Leeds started their prelude to preseason with a manic Monday that saw signings, sponsorships and leaks all in one exciting the day.
The clubs first move was confirmation of the loan acquisition of Jack Harrison for an additional year.
The English born winger will now enter his third season with Leeds United; a club he has began to become very endeared too.
Leeds were said to be set to complete a permanent clause in his contract earlier in the year with a purchase fee rumoured to be around £8million. However with some astute business acumen the club have kept the permanent clause while taking the player for an additional years loan.
Harrison has made 91 appearances in all competitions for Leeds in his two year spell; contributing 12 goals and 10 assists. However; it is this promotion season in which Harrison has shone under Bielsa, becoming a more dynamic winger while adding 5 goals and 7 assists.
The next news was what mans fans had planned on for some time; an announcement on the kit. The club have been stalled by the decision to drop 32 Red and find a new suitor for their main shirt sponsor.
Yesterday the club announced that SBOBet will now take over as their main kit sponsor with the confirmation that the deal has become the clubs highest ever endorsement received; trumping ever the days of Champions League football.
The multi-year partnership with the betting firm should allow Leeds to now act more frugally in the market after additional finances are pumped into the club.
An announcement that Clipper will now become the clubs official training gear partner was also forthcoming.
Finally the club announced the signed of highly rated talent Joe Gelhardt from Wigan for a nominal fee rumoured to be £800k with additional incentives.
The 18-year old has been on the clubs radar for some time and the relegation of Wigan looks set to have been the catalyst to the deal being pushed ahead.
Likened to a young Wayne Rooney; this signing may not be like previously thought and Gelhardt may spend more time with the Whites first team rather than with the development squad.
Quick on his feet and the ability to come back to get the ball and make plays; Gelhardt boasts a powerful left foot and may be a promising addition to Leeds’ current front line ahead of their inaugural Premier League season.
Finally; from the announcement of Gelhardt came a leaked image of the new Leeds United home shirt. A very low-key design with a white base and blue trim.
With several other news set to drop we wouldn’t be surprised to see a Terrific Tuesday, Wonderful Wednesday or Time we freed Ben White Thursday coming up within the week.
By Ryan Ingham
After Leeds had demolished Charlton Athletic 4-0 to send the Londoners to Division One. The ‘real’ celebrations started, one by one Bielsa’s boys came back into the pitch to be met by the sound of ‘Marching on Together’ playing through the public announcement system.
For 16 years Leeds’ fans had waited for the ‘monkey on their back’ to be removed and when Liam Cooper picked up the trophy Billy Bremner and Gordon Strachan had previously held aloft, the cheers of hundreds of thousands of fans could be heard around England, Europe, USA and Australia.
The joy at seeing Marcelo Bielsa. after being prompted by first Patrick Patrick Bamford then Kalvin Phillips he walked nervously toward his players and held the ‘prize’ of two season’s hard graft aloft. It was like seeing a grandfather holding one of his grandchildren with a very proud look on his face.
The players deserve the plaudits for turning last May’s tears of failure into smiles of champions. This squad is up there with Wilko’s 89/90 promotion and Division One title winners, O’Leary’s ‘babies’ who stormed through Europe to reach the Champions League semi final.
We wait excitedly to see what the future brings, the one thing I look forward to is stepping back into Elland Road to see my team play. I’ve missed the old ground so much in this crazy period the world finds itself in.
We remember Norman, Trevor, Jack and others who have passed in the time we’ve been away from the top table of English football. I’m sure each and every one will be cheering from above when Leeds step out for their first game in the Premier League in September.
This season has left us with unbelievable memories and the future, under Andrea and Marcelo looks bright and looks Leeds!
By Keith Ingham
New walkway in the Trinity Centre Leeds.
A message from Angus: “Today Leeds United will officially be crowed champions of the Football League. This is a momentous occasion and one that we’ve dreamt of for 16 long years.
But we must consider the health of people in our community before we celebrate- the fight against Covid-19 is not over yet.
We appreciate the support of fans, as always, and it is heart-breaking that we can’t encourage the kind of scenes we all know we should seeing be under different circumstances.
However, people must consider the negative impact coming out could have on others. The trophy lift will be live on our social channels and Sky Sports News for fans to see and I promise that when the time is right, we will celebrate in style. For now, support Leeds, stay at home.”
A superb article by BBC Radio Leeds commentator Adam Pope on how Marcelo Bielsa turned Leeds into Champions.
Thank you Mr Pope. Fascinating.
Leeds v Charlton Athletic
Team: Meslier, Ayling, White, Cooper(c), Dallas,Struijk, Klich, Harrison, Alioski, Hernandez, Bamford.
Leeds United 4 Charlton Athletic 0: Ben White nets scorcher as champions produce fireworks in season finale | Yorkshire Evening Post
Thanks to the YEP.
Leeds United could be set to challenge some of Europe’s biggest hitters for the chance to sign Argentina’s next biggest star.
