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What next for Leeds United?

Championship Leeds United
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So League One beckons for Leeds - and the nightmare continues for their supporters.

Dennis Wise's side will be relegated from the Championship unless they score a hatful of goals to beat Derby on 6 May and Hull City lose.

Six years ago, Leeds had trips to Real Madrid, AC Milan and Lazio. Next season they will almost certainly visit Hartlepool and Walsall.

Any fans who thought the club had bottomed out when they were relegated from the Premiership in 2004 now knows very differently - and should be aware things could get even worse.

But why has Leeds' decline accelerated?

They have been playing the blame game at Elland Road for several years now and the finger pointing has started again already.

Former chairman Peter Ridsdale refuses to accept his regime - which left the club more than 100m in debt when he departed in 2003 - can be held responsible for this latest disaster.

True, Leeds did reach the play-off final last season and mistakes made during this campaign, which have no link to the past, have contributed to their downfall.

But the almighty hangover from Ridsdale's reign is still casting a huge shadow over Elland Road.

The club's continuing financial difficulties - and loss of crucial parachute money from the Premiership - meant then boss Kevin Blackwell had to sell three members of his side for 4.5m in the summer of 2006.

Blackwell spent peanuts on replacements then was sacked by chairman Ken Bates when his side failed to hit the ground running in August.

It was a harsh decision and, in hindsight, the wrong one, although many Leeds fans agreed with it at the time.

However, few supporters agreed with Bates' decision to replace Blackwell with his old Chelsea mucker Wise in October.

And whether the ship was already sinking or not, Wise has never really looked like the man to steer the club out of trouble, despite having six months - and a flurry of signings - to drag his side out of the mire.

The chaotic scenes at the end of Saturday's draw with Ipswich, which as good as sent Leeds down, only confirmed that the club is at war with itself.

A sorry day summed up a shambolic season in which the club has used 43 players and fought what looks certain to be an unsuccessful battle against the drop.

What next? Well, ask Manchester City, Nottingham Forest or Sheffield Wednesday. League One takes no prisoners and shows no mercy to a big club that has fallen on hard times.

As they prepare for what is likely to be their first season in the third tier of English football, Leeds desperately need some stability yet there are reports Bates is already considering putting the club up for sale.

Whatever the future holds at Elland Road, it is unlikely to be dull.

Next season could see the rebirth of a once great club - or it could be the latest chapter in one of the biggest disaster stories football has ever seen.

Latest 10 comments

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posted May 5, 2007

You used to be our bogey team when we were in the same division. That's no longer the case so I'm off to the Premiership board, somewhere you've never been and may never go.
Stick to worrying about avaoiding a mid-table finish and the loss of your one good player.

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comment by LufcMaz (U8277705)

posted May 5, 2007

Leeds is not a one team city thank you. Just not all the teams in Leeds use the name in their title.

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posted May 5, 2007

smug

he's better than all your PLAYERS. we will defo go up and i think we will always be yor bogey team. i woldn't be cconting s out yet mate

3 stands 3 wins

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posted May 5, 2007

pnescott

You used to be our bogey team in the Championship but now we're in the Premier League which you'll only ever see on TV.

Since we last played Preston we have become much BETTER whereas you have become much much WORSE.

When Nugent goes the money will be used to finish your tiny ground that you may fill if you ever get drawn against us in the cup.

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posted May 5, 2007

are grond might not be the biggest but can you please repeat the scorelines m8. you migh have a bigger ground but i don't see any of yo players in the england team do u ?

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posted May 5, 2007

I know what the scores were, I was there.
They're in the PAST, you know, the time before today.
If you still don't understand ask an adult.

Preston don't have any players in the England squad. It hasn't been announced and by the time it is Nugent won't still be there.

Then you will have no decent players, a poor ground, very poor support and another season going nowhere.

I know we lost to Preston but that was in the PAST, the only thing that Preston have.

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posted May 5, 2007

we haven't got poor support at all. iv been to nearly every away game this season, is that poor. and talking about poor support we don't have fans that leave at half time mate.

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posted May 6, 2007

What's next for Leeds?

League 2 not next season but the season after

Non League within 5 years.


Ulimately the current day version of Clapham Rovers FC

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posted May 6, 2007

Like an earlier poster, I too live in Northampton and will go to see, and support, Leeds next season. Supporters for Leeds United are spread far and wide. It would take at least another generation before Leeds could fall as low as the Accrington Stanley type teams. Leeds need to re-build (and get rid of the idiot "supporters"), but the support is still there. We only need to start worrying when nobody hates us!

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posted May 7, 2007

Don't you just love a good story where the good guy falls from grace and then comes back to save the world? Well I for one am looking forward to watching Leeds return to their rightfull place and I don't care a jot for what anyone else thinks! We all love Leeds!

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