By Mike Courtney
Now that the "Takeover Saga" can be put to bed for the next few weeks, it is time to focus on football and a big week ahead as we head into games against the league leaders and two others vying for play off places. Coming off the back of such a bad run of late I wasn't particularly looking forward to the home games against Palace and Leicester and the short trip to face our old Gaffer "Larry" up at Huddersfield. But what a difference a day makes as the takeover announcement yesterday morning and the arrival of two new faces has raised my optimism levels, with the rose tinted glasses firmly in place I look forward to a positive week ahead for the mighty Leeds.
It remains to be seen if Tate can fill the void left by the suspension of Pearce at Centre Back. Having read some of the comments made by Swansea supporters about his lack of pace and game time over the past 12 months, it worries me slightly that his first outing could have him up against a certain Mr Zaha who does possess a bit of speed to say the least. If, as Warnock suggests, it is his experience, positional sense and leadership qualities that he has brought him in for well then he may be a good
acquisition as the season progresses but he could be in for a baptism of fire tomorrow if Zaha and Co get a run at him.
Jerome Thomas on the other hand is a signing that excites me, he has that bit of pace and directness that we have been lacking and will cause defenses problems at this level. He is not prolific by any stretch of the imagination but has an eye for goal and if he is match fit can be a match winner. With him and Hall on the flanks we might ask more questions of teams than we have been doing of late and with the return of McCormack to the squad and Poleon from a loan spell at Bury, we will pose more of a threat in the last third. Again as with Tate there are doubts about Thomas's match fitness and granted he is no Luke Varney (which is a good thing), but his signing does show that GFH are willing to back Warnock in the transfer market.
These two loanee's are only a stop gap, I hope, to supplement our injury ravaged and suspension littered squad, come January we will see the true level of backing by the new owners when Warnock gets his chance to splash out on the New Year Sales. Until then all we can hope is that we can remain in touch with the playoff spots and not be flirting with the relegation places, starting with some positive results this week to keep the home fans smiling.
Leeds 2 Palace 0
Leeds 3 Leicester 1
Huddersfield 1 Leeds 1
I am an optimist after all.
MOT Leeds Leeds Leeds
By Andy Gregory
Leeds United today completed the double signing of defender Alan Tate and winger Jerome Thomas, after funds were released to Warnock from new owners GFH before the loan window slammed shut.
Tate has joined us from Swansea until the new year, after his chances at the club had been restricted this season. The defender has made over 300 appearances in ten years at Swansea City, captaining the Welsh side to promotion to the Premier League in 2011. He brings some much needed experience to our young defence and can play anywhere across the back four.
Warnock said, "He is a leader and I felt these last few weeks we`ve lacked leaders. It is great to have him."
Jerome Thomas has also joined until the new year from Premiership side West Brom, after making 94 appearances for the club, scoring 13 goals. He has also had previous spells at QPR, Charlton, and Portsmouth.
Neil Warnock was delighted to capture this signing:
"He's a player I've tried to sign five times so it's about time I finally got him," said the boss. "He is just what I'm looking for and I want him to come here and enjoy himself. "He's direct and positive when he's attacking and fits the bill as just what we want."
Both players are certainly welcome additions to our threadbare squad and are expected to make their debut's on Saturday against Crystal Palace. They both appear to be quality signings and it's a good signal of intent from the new owners. The future is certainly looking bright, all we need to do now is put a good run together, get some points on the board and look forward to what January will bring.
By Kim Bjerregaard
So November 21st was the day Leeds fans all over the world had waited for in over 7 years. Ken Bates finally sold our club and to no surprise it was GFH that picked us up after 7(!!!) months of wheeling and dealing. I for one am pretty pleased that David Haigh and his buddies read my blog about getting a move on.
There is still some things we are yet to learn about
But either way I see this as a massive step forward and for once I actually feel pretty optimistic about the future of our great club.
One thing left a sour taste in some supporters mouths, the fact that Ken Bates will stay on as Chairman for the remainder of this season and then take on the post previously filled by Lord Harewood. In my humble opinion we shouldn't give a f***, Ken Bates pressured GFH to give him the post because they wanted to close the deal before the loan window closed, and they agreed since its an honorary title and
he'll have zero influence. He has no shares in the club and theres no money involved, he will however be allowed to watch games for free from the suites and attend official club things, but honestly, should we, as fans, care, I certainly don't.
That he'll stick around as Chairman for the reminder of this season and help Haigh & Co. into their roles is also, for me, an ok thing, like or dislike him, he's been around football for 60+ years, he must
know a thing or two.
A fellow Danish White asked me yesterday if I was certain that the "moneyman" GFH had a the backhand wasn't Ken Bates, this to me proves what he has done to us over the past 7 years, we're all extremely suspicious and immediately expect the worst - but I'll say to you what I said to him.