The newly promoted side are said to interested in Velez star Thiago Almada.
Now 19-years old and linked with several opportunities to enter the European leagues; Almada could see an opportunity in the Premier League with El Loco as an enticing proposal, something he has eluded to himself.
“I would like Bielsa to direct me,” the 19-year-old told Superfutbol. “My friends sent me that something came out about Bielsa, but I am calm. If it happens or not we wait and see.”
Known as a number 10 who has bags of pace and the ability to beat his man, the Velez youngster is also known for his fierce attitude; something that could be welcomed by a Bielsa who has allowed for his second season Leeds to become more combative.
Previously managed by former European football alumni Gabriel Heinze and now Mauricio Pocchetino, it would surely only work in Leeds’ favour that his coaches have experienced Premier League football.
Standing at 5’7 with a diminutive ability on the ball; Almada could become heir apparent to Leeds’ mercurial magician Pablo Hernandez as Bielsa targets reinforcements throughout the starting XI.
With an asking price quoted to be around £16million, it won’t price out Leeds when it comes to acquisitions but will be a hefty upfront fee if they were to chase a deal.
By Ryan Ingham
Leeds are going up!
After Huddersfield Town surprisingly beat West Brom 2-1 at The John Smith’s Stadium with a late goal from Smith-Rowe. The goal was timed at exactly 19:19pm!
Leeds cannot be mathematically caught for one of the top two promotion places. Let the party begin.
The win promoted wild scenes at Elland Road and all around the world. Thousands gathered outside as the players celebrated inside.
They then celebrated with the gathered supporters. The party went on for a few hours until the police cleared the area around 1.00am.
An emotional Nicolie Costou-Walder was once again a superstar in front of the camera as he thanked Marcelo Bielsa on promotion to the Premier League.
With Ryan the morning after promotion. The area around Elland Road was cleared of rubbish by volunteers early in the morning. Fantastic 👏🏻
With one result already in our favour player’s and fans knew that only a win by Brentford could stop Leeds being promoted as Champions of the Championship.
Incredibly Stoke City beat them 1-0 with a first half Lee Gregory sending thousands of United fans into celebrations around Billy Bremner’s statue. I swear I saw the great man smile grow wilder as the fans around jumped for joy.
The celebrations went on long into the night and carried on till the morning. The amazing scenes are something I’ll never forget and social distancing was forgotten for at least a day.
Derby County v Leeds
Team News: Marcelo Bielsa makes seven changes. Kiko Casilla plays his first game since his suspension.
Team: Casilla, Dallas, White, Berardi, Douglas, Strujk, Shackleton, Hernandez(c), Poveda, Alioski, Bamford.
David Watkins blog on the 3-1 victory and now he has a title for his forthcoming new book.
Derby County Away Jul 2020 | leedsunited
Thank you David and I can imagine the malt took a battering over the weekend. Cheers! Champions !
MOTM: Pablo Hernandez, sometimes you run out of words to describe such a gifted player.
Derby's Phillip Cocu: "I think the difference between the teams is that they are always on the front foot and anticipate. If they do something, they do it at 100 per cent and we were more reactive today.
"We know we have a lot of work ahead of us towards next season to make sure - depending on the possibilities, of course, financially at the club - we get some new fresh blood and quality in to support the senior players, but also the youngsters."
Marcelo Bielsa: "I'm happy with the match. Three young players were at a good level and the rest of the players were at a good level as well. It was just sad for us that we couldn't share this with the supporters.
"This is a group that overcame everything that happened over a long season. It is fair to say the promotion belongs to them."
Celebrations continued in Leeds Millennium square as around ten thousand gathered to salute their heroes.
WE BLOODY DID IT BOYS AND GIRLS!
By Keith Ingham
Manchester City’s two years Champions League ban is overturned by the Court of Arbitration. City were charged under FFP laws but because the evidence wasn’t strong enough they walked away with a fine of £10 million pounds. The original fine was also £30 million.
City Statement: “Whilst Manchester City and its legal advisors are yet to review the full ruling by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), the Club welcomes the implications of today’s ruling as a validation of the Club’s position and the body of evidence that it was able to present. The Club wishes to thank the panel members for their diligence and the due process that they administered.”
FFP is an absolute joke!
Two records set by Bielsa’s Leeds.
The 1-0 victory saw the Whites record their 20th clean sheet of the campaign; a club record for a 46 game season.
Goalkeeper Kiko Casilla has recorded 15 clean sheets in 35 appearances while Illan Meslier has five in his 8 games in goal. United have recorded four more clean sheets that next best Fulham who have 16 from their 43 games this term.
Bielsa also set became the quickest Leeds manager in the club's 100-year history to claim 50 competitive wins as he raced to the achievement in just 93 matches. That milestone came against the Cottagers in late June at Elland Road with a 3-0 win at Elland Road.
