Monday, July 31, 2006

BBC 31/7/06
Midfielder Griffiths leaves Leeds
Midfielder Joel Griffiths has left Leeds United to return home to Australia after sealing a move to Newcastle United Jets.
The 26-year-old joined the Elland Road outfit last season but failed to impress boss Kevin Blackwell.
United had to appeal to Fifa to gain clearance for the player as he was at the centre of a wrangle with former Swiss club Xamax.
But he only went on to make two appearances from the bench for Leeds.

Yorkshire Evening Post 31/7/06
United woe as injury crisis deepens
by Phil HayLeeds United's injury problems were reaching crisis point today as Kevin Blackwell prepared to discover the fate of new signing Kevin Nicholls.
The 27-year-old midfielder, purchased for £700,000 from Luton last week, looks set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines after sustaining a knee injury during his first training session with United's squad.
Nicholls was undergoing a scan today, and the injury, which will rule him out of this weekend's opening Championship fixture against Norwich City, is one of a growing number of problems facing Blackwell.
David Livermore – another of United's summer signings – was missing from the squad for the Elland Road club's friendly at Nottingham Forest on Saturday, although he is expected to be available for the visit of Norwich to Yorkshire.
But Richard Cresswell, Shaun Derry and Stephen Crainey are also on the injury list, and Blackwell was assessing Neil Sullivan and Eirik Bakke this morning after both sustained injuries at the City Ground.
Sullivan's knock has created a pressing problem for United after the club agreed to sell Ian Bennett to Sheffield United last week, a departure which left Leeds without a senior second-choice goalkeeper.
Blackwell has youngster Mark Wilberforce on his books, but the United boss may now give serious consideration to signing trialist Darren Ward, who replaced Sullivan for the final minutes of Saturday's friendly.
Ward is available on a free transfer and could present a convenient option if Sullivan's injury leaves him doubtful for the clash with Norwich. 31/7/06
GRIMSBY TOWN 1 (McDermott 9) LEEDS UNITED 1 (Lewis 52)
Graham Rodger Testimonial Match
Grimsby: Barnes, McDermott (Croft 71), Newey, Harkins, Whittle, Futcher, Toner, Rankin (North 79), Bore (Foy 57), Jones, Beagrie (Hegarty 71). Subs: Barrick, Chamberlain.
United: Ward, Richardson (Madden 65), Bonasel (Camfield 77), Gregan, Benscheidr, Einarsson (Hird 56), Asaba (Gardner 46), Bayly, Beckford, Moore (Garra 56, Howson 84), Lewis (Morris 65). Subs: Wilberforce.
Referee: Mark Swift
Att: 3,575
Leeds United's final first team friendly ended in a 1-1 draw at Grimsby thanks to a second half equaliser from Eddie Lewis.
The American's 52nd minute strike cancelled out an opener from experienced Grimsby defender John McDermott. Both sides had chances to win the game, but honours deservedly ended even.
The testimonial clash was the penultimate chance for United manager Kevin Blackwell to look at some of his players ahead of the big kick-off - he may give some a run-out in Tuesday's reserve team game at York - and he handed full debuts to trialist goalkeeper Darren Ward and former Sheffield United and Millwall utility man Carl Asaba.
The Leeds boss also included two foreign trialists in his starting XI, at centre-back and left-back.
It was a veteran defender who took the honours in the first half, though. McDermott, who celebrated his testimonial last season with a visit from Leeds, hammered Grimsby into a ninth minute lead when the visiting defence failed to clear their lines after a good attack down the right.
Gylfi Einarsson had a chance to respond, but headed wide, and Grimsby keeper Phil Barnes pulled off a superb block to deny Jermaine Beckford with a fierce drive.
United goalkeeper Ward made his only save to deny Isiah Rankin on 26 minutes before Leeds slowly started to assume control.
Livewire midfielder Rob Bayly went close, United had an effort cleared off the line, and Asaba had a shot blocked as the visitors ended the first half strongly.
But seven minutes into the second period, United were back on level terms when Lewis converted, following good work by Frazer Richardson.As the game ebbed and flowed, Ward made a couple of good saves in the Leeds goal, including another fine stop from Rankin, and Beckford went close to finding a winner for the visitors.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Sunday Times
Talk is cheap for under-pressure Blackwell

