A Leeds United blog of rantings, match reports and a whole load of weird shit...

Sunday, 27 May 2012

110 Days of Torture in Review: Week 4

A week in which absolutely nothing concrete happened to send the rumour mill into frenzy. When embracing a new darkest hour, a new lowest ebb, Leeds fans can always rely on a new set of takeover whispers to provide salvation…

Monday 21st May

With his summer holiday rapidly approaching, Neil Warnock meets up with United’s CEO, Shaun Harvey at Thorp Arch to discuss the (lack of) progress being made on the transfer front. Having made the grave error of stating that he hoped and expected to have 3 or 4 players in before his departure, Warnock, doubtless awash with a mixture of emotions that most likely embrace notions of anger/despair/being a hopelessly naive tit, allegedly articulates his inner demons with some gusto. One particularly credible source revealing on WACCOE:

Trouble at mill...

In some ways you have to feel sorry for Harvey, a man who just appears to be so helpless that he could probably be accredited charitable status. His seemingly never-ending list of hard luck stories about the men he’s chased after, only to be disappointed, reminds me of one of those tragic, rotund aunties; you know the ones; they always turn up at weddings in an unflattering floral dress, accompanied by a long suffering ‘close friend’ who they use a support mechanism for that inevitable moment when they break down over the realisation, that while they’re witnessing another blissful union, they remain alone, depressed and helping themselves to another Scotch egg.

I wonder if Shaun ever finds himself storming off the dance floor as Freda Payne's 'Band of Gold' resonates out, tears rolling down his cheeks as he makes a bee-line for the toilet cubicle, where he can be alone, lost in his own thoughts, torturing himself over the moment that Jonny Howson closed the door after that final round of contract talks, never to look back?...

Tragically for Shaun, it’s happening all over again, but this time with Snoddy. Like Jonny before him, Snoddy loves playing for Leeds, he loves captaining Leeds, but like so many of these pesky prima donnas of the modern era, actually figures pissing away his talent in a relegation dog fight wouldn’t be a lot of fun. In an interview our captain throws down the gauntlet, challenging the board, stating that:

“If things change in terms of bringing players in and getting Premier League class and kicking on, then it’s a no brainer. You sign the contract and move on”

Well, it ties in with everything Bates has claimed the club are working towards, so no problems there then, surely?...

Oh, hello...

Back now to our credible source. The LUST chairman, not satisfied that his work is done having brightened the afternoon of Leeds fans with his revelations over Harvey’s dressing down, decides to drops an altogether more ground shaking nugget of information…

Cue frenzied takeover speculation!

With that begins a new frenzy of takeover speculation; yes, nothing was explicitly stated but this info was coming from a rather better placed source than the “mate who’s an Ipswich Town season ticket holder and has no reason to lie” staple of WACCOE rumour mongers. When another well placed TSB luminary went further to state that he knew that an offer was “definitely” on the table, so the latest, and potentially most epic WACCOE takeover thread of all, took to life.

Yes, I did just make THAT comparison!

Despite repeated pleas and a crescendo of private messages, BillyisGod has kept all subsequent comments cryptic, discreet and yet altogether positive, establishing himself as perhaps the biggest cock tease for the male LUFC fanbase since Kylie first donned those gold hot pants – now who’d have seen that comparison coming?

Tuesday 22nd May

Full on revolution is now in the air as fresh comments emerge from the lips of our beloved, new wave iconoclast, this time diplomacy is emphatically and resoundingly drop kicked out of Thorp Arch, landing somewhere on the outskirts of Whitby; finally, our captain singles out Bates. Talking to ‘The Scotsman’ Snoddy reveals:

“The chairman is trying to put a bit of pressure on me. He’s telling me what plans he has got for the club. But they told me the same type of plans the season before and it didn’t work out, so it’s hard to buy into these things again…

Soon to be murdered, chopped into small pieces and buried in plots all over Beeston...

…To lead Leeds United back to the Premier League would be a dream come true. The full place would be absolutely buzzing. But who knows whether he (Warnock) has one or two years left at Leeds?...So it’s alright for him to say he could get me a move, but if he leaves, then the people above him are not going to worry about what he said”

Anyone get the feeling he doesn’t trust Bates?

True to form, in the face of such a story, the club desperately peddle a good news item on the website, pitching the headline ‘Defender poised to agree new deal’. On reading the story it emerges that Neil Warnock has confirmed that “We’re talking to Tom Lees about his contract”… talking eh? Well that’s put everyone’s mind at rest.

