Whatever Happened to Leeds United?

March 3, 2009 at 5:24 am | Posted in General Football | 4 Comments
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Leeds United managed to take one of the Holy Grails of world football, qualification for the Champions League, and turn it into a garbage bin.   Leeds qualified for the Champions league through the back door qualification process back in 2000.  They made it thorough the first stage (it was then a two stage process before the knock out round), through the second stage, and progressed all the way to the Semi-Final where Valencia beat them.  I watched them lose to Barcelona 4-0 in September 2000 (see post on this blog) but the team rebounded to go on its incredible run to the semi-final.   The game in which they defeated Lazio 0-1 at the Stadio Olimpico was absolutely thrilling.

Buoyed by their incredible run the season before, Leeds invested heavily, betting the farm on the hope of qualifying for the next year’s Champion’s League.  They did not qualify.  What happened in the financial shock thereafter dealt Leeds a terrible blow which they still have not recovered from.   They were demoted from the Premier League , the Championship, and then fell as low as Division One.  They were given a harsh points penalty for falling into administration which prevented them from going up to the Championship.   Last year they made the Division One play-offs only to be beaten by Doncaster Rovers (whom my Grandad used to play for in the thirties), their Yorkshire neighbours.

As it has turned out, it appears Doncaster was the better team to go up as they seem to have found form to stay up in the Championship whereas Leeds is strugging to stay in the play-off zone in Division One.

I miss Leeds United and hope they come back up to the Premiership soon.   The club has a wonderful history including being the last club to win the Division 1 title before it turned into the Premiership.   Furthermore, there has been a great connection between the Vancouver Whitecaps and Leeds United with Johnny Giles, Peter Lorimer, Terry Yorath, Ray Hankin and David Harvey being players who spent time at both clubs (In 2012 the Whitecaps signed Andy O’Brien from Leeds United).  They also have generated some classic playing strip, especially the ones created by Admiral back in what I believe was the late seventies or early eighties.

While there is no arguing that they did not make it to the Premiership without merit, some of the Clubs currently in the Premiership hardly quicken the pulse.  Wigan, Hull, Bolton and a few others are not the kind of clubs I look forward to seeing on the tele.  Leeds is a Premiership club that I love to watch.   I look forward to the day they make it back up to the top.

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4 Comments »

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  1. I have being asking myself the same question and analyzing this debacle. It is a shame. I do hope they make it back to the top too. Would be a great story. All they need is a solid investment from someone looking at the long run in terms of profits.

  2. i
    I also love leeds and long for their comeback. By the way I am from Vancouver and love the Whitecaps. When I was 10 my friend and I used to take shots on the then aspiring goalkeeper Chris Turner. I was very proud when I googled his name and found he had an illustrious career in the MLS. ( called something else then). He was unbeatable and a great guy, about 4 years older than us. A real role model.

  3. Its a shame to see a club suffering from top flight football.. Leeds have always been a premiership team and was once regarded one of the best teams in Europe. I still find it very hard to believe with their successful background that they are not in the premier league. I for one cannot wait to see them back where they belong.. Tony Yeboah best player for Leeds and RIP Gary Speed/

    • Shahid: I am troubled by how long it is taking Leeds to get back up to the Premier League. It is just not the same without them. The club is too big to stumble forever and I believe they will get back up within the next three years. Lets hope so, and thanks for visiting!

      PS My Mum was born in Wakefield and my dad lived in Pontefract… Hence my interest in Leeds U!


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