a ridiculous amount of money to spend on a player as woefully inept as Pugh. Ill never know what Grayson saw in him. Give or take half a dozen players, the team desperately needs an overhaul. Warnock has continually alluded to the fact that he is down to the bare bones with his squad and one can only hope he is doing this to put pressure on the chairman to dip into the warchest this summer. Last night was an utter embarrassment and a disgrace to the club - make no mistake about that. But the worst thing is, its hardly a rarity. Weve been treated to classics like the 4-6 vs Preston, the 0-4 thrashing from Cardiff, the Blackpool/Rachubka show and the Birmingham 1-4. Chuck in the defeats to Barnsley and so on and so on. At least if Warnock didnt know the size of the job facing him, he sure does now. He knows it like a slap round the face and a swift kick to the bollocks. Good luck Neil.

Report: Jennifer Berry @jenberlufc TSB

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npower Championship

Saturday 24th March 2012

MILLWALL 0-1 LEEDS UNITED

Millwall away always gets the adrenaline going and this was no exception. We arrived in the sunny capital just in time for swift refreshments in the Barrowboy and Banker hostelry near London Bridge station. The atmosphere inside the pub was electric as the gathered clans of the extended LUFC family lustily ran through the Leeds United songbook. Confidence was high despite the seven goal drubbing by Forest on Tuesday. Weve kept clean sheets on the last three away trips, I kept reminding everyone. London Bridge station seemed to have more Leeds than Millwall fans as we made the last leg of the journey to The New Den. Saint Neil had made just one change to Tuesdays team, bringing in Alex Bruce to centre half with Tom Lees moving to full back. Connolly moved to the bench. The opening exchanges were unsurprisingly robust with Snoddy in particular receiving and dishing out some tasty tackles. The New Den is not the place for shrinking violets and Leeds were certainly up for a battle. The first twenty minutes were tense and scrappy with neither team showing any quality or confidence to put their foot on the ball. This game clearly wasnt going to be a classic in the footballing sense. Chances were at a premium with our most threatening spells

coming from free kicks, while at the other end Lonners easily dealt with Millwalls brief dallies in attack. As the half drew to a close the 2,200 Leeds fans tried to lift their team, but at the whistle my mate Gary summed it up succinctly: Youll struggle to write much about that half. There had been too much ball in the air, and too few players willing to get the ball down and play. Millwall looked jittery at the back but Becchio was struggling to take advantage. Leeds came out for the second half in a much more positive manner. They were attacking the stand where the our fans were and seemed intent on gaining the impetus. The busy Ross Mac received the ball with his back to goal and hit a shot on the turn, but Maik Taylor got down well to save. This was better and the decibel levels were lifted in the ground as both sets of fans tried to out sing each other. A game that had 0-0 written all over it in the first half was now looking like it could even become a goal fest. Henry received a yellow card for diving as Millwall had what seemed like a good penalty shout turned down, soon to be followed by another ask for a penalty. Leeds rode their luck and broke quickly with Clayton driving out of defence before releasing Snoddy on the inside right channel. He taunted the defenders as he danced into the box before picking out Ross Mac in the six yard box to give Leeds the lead. Get innnnn! Ecstasy all around as the travelling army celebrated. Now, could we keep another away clean sheet? It looked unlikely as within two minutes Andy Keogh had won a penalty as he was brought down in the box. Millwall fans were slightly miffed by the ref s quick whistle for

the spot kick as a Millwall player rifled a shot past Lonners into the net. A penalty it was though. Why cant we keep our heads after we score? Darius Henderson stepped up to take the kick but the roof coming off the away stand told you that Lonners had saved the kick and Leeds were still in front. Excellent. Millwall pushed on looking for an equaliser and leaving space at the back. Leeds exploited this on the counter attack and Ross Mac should have killed the game as he created a chance eight yards out, only to fire his volley straight at Taylor in the home goal. Nerves were jangling even more just minutes later when Millwalls Robinson rattled the bar with a header with Lonergan well beaten. Four minutes of added time gave Millwall hope but a classic piece of gamesmanship by Neil slowed things down. First the number 4 was held up on the subs board and Alex Bruce sauntered across to the half way. In the.meantime Neil was telling Ross Mac to take up a position on the far wing, only to decide that the 4 should have been a 44 all along and Ross had to come off from the other side of the pitch. Nice one Neil. Talk about taking the sting out of the game! The final whistle sounded to signal

Leeds first win in South Bermondsey for four years. The Leeds fans celebrated while the Millwall fans drifted away home. This was a hard fought win for Leeds who rode their luck to keep a clean sheet. Michael Brown had another good game and Ross Mac was a thorn in Millwalls side all afternoon. Lonergan atoned for his seven goal embarrassment with a fine penalty save, and Snoddy showed in patches why he is a class apart from the rest of his team mates. This was not a classic by any stretch of the imagination - an instantly forgettable first half was followed by an exciting second as both teams tried to win the game. It was a much needed win after Tuesday for Leeds but one that wasnt fooling the realists amongst the Mighty Whites travelling fans. The long journey home gave time to reflect on Leeds position in the table, still just three points off the play-offs. It seems that nobody wants to cement their position in the top six at present. Any thoughts of bridging that gap still seem unlikely in my book. Dafter things have happened, but with away trips to Reading, Blackpool and Cardiff to be negotiated between now and the end of the season its difficult to see anything other than a finish just outside the coveted top six. Watford are up next at home. Can we keep a clean sheet at home as well as away? I do hope so.
Report: Andrew Butterwick of Travels of a Leeds Fan http://leedsfan.blogspot.com/ TSB

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White Watching

npower Championship

Saturday 31st March 2012

LEEDS UNITED 0-2 WATFORD


Onwards to Beeston, where Leeds United were once more offering all and sundry the opportunity to pay one more visit to the Elland Road last chance saloon. An invitation to indulge on over-priced refreshments of negligible quality while watching the Leeds United dancing girls perform for your pleasure on the vast green stage. In recent weeks, so many fixtures have fallen into last chance saloon category that the club could have probably opened up a network of branches; plans are already afoot for a Reading franchise, although supporter interest is understood to now be on the wane. Its as if the club has become the footballing equivalent of the Little Chef, marketing games as one more opportunity, another little pit stop at which to treat yourself on the collective journey to destination Premier League. However, like those stung by the Little Chef experience, many Leeds fans have seen it all too often before, and they no longer feel tempted to pay upwards of 30 to witness the depressing spectacle of eleven journeymen struggling to make any sort of headway against another collective of allegedly inferior journeymen. Indeed, even the brief rush of joy and nominal nutritional value to be derived from a Little Chef breakfast often compares very favourably with the produce to be had in LS11. And so it showed in the attendance, the shadow of the Forest nightmare looming large in too many minds as only 21,766 bought into the onward rolling of the playoff bandwagon rhetoric. Today marked a resounding victory for the pragmatists, the realists and the naysayers; their collective barrier of pessimism, shielding them from the spirit sapping spectacle that was barely able to occupy the minds of those whod thought otherwise. Leeds started the game as they intended to go on, in a lackadaisical fashion that as time passed, sought to redefine the meaning of the word apathetic. Inside six minutes they trailed, and deservedly so as Paul Robinson attempted a fancy flick later charitably described by Warnock as criminal which only served to free Troy Deeney down the right; Bruce backed off, and off, and then off again, before deciding to stop being such an irritant and to just get out of the way; a confused Lees was torn between following his man or the ball and did neither as Iwelumo was played through 1-0. If there was a response, I must have missed it, maybe between blinks; a couple of ineffective Alex Bruce headers and a palmed away Robert Snodgrass cross were the best of the first half-highlights to be shown on the big screen. After the interval it was barely better, the hopelessly ineffective White replaced by the barely involved Webber. Apart from one awful miss from Snodgrass and a brief flicker of promise from Nunez in a sub cameo, Leeds offered nothing. Arguably the

most compelling debate was about the area of pitch that offered most cause for concern. Becchio, obviously targeted as a key man by Watford, was strongly marshalled by two or three players at any one time, the allaction grafter of previous weeks reduced to impersonating a draught excluder. That was Plan A down the toilet, so what about Plan B? Sadly, any alternative course of action demanded a little more bravery on the ball, some thought and creativity seemingly a step too far for our midfield. Then there was our back four. Bless those crazy guys they never lose the ability to surprise! Have we really fallen so low that Darren ODeas absence should be felt quite so keenly? Lees and Bruce were up against Troy Deeney and Chris Iwelumo, the former, a man who averages a goal every seven goals, his senior partner, one in five; yet the pair resembled Samuel Etoo and Didier Drogba in their prime it was like men against boys, John Parkin and Preston North End all over again. In fact, all over the pitch Watford dominated the physical battles. Lees in particular looked a broken man; his confidence shot to pieces in the aftermath of the Forest game. There was a strong argument for him to be withdrawn at half-time, and the case was only made more convincing as he pathetically surrendered the ball to Deeney, who really should have added a second. Not to worry, the clincher was shortly to follow and it was every bit as bad as the opener: Shaun Murray going

unchallenged in the box, despite a first touch that took the ball 5 yards away from him, Deeneys shot parried by Lonergan straight into the path of Iwelumo... Lees gave up and having waited since October for a goal, Iwelumo now had two. Even Paul Connollys late dismissal couldnt come to our aid; though his impending absence and the reaction his stupid challenge drew from Warnock, who deemed it irresponsible and a sign he obviously doesnt want to play at Reading thats how I saw it, provided at least one crumb of comfort. Warnock indeed had a lot to say at the end; all of which rang true and was very close to the bone. He was quick to push Eddie Gray aside from his fence-sitting to label the performance as drivel, and providing a telling assessment of the playing staff: What we havent got is enough of everything havent got enough guts, havent got enough quality, havent got enough desire you name it, we havent got it! He then went on to talk of the major surgery required as Eddie flapped, desperately trying to cut short the interview before the manager could propose crazy notions like spending sprees thatd be liable to give his employer heart failure. I loved his plain talking. We were clueless, our characters on the pitch did go AWOL, and yes we were only playing Watford! Watford for fucks sake, a team managed by a man with a voice better suited for a kinky premium rate phoneline, and a club that couldnt even manage to incorporate a stag into their club badge (thats a moose!) - never mind the fact they regard Luton Town as credible rivals. Theyre shit! And yet they beat us comfortably! Where does that leave Leeds? Warnock can plan, coach and get in players faces all he wants - fact is, we have nothing like the personnel we require to prosper. Sound management can prove enough to win some games, too often though, it isnt. Anchorman was on TV later in the evening and as Paul Rudd unveiled his Sex Panther cologne, he boasted,Theyve done studies you know. 60% of the time it works all of the time. The Bates propaganda machine might want to use that line in the next programme notes.