The dreams all begin here...

United also reveal another 3 friendly games as part of the pre-season build-up; The Whites confirm they will actually kick off their campaign with a Friday evening trip to take on Farsley Celtic at Throstle Nest – Warnock has three days less than we thought to cobble a starting XI together.

The revelation by the YEP that never-ending the Joel Ward transfer saga is down to the club’s inability to afford the upfront payment of a £400,000 transfer fee sparks even more frenzied speculation in some quarters, the rationale being that this represents a freezing of assets ahead of an imminent takeover.

A second revelation in the YEP, that the club is entering yet ANOTHER legal battle - this time over policing costs - offers an alternative explanation for the scarcity of money at Elland Road.

Wednesday 23rd May

Another day, another ground shaking revelation!

Yorkshire Radio reveal that their very raison d’ĂȘtre, the Wednesday interview with Mr Chairman will be taking a break for the summer. Ben Fry is understood to be distraught and spending time under the watchful gaze of his close family.

No reason is given why our esteemed chairman - currently on the brink of losing another court case, facing questions regarding falling income, lack of investment and inconsistent accounting from the outside, and a failure to honour promises, retain and recruit players from his captain and manager – has chosen to keep a low profile.

He's gonna need something stronger than Carling...

On a lighter note, it’s good to be reassured that there are always others even worse off than ourselves. Thanks must go again to Portsmouth; not satisfied with the indignity of losing their captain to Leeds, not even content with somehow trying to outdo us on the administration front, the Fratton Park outfit reveal their intention to kick-off the new season with Billy Paynter spearheading their promotion charge.

Rumours suggest that tattooed, bell-ringing Pompey super fan, John Westwood has reserved a patch of left arse cheek real estate to adorn with Billy’s image

Thursday 24th May

The revolution is well and truly in full swing. After Snoddy addressed the masses from a secret location at the beginning of the week, Neil Warnock is inspired to follow suit. Breaking ranks from the Yorkshire Radio stronghold, our manager crosses the line and gets into bed with the “communists” at the Bloated Biased Corporation, revealing that he can understand his captain’s viewpoint:

“He knows what I think about him and I don’t blame him. I know he’s saying ‘let’s see how ambitious the club are’…When I spoke to him he said to me ’12 months ago it was Gradel, Johnson, Howson and me’ and now he’s the only one left. I understand where he’s coming from.”

As I’m sure any reader will agree, those quotes truly do represent a skewed and manipulated, agenda-driven version of the truth. Those BBC bastards…

Friday 25th May

With Neil Warnock, mournfully stood in line, waiting to get his “I went to Ibiza and all Bates has got me was a lousy Jason Pearce’ t-shirt printed, Leeds fans seemingly give up on chasing unrealistic dreams of signing players and retreat back to the comfy, welcoming womb of takeover speculation.

Heads turned by a pavilion?

With previous events and stories suggesting that the Toronto Maple Leafs are the most likely bidders for the club, some tweeters in a desperate search for salvation choose to adopt rumour as absolute truth. When the whispers attain worldwide trending status, the MLSE twitter account is moved to issue a swift denial. This is the signal for many to write off the takeover story as another complete fabrication, as twitter is obviously the place where vast sporting conglomerates discuss their business…oh, and also as it appears inconceivable that it may even be another party who are in talks.

In contrast, rather than issue any denial, the club keep a dignified silence…did I really say that?! No, actually, let’s stick with the diplomacy angle; it keeps the takeover dream alive!

Elsewhere, the club are busy plugging LUTV, offering for just the cost of a subscription, the chance to see the inside story on the new pitch being seeded at Elland Road. Yes, that’s right: grass growing – it’s live, it’s exclusive and it’s only on LUTV! Get subscribing people!!

Elsewhere, there's very encouraging news to be had from the U15’s performance in the Lennart Johansson Academy trophy, held in Sweden; according to the official site, the youngsters impressed in the youth tournament that featured a number of elite European clubs. Not only did they beat Stabeck (who?) 1-0 in their first game, but they followed that up with another single goal victory against Kapa (again, who?)… sadly our boys faced a run of games against clubs who keen Europhiles may have actually heard of and fared thus:

Sturm Graz 3 Leeds United 0
Espanyol 4 Leeds United 0
AIK Solna (think I’ve heard of them) 3 Leeds United 1

Lord only knows what an unsuccessful showing would’ve represented.

