Thursday, March 31, 2005

Gerrard ... the truth? Posted by Hello
WACCOE -> For What It's Worth

Bill Gerrard

It's difficult to work ot where our club is financially with so limited information in the public domain. But here goes my best estimate.

When Ken Bates took over, he mainly talked about the balance sheet. He said that the liabilities (what we owe creditors such as the taxman, ex-players, etc.) was down to around £13.5m (including £4.4m of loans owed to the previous directors). However over the last few weeks, as he has got his feet under the table and his advisors have got to grips with the financial details, Mr Bates has put more and more emphasis on the operating position (cash flow in and out). His programme notes have indicated that we are currently losing around £120k per week which is annual loss of £6.25m. There has been some pruning of the playing squad with a few young players leaving but the only major wage reduction has been Duberry. According to Bates, Duberry's transfer has saved £700k over the next 17 months (or £9,500 per week). So at best we are still projected to lose around £5.75m next year.

A projected financial deficit of around £6m next year seems credible given the Premiership earners still on the books plus what has to be paid to ex-players and other creditors over the next 12 months. It was the scale of the continuing operating losses and the need to find around £6m to fund the club next year that was the major reason why the Stubbs consortium moved so slowly.

There are only really two alternatives to fund the deficit - get new investors to put money in or try to increase matchday revenues by hiking up prices. Today's letters to season ticket holders confirms what most of us probably expected. And I think the chairman's programme notes have been preparing us for today's news with all the talk about average revenue per seat.

It's a high-risk strategy. Hiking up ticket prices hits loyal fans with families and/or low incomes. The club obviously believe that the fall in revenue from fans who don't renew will be more than offset from the increased revenue from the fans who renew at the higher prices. As I said, it's a high-risk strategy that will cause considerable resentment and may not even generate much in the way of additional revenue if the club has overestimated the expected number of renewals. The brutal reality is that the club is relying on the fans to cover the funding gap. The fans are ultimately having to pay the price of previous financial mismanagement.

So to sum up the ticket price rises were almost inevitable. Bates's takeover prevented administration/relegation and broke a very vicious spiral of decline. Bates brought a degree of financial stability but he didn't solve all of our financial woes. Two things are absolutely vital over the next 14 months - a successful team on the pitch and further new investment. In the meantime we as always are picking up the tab.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

The Sixties all over again?... Posted by Hello
Leeds Today: News, Sport, Jobs, Property, Cars, Entertainments & More

by Phil Hay

Leeds United are facing financial punishment from the Football Association after pleading guilty to a charge of misconduct.
United were accused of failing to control their players after a mass brawl broke out during the 1-1 draw with Gillingham earlier this month, and the Elland Road club have accepted blame for the incident which saw Michael Gray and Darius Henderson sent off.
Leeds will attempt to minimise their penalty, however, during a personal hearing, which is yet to be arranged by the FA but is not expected to be held before the end of the Championship season, and the Professional Footballers' Association have agreed to support United's mitigation.
The club already have a suspended £60,000 fine hanging over them, imposed by the FA for their poor
disciplinary record last season, but the suspension will not be affected by United's latest charge.
Chief operating officer Shaun Harvey said: "We've pleaded guilty to the charge but we have also requested a personal hearing where we will put forward our mitigation.
"The club have secured the support of the PFA who, along with ourselves, will represent our case at a date which is as yet unknown.
"The charge has no bearing on the suspended £60,000 fine previously imposed by the FA."
The brawl at Elland Road was sparked by a touchline clash between Gray and Henderson, who both received straight red cards from referee Mark Cowburn.
Henderson's dismissal was later reversed on appeal, and Stan Ternent's Gillingham are preparing for a personal hearing after denying an identical charge of failing to control their players.
United have struggled with disciplinary problems again this term, and Gray's red card was the sixth issued to the club since August.
Sean Gregan is serving a two-match suspension after accumulating 11 yellow cards, and five other players have passed the five-booking threshold.

"I'm giving you lines for being uglier than me, Sam, and that's the end of it..." Posted by Hello
Leeds United Football Club - Blackwell Is A Man With A Plan

