After seven long months of writing about potential takeovers, Ken Bates, disappointing performances, a lack of players, Ken Bates, the negativity around the club, the divided fan base, the dwindling attendances, Ken Bates etc, it’s nice to finally be able to throw off the shackles and be positive.
And positive we are.
Last week will be remembered ‘til the end of time by all of us long suffering fans, ‘TOMA’ can at long last be confined to the history books. What fans of other clubs wont realise is just how important a change of ownership is for us.
Originally, a takeover was just a straight forward way of getting ‘Bates out’, and seemingly the only way of getting him out too.
As time and transfer windows passed we started to suspect that there was more than just Bates’ personal greed behind our lack of activity. In the summer our finances were studied and alarm bells started to ring, we weren’t quite in the rose garden Ken had been claiming. People started to question how sustainable we were, some even believed we would struggle to make the end of the season.
We needed something to happen, fast. Early takeover talk led to new hope, but that quickly turned sour as we watched our season derail game after game.
‘Keep the faith’ has always been a motto held close to many a Leeds fans’ heart, but our faith was being pushed to its limit. In my last article I wrote about how GFH Capital and Ken Bates had ended our season early. As I wrote that I’d had enough, we were going nowhere and to me, the amount of time negotiations had taken had stifled our chances of progress, the emergency loan window was a day away from closing, I could see no way out. It was over.
That article was published at 9:43am. 47 minutes later, our season got thrown a lifeline.
It couldn’t have been scripted better, from despair to elation in less than an hour. All of a sudden our season flipped on its head, it was far from over.
The following day saw Leeds fans feel what every other fan feels on deadline day. It was a refreshing change, we were linked with good players and good players joined the club.
Confidence shot up, Leeds were back.
The atmosphere on Saturday was electric, even with our new found optimism we still couldn’t expect much against a Palace team that had seriously hit form over the last few months, cue an inspired Leeds performance.
With every chant you could see the confidence grow, we were united again, marching on together at last. The Elland Road roar at full time had been long overdue. The table doesn’t look daunting anymore. The points gap between us and the playoffs feels altogether more achievable, and you can’t help but be quietly confident that we might actually be able to pull it off. I’ll never forget last week.
Of the ups and downs of the last few years, for me, it was the highest high. It may not result in promotion this season, but what it does mean is that for the first time in a long, long time, Leeds fans can look to the future and dream.
We’re smiling again, and I’m sure there’s a certain number 11 up in the sky smiling back at us today.
Rest in peace Gary. On on on.
Twitter – @giddy_goose