Your Verdict: Leeds going down

May 4, 2004
By Dominic Raynor
(Archive)

Bolton Wanderers' 4-1 thrashing of Leeds United condemned the Yorkshire club to relegation and a series of crisis meetings.

The club's huge wage earners could cripple the the club in Division One if Leeds are unable to off-load the fallen stars and chairman Gerald Krasner has already spoken of his fear of 'doing a Sheffield Wednesday'.

The club are hastily trying to reorganize amid rumours of a takeover and haulage magnate Steve Parkin is tipped to be in control before the end of the season.

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Leeds United's real problem is not that they will lose all their stars in the summer - it's more likely that nobody will want any of these lazy, overpaid prima donnas and Leeds will have to keep paying their over-inflated wages for the terms of their contracts.

Take Mark Viduka - his agent claims he's one of the top five strikers in the world, but he's gone missing at so many crucial times, and just when his team needed him the most, he gets himself sent off. You'd be a fool to buy any of them.
John Hunter

As a Leeds fan, I am gutted that they are down. Do I blame David O'Leary? No, absolutely not. Do you know of a manager, in any football league, who doesn't want more players? It's his job to want more players. It's the board's job to say, "not now, go with what you've got." So DOL did his job.

This is all, totally all, on the back of Peter Ridsdale. Don't talk about wages and signings when some 100 club employees are driving around in company cars. Don't talk about shortages when you buy Rio for 18 million and turn around and sell him for 36 million, cash. Obviously, Aston Villa took the gamble on DOL and the last time I looked, they were sitting sixth in the league. He hasn't spent them into the poor house.
Dr. David Yasko

I am a Leeds fan and I think that it won't take long for them to get back up. Especially if they get taken over by this new guy. I also really hope that one day when Leeds are back up in the Premiership that Alan Smith will return. He is such a valuable player because he is top class, loyal to his club and a definite fans favourite. I can't wait to see him playing for Leeds again.

Even though I will be supporting Leeds when they're in the First Division, I will still be following the Premier League and I'll be following Alan Smith's new team.
Kiri Bettison

So Alan Smith claims he is not a Division One player? He should look at his track record before making such claims. Eight goals this year and six assists is hardly inspiring stuff. Perhaps he should let his alleged ability do the talking rather than his overworked mouth.

Personally Alan, I think your attitude belongs in the First Division and I wouldn't pay 10 pence for you let alone see you in an England shirt. Lose the chip off your shoulder, play the game and let's go from there. Leeds till I die? Leeds while it suits you!
Larry Bellshaw

The best thing for young Alan would be a season in the 1st Division. It was him and his lot who crushed Leeds with their massive wages and the likes of Harry Kewell's sniggering exit on the cheap. I don't like Leeds, and I never have. So, there's not much sentiment for their plight.

But, Alan Smith for all his chest thumping could do his own reputation a world of good by sticking with the club ala Di Livio at Fiorentina. Unfortunately, there are too many Alan Smith's crying crocodile tears in the world, then there are hardworking players willing to roll their sleeves up and help dig the club out of the muck they've driven it into.
Joe Hadar

I'm not sure why, in your story "New takeover for relegated Leeds" you refer to Leeds "rightful place in the premiership". Is the writer a Leeds fan?

Whilst the shock of relegation may be greater for Leeds fans than for Wolves or Leicester fans, who probably half expected it at the beginning of the season, no team has a right to play in the Premiership. And Saturday's miserable performance was further proof, were it needed, that Leeds just can't compete with even average Premiership teams.

Their rightful place is in Division One.
Guy

As a Liverpool fan I have nothing but sympathy for all the loyal fans of Leeds United who witnessed their relegation to Division One at the weekend. It is always sad to see the decline of any club, but in this case it is a big club, with a great tradition and history and many thousands of loyal fans. These fans are not responsible for the managerial ineptitude and calamitous decision making of previous regimes which have contributed to their current situation.

I sincerely hope that Leeds will bounce back - sooner rather than later - because the Premiership will be poorer without them. The Premiership is a big league, and big leagues need big teams. As for their players, I would hope that they would at least show the club some loyalty. They enjoyed the good times there so they should roll up their sleeves and battle for the club.

I have some sympathy for Alan Smith and Paul Robinson however, because their future England prospects would likely suffer in Division One. As for Mark Viduka, one of their more senior professionals, he could and should, have shown a lot more maturity than he did last Sunday. If that is his attitude, then Leeds would be a whole lot better off without him.
Nick Hopwood

I think what has happened to Leeds is something so sad. I haven been supporting them for so long, ever since my father showed me what it meant to be a Leeds fan. The days of glory are all but over and now there's nothing but the ashes to build on. A board of directors that seemed to be living the dream at the expense of the fans' and the club's security did not pay off and now we're the laughing stock of the football world.

How long it will take to bring Leeds back to its rightful place is only a story time itself can tell and with the imminent departures of Leeds' remaining jewels, the cloud over Elland Road will still hang.
Tim Ng

The reason for things going all down hill at Leeds United is because of the board, not because of over paying wages but because of sacking David O'leary! As soon as he left and big El Tel came in Leeds were never the same. DOL was sacked for finishing 5th on the ladder! how times have changed and Leeds would love to be back in that postion! This is proven by what DOL has done at Aston Villa.

I love Leeds and pay for pay TV in Australia so I can see there games and on Sunday against Bolton when the camera showed a little tacker on the screen in tears and chanting "We will be back" is something that should be shown to all concerned with Leeds United as how much this club means to people! I hope we can bounce back straight away buy i do fear it may not be the case. But what ever happens we will be "Marching on together" hopefully back in the top flight next year!
Steve Mitting

It seems to me that many people have forgotten that these "so called great players we do not want to sell" could not keep us in the Premiership. Therefore, wouldn't it be fair to say that selling them would be the best circumstance for the club. Pay off some of the massive debt and start again with the kids. There is more LEEDS in their hearts than any of our so called stars.

Remember, as a Leeds fan it is better to be in division 3 than not to be at all. Forget crying over who spent what, lets look forward to playing other great clubs like Forest, Watford, West Ham etc.
Steven

Time to rip it up and start again. The highly paid dead wood currently filling the first team squad has got to go even if it's only for a paultry transfer fee.

Leeds need a proven manager with 1st Division experience and know how. Rome wasn't built in a day and any possible return to the Premier League won't be either. It's a time for heads not hearts.

If the club can maintain strong gates over the next few seasons then I think they'll be heading back in the right direction once more. Time for the faithful to prove their real worth. I for one will be renewing my season ticket. Somehow I don't think I'll be alone.
Neil

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