United boss Kevin Blackwell says Leeds will be strong challengers for promotion next season as he reflected on the progress of the last few months.
The manager has stuck to his first aim of making sure Leeds stabilise themselves in the Championship, and with that mission accomplished, everything between now and the end of the season is with the next campaign in mind.
Last week saw the arrival of striker Ian Moore from Burnley, the Whites making their move ahead of Sunderland and Sheffield United, and he looks like being just one of 'the building blocks' in Blackwell's blueprint for 2005/06.
"Signing Ian Moore is a signal of our intent," said Blackwell. "He is just one of four or five that I hope to bring to the club in the summer and they will show people that Leeds will be seriously going for it next season.
"I have drawn up a short-list of players who I believe will add to the quality we already have at this club and put us in a strong position.
"The difference next season will be that unlike this year where I have had to introduce dozens of players to the club all at once, we've had 26 debuts, there will be just four or five to worry about and the nucleus of the team will already be there."
Blackwell's early season argument that Leeds would get better towards the end of the campaign has proved true as they were transformed from relegation candidates to play-off hopefuls, although that chance now appears to have gone.
"There were so many changes at the start because we didn't know what our best combination was, we've had to experiment to find things out.
"Some things clearly weren't good enough but we added quality where it was needed with the likes of David Healy and Sean Gregan and the improvement has been clear.
"If you were to take our form since Christmas we would be second in the table. That's what we've got to build on next season, and if we can, then we'll be in a strong position to go up."
Meanwhile, Leeds reserves recent good run of form came to a crashing halt with a 3-0 defeat against Manchester City at the Atlantic Solutions Stadium on Tuesday evening.
The Whites second string went into the game on the back of a four match unbeaten run that helped them climb off the foot of the table, but they had no answer to a City side that included former United full-back Danny Mills in the side.
Sasa Illic was making his debut for United as he sets about trying to earn a contract past the end of the season, but things went bad from the 15th minute when Ishmael Miller got a vital touch on a free-kick to put the visitors ahead.
Ilic could do little about City's second on 62 minutes when Karl Bermingham struck from the edge of the box and then Bradley Wright-Phillips ghosted past the defence to wrap up a miserable night for Leeds.
Leeds United: Ilic, Edwards, McDaid, Rothery (Gardner 80), McStay, Parker, Gray, Woods, Corr (Howson 71), Smith (McKeown 90)
Subs not used: Wilberforce (GK), Stansfield
Manchester City: Weaver, Warrender, Collins, J D’Laryea, Richards, Mills, Croft (Laird 82), Ireland, Bermingham, B Wright-Phillip, Miller (Bennett 73) Subs not used: Matthewson (GK), Lee-Matthews, Williamson

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Be seeing you Bri... Posted by Hello
Leeds United Football Club - Deano Joins Black Cats

Leeds have allowed striker Brian Deane to join Sunderland on a free transfer.
The 36-year-old has not started a game for United since the start of February after a shoulder injury forced him onto the treatment table.
The Black Cats were beaten to the signature of Ian Moore by Leeds and have turned to Deane as cover."

Moore in on a day of changes Posted by Hello
Leeds United Football Club - Moore Out To Stake A Claim

Striker Ian Moore is looking forward to making his mark with Leeds and insists he hasn't come just to warm the bench at Elland Road.
The 28-year-old finalised his move from Burnley on Thursday afternoon on completion of a successful medical, just before the 5pm transfer deadline.
He joins a list of strikers at the club that already includes David Healy, Marlon King and potentially Rob Hulse with United keen to make the West Bromwich Albion forward's move permanent at the end of the season, but is confident he will be a regular next season.
"Over the last two weeks I heard there was an interest from Leeds and obviously my contract with Burnley was coming to an end," explained Ian.
"Sunderland offered money for me but they would only offer me a contract until the end of the season and there were no guarantees after that. Sheffield United were also in for me but Leeds was the only place I wanted to come to when I knew they wanted me.
"I've been there for four and a half years and I felt it was time for a change and now I'm looking forward to this fresh challenge here.
"The manager has told me I am a player he's always wanted to sign because I've always caused problems when I've played against his sides.
"I am looking forward to teaming up with him now and I know he's assembled some decent strikers here so obviously I am not going to go straight into the team but I am going to put up a real fight to earn a place.
"I haven't come here to sit on the bench. It's up to me to stake my claim and get in there."
The striker agrees with Kevin Blackwell and the Chairman that it's best to get him into the squad now and get settled in rather than waiting until the start of next season.
"There was an option on me signing at the end of the season but the manager wanted me to come in and get used to the place now rather than coming in at the start of next season.
"It's good for me to get in and mix with the players, there's a few I know, but from what I've seen of the training facilities so far, this place is light years ahead of what I had at Burnley."
Moore, who started his career as a trainee with his local side Tranmere, has not had the best of seasons with Burnley, scoring just six times, but then he's been in a situation Whites striker David Healy is very familiar with.
"I have been playing a lot on the wide right because of the system we've been playing at Burnley, so I haven't got too many goals recently but hopefully that will all change.
"It's always an option for me to play out wide and I look at it as another string in my bow, I can play upfront on my own or on the left or right side. I see myself as a striker but if need be I can do a job on the flanks."
Ian is expected to be just the first of a few more arrivals at the club over the next five months with Kevin Blackwell having drawn up a hit-list with six names on it, and his United debut could come with the reserves on Tuesday night against Manchester City at Wakefield.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Moore ... he kept that one bloody quiet Posted by Hello
Leeds United Football Club - Leeds agree terms for Moore

Leeds United have agreed terms with Burnley for their forward Ian Moore.
Kevin Blackwell had stated that any more signings before the transfer deadline tomorrow were unlikely but he has surprised everyone by going after Moore.
Moore will undergo a medical at Thorp Arch tomorrow but no problems are expected to arise and Moore will then be clear to complete his permanent transfer.
No official fee has been released but reports are suggesting that it is in the region of £50,000.
Moore started his career at Tranmere before moving on to Notts Forest, Stockport and then Turf Moor. He has also had loan spells at West Ham and Bradford earlier in his career.
He has scored 70 goals in 303 league appearances and Blackwell will be hoping that he links up with David Healy and Rob Hulse in an attempt to bring more goals to the side.