Saturday 26th May

Today’s “chuck it in there and hope it sticks” takeover party is named as the Qatar-based QSI group, the source, reassuringly a fan who’s mate has done a bit of work (plastering/gardening/decorating* - *delete as appropriate) for someone involved at a high level within the organisation – champagne on ice, everyone!

At a League One play-off final that draws in 7,000 less supporters than the 2007 Yeovil vs. Blackpool clash did, two MASSIVE clubs bore everyone to death. Eventually Huddersfield triumph and amidst a cacophony flapping rattles, fans of the Dog Botherers hastily wank themselves stupid at the prospect of another visit to ‘Bellend Road’… we can only wait and see if they can come closer to selling out their "inadequate" allocation of 2,6000 tickets this time out.

This is for you KEN BATES!!!...erm, I mean, Dean Hoyle.

A delighted Simon Grayson chooses to ignore the fans who travelled in their dozens to watch their heroes, instead dedicating the victory to his supportive, ambitious chairman. Anybody else reading something between the lines there? Hmm…

The YEP reports that Tom Lees in on the verge of agreeing a new contract that brings his earnings into line with the more senior squad members at Elland Road. Whether these are the criminally over-paid squad members the club cannot shift or the markedly under-paid squad members that the club can’t seem to retain is not made clear.

Neil Warnock considers the new deal as fair reward for Lees, telling the paper:

“He’s got a lot to learn and he’s made individual errors, but he’s improved his all-round game and was almost the first name on my teamsheet. I can’t give him a bigger complement than that”

Well, to be fair Neil, if you keep Snoddy and bring in another 8 first teamers to join Jason Pearce and THEN you’re still saying the same, that claim might just carry a little more gravias.

Sunday 27th May

A story on ‘The National’ website claims that QPR are ready to allow Paddy Kenny, Shaun Derry and Tommy Smith join Leeds; whether a collective offer of below £400,000 is deemed acceptable for the trio is another matter entirely.

Beyond our budget

After enjoying a longer lifespan than some insects, the Joel Ward saga is finally expected to come to an end tomorrow when the Pompey player signs for Crystal Palace.

I cannot believe I find myself feeling angry about missing out on a player who before a few weeks ago I had neither heard of, nor could remember seeing play, and who in most quarters has been written off as mediocre anyway…

Summer can be a real bitch!

Sunday, 20 May 2012

110 Days of Torture in Review: Week 3

Monday 14th May

In a heartfelt statement of thanks towards the supporters, Leigh Bromby spoke of the full trauma of his injury nightmare in Cardiff: “I don’t remember much about it… it’s all a blur. I knew straight away it was something serious” revealed Leigh, before going on to say “I remember Pughy talking to me…then the next thing I remember is being in the dressing room with my mum and dad there” – a close encounter with Danny Pugh is obviously even more disturbing than we thought.

The spectre of Danny Pugh is just too much...

It’s going to be a long road to recovery for the defender, although fortunately, as Bromby stated, “I’m in the most capable hands possible and I trust them to give me the very best rehab”. It seems that Bates’ offer to allow Ben Parker to continue using the Thorp Arch facilities will prove to be an inspired move.

Tuesday 15th May

A very chipper Neil Warnock dismisses the promotion credentials of the three sides joining the Championship next season, via the means of the Premier League trap door. Blackburn and Bolton are written off on the grounds that they’ll most likely lose some of their key players, while Wolves’ chances are questioned on the grounds that they’ve appointed a manager who’s such an unknown that even his wife requests his ID card before allowing him into the house.

Definitely Solbakken, look at his shirt!

Admittedly, Stale Solbakken may well sound like niche Scandinavian delicacy, but chances are his squad and financial resources are something that Warnock can only look upon with covetous eyes. The full extent of Bates’ tight grip on the ‘war chest’ padlock key does appear to be hitting home for our manager though, who also expresses a word of caution about the new powerhouse in the division – Charlton Athletic:

“Already I’ve enquired about one particular player and I know that Charlton are willing to pay a fortune for him, wages wise, so they are obviously having a go and will maybe sign two or three on big money”

Welcome to our world, Neil!