Report: Adam (@Ken_DeMange) TSB

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Norwegian White

WE CAME FOR

A PARTY
@svendleeds

In the last issue of TSB I prepared you for the invasion of 500 Leeds fans that was coming over from Scandinavia to watch the Leeds. So lets just be thankful we got to have a party before witnessing the 3-7-defeat home to Forest. Whether Paddy Kisnorbo feels the same, Im not too sure...

o matter how many helmets you got in my How to spot a Viking guide in the last issue, I hope that if you did come across one of our people it was a good meeting. Despite losing the 1-0 lead at home to West Ham, our supporters stayed optimistic and cheerful throughout the whole weekend. Lets recap a few of the events. Most of the 500 people, of which 370 came from Norway, 100 from Sweden and another 30 or so from Denmark, flew in on March 16th from all different places in the three countries, to various airports in England. Were still frustrated there is no direct route from any of our countries to Leeds/ Bradford airport, so if you know someone who can pull a few strings, let me know. I think the guy who travelled the longest way among us was a fan in his forties, bringing his wife and two kids over from Bardufoss in the north of Norway. This is high up north, close to the Russian border, and his route was Bardufoss (also known as Snowmanland Airport) Oslo London Leeds. It took a full day to get there, they stayed for two days and spent another full day to get home, and it all cost around 1,200 plus food and drinks. I think its actually for the better that he only stayed to watch the West Ham game, because what followed on the Tuesday must have felt like a stab in the back from the team as they managed to allow seven goals against a bottom side. I think we all felt that, of course. But if you think what a game like that does to the attendance of the future games from the
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local supporters, imagine what it does to this guy who travelled 2000 kilometres to be there. But we had a good time in Leeds. Every night our travelling fans enjoyed the bars, pubs, restaurants and other options across Leeds. Numerous pubs were reported to be out of beer at various times. One of the highlights happened on the Sunday night. After emptying the Old Peacock and the Commercial Inn of beer, and after being thrown out of The Hop for being too loud, nearly 100 Norwegians were gathered at the Scarbrough pub by the railway station. With a lively atmosphere inside, one guy in our group noticed that Patrick Kisnorbo was walking by on the outside. The scenes that followed are best described by the pictures on these pages. The joy and craziness that followed, and the probably not so understandable phrases that Paddy had to interpret from his disciples, made the trip worthwhile for several of them. Paddy, perhaps the player in our squad who is most Viking of them all, got hugs from girls and men of all ages, and all shapes of drunkenness. He took it in great sport, even though he was only out on a Sunday walk and of course unprepared for the encounter. I had planned to use the rest of this piece to describe the incredible party scenes that came after we beat Forest and got back on a real play-off-push, but lets not go there now. Lets just pretend that this season was worth something, and look forward to the excitement of getting the fixture list in June and getting some new trips booked. TSB

Svend, 27, is a life-long Leeds supporter from Fredrikstad, south of Oslo in Norway. Currently a digital advisor at a global media agency, Svend is also the editor of Leeds Uniteds Scandinavian magazine The Peacock News. As a student, Svend lived in Leeds for a year and held a season ticket. These days he travels from Norway several times a season, and his running total is now 49 proper matches and 10 preseason games.

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Childhood Choices

eading the article Leaving Liverpool by Andy Wilson in TSB Issue 7 got me thinking about the whole issue of how children choose which team they will eventually support as adults, and how I think this has changed over the last twenty or thirty years.
Lets start by going back to my own childhood, a long, long time ago. Born in 1968, I have very vague memories of football in my early childhood, but I clearly remember pestering my dad to take me to see Leeds long before attending my first match with him, at home to West Ham on 8th April 1978; I was nine years old. Prior to going to the match, hed kitted me out in an Admiral Leeds shirt and matching tracksuit top. I was so proud and felt I looked the part, but why Leeds, why had I chosen them as my club all those years ago? I think a number of factors played a part in my choice of team. Firstly, my dad had been brought up a Leeds fan. He was born and brought up around Batley, then the Ardsley area, so not far from Elland Road. Hed not been a big fan, mainly attending the European matches of the sixties, but he was Leeds and he didnt mention any other team. Secondly, I was born and brought up in Wakefield, and while Doncaster and Barnsley were probably the nearest teams to where I lived, they were South Yorkshire, and I was West Yorkshire, and therefore there could only be one team for me. The third reason was my peer group: my mates, other kids in the school, kids you saw at the high school and looked up to. Who did they support? Well, in the main it was Leeds, although I do remember one lad in my last year of primary school (1979) who was a Liverpool fan. I think his dad was from Liverpool, and I also recall a Spurs fan, although Ive no idea why he supported them. Predominantly it was Leeds. When we played football after school and on

WE SUPPORT OUR LOCAL TEAM


By Simon Williams @_swcoach
weekends, everyone had Leeds shirts on and I always wanted to be Arthur Graham! You didnt see a red or a blue shirt apart from in school football, where in those days you only seemed to be able to get red or blue kits, and it was always a fight to wear a blue one. We could never wear red even in those days. So how do others choose which team to support, then and now? I always thought most people did what I did, picked a team

There is a real chance that a lot of kids could grow up supporting a team they have no affinity with, and will probably never get to see their team play live.
close by who your dad supported, but its not always the case. My mate Dom, who grew up in Watford, was taken a few times to see them play by his dad, but his dad also supported Arsenal. The 1972 F.A.Cup final came along and coincided with Doms new-found interest in football, so unlike me he decided to rebel against his dad and support Leeds, and hes never changed. His son is now also a Leeds fan, and although they still live down south, they see nothing

unusual in their choice of team. These days however, its all different. It seems that kids support the team at the top, or the one who is on TV most often, and this concerns me. Why? Because there is a real chance that a lot of kids could grow up supporting a team they have no affinity with, and will probably never get to see their team play live, only ever watching them on TV. I think there are a number of factors why this is the case. Take Leeds again as an example: walk into the sports shops where I live in Harrogate and what do you see hanging up? Man Utd shirts, Liverpool, Everton, Newcastle, Sunderland, Tottenham, Chelsea - but no Leeds. This is because Ken Bates, in his wisdom, has insisted on Leeds shirts only being sold in

the Leeds store, which means a kid who wants a football shirt, but maybe cant afford to go to a match, goes into a sports store and has a choice in front of him that doesnt include Leeds. Now, bearing in mind that hes probably been watching Sky Sports with its bias towards games involving Man Utd or Chelsea, they will tend to plump for one of those shirts and be already lost to one of the big teams as a result of a poor retailing decision. But should parents take some of the blame too? Talking to a bloke at work the other day, a Wigan fan whose son supports Man Utd, I asked him why that was, and he said, well, his mates support them and you cant stop them can you? I argued that yes you can; take him to see your team, or take him to your local team. He lives close enough to Leeds, York or even Middlesbrough, so why let him support a team just because they win things, just because they are on TV, or just because his mates do? Peer pressure is a big aspect and it was in my days too, but at least it was peer pressure to support your local team. Now its a you cant follow them, they dont win anything attitude. My wife, a teacher in the Leeds area, has done a survey in her class (Year 3 7/8 year olds) and also in Year 6 (10/11 year olds). In Year 3, only 30% support Leeds; Man Utd topped the list with 40%. By Year 6 it has changed a bit, with almost half supporting Leeds, but with still 52% supporting other teams. Pleasingly there are no Chelsea fans, but a couple of Man City fans are creeping in, which again goes to show that success plays a part - teams at the top attract the kids. Im not sure if anything can change this, or maybe it is just the natural way of things and we just have to wait until Leeds are successful again and the kids will all come flocking back. I do think that Leeds are missing a trick though, by not allowing shirts to be sold in other retail outlets. I am happy to say though that, of my four kids, all class Leeds as their team and two of them love going to the matches. The youngest will be joining me as a season ticket holder next season, so at least I can say Ive done my bit for supporting the local team! TSB
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Boring Boring Millwall

TURNING THE OTHER CHEEK


Words by Andy P

www.arcticreviews.co.uk @arcticreviews

ts your choice of clich: Leeds fans are born, not made; cut us in half and wed bleed white, blue and yellow; Leeds choose you not the other way round; but supporting United is always a real source of pride to me. Well, 99% of the time anyway.
Of course some of this attitude stems from our hugely attritional existence, having the arrogance of belief in our divine right to a place at footballs top table, and the kind of phenomenal support that brings 500 Scandinavians to a match in the second division against West Ham. I could cite another hundred reasons as well, but last Saturday at the New Den epitomised why the common perceptions the haters hold about us, as a body of fans, are usually wrong by a country mile. On this occasion, rather than conform to the stereotype and in the face of extreme provocation, the groupthink thought about it, considered the possible reactions and, to the very probable bewilderment of their tormentors, responded in a fashion of which Gandhi would have approved. It is well documented now but, as the Turkish flags, throat slitting gestures and hilarious knife-based chanting were trotted out ad nauseam by footballs very lowest common denominators, instead of ripping

out seats or making up sick equivalents by singing about the death of Pat Butcher, the away supports riposte was to sing, Boring, boring Millwall. Hardly Shakespeare, but obviously it was the spirit and not the words that held the greatest significance. In the past the reaction has been very different: heated, sometimes even violent; but in turning the witless ignorance back on itself the solution to the problem presented itself in all its dimensions. Put simply, by ignoring it, the possibility of it going away comes closer. I could write a few thousand words on why Millwall as a club should be thrown out of football, but that in itself would be unfair and, on reflection, inappropriate. As doomed to failure as they were, at least the administrators of the club took some kind of preventative measures and have subsequently handed out a banning order, taking action at last after nearly ten years of behaviour that belongs in the playground, exhibited by the small majority of the troglodytes that infest every stand in the ground. As an organisation, however, they need to take a long, hard look at themselves. In the way that shit attracts flies, the South East London outfit draw in the kind of diaspora that you would believe exists only in clich step forward the pseudo hard-nutted Geezer, always ready to tuck up some nonce and living in fear of being mugged off. They are in fact a clearly identifiable cultural phenomenon, a self styled mob with all the sociopathic tendencies of internet trolls a go go, people for whom Millwall is as much a symbol of a vanished white, working class London with all its post-modern Arthurian values as it is a professional football club.

That the officials seem to be unable to face the harsh reality of the situation is a case study in denial; their customers are hugely proud of an attitude of antagonising anyone that they touch, and by extension - and to paraphrase their iconic anti-hero Brick Top being self-styled horrible cunts. The people that attach themselves to Millwall are almost unique in this respect; mistakenly believing that the fact they have voluntarily chosen to selfstigmatise entitles them to opt out of normal social conventions. An article published recently summed this crass belief system up, purportedly written by a Decent fan. The piece was basically a criticism of the clubs pre-match warnings about conduct, claiming (although never really articulating precisely why) that the perfectly reasonable request to behave like something approximating a human being was unreasonable on the grounds of... well, because Millwall fans are allowed to do whatever they like. By the way, the author of the piece in question warned me in a private Twitter conversation against Doing a Speed, and told me to Avoid knives. Bless. We of course are far from perfect, blameless, or without acts in the past to be ashamed of - too many, in fact, to mention here. But at some point, in dealing with the Millwalls of the world, or with any other of the bogheaded third rate NEET hangouts (Leicester, take a bow) which United seem damned to patrol for the next half decade at least, a new approach needs to be taken. Because people frothing at the mouth,

screaming insults and generally getting upset is of course exactly what these goons want. Safe behind a line of police and stewards and being picked up by mummy after the match, they can draw their fingers across their collective throats with impunity, their only worry being a mild ticking off from an orange jacket. Consequences? There arent any. The antidote is obvious but difficult: ignore the chants and pity the instigators. This might sound very religious I know, but Im not about to start any cosmic chanting and the application here is a practical one, as opposed to making some bread and a fish go a long way. If theres no response, or in the case of last week not the response the protagonists are after, their game will eventually become boring. Im not for a minute saying that the Neanderthals who think that the death of football fans is somehow funny will disappear immediately, if ever, but by removing their reason for being and treating them as the sick irrelevance they are, as we did at Millwall, the chances must increase of them sticking to casual racism, casual sodomy and/or casually liking John Bishop. Nobody is suggesting, by the way, that the murders of Christopher Loftus and Kevin Speight should somehow be forgotten amongst this; indeed, its the fact that their families have been through genuine tragedy that allows us to have a different perspective on situations like that. Acting like grown ups may not convince the kids, but do it for long enough and eventually theyll move on. Oh, and before I forget, doesnt Kenny Jackett have a weird face? TSB
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Show Me The Money

3.2M IN AND 4M OUT. BUT WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THE NEWLY ISSUED PREFERENTIAL SHARES IN UNITED?