Hulse ... a permanent switch? Posted by Hello
Leeds Today: News, Sport, Jobs, Property, Cars, Entertainments & More

United want Rob for keeps
by Phil Hay
Leeds United boss Kevin Blackwell will make the permanent signing of Rob Hulse an urgent priority when the Championship campaign ends in May.
Hulse was signed on loan from West Brom until the end of the season last month, but Blackwell today insisted he had no intention of losing the prolific striker without a fight.
The 25-year-old, pictured left, has another year remaining on his contract at the Hawthorns but there is no prospect of him featuring in Bryan Robson's first team, and the forward is understood to favour a long-term move to Elland Road.
Hulse has already proved his ability to thrive in the Championship, scoring twice against Reading on his United debut and claiming five goals in six appearances so far, and the former Crewe forward would provide Leeds with a reliable outlet next season.
Blackwell said: "I took Rob Hulse aside recently and told him that's he's beginning to see just how big a club Leeds United is.
"From my point of view, Rob's got a massive future here and he's desperate to stay with us. He knows that we've got the makings of a successful team here.
"I need to get four or five quality players in during the summer and there's no question that I want Rob to be one of them. He's a class act and, potentially, a 20-goal-a-season striker.
"That's something we've lacked and you can only imagine what might have happened had Rob been here all year."
Blackwell has used loan agreements successfully this term, but his hands will be tied for much of next season as Coca-Cola League clubs are finally forced to embrace the restrictions of the transfer window.
United will only be able to improve the squad that starts the campaign during January, and Blackwell admitted: "We're already deep into our planning.
"My squad's made a lot of progress, but it can only continue to do so with enough depth and the right additions during the summer. It's a crucial time for us."
Leeds, meanwhile, have turned down a request from Sheffield United for extra tickets for next month's Yorkshire derby at Elland Road.
The Blades were originally allocated 1,700 seats for the Tuesday, 5 April clash, but their appeal has been rejected on the advice of West Yorkshire Police.
The Blades fixture follows hot on the heels of United's return to action against Glenn Hoddle's Wolves at Elland Road on 2 April.

Monday, March 21, 2005

The happiest boy in all the world ... his fouls are for you only ... Posted by Hello

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Leeds Today: News, Sport, Jobs, Property, Cars, Entertainments & More

Skipper: Also-rans could cost us dear
Butler bemoans failures

PAUL BUTLER today admitted Leeds United's poor performances against the Championship's lesser lights will be to blame if the men from Elland Road fail to secure a top-six finish.
United's diabolical record against the division's strugglers continued on Wednesday night when they were held to a goalless draw at Nottingham Forest.
It extended their winless run
against the bottom eight sides in the Championship and Coventry remain United's only scalp from the lower reaches of the table.
"We've been talking about this in the dressing room," said the skipper. "I can't put my finger why our record is so bad against the lower sides.
"I don't know whether it's a mental thing or whether it's that we go out and think we are going to turn these teams over then they up the tempo and we can't match them. We have to get to the bottom of it because that is what has cost us this season."
United have now drawn their last three games, against Millwall, Gillingham and Forest, and the captain reckons it is their worst run of the season.
"The results all went for us this week and we knew a win would on Wednesday would put us back in there and build us up nicely for Wolves," explained Butler.
"We're not out of it yet – but we could have been in and among it if our results had been better this past week.
"Normally away from home you will settle for a clean sheet and a point, but not on Wednesday night.
"The game was there for us, like against Gillingham and Millwall. They were three disappointing games. They are probably the worst sequence of games played this year and it's come at a time when we needed to push on."
The stalemate at Forest was United's last Championship game for two-and-a-half-weeks and all their closest rivals will have had at least one opportunity to gain ground on Leeds before Kevin Blackwell's side start again on April 2.
"We wanted to finish on a good note on Wednesday," said Butler. "We wanted to get a win and set us up nicely for the Wolves game, which is one I'm looking forward to.
"But we've got to win that one now. Wolves haven't now lost many lately and it's one that people will say is going to be a draw.
"Hopefully we can get the win to push us on, and hopefully the results will go for us this weekend."
United's squad were following the progress of their rivals from the comfort of the departure lounge at Leeds-Bradford airport before they board their tea-time flight to Dublin.
Leeds are making the most of a weekend off and are set to head for Ireland for a friendly clash with Drogheda on Sunday lunchtime.
Butler added: "We'll use it to do some bonding. We didn't want a free weekend and the opportunity was there to go over to Ireland and have a game.
"If we went two weeks without a game you would see the rustiness against Wolves so it's an opportunity to keep things ticking over for us."

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Leeds United Football Club - Matchreport Nottingham Forest vs Leeds United