The Leeds manager faces another year with little cash to spend, but he knows fans and the board demand success after last season’s near miss

SOMEHOW it came as no surprise to Kevin Blackwell that a few days after seeing his Leeds team ignominiously beaten by Watford in the Championship playoff final last May, he should find himself in a courtroom. More than ready for a break, Blackwell was called up for jury service. He carried out his civic duty with characteristic application. “It did feel faintly surreal at first, especially when fellow jurors brought in United shirts for me to sign, but the bottom line is you’re taking a decision that changes lives,” he said. “It was a difficult case, a sexual assault. It put football into context, which is no bad thing”
Context is a word Blackwell uses regularly in relation to United’s performance last season, usually in the same sentence as debt. To get within 90 minutes of promotion at a time when the priority was to continue reducing the club’s liabilities has, he knows, raised expectations in the stands and — judging by chairman Ken Bates’s comments — the boardroom to such an extent that few bookies expect Blackwell to keep his job if Leeds do not gain promotion this season.
Talking the day after buying midfielder Kevin Nicholls from Luton for £700,000, and two days after selling striker Rob Hulse to Sheffield United for an initial £2.1m, Blackwell was prepared to admit that this could be a difficult season for Leeds. “Financially, we have this season to get over. Then we will be in good shape, because all the big contracts will be paid up and off our backs. Everybody wants to see continued success on the field and that’s what we will try and bring,” he said. “As far as the squad is concerned, we’re about 75% of the way to having what we want. It means we still need to spend.”
Whether he will be able to do so is far from clear. Last summer Blackwell invested almost £4m in Hulse, Robbie Blake, Richard Cresswell and Dan Harding, but the club’s spending power this time around is restricted because it no longer receives the £7m parachute payment for clubs relegated from the Premiership.
“That means I have to generate more if I want to spend, but we’ve also got £9m to pay in wages to players who aren’t here any more. To keep the club going forward on no money, I have to wheel and deal. I didn’t want Rob to go, but he deserved his chance in the Premiership and at least we doubled our money.”
Another to leave Elland Road is goalkeeper Ian Bennett, who has followed Hulse to Sheffield United for an undisclosed fee after making five appearances as understudy to Neil Sullivan last season. The 34-year-old was in the final year of his contract. “We paid nothing for him and got money back, so we’ve got a return,” said Blackwell.
It is significant that two of United’s most important midfielders last season, Jonathan Douglas and Liam Miller, were at the club on loan deals. Hence the arrival of Nicholls to join other recent recruits, winger Seb Carole from Brighton and left-sided midfielder David Livermore.
Carole, a 23-year-old Frenchman who can play on either wing, could be important, because pace, or the lack of it, was a feature of many of United’s performances, and Blackwell knows it. “The Watford game didn’t tell us anything we didn’t know, in terms of the team’s capabilities and deficiencies. What nobody seemed to remember was that 18 months previously the club was on its knees, hours from going out of existence.
“The distance we’ve come is amazing, and I understand people thinking that if we continue to improve, which is always your aim, then we should go up. But you look at how the three teams who’ve come down from the Premiership have pretty much kept their squads together, and what the clubs around us are spending, and the fact is it’s going to be even harder.”
One positive is that Blackwell’s coaching staff remain in place after assistant and head coach John Carver turned down an approach to manage Carlisle United.
“John is a very important part of our plans, so that was a big boost,” said Blackwell. “I am hoping to spend even more time on training. It wasn’t always possible last year because there was so much happening off the field. When you’ve got support like ours, it drives you on, because the fans deserve success.”
Positive though Blackwell is, the consensus round the city is that Leeds need at least two more big-name signings to compete for automatic promotion. A year of treading water may await.
New pages uploaded at
Review of 1966/67 - Injury ravaged but out of debt

