We All Love Leeds' latest 10 questions with includes none other than the new chairman of the Leeds United Supporters Trust Michael Green.
With your appointment, do you believe that the Trust can once again become the voice for all Leeds United fans?
I don’t think the Trust has ever been the voice of all Leeds fans, but it has punched above its weight. Thanks to Gary Cooper’s leadership, LUST led the charge in the latter months of the Bates regime, something that opened the ethos and principals of the Trust to a wider audience. Because of that history, the Trust now keeps its analytical approach to developments active. Personally, I believe in a “let 1,000 flowers bloom” approach to supporters’ groups - which is why we welcome the infectiousness of Leeds Fans UTD. I am also committed to garnering as much unity as it is possible to do, but that unity has to be for progress.
In your own words, what is your vision for the Trust and Leeds United?
To articulate the aspirations and concerns of the support, to be an alternative honest voice in a sea of hype and spin, to promote the values and potential of the supporter ownership of football clubs, and to reinvigorate its presence in the Leeds United community of support.
We will treat each Leeds United development on its merits. So if Leeds United is a progressive, fan-engaging, medium-term planning, stable club that looks to develop the footballing side over the next year, we will give credit where it’s due. However if it’s a by-word for short-termism, unstable in ownership and finance, public relations car-crash with talent being lost to other clubs then we will be vocal in our approach. I suspect we will see a mixed bag but always hope for the former.
As a fan, are you happy that you can now use your voice not only for the Trust but for all Leeds United fans as you push for you vision to be a reality?
We all come as fans with our perspective, personality and skills as board members. I have seen some suggestions that all fans representatives should become as auto-bot as many politicians are, I don’t agree one dot with that: you get Michael Green and the other board members warts and all. The Trust is what it is, a volunteer-led manifestation of real Leeds United supporters. The Trust and the Trust movement has ethos and principles and those will be mine and all board members guiding lights. The board and I intend to show principled consistent leadership where needed, if that is also popular across the spectrum of the support that is something to cherish.
What is your opinion on the current Leeds United setup?
In ownership terms, we await the next few months with a little concern. The continued presence of GFH on our board impresses no-one and with Massimo Cellino’s continued Italian legal issues, it’s hard to see where long-term stability is coming from, even more so now Adam Pearson’s cameo period of calm is over.
In financial terms we await the 14-15 financial results with interest. I suspect when they come in, they will be around half the 13-14 losses (partly covered by McCormack monies in), so there will be a sense of relief it isn’t the £25m loss seen previously. Whether that means we have turned the financial corner for the medium term sustainability required remains to be seen.
One aspect we need more reassurance on is the relationship between ownership and footballing decisions. It’s risky enough having few directors with English football experience,without having an unbalanced relationship between those whose coaching credentials are clear and those who say they “know football”.
Are you a fan of Uwe Rosler?
I’m very keen the club cuts out the short-termism, particularly with managers. It’s too early to say what he might achieve, he needs at least a three-season stint in my humble opinion to make us promotion contenders. In the nine league games he has had, he already surpasses a number of our last 12 managers in my estimation. The important thing is he is given the time to show his possible worth.
Who is your biggest Leeds United hero?
Allan Clarke was my boyhood hero and Luciano Becchio gets my vote for under-rated cult hero. Lucas Radabe is of course a saint, and Rod Wallace the vital glue from our 92 success. My biggest regret in a player we didn’t keep is Robbie Keane, the biggest wasted talent was Michael Bridges after his injury. The names Tony Arins and Steve Balcombe stick in the mind of fans like me of a certain age, but for different reasons.
What is your most memorable Leeds United match?
Manchester United 0 v 1 Leeds United, February 1981, in that away end as Flynn scores was about as good as it gets. Second Oxford 2 v 4 Leeds United in our promotion season, Southampton 3 v 4 Leeds United with the comeback runs them close and as for games at Elland Road, Leeds United 2 v 0 Manchester United in May 1980 is also a favourite memory of mine.
Favourite player this season?
Charlie Taylor is the man so far but Lewis Cook will still be the quality that shines out. Give Kalvin Philips more games and we might find he can be added to the Taylor/Mowatt/Cook/Bryan axis of academy talent at our disposal. Liam Cooper is under-rated by some and I find that puzzling.
Prediction come May?
Ninth, whether that mid-table comes stress free is yet to be determined.
Red or Brown Sauce?
We'd like to thank Michael for taking our questions and wish him the best in his new role as Lust Chairman, we at WALL will be there every step of the way hoping that you make a change at Leeds United.
By Ryan Ingham