Nottm F 0 Leeds 0
Leeds came up against a ragged Forest team that had been hit by massive injury and suspension problems but in the end a game that looked set to yield yet more away points for the Whites was a damp squib.
Leeds never really got themselves going and had it not been for Neil Sullivan's fourth penalty save of the season, they wouldn't have got anything at all out of plucky Forest.
United boss Kevin Blackwell had two changes forced upon him with Sean Gregan and Michael Gray serving part of their suspensions.
In came Frazer Richardson at left-back and Danny Pugh took up position on the wide left in a four man midfield.
The changes meant that Leeds also changed the formation from 4-3-3 to 4-4-2, a formation they hadn't played since the home game against Burnley in early November.
The fit again midfield pair of Gylfi Einarsson and Seth Johnson were on the bench.
Forest had ten players unavailable through illness, injury or suspension.
The Match
Forest, fighting for their lives and having to contend with a virus that swept through their camp, were lively at the start and nearly stole a march on United.
They broke forward from kick-off and Ross Gardner was tackled inside the area by Kilgallon but managed to find his feet again and took it forward, fortunately Sullivan had come out and closed him down and grabbed hold of the ball.
Then with just seven minutes on the clock Leeds suffered a blow when Frazer Richardson was taken off injured. Richardson had turned awkwardly after Kevin James went past him and had to be stretchered off for treatment. It meant Clarke Carlisle was forced to come on and that saw Matthew Kilgallon move to left-back.
United's first chance saw Hulse hold the ball up and his shot on goal was deflected through to Clarke Carlisle who had made a surprising run into the penalty area but the defender was closed down well before he could get anything behind his shot.
David Healy became the first player booked in the match for a trip, and then Forest came forward with purpose through John Curtis, but his shot was easily held by Sullivan.
Sullivan was called upon again on 20-minutes to prevent what would have been a certain goal. Forest's young midfielder James Perch unleashed a low drive from 30-yards that was not only powerful but on target too. Sullivan was equal to it but took two attempts to bring the ball under control.
The hosts were forced to make a change of their own before the half hour mark when Gregor Robertson came on for Curtis who had been suffering from the bug that had already accounted for many of his team-mates.
United had done little in the first half to threaten the Forest goal, Clarke Carlisle sent a header just over before the end, otherwise Kevin Blackwell would have had plenty to concern himself with in his half-time team talk.
Two minutes into the second half and were desperately unlucky not to score when Gareth Taylor hit a shot against the underside of the bar. The striker could not believe his misfortune as the ball came back out but the danger still wasn't over for the Whites.
Sub Gregor Robertson had the ball in the area and was closing in for the shot when Lennon made a powerful tackle on him. Referee Graham Salisbury waved away Forest's loud appeals and Leeds escaped.
Forest had gone into the game with their star player, Kris Commons on the bench, but they brought him on just before the hour mark to liven things up. He was another one who had fallen victim to the City Ground virus.
With 65 painful minutes having been played, Blackwell made his second change and it meant another appearance for Seth Johnson. The fans had chanted "there's only one Seth Johnson" during the first half to get the message over to the manager that they wanted to see him starting games. They had their wish now, kind of.
As Johnson stepped onto the pitch, and was roundly booed by the home fans for his Derby County connections, Leed were attacking through a corner that was played back to Kelly, he swung in a good cross that was met with a firm header by Hulse but it went wide - story of United's night.
Leeds had just begun to get into their stride when a massive defensive blunder gave Forest the chance to test Sullivan from the spot.
It came on 71 minutes when Carlisle allowed Kris Commons too much space and allowed him to get goalside with the ball but then Gary Kelly came across and tripped the Forest play-maker.
Commons stepped up himself but with the pressure all on Forest in these kind of situations, the nerves showed and his shot was just to the left of the centre and Sullivan made the save look easy.
It was the fourth time Sullivan has saved United with penalty saves this season and Leeds have not lost when the former Scotland international has performed such heroics.
Shortly after the incident Rob Hulse was booked for pushing Louis-Jean over near the corner flag, the Forest man going over all too easily and rolling on and on as he did so.
With just over ten minutes left to find a winner Blackwell brought David Healy off and put Brian Deane on in what was the signal for Leeds to try a more direct approach.
The game was kept alive by the presence of Commons for Forest and Lennon for Leeds. After the latter had seen a run and shot come to nothing, Lennon broke downfield and with his usual trickery sent defenders one way and then the other but couldn't find a finish from the edge of the box to trouble Gerrard in the Forest goal.
Leeds were creating more chances though as Forest threw people forward in a desperate attempt to get a winner that would ignite their survival battle. David Healy nearly brought it all to a crashing end for them with his shot but Forest flung bodies in the way and blocked it well.
On the stroke of 90 minutes, United's back line was exposed after attacking at a free-kick, Commons spotted the run of Perch and Sullivan had to be quickly out of his goal to clear the danger. In doing so he just clipped the Forest youngster and it brought his night to an end.
United had one final chance in injury time to come away with the points. They won a free-kick wide on the right of the penalty area which was then brought forward after Forest's continued protests, but it was hardly worth the wait as Seth Johnson blasted his effort high and wide of the target with just about every Leeds player waiting inside the six-yard box to get on the end of it.

It really was a drab affair and some sympathy must go to the home side for their galant performance with such a scratch team.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Leeds 1 Gillingham 1: Leeds fans turn on ref - Newspaper Edition - Times Online

