These really are worrying times at Elland Road.
We started the summer confident and somewhat convinced that over the coming weeks there’d be an influx of quality players arriving at Leeds, ready to take on a gruelling campaign in the Championship, which we hoped would result in a push for promotion, and a return to the promised land.
Those weeks have now passed and as it stands, we’d struggle to put out a competitive five a side team.
The fans have almost given up, we’ve been here before and it didn’t end well. You could even say it never actually ended at all. For years now we’ve questioned Ken Bates’ reasons for being at Leeds, asking why we are put through the agony of having to wave off our better players season after season, with the ‘greedy’ excuses still ringing in our ears. We’re still waiting for an answer.
His regime has seen us improve a stadium that we don’t own, create fancy new executive boxes for nobody to fill, make a profit on any player that ever dared to play well in the shirt and he has slowly but surely ripped the heart right out of Leeds. The fight is gone, the spirit has been crushed and almost all hope has been extinguished.
On paper, the club will survive, but Leeds United and all it stands for are hooked up to a life support machine.
Bates is a clever man, appointing Neil Warnock was a good move, but even he must know that promotion is an unrealistic target without supplying Warnock with the financial backing he needs.
This is another worry, as a detailed report into Leeds’ finances recently did the rounds, revealing just how much we could afford to gamble on promotion without risking any problems in future. This was swiftly followed by news that Joel Wards proposed transfer from Portsmouth was being held up as Leeds were unable to find the reported £400,000 upfront payment for his services.
The silence at Leeds was deafening. Here we were again, with Bates seemingly unable to deliver the promises he’d made.
Bates recently stated – “The rebuilding of Leeds United is a bit like sex. In an age of instant gratification, Leeds United is having a long, drawn-out affair with plenty of foreplay and slow arousal’”
Yet the feeling the fans have at present can only be described as being trapped in a relationship with no escape route, having to endure the same lies, excuses and let downs on an almost daily basis. Ken has ground us down until we physically cannot find the energy to put up a fight anymore.
One person you have to admire at Elland Road, for now, is Robert Snodgrass. In recent days he has publicly confirmed what we all already knew, stating how he is struggling to buy in to the plans for the coming season being preached to him by Bates, as the promises previously made by him had not materialized. If Snodgrass does indeed leave Elland Road over the summer, possibly to the Premier League, it will be with a heavy heart, though he can be assured that no Leeds fan could ever blame him.
Ken Bates once said “I shall not rest until Leeds United are kicked out of the Football League’’
There really is nothing else to say.