Thursday, August 31, 2006

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19 November 2005 - Southampton 3 Leeds United 4

After one of the most incredible comebacks in the club's history, United pull off an astonishing victory – Yorkshire Evening Post: "4.31pm: Saints 3 United 0 - 4.46pm: Saints 3 United 4"

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Tuesday, August 29, 2006 29/8/06
Leeds United today explained the reasons behind the decision to leave Norwegian international midfielder Eirik Bakke out of their first team plans.
"It is in the club's best interests for Eirik to move on," Shaun Harvey, United's chief executive officer, said. "At the present time Eirik is back in Norway trying, along with his advisers, to find another club before the transfer window shuts at the end of the month.
"He is in the final year of a contract, which in any shape or form, would not be renewed at the end of the season.
"While the level of his salary is in no way his fault, it is preventing the club from moving forward as quickly as we would like. Apart from Gary Kelly, Eirik is the last of the players from the Ridsdale era when players were remunerated very, very well.
"But time has moved on. We no longer have the parachute payment, we are no longer a Premiership club and we have to face reality.
"Eirik has been a great servant to the club and he is not being singled out. Over the last few years Leeds United have been forced to part company with a number of players due to the scale of their wages.
"We have a contract with Eirik which, if he does not find another club, we will have to honour but there are certain parts of it, in particular some appearance related payments which now, effectively, will prohibit him from playing for us in the long run."
Yorkshire Post 29/8/06
Bakke set to head back home
Brann indicate interest after Leeds show him the door
Richard Sutcliffe
NORWEGIAN league leaders Brann have emerged as a possible destination for Eirik Bakke after the midfielder was told by Leeds United his future lies away from Elland Road.
The 28-year-old exclusively revealed in later editions of yesterday's Yorkshire Post that United manager Kevin Blackwell had told him he would not play for the club again.Bakke, who is in his eighth season with Leeds, netted his first goal for two-and-a-half years in the Carling Cup win over Chester City last week, but he was then left out of the squad to face Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough on Sunday.The transfer window closes on Thursday night and sources in Norway claim Brann are ready to make a move.Talks over a possible return to his native country broke down this time last year when Bakke opted to move on loan to Aston Villa.Brann, who feature ex-Rangers midfielder Charlie Miller and former Aberdeen striker Robbie Winters among their squad, top their league after 18 games.Bakke, who has less than a year remaining on his United contract, trained yesterday with Sogndal – the Norwegian Second Division club from whom he joined Leeds in 1999 for £1.75m – after returning to Norway last week due to the Elland Road squad being given a few days off.On his future, he revealed in yesterday's Yorkshire Post: "I was told by the manager on Wednesday that I was not going to be allowed to play for Leeds again."I had scored my first goal for more than two years against Chester on Tuesday night and was looking forward to hopefully enjoying a run in the team. This is the last year of my contract and I started the season with just two aims – to be a regular in the team and to get Leeds back into the Premiership."Bakke's reputed wages of around £23,000-per-week are believed to be a huge drain on United, who during the summer lost the £7m-per-annum parachute payment for clubs relegated from the Premiership.As Bakke prepares to exit, Ian Moore is determined to banish 18 months of frustration and earn an extended stay at Elland Road.The striker, who celebrated his 30th birthday on Saturday, started his first game of the season against the Owls and produced a fine display to help Leeds to a 1-0 victory.Moore started just two Championship games last season, a 1-0 defeat at Crewe and the final day loss at Preston, and was expected to have to move on to secure regular first-team football.However, he said: "I am out of contract at the end of the season and I have to try and earn myself a new deal. It is a bit annoying there is an international break now, but hopefully I have done enough to hold down a place for the next game."I know Geoff Horsfield will be knocking on the manager's door as well but, hopefully, I will be in there next game. That is up to the manager and if he says I am on the bench then so be it. I cannot do anything about it."As long as I am in and around the team, I can only do my best for the club. We have a lot of good strikers here but as long as I am getting a chance I will try my best."Moore linked up well with David Healy in a two-man attack against Wednesday and the former Burnley and Stockport striker added: "I thought the second half was the best we have looked all season because we got the ball down and passed it. The 4-4-2 system looked good."We have played a lot in the past with one player up front, but it is there in black and white because the second half was our best of the season."I got a good little partnership going with Dave (Healy), more so in the second half than the first. There were a lot of balls going across the box; that is always going to happen with wingers like Seb Carole and Eddie Lewis. And as long as I keep getting in the areas, I am sure either me or Dave will get on the end of them."It was an important win because to be on four points after this number of games would not have been good enough. We would have been in the bottom half of the table so we were desperate for the win."

Monday, August 28, 2006

Yorkshire Evening Post 28/8/06
United are forcing me out
Leeds United midfielder Eirik Bakke today insisted he is being forced out of Elland Road after the club warned they can no longer afford to finance his salary.
Bakke was missing from United's squad at Sheffield Wednesday yesterday amid assertions that he had lined up a transfer out of Elland Road, but the former Norwegian international claimed today that this was a smokescreen for United's attempt to cut him from their wage bill. Leeds are not thought to have received any official approaches for Bakke, and the club are short of time to find a buyer with the transfer window due to close on Thursday evening. Bakke claimed his agent was contacted last week by United's chief executive officer Shaun Harvey, who warned that the midfielder had played his final game for the Elland Road club. Bakke's salary – thought to stand at £23,000 a week – is a considerable burden on United's finances and a lasting result of the five-year deal he received from Peter Ridsdale in 2002. Leeds now seem intent on lifting the cost of his contract. Bakke returned to Norway towards the end of last week after receiving confirmation on Friday that he would not be included in the squad to face Wednesday at Hillsborough. The 28-year-old told the YEP: "My agent was contacted by Shaun Harvey last week and was told that, because of financial circumstances, I wouldn't be playing for Leeds United again. "I found out on Friday that I wouldn't be involved against Wednesday and I'm now back in Norway. It's difficult to say what's going to happen. "As far as I'm aware there are no offers for me and the talk about me taking a transfer to another club is wrong. Leeds want me to leave. "But I want to stay. I'm coming back from injury and I need games, so it's a very worrying time. But I'm still a Leeds United player." Bakke has made four appearances this season, scoring in the Carling Cup win over Chester last week, but United have long been concerned about the size of his salary. The midfielder joined Aston Villa on loan last year with a view to a permanent move, but the deal fell through after Bakke sustained a hamstring injury.

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Jim Storrie – The Laughing Cavalier

Originally signed as a foil for John Charles, his goals were the foundation for the rise of Don Revie's 60s side

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LeedsUtd 28/8/06
Eirik Bakke Leaving Leeds United for Premiership
"I won't be Bakke!"
27th Aug, 2006 :: by Autolycus
Eirik Bakke is being lined up for a transfer deadline-busting Premiership move. The Norwegian international is fit but was deliberately left out of the Leeds United team to face Sheffield Wednesday this lunchtime.
Leeds' manager Kevin Blackwell admitted before the match at Hillsborough that Eirik was not playing because of transfer interest in him and that they couldn't risk him being injured. Bakke has an appalling injury record and has played only a handful of games for the Whites in the last three seasons.
He is also on Peter 'Numpty' Ridsdale-inspired wages of £23,000 per week and Leeds are so desperate to off-load him that any Premiership club can have him without a fee. Bakke spent the early part of last season playing under old manager David O'Leary at Aston Villa. Villa are now under new management at the board level and have funds available, they also have a new manager in Martin O'Neilll who is known to want to strengthen his squad.
However, because of the wages level involved and the potential free transfer it is thought that teams including Bolton Wanderers, Portsmouth, Fulham, Wigan and Reading are likely to be the teams willing to take on the midfielder. David Moyes at Everton is understood to be keeping an eye on the Bakke move. Although a fine player few Leeds fans will shed a tear at losing a player still bleeding the club dry of money and whose long absences through injury were exacerbated through the player ignoring the medical advice of Leeds staff and playing in close season international friendlies. So frustrated by this were Leeds United that they threatened to sue the Norwegian FA.
Independent 28/8/06
Sheffield Wednesday 0 Leeds United 1: Sturrock condemns referee after Leeds profit
By Arindam Rej
Published: 28 August 2006
Paul Sturrock called for an end to Premier League referees being used in Championship matches after Steve Bennett produced a series of controversial decisions yesterday. The Sheffield Wednesday manager said that this result would have been different had Bennett not awarded David Healy the decisive penalty and sent off Brad Jones in the same incident after 67 minutes.
Sturrock said that he wanted to send a message to the Premier League: "I would like them to keep their referees. They don't seem to be able to handle the step down and the edge that they miss in Premiership games. Leave us alone and let us stick to our own referees.'' He plans to appeal against Jones' red card and claims that other managers support his views on Premiership referees. "I feel strongly about this,'' he said. "I've had conversations with other Championship managers and they say exactly the same thing.''
When Healy was brought down by the Wednesday goalkeeper Jones, he appeared to have deliberately left a leg trailing, having lost control of the ball, so that he could fall. It also seemed that contact was made outside the penalty area.
The Leeds manager Kevin Blackwell had a different opinion. "From where I was sitting, it looked like a penalty and nobody complained,'' he said.
Wednesday had several strong penalty claims of their own turned away. The most blatant took place shortly after the goal when Paul Butler seemed to climb on to Graham Coughlan.
It was particularly frustrating as Wednesday had been the more threatening side before falling behind. Deon Burton spurned the easiest chance. Lloyd Sam unintentionally created it with a cross that blew off course and ended up striking the inside of a post before falling to Burton, but he scooped the ball over.
Wednesday were unlucky again shortly after half-time. Chris Brunt launched a speedy counter-attack and picked out Sam, who dragged the ball back for Burton O'Brien, whose goalbound shot deflected wide. Wednesday still menaced after half-time, with Frank Simek's drive striking Gary Kelly, leading to appeals for handball. The home team soon regretted their profligacy. Stephen Crainey slid a long pass along the left flank and Ian Westlake's dummy allowed Healy to stay onside and burst through. Jones raced out and the match's most controversial incident followed.
Wednesday laboured hard in search of an equaliser. There was a late flurry of chances from a string of corners but Butler and Matthew Kilgallon defended in an exemplary manner.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Three for the price of one this evening!!

