Article By Ben Dixon
Finally, after 4 long months, the takeover of Leeds United seems imminent. It seems this sentence has been said many, many times before and yet nothing seemed to happen. This time though, there is real substance behind the claim. Today GFH Capital and Leeds United released a statement that said that GFH have the funds to complete the takeover of the club. And not a moment too soon. Tuesday night’s game against Charlton at Elland Road saw the lowest league attendance since Leeds were relegated from the Premier League in May 2004. This isn’t due to Leeds fans not wanting to go. This is the Ken Bates effect. And Leeds fans have had enough.
But I think everyone is pretty tired of the takeover by now so I’ll talk about things that have happened on the pitch in the last week. Or more to the point, things that shouldn’t have happened on the pitch this week. By now everyone has seen the pictures of the so called Leeds fan pushing (NOT assaulting) the Sheffield Wednesday goalie Chris Kirkland. Although it was a stupid and pointless thing to do, I think it’s been blown out of all proportion, for one simple reason. We are Leeds. The idiot that is Aaron Cawley , in that single moment, gave Leeds fans the reputation that most people thought was a thing of the past. And it is, that’s the irritating thing. What pissed me off the most though, was Dave Jones. Referring to all Leeds fans as ‘vile animals’ for chanting about paedophilia charges against him. Yet amazingly, Dave Jones didn’t hear his own teams fans chanting about Turkey, where 2 Leeds fans were murdered. Funny that isn’t it. Selective hearing. Another apparent disease Dave Jones suffers from is lack of sight. Not only did he twine about Leeds challenges, but he again forgot to mention his own centre back, (wears a scrum cap) thinking it was a boxing match and proceeding to punch whatever got in his way, which somehow the referee missed twice.
Anyway the match itself was decent. Well when I say the match I mean a 20 minute spell for Leeds in which Michael Tonge scored a worldy to draw us level. And of course Michael Brown kicking the shit out of anything that moved. But that’s all that can be expected of him. However my personal highlight of the match was Luciano Becchio’s handball. A more blatant red card and penalty will not be seen this season and yet, by some miracle, the referee didn’t see it. Diving at full stretch to divert the ball away from the waiting Sheffield Wednesday player, who had a tap in the goal.
This was followed by another 1-1 draw with Charlton. However, to put these two matches in the same sentence would be criminal. The gulf in class/interest/quality was clear for all to see. Not that many people did see it with only 17,000 people turning up. Already I’m seeing comparisons with Leeds’ first season back in the championship. An 18 match or so unbeaten run in that season. Normally that would put you in or around the promotion places. Unless your drawing too many games, and although early days I can see this happening again to Leeds this year. Not one of Leeds’ league matches have been decided by more than one goal. This is a worrying stat as it means that teams can always snatch a draw, which is always a risky business. And with Leeds’ defensive frailties then I can see it being a major problem this year.
However at the moment there is a renewed sense of optimism around Elland Road, and with the takeover imminent who knows what we can achieve this year. One thing is clear though. It’s never easy being a Leeds fan.