Regardless, our man remains unrepentant, continuing:

“But from my point of view, I won’t be worrying about any of them if we get our targets really.”

Okay, so how do we break this to him?...

Wednesday 16th May

Simon Lenighan becomes the second academy prospect to sign a professional contract at the club; he follows Sam Byram who put pen to paper last week. The club ponder whether they should have Neil ‘They’ll do it for me’ Redfearn sit in on all contract negotiations.

After collective sighs of exasperation and mass head scratching, the reason for Ross McCormack’s exclusion from another Scotland squad is revealed as Peter Lorimer confides to the YEP that he bumped into Craig Levein in Perth a few weeks back and badgered him about selecting the 19 goal striker.

It must’ve come as a blow to the one-time Scottish hero that his words carried so little gravitas; one can only assume that the Scotland manager is familiar with Lorimer’s Friday newspaper column and having noted his assertions that Leeds United possessed a squad capable of gaining promotion this season, was persuaded that maybe Lasher is not the most sound judge of talent.

Fancy a wage cut and trips to Peterborough and Barnsley?

It is also revealed in the YEP that Neil Warnock is set to renew his interest in Clint Hill – Leeds chasing a proven, solid Premier League defenders… oh Neil, when will you learn?

The big story of the day though was undoubtedly to be found on the timelines of twitter where the fall-out of Andros Townsend’s brief spell at Elland Road continues to rumble on. After an evening of abuse from a section of #TwitterWhites, the Premier Inn partial, cocksure Cockney of the colossal cranium finally snapped, posting the following eloquent riposte:

Right I’ve had enough of bullying inbreds for one day! Ill leave you lot to watch your dvd’s of the glory days and sh*g ur sisters!

It hardly represented the most intelligent and calculated move on his part; his remarks being re-tweeted to all corners of the Earth and being responded to in kind by the LUFC fanbase, almost all of whom were quick to point out the irony of a man with such a gargantuan forehead making such allegations.

And that's coming from a Yeovil/Scum fan - ya gets me?!?

Fortunately the lower leagues’ answer to The Littlest Hobo was able to call on his fanbase to counter the abuse, re-tweeting the supportive words of Mitchell Clarke who similarly mocked Leeds for not being a being a big club – one look at his profile page reveals Mitchell to be a Yeovil AND Scum supporter… oh the irony!

The pressures of coming from a successful famiily...

In defence of Andros, it’s imperative that LUFC supporters take a moment to realise his predicament; the pressure to succeed must be almost unbearable for a young guy who comes from such a successful family.

Thursday 17th May

‘Androsgate’ rumbles on as the holder of football’s most loaded Nectar card takes it upon himself to taunt Whites supporters with his modest career highlights; regaling the hordes with astonishing episodes of brilliance from his times at Millwall and Ipswich.

Memoirs of a lower league legend.

Eventually, it would appear that someone ‘had a word’ and the original ‘inbreds’ tweet is deleted and a humbling apology posted in its place. We can only hope the reprieve from the idiocy is a temporary one.

Humble pie? One slice of two?

Also swiftly withdrawn is a story from the Yorkshire Post, claiming that Leeds are likely to be interested in bringing Michael Owen to Elland Road in a £50k per week deal. The untold damage to that particular journo’s credibility must be almost incalculable.

Meanwhile the YEP, a day after reporting that QPR will be looking to offload Clint Hill, now reveal that Rangers will look to head off interest in him by offering their defender a new deal – take it from us Neil, don’t waste any more time even trying to kid yourself on this one!

A fortnight after the hysteria that followed the revelation about Adam Clayton’s transfer listing, the footballing world is still obviously struggling to grasp his ‘God-like’ status as Burnley stand alone as the one club to declare a firm interest. Maybe Barcelona and Madrid don’t do their transfer business in May either?

Friday 18th May

“The positive thing about Neil is that he’s got a clear vision for next season. He’s also got a level of enthusiasm which I think potential signings will warm to easily. It’s not to say that players are going to come simply on that basis, but I think it’s a massive advantage to have someone like Neil in place – a proven coach with a track record of winning promotion. That’s what players will be looking for when they weigh up their options”

Ross illustrates the gap between his contact offer and his agent's expectations...

More prophetic words from Peter Lorimer on the day the club fail to convince another player already at the club to sign a deal. Today it’s Ross McCormack’s turn to get on the gravy train out of Elland Road, destination: Prospectsville. Expect the usual process of blame and aspersions of greed levelled against the player, his agent, ex-directors, the disabled and the Chinese to follow.

