Why Leeds United fans deserve some transparency

Leeds United could be forced to reveal their mystery owners should the club win promotion to the Championship this season.

A new proposal is being put forward by the Premier League that would see an increase in parachute payments from £23.4m over two years to £48m over four and would also see an increase in solidarity payments shared between the clubs in the Football League. However there is a stipulation in the agreement which means that every club must divulge the identities of those with shareholdings above 10% on their official website. As the deal is a joint venture with the Championship it means that all clubs in the division at the start of 2010/11 season would be subject to this rule.

The problems at Leeds have arguably been there for almost a decade, with Peter Ridsdale taking out large loans and paying players big wages, assuming that the club would qualify for the Champions League in 2001. Despite Leeds brilliantly reaching the Champions League semi-final that season, the club failed to qualify for the Champions League, narrowly losing 4th place to Newcastle United. What followed was a gradual sale of their star players, the likes of Rio Ferdinand, Jonathan Woodgate and Harry Kewell were sacrificed to desperately try and balance the books along with countless others. Eventually performances started to slide and the club found themselves relegated from the Premiership after 14 years in the top flight in 2004. After a disappointing mid-table finish in their first season in the Championship, the club reached the play-off final in 2006, but despite being the favourites for the final they lost 3-0 to Watford. Things then went from bad to worse for the Yorkshire club as they went from the brink of the Premiership to relegation to League 1 in the space of a year, going down whilst in administration. From 2007, Leeds have been desperately trying to get out of the division they now find themselves in, they again reached a play-off final in their first season but despite being strong favourites again lost 1-0 to Doncaster. Last season the club reached the play-offs again but lost out to their arch rivals Millwall in the semis.

Currently Leeds sit 2nd in League 1, and with just two games of the season left, The Whites can clinch promotion this weekend if they can win away at Charlton and Millwall lose away to Tranmere. The good times could soon be back for the Elland Road faithful and should this be the case then you feel that after all their fans have been through they deserve to know who is running the club after many turbulent years. The last thing the club needs now as is another mishap from an owner so, coupled with a promotion it would be a positive move for all concerned with the club. As not only would it appear as though the club is finally on the road to recovery on the pitch, but it would also give the fans a figure of morale as they would be able to put a face to who has been running the club during their time of success.

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