SHARE NOT SHARE ALIKE A

ccording to a Special Resolution document that The Square Ball has obtained from Companies House, during December 2011 the Share Capital of Leeds United Football Club Ltd - which has stood at 500,000 since the club left admin in 2007 - increased, to 500,032. This additional 32 related to the issuance of 32 Preference Shares to parties whose identity or identities is not disclosed. According to this document, while the shares have a nominal value of 1 each, they were purchased for 100,000 each, and when they are redeemed each share will be worth 125,000 - a total of 4m, for an investment of 3.2m - a return of 25% The document also outlines three circumstances which would trigger the redemption - or in other words, the sale - of the shares: 1) A change in ownership of the club or holding company; 2) liquidation of the club; or 3) if the major shareholder decided to buy back the shares. All three of these triggers set the sale of the shares at the same price 125,000 per share. The Preferential status of these shares also means that, in the event of the club entering administration or being wound up, the holders of the 32 shares would be paid the 4m value of their shares before any payment was made to Ordinary Shareholders. This puts the Preference Shareholders in the queue ahead of the owners of Leeds City Holdings - including, via FSF Ltd and Outro Ltd, Ken Bates.

What is not revealed in the document is who is the beneficiary of these 32 shares; whether any other transactions are involved, apart from the payment of 3.2m to buy the shares; whether any other agreement exists, which provides more details about the value of these shares or dates for their redemption; or why the club has decided to issue these shares now. Preference Shares in general can have different uses. They can be used by existing owners or shareholders to ensure that they are paid a guaranteed amount in the event of a sale of the business, liquidation, or other unknown event. The terms of the document mean that, should the club be sold, the owners of these 32 shares will be paid 4m immediately, and so an existing shareholder could use Preference Shares to guarantee the minimum they would make from a sale. Another use for Preference Shares is as an alternative to taking out a loan. The benefit to the company is that no regular repayments are required and so cashflows are not impacted, and the amount to be paid - 4m - is defined in advance. It also does not show on the accounts as debt. The benefit to the loaner is the guaranteed value of the return, and the better premium than would be brought from the interest on a more normal loan - in this case, 25%. The amount involved - 3.2m - suggests that this is the most likely explanation, and that these Preference Shares have been issued as an alternative to taking out a loan, but it is not clear with whom this has been arranged, what the money is required for,

or indeed when repayment might be due. This loan would also appear to be separate to the 5m facility the club has spoken about with regard to part-funding the East Stand works. The headline announcements of the Financial Reports on the official website, revealed that, After the year end we entered into an agreement for a 5,000,000 facility to part fund the East Stand Development, and the accounts themselves include a note stating that: Leeds United Football Club Limited entered into an agreement whereby it sold season tickets for both the 2012/13 and 2013/14 season for a sum of 5,000,000 after the year end. More information about this has been posted on our blog at www. thesquareball.net, but it seems clear that the 5m raised from selling a proportion of our season ticket revenue, and the 3.2m raised from this share issue, are separate. Unusually for a loan, the document makes no mention of an agreed timescale for payment of the 4m - redemption of the shares can be triggered only by sale, liquidation, or if the major shareholder decides to buy the shares for the agreed amount. In this case, the major shareholder of Leeds United FC Ltd, via Leeds City Holdings, FSF Ltd, and Outro Ltd, is Ken Bates; meaning that, if these shares have been issued as an alternative form of loan, the unidentified loaner(s) have no agreed repayment schedule with

Has 4m share issue helped to fund East Stand building works?

The document makes no mention of an agreed timescale for payment of the 4m redemption can only be triggered by sale, liquidation or if the major shareholder decides.
the club, and the timing of the payment of 4m for the 32 shares is entirely at the discretion of Ken Bates. As ever, this latest event behind the scenes at Leeds United raises more questions than it answers, and again leaves fans wondering about the true state of affairs at the club. After several seasons in which the 500,000 share capital that constituted Leeds United Football Club Ltd has been owned by Leeds City Holdings, our ownership structure now factors in 32 additional shares owned by persons unknown 32 shares that cost 3.2m, but are collectively worth 4m, and which give their holders preferential status over Leeds City Holdings - with no explanation for

the change. While the headline announcements of the 2011 Financial Reports suggest that the club was in good financial health in June 2011, we are still left waiting for the reports themselves to get a more complete picture, and must now wonder to what end these 32 shares were issued in December 2011. Are they a means for the present Ordinary Shareholders to guarantee themselves 4m in the event of a sale, or worse, a liquidation? Or if the share issue is as an alternative to a loan, who are the ultimate beneficiaries of the 4m, and why did the club require a loan of 3.2m at an interest rate of 25%? This and the money raised using future season ticket sales mean Leeds United have taken steps to raise some 8.2m in recent months, which will be repaid through 4m of shares and an unspecified proportion of our ticket revenue - surprisingly large figures for a club that claims to have no external debt. Or is there some other explanation, known only to those in charge of the club? As ever, a little openness could go a long way here. Leeds fans are continually told that our club is being run along sound business lines, built brick by brick, that risks wont be taken with the clubs finances to fund expensive player purchases. But the continual lack of transparency, set against the increasing visibility of the results of spending off the pitch, and now the news of a sudden issue of Preference Shares to persons unknown, yet again leaves Leeds fans worrying that while there may be no risks being taken on the pitch, are the club yet again taking risks off it? TSB
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1986/1987 Special

THE PLAYOFF FALLACY


Words: Steve Firth

75% of teams in the play-offs dont go up. Promotion is the objective, not the play-offs. The first season of their introduction to English football, 25 years ago, taught me that. The play-offs were introduced in 1986/87 to bring spice to the football seasons end, yet in their first year the play-offs lacked the glamour they have now. There was no history, no Wembley final, no precedent of sudden-death ecstasy - or sudden death despair. Also, as with all change, many people found the new ways hard to accept. The naysayers griped that the team in third place had proven themselves worthy of promotion over a full season, and it was unfair that they would have to face play-off encounters that handed teams below them in the league an equal chance of moving up a division. The response was simple: no one ever said football was fair. Leeds 1986/87 season demonstrated the playoffs inequities to the full. United had a poor start to the campaign and in any other year would have been out of the promotion race before Christmas. The lure of the play-offs proved strong though as the club put together a superb second half of the season, and Billy Bremners side finished fourth, a distant seven

he play-offs offer life during what would otherwise be a dead season, hope where maybe there shouldnt be any, and joy for those who claim the ultimate prize. Fans, players and the media love this great end-ofseason finale. It was Leeds Uniteds play-off aspirations that led to the sacking of Simon Grayson. The man with a record few Leeds managers can equal lost his job because his team couldnt access the Championships golden zone, third place to sixth place. Now in the wake of the Forest defeat Neil Warnock is trying to extend the meaningful part of Uniteds season by claiming, rightly or wrongly, that his tenth-place side remain in the play-off hunt. How strange. I can understand Huddersfield Town and Sheffield Wednesday sacking managers as automatic promotion slips through their fingers. Thats a reason for taking action. But I cant follow why you would sack a manager for fear of not reaching the play-offs. Thats an excuse to be rid of someone. The play-offs are a goal some clubs aspire to. In the Championship teams refer to Mays football lottery with same the reverence as Premier League sides have for Champions League places. Except there is a flaw in the second-tier thinking: only one team from the play-offs achieves promotion. Play-off failure cheats the fans with the illusion that the season was successful when it wasnt. Play-off failure isnt a stepping stone for next season, its failure this season. Play-off failure masks a clubs inability to gain promotion. Play-off failure hides a lack of ambition. Play-off failure is spin. Youre either promoted, relegated or stay in the same division. Aiming for the play-offs is preparation for failure, as

At kick-off Leeds fans outnumbered Londoners 15,000 to 3,000, with almost half of the ground empty thanks to Charltons supporters apathy.
points behind third placed Oldham. To twist the knife, United beat the Boundary Park men in the play-off semi-final, going through on away goals. Leeds had finished below Oldham in the table, scored the same number of goals in the playoffs, and yet still managed to eliminate the team from over the Pennines. Hardly a good advertisement for the fledgling system. The Whites encountered First Division Charlton Athletic in the play-off final. With both legs ending in 1-0 wins for the home sides, and extra-time failing to split the clubs, a one-off play-off was required to settle the play-offs. On Friday 29 May 1987 the two sides met at neutral St. Andrews: the winner would play their next seasons football in the top flight; the loser would be doomed to the second tier. Id been to Leeds four play-off games before St. Andrews, but as I didnt have a season ticket, I didnt have an automatic right to a ticket for the one-off

game. As usual with key Whites matches, demand exceeded supply and I didnt get a ticket. Disaster. But on the morning of the match I received a phone call: my mother-in-law had two spare tickets, did I want them? Did I want them? Frantically I rang mates and organised transport, then booked the afternoon off work and it was next stop Birmingham. Four of us arrived at St. Andrews about an hour or so before kick off. Typical of English stadiums in the pre-Taylor report days the ground was decaying, desolate and, in parts, disgusting. With a trip to Oldhams Boundary Park fresh in the mind it was difficult to decide which venue was more worthy of the accolade of The Worst Stadium in the Known Universe. St. Andrews was, in one respect, vastly superior to its Lancastrian counterpart: fans could see all of the pitch. Standing as the majority of supporters did in 1987 near the halfway line, we had an excellent view of the action. At kick-off Leeds fans outnumbered Londoners 15,000 to 3,000, with almost half of the ground empty thanks to Charltons supporters apathy. Like the Whites previous play-off encounters the game was a tight, tense affair. 90 minutes of football shadowboxing kept the scoreline at 0-0, the only incident of note occuring when Leeds lost captain Brendan Ormsby to injury, something that would cost the club dearly in both the short and long-term. In the first extra time period United earned a free-kick just outside the Charlton box. John Sheridan, by far the Whites most talented player, hit a superb curling shot and a few seconds later the ball smacked into the Charlton net. Leeds fans celebrated with a mixture of elation, shock, and relief: 1-0 Leeds, next stop, the long-awaited return to the promised land. Except it was not to be. During the second half of extra time Peter Shirtliff, from two corners, exploited Ormsbys absence from Uniteds defence and scored a decisive brace. Just seven minutes had separated Leeds from promotion, and many Whites fans cried at the final whistle. I was one of them. As at the Coventry FA Cup semi-final a few weeks earlier, Leeds travelling faithful had been magnificent, their numbers and passion a credit to themselves and the club they love. Even after Charltons followers had long left the ground the Whites massed ranks waited for their heroes to return from the dressing room to give the players one final show of appreciation. On a May night in 1987, in a so-near-yet-so-far scenario Leeds United are now very familiar with, play-off footballs ruthlessness was put on display for all to see. Now, twenty-five years later, dont give me the play-offs again: give me promotion. TSB
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27