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Review of 2005/06 - Bouncing back
United mount a promotion challenge with a miraculous comeback at Southampton - then it's Squeaky Bum Time as the season brings the wobbles for first the Blades and then the Whites

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Kits, sponsors and badges
A glorious story of all the various kits worn by Leeds City and United over the years, together with details on sponsorship and badges - specially for all the anoraks out there!

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Online photo albums
A colourful pictorial history of the club via a series of themed photo albums - Kits, sponsors & badges, Managers and Programmes

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Saturday, August 26, 2006

Yorkshire Evening Post 26/8/06
United aim to net loan ranger
by Phil HayLeeds United boss Kevin Blackwell is poised to return to the loan market after confirming midfielder Steve Stone will be out of action for six weeks.Stone received a minor reprieve yesterday when the results of hospital scans displayed a torn abductor muscle rather than a damaged groin, halving his predicted recovery period, but his injury has significantly weakened a small Elland Road squad.Stone, who limped off against Cardiff last weekend, is one of three long-term absentees, along with Richard Cresswell and Kevin Nicholls, and Blackwell's squad may be trimmed further if the club decide to return goalkeeper Tony Warner to Fulham after his month-long loan.Warner's deal will end after United's clash with Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough tomorrow, and Leeds were expected to rule on his future today. Initial indications, however, suggest Warner will rejoin his parent club next week.Blackwell has identified other potential loan signings in the event that injuries bite deeper into his squad, and United's scouting staff are likely to spend the international break strengthening his options.The transfer window closes on Thursday evening, but United's boss is not expected to be provided with funds to complete any permanent deals. New loan arrivals at Elland Road, however, will rely heavily on the goodwill and willingness of Premiership clubs to release their peripheral players.Blackwell said: "There will have to be some sort of movement because we haven't got the numbers. It's inevitable that there will be loans throughout the season, but we'll only do it when it's right to do so."Stone, meanwhile, is aiming for an October comeback having originally feared that he would be out until December.Blackwell said: "Stone has a torn abductor muscle which is better than we'd hoped." 25/8/06
United manager Kevin Blackwell has received confirmation that Steve Stone's groin injury isn't as bad as first feared.
The United boss was expecting his veteran midfielder to be sidelined for between two to three months, but he could be back in the fray within the next six weeks.
The manager said: "Steve has torn an abductor muscle. It's fair to say it's better than we expected.
"He could have been out for a few months, but hopefully this will be around six weeks so from that point of view it's good news."
Steve joins a lengthy casualty list at the club, but the manager firmly believes that, when his walking wounded slowly start returning, he has a squad capable of exciting.
"We have a very strong group of players here and that's what excites me," said the boss.
"We'll go with 17 senior players on Sunday, but when you look at who's got to come in over the next few weeks or so...if you add them to any team, you will be strong.
"I expect we'll be more than okay."Kevin Nicholls (knee), Richard Cresswell (knee), Gylfi Einarsson (hip), and Geoff Horsfield (suspended) are all missing Sunday's derby trip to Sheffield Wednesday.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006 23/8/06
Match-winner Eirik Bakke cited hard work as the key as United edged past League Two outfit Chester City in the first round of the Carling Cup.
The Norwegian's 57th minute goal proved enough to book Leeds a place in the second round, but Kevin Blackwell's men were made to fight until the end to secure their progress.
"The manager wasn't happy at half-time," revealed Eirik.
"We didn't play well in the first half and we needed to move up a level.
"You have to work hard against sides like that because if you don't, you get dragged down to their level.
"We had to perform better in the second half otherwise it would have been a long night."
The winning goal had an element of good fortune about it. Chester defender Paul Linwood contrived to shoot against his own post before Eirik's follow-up shot crept over the line after grazing the same upright.
"We've not had any luck this season, but it was good to get a goal and hopefully there'll be more luck to come now," added the goalscorer.

Yorkshire Evening Post 23/8/06

Lack of action unsettling for ace Gregan
by Phil Hay
Leeds United defender Sean Gregan is set to seek a transfer out of Elland Road if his exile from Kevin Blackwell's first team continues.

Gregan captained Leeds during last night's Carling Cup first-round tie against Chester City – his first appearance of the season – but he will expect to return to the fringes of United's squad when the club travel to Hillsborough for Sunday's Championship fixture with Sheffield Wednesday.The former West Brom player is behind the first-choice centre-back pairing of Paul Butler and Matthew Kilgallon, and the competition for selection has been increased by the recent signing of Australian Hayden Foxe.Foxe's arrival on a five-month deal was widely expected to create an excess of defenders in Blackwell's squad, and both Hull City and Preston are thought to be interested in signing Gregan.The 32-year-old has made 73 appearances during his two years at Elland Road and could yet find a route back into Leeds' starting line-up, but he will seek talks over his future in the coming weeks if Butler and Kilgallon continue to occupy the centre of Blackwell's defence.Gregan said: "First-team football's not what I want – it's what I need."I need to be playing regularly at my age and making the team week in, week out. I'll have to see what happens over the next few weeks."I want to stay here and I want to compete, but if I'm not playing then we'll have to sit down and see what's going to go on."It was nice to get the shirt back on again and I want more of that."Foxe made his debut for United last night and his first competitive appearance since 2003, alongside Gregan and the pair were allowed a comfortable evening by Chester's toothless attack.United claimed a 1-0 victory through Eirik Bakke's second-half goal to take their place in the second round and the importance of the result over their scrappy performance was shown by an eventful evening which saw nine Championship clubs eliminated by lower league opposition.Cardiff, Coventry and Sunderland were among those knocked out at the first hurdle.United's starting line-up contained 11 first-team squad members last night and assistant manager John Carver insisted the Carling Cup would not be pushed towards insignificance by Leeds' desire to rejoin the Premiership.Carver said: "If you look at the side we put out, we didn't make many changes to it. We do respect the competition and I know there's a little bit of finance to be had in there.Believe"But why not believe you can win the League Cup? Any competition I go into, I want to win it. We should aim to go as far as we can."The result pleased me more than the performance because we had to be patient. But we said at half-time that we needed to be more positive – there wasn't a lot of penetration during the first half."There were one or two good performances from certain individuals, and we did say to them before the game 'go out, stake your claim and try and get into the side'. I think a couple of them have done that."United's attention will turn quickly to Sunday's game at Hillsborough when Blackwell's players return to training tomorrow.A victory would send Leeds into the international break with seven points from five games and Carver said: "We're aware of how important it is."We've got a couple of days to prepare and we'll go there with the right intentions."Blackwell had hoped to see Geoff Horsfield's three-match suspension expire after Sunday's fixture, but the striker will now miss the meeting with Wolves on September 10 after having the ban increased by one game by a Football Association disciplinary hearing yesterday.Horsfield admitted a charge of using abusive and/or insulting language towards linesman Phil Sharp during Leeds' 1-0 defeat at Crystal Palace and was also fined £500.