Leeds 1 Gillingham 1: Leeds fans turn on ref
THE alacrity with which the stewards moved to escort referee Mark Cowburn from the pitch, after a result which has seriously damaged Leeds United’s playoff hopes, indicated who the baying crowd thought was to blame. But they would have done better to give credit to a gutsy Gillingham team who should have made the game safe well before Leeds’ late equaliser.
It took Leeds 20 minutes to find any rhythm and when they did click into gear — even if it was only second — they pressed the visitors back. But Gillingham arrived with a record of having lost once in their past five matches, and they restricted United to just two chances in a subdued first half. Both fell to Rob Hulse in the form of headers, the first from an Aaron Lennon cross which he looped over the bar, the second from a Michael Gray free kick which hung in the air so long that the Gillingham defenders left it to their goalkeeper Steve Banks. Somehow Hulse outjumped his reaching arms, but the ball went wide of the net.
With two minutes remaining before the interval Gillingham broke and Darius Henderson won a free kick a couple of yards outside the box. Michael Flynn touched the ball to Chris Hope, whose shot took a deflection to wrong-foot Leeds goalkeeper Neil Sullivan.
Moments later, Flynn had a chance to make it two, scuffing a volley straight at Sullivan. Ten minutes after the break Jonathan Douglas had an opportunity but again directed his header at Sullivan from no more than five yards.
The Leeds players grew as frustrated as the crowd, and a ruckus broke out when Henderson and Gray got involved close to the Leeds dug-out. Both were sent off.
Shortly after Flynn missed another free header, Leeds’ pressure finally told when Hulse scrambled the ball past Banks from close range, his fifth goal in as many games since arriving on loan from West Brom. The last 10 minutes were a siege, but the visitors held out. "We had the best chances and a point was the least we deserved," said Gills’ manager Stan Ternent.
"We should have snatched it at the end, and a few words have been said about that," opposite number Kevin Blackwell said. "The referee has got to ask himself why the crowd was getting so agitated, but we showed some tenacity in coming back."
STAR MAN: Paul Smith (Gillingham)
Player ratings. Leeds United: Sullivan 6, Kelly 5 (Richardson 56min, 6), Butler 6, Kilgallon 6, Gray 4, Walton 5, Gregan 6, Wright 6 (King 78min, 5), Lennon 6, Hulse 7 (Deane 89min), Healy 6.
Gillingham: Banks 5 Nosworthy 6, Hope 6, Cox 7, McEveley 6; Southall 6, Smith 8, Douglas 6 Flynn 6; Sidibe 6 (Byfield, 90min), Henderson 5.
Scorers: Leeds United: Hulse 81
Gillingham: Hope 43
Referee: M Cowburn
Attendance: 27,995

You're not having your red lollipop and THAT'S FINAL Posted by Hello
Leeds United Football Club - Matchreport Leeds United vs Gillingham

Leeds 1 Gillingham 1
United boss Kevin Blackwell has been forced into making one change to the side that drew with Millwall last Sunday. Shaun Derry has had to undergo an operation on his knee which is likely to keep him out for the next fortnight at least. That meant a recall for Jermaine Wright who came back into the side after a two game absence.
The Match
The game was preceded with a minute's silence following last week's sad news of the death of midfielder Matthew Spring's baby and physio Bruce Craven. It was impeccably observed by both sets of fans.
The opening ten minutes produced very little action to get excited about, Gary Kelly fired a shot over and Gillingham came close was a Jonathan Douglas header that fell onto the roof of the net after Leeds failed to clear the ball properly.
As usual Aaron Lennon was providing the occasional spark to get Leeds going and his good running produced an opening on the quarter hour mark that saw Rob Hulse head over from Kelly's chip into the box.
Hulse came close again with another header that was deflected over by a defender on the line after he met Kelly's corner.
Sean Gregan, who misses the next two games though suspension, was on the receiving end of a late tackle from behind by Gill's on-loan midfielder Douglas. Fortunately Gregan was able to continue after what had been as bad a tackle as you are likely to see all season.
The football lacked the quality United fans had become accustomed to in the last few weeks, but in Hulse they know they have a real Jack-in-the-box who can pop up with a goal from anywhere. The striker nearly did just that eight minutes before half time when he beat the keeper to a header but the ball landed on the roof of the net again from 10-yards out.
Old habits die hard and Leeds were nearly caught out on the counter-attack again just as they have been so many times at home this season against teams they might be expected to beat comfortably. Neil Sullivan was able to hang onto Michael Flynn's volley after Nicky Southall found him making the run into the penalty area with a great cross.
Another nervous moment came with three minutes remaining in the half as Gillingham won a free-kick just a yard outside the box.
United had reason to be concerned and they certainly were after the free kick was taken with the visitors making the breakthrough thanks to no small measure of good luck.
Flynn rolled the free-kick short and Chris Hope hit it low and hard but it took a wicked deflection and Sullivan beaten as his dive failed to get to the ball.
It could have been even worse as deep into injury time Sullivan was forced to tip away a shot from Mamady Sidibe and Kelly just got there in time to hack the loose ball away.
At half-time Leeds had it all to do if they were to maintain their play-off challenge.