1986/1987 Special

MY FIRST TIME
1986/7
A SEASON TO SAVOUR
Words by Adam Jubb @Ken_DeMange school, and I had just got a paper round; I was both mature and financially independent enough to go it alone. My first Elland Road encounter dates back to 1982, a trip to witness the Whites final game in the top flight, a 2-1 success over Brighton. The seasons that followed were lived mostly from my bedroom through the medium of Radio Leeds; Saturday afternoons and weekday evenings, I listened desperately for score updates and hoped against hope that the Whites would assume precedence over Bradford, Huddersfield and Halifax for the coveted second half commentary slot. The soundtrack of those years was a mixture of underwhelming performances and humiliating defeats 5-1 at Shrewsbury and 6-2 at Stoke and periodic instances of atrocious acts of hooliganism. On the final day of the 1984-85 season, rioting at St. Andrews tragically cut short the life of a child, crushed as a wall collapsed Uniteds darkest hour off the pitch. The humbling at Carrow Road ensured the club finished the following season in 14th, the lowest ebb on the pitch. It was a bleak period, but for a kid schooled in mediocrity and hypnotised by the glare of those fabulous diamond shaped floodlights the tallest in Europe and visible from the top of my street, several miles away that was immaterial. I just HAD to be there. Besides, this new season brought new hope and promise. Billy Bremner had brought in a cluster of new signings, including one Keith Edwards. Brought in from Sheffield United for a hefty 125,000, Edwards was as close to a sure thing as could be found amongst Division Two strikers 119 goals in 191 games stood testament to that. In truth, the other signings were not quite as exciting, and I did take an instant dislike to Jack Ashurst: he bore a striking similarity to my forty year old uncle and had the moniker of a man a couple of generations older. I was immediately sceptical, and I was right: he was shit! Still, signings were signings and Ronnie Sinclair, Russell Doig and John Buckley were optimistically revered as potential future stars, rather than hopeful cheap punts... again, I was young and naive. So we had new players, an exciting new kit and after years of deals with local companies, who even many Leodiensians had never heard of, we suddenly had the big name of Burton sponsoring our shirts. For a boy whose pocket money was paid in denominations of silver and who had been battling a mums predisposition to shop for my wardrobe in Leeds market ever since Id outgrown the Mothercare clothing range (she had a staff discount), Burtons represented an aspirational fashion ideal, and now they were sponsoring Leeds United once again, we were big time! The season now couldnt come soon enough, but I still wouldnt be there to see it arrive. My season, my week-in, week-out Elland Road pilgrimage, commenced in early October. The catalyst was the clubs cheap schoolboy tickets initiative. All of a sudden, a casual announcement by my PE teacher changed everything a limited number of passes would be available for collection, straight after school on Friday afternoon, on a first come, first served basis.
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26th April 1986; a warm, late spring afternoon, and there I was sat in the North West Corner, buzzing with excitement, watching Leeds United bring their home campaign to an end in front of a hardy 13,868 souls with a 2-0 win over Carlisle United. The fact that victory spelt relegation for our visitors barely registered in my mind. I was at Elland Road and Andy Ritchie had fired Leeds to a win.
The true depths to which our club had fallen by this stage were lost on me. While regulars were doubtless debating whether the Leeds Uniteds stock could plunge any lower, I stood at the bus stop in Leeds city centre, studying the results and table in the late night final newspaper, surmising that a three point return at Norwich may yet earn the Whites a top 10 finish. The next weekend, the Champions battered us 4-0. Wise Heads 1, Youthful Naivety 0. 30
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I make no excuses - I was still basking in the glory of victory, and besides, it was one of only a handful Id seen on my cherished visits to LS11. At the time I had to rely on my dad to take me, a man who had grown accustomed to the success and scintillating football of the Revie era, but who through a combination of sharp decline on the pitch and the rising spectre of hooliganism of it, had long lost the desire to take his place on the Lowfields Road terrace. But next season was going to be different: I was going to the big

31

1986/1987 Special

the immortal words, You may go! On occasion shed toy with us, revelling in the tortured impatience written across our faces, before giving the signal. A chaotic rush always ensued, and someone invariably hit the tarmac en route, but somehow we always made it to the front of that queue: first in line as Mr Wade distributed the prized slips of card from his damp, sweaty office/hovel in the depths of the boys changing rooms. I went to the games alone and looking back it surprises me a little that I was able to get away with it; although society in the mid-80s was deemed a lot safer place for children in most respects, football was an exception to the rule especially at Leeds United. Only weeks before my first trip, Leeds fans had rioted again, overturning a chip van at Odsal - the notoriety of our support was at an all-time high. I used to spin a tale to my parents that I met a mate and his dad at the ground, which was an ingenious lie, plausible and also very necessary. Truth be told, that option was actually open, but the trips to Elland Road represented for me my first expression of independence. It all began with the visit of Crystal Palace. A perfect start a 3-0 win with my hero John Sheridan scoring from the spot and the new Messiah, Keith Edwards, scoring a late goal in front of the Kop; it was only Keiths second goal after a slow start to his Leeds career, but would surely prove to be the spark he needed to recapture his Blades form. That was another of those football lessons that I would quickly learn over the coming months. Next up were league leaders Portsmouth who were soundly beaten 2-0 in front of over 21,000 fans, the highest gate in over a year. Id arrived, Leeds had arrived and I was basking in the magic of it all. Match days would never be long enough. Id be at the ground for 1pm, pick up a programme and then head to the turnstiles, impatiently awaiting their opening at around 1.30. Once in, and armed with a Wagon Wheel (or a meat and potato pie if I was flush), Id head up to my vantage point behind the wall overlooking the right hand side exit at the back of the Kop - boys pen? Pah! With my spot secured I could relax and drink in the surroundings and flick through the programme to discover fresh nuggets of info, like David Rennies favourite meal and TV show; then a little after two oclock, the players started to emerge, the programme

was put away and I watched, transfixed by the spectacle. I looked on in awe as John Sheridan curled the ball in from all angles, Keith Edwards made ten yard darts from standing starts and Bobby McDonald went through series of stretches and twists that seemed to coalesce in perfect unison with Madonnas True Blue as it played over the tannoy. Portsmouth, as it happens, wasnt a false dawn, rather a precursor of what was to follow in a season that had it all, and that provided a grounding in three key tenets that have underpinned my Leeds United existence ever since: play-off final heartache, cup semi-final defeat, and key player sales. The player in question was Ian Snodin, sold to Everton for 840,000 during the winter, yet despite the void he left behind, Leeds were still to sail perilously close to glory on two fronts. The FA Cup run remains one of the most magical episodes in my time following the club; it also brought into sharp perspective the degree of hatred that existed for us on a national scale. The decision of the police to switch the third round tie with Telford to The Hawthorns on safety grounds had pundits clamouring for a giant killing for the good of the game; a certain Emlyn Hughes was especially vocal on Football Focus. Thanks to Ian Baird, the team delivered a fine twofingered riposte to all and sundry. A routine 2-1 win at Swindon set up a 5th round encounter at Elland Road with QPR; it was the biggest game I had been to and it remains one of my most cherished. The demand for tickets on the day was incredible: despite the turnstiles being locked at 2.30pm, the Kop was dangerously overcrowded and by kick-off, thousands of fans had been left locked out and disappointed. Those lucky enough to be in the ground, or at least catching part the action from the rooftops behind the South Stand, were party to one of the finest atmospheres ever created at the stadium, arguably second only to that Leicester game during our spell in Division Two. When Brendan Ormsby stormed in at the back post to bury John Pearsons flick-on with only minutes remaining, leaving a young David Seaman rooted to spot, my ecstasy was mixed with a degree of panic from barely being able to breathe in the crush that ensued for several minutes. A week later came the ultimate delicious irony: a visit from Emlyn Hughes. He arrived at the ground with Andy Gray in tow as part of a promotion for the newly launched Tracker bar. Pretty promotional girls gave away thousands upon thousands of the bars to supporters (I ended up taking about six home after liking the taste of the first) who chose, rather than

to consume them, to use them as unconventional weapons of choice. Pre-game, you had to be on your toes as Trackers rained in from all directions in an unrelenting, torrential shower; I caught one on the side of the face, and it hurt! But it was during half-time that they began to be more effectively deployed. Hughes came on to the pitch with Gray, hands held aloft in acclaim after all, who didnt love this genial, giggling, Liverpool legend and Question of Sport stalwart? Well, Leeds fans! Quick to vent their dislike, chants of Wem-ber-lee, Wem-ber-lee!... resounded from the terraces, along with rather more personal taunts of Emlyn Hughes is a wanker! Is a wanker! and Theres only one Bill Beaumont! The chants were accompanied by an intense hail of Tracker bars Hughes wisely restricted his walkabout to the centre of the pitch before making a hasty exit, stage left. Pity the poor Bradford City keeper who couldnt do the same in the second half, subjected to a fresh cascade of tasty oat and chocolate snacks from the Kop with every goal kick. The Wigan quarter final came and went; experienced on a big screen in the manic surroundings of a bouncing, sweaty, beer drenched Queens Hall suddenly this was getting serious! The wait that followed ahead of the semi-final draw was almost

The lucky holders of an official pass and a square of card with the school stamp on it could exchange both at the ticket office on match days and gain access to the boys pen, all for the princely sum of 50p. Needless to say, the announcement was the prelude to months and then years of hysteria. I, like many of the hardcore new breed, were cursed with physics on Friday afternoons; the subject itself was not so bad, but the location of the hut - a remote outpost, as far away from the changing rooms as possible - was far more troublesome: we were immediately at a disadvantage in the stampede-cum-free for all for passes. Our teacher, Mrs Latham - who appeared to be on a one woman crusade to revive kitsch 70s fashion, years before Jarvis Cocker emerged into the public eye - at first resisted our attempts at lining up at the door long before shed concluded the lesson, jockeying for position ahead of the 3.30 flat race from Hough Side; but soon she resigned herself to the inevitability of it all. Every week it was the same, a handful of us awaiting 32
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A routine 2-1 win at Swindon set up a fifth round encounter at Elland Road with QPR; it was the biggest game I had been to and it remains one of my most cherished.

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33

1986/1987 Special

intolerable; no televised post-match draw featuring charismatic members of the football royalty to provide immediate gratification back in 1987; no, the draw was always held on a Monday lunchtime at 12.30pm, Radio 2 providing a live feed from Lancaster Gate as Bert Millichip groped the balls from a velvet sack while fans said their prayers. I raced home from school during the lunch hour to hear the words I being praying for: Number 3, Thats Coventry City Will play... Number 4 Leeds United Yes!!! We could beat Coventry, we really could!! Then came my first heartache as a Leeds supporter I couldnt get a ticket. Only season ticket holders, members and Junior Whites were guaranteed one of the 22,500 Hillsborough tickets. School passes? Dont count for anything, sonny. It was left to my mum to try and secure one of the remaining 6,000 tickets come the day of general sale; arriving at Elland Road at 8am she found 18,000 fans already ahead of Only season ticket holders, members her in the pecking order dream over.

minutes of extra time remaining, all at the hands of Peter fucking Shirtliff two goals in four minutes from a man who had four career goals to his name in over 200 appearances beforehand it could only happen against us! Again, the ordeal had to be lived through radio commentary, ITV yeah, we know deeming the game worthy only of late night highlights. I may have witnessed more glorious seasons and far better Leeds sides, but the 1986/87 campaign remains one of my most beloved. We havent reached an FA Cup semi-final since, and Ive not experienced a more thrilling domestic cup tie at Elland Road hell, the team even turned up for a play-off final! Then there was Shez, still my all-time Elland Road hero - like McAllister, only somehow better, a million times cooler and universally immortalised. Then at the height of his powers, I dare say he could have healed the sick with one touch of his hand, maybe even ended poverty with a deft flick of his right boot - at times rose-tinted nostalgia makes players seem better than they were, but having re-lived the John Sheridan tribute video on YouTube, if anything my memory has undersold his brilliance. The Season to Savour review remains my most watched LUFC related video, endlessly re-watched over that summer and for years beyond. I can still repeat large snippets of Tom Neeshaws amateurish commentary, verbatim. Sometimes even now, while on the Kop, I find myself reminiscing about QPR: Back-header by Ormsby, Yes!! Pearson, a header to Ormsby; Brendan Ormsby gets the second goal for Leeds! Yknow what, Brendan? Its been twenty-five years now, and since then the likes of Cantona, Kewell and Bates have all left darker, indelibly unpleasant stains on our history. I think its finally time to forgive and forget. TSB
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To add insult to injury, the match wasnt even of the 22,500 Hillsborough tickets. School shown live on television. I had to settle for Radio 2 commentary, as ITV only deemed passes? Dont count for anything, sonny. the game important enough to show in full on a one hour delay (and then only in the batterings of Plymouth and Birmingham. The latter Yorkshire region); even then, ITV was fucking shit! was especially memorable as I had to bus it straight to However, even pre-equipped with the knowledge that the game from a wedding and found myself standing it was coming, it was still no easier to watch Brendan on the Kop in a suit mortifying for a young boy. Not Ormsby let our hopes slip through his legs, rather quite as horrendous as what followed, as one bloke than launch Coventrys into the stand. Ive never fully took it upon himself during the game to get his knob forgiven him. out and have a piss; he sprayed indiscriminately in all directions and took no prisoners, his legacy partly With the cup dream dead, the play-offs (a new evident on my immaculate new trousers. While it was innovation) ensured everything remained to established etiquette for many to urinate in the sinks play for in the league. Uncharacteristically, Leeds to avoid the queues at half-time, this guy was a real responded fantastically in the run-in, winning the maverick. last seven home games to secure fourth spot. There were thumping victories on the way, including 4-0 So to the play-offs, where Keith Edwards, after a season of doing little, fleetingly became the God wed anticipated, his 88th minute goal gave Leeds a narrow advantage to take to Boundary Park. I followed the second leg from a minibus on an extended family trip to Skegness, jumping from my seat as an even later Edwards goal forced extra time. I remained in the minibus while the others explored the park as Leeds saw out a nervous thirty minutes to clinch an away goals victory. 34
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and Junior Whites were guaranteed one