Sporting Life 22/8/06
By Ross Heppenstall, PA Sport
Leeds assistant manager John Carver admitted his side's 1-0 Carling Cup first-round victory against Chester came as a "massive relief" to the Elland Road club.
While the likes of Sunderland fell victim to a cup upset, Eirik Bakke's fortuitous second-half strike handed lacklustre United a safe passage into the second round.
Norwegian midfielder Bakke tucked away a low shot from eight yards in the 57th minute after Paul Linwood's attempted clearance rebounded off a post.
And Carver, whose side had not won since the opening day of the season, said: "It was a massive relief to be honest.
"I'm delighted with the result and although the performance wasn't great it's still a win.
"I got back in the changing room and saw that there has been six or seven clubs in the Championship who have gone out to lower league clubs, so I'm absolutely delighted to be in the second round."
Yet Leeds were far from impressive and rarely penetrated a resolute Chester side who lie 42 places below them in the Football League.
Mark Wright's team were physical, imposing and well organised, and should have taken the tie into extra-time with 20 minutes remaining when Gregg Blundell fired wastefully wide when completely unmarked.
Carver added: "Let's give a bit of respect to Chester. They got amongst us and unsettled us and we had to be patient.
"In the first half we kept the ball but didn't keep possession, but after the break we got a bit braver without going on to win the ball convincingly.
"In fairness they had the best chance of the game through Blundell but that was about their only chance of the game."
Chester boss Wright said: "I was proud of my players.
"We had a plan but I thought the goal we conceded was just a mess."My boys are disappointed they haven't got more out of the tie and Blundell probably had the best chance of all."

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Sporting Life 20/8/06
Former Leeds chairman Peter Ridsdale has claimed he has been banned from Elland Road indefinitely after allegedly being thrown out of the boardroom following Cardiff's 1-0 victory.
The Bluebirds' deputy executive chairman was, it is claimed, asked to leave the boardroom by Leeds chairman Ken Bates.
Ridsdale had earlier celebrated Willo Flood's late winner.
When Bates returned to the boardroom with the other directors and their guests at the end of the game, allegedly informed Ridsdale he was no longer welcome at his former club.
Ridsdale told Wales on Sunday: "I was told that I was no longer welcome at Elland Road today or any time in the future. I asked what I had done and Ken (Bates) said he didn't like my behaviour during the game."
Before the match, Bates made comments which suggested he clearly blames Ridsdale's reign at Elland Road for Leeds' on-going financial problems."We'll have to deal with the problems caused by previous regimes, problems that were out of our control." said Bates.
Independent 20/8/06
Leeds Utd 0 Cardiff City 1: Leeds washed away by Flood
Elland Road a sea of depression as Bluebirds cruise serenely onwards
By Martin Howie at Elland Road
Published: 20 August 2006
A youngster by the name of Willo Flood certainly left his mark on rain-soaked Elland Road yesterday. The 21-year-old Irish midfielder came on as a second-half substitute for the high-flying Bluebirds and squeezed home a superbly engineered winner seven minutes from time.
So, while the Cardiff manager, Dave Jones, and his revamped squad find themselves among the early season pace-setters, with 10 points, a languid Leeds are struggling at the wrong end of the table with just one win from four games.
The day was not short on irony either as Jones left the post-match press conference with a slightly bizarre throw-away line. Leeds' former chairman, Peter Ridsdale, is now vice-chairman of Cardiff. And Jones said: "It's been a great day. I enjoyed the win and I even enjoyed our vice-chairman being thrown out of the boardroom."
It appeared as though Jones was referring to the fact that Ridsdale had caused some consternation with his celebration of his side's winning goal. But whatever may or may not have transpired in the Elland Road boardroom after this game, all that really mattered was that Cardiff, by far the better team, could be a surprise promotion package while Leeds supporters were subjected to another bad day at the office.
By way of rounding off the day and the bizarre post-match comments, Leeds' chairman, Ken Bates, insisted an hour and a half after the final whistle: "It's a pack of lies - but I'm sure he needs the attention."
The crowd of 18,246 was their lowest since leaving the top flight two seasons ago and that in itself speaks volumes for the ongoing misery which is Leeds United. While Flood made sure that it never rains but it pours for the Leeds faithful and his winning goal was quite exquisite as he raced 60 yards for his part in a flowing breakaway.
The youngster, who was signed from Manchester City for £200,000 in the summer, broke up a Leeds attack in his own half, played a one-two with Michael Chopra and raced on to accept the return and tap home from close range.
Jones said: "It was a great goal with power and pace. I was late in signing Willo in the summer but I've been looking at him for a long time. I think we have some good hungry young players here now and that is balanced by some quality experience.
"There is some great spirit at the club now and we are moving forward. It hasn't been a bad start with three wins and a draw."
The Leeds manager, Kevin Blackwell, refused to be downbeat in the face of such a dismal start to the season and he said: "I am disappointed with our results but not with the performances. In fact, I believe that if Lady Luck had been kinder to us, we would have been top of the League. Cardiff have 10 points and I may be biased but I thought we were the better side."
To add to Leeds' misery, the former England midfielder Steve Stone limped out of the action midway through the first-half. And that spells more agony for the unlucky Stone, who missed most of last season with a broken leg. This time he looks like being ruled out for another two months with a groin injury.
Cardiff caused Leeds all sorts of problems in the first half with Chopra waging a one-man war on the home side's ragged rearguard. Goalkeeper Tony Warner kept Leeds in the hunt, but even he ran out of luck when the high-speed Flood struck with the killer blow in the 83rd minute.
The only thing that really marred the day for Cardiff was the dismissal of their centre-back Darren Purse in the dying seconds after he appeared to grab David Healy by the throat. However, Cardiff deserved their win and Jones certainly appears to have assembled a bright looking squad during the summer when he brought in 12 players for less than £1 million.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Sporting Life 19/8/06
Cardiff manager Dave Jones claimed former Leeds chairman Peter Ridsdale was thrown out of the boardroom after the Bluebirds' 1-0 win at Elland Road.
Ridsdale was making only his second return to the Yorkshire club where his spell as chairman ended in financial meltdown.
He saw his current club triumph thanks to Willo Flood's goal but was allegedly asked to leave just minutes after the final whistle for apparently cheering a replay of the winning goal.
"It's been a great afternoon," said Jones. "I enjoyed the win and enjoyed our vice-chairman being thrown out of the boardroom."
But Leeds chairman Ken Bates hit back. He said: "It's a pack of lies but I'm sure he (Ridsdale) needs the attention."
Flood had snatched the points for Cardiff to silence a half-empty Elland Road as Leeds were booed off the field at full-time.
And a jubilant Jones was left predicting a bright future for the Welsh club, who are now joint top of the table. He believes their early-season achievements point towards a promising campaign.
"We played very well and thoroughly deserved the victory," said former Wolves boss Jones.
"It's not a bad start but there's a long way to go.
"If the players are prepared to listen and learn then it bears well for the future of the football club."
Cardiff spent much of the afternoon coping admirably as Leeds tried to control possession but Kevin Blackwell's misfiring attack were thwarted again.
Leeds have now failed to score in open play in three of their opening four Championship matches, a worrying trend for Blackwell's side after a lack of goals cost them dearly last season.
It took the hosts until the 43rd minute before they created a real chance, when Matthew Kilgallon, Shaun Derry and Eirik Bakke all saw their close-range efforts blocked in a goalmouth scramble.
And it was a similar story at the other end, with long-range shots from Michael Chopra and Stephen McPhail - making his first return to Elland Road since leaving in 2004 - causing little alarm for Leeds keeper Tony Warner.
Flood's strike came after a blistering break in the 84th minute from Michael Chopra but there was more controversy to follow when Darren Purse was sent off in injury-time after an altercation with David Healy.
"He (Purse) says he got Healy by the throat and pushed him away," said Jones. "You can't do that. It will be his loss. It just takes the gloss off a great victory."
Blackwell was left to reflect on a disappointing start that sees his side languishing in mid-table and looking a long way from the promotion charge they were anticipating after losing last season's play-off final.
"At the moment things aren't dropping for us," he said. "We had all the best chances in the game and dominated for long spells. But that's life, isn't it?"
In truth Leeds, watched by a disappointing crowd of 18,246, rarely threatened and Blackwell will be under increasing pressure to turn around a poor points haul.
Yorkshire Evening Post 19/8/06
Nicholls bullish about his return
by Phil Hay
Kevin Nicholls today promised to add punch to Leeds United's line-up on his return from injury, insisting: "I'll come back like a raging bull."