Warnock attempted to sound philosophical, stating:

“That’s the nature of football and it’s their prerogative. It’s a big concern because you want to keep your batter players”

You’re slowly catching on, aren’t you Neil?

Saturday 19th May

The YEP reveal that the club are in danger or missing out on Joel Ward, believed to be one of the two players that Warnock wanted signing by the end of the week (you were warned, Neil). Several sources reveal that the issue is not with Ward who favours a move to Leeds, rather with the club who have been “slow to finance a fee of £400,000”… roll up, roll up! Get your membership applications in NOW!!

Memberships are obviously essential for supporters wanting to secure a seat at next season’s play-off final, but this season, having inexplicably failed to make it to Wembley, Leeds supporters have to content themselves with watching the Hammers triumph; it’s an ‘against all odds’ victory as a club that has held on to its key players and complemented the squad with big money signings has defied all logic to succeed. Puzzled fans are even denied the satisfaction of having Geoff Shreeves on hand to ask David Gold: “Well you may have gone up David, but you do realise that you haven’t got a pavilion?”

West Ham’s victory at Wembley not only denies Blackpool chairman, Karl Oyston, the opportunity to reward himself with another new helicopter, but also necessitates that he immediately starts preparation to deal with next visit of Leeds. Rumours of a military presence at Bloomfield Road draw no comment, though it’s understood that plans to host the game on Christmas Day morning on an oil rig in the Irish Sea have been vetoed by the Football League.

A success built 'brick by brick'... give or take £1bn. 

Later, the sixth best side in England, rightfully claim the title of European Champions after surviving 120 minute battering from a Bayern side that incredibly boasted a frontline that would benefit from the addition of Billy Paynter and Mikael Forssell.

After a gripping penalty shoot-out finale that would be enough to give more frail, Chelsea fanatics heart failure, Leeds fans scour news websites and radio stations for any breaking obituaries, emanating from the Monaco region. With no revelations forthcoming, it slowly dawns that Bates’ excitement at Chelsea’s triumph will only be increased ten-fold by the realisation that their new ‘Champions of Europe’ status is all the excuse he needs to make the rumoured pre-season friendly, Category ‘A’.

Expect sickeningly sycophantic programme notes, unfounded claims about his own role in the success story, another pending court case for libelling Ambramovich and a on-pitch guard of honour… roll on August!

Sunday 20th May

Four days have passed and not a single story has been published on the official site that’s directly related to the football side of the club. Hey, not to worry though; if you ever had aspirations of treating your dad on Fathers’ Day with a trip in a hired Porsche (covered by an Enterprise Insurance policy) to Flamingoland followed by an evening meal at the Nicky Chapman Suite then dream no longer; it’s time to fill your boots!

The destination of choice for dads everywhere.

Still no news from Monaco…

Sunday, 13 May 2012

110 Days of Torture in Review: Week 2

A week of inane ramblings from our chairman about non-existent investors and little activity on the transfer front... same old, same old.

Sunday 6th May

The club reveal more details about the proposed casino development at Elland Road; true to form, the attractive and exciting looking architect’s impressions of the new West Stand redevelopment that could previously be found online have now been replaced by something a little more ‘cheap’ looking.

The casino development

An excited Shaun Harvey enthuses about the importance of the scheme, talking of how it will complement the other magnificent facilities that have so enriched the parish of Beeston, informing us that a casino would help “increase revenue streams on non-matchdays”… the notion of buying players to increase revenue streams on actual matchdays still however appears to be a concept beyond Shaun’s comprehension.

Come and see what you could've won...

Monday 7th May

All remains quiet as the supporters await the promised flurry of transfer activity, but anyone who doubted Bates’ commitment in ensuring the Leeds United would quickly re-assume a high profile in the Premier League under his stewardship are made to eat their words.

Leeds fans here, Leeds fans there...

Monday night 9.55pm and the club finally find themselves sharing the ‘Monday Night Football‘ spotlight on Sky Sports as Mr We Beat The Scum 1-0 and son take it upon themselves to try and convince the Ewood Park regulars that things could be worse.

Tuesday 8th May

Keep listening to Yorkshire Radio and looking at the official site if you want to hear all the Leeds United news first!”