Problems with the transfer market and injuries, a disastrous start and a big profit - A revival in form brings a late spurt for three trophies but inevitable disappointment again

Read the full story at

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

New pages uploaded at
6 September 1967 - Leeds United 0 Dinamo Zagreb 0

Despite having most of the play, United are held to a goalless draw at Elland Road and end another season without any silverware in their trophy cabinet
Read the full story at

30 August 1967 - Dinamo Zagreb 2 Leeds United 0

United feature in their first European final but are found wanting when a talented Dinamo side snatch a goal either side of the break to leave them with a steep hill to climb
Read the full story at

Monday, July 24, 2006

Blades agree deal to sign Hulse

Sheffield United have clinched a deal to sign striker Rob Hulse from Leeds United for an initial fee of £2.2m that could rise to £3m with add-ons.
The deal represents good business for Leeds, who signed the 26-year-old for £1.1m when he joined from West Brom last summer after a loan spell.
Hulse scored 14 goals for Leeds last season and 20 goals in all in 51 games for the club.
The striker began his career at Crewe before moving on to West Brom.
The club announced that Hulse would soon sign a three-year contract.
Manager Neil Warnock said: "It has been a lengthy chase and I am delighted that it has ultimately been successful. "I feel Rob still has a lot to prove but he has strengths which I am sure will compliment those of the strikers we already have."
29 April 1967 - Leeds United 0 Chelsea 1
New pages uploaded at

United see two late goals ruled out by referee Ken Burns in a Cup semi final at Villa Park and miss out to a single goal by Tony Hateley

Read the full story at:
20 March 1967 - Leeds United 2 Sunderland 1
New pages uploaded at

It's another series of controversial clashes with old rivals Sunderland - a controversial penalty settles matters at the death with two opponents dismissed and the crowd invading the pitch

Read all the rest at
Luton accept Leeds' Nicholls bid

Nicholls enjoyed two promotion campaigns with LutonLeeds have agreed a £700,000 fee for Luton captain Kevin Nicholls, who will now discuss personal terms at Elland Road and undergo a medical.
The 27-year-old midfielder has also been linked with Championship rivals Stoke, Crystal Palace and Norwich.
Leeds did have bids for Nicholls and Luton striker Steve Howard - who has since joined Derby - rejected by the Hatters earlier this month.
However, Nicholls could now become the Yorkshire side's third summer signing.
Boss Kevin Blackwell has also snapped up Millwall skipper David Livermore and Brighton winger Seb Carole.
Nicholls helped Luton to two promotions in four seasons - as they were promoted from Division Three to Division Two (now League One) in 2002, and won the League One title in 2005.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

8 February 1967 - Valencia 0 Leeds United 2
new pages uploaded at

A year on from a near riot at Elland Road, Leeds were once again pitched against Valencia in the Inter Cities Fairs Cup and pulled off a memorable victory in Spain