The 27-year-old midfielder is three weeks into a three-month programme of rehabilitation after suffering knee ligament damage during his first training session with Kevin Blackwell's squad, but he is already planning his first steps towards repaying the £700,000 fee invested in him last month.Nicholls was Blackwell's most expensive summer signing, arriving on a four-year deal from Luton, but he is unlikely to play any part in United's season until the end of October.His knee was injured during an accidental clash with Leeds captain Paul Butler, and Nicholls said: "It still hurts me massively because I want to be helping the club. It was a freak accident but these things happen and hopefully this is my injury out of the way."Everyone gets injured at some stage, but I still feel fit and I feel strong. I'm going to be a raging bull when I come back."

Times 18/8/06
Chelsea put Bates in dock over 'racist' comments
By Owen Slot Chief Sports Reporter
CHELSEA gave the last hours of countdown to the Barclays Premiership season a familiar feel yesterday by railing against the world, in this case by filing a complaint with the Football Association against Ken Bates and Leeds United for bringing the game into disrepute, in particular for Bates’s reference to the Chelsea directors as “a bunch of shysters from Siberia”.
Bates, the chairman of Leeds and former owner of Chelsea, did not exhibit much concern yesterday, responding: “When I first heard this, we all fell about laughing. It’s the funniest thing since Norman Wisdom. I shall look forward to discussing this racism issue in the High Court. Chelsea must be bloody desperate, but this should be fun. Whoever at Chelsea is responsible has been very badly advised. Nothing new there.”
Chelsea’s action is a counter-complaint to follow the one registered by Bates and Leeds against Chelsea. Bates’s complaint two weeks ago was over the alleged “tapping-up” of Michael Woods and Tom Taiwo, two 16-year-old Leeds United academy players, when he asked for Chelsea to have points deducted and for them to pay Leeds £24 million.
While the clash has a strong feel of big egos and hot air, it does touch upon two sensitive areas — the fight against racism and the need to protect football’s grass roots — so it cannot be dismissed lightly.
In their statement yesterday, Chelsea accused Bates of waging a “personal campaign” against his former club and said that “his actions cannot be allowed to masquerade erroneously as being in the interests of football as he claims”.
However, whether or not it was Bates’s intention, he has since become become something of a figurehead for the smaller clubs, who feel powerless in their attempts to protect their best young players from the attractions of clubs such as Chelsea.
The champions do not merely rule supreme in the transfer market at the top of the game. The Times reveals today how they are also intent on taking boys as young as 10 from other clubs, so that they also are the market leaders from the bottom.
Bates is unlikely to be toppled from his unusual position of popularity by the charge. Chelsea yesterday named rules E3 and E4 in the FA rulebook as Bates’s breaches, the former covering “abusive, indecent or insulting words” and the latter discrimination.
To be called Siberian is unlikely to be viewed as abusive, indecent or insulting, albeit that Roman Abramovich, the Chelsea owner, is from Volga in southern Russia and not Siberian at all, so the word “shyster” may become the subject of serious debate. Some dictionaries have it as a derivation of the German term “scheisser”, meaning literally “one who defecates”, although it is the anti-Semitic innuendo that could be seen as offensive. Both Abramovich and Eugene Tenenbaum, his right-hand man at Chelsea, are of Jewish descent.
Bates has touched on differences in attitudes before. In announcing his departure from Stamford Bridge in March 2004, he talked of “a clash of Eastern and Western cultures and Eastern and Western values”. Next up in the early-season sideshow is the FA, which will announce soon how it is to progress with Leeds’s “tapping-up” complaint. Chelsea were given a suspended three-point penalty for an illegal approach to Ashley Cole, the Arsenal left back. If a similar offence is proven, the points deduction would come into effect.

Bates mocks Chelsea after complaint - August 17, 2006
Leeds United chairman Ken Bates has scoffed at Chelsea's decision to lodge a formal complaint against him.
A club spokesman said: "We are totally amused and look forward to receiving their (Chelsea Football Club's) detailed evidence to support their complaint." Meanwhile, Leeds chairman Ken Bates said: "I haven't laughed so much since Ma caught her tits in the mangle."

The Times 17/8/06
Leeds hit Bates with racial discrimination claim
by times online and agencies
Chelsea have hit back in their battle with Ken Bates, their former chairman, by accusing the Leeds chief of racial discrimination.
The London club have lodged a formal complaint with the Football Association about the words used by Bates to describe the Blues board when he accused them of trying to poach three of his club’s Academy players.
In a statement released today, the Barclays Premiership champions also accuse Bates of waging a personal campaign against the club he sold to Roman Abramovich three years ago.
The FA have confirmed they have received the complaint today and are looking into it.
Chelsea’s statement said: “Chelsea today filed a complaint with the Football Association against Ken Bates and Leeds United for bringing the game into disrepute.
“This follows recent comments by Mr Bates arising out of the dispute between Chelsea FC and Leeds over Michael Woods, Tom Taiwo and Danny Rose.
“There are football procedures in place to deal with that specific dispute.
“Chelsea will comply with those, will not discuss the case publicly other than our previously stated position and will contest it vigorously.
“However there are also existing football rules (E3 and E4) that prohibit rude, insulting and inappropriate comments being made about other club owners, chairmen and personnel.
“In particular we are concerned by the implications of Mr Bates’ reference to the Chelsea directors... and the discriminatory nature of this in terms of race, nationality and religion (rule E4).
“Such comments have no place in football, a sport which is rightly committed to fighting racial intolerance and bigotry.
“Chelsea believe these comments are part of a personal campaign being waged by Mr Bates against our club and his actions cannot be allowed to masquerade erroneously as being in the interests of football as he claims.”
The FA and Premier League are currently investigating the complaint from Leeds that Chelsea made illegal approaches for teenage players Woods, Taiwo and Rose.
Woods and Taiwo, both 16, both moved to Chelsea last season but Rose decided to stay at Elland Road.
The FA rules E3 and E4, referred to in the statement from Chelsea, concern insulting words and behaviour, including racial and religious discrimination.
Rule E3 states: “A participant shall at all times act in the best interests of the game and shall not act in any manner which is improper or brings the game into disrepute or use any one, or a combination of, violent conduct, serious foul play, threatening, abusive, indecent or insulting words or behaviour.”
Rule E4 states: “A participant shall not carry out any act which is discriminatory by reason of ethnic origin, colour, race, nationality, religion, sex, sexual orientation or disability.” A Leeds spokesman said: “We are totally amused and look forward to receiving their [Chelsea Football Club’s] detailed evidence to support their complaint.”

Wednesday, August 16, 2006 16/8/06
United striker David Healy will be handed the captain's armband for Northern Ireland when he makes his 50th appearance in Finland on Wednesday night.
The former Preston marksman, the country's record goalscorer with 19, will take over from Aaron Hughes in leading out the team for the friendly clash in Helsinki.
United manager Kevin Blackwell says he is delighted to see his pint-sized striker reach the half-century and was quick to hail his achievement.
"It's a phenomenal achievement," said the Leeds boss.
"It's quite right that Lawrie Sanchez is giving him the armband tonight.
"He has worked hard for Northern Ireland and to reach 50 appearances for any country is a real honour. David can be proud of himself."
David isn't the only one who should be proud of himself either says the United manager.
The striker has impressed his boss at Leeds with three hard-working displays this term.
"I'm really pleased with David," said the Leeds manager.
"He's worked very, very hard and I thought he was first class at Crystal Palace on Sunday.
"He's not got the physical stature to deal with two big centre-backs on his own - but he turned in a fantastic performance.
"I brought him off because he was tired in the end, but when you cover the amount of ground he does in a game, you are bound to run out of gas."