Charlton followed and the sides traded 1-0 home victories to set up a one-off replay at St Andrews. Brendan Ormsby scored the winner at Elland Road, though in my mind the goal was Bob Taylors; the young striker had beaten the keeper and all Ormsby did in smashing the ball over the line was deprive Taylor of a cherished moment, a selfish act committed in the cause of clearing his name after the semi-final debacle shameful conduct in the eyes of an already embittered young Leeds fan. Itd take far more than that to achieve his redemption! So, one final huge game, and more disappointment: my father wouldnt allow me to travel to Birmingham alone, and in the aftermath of the rioting two years previously, didnt feel enticed by the prospect of being part of Leeds Uniteds first return to the ground since. As it was, only 18,000 attended the game unthinkable today but a reflection of the times; the old Division One wasnt the all-singing, all-dancing, vacuous cash cow it now sadly resembles under the Premier League banner. Leeds fans occupied three-quarters of the ground while Charltons pitiful 1,500 strong following congregated in a remote corner. It was the Londoners of course who travelled home delighted, Leeds somehow conspiring to lose a game they led with 8

35

Catering For All

A cold opening. A large open space. Empty. There are tables with chairs clustered around them, but not one of them is occupied. Across our view walks a woman, middle-aged, brunette, adjusting her navy suit and blouse. The camera follows her. She takes a seat in a chair, well away from any of the tables, and looks straight down the lens of the camera. I know Im late! Im sorry, Im sorry, but we finally had a customer! The sense of joy at this information is plastered across her face, much like the copious amounts of cheap makeup. It was ridiculous, he walked in here with his family. He asked whether there was a table free. We served him food. He paid his bill at the end of the meal. It was like nothing Ive ever experienced before. You can hear muttering from somewhere off screen. Whats that? Oh, right. Yes. Im Sue. Im the manager of Howards Restaurant, here in scenic Beeston. Words confirming this fact appear in the bottom left of the screen. What do I do every day? I, and the rest of the staff here, prepare for any guests we may have arriving in the next weeks and months. I mean, weeks, not months. I mean, days, not weeks. I was told to tell you that, you see. Kenny said it...well, it doesnt matter what Kenny said. Kenny? Oh, thats the boss. The real boss; I just manage this department, the restaurant. Kenny is always telling me that Im his favourite. Youre my favourite, he says. Usually hes looking at a bottle of Port when he says it, but I know he means me. Hes in here all the time, smiling away with that beautiful 36
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SUE FROM HOWARDS


A modern day fairytale by Amitai Winehouse
@awinehouse1 | www.spoughts.co.uk grin of his. Although Im not sure Im meant to tell you that. Hes only meant to be here less than ninety days a year. He says its because of some stupid rule. You know how it is, these governments. Always make the honest small businessman suffer. Although, and I dont know whether I should tell you this, but Kenny and I had an argument recently. He definitely went down in my estimations. It was because of that budget meeting. She frowns at the memory. Her heavily lipsticked lips contract as though she is remembering a foul smell. There was a new face at the meeting. This Neil character. Nasty Neil we call him here at the restaurant, right fellas? She turns around and looks at the cast of characters doing no work in the background, expecting some sort of response. We pan up - someone is pretending to wash dishes. They are clearly already clean. No reply. Well, anyway, this nasty Neil comes into the meeting. New person. Seems nice, greets everyone, smiles, shakes hands. Massive nose. Seems a proper Yorkshire man, so I think Ill like him. Then he has the audacity to sit right next to Kenny! Hes a newcomer, so why does he get to sit near Kenny? Not that Im the sort to get jealous, oh no, but for years, Ive been sat right next to him, passing him notes about the other departments, making sure that we here at the restaurant get the right sort of support. It was me that came up with that fancy French wine evening idea after all. Kenny loves France, so I thought itd appeal to him. We sold two entire bottles! Kenny even promises hell pay within the next tax year. Anyway, years of hard work, and it all goes out of the window because of this Neil. What did he do exactly? Well, he only went and said that his department was the most important! Apparently hes been organising the staff football team or something? I remember the last head of his department, Simon. Now Simon, he knew his place. Lovely man, terrible lisp. Knew hed gotten an easy job, just because Kenny likes watching some football every so often. He just sat in these meetings, waited for every other department to get their money, and then asked Kenny at the end if he could use what was left to hire some cheap labour from abroad to help him out. Sometimes he didnt even ask for that, just gave some pensioners a chance at work. I really liked Simon. I dont even want to get into what we got up to at the Christmas party. So Simon goes, and in comes Neil. From the minute, the very minute that he sits down, hes acting all pally with Kenny. Hes asking him for

things, and Kenny, Kennys clearly under pressure. Neil asks him for a bag of footballs, he agrees. Neil asks him for someone to help him out with the side, he agrees. Neil says that in the summer, hes going to have to spend millions on the team. Kenny agrees! Who does this man think he is? What does football have to do with Leeds United? Leeds United is about corporate facilities, Yorkshire Radio and Howards Restaurant. Maybe the football makes a little bit of money for 23 days a year, but what about the other 340? Does Neil really think anyone comes to Beeston for the football? Sue scowls. I mean, I dont blame him. Dont get me wrong, Im not jealous of Neil. Im really not that sort of person. Who wouldnt want their department to be the biggest? Who cares that Kenny has a new favourite? Who cares that Kenny came over to me and muttered in my ear that we might have to cut some staff here to fund the football team? Who honestly cares that I might not be able to take a bottle of fancy French wine back to my husband every night? Sue is becoming visibly annoyed at the situation at hand. Im not concerned. Howards Restaurant is integral to the future of Leeds United. She speaks in a manner that suggests self-doubt. Im not going anywhere... Pause, the sound of cutlery being moved from drawer to drawer. Leeds United would be nothing without me. Shaking her head. Im still his favourite. Pause. No, Kenny couldnt manage without me. Pause. Never. Pause. Fade to black as Ill Cry Instead by The Beatles plays over the credits. TSB
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37

Tough Times

DREAMS ARE JUST DREAMS: THE RIDSDALE YEARS

PART 2 OF 3

THIS NIGHT HAS OPENED MY EYES

Leeds United. There was a blanket silence from the club as the fans hoped and prayed that the players under suspicion were just a couple of Academy hopefuls, unaware of their stature and responsibilities. It couldnt be anybody near the first team. Surely nobody would risk the situation the club was in for the sake of a few beers on a quiet Monday night? What transpired over the next few years made me question everything I had ever known about footballers, their clubs, their management, the media, the FA, the judicial system, my friends, my work colleagues; in short, my life. It triggered a decline in my love for the game that is still on a downward trajectory today. Most stories have a defining moment, but at the time we dont know it. That the two players arrested under the more serious allegations had a market worth approaching 30million between them was certainly newsworthy, that was undeniable. The polar opposite ways that this news was received by the nation and by Leeds fans could not have been more obvious. Bowyer and Woodgate were two of the brightest stars in the new Leeds, and they were two of the biggest sticks the media would have to beat us with. They were

Ridsdale was a colossus in this situation. He stood tall and dignified, fighting our corner, but he was bullied into playing the game by UEFA.
immediately banned from playing for England by the FA, despite not yet being charged and the prospect of any trial still many months away. We could only dream of equal treatment from the FA as that afforded to Tony Adams, appointed England captain following his custodial sentence for drink-driving charges, or subsequently to Steven Gerrard: doubt, suspicion, paranoia. The season continued in unusual fashion. Away fans had new material to berate us with, but we continued on an even keel and maintained second place behind Manchester United, this despite receiving an FA charge for a melee involving all the players on the pitch at home to Spurs. Spurs were also charged, but you never heard that bit. The UEFA Cup run took in glorious wins against Spartak Moscow and AS Roma, and suddenly a fearless jaunt through the opening rounds had launched us into the semi-finals, and a daunting tie against Galatasaray of Turkey. My only previous interest in Galatasaray had involved childish sniggering as they dumped Man

anuary 11th 2000 started as an ordinary working day for every Leeds fan; Tuesday morning, another day in the endless drudgery of the rat race. It ended with a world turned upside down and an explosive keg of intrigue. Doubt, suspicion and paranoia had made an unwelcome return to our serene and engaging world.

Words: Jon Howe


Two days earlier, Leeds had destroyed Manchester City at Maine Road in the FA Cup, winning 5-2 and scoring a procession of fabulous and almost insolent goals. Leeds Uniteds young side had received many plaudits in recent months, and although passing comments describing them as a popular team seemed far-fetched, it was clear that OLeary and Ridsdale were doing the right things in changing the populist image of the club. It was all going in the right direction, until today. I sat at work, and listened to news stories about two Leeds players being arrested for assaulting an Asian student. Immediately the witch-hunt was back on, and all vague hopes that Leeds United could for once be viewed in a positive light again proved false. Leeds were back on the front pages: the media wasted no time in milking the opportunity to turn the clocks back and remind the nation what a cancerous club we really were. It wasnt about two professional footballers, it was about the club, the fans, all of us.

Utd out of the Champions League in 1994. Their ground and fans held a fearsome reputation which they revelled in and openly promoted, to the point that even English fans could see the sinister nature of their glorification being a step too far. And so it proved. Wednesday April 5th 2000, the night before our UEFA Cup semi-final, two Leeds fans were brutally murdered in a street attack in Istanbul. The details of how the incident had occurred were lost in a wave of national sympathy, and every Leeds fan felt a kinship with the victims. The build-up to the game was dominated by discussions about whether it should actually go ahead, as it seemed everybody from Leeds just wanted to get out of Istanbul. Ridsdale was interviewed at the hospital in the early hours of the morning, minutes after escorting the brother of Christopher Loftus to identify his body; a duty you would think was outside of his responsibilities, but he stood up to the plate. Ridsdale was a colossus in this situation. He stood tall and dignified, fighting our corner, but he was bullied into playing the game by UEFA. There was no minutes silence, no black armbands, and the Galatasaray fans continued as if nothing had happened. The English media leapt to our defence, but it meant nothing. The young Leeds players, in the biggest game of their careers, could only participate in a hollow non-event. How brilliant it could have been. We lost 2-0 despite a manful second half rally. Galatasaray attempted to get the second leg switched to a neutral venue for fear of reprisals, and in the end sensibly refused tickets for Elland Road.