Kevin Blackwell would have had plenty to say at half-time after a poor half from Leeds but he could only watch in astonishment as they nearly let the visitors in for a second goal shortly after the restart.
From a throw in Sidibe flicked the ball on and Douglas was found unmarked just five yards out but headed it straight at Sullivan.
Sean Gregan was then shown his 11th yellow card of the season after a foul on Douglas.
Ten minutes into the half and Simon Walton found himself in unfamiar territory with a clear run to goal but just as he made his way into the box Nyron Nosworthy came in with a tackle to deny the teenager.
Walton and the United fans in the Kop screamed for a penalty but referee Mark Cowburn deemed the challenge a fair one and Walton picked up a booking after continuing his protests.
Frazer Richardson then came on for Gary Kelly as Blackwell made his first change of the afternoon.
There was no indication of what was about to erupt in the moment that proceeded one of the biggest on-pitch battles that Elland Road has seen in years.
United full-back Micky Gray and Gills' Darius Henderson clashed and it started a melee that appeared to involve everybody on the pitch, all the coaching staff, about five stewards and countless others.
Once everything had cooled down, which took some time, both Henderson and Gray received their marching orders as they were shown the red card for violent conduct. A three match ban for Gray now awaits.
Leeds huffed and puffed but Gillingham put everyone back and every time just did enough to prevent an equaliser. They really were fighting for their lives.
Marlon King made his entrance against his former club with twelve minutes remaining, coming on for Jermaine Wright.
It was Gillingham's Michael Flynn who missed the change to kill the game off and secure the points for the visitors when he headed a glorious chance wide from three yards out.
Time was running out for Leeds and the time to throw everything at Gillingham had long passed but the equaliser finally came with ten minutes of normal time left and there was no small measure of irony in the fact that King was involved.
The on-loan Nottingham Forest striker crossed from the right and the Gills defence failed to deal with it and Hulse managed to get the ball under control and somehow scramble it home from four yards out.
Leeds were still in danger of being caught out on the break and Sidebe nearly punished them when he broke clear from the half-way line but Matthew Kilgallon raced back and got a foot in to knock the ball towards Sullivan.
As the clock ticked down Healy made a run into the area and shot across the face of goal where it looked like Ian Cox was about to turn the ball into his own net but instead the defender managed to make a life-saving clearance.
In that move though Hulse picked up an injury and was forced to come off with Brian Deane replacing him for the final few minutes.
There were some five minutes of extra time to be played which just about accounted for all the time spent clearing up the scrap earlier.
Deano came inches away from giving Leeds a late, late winner but failed to connect with Kilgallon's header back into the area from Richardson's free-kick.
Healy then saw a cross nearly drift inside but the keeper tipped it away and in the end Leeds had to make do with a point.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Here we go, here we go, here we go Posted by Hello
BBC SPORT | Football | Championship | Millwall 1-1 Leeds

Millwall 1-1 Leeds
Millwall and Leeds are now three points off the play-off places after a hard-fought draw at the New Den.
Millwall defender Paul Robinson scored his first League goal for the club after 17 minutes, bundling the ball home from close range.
But Rob Hulse secured a point for Leeds with a neat turn and shot into the bottom corner 12 minutes from time.
Both sides could have had penalties in the second half, while Millwall's Josh Simpson somehow missed from a yard out.
· Millwall boss Dennis Wise:
"I'm proud of them, they showed a lot of enthusiasm and did extremely well.
"They don't know the game properly yet and need a bit of help but you can expect them to always work hard and they showed what they can do.
"I thought we were hard done by and did enough to win the game but we're still in with a shout."
· Leeds boss Kevin Blackwell:
"This period of the season is not for the faint-hearted and the play-offs is now only a win away.
"We didn't start as well as we have done of late but we were much better in the second half.
"We've come a long way since the start of the season and, form-wise, from November we are second in the league so we had to give it a go."
Millwall: Marshall, Paul Robinson, Lawrence, Ward, Craig, Sweeney (Weston 84), Elliott, Morris, Simpson, Quigley (Peeters 89), Dichio.
Subs Not Used: Serioux, May, Stack.
Booked: Elliott.
Goals: Paul Robinson 17.
Leeds: Sullivan, Kelly (Carlisle 90), Butler, Kilgallon, Gray, Lennon, Walton (King 60), Gregan, Derry, Healy (Johnson 84), Hulse.
Subs Not Used: Wright, Pressman.
Booked: Gregan, Derry.
Goals: Hulse 78.
Att: 11,510.
Ref: B Knight (Kent).

I curse thee to bow down before me and my mad staring teddy bear eyes for the rest of your natural lives ... MWUHAHAHAHA Posted by Hello
Leeds United Football Club - Matchreport Millwall vs Leeds United

Millwall 1 Leeds United 1
Kevin Blackwell stuck with the same 11 players who started last week's match with West Ham United.
There were, however, changes on the bench. New signings Marlon King and Kevin Pressman took their place alongside Seth Johnson, Jermaine Wright and Clarke Carlisle.
It meant that Blackwell had the opportunity to hand out yet two more debuts for The Whites. Aaron Lennon will be looking to continue his impressive recent form on the right-hand side and along with David Healy on the left, they would be looking to provide for lethal on loan hitman Rob Hulse.
Jody Morris was in the starting line-up for The Lions and after his histrionics after scoring a last minute penalty when the sides met at Elland Road he might be preparing for a few stern challenges early on!