Sporting Life 15/8/06
Leeds' on-loan striker Geoff Horsfield is facing a Football Association misconduct charge after being reported for using abusing and/or insulting words to assistant referee Phil Sharp following his dismissal at Crystal Palace on Sunday.
Horsfield has already been handed a three-match ban for the red card he received for clashing with Palace defender Mark Hudson, but now faces an additional charge.
The experienced forward has apologised for his reaction to the sending-off and has until 6pm on Tuesday night to admit or deny the charge with a disciplinary commission due to hear the case next week.
The 32-year-old forward told his club's website "I apologise for what I said.
"It was in the heat of the moment because I didn't think I deserved to be sent off. I apologise for any offence I may have caused."
Much-travelled striker Horsfield joined the Whites from Sheffield United until Christmas, when boss Kevin Blackwell has the option of signing him on a permanent deal.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Crystal Palace 1-0 Leeds

Clinton Morrison struck in injury time as Crystal Palace maintained the only 100% record in the Championship with a win over 10-man Leeds at Selhurst Park.
The Republic of Ireland international struck from close range to win it, only seconds after keeper Tony Warner had spectacularly denied Dougie Freedman.
It was harsh on Leeds, who held their own after Geoff Horsfield's red card, and who saw Eddie Lewis hit the post.
Loanee Horsfield was sent off after 15 minutes when he shoved Mark Hudson.
However, it wasn't until the 91st minute that Palace broke the visitors' resistance, substitute Morrison stabbing home on the half-volley from 12 yards after Danny Granville's long throw had caused havoc in the Leeds box.
It put the gloss on what had been a frustrating afternoon for Palace in front of goal.
Leon Cort twice headed wide when it looked easier to score from Mark Kennedy set-pieces, while Freedman, Kennedy and James Scowcroft all had long-range efforts.
For their part, Leeds showed impressive resilience and could even have won the game themselves had David Healy and Shaun Derry not shot straight at Gabor Kiraly when well-placed in each half.

Crystal Palace manager Peter Taylor
"If Clinton was as fit as he knows he can be, then I couldn't afford a player of that standard but he has a bit to do to be as fit as I want him to be.
"Clinton had an injection to cure a knee injury and that means he has not had a proper pre-season. But he has been great and just needs to keep working hard and training hard.
"As for the sending-off, Mark Hudson is not the type of player who goes down without being touched."

Leeds manager Kevin Blackwell
"In life, you do not always get what you deserve. We looked a good team, even when we were down to 10 men.
"I did not see the sending-off because I was talking to the fourth official and I didn't find out what happened because I had to sort out the team. "I don't want to be losing points but I believe it was a strong performance from a good Leeds side."

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

BBC 8/8/06
Leeds lining-up Celtic's Camara
Celtic left-back Mo Camara is poised to join English Championship outfit Leeds United on a season-long loan deal.
A Leeds spokesman told BBC Sport that the deal had not yet been concluded but was hopeful that the former Burnley player would be moving to Elland Road.
The 31-year-old joined Celtic last summer after two seasons at Turf Moor but failed to convince despite 24 outings for the Scottish champions.
He will vie for a place at Leeds' with ex-Celtic left-back Stephen Crainey.
Guinea-born Camara, who began his career at Beauvais before moving to Le Havre then Wolverhampton Wanderers, was impressive in Celtic's opening-day 4-1 defeat of Kilmarnock.
But natural right-back Mark Wilson was again preferred for the weekend defeat by Hearts following the return of Paul Telfer from injury.
Celtic have told another left-back, Charlie Mulgrew, that he can find a new club despite an impressive loan spell with Dundee United last season.
And, on Tuesday, they decided against signing Bulgaria international Ivaylo Petkov after a two-day trial.
But they have still allowed Camara to leave despite their lack of options at left-back.

Guardian 8/8/06
Baidoo's late strike thwarts Leeds
Rob Smyth at Loftus Road
Wednesday August 9, 2006
The Guardian
Shabazz Baidoo scored an injury-time equaliser for QPR to deny Leeds a deserved victory after they had dominated for almost the entire match. He turned in Gareth Ainsworth's near-post cross from two yards, and Rangers could even have stolen a winner.
It was a largely unsophisticated contest in which brawn had the better of brain, but Leeds were superior and deserved to be in front long before Eddie Lewis, the outstanding player, struck an excellent goal. QPR equalised through a Martin Rowlands' penalty with nine minutes remaining but within a minute Geoff Horsfield volleyed another for Leeds.
Beforehand QPR introduced a new signing, the former England Under-17 centre-half Zesh Rahmam from Fulham, but it could not lift a pre-match mood of weary resignation which was in total contrast to the optimism usually associated with first home game of a new season.
Once the whistle blew, however, the mood was transformed. Rangers started with fury and hunger, and for a while their intensity was too much even for a team as battle-hardened as Leeds.
In the second minute Matthew Kilgallon inexplicably left a blind punt only for the on-loan Adam Czerkas to poke wide when one on one with Leeds's on-loan goalkeeper Tony Warner. A minute later Ainsworth surged infield to make Warner work from the edge of the area.
Leeds took 15 minutes to get a foothold in the game but when they did their superior know-how and self belief began to tell. Their first real chance came when Paul Butler headed down the lively Lewis's corner and David Healy's close-range prod was smothered by Paul Jones.
Slowly Leeds turned the screw. Healy side-footed at Jones from the edge of the area after Damien Stewart had missed Steve Stone's cross, and soon after the former England winger was denied by two desperate point-blank saves from Jones.
It was not especially pretty - both teams seemed determined to give a thorough work-out to the old Brian Clough adage about God putting grass in the sky - but it worked for Leeds and at times QPR were struggling to get out of their own box, never mind their half.
Gary Kelly thrashed high and wide from 10 yards after 34 minutes, and Lewis's free kick was palmed away by the besieged Jones. It was a minor miracle that the home side got to half-time on level terms.
Only one side wanted the interval to come and it showed afterwards. Leeds struggled to pick up where they left off and QPR, glad to have any pieces to pick up at all, emerged with renewed vigour.
As in the first half, however, Leeds reversed the momentum and when another Lewis free-kick caused mayhem in the penalty area, Healy's left-foot shot was blocked by a posse of defenders.
A goal was not so much in the post as on its way by recorded delivery, and it finally arrived with 25 minutes remaining. Stone's clipped cross was headed against the underside of the bar by Healy and as the ball broke loose, Lewis fired a left-foot volley into the top corner. Leeds were as comfortable as any side leading could be and they will find it hard to fathom how they did not make it six points out of six. 8/8/06
QPR 2 (Rowlands 80 pen, Baidoo 90), LEEDS UNITED 2 (Lewis 64, Horsfield 81)
QPR: P Jones, Bignot (Baidoo 77), Milanese, Rose, Ward, Ainsworth, Rowlands (Bircham 88), Lomas, Cook, Stewart, Czerkas (R Jones 55). Subs: Cole, Kanyuka.
UNITED: Warner, Kelly, Butler, Kilgallon, Crainey, Stone, Bakke (Westlake 49), Derry, Lewis, Healy (Carole 76), Horsfield (Moore 84). Subs: Gregan, Blake.
Ref: K Friend
Att: 13,966

United manager Kevin Blackwell stuck with the same side that accounted for Norwich at Elland Road on Saturday. Eirik Bakke and Paul Butler recovered from minor knocks to take their place in the starting line-up along with on-loan goalkeeper Tony Warner, who continues to deputise for Neil Sullivan.
Warner was called into action twice inside the opening 15 minutes as QPR made a brisk opening - the imposing keeper stood his ground well against Adam Czerkas and saved from Gareth Ainsworth. It was a lively start by the home side as they attempted to give Leeds no time to settle.
However, United boss Blackwell again tinkered with his system during the early exchanges and after stemming the QPR flurry, Leeds slowly took control and carved out a number of good opportunities.
Geoff Horsfield was first to capitalise when he almost cashed in on a poor back-pass while Paul Butler threatened with a close range header. Home goalkeeper Paul Jones reacted well to deny David Healy after good work by Steve Stone, and Stone himself had two attempts blocked.
United's best chance of the first half came on 35 minutes when Gary Kelly smashed an Eddie Lewis cross over the top while, moments before the interval, QPR goalkeeper Jones saved well from a curling Lewis free-kick.
United lost Bakke through injury shortly after the break, but they remainded in the ascendancy and continued to dominate the clash. Steve Stone and Eddie Lewis were constant threats and the American was also a danger at set-plays as Leeds looked to force the advantage.
It took some quick defending to deny Healy on the hour-mark, who capitalised on a Butler knock-down from one Lewis free-kick, while Horsfield came within a whisker of turning another Lewis delivery towards goal.
But the goal that Leeds so richly deserved finally came on 64 minutes. Horsfield and Stone were both involved as Healy saw a header rattle the bar, but the ball was only cleared as far as Lewis and the Californian made no mistake with a rasping finish.
Yet, with Leeds cruising, the home side were handed a shock lifeline when Stephen Crainey was adjudged to have committed a foul during a rare QPR sortie and the referee had no doubt about awarding a penalty. United protested - Warner was booked - but Martin Rowlands made no mistake from the spot.
It took less than a minute for United to restore their lead though. Stone played in Horsfield with a delightful ball and the loan striker took his chance with aplomb to open his goalscoring account for his new club. It was no more than Leeds or Horsfield deserved, but there was still more drama to come.
Rangers came pouring forward in search of an equaliser and substitute Shabazz Baidoo came up with the goods in the final minute when he poked home from close range after a good break down the right by the Londoners.