1. Ken Bates is not rich, haha
2. The worst is now behind this great club of ours, we'll rise again.
So Ken Bates took one last swipe at fans and wants to sit at ER three-four times a season, while we just rise and rise, I'm pretty ok with that.
Soon the glory days will return to Leeds United, the future is bright, the future is white
MARCHING ON TOGETHER
By Andy Gregory
Name: Russ Vernon
Tell us a bit about yourself:
I'm 20 years old live in Rotherham with my mum, dad and sister and a big football fan.
How long have you supported Leeds?
12 years, been going to games since 2001
What is your favourite memory?
Champions League Season, Beating Scum, Winning Promotion from League 1
Favourite player past and present?
Past: Lucas Radebe
Present: Sam Byram or Luciano Becchio.
If you could bring one player from any era back to the club, who would it be and why?
It's got to be the one and only Chief aka Lucas Radebe, to help strengthen the defence which I believe is what is needed.
Best goal scored by a Leeds player?
Beckford v Scum as the ball was running away from him and he still managed to score.
How would you sum up our season so far?
As the song MOT goes, "Ups & Downs". We started off well but since then we've dipped in form and are without a win since October 6th in the League.
Which player has impressed you most this season?
So far it's got to be Sam Byram the young defender who has bursted onto the scene at the start of this season, he's done brilliantly at the back and on the wing.
Finally some good news today on the takeover front, what do you make of the news that Bates will continue as chairman until the end of the season and will then become President of the club?
It's been going on far too long now and I'm very happy to see it finally come to an end. I think it will be a good idea for Bates to stay on as chairman until the summer so he can show the owners the ins and outs of our beloved club. Glad he will not be running our club anymore and I wish him the best as president of LUFC.
If it was possible to bring a few players in before the loan window shuts, who would you like to see join us?
Matt Kilgallon, Jonathan Obika & Diego Arismendi
How would you describe our current team?
Good attacking and bad defending
We’ve had a poor run of results of late, including heavy defeat to Watford and last week’s loss to Millwall... Where do you think it’s going wrong? Do you think we’ll turn it around?
I think it's going wrong as we're getting people sent off etc. I think now the takeover has been completed we can turn things around with a few decent quality players in the squad.
Where do you think we will finish this season?
Before the takeover I would have said 15th with takeover top 6.
What is your view on Neil Warnock’s time at Leeds so far?
We could have done better under him, we've slipped futher down the table since he joined than where we were when Simon Grayson was in charge.
Which game are you most looking forward to this season?
Huddersfield, Sheff.Wed & Barnsley.
Score prediction for the Crystal Palace and Leicester games?
Leeds 2-3 Crystal Palace & Leeds 2-1 Leicester
What team would you put out on Saturday?
Kenny; Byram, Peltier, Lees, Drury; Diouf, Brown, Tonge, Hall; Becchio, McCormack.
Subs: Ashdown, Kisnorbo, Green, White, Pugh, Norris, Gray.
Anything else you would like to add?
Premier League Here We Come.
Thanks to Russ for taking part in this weeks interview. If you would be interested doing an interview, or would like to find out about other ways you can be involved with our site, then check out our "Have your say" page to find out how... MOT
By Mike Courtney
The day has finally arrived. The takeover of Leeds United has been announced and GFH Capital are to be the new owners once the Football League ratifies them and D-Day is 21st of December.
So the takeover isn't complete then, we have to wait another month!!!!! Oh why oh why can things not be simple when it comes to Leeds United. As a famous Northern Irish comedian used to say "Come here there's more". When GFH complete the 100% takeover of the club in December Ken Bates will remain as Chairman until the end of the season and then become President of the Club. So the hate figure for the fans remains at the club What ever happened to the previous statements that Bates would no longer have a role at the club? And not only that but Shaun Harvey remains at the club also. This does not sound like a Takeover to me but an investment of funds with the same regime in place be it in slightly different roles.
Or am I being too cynical? Does it really matter once this season is over that Bates moves into an honorary role and in his own words "takes a step back"? Is this a way of making the transition smoother thus making the club more stable? Or is it one more masterstroke by Bates in, as some see it, his plan to ruin Leeds United.
Correct me if I'm wrong but when Abramovich took control at Chelsea didn't Uncle Ken stay on in some capacity for a brief period of time? That didn't work out too badly for them now did it? So again I'll reserve judgement on this part of the deal and wait and see what happens further down the line.
The most important thing is that we start to turn things around on the pitch and that means major investment by the new owners to bring in 3 or 4 new quality loan signings before tomorrow (I'm not asking for much am I?) with a view to permanent deals in January. Will this happen? Again I'm dubious because if it was to be so, why would Warnock bring back Poleon from his loan spell at Bury?, something that should have happened weeks ago when we we're light up front. Surely if he was going to be able to strengthen the squad before tomorrow he would have left him there to gain valuable experience. To me it looks like we won't have the funds or most likely the time to reinforce before the loan window closes, which will only lead to the conspiratory theorists having a field day about Bates motives and timing of the announcement.