You can read the full details at

Saturday, July 08, 2006 7/7/06
Youngster Simon Walton has completed the formalities of his switch to Charlton Athletic.
The Leeds-born defender today agreed a -year deal with the Premiership club and has joined Charlton for an undisclosed fee.
Simon, who was in the final year of his Elland Road contract, made a big impression during his first season as a professional at United, but made just three starts last term.
"It is a blow, but we wish him all the best," said United manager Kevin Blackwell. "He did a great job at a crucial time and hopefully we will be up there with him in the future."
The manager admits the decision to join Charlton was left to the 18-year-old after the Londoners expressed their interest.
"We don't have to sell," said the boss. "I put it to Simon and he said he wanted to speak to them. Now they've reached an agreement and good luck to him. If opportunities are of a nature where a player feels he can better himself then I've got to give him that opportunity. I don't think any manager has the right to deny an opportunity." On completing his move, Simon said: "I am very grateful to Leeds for giving me the chance to move into the Premiership with Charlton. I had a year left of my contract and was aiming for a good season with Leeds, but when this offer came out of the blue I knew it was too good to turn down. Charlton are an established Premiership team with an excellent manager in Iain Dowie and I am really looking forward to getting started with pre-season." 7/7/06
Pace will be the name of the game for summer signing Seb Carole as he looks to impress at his new club.
The former Brighton winger completed the formalities of his switch to United earlier this week and joined up with his new team-mates for the first time yesterday. The 23-year-old, who has signed a three-year contract, can play on either wing and is relishing the opportunity to show what he is all about. I can play right winger or left winger, it doesn't matter," said Seb. "Any offensive position is no problem - I can play behind a big striker, or behind two strikers. It's one of my challenges is to be quick enough to make problems for defences. I played for West Ham two years ago when I was on loan from Monaco. Leeds remind me of playing at a high level and that's good for me."
United fans may remember Seb from last season when he urned in two impressive displays against the Whites for his former club. He scored his first Brighton goal during the 3-3 thriller at Elland Road last September and also looked lively during United's 2-1 defeat on the south coast at the turn of the year.
"I scored my first goal for Brighton against Leeds," he recalled. "It was fantastic because Elland Road is a big stadium with a big crowd. For 15 or 20 minutes that day Wayne Henderson our goalkeeper was absolutely wonderful. But Leeds are a good team and they played well and equalised at the end."
Brighton maintained their excellent recent record against United last season, but the campaign ended in disappointment when the Seagulls lost their battle for Championship survival.
Frenchman Seb had a clause inserted in his contract allowing him to move on should Brighton slip into League One - and he had no doubts where his future lay when United came calling."I spoke to the manager (Mark McGhee) and said to him that if I had an opportunity to leave Brighton for another club then I would because Brighton had gone down," explained Seb. "It would have been difficult for me to play in a division below. Leeds is a massive club. We know Leeds in France, and Leeds are known all over the world. This is a good chance for me."

Sporting Life 5/7/06
Leeds manager Kevin Blackwell admitted his "delight" after making Brighton winger Seb Carole his first summer signing.
The 23-year-old joins the Whites on a free transfer after activating a release clause in his contract following the Seagulls' relegation last season.
And Blackwell said: "We're delighted to complete the signing of Seb. We're always on the lookout for players who can strengthen the squad here and Seb fits the criteria of what we are looking for.
"He's a young lad, he's ambitious, and he did well at Brighton last season during a tough year. He's got good pace and can play on either flank. He's a welcome addition to the squad."

By Paul Kendrick, PA Sport
Leeds manager Kevin Blackwell admits a move to Premiership side Charlton would be a great opportunity for youngster Simon Walton.
Walton looks set to become the latest product of the Whites' highly-successful Academy to depart Elland Road after Blackwell confirmed the starlet is in talks with the Addicks.
Following in the recent footsteps of England World Cup squad members Aaron Lennon and Scott Carson, as well as big-name sales Paul Robinson and Alan Smith, home-grown Walton looks set to leave.
Blackwell admitted: "We've had an approach from Charlton about Simon and have allowed him to speak to them.
"They are a Premiership club and it's potentially an opportunity for him. We are not going to stand in his way."
As Walton is only 18, and is a player who has come through the ranks at Elland Road, Leeds should receive compensation in the region of £500,000.
The teenager is seen as one for the future by new Charlton boss Iain Dowie, even though he appeared to lose his way at Leeds last season.
As a 16-year-old Walton was handed his debut in Blackwell's first match in charge at the start of the 2004-05 season and went on to make 33 appearances over the campaign.
However, despite such promise, Walton made just five appearances last term, but now his career is on the brink of a remarkable twist with the prospect of playing in the Premiership.
Meanwhile, Blackwell has admitted his "delight" after making Brighton winger Seb Carole his first summer signing.
The 23-year-old joins the club on a free transfer after activating a release clause in his contract following the Seagulls' relegation last season.
Blackwell said: "We're delighted to complete the signing of Seb. We're always on the look-out for players who can strengthen the squad here and Seb fits the criteria of what we are looking for.
"He's a young lad, he's ambitious, and he did well at Brighton last season during a tough year. He's got good pace and can play on either flank. He's a welcome addition to the squad."