Yorkshire Evening Post 8/8/06
Blackwell hits out
By Phil Hay
Leeds United manager Kevin Blackwell today launched a fierce defence of his players after fending off criticism of their 1-0 victory over Norwich City.
Blackwell admitted he was mystified by claims that United were fortunate to take three points from their Championship opener after an entertaining fixture at Elland Road on Saturday.
City hit the post twice and wasted a number of early chances, but David Healy's 41st-minute penalty settled the game in Leeds' favour following a wild challenge by Lee Croft on United midfielder Steve Stone.
Norwich manager Nigel Worthington later insisted his team had deserved a result on the strength of their display, but Blackwell, whose players will turn out for their second game of the season at QPR this evening, angrily rejected negative assessments of United's start.
The Leeds boss said: "You'd wonder with some of the comments I've heard whether we played at all on Saturday. They had chances, but we had four or five excellent chances – I don't see anyone mentioning those. I'm going to defend my players. I'm only worried about Leeds United and I think the players here deserve an immense amount of credit. They won't always get things right, but they will try."
United's narrow win reflected the tight nature of the Championship across the board as only three clubs – Burnley, Luton and West Brom – secured victory by more than one clear goal at the weekend.
Leeds could ironically move to the top of the Championship tonight with a convincing victory at Loftus Road, but Blackwell is reluctant to set grand targets while the season remains in its infancy. Blackwell said: "If you start setting targets and you don't achieve them, it puts you on a downer straight away. What we do look at is being in or around the top 10 by the end of September. If you're there, you've got a solid start to the season and a platform to build on."
Meanwhile, the United boss is having a look at former Portsmouth defender Aliou Cisse, who is on trial at Thorp Arch.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Sunday Times 6/8/06
Leeds 1 Norwich 0: Healy gives Leeds stuttering start
Rob Hughes at Elland Road
UNDER grey Yorkshire clouds, Leeds United began their campaign to overcome the bitter disappointment of having to spend at least another season out of the top level. They eked out a victory through a David Healy penalty, scarcely deserved, just before half-time. They won a match of high work rate, total organisation, keen intensity . . . maybe you have the picture already. Perhaps you can spot the missing words such as “entertainment”, “skill levels” and “adventure”.
Make no mistake, there is a gulf so painful now between the Premiership and the rest of English football that even here, among teams such as Leeds and Norwich who so short a time ago belonged to the elite, there is an enforced economy that once was reminiscent of clubs far lower in the professional pyramid. The difference between Premiership football and the Championship is personified in Robbie Earnshaw, a little bundle of energy, pace and ambition, not always coordinated with his capacity to think and deliver. So swift and mobile is the Welshman, so elusive for tall and cumbersome defenders such as Paul Butler, that Leeds could seek him here, seek him there, but never quite track him or subdue him.
Alas, Earnshaw was squandering chances. He might well have had a hat-trick inside the first half-hour. Darren Huckerby, using his thrust down the left, intercepted a poor pass from Shaun Derry and gave Earnshaw ample opportunity to beat the goalkeeper. But Tony Warner, there in emergency and on a month’s loan because of Leeds’s parlous state, read the mind of Earnshaw and was equal to the diffident shot.
Earnshaw’s second chance was scooped wide with the outside of his foot, again with the goal gaping. His third shot was brilliant, curled around the advancing Warner and deserving a better fate than to caress the inside of the post and roll excruciatingly across the face of the goalmouth. In that movement, Butler’s attempt to bring down Earnshaw rightly earned a yellow card.
But Leeds came back into it. Their own elusive forward, Healy, was beginning to find space, not least when the wingers Steve Stone and Eddie Lewis, and the overlapping right-back Gary Kelly, were willing to feed him. But for Paul Gallacher in the Norwich goal, Healy might have scored twice. He did so five minutes before half-time with a perfectly executed penalty. Tracking back into the penalty area and committing a woeful attempt at a tackle, Lee Croft left his leg dangling in front of Stone. The crafty winger took full advantage; it was a soft penalty but a true one, and it was struck with unforgiving finality by Healy.
Blackwell was first to readjust after the interval and his team began to command midfield. Stone created a chance, Gallacher was hesitant, Horsfield should not have been, but the centre-forward contrived to miss from six yards. The final chance came at the death, Paul McVeigh setting it up only for Earnshaw to hit over the bar.
Star Man: Tony Warner (Leeds United)
Player Ratings: Leeds United: Warner 8, Kelly 7, Butler 5, Kilgannon 5, Crainey 5 (Moore 86min, 4), Stone 6, Bakke 6 (Westlake 78min, 6), Derry 5, Lewis 7, Healy 7 (Carole 69min, 6), Horsfield 5 Norwich: Gallacher 6, Colin 5 (Thorn 82min, 4), Shackell 6, Doherty 6, Drury 7, Croft 5 (McKenzie 56min 6), Safri 6, Etuhu 6, Robinson 6 (McVeigh 71min, 6), Huckerby 7, Earnshaw 6

News of the World 6/8/06
Tap up scandal overshadows season
By Rob Shepherd
THE Leeds tap-up scandal has taken a sensational new twist amid allegations the players' union helped Chelsea lure two youngsters from Elland Road.
And in an exclusive interview, Bristol Rovers chairman Geoff Dunsford accused the Blues of nicking one of his young players.
He also urged the FA to back Leeds supremo Ken Bates in his battle to have Chelsea severely punished.
As the new Coca-Cola League season kicked off yesterday, the game's smaller clubs united against the Premier League champions.
Dunsford stormed: "Chelsea have to be stopped one way or another.
"We lost highly-promising youngster Scott Sinclair, 17, after he had joined this club at the age of nine.
"We got just £160,000 up front at arbitration. That's absurd but Chelsea really play the system and aren't like other Premiership clubs who negotiate properly.

"What they are doing is wrong and the rules have to be overhauled to bring this to an end."
Leeds, who won 1-0 against Norwich yesterday, lifted the lid in January when they complained two of their rising stars had been poached by the Blues — contravening strict guidelines about how under-age players can be approached.
We can now reveal the players' union actually acted as agents for the two Leeds kids.
PFA deputy chief executive Mick McGuire last night confirmed he represented England Under-16 midfielders Michael Woods and Tom Taiwo when they opted to sign pro forms with Chelsea.
McGuire insists he was asked to act for the two kids at Leeds' request after it became clear Chelsea wanted to sign the academy trainees when they were free to listen to offers.
But Leeds claim another players' union official, Phil Sprowson, actively helped to lure the pair from Elland Road BEFORE they were officially allowed to.
McGuire vowed: "We would strongly contest there has been any conflict of interest on our part. We have nothing to hide."
Chelsea and the PFA now face allegations that Woods, Taiwo and a third youngster Danny Rose — who opted to stay with Leeds — were invited to tour Chelsea's Cobham training ground last October.
The players, along with their parents, were then put up at an hotel and were guests at Chelsea's Carling Cup match against Charlton at Stamford Bridge on October 26.
Leeds believe they have evidence to prove they were accompanied by Sprowson — even though all three players were on the books of Leeds Academy at the time. Under strict regulations, they would have had to wait until March 2006 before they could talk with any other clubs.
The FA last night confirmed a disciplinary hearing is pending over accusations Chelsea have breached rules. The governing body also said they will investigate the conduct and activities of any agents involved. An FA spokesman said: "We will look into this matter to establish whether any agent regulations or league rules have been breached.
"The Premier League will also be involved in the inquiry."
A Premier League spokesman confirmed: "If any agent is involved in a situation like this then clearly that particular element falls under the FA because they regulate agents. And that would include an agent working for the PFA."
But McGuire insisted: "We conducted ourselves in a totally professional manner. I did the contracts at Chelsea and I did the negotiations at Leeds.
"I don't want to talk about what went on but it was me who represented the two lads. It was the parents who came to us asking us to represent them.