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We went out 4-2 on aggregate; we didnt care. In the wake of the murders Elland Road became a shrine for Leeds and many other clubs fans. Ridsdale hugged fans at half-time during the next game away at Villa, and Arsenal players threw bouquets of flowers into the crowd before mauling us 4-0 at Elland Road. Our form slipped alarmingly and we just managed to claim a coveted Champions League spot on the last day of the season. The Champions League qualification was an immediate signal for the club to move up a notch at every level. Strongbow were our new sponsors, somebody we had actually heard of. Leeds United Travel and Leeds United Financial Services were impressive and necessary new additions to the clubs portfolio, we assumed. Dacourt, Viduka and Matteo were signed to bolster an already impressive squad. We wondered where the money was coming from, but we had faith in Ridsdales business structure. He was the archetypal fans Chairman, and we had faith; he was one of us. Season 2000/2001 started in patchy fashion. The league form was inconsistent but the Champions League ignited everything that was right about the club. Progressing through groups containing Real Madrid, Barcelona, AC Milan and Lazio was tangible success on an unprecedented scale, and for the first time ever this was success filtered of any controversy or malice. No media bias, this was pure football success. Each game was an event of epic grandeur. The players raised their game

to match the very best, and you sort of knew that this kind of form could never be attained again. Kewell was injured for the first quarter of the season and he was average when he returned. Given his sensational form in the previous season, it seemed inconceivable that we could prosper without him, but we did. Two more signings had us questioning the sanity of the whole situation, however. Robbie Keane came on loan from Inter Milan, yes, Inter Milan; and Rio Ferdinand for a British record fee of 18million from West Ham. This was now serious. You could sense the nation was questioning who the hell we thought we were, but still we sang Ridsdales name as he paraded Ferdinand on the Elland Road pitch. We actually sang his name. He had done this for us. We shuffled uneasily in our seats, but said nothing. Dont upset the applecart; doubt, suspicion, paranoia. The long overdue court case began in February 2001. Woodgates form had long since disappeared and he looked frail and ghostly throughout the proceedings, a visual concession of apparent guilt. On the other hand, Bowyer was an absolute inspiration and used football as a glorious release,

Two more signings had us questioning the sanity of the whole situation. Robbie Keane came in on loan and Rio Ferdinand for 18m.
and we loved him for it. The sensationalist headlines that recorded the case were no surprise, but I spent every working day scouring the news for snippets of information from the days events in court, and defending the players to all and sundry, praying they were innocent but secretly fearing the worst. Nevertheless, the facts suggested right from the off that Bowyer was clearly innocent and Woodgate was sort of guilty. But nobody else bothered to read or digest the actual details of the case. The alarming aspect was the bitter in-fighting that this had clearly created within the club. You could only imagine what harm it was doing: factions and cliques forming, whispers and huddles in training, players giving evidence against teammates, the club solicitor badly advising players over their version of events. But all through this we had prospered on the field, and none of it made sense: Ridsdale must have been a worried man. In the middle of all this distracting and concerning intrigue, OLeary appointed Brian Kidd as his First Team Coach in a move that mystified and alienated many Leeds fans. A coach of

great reputation, he had failed miserably in the number one role at Blackburn and will always be synonymous with Man Utds 1990s resurgence. The image of Kidd leaping onto the Old Trafford pitch and embracing Ferguson in celebrating a vital winner, in the sixth minute of injury time, during their first Premiership win of 1992/93, particularly sticks in the throat, an indelible stain on his character. To rub salt further into the wounds, this move was seen by fans to demote Eddie Gray from his position of Assistant Manager. OLearys halo was askew and he hadnt noticed it, and neither had Ridsdale. Form slipped; doubts, suspicion, paranoia. The one saving grace was that the court case would soon be over, and the club could move on. We would finally know the truth, and we could emerge from the rock we had crawled under. Judgement day was getting ever-nearer, and while we had all become experts in the complexities of legal proceedings, patience was wearing thin. One Monday as I searched the internet for news of the verdict, I saw headlines I could not believe. A Sunday Mirror interview with Muhammad Najeib the father of attack victim Sarfraz - had caused the trial to collapse. This was truly the very worst case scenario, and I was speechless and apoplectic with sheer bewilderment. How could something this high profile have such a shoddy non-ending? The thought of going through this whole episode again just didnt seem possible: I couldnt compute it, the entire sorry saga was going to continue for another year. As if Leeds fans didnt have enough reasons to boycott the Mirror group after their pathetically bitter two page spread by Emlyn Hughes the day after our title win in 1992, now one editors decision had lead to the torturous agony continuing. The lives everybody involved would continue with a sense of precarious doom for yet more uncertain months. Pressure not lifted; doubts, suspicion, paranoia. Mid-table for much of the season, we had a minor resurgence after the court case collapse and went hell for leather in pursuit of the third place finish that would regain Champions League

qualification, as three rather than two English teams were now allowed the Golden Ticket. Many impressive away wins kept us in the top five, but valuable points were dropped at home, not least when a last minute Wes Brown own goal was dubiously chalked off for offside, denying us a win against Man Utd and making a nonsense of the new passive rule that was fleetingly enforced throughout the season. We ended up finishing a gallant fourth, but it might as well have been fourteenth. Our only hope of avoiding the riff-raff in the UEFA Cup was to actually win the Champions League, but we lost 3-0 to Valencia in the Semi-Final. Oh, and Valencias first goal was a blatant hand-ball, and the inspirational Lee Bowyer was banned from the second leg the day before the game for a questionable offence that the referee had missed in the first leg; doubts, suspicion, paranoia.
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The Champions League windfall may have been better spent giving foundations to the finances, but instead we added more names to an already weighty squad. Injuries to Bridges, Kewell and Batty had led to much uncertainty over their futures and in came Robbie Keane on a permanent deal (13m), Seth Johnson (7m) and, unbelievably, Robbie Fowler (11m). The numbers just werent adding up. Exacerbating the confusion was the clubs announcement that they wished to move to a new 50,000 seater stadium. We were all bewitched by Ridsdales nonsensical ambitions, as 87.6% of

Did we need a new stadium? Hell yes, why not? Did we need a Premier One Grand Prix team? Hell yes, why not?

no sensationalist headlines - people had grown tired of that - but the pressure was still there, the doubt, the uncertainty, the not knowing. Until finally one late December afternoon the news was out, and I was right all along. Bowyer was innocent, Woodgate was guilty. What I hadnt expected was the buildup of vitriol that was released the next day in the national press. The victims story could finally be released and every paper tried its best to ensure anything with a connection to Leeds United was sullied and blackened beyond repair. Bowyer, despite being found innocent, which was obvious all along, was pictured on the front page of one paper with a bloodied nose and an expression of gnarled ecstasy on his face. The fact that he had a Leeds shirt on and was celebrating a goal scored at Old Trafford, just after sustaining a facial injury, was not explained. In the eyes of the nation, he and Leeds United had got away with it. Their minds were made up.

us season ticket holders voted Yes to a move like brainwashed lab monkeys. Did we need a new stadium? Hell yes, why not? Did we need a Leeds United Premier One Grand Prix team? Hell yes, why not? Neither actually ever happened, but thats what was on our agenda in these strange, strange times. In a role reversal from the previous season, sketchy European form led to a Fourth Round UEFA Cup exit to PSV, but league form was decent and we hung around the top three until Christmas. Ferdinand was now rightly captain and his long-held reputation was now visibly based on solid evidence. The second court case began in November 2001, nearly two years after the original incident. A week before it, and to add more good news, the national press gleefully reported that Robbie Fowler was arrested in Leeds after the players Christmas Party - wrongfully as it turned out, but that was an addendum that barely registered. Woodgate had started only one game all season, and Bowyer was injured. This time you knew what form and pattern the trial would take. There were 42
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That day we played Newcastle at home in a pivotal game. Falling behind early, Bowyer equalised a minute later, and Ive never celebrated a goal quite like it since. It seemed so right. Leeds were 3-1 up in the second half, cruising, and on the way to concreting second place in the table. At that point Eirik Bakke was penalised for hand-ball in the box, despite having the ball hammered at his face from approximately one yard. Ball-to-hand is how the pundits would normally describe it, and 100 times out of 100 it wouldnt be given, but not today. Decisions change history. The penalty was scored and ten minutes later Nolberto Solano was speeding past Ian Harte, who seemed to be wading backwards through quicksand, and he made it 4-3 to Newcastle. It was a painful, shuddering defeat, a psychological hammer-blow; all renewed hope was lost, the legs were gone, we never recovered. Shot. TSB

DREAMS ARE JUST DREAMS: THE RIDSDALE YEARS PART 3 IN ISSUE 10 OF THE SQUARE BALL

Humiliation

IT MADE ME WANT TO CRY FOR THE FANS


Words by Moscowhite
@MoscowhiteTSB

7-3 may have been a first, but its not the only famous humiliation in our history. Read on, if you can bear it, and find out how Billy Bremner dealt with such matters.

t some point in the hours and days after a 7-3 defeat, there comes a period of calm analysis and inward reflection. Of course, if our players had tried a little calm analysis and/or inward reflection during the game, maybe none of this would be happening, but anyway. The question arises - has it ever been this bad before? - and a cliche answers it - fans go scurrying to the record books to find out. I would dispute that cliche, by the way. I didnt scurry. I marched, grimly determined. And the answer, as we all know, is that no, at Elland Road, Leeds United have never been so bad as to concede seven whole goals. The result against Forest can, therefore, be officially declared unprecedented. Away from home, though, is a different story, and its a story that has rather too much to do with Stoke; but its also a story from which we can take some hope, and some inspiration, and in which we can find yet another example of how, even when we were at our very worst, Billy Bremner would always be at his very best. Despite recent efforts, our record defeat is still the one suffered at Stoke City, on 27th August 1934: 8 (thats eight) - 1. Dick Ray was manager

then, but hed been replaced by Billy Hampson long before March came around and Leeds went to Chelsea to get on the wrong end of a 7-1. But these were the thirties, and results are hard to quantify from our modern perspective. Scanning through pre-war scorelines, it seems like every other game finished 7-1 to someone: football was very different then. Plus, with no disrespect to the pioneering players and managers of Leeds early years, we can argue that we didnt really become Leeds United before Don Revie was the manager. Which is also convenient because it means we dont have to talk about a certain 6-0 defeat at Old Trafford in September 1959. After Revie made us the club we are embarrassing defeats became, thankfully, very rare; which is one of the things which makes the recent Forest result - and Blackpool result, and Preston result, etc - so hard to take. The Dons team was not infallible, however. Its the League Cup where Leeds tend to hide their big defeats, and it was the League Cup fourth round in 1966/67 where a United team that included Reaney, Bremner, Charlton, Hunter, Madeley and Giles went to Upton Park and got

knocked 7-0. West Ham were the Cup Winners Cup holders and were in their post-World Cup pomp with Bobby Moore, Martin Peters, Geoff Hurst et al, and according to David Lacey in The Guardians match report, Don Revie had declared pre-game that he was playing for a draw. But Leeds had been developing a reputation of their own for dour defensive solidity, and West Ham simply destroyed it. Sissons scored after just two minutes, and within thirty-five minutes he had a hat-trick and Leeds were 3-0 down. Hurst got another on 60 minutes, and within another quarter hour Peters had one and Hurst had completed a hat-trick of his own. Jack Charlton, that lofty hero of the World Cup team, wrote Lacey, was reduced to gnome-like proportions. The Leeds attack was non-existent, although typically one player was exempt from criticism: None fought more hard or more bravely than little Bremner to save something from the wreckage. If there is any salvation for this result, its that it was a blip for a team on the rise. Leeds had played in the Fairs Cup the season before but were still exploring their potential, and results like this and a 5-0 thrashing at Anfield in the same month were perhaps necessary reality checks en route to greater glory. You cant exactly say the same, though, about what happened at Highbury in the same competition in 1979. Leeds games with Arsenal always seem to come in sequence. In 1990 it took three replays for Arsenal to knock us out of the FA Cup, and they had to take two goes at us in the Cup in 1992/93. The League Cup second round draw threw us together in 1979/80 season, and the two legs sandwiched a league match at Elland Road, meaning Leeds and Arsenal would have plenty of time to become acquainted. Leeds first had to get acquainted with themselves. Jimmy Adamson was embarking on his first full season as Leeds manager, and was overseeing what he would have described as a rebuilding job - although to a lot of fans, it looked like demolition. The popular Tony Currie had left, and in had come the less than stellar names of Kevin Hird, Alan Curtis, Gary Hamson, Wayne Entwhistle and Brian Greenhoff, who made his debut in the League Cup first leg at Elland Road at the end of August. Leeds had begun the season with a draw, a win, and a loss, and the game with Arsenal was a tough proposition. Arsenal defended with eight men behind the ball, and took the lead after fifty minutes through a Frank Stapleton header. Seven minutes later Arthur Graham was fouled in the box, and Byron Stevenson,