We have endured a terrible run of League form not having won since the lucky home win against Barnsley in September. This has been down to the lack of quality strength in depth of the squad and this is the issue that needs to be addressed by the "New Owners" immediately and once this is done and the team is winning and climbing the table again the fans won't give a monkey's who is President once we are heading in the right direction.
So I for one am tentatively pleased with today's announcement. It could have been better but at least we are that bit closer to what we've all been waiting for since this takeover was first mooted in June. A
little bit closer to that sweet dream and moving away from the nightmare that has been the last 10 years at Elland Road.
MOT Leeds Leeds Leeds
By Keith Ingham
After nearly seven months of tortuous wait, GFH completed part one of the takeover of the club on Wednesday with the final part to be completed on the 21st of December. The relief could be seen on faces of fans I saw around my town and Twitter was sent into 'meltdown'.
The strange thing is on Tuesday (20th) another rumour was doing the rounds that the GFH bid had collapsed and a American bid was believed to be on the way, so to see the news on Twitter made me stop in my tracks, it was so surprising.
The bare facts are a large amount of money (rumoured to be 50+ million) has changed hands and David Haigh will join the board from Wednesday with other members of GFH joining the board in December.
We have not completely said goodbye to Mr Bates however, as he will stay on during the handover to help the new buyers and continue as chairman until the season ends. He will become the clubs president after that. He wasn't going to just leave we all knew that, we're not that lucky!
It has to been seen if the lateness of the deal has scuppered any chance of a few players coming in before another transfer windows shuts with Leeds enviously looking through the glass again.
The best thing about all this is that some kind of finalisation has happened and the prospects of the club should improve in the coming months on and off the field.
After seven long years the bates is going, long live the Haigh
Definitely On On On and Upwards
By Kim Bjerregaard
I've not written anything for a while, I've been busy with college and I've honestly not had anything to say about the current situation at Leeds. My mom always told me to speak politely or shut up, so mom, I'm sorry.
I've behaved, I've given both NW, the team, David Haigh & co. I've even Ken Bates all the time in the world, I've trusted that things would work out for once for Leeds United.
I can't anymore, I'm furious, I can't believe whats happening to this club I love, it's true we've been a bit of a joke in the first seven years under Master Bates, but the joke has just grown and grown in the past seven months while our supposed takeover has been in the making.
I looked through my tweets recently, words like TOMA, Imminent, Filthy rich, Pen4Ken and others have filled my twitter timeline over the past six/ seven months and I've had it.. We have a saying in Denmark, Piss or get off the toilet - thats the point I'd like to make to GFH, Ken Bates and everyone else involved.. I honestly (almost) dont care if we get taken over anymore, GFH haven't got the money to make us a force anyway (If they did they would have forced this through months ago, right?!), I just want clarity, I just want this take over hell to end.
In my local pub I've noticed that fans of other clubs are starting to pity us instead of taking the usual piss, I dont like that, I like when they take the piss, it proves they miss us and that they're jealous - now they're nothing, we're turning into nothing in many other supporters minds.
It's my birthday on Saturday, what I want the most is for us to smash Palace (happily without Luke "moron" Varney), and second most I want this take over to be finalised or called off. This season is about surviving and then we have to make yet another "fresh
start" from next summer.
Moaning on together! I'll always love you
SuperLeeds but you're making it a bit hard right now
By Keith Ingham
I've made a few comments over the season and some have been read and commented on, others have been denounced as folly but I'm on the rant again !
I firmly believe that the position Leeds find theirselves in eighteenth place, no wins in seven, three without a bloody goal and with a team I consider far worse than when they dropped into Division One are down to poor management from the top to the person who picks the team.
Before you all start please take the time to read my observations:
1. I've mentioned earlier that in the dark days of Division 1 we at least had the siege mentality, -15 and all that but players were brought in and through team spirit eventually got their just rewards, this present team does not come close to that. They simply don't have the bottle for a battle.
2. Even though I think Neil Warnock has been severely hampered in his pursuit of players, some of the ones he has already bought have failed to deliver and others played out of position, the latter can be directly attributed to the manager, he picks the team and you can't blame bates for that
3. If a team is struggling you look to the manager for inspiration so he can motivate his players to improve, constant 'woe is me' ain't that.
4. With the club being perilously close to the wrong end of the table it can be questioned that maybe another manager could get more out of the players already at the club.
5. My last, although I could go on is if you were in a job you felt that your support was not forthcoming , would you not ask your bosses for some clarification or indeed threaten to look elsewhere for employment. Neil has not done this, even though the supporters would have backed him to the hilt for
being so forceful.
I've backed him from day one but I am questioning now before it's too late my fellow fans.
On On On