"Once Leeds had released them properly we then, with their permission, went to Chelsea."
Leeds believe the players had been tapped up long before formal negotiations were held.
And chairman Bates (left), who spent 28 years as Chelsea supremo, is enraged at what he regards as an ‘insulting' compensation offer of £200,000 for each of the players.
He wants Chelsea to be docked points or kicked out of Europe.
Dunsford added: "I am lobbying the league to get the rules changed. Other clubs go through a proper negotiating process but Chelsea pay lip-service to it. "Ken Bates has done the game a favour as other clubs may now be ready to speak up."

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Leeds Utd 1 (Healy pen 40), Norwich City 0

A goal from birthday boy David Healy earned United an opening-day-of-the-season victory in a hard-fought battle against Norwich City at Elland Road.
The Northen Ireland international stroked home a 40th minute penalty to celebrate his 27th birthday and send Kevin Blackwell's men to victory.

After a busy build-up to the opening game - three players only arrived at the club on Friday - manager Kevin Blackwell handed debuts to loan men Geoff Horsfield and Tony Warner with fellow new recruit Ian Westlake named among the subs.
United started brightly and carved out the game's first real chance when David Healy fired wide, following a Gary Kelly cross. but it was Norwich who should have got their noses in front inside the first 10 minutes.
Former Leeds favourite Darren Huckerby intercepted a Shaun Derry pass to create a great chance for Rob Earnshaw, but United keeper Warner reacted quickly to block the Welshman's shot.
Earnshaw was also denied by the upright as Norwich continued to press while Lee Croft wasted another good chance when he fired wide of the mark.
Leeds slowly came into the contest as an attacking force and after Paul Gallacher tipped a Derry effort over the bar, the Norwich keeper was called into action to parry a drive from Healy.
Birthday boy Healy had a goal disallowed shortly before half-time for offside, but the Ulsterman wasn't to be denied and after Croft was adjudged to have fouled Steve Stone in the box, the pint-sized striker stepped up to convert his first penalty of the campaign to give Leeds a half-time lead.
Norwich responded at the start of the second period with Earnshaw trying his luck from distance. The Welshman also tested Warner with a powerful drive.
But it was Leeds who almost snatched a second goal on 54 minutes. Stone whipped in a cross from the right which eluded everyone in the Norwich box including United striker Horsfield who narrowly failed to apply the finishing touch for a debut goal.
The pace of the game picked up in the second period and the challenges became more physical, but goalscoring chances were at a premium with both defences looking strong.
Seb Carole was introduced for his debut on 69 minutes, as a replacement for Healy, and he was immediately denied by a good Adam Drury block after Eddie Lewis delivered a good cross from the left.
Ian Westlake completed a quintet of United's debutants when he replaced Eirik Bakke with 13 minutes remaining and he showed some neat touches as Leeds looked to turn their possession into a second goal.
Att: 22,417
EXCLUSIVE Leeds boss Blackwell in blast at fans who back him for sack
Elland Road manager determined to return club to Premiership'
David Anderson
KEVIN BLACKWELL has come out fighting after the bookies made the Leeds boss favourite to be the first Championship manager sacked.
According to the Elland Road rumour-mongers, chairman Ken Bates will replace Blackwell with his former Chelsea boss Glenn Hoddle if Leeds are not among the early frontrunners this season. Blackwell's heard it all before. Last season he was said to be keeping the manager's chair warm for Dennis Wise before he silenced that talk by taking Leeds to the play-off final and winning a new two-year contract. He accepts that Leeds should be promotion contenders this season - but just wishes the critics would consider the bigger picture at Elland Road before cranking up the expectation levels. Blackwell, 47, claims it will be another 12 months before Leeds fully recover financially from "living the dream" - and a huge chunk of his monthly wage bill still goes towards paying off former players like Danny Mills and Nicky Barmby.
"I'm favourite for the sack, aren't I?" said Blackwell, whose side face Norwich at Elland Road today. "But then I don't think people have ever appreciated the situation at Leeds United.
"We're in the last year of paying all our former players and this, plus the loss of our parachute money, means we're basically £16million worse off.
"But from day one when I've been manager of this football club, I've been expected to win every match.
"People seem to forget that we lost every player at this football club when we came down and I've had to rebuild this football club from scratch. People gave me six weeks when I arrived here, then six months. Well, three years later and I'm still here.
"I've proved a lot of people wrong and I don't think I have anything to prove to anyone now. I've proved I can manage and I've proved I can coach and be successful. "I proved that at Sheffield United and I've done it here at Leeds by getting to a major final. A lot of managers would give their eye teeth for that."
While promotion rivals like Birmingham, West Brom and Coventry have all spent heavily this summer, Blackwell has actually reduced his wage bill and made £2m in the transfer market by offloading 12 players, such as last season's joint-top scorer Rob Hulse.
Instead of building the team, Bates is spending £2.5m this summer building bars at Elland Road to generate more revenue.
With money so tight, Blackwell claims it will be another 12 months before he is able to compete financially with his rivals.
"Birmingham, West Brom, Sunderland, Crystal Palace and people like that have got significantly more money than us," he said.
"I've brought in £3m and spent £700,000-although that will rise when Ian Westlake signs - because I know I have a financial responsibility to this football club. While some managers would moan that they have no spending power because the chairman is building new bars at the ground, I can see that it's crucial to the development of the football club.
"I know that this time next year, financially the club will be in good shape and then we can move forward.
"It was always our target this season to give it a real good go, but the year after will be the one when we can make significant strides."
He added: "It's not a question of if, but when we are promoted. There's no doubt about it. I'd love it to be this season, but this club will definitely be back in the next two or three years.
"Take it from me, Leeds United will be gracing the Premier League sooner rather than later."
David Prutton's £300,000 move from Southampton to Leeds has collapsed after the midfielder failed a medical. Former England Under-21 captain Prutton, 24, had agreed personal terms on a three-year deal. But he has been sent back to St Mary's because of an ankle injury. Prutton made only 14 league starts last season because of it.

Kevin Blackwell 9/2
Niall Quinn, Gary Waddock 8/1
Nigel Worthington, Steve Cotterill 9/1
Mike Newell 10/1
Steve Bruce 12/1
Bryan Robson, Steve Tilson 14/1
Geraint Williams, Jim Magilton, Paul Sturrock 16/1
Rob Kelly, Ian Holloway 20/1
Andy Ritchie 25/1
David Jones, Micky Adams, Phil Parkinson, George Burley, Peter Taylor, Paul Simpson, Mick McCarthy 33/1
Tony Pulis, Billy Davies 50/1
Odds: Sky Bet.

Friday, August 04, 2006

BBC 4/8/06
Keeper Warner joins Leeds on loan
Leeds have signed goalkeeper Tony Warner on a one-month loan from Fulham.
First-choice keeper Neil Sullivan is doubtful for Saturday's Championship opener against Norwich with a dead leg.
So 32-year-old Warner has been taken on as a standby goalkeeper and could even go straight into the team for the game at Elland Road.
Warner began his career at Liverpool and also played for Millwall and Cardiff before joining Fulham, initially on loan, in 2005.

BBC 4/8/06
Westlake completes move to Leeds
Leeds United have signed Ian Westlake from Ipswich Town, with Dan Harding moving in the other direction.
Town say that in addition to Harding they have also received a fee of £400,000, possibly rising to £500,000.
Westlake, 23, and England Under-21 international Harding, 22, have signed three-year deals with their new clubs.
Harding started his career at Brighton before joining Leeds in July 2005 for £850,000, while Westlake came through the ranks at Ipswich.
Westlake made 126 appearances for Town and his move completes a busy few days for Leeds boss Kevin Blackwell, who has also signed Geoff Horsfield and Tony Warner.
"There are also certain sell-on conditions attached to Ian's move," Town chairman David Sheepshanks told his club's website.
"So although we don't like to see one of our own move on, a £500,000 deal plus Dan adds up to a good deal for Ipswich Town."

BBC 3/8/06
Horsfield moves to Leeds on loan
Leeds have signed Sheffield United's Geoff Horsfield on loan until Christmas with a view to a permanent move.
The 32-year-old striker made only one league start for the Blades last season after a row with manager Neil Warnock.
"We are going to take him on loan to see how Geoff performs," manager Kevin Blackwell told the Leeds website.
"If things go well we have got the option to complete something. He is raring to go and it will be nice to see him in a white shirt."
The former West Brom striker is expected to make his debut against Norwich in Leeds' opening game of the season against Norwich on Saturday.
"I just want to be playing football regularly," Horsfield told BBC Radio Sheffield.
"I haven't been given that chance with Sheffield United. It's nice to still be wanted.
"Leeds is a massive club with great facilities and are gearing up for the Premiership and my aim is to help them reach that goal.
"The last eight months have been a nightmare. I've been stuck in the reserves and last week I was thrown in with the kids. Neil Warnock must not rate me as a player and I don't know why." 2/8/06
United have agreed terms with Ipswich Town on a swap deal involving Dan Harding and midfielder Ian Westlake.
Westlake is set to join Leeds in exchange for Harding plus cash.
Any deal is subject to the two players agreeing personal terms and completing their respective medicals.
The 23-year-old Westlake has scored 17 goals in over 100 appearances for Ipswich.
Harding joined United last summer from Brighton and made 20 appearances for the club.
The 22-year-old enjoyed two spells in the side last season, but was unable to dislodge first-choice full-back Stephen Crainey.