demonstrated the art of taking a penalty, according to Don Warters in the Green Post. The game ended 1-1, the away goal giving Arsenal an advantage for the second leg, but there was the league match to get past first. It was more of the same at Elland Road on the Saturday. Arsenal stuck with the same gameplan of defending in numbers, and as Leeds players toiled, the Leeds fans chanted the name of Tony Currie, longing for his inspiration. Some inspiration did come from Paul Hart, who headed in a corner to give Leeds the lead just before half time, but the lead didnt last long. In the first minute of the second half Nelson fired past David Harvey from eight yards. It was to be Harveys match: in the sixtieth minute Arsenal were awarded a dubious penalty but Harvey, flung himself to his right to block Talbots well-struck kick and then recovered quickly enough to kick the ball clear as Talbot attempted to have another go. Don Warters continued: Harveys magnificent effort deservedly brought a fitting tribute from the fans. The return League Cup leg at Highbury came around almost immediately, and after two tight 1-1 draws the Leeds staff were bullish about their chances. Before the first leg I said a goalless draw would be a good result, said Adamson. It turned out to be 1-1 so we shall have to go to Highbury and lick them there. I fancy our chances - it will be easier for us to break Arsenal down when they play at home. It promised to be another close match - Leeds had won three and drawn three of their last six at Highbury, the three wins each by a single goal. Leeds were, in fact, unbeaten in their previous twelve games in London, a record that in their Northern pride Leeds were keen to keep going. Adamsons gameplan was clear: Arsenal will have to come at us more and if they do that, and we are in the right frame of mind to get in behind them, I see no reason why we should not win. Northern pride was to be dealt a terrible blow everywhere you looked in the next days papers. On the front pages was the news that the Yorkshire Ripper had claimed his twelfth victim, Barbara Leach murdered after meeting Peter Sutcliffe
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in Bradfords Manville Arms; and the back pages provided no relief from the grim news. Leeds had gone to Highbury and left with a 7-0 defeat. This was a night of shame for United, reported Mike Casey in the Evening Post. They caved in against a team that came at them like a hurricane. In a word, they were pathetic. Adamsons plan of counter-attacking against a more expansive Arsenal team had backfired in spectacular fashion. Some of our players had heart but none had the touch, he said afterwards. Arsenal had both heart and touch and what impressed me most was that they were going for goals to the end. Alan Sunderland had opened the scoring for Arsenal in the third minute, as a mis-hit corner rolled through the penalty area, and Curtis, Hart and Hampton all swung and missed with their attempts to clear, and Sunderland tapped the ball in. The astonishing part of last nights performance, wrote David Lacey in The Guardian, was the fact that no depth of incompetence appeared to be beyond the Leeds team. It was 3-0 within half an hour, and as four more - including two penalties - were struck home in the second half, the

Adamson could have learned a lesson or two about handling defeat from that certified winner, Billy Bremner, although Eddie Gray was the man in charge when this tale of two Stoke City games begins. Leeds slide into the doldrums was complete by the time Leeds went to Stoke City on a Monday morning in August and conceded six in the league for the first time since a certain trip to Old Trafford in 1959 - which were not talking about. Eddie Gray had been moulding a team of youngsters in his own image to try and play Leeds way out of Division Two - his team of skilful youngsters was blessed with flair but cursed by a soft underbelly, and the Evening Post report described them as looking visibly shaken by the 6-2 defeat they caved in to at the Victoria Ground towards the end of Grays reign. It had been 2-2 with twenty minutes to go, Neil Aspin and Ian Snodin leading Leeds fight back from 2-0 down; but the collapse after drawing level was spectacular. The players did at least get there for the 11.30am kick off, even if they didnt mentally turn up; the Fullerton Park branch of the Supporters Club did not fare so well, as a flat tyre and a firm of mechanics

Bremner: It was humiliating and there is no excuse. They are lacking pride in the club, when wearing a Leeds United shirt should be the greatest thing in the world.
disorganised, disorientated defence was reduced to fouls of despair. In the aftermath Adamson was apologetic, but far from inspiring. A terrible blow to our pride. I wouldnt have believed we could make so many mistakes. Therell be strong words said after training tomorrow. I might make changes for the Forest game. On the other hand, I might give the same side another chance in the belief that they cant possibly play so badly again. The uncertain Adamson was forced into one change, as Eddie Gray replaced the injured Greenhoff, and brought Madeley in for Stevenson, but otherwise it was the same side against Forest and it took another man of the match performance from David Harvey to merit a 0-0 draw. at Birch services with a monopoly on repair work but no equipment to repair a coach left 53 fans stranded. 28 determined supporters hired a fleet of taxis and made it to the ground while the score was still respectable; whether the ones left behind had it better is open to debate. Grays time in charge ended soon afterwards, and Billy Bremner became the third ex-player to attempt to bring the glory days back. When Leeds returned to Stoke four days before Christmas in the 1986/87 season, Leeds had yet to mount the charge up the table that would see them into the play-offs. In fact, they were struggling. With just one away win all season, and mindful of the previous seasons result, Bremner was cautious. Stoke has always been a bit of a jinx ground for Leeds. But I like to think that my lads can be at their most dangerous when they have their backs to the wall. What the lads were, according to Don Warters in the Evening Post, was, miserably inadequate, spineless and embarrassing lacking understanding in defence, losing out easily in midfield, and looking decidedly inept up front. Stoke were 5-0 up at half-time, their third goal an overhead kick by the right back, Lee Dixon. With the strange serendipity that haunts Leeds results like these, the final result was one goal worse than the previous

seasons effort: Stoke won 7-2, and Billy Bremner was furious. Under the Evening Post headline, I Apologise!, Bremner issued an almost five hundred word explanation and apology to the Leeds supporters. As the antithesis of Adamsons attempts, and as a source of inspiration to us all in the wake of the Forest 7-3, it is worth reprinting Billys words here in full. I was ashamed to see a team of mine perform the way they did and I owe our fans an apology for it, Billy began. It was amazing. We were 5-0 down and our fans were still cheering us on, and they did the same after we had conceded seven goals. Our supporters have had to take a lot of bad publicity recently, but our genuine fans are the best in the world. How many other clubs can count on such backing when they have conceded seven goals in a match? I honestly dont know where they get their patience from. They spend their hard-earned money to follow the club - and we turn in a performance like we did at Stoke. It must be heartbreaking for them when they have to watch what we served up for them. They deserve 100 per cent better. If we were up there at the top of the First Division we could not expect more from our fans. I was ashamed that a team of mine could be so lacking in enthusiasm, commitment and effort. It just wasnt true. It was humiliating and there is no excuse. They are lacking pride in the club, when wearing a Leeds United shirt should be the greatest thing in the world. It was for me. I am not talking about players of 27 and 28, but young players who should be trying to make their way in the game. Some of them wonder why they are not in the team, but you are only as good as your last game. We have to discuss what we are doing and where we are going. It is all about whether players have enough bottle away from home. I owe it to our fans to explain what happened and that is why I am making a public apology. But one thing is certain - we will not put up with the level of performance we got at Stoke. I cannot and will not tolerate such play. [YEP: Bremner said that for the first time since coming back to Elland Road, he had mentioned the old Leeds team to his players before the Stoke game.] I spoke about how those players would die for the club yet we never got the kind of support away from home that the present team are getting. It made me want to cry for the fans when I saw what happened yesterday. We mentioned commitment to the players before the Stoke game and told them there were certain grounds where

you were going to be up against it, like at Derby or Portsmouth. But at Stoke I felt we could win, yet look what we got. I have turned things over at this club before and I will do so again. I will bring in new players because I am not having the best support in the world repaid with displays such as that. Bremners inspiring words worked. Leeds lost only four more league games in 1986/87 as they won a place in the play-offs and came agonisingly close to promotion; and they went all the way to extra-time in the FA Cup semi-finals as United once again played with the commitment Bremner had embodied as a player and demanded as a manager. The lesson is clear. You can lose 7-0, or 6-2, or 7-2, or 7-3, and you cant do anything about it once its done. But its not about how you lose; its about what you do after you lose. And, as with so many things at Leeds, its about trying to emulate, as closely as possible for us mere mortals, William Bremner. One of the other cliches that trots along in the wake of a shameful defeat is the one that says its a good job Billy wasnt around to see this, but its wrong. If ever there was a game I would have wanted Billy Bremner to see, it was Leeds United 3 Nottingham Forest 7. He would have hated every minute of it, true. But he would have known exactly what to do about it. TSB
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Waxing

THE RISE OF THE


Footballers with man bags, alice bands and manicures. What on earth happened? And is Neil Warnock leading the charge?

METROSEXUAL
ith the passing of the managerial baton at Elland Road from Simon Grayson to Neil Warnock, there appears to have been a sea change in attitude and philosophy at the club. Im not talking here about improvements on the pitch, but rather about something less anticipated a new emphasis on image. Is this man, initially perceived as a dour, no-nonsense Yorkshireman, leading Leeds United headlong into a new metrosexual age of enlightenment? Words by Adam Jubb | @Ken_DeMange Elland Road has proudly stood as one of the few remaining strongholds of resistance against the footballer as a modern man. If a player possesses a face that resembles the back end of a bus, cropped hair, and considers tracksuit tops and jeans as sophisticated casualwear, then acceptance is usually a given. Exposure to any other breed of footballer is almost universally met with mockery. Years spent in the football wilderness, in splendid isolation from the bright lights of the Premier League and a never-ending stream of sophisticated European imports, has protected supporters against the influx of image savvy talent. Previously only David Prutton and his luscious locks have been embraced in LS11; though a combination of Prutts disarming charm, self-mockery and a credible resemblance to the son of God were all extenuating factors in his favour. More typically, players suspected of being driven by vanity are regarded with suspicion, both with regard to their commitment to the cause, and their commitment to masculinity. Has Warnock now appeared on the scene with a mandate to challenge such Luddite sensibilities? While the leaked photograph of his meeting in Monaco with Bates and Harvey had the internet buzzing over his appointment, I was far from alone in noticing him proudly sporting a man bag. Over the opening weeks of his reign, has anybody failed Admittedly, this man is German to appreciate his perfectly maintained eyebrows, his beautifully moisturised skin, and his repeated application of lip balm while in the dug-out? No wonder he exudes so much confidence in front of the cameras; offering a devilish smile and a joke practically undressing the viewer with his lingering eye contact. Contrast that to the demeanour of Simon Grayson, who had the shifting eyes and body language of a guilty school boy. If anybody doubts the existence of this shift in attitude I would implore them to listen to Warnocks interview from after the Millwall game; while 48
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discussing the defensive performance he remarks that there are, not many good looking lads in our team at the back. Is this a wake-up call for those players? A warning that looking the part is an allencompassing term that stretches beyond merely displaying the ability to play? My take is that the seeds of change were planted some time ago by our chairman. It stands to reason that for a man to whom Leeds United represents a vanity project, image would be an integral concern. The tell-tale signs were there for all to see: an octogenarian deciding to undergo eye laser surgery, his continued references to Susannahs influence on matters in the radio addresses, the magnificent new East Stand boxes Leeds United: the beautification project is all systems go. Under this scheme, Simon Grayson was the inevitable first victim. He returned pre-season looking like a man with little concern for his image. As he stood on the touchline in a tight-fitting training t-shirt that did nothing but accentuate his growing stomach, he resembled a middle-aged dad whod long since abandoned any notions or desire to impress the opposite sex; the selection of shorts over tracksuit bottoms merely compounded the grave wardrobe selection. Grayson was an ill-fit with these new found

How about next seasons away kits moving away from black and Chelsea blue, and being produced in seasonal pastel shades?
ambitions; high fashion and grooming regimes were untrusted bedfellows for a man perhaps now better suited to a post in a town that will assuredly shelter him from any such progressive notions. Ironic, then, that the final permanent signing of his tenure is a pointer for the direction in which the club is going. The Robbie Rogers is not so much a footballer, but a brand. He has his own website, his own corporate sponsors that include talent and global marketing agencies, and his own clothing line. His most recent journal post on his website effused about his new Spring Collection, in particular a line of lemon English twill shorts. Add to that his plugging of humanitarian housing projects in Brazil and were talking GQ Man of the Year material here. The photographs posted on his Twitter feed are not so much a ramshackle assortment of images but a selected portfolio of poses straight from the Littlewoods catalogue. So what are the implications for this Bates/