Ken Bates’ words are proved right again as Sheffield Wednesday are revealed as one of the Whites’ opponents for the 2012/13, literally within days of their promotion.

Former White, Vince Hilaire moves to assure fans that they have a fine new player on their hands in Jason Pearce, stating that Pearce “loves defending, loves heading the ball, loves getting his blocks in, and loves tackling”. Such words are like music to the ears of supporters, but are reported to have caused all manner of confusion for Paul Connolly.

Same bloodline?

News of a very concerning development emerges from Norway, where a rather troubling resemblance is revealed between one power crazy maniac with a fetish for courtrooms and our own chairman, back when he was at a similar age…

Wednesday 9th May

The centrepiece no doubt of every week during the close and pre-season season arrives in the form of Bates’ address to the unenlightened and unwashed. Today’s ‘interview’ is an especially insightful episode that raises all manner of talking points.

As the chairman speaks out on the contract situation at Elland Road, he reveals that Snoddy is close to signing a new deal with the club, with only a couple of “little obstacles” that need tackling – rumours suggest them to be his salary and a show of ambition in the transfer market.

A potential investor's wet dream

The big story that breaks regards a potential £20m investment that the club missed out on from a very keen Leeds United supporter and Saudi-based business man. According to Ken, very good progress had been made and the club invited the ‘investor’ over for the Middlesbrough game to meet Shaun Harvey, in an attempt to clinch a deal; having been inevitably impressed the largest conferencing facilities between Manchester and Newcastle, and then veritably wet himself at the magnificent new corporate plans in the East Stand, the man in question was said to be been taken aback a little by the sight of a few hundred fans chanting outside the West Stand… asking for new investment.

Apparently, after a period of reflection, the investor contacted Bates to inform him that he wouldn’t be investing in the club as he couldn’t be seen to be “associating with such undesirables and morons” – being that the investor resides in Saudi Arabia; a place where public executions by stoning and beheading are commonplace, with floggings and amputations, regular punishments for more minor offences, it does seem appear almost inconceivable that a “few kids” chanting about things “they don’t know anything about”, could’ve unnerved the man in question.

Shaun Harvey and that day’s starting XI were however, unavailable for comment.

Elsewhere, there’s a reminder that as bad as things have got at Leeds, we do have at least a few shreds of dignity to hold on to as officials at Sheffield Wednesday, rather than think “Well, thank f**k that’s over!” and pretend it never happened, opt to take part in a civic reception to celebrate finishing up as the second best team in League One…they even receive a trophy.

Reassuringly, the crowd muster a few verses of “We all hate Leeds scum”.

Thursday 10th May

Neil Warnock reveals that the club are in talks with Tom Lees to give him an enhanced contract that reflects his progress at the club – that should be enough to put a smile on Tom’s face...

The Turner twins are also celebrating being offered new deals, though it’s not clear whether Bates’ thought that one contract covered them both for the next 12 months.

Leeds’ first pre-season friendly is revealed; the Whites are to travel to Burton Albion on Tuesday 7th August for a game. Remember, to get all the Leeds United news first, listen to Yorkshire Radio and check the official site… or in this case, read the Burton Mail.

Our turn to fleece the bankrupt

Neil Warnock reveals that he expects to have answers regarding contract offers from all those players involved, no later than the first week of June, thus allowing the fans a full 10 week official mourning period before the big kick-off. Meanwhile, Joel Ward becomes the latest Pompey player to be tenuously linked, bigged up and swiftly dismissed on WACCOE.

Friday 11th May

Following a fortnight of feverish online speculation, the club finally confirm details of the pre-season tour in Cornwall. It appears that Neil Warnock is very comfortable with the schedule having chosen an identical itinerary in the build-up to QPR’s title winning season… whether Tavistock’s officials will feel as comfortable attempting to accommodate an influx of Leeds supporters in a stadium that holds 2000 is another matter entirely.

Fortress Bodmin

Mercifully, the second fixture, seemingly hosted on a 5000 capacity mound in Bodmin looks to be far less of a potential logistical nightmare. Ground capacity issues are unlikely to be an issue at Plainmoor either, where the team complete their mini-tour with a match against Torquay; however, supporters are left pondering what degree of meticulous planning was employed to posit thousands of pissed up Leeds fans in a popular south coast holiday resort, on a Friday night, in high season.

