By Mike Courtney
I haven't blogged in a while. In fact since the events of transfer deadline day my heart hasn't been in it. The club I love, the club I have supported for 44 years, through thick and thin finally got the better of me. I'm ashamed to say it but I lost interest in Leeds United.
My head was telling me "enough is enough" and for once my heart agreed. We Leeds fans have suffered endlessly since 2004 but the happenings of the past 2 months went a step too far. Cellino's sacking of McDermott and his subsequent reinstatement was farcical to say the least. Results on the pitch have matched that farce. There is something inherently wrong at this great club and it's the fans that are suffering. Being beaten in games is one thing but being hammered by average teams ie Bolton, Reading and Bournemouth, is unforgivable. There is no passion, no pride, no fighting spirit and no leadership being shown on and off the pitch.
We lie 12 points off the playoff spots and 15 above the relegation zone. This is after the worst run of form since Christmas, that I have witnessed. Imagine what we could have achieved in that time. Four more wins would have had us in a playoff position. Let's just look at some of the games we lost; Blackburn at home, Wednesday away, Leicester at home, Brighton and Burnley away, Bolton and Reading at home and Bournemouth away. 8 defeats in total since the new year. Just winning half of those games, our home ones, would see us up there battling for the playoffs. Instead we are stuck in mid-table mediocrity trying to see out a season that promised so much, but much as our times under Grayson and Warnock, has failed to deliver.
Many fans are asking where the blame lies? Has the Cellino takeover saga made McDermott's tenure untenable. He was completely undermined by the whole affair and I have to give him credit for the way he handled the media. His handling of team affairs though seems to have been affected and the results and performances have certainly deteriorated since that whole sorry episode. Now with the Football League blocking Cellino's takeover where does that leave the club? The Italian has pumped a large sum of money into the club since he began the takeover process and one wonders what will happen if his appeal is unsuccessful. Will he want his £10million back and if so where is that going to come from. Players and staff are worried that they won't get their monthly pay check this weekend and maybe this is the reason performances have dipped.
The big question is, are we on the brink of administration again? If so, where will that leave the club? What points deduction will we face for going into administration for a second time since 2008/9. I have heard the figure of 20 points being bandied about. If that is the case we will almost certainly be relegated to League one and have to sell off all our best players, McCormack, Byram etc and have to start from scratch again, possibly with a new manager and a whole new batch of players.
It is certainly worrying times at Elland Road and for the Leeds faithful. We still harp on about being a big club, which we are, but we are a club that has limited ambition at present that is just hanging on to survival by the tips of its fingers. We are a long way from being a Premier League side again. At the rate we are going we will be lucky to see top flight football in the next 10 years. We need investment and we need it soon. We have a great fan base that will support the club through its ups and downs but we need to have people in place in the running of the club that have the same vested interest. As it stands GFH or whoever it is owns us at present, are not showing that vested interest. The players and management are suffering on the pitch and us beleaguered supporters are suffering in the stands.
We will sing our hearts out, take the piss out of ourselves and follow Leeds through good times and bad but there comes a time to say Enough is Enough and that time is now. Things need to be sorted and fast or we face falling further into debt and falling further down the league table into oblivion. We have 9 games left this season. Nine games for the players to show passion, pride and fighting spirit to show us fans that they are worthy of wearing the white shirt of Leeds United. Nine games for BMAC to show that he is the right man to lead us forward. Nine games for the Board to get things sorted and put up or shut up. Nine games that could decide the future of Leeds United.
My heart is breaking with what is going on at my club. We the fans deserve more. Phil Beeton, who attended his 2000th consecutive Leeds match last night, deserves more. The fans are behind the team and yes I know there are issues behind the scenes, but professional footballers need to perform on the pitch and of late that is not happening. A complete overhaul of the squad is needed. Money is needed in order to accomplish that. So a takeover by Cellino or some other multi millionaire is required. As always at Leeds it won't be straight forward, it won't be pretty and it will keep us fans on tenterhooks but we will live in hope that the mess of the last couple of months will be resigned to the history books and that we can all look forward to a brighter future at Elland Road. It may get worse before it gets better but our rise back to the top will be all the more sweeter because of it.
One can dream.
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