Warnock/Rogers fronted narcissistic revolution? Will the influence spread to all areas of the club? After years of shambling around in a tatty leather jacket, is Peter Lorimer going to have a consultation with a stylist? Might Shaun Harvey track down Wayne Rooney to find out about his hair weave? Maybe Billy Paynter will finally have a tummy tuck? Are there implications for our summer recruitment strategy? Will targets now be selected on their potential to fit with a pulchritude-obsessed merchandise catalogue, as well as the wage structure? The commercial angle is the most intriguing. The scope is there for the superstore to introduce an entire range of beauty products. Luciano has to be the poster boy for shampoos and conditioners; Ramon Nunez (so Im told) has skin to die for, so thats the moisturisers covered; what are the chances of getting Tom Lees to start spray tanning? How about next seasons away kits moving away from black and Chelsea blue, and being produced in seasonal pastel shades? Then theres Snoddy, a whole project in himself - our beloved captain, but suffering with severe complexion issues. A new regular LUTV show is surely in the offing here, that follows his transformation from ugly duckling to swan; a daily regime involving an oatifix face mask, ocean salt cleanser and tea tree water, followed by enzymion moisturiser from the Lush facial range, could transform his oily, spot prone skin and providing an invigorated, warm and balanced healthy glow. (Thanks for the input, Lauren.) Oh, and we can never forget Ben Fry. How about doing away with the morally dubious tie-in with Sporting Bet, and have Kenco sponsor an on-pitch enema? The lucky contestants could be asked to name the contents of the discharge pan (all contents previously consumed in Howards restaurant) in exchange for a prized meal for two. We shouldnt mock though, as this affects us all; if you think the beer at Leeds is sub-standard and the steak and peppercorn pies are crimes against football catering, think on - next season it could be pinot grigio and feta cheese salads. Prepare yourself for Leeds United 2012/13: If your nails arent manicured, youre not coming in TSB
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Trivia

LITTLE BITS OF LEEDS


VANCOUVER WHITES-CAPS
With the MLS season yee-hawing its way back into action last month, a new franchise (or team for you traditionalists) sprung into action with a name that United fans may recognise. The Vancouver Whitecaps are the MLSs newest team, but their earlier incarnation was practically an Elland Road retirement home. John Giles was the man who blazed this particular trail, when he took over as manager of the Canadians in 1981 in what was then the ultra-trendy North American Soccer League (NASL), a league that had recently seen the likes of Pele, Cruyff and Beckenbauer combine one last pay-day with visits to the hedonistic late-70s New York hotspots like Studio 54. Giles wasted no time getting some of his old pals in, recruiting Terry Yorath, David Harvey, Ray Hankin and Peter Lorimer before Eddie Gray lured Uniteds record goalscorer back for an Elland Road swansong in 1984. Peter Beardsley was another familiar name that turned out under Giles, as he would guide the club to the play-offs in each of his three seasons in charge, picking up the 1982 NASL Coach of the Year during his tenure. Captained by 2006 play-off final spoiler Jay DeMerit, the 2.0 version of the Whitecaps will also have Boro midfielder Barry Robson, who received a red card against Leeds last month, among their numbers in the summer.

UNITEDS FIRST TROPHY


Having finished four points off promotion to the top flight in only their third season in the Football League, Arthur Faircloughs promising team were eyeing a title challenge on the eve of the 1923/24 campaign. Retaining their solid backline consisting of the likes of captain Jim Baker, Ernie Hart and Bert Duffield, United were also developing a potent attacking force, with Joe Richmond, Percy Whipp and Jack Swann between them hitting 44 goals that season. A slow start that brought only one win in their opening six games was soon forgotten, as nine wins from 10 games saw them hit the top of the table by November. Although the Peacocks struggled to maintain this kind of consistency over the rest of the season, they were still heading the table as the season entered its final stretch. Proving end of season jitters are not a new phenomenon at Elland Road, United went five games without a win before hosting Stockport County on 21st April 1923, knowing that a win would secure promotion. The United team finally delivered, romping the game 4-0 with leading scorer Jack Swann netting twice, and Leeds had reached the First Division for the first time in their history. Two days later the title was wrapped up when winger Walter Coates scored the only goal of the game against Nelson in the closing minutes and the jubilant Elland Road crowd of 20,000 poured onto the pitch to celebrate. The Yorkshire Post praised Faircloughs sides tenacity, saying: Though cleverer teams have won promotion, no set of players has tried harder or trained more conscientiously. Take heed, class of 2012.

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Adapted from author Joe Mewiss book Leeds United Miscellany, which is available to buy now from Amazon and in book shops. 51

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You Mean Fuck All To Us

WE ALL HATE LEEDS SCUM


Derby County (H) Monday 9th April
Nigel Cloughs side turned us over on the opening day of last season when he thought it hard to let his players walk five hundred yards to the ground, rather than drive the coach into the car park. This petty, small-manned chestbeating fully deserved a Leeds win on its own but add the sight of Lily Savage parading through their midfield and a mauling of the Rams really should have been the result. We can dismiss the eventual result as live-on-TV, opening day defeats have now become customary. Well also be looking to avenge the one-nil defeat at Pride Park on Boxing Day, but you know we wont.

Peterborough United (H) Saturday 14th April


One of the funniest clips on YouTube is still Darren Fergusons bottom lip-quivering interview on Sky Sports, following our injurytime winner at their place earlier in the season. Most people have at least one redeeming feature, but in the case of Fergie Junior the only one I can think of is that he was quite good in The League of Gentleman. That was him, right?

Blackpool (A) Tuesday 17th April


Oh we do like to be beside the seaside and despite the Football League fixture guru making this a Tuesday night game, I suspect half of the Leeds workforce booked this day (and possibly the day after) as holiday as soon as the fixtures were released. The scramble for tickets will be madder than the five-nil debacle back at ER in November. We dont do Tuesdays and we dont do Blackpool. Thank god Rachubka wont be playing. We hope.

Cardiff City (H) Saturday 21st April


Ah, Cardiff! So many happy memories! First the FA Cup defeat with Sam Hamman parading around the pitch with a shit-eating grin on his face. Then there was that time we went there for the play off final and lost 3-0 to Watford. Then how could we forget the multiple league visits that entailed 14 hours on a coach, a trip to a motorway services to meet the police and finally a miserable defeat? Cardiff as a city is like K Kryptonite to us.

Do They Hate Us?

Do They Hate Us?

Not only did we chew up and spit out their best ever manager and then set him free to turn their bitterest rivals into European Champions, but we also bought their best ever player before chewing him up, spitting him out, and sending him back in pieces. If they wont forgive us for Clough, theyll never forgive us for Seth Johnson. Apart from the 7m we gave them perhaps. Hate rating:

Despite no history whatsoever between the two clubs, Peterborough typify the whole We All Hate Leeds Scum attitude - a nothing club latching on to popular pastime of Leeds Hating. Were glad theyve become yet another set of fans who, when we meet, act like they hate us more than they love their own club. Keep it up. Hate rating:

Do They Hate Us?

Do We Hate Them?

Probably, but were just guessing now. Therell no doubt be the usual WAHLS but they can probably take the high ground knowing that, well, theyre actually better than us. They have an uncompromising Chairman who is the son of a convicted rapist. He thinks nothing of spending fuck all on his team, whilst pocketing huge amounts of cash. Make up your own punchline... Hate rating:

Do They Hate Us?

Do We Hate Them?

With the connections to Clough Senior and Junior, and Robbie Savage, you would expect us to but no, we dont really. Hate rating:

No... not even with a whinging, son of scum, manager with the, er, colourful personal life. Peterborough are there to remind us of our ongoing desire to get out of this division, so we can see Paul Connolly can fall on his arse every weekend in the Premier League, and watch it back from 17 different angles. The Poshs presence as a lower league team reminds us of everything thats wrong at Elland Road. Weve got our own problems. Hate rating:

Do We Hate Them?

Due to a lack of Welsh opponents (most are quite rightly playing in the Welsh league) weve taken on the mantle of being their rivals, despite the fact weve never really competed with them for trophies and were hundreds of miles apart. The other important factor is that because theyre Welsh they disproportionately hate anything English by default. Hate rating:

Jimmy Armfield was a Blackpool legend, and Jimmy Armfield likes us and we like Jimmy Armfield (with hindsight, at least), so if Jimmy Armfield likes Blackpool then so do we. Plus they have a speaksbefore-engaging-brain, heart-on-his-sleeve manager who is always good for a great anti-establishment quote. Alright, so we may not actually like them - were Leeds arent we - but theres nothing particularly offensive about the Tangerines. Hate rating:

Do We Hate Them?

For the reasons listed above, plus Craig Bellamy and the freakish shape of Rob Earnshaws head, we have no option. I also dont like the name Malky Mackay - he sounds like a ScottishAmerican gangster from the 30s. Hate rating:

PROPER MATCH PREVIEWS


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Another PR Disaster

THE LAST WORD: A MATTER OF OPINION


Players play, managers manage, and supporters support, according to Shaun Harvey. He could have gone on to explain, and Chief Executive Officers ban fans, but that would have spoiled the metre. Besides, I think Harvey assumes that a ban is an explanation in itself. But it isnt.
The bans - well, stopped accounts - meted out to the board of the Leeds United Supporters Trust have been quite widely reported, but in case you missed it, heres what happened. One of the Trust board members tried to buy tickets for the Hull and Middlesbrough away matches, only to find that his account was blocked. It soon became apparent that all the board members had had their accounts blocked, so Trust chair Gary Cooper sent an email to Shaun Harvey seeking clarification. Harveys response was that, In simple terms we are exercising our right only to sell tickets to those who we wish to do so. The news that LUFC is now picking and choosing who it sells tickets to would be bad enough, but Harveys further attempts at justification are even worse. As an affiliate of the Football Supporters Federation, LUST called on the FSF to act as a liaison. The result was posted on the FSF website: Unfortunately, despite an amicable discussion, it was clear the club would not back down - they will ban fans they simply disagree with Shaun Harvey told the FSF, players play, managers manage, and supporters support. Under Leeds Uniteds own peculiar set of rules fans are to be seen and not heard and they certainly should not publish a Future Vision statement, even if its core sentiments are shared by thousands of fellow fans. Harveys reasoning became more curious, and more worrying, when he cited in the discussion with FSF and Gary Cooper an article entitled Seven Years of Lies, that appeared on The Scratching Shed website, as an example of the trouble that LUST is causing. TSS, like the TSB you have in your hands now, is an independent outlet for Leeds fans to have their say, whatever their opinion, and has no formal connection to LUST; yet somehow this article, published in mid-January, had contributed to Harvey and the clubs decision that the Trust board should be banned from buying tickets. The thought process here is bizarre; is Harvey suggesting that the author 54
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No collection too small or too large Individual item quotes given Top price for Leeds City and pre-1965 Leeds United home & away, memorabilia, badges and ticket stubs pre-1966 of that piece only wrote it because he was stirred up by LUST? Does he really not think that a Leeds fan could arrive at his own opinion himself ? It is one thing to be banning supporters for the opinions they express, but to be banning supporters because of the opinions other supporters express takes the club into a very Orwellian state indeed. It is a sorry situation that I, as I sit and write this, am wondering whether Im about to have my ticket buying privileges revoked just because I choose to express an opinion on the club I support. It would be an even sorrier situation should some other poor sod be banned because of what I write. But sorriest of all would be if I were to take my hands off the keyboard now, and keep my opinions to myself from fear of a ban. Players play, managers manage, and supporters support; and this, Shaun, is how we support: by making our voices heard and our opinions known. Whether the people currently running the club like what we say is of little concern. You can ban us all, but we wont go away. TSB We have travelled to Ireland, Norway, Greece and Holland to purchase collections & every part of the UK to buy in the last two years

PROGRAMME & MEMORABILIA FAIRS IN LEEDS

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