As always, the official site is right on the ball, providing detailed dossiers on our opponents and the venues. It is revealed that Torquay narrowly missed out on the play-offs LAST season having finished 7th (they were in fact beaten finalists). This season’s campaign doesn’t even merit a mention.

As part of their on-going drive to increase commercial revenues, the club publicise the many ways in which businesses can advertise their brands at Elland Road. The opening gambit of the promotional statement reads:

Leeds United fans come from all walks of life. Business leaders, chief executives, directors, office workers, factory workers, OAPs, juniors and families. The diverse nature of our fanbase provides great advertising opportunities for all brands and businesses.

Essentially the club provides a list of supporter groups, carefully ordered into a hierarchy of importance and desirability - needless to say, the unemployed, single mums and the Chinese don’t even merit a mention.

Saturday 12th May

On a quiet day, the YEP offer the most noteworthy contribution of the day, by posting a link to a Tom Lees interview where he discusses his ‘away day’ experiences and it can be found here.

Never struggle to read Tom's state of mind again!

In an electrifying exchange, our chirpy centre back recalls no end of crazy anecdotes in his typical excitable, animated and humorous manner. For those less able to discern Tom’s subtle range of facial expressions, the guide provided above should help enhance your enjoyment of the video.

Sunday 13th May

Absolutely nothing of note happened at Elland Road today.

Destined to be recycled indefinitely...

However, it would be remiss of me not to acknowledge the end of the Premier League season…especially when it gives me another chance to recycle this picture.

Monday, 7 May 2012

Leeds United Movie Poster Fry Ups

In recognition of his sterling services both to LUTV and the match day experience, here begins a week of posters especially dedicated to the one, the only, Ben Fry...         








With special thanks to @Thorny17 who's close encounter with the great man at the end of season awards dinner, helped make this all possible...

Sunday, 6 May 2012

110 Days of Torture in Review: Week 1

To fill the vast, awful expanse of time between now and August 18th when everything quite possibly goes to shit again, 'Fear and Loathing in LS11' brings you a regular review of all the goings on at Elland Road in easily digestible, weekly chunks. So spare yourself the daily torment of speculation and the desperate search for news, and instead just look in every Sunday to find out what you (most probably haven't) missed...

Monday 30th April

With the league campaign finally over, as opposed to just being over as a spectacle (see March), Leeds fans, having spent the weekend rejoicing in the fact that 9 tormented months, punctuated by broken promises and player sales are at an end, realise that 16 tormented weeks, punctuated by broken promises and player sales start right here.

Wrong shirt, bruv!

On the back of the least discreet ‘come and get me campaign’ since Ken Bates’ most recent programme notes about Melvyn Levi, speculation is inevitably rife that Jermaine Beckford could be set for an emotional return to Elland Road. Insiders reveal that only a couple of minor obstacles stand in the way of the move – a transfer fee and his salary. A final decision will be made when funding for the club’s 16 other departments has been finalised.

On a less positive, rather more realistic note, the fact that Robert Snodgrass was the last to leave the pitch at full-time, then had his head bowed during the lap of honour triggers a mass emotional meltdown; Snoddy’s interview in the YEP where he talks of the decision not being his but his family’s, already point to our skipper excavating an slick escape route. Still, at least the decision will be quick one, he plans to discuss the matter with his family over the ‘coming weeks’.

The term “days not weeks" comes to mind...

Tuesday 1st May

The official site runs a story urging supporters to come down to Elland Road for the ‘Homecoming of Don’. The club boast that the unveiling of the Revie statue is to take place on Saturday, especially to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the famous FA Cup win…and also the launch of the new home kit.

The Pavilion will also be open, offering a special celebratory breakfast at just £10 per person; the club neglected to mention that anyone wanting to take advantage of the offer will also have to pay the mandatory £3 entrance fee, for which they will receive a voucher that can then be exchanged for a ‘complimentary’ cup of tea.

Billy’s Bar and Howard’s restaurant are also to open for the big day. The club announce that Howard’s will be getting into the spirit of things by offering a 1970’s menu… those that have been there before speculate whether that will constitute any discernible difference.

Mercifully released

With the ‘retention list’ day of reckoning only 24 hours away, Danny Webber offers hope to the masses by admitting he doesn’t know if he’ll be offered a new deal. He also reveals how nice it was to end the season with a goal, even if it was from close range, saying “I’d take 20 of them a season”… in truth Danny, how about aiming for maybe 5 first?