They could also score their 1,000th goal after their relegation in 2004. The total stands at 999 with three games to play.
Statistics by Andrew Dalton aka Stats.
David Watkins wanted a response after the draw with Luton. He certainly got one!
Thank you David. Hope the Saturday night malt went down a treat. My nerves are still there and a big week coming up.
Leeds’ record after scoring the first goal in Championship matches under Marcelo Bielsa:
Points won: 130/141
Leeds have secured 92% of available points in matches after scoring the first goal.
Mateusz Klich on the victory at Blackburn: “It was a very important victory. If Blackburn had won, they could have potentially think about reaching the Play-Offs and we wanted to win as our goal is to win every game until the end of the season and not to look down on other teams.
“We knew it was going to be hard and the conditions weren’t great, so we were happy with the win.In this league, every team who scores early is happy, because it is so difficult to score a goal. Teams defend well and the first goal is very important in this league and it was good we scored early, because it was a tough game.
“We need to stay focused for the next five games and we will see what happens then.”
Pretty happy people after a great win at Ewood Park. Player’s singled out were the centre half partnership of Ben White and Liam Cooper, Barry Douglas looked very comfortable at left back and Mateusz Klich was instrumental in the middle of the park.
Great to see Patrick Bamford back amongst the goals after his miss on Tuesday, I was very impressed how he led the line and took his early chance superbly, he was also unlucky with his shot that came back off a post.
West Bromwich Albion beat Hull City 4-2 at The Hawthorns to move within a point of leaders Leeds. They could go top if they draw or beat Derby County on Wednesday. Swansea beat Sheffield Wednesday 2-1, ‘Colin’s’ first game at the Riverside ends with QPR getting a 1-0 win over Boro.
Liverpool move three points closer to the 100 mark as they beat relegation threatened Aston Villa 2-0 at Anfield. Mane and Jones the scorers. Newcastle draw 2-2 with West Ham, Burnley also draw 1–1 with Sheffield United and Manchester City lose 1-0 at Southampton with former Leeds transfer target Che Adams scoring his first goal for the ‘Saints’ and he’ll never forget it. A lob from over 45 yards.
Barry Douglas and Kalvin Phillips are named in the EFL Championship team of the weekend.
Andrea Radrizzani talking on Talk Sport about the prospect of fans returning to the grounds: "I think as soon as it's possible the stadium will be full again. I hope that the transition will be gradually done soon because I don't think it's necessary to shut clubs down completely in the stadium.
"There's no danger if you manage to have one-third of the people in the stadium or half of the people. I think with the right adjustments and precautions I think it is possible to have people in the stadium soon, hopefully."
The last words on the victory over Blackburn Rovers
YEP Jury: Mateusz Klich stars as Leeds United claim priceless victory at Blackburn Rovers | Yorkshire Evening Post
Thanks to the YEP.
In a Q and A in the YEP Graham Smyth indicated that the new Leeds kit will be revealed after this season is finished as they are fully focused on matters at hand but commented that “they are pleased with it”.
In the Division One Playoffs semi final second legs Oxford United beat Portsmouth 5-4 on penalties after the tie ended 2-2 on aggregate. They will play Wycombe who beat Fleetwood Town 6-3 on aggregate.
LUFC Statement: “Leeds United are delighted to announce Helder Costa has now officially joined the club on a permanent basis. The Portugal international has put pen to paper on a four-year contract, running until the summer of 2024.”
Yesterday morning was very, very sad, after the loss of Norman Hunter and Trevor Cherry recently another one of ‘Don’s Boys’ made his last trip up the tunnel to join his teammates in heaven. Jack Charlton passed away peacefully in his sleep on Friday surrounded by the family he loved.
The tough uncompromising centre half that started his career back in the 1960’s was a cornerstone of Revie’s Leeds defence. Alongside Norman Hunter he was the ‘wall’ that many teams just couldn’t get past.
The lad from the North East, brother of Bobby was not one to let his teammates shirk from their responsibilities and or by chance Leeds conceded a goal it was never his fault and he let his fellow defenders know it.
Jack is the record appearance holder at the club and one of the highest goal scorers in a career that took in the swinging sixties and the smiley seventies. He won the League Cup, Charity Shield, Fairs Cup, League Championship and did it with a huge smile on his face and a fag in his mouth.
He was of course a World Cup winner in 1966, part of Alf Ramsey’s defence alongside Bobby Moore. His tears at the final whistle showed a gentle side of his character not many strikers ever saw in a game they played against him.
After he finished his playing career he had success at managerial level with Middlesborough twice, Sheffield Wednesday and then took the Republic of Ireland to the Quarter Finals of the World Cup in 1990. He became a respected football pundit after this and was never shy to give his opinion on football and his beloved Leeds.
We will all miss the wonderful smile and the flat cap that made him such a man of the people.
Goodnight God Bless Big Jack, sleep well and rest easy.
Our sympathies go out to his family at this sad time.
By Keith Ingham