An eagerly anticipated clash got off to nervous start as Leeds could have been behind within 90 seconds! Millwall quickly got the ball forward and as the ball was whipped in to the box Mark Quigley found himself unmarked six yards out but he could only plant a weak header straight at Neil Sullivan - thankfully!
But Leeds responded in great fashion a minute later as Lennon curled a cross into the Millwall area only for Darren Ward to force Andy Marshall in to a smart save. Ward was in two minds about how to deal with the cross and ended up creating havoc for his team.
And in a frantic opening period Micky Gray nearly opened the scoring as well from a free-kick. Simon Walton burst through the midfield and was brought down 25-yards out. But Gray's effort was just the wrong side of the post.
And Leeds' opening spell of pressure wasn't finished there. Hulse fed Healy on the left but his shot from distance went over the bar.
Lennon once again looked like being Leeds's main threat and after 15 minutes he wriggled free down the touchline and as the defender stumbled in his wake he pulled the back across the face of goal there was no Leeds man on hand to put the ball away.
Then Millwall's answer to Lennon, Josh Simpson went on a mazy run and teed up Peter Sweeney who brough a great save out of Sullivan. But from the resulting corner disaster struck.
A goal mouth scramble resulted in a shot from Quigley which was deflected in off Paul Robinson's toes. A bad goal to concede especially as Leeds had bossed the opening spell of the match. It was Robinson's first league goal for Millwall.
Millwall are a physical side at the best of times and there were some interesting one-on-one battles on the pitch. Matt Killgallon was struggling to cope with the huge presence of Danny Dichio and the tenacious Simon Walton was up against the equally tigersome Jody Morris.
Since the goal on 17 minutes Leeds were just struggling to keep hold of the ball and Lennon and Healy were in possession in the wrong areas. They need to be running at defenders and committing the opposition but Leeds's main threats were getting the ball with their backs to goal.
Lennon was having to drop deep to receive the ball but one mazy run brought about the first booking off the game. He ran about 50-yards at pace with the ball at his feet and the only way Millwall could stop him was illegally.
Marvin Elliott hauled the youngster down 25-yards from goal but the free-kick came to nothing.
Gregan and Derry, who had been so influential in last weeks' win over West Ham were not having much influence on the game and that was probably why Leeds were struggling to create chances.
As the first-half drew to a close the game became scrappy with no real openings and Blackie had his work cut out if he was to turn this one around.
The second half got underway with Leeds looking for an early breakthrough and it nearly came courtesy of their longest serving player - Gary Kelly. Hulse tried to set it up for Derry but played the ball in behind him but Kelly ran on to it and hit a piledriver from all of 30 yards that Marshall did well to tip round the post. It would have been a rare event, the right-back hasn't scored a league goal since January 1997!
Leeds were nearly undone from another set piece though when Simpson missed a glorious chance. He headed wide from no further out than three yards under no pressure whatsoever and only he will know how he didn't give Millwall a two goal cushion.
As the second half was following much the same pattern as the first, on the hour mark, Blackwell handed out the 38th debut of the season to Marlon King.
The striker, on-loan from Nottingham Forest went on to play up top with Rob Hulse to see if the added fire power could grab something from a game that could end Leeds's slim play-off hopes once and for all.
The substitution brought an extra impetus to Leeds's play and Matthew Killgallon, of all people, created an opportunity that should have resulted in the equaliser.
He came charging forward with the ball and played a one-two on the halfway line with Healy. His cross in to the box was the best delivery of the day but King and Hulse got in each other's way and the chance had gone.
Hulse also hit one just wide from distance not long after. Millwall did have a decent penalty shout turned down though when Simpson went down following a Butler challenge.
Leeds were piling on the pressure but weren't getting the rub of the green in the box but then The Incredible Hulse struck again with 10 minutes left.
Paul Butler, who had gone up as a last ditch effort, won a header in the box and as the ball dropped to Hulse he controlled it in an instant and composed himself before firing in to the bottom corner.
It was Hulse's fourth goal in four games since arriving on loan from West Brom and he was certainly on the way to becoming a terrace hero.
The last five minutes were nervy for Leeds as they were on top and pushing for victory but they didn't want to leave themselves open at the back and throw away all their hard work.
Blackwell brought Seth Johnson on for Healy to give the midfielder his first appearance of the season and his presence just added a bit of steele to the midfield for those final few minutes.
But both sides seemed happy enough with a share of the spoils as the last few moments of the match were used up by substitutions. Clarke Carlisle entered the fray for Leeds and Bob Peters came on for Millwall.
It was a battling performance from Blackwell's men and a draw was just about a fair result. Millwall created the better chances but Leeds had more of the possession. But Leeds lose ground in the race for the play-offs.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Great (and blindingly obvious) cliches of our time No 343: RETURN OF THE KING Posted by Hello
BBC SPORT | Football | My Club | Leeds United | King completes loan move to Leeds

Nottingham Forest striker Marlon King has completed a loan move to Leeds.
The 24-year-old Jamaica international has fallen out of favour at the City Ground following the arrival of new Forest manager Gary Megson.
And he is Leeds boss Kevin Blackwell's fifth signing in a month, providing cover for the injured Brian Deane and Julian Joachim.
King will go straight into the squad for Sunday's trip to Millwall should the switch be finalised in time.
"When I learnt Kevin Blackwell wanted me at Leeds I did not hesitate," King told the club website.
"It's a massive club and one which should be in the Premiership. When I get my chance I hope to make the most of it and get some goals."

Thursday, March 03, 2005

MY-KEEE Doo-Berry the Rent-a-Robot-Bot-Bot Posted by Hello
Times Online - Sport

Duberry cuts all ties with unhappy era at Leeds
FOUR seasons ago, Michael Duberry’s career peaked when he played a pivotal role in Leeds United’s 1-0 win over AC Milan in the European Cup on a saturnine night at Elland Road. Yesterday, he departed for Stoke City, leaving Gary Kelly and Eirik Bakke as the only survivors from a team that was systematically broken up by the club’s penchant for chasing dreams and renting goldfish.
Duberry cost £4.5 million from Chelsea in 1999 but has gone to the Potteries on a free transfer. For many at Elland Road, his will be one of the least lamented exits because the more one-eyed Leeds supporters have not forgiven him for giving evidence against Jonathan Woodgate, his team-mate at the time, when the defender, who is now at Real Madrid, was tried for GBH and affray in 2001. “It wasn ’t a difficult decision to come back to Stoke because I was happy here and always play better when there is a smile on my face,” Duberry said after signing a 2½-year deal. “There was interest from other clubs, but I felt comfortable at Stoke. The fans were a big boost to me after going years without that.”