A chill runs down the spine of every supporter as the official site run the headline ‘Relieved Gaffer ready to kick on’ as a million Simon Grayson soundbites come back to haunt them. Mercifully, upon reading the article, the phrase “kick on” is not once directly attributable to Neil Warnock.

Wednesday 2nd May

The day of the retention list is here and in true Leeds United style, the retained players are not listed, rather just those who Warnock intends to cast into the footballing abyss.

Initially the big story is the inclusion of Adam Clayton amongst the non-entities who’ll seeking employment elsewhere; cue outrage from the four corners of the Earth. The rumblings quickly recede as a combination of Warnock’s revelation that Clayton had refused a new contract, and the cold hard fact that our midfield superstar only justifies the hype for maybe one game in every four, hit home.

Not as good as he/we think?

As the Clayton hysteria dies down, a far more disturbing story emerges – Danny Pugh is to escape the cull! Cue more indignation and mass hysteria. Maybe Neil had forgotten all about him? It’s easily done. At least the other Danny had his heart broken.

Of those staying, 6 players are to be offered/are considering new contracts; not intent on putting Leeds fans through the misery of the transfer window, the club are really going to town on the contract soap operas this summer.

Mixed news as the club announces that 7 youngsters have signed professional contracts; such an influx floods an already bloated squad with more players, but at least the signing of terms boosts their market value when Chelsea and Manchester City come sniffing around.

Thursday 3rd May

The club remind everyone again that Billy’s Bar and Howard’s will be open on Saturday to celebrate the launch of the new kit. Apparently a statue of some fella will also be unveiled by the magnificent new Pavilion, which incidentally is the largest conferencing facility of its type, between Newcastle and Manchester.’ The Don’ would feel truly humbled, I’m sure.

In contrast, speculation about the arrival at Elland Road of El Hadji Diouf has begun to quieten; Leeds fans on the whole, hope this is a positive sign, despite the Senegalese striker’s obvious attributes…

Scouting report in graphical form

Neil Warnock reveals that although Adam Clayton has been transfer-listed, the midfielder will be a part of his plans should a suitable offer not be received. He also warns that although 11 players were listed in the cull, it may not be easy to move every single one of them on.

Expect a ‘Can’t get rid of the useless f**kers’ list to be published in August.

Friday 4th May

After what seems to have been weeks of “dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s”, Jason Pearce is finally confirmed as United’s first signing of the summer… just in time to promote the new Leeds shirt. After last summer’s selection of Jonny Howson, Andy O’Brien and Paddy Kisnorbo to promote the new kits, the fan base takes in a sharp collective intake of breath.

@jpearcedog87 - a natural leader by twitter ID alone!

For his part, Pearce expresses his delight at a move to “a massive club with great facilities”. Plans are also afoot to show our new centre-back around Thorp Arch and the inside of the stadium in the coming weeks…

Another kind reminder from the club that all fans are invited to the unveiling of the Don Revie statue tomorrow; and hey, while in the area, why not have a relaxing drink at Billy’s Bar, or treat yourself to a meal at the award winning Howard’s restaurant?

In his YEP column, Peter Lorimer reminds supporters that the club doesn’t have oodles of cash to spend (omitting any reference to court cases in the process) and admits that last summer’s squad building was a disaster… weeks after asserting that the squad were more than good enough to gain promotion. Unrepentant, Lorimer continues to have outrageously high expectations of managers, saying he believes that you won’t find Warnock “talking about the play-offs in August – he’ll be aiming for the top two, at least”. It’s not clear from that remark, whether Lorimer understands that Champions League qualification is an impossibility for a Championship club.  

Saturday 5th May

According to the official website, “1000s of fans” turn out for the unveiling of the Don Revie statue and the day is hailed as a major success. A collective sigh of relief is tangible at the unveiling as 'The Don' is found not to be wearing a new season Macron rain jacket. Expect the inside track on those all-important catering sales figures from Howard’s and Billy’s in the chairman’s Wednesday address on Yorkshire Radio.

Finally, a fitting tribute

Luke Varney and David Norris are the latest Pompey players to be linked with a move to Elland Road as Leeds fans delight in the delicious irony of plundering another club for players at knock-down prices as it’s slowly dying on its arse.

On the pitch, United cap a remarkable fixtureless week by extending their unbeaten run to one week – Vive la Revolution!!