Telegraph 2/8/06
Bates accuses Chelsea of 'tapping up' players
By Telegraph online and PA
(Filed: 02/08/2006)
Leeds owner Ken Bates has reported his former club Chelsea to football's authorities, claiming they recruited two Elland Road players after making illegal approaches.
Bates, who sold Chelsea to Russian oil billionaire Roman Abramovich in 2003, said he has notified the Football Association, Premier League and Fifa over the cases of England Under-16 internationals Michael Woods and Tom Taiwo, who began their careers at Leeds before moving to Stamford Bridge.
A third player, England Under-17 squad member Daniel Rose, was also approached illegally, according to Bates. Rose, however, is still with the Yorkshire club.
Last June, Chelsea were fined £300,000 and given a three-point deduction, suspended for a year, by the Premier League following the illegal approach they made to Arsenal's Ashley Cole.
Manager Jose Mourinho was fined a record £200,000 and Cole himself given a £100,000 penalty, which was later reduced to £75,000 on appeal.
Bates told Sky Sports News: "We want to be compensated for the amount of work that has been put into developing the players.
"Recently Chelsea have been involved in another squabble with another player (John Obi Mikel), this time with Manchester United, and they had to pay £16 million for that.
"That puts the £200,000 they have offered us in perspective.
Bates insisted his action was not due to any "personal vendetta" with Abramovich or between Leeds and Chelsea.
He said: "This is a straightforward dispute over the blatant breaching of Football League rules regarding to players.
"As of today we have reported Chelsea to the Football Association regarding the alleged tapping-up of three of our young players.
"Woods and Taiwo are now registered as scholars at Chelsea, and Rose is staying at Leeds."
The complaints have arisen following the departure last July of Leeds' former academy staff member Gary Worthington, who left for a similar post at Chelsea after five years at Elland Road. Leeds offered scholarship terms to all three players in September last year, but Woods and Taiwo turned them down.
Bates said that Leeds are taking separate legal action against Worthington.
The FA said they have not yet received an official complaint, although a spokesman said "we have had communication from Leeds United".
Any official complaint would come under the FA's jurisdiction, rather than the Premier League or Football League, because the two clubs are not in the same division. 1/8/06
New Leeds United signing Kevin Nicholls looks set to avoid surgery on his injured knee.
Kevin underwent a scan on the injury and has also visited a specialist.
The scan shows ligament damage, but the specialist has advised against surgery at this moment in time.
The injury to the £700,000 signing will be reviewed again in four weeks, but Kevin has been warned he could still face a recuperation period of up to three months on the sidelines.
United manager Kevin Blackwell said: "It's good news that Kevin doesn't need an operation right now.
"These days there is always the risk of complications with surgery, as we found out with Steve Stone last season."
Kevin damaged his knee during his first training session with the club last week.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Bbc 1/8/06
Leeds appoint technical director
Leeds have appointed Gwyn Williams as technical director.
Williams will oversee the club's scouting network and the development of young players.
The Welshman left Chelsea in June after 27 years at the club, during which he oversaw the emergence of John Terry, Robert Huth and Carlton Cole.
"I'm looking forward to working at Leeds," he told the Leeds website. "I'm here to help in terms of scouting, and to strengthen the team and the club."

More trialists at Leeds
Four more players have joined Leeds on a trial basis, hoping to secure permanent contracts with the club.Goalkeeper Darren Ward was called upon during the win at Nottingham Forest after Neil Sullivan went off injured. The 32-year-old was at Norwich last season but wasn't offered a contract at the end of the campaign. Following Ian Bennett`s departure to Sheffield United, Blackwell has been left short in that department.Leeds have extended the trial of German defender Roland Benschneider. The former Cologne man spent last week training with Leeds, and featured in Mondays 1-1 draw with Grimsby.Also to feature was 33-year-old French defender Jerome Bonnissel and former Sheffield United utility man Carl Asaba.Bonnissel is back in the UK after previously playing for Rangers and Fulham. 1/8/06
United boss Kevin Blackwell is waiting on the results of a scan on Kevin Nicholls' knee injury.
The £700,000 signing from Luton had a scan on Monday, but the results are unlikely to be known until tomorrow.
The midfielder took part in United's photo-call at Elland Road today and is hopeful he won't be sidelined for too long.
The manager described the injury as "serious" - it is suspected medial ligament damage - but the full extent of the injury won't be known until the scan results come through. 1/8/06
Leeds United have parted company with midfielder Dave Livermore.
The midfielder has joined Hull City for an undisclosed fee only three weeks after completing a move from Millwall to Elland Road.
Livermore joined the club on July 20, but his arrival was superseded by that of fellow midfielder Kevin Nicholls, a £700,000 capture from Luton Town.
A club statement reads: "At the time of signing David, Kevin Nicholls and another potential midfield target weren't available to us.
"We then managed to acquire Kevin Nicholls and things have now opened up on another target.
"The situation with David is that with everyone fit he is unlikely to play. He's an honest professional and when the opportunity came up for him to talk to Hull we gave him that choice.
"We wish David all the very best for the future."

Sporting Life 1/8/06
By Jon Phipps, PA Sport
Midfielder David Livermore has left Leeds and joined Hull for an undisclosed fee - just three weeks after completing his move to Elland Road.
The 26-year-old moved to Kevin Blackwell's side from Millwall for £400,000 on July 20, but the club have since been able to complete a deal for Luton's Kevin Nicholls, leaving Livermore surplus to requirements.
He has now signed a two-year deal at the KC Stadium, becoming Tigers boss Phil Parkinson's fourth summer signing.
A Leeds club statement said: "At the time of signing David, Kevin Nicholls and another potential midfield target weren't available to us.
"We then managed to acquire Kevin Nicholls and things have now opened up on another target.
"The situation with David is that with everyone fit he is unlikely to play.
"He's an honest professional and when the opportunity came up for him to talk to Hull we gave him that choice. We wish David all the very best for the future."

Cisse joins on trial
Leeds list of trialists has been boosted by the arrival at Elland Road by Senegalese international Aliou Cisse. The midfielder would be a welcome addition to the squad folling injury to Kevin Nicholls and the sale of David Livermore to Hull.The former Portsmouth player is on the lookout for a new club after being released by the south-coast side.

Bowden Plays Down Supple Rumours
By Jessica Porter
Ipswich Town Chief Executive Derek Bowden has played down rumours linking keeper Shane Supple with a move to Leeds United.
Speaking to the Official Club Website, Bowden said: "We've had no enquiry from Leeds about Shane, let alone an offer."19 year-old Supple, a former Republic of Ireland youth international, was recentley handed the number one shirt by Town boss Jim Magilton after a string of superb displays in the second half of last season.

Sky 1/8/06
Leeds keen on Harding exchange
By Lewis Rutledge
Ipswich's pursuit of Leeds left back Dan Harding has hit a snag.
The 22-year-old only joined Leeds from Brighton a year ago but did not enjoy the best of campaigns at Elland Road and is ready to be offloaded by boss Kevin Blackwell.
New Ipswich coach Jim Magilton is keen to snap him up but negotiations have stalled, with Blackwell demanding one of Town's players in return.
Leeds are short of goalkeepers following Ian Bennett's move to Sheffield United and injury to Neil Sullivan, and are reportedly only willing to do a deal for Harding in exchange for shot-stopper Shane Supple.
"You could say our interest in Dan Harding is on-going. It is a work in progress," said Magilton.
"But that doesn't mean we are going to do business to the detriment of other areas of the team.
"Leeds were keen on a player exchange deal for one of our lads but I'm saying no more than that at this stage. We didn't even consider it - we just said no way. "I would like to sign Dan Harding but Leeds' proposal wasn't acceptable to us. Like I said, I am not prepared to strengthen one area of the team and at the same time weaken another."