The appraisal of some Leeds fans is unlikely to be improved by the Yorkshire club having agreed to pay a portion of Duberry’s £23,000 weekly wage for the remaining 16 months on his contract. Leeds have brokered similar deals in the past when offloading players such as Robbie Fowler, Robbie Keane and Danny Mills. Although seen as underlining the financial folly that has ravaged the club, such complex contracts were the only way to tempt suitors to accept players who had been given exorbitant wages in the era of Peter Ridsdale, the former chairman. Only Kelly, Bakke and Seth Johnson are still on big money.
Duberry hopes to put a difficult few years behind him. From the witness box in 2001, he admitted to lying to police and stated that his friendship with Woodgate was over. Despite telling the truth in court, Duberry received hate mail in the aftermath of the trial.
“It’s good news for me to cut all ties at Leeds and return to a club where I enjoyed a great rapport with supporters,” Duberry said. “I felt I did well here on loan, but then I went back into hiding after going back to Leeds. This is an opportunity for me to return to a happy environment and kick on.”
Leeds will also be glad to see him go. It was alleged in a Sunday newspaper that a former director, Simon Morris, had been prepared to take extreme measures to get the club’s top earners, including Duberry, off the payroll. These included hiring hitmen and spiking drinks to provoke grounds for dismissal. The allegations have been denied by Morris. In the end, Duberry’s exit was far more ordinary.
Now 29, Duberry started the season in the Leeds team, but after returning from loan, made only a cameo in the club’s FA Cup third-round defeat away to Birmingham City. The sight of him limping off after 22 minutes proved a sad epitaph to a Leeds career in which he made 77 appearances.
John Rudge, the Stoke director of football, said: “We’re delighted he’s decided to come back. He did very well for us during his loan spell. He’s a player the supporters have already taken to and he fits in well in the dressing-room.”
His move means that only Kelly and Bakke remain from the Leeds squad that reached the 2001 European Cup semi- finals. Duberry played a fleeting but significant part in that success, bolstering a makeshift back four in an injury-hit team against Milan at Elland Road. Of his team-mates that night, two are at the club, five have moved to Premiership clubs, two are abroad and one is in the Coca-Cola Championship.
NIGEL MARTYN: Champions League beckons at Everton, where he is enjoying a revival after a free transfer two years ago.
DANNY MILLS: Continuing to champion the aggressive side of the game at Manchester City.
GARY KELLY: So far resisted Leeds’s attempts to remove the club’s top earner.
LUCAS RADEBE: Part of the tsunami game, but soon on his way out of Leeds.
MICHAEL DUBERRY: Departed for Stoke City amid bizarre claims that the previous board was prepared to spike his drinks with drugs.
JONATHAN WOODGATE: Enjoying a season-long siesta at Real Madrid.
RIO FERDINAND: Most expensive English defender, when he moved to Manchester United for £30 million.
DOMINIC MATTEO: Sold to Blackburn Rovers during club’s boot sale last summer.
IAN HARTE: Dubbed “The Irish Bull” by Spanish fans taken with his attacking style at Levante — let’s forget about his defending.
LEE BOWYER: Has never quite recaptured his goalscoring form. Now at Newcastle United.
EIRIK BAKKE: Who? Played one game for Leeds this season after number of injury problems.
OLIVIER DACOURT: Driven out by Terry Venables to AS Roma.
JASON WILCOX: At Leicester City.
HARRY KEWELL: The regret might lay with Liverpool, who signed the now anonymous Australian.
MICHAEL BRIDGES: At Sunderland via Bolton Wanderers.
ALAN SMITH: Reduced to tears by relegation, so jumped ship to Manchester United.
MARK VIDUKA: Escaped to Middlesbrough.
DARREN HUCKERBY: Trying to keep Norwich City in the top flight.
DAVID O’LEARY: Three years after he soared to the Premiership summit, his Aston Villa team scrape into the top half of the table.
PETER RIDSDALE: Stepped down as Barnsley chairman in December.


Wednesday, March 02, 2005

YESSSSSS!!!! Out, out, out... Posted by Hello
Leeds United Football Club - Duberry Agrees To Stoke Move

Michael Duberry has agreed a move to Championship rivals Stoke City this Wednesday morning.
The 29-year-old defender has been for talks at the Britannia Stadium and rejoins the Potters after spending three months of the season on loan there previously. His move to Stoke is dependent on passing a medical this afternoon but he is expected to be included in their squad to face Brighton this Saturday.
He has agreed a two-and-a-half year contract with Tony Pulis's team.
The former England under-21 arrived at arrived at Elland Road from Chelsea in the summer of 1999 for £4.5m but has endured a frustrating last few seasons at the club.
Injury proved to be his biggest set-back as within months of signing he picked up a thigh problem that put him out for months and cost him his first team place. He started to show the form that earned him his move to Leeds in the first place in September 2000 but a ruptured Achilles put him out for the rest of the season.
After that the partnership between England internationals Rio Ferdinand and Jonathan Woodgate at the back saw his chances of establishing himself hit further.
Michael refused to get downcast about his stop-start spell at Leeds and shrugged off speculation about his future and battled hard for a place in the side, something he managed to achieve to a degree in the previous two seasons at the club when he made 20+ appearances in each season.
This season he has made just four starts for Leeds in the Championship and once in the FA Cup.
Duberry made 76 appearances in all competitions during his five year spell with The Whites.