Saturday, September 30, 2006

Sporting Life 30/9/06
By Andy Tilley, PA Sport
Caretaker Leeds manager John Carver is in the dark about how long he will remain in charge at Elland Road but admits his "honeymoon period" is over.
Leeds slumped to a 4-2 defeat against 10-man West Brom at the Hawthorns, and Carver scotched reports chairman Ken Bates had promised him the manager's job made vacant by the sacking of Kevin Blackwell.
But Carver, who steered Leeds to a 3-2 win against Birmingham in his first match last week, confirmed he was ready to carry on in the role.
Carver said: "It is not true I have been given the job.
"I have spoken to the chairman and all he's told me to do is get on with it.
"He has not told me anything other than that about the job and I am not listening to anything which comes from the outside.
"My job, as I see it, is to get this team up the league.
"There has been a honeymoon period for me but this result has been a wake-up call because there are things we need to work on."
Carver's wretched afternoon was made worse by the news full-back Gary Kelly suffered a suspected broken metatarsal, while Kevin Nicholls was carried off after sustaining suspected medial knee ligament damage.
Carver said: "Gary will go for X-rays but we think it is a broken metatarsal.
"As far as Kevin is concerned, the grass was long and he has caught his bladed boots in the grass.
"If Alex Ferguson is concerned about bladed boots then I am concerned about them.
"Once the rain came down, there were six or so players who were slipping all over the place.
"It is something I will look at because I want my players fit and it that means changing their footwear then so be it."Meanwhile, West Brom caretaker manager Nigel Pearson was celebrating extending his unbeaten run to three games since the departure of Bryan Robson.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Telegraph 24/9/06
Rejuvenated Leeds bring fans some relief

By Jeremy Cross at Elland Road
(Filed: 24/09/2006)
Leeds (2) 3 Birmingham (1) 2
A change of manager and change in fortune for Leeds United at Elland Road, where a late own goal from Olivier Tebily gifted the home side a much-needed win and provided chairman Ken Bates with some justification for sacking manager Kevin Blackwell.
Forceful and creative, Leeds profited from a brace by David Healy in their quest to topple high-flying Birmingham City and provide some welcome relief for their long-suffering supporters.
Things are never straightforward at Leeds, however, and equalisers from Martin Taylor and then Nicklas Bendtner seemed certain to deny the home side until Tebily, a substitute, headed Steve Stone's cross into his own goal.
John Carver took charge of his first game as caretaker manager in the wake of Blackwell's dismissal. The fixtures could have been much kinder to him, considering the quality of the opposition.
Such are Steve Bruce's selection luxuries that he could afford to leave Cameron Jerome, a £3 million summer signing from Cardiff City, on the bench with Mikael Forssell. Bruce kept faith with D J Campbell and Bendtner instead.
Carver had demanded a positive response from his players after a difficult week and got one as Leeds made a bright start in what became a frenzied opening.
Kevin Nicholls almost profited from Damien Johnson's poor clearing header inside three minutes but lobbed his shot over the top, before Healy escaped Martin Taylor's clutches and delivered a sublime ball to Geoff Horsfield, which he failed to make the most of.
Birmingham's Radhi Jaidi rattled an upright with a fierce drive before Leeds scored with their next attack. Eddie Lewis's free-kick found Healy lurking at the back post and he delivered a sumptuous finish with the outside of his right foot.
It took Birmingham just seven minutes to respond. Mehdi Nafti's drive flew straight to the unmarked Taylor on the edge of the penalty area. His shot struck an upright but hit the back of Tony Warner before tumbling into the Leeds goal.
Leeds regained the advantage soon afterwards when the ball broke kindly to Horsfield, who was tripped from behind by Marcos Painter in the process of shooting. After referee Steve Tanner pointed to the spot, Healy converted.
Healy almost scored a third, Nicholls saw a rasping drive whistle over and Matthew Kilgallon headed wide as Leeds resembled a different side from the one that had laboured through the season and cost Blackwell his job.
Birmingham's misery looked complete with 20 minutes left when they had a player dismissed for the third consecutive league game, Johnson receiving a red card for flattening substitute Ian Westlake with his elbow.
Just three minutes later, Bendtner somehow squeezed an angled shot past Kilgallon and Warner and looked to have salvaged a point until Tebily's blunder handed all three to Leeds.

Friday, September 22, 2006 22/9/06
John Carver held his first press conference since being named caretaker manager of United and was in a confident and positive mood.
"We have got to look forward," he said. This is a great opportunity for me. Leeds is a big club, with fantastic support and some very good players. We're facing a big challenge, the players are looking forward to it and so am I."
John, who was appointed caretaker boss following the sacking of Kevin Blackwell earlier this week, said he spoken individually with all the club's senior players and had been encouraged by the outcome.
"We want to get back up the table as quickly as possible and I know the players we have at the club are quite capable of doing that," he said. We have just completed a great training session and I have got them organised and they are right for the game against Birmingham City tomorrow. I think we might well see a good reaction from them tomorrow.
"One or two of the players are hurting from some of the performances this season but I know the fans will be right behind them tomorrow - and we need that. It is not about John Carver it is about the players and I want people to be right behind us tomorrow."
The caretaker manager knows that a win tomorrow could lift United a number of places in the Championship.
"We have to start winning games and if we do that then it helps my case," he said.
John is keen to clinch the manager's job on a permanent basis and he said: "When I saw the chairman he was great...really positive and once I knew what the situation was I was happy. He said to me 'Get on with it. Do what you need to do, you have my 100 per cent backing.' '"
Once his appointment as caretaker boss was confirmed, John was quickly in touch with Sir Bobby Robson, his mentor when the two of them were with Newcastle United.
"Sir Bob has a tremendous amount of experience and knowledge and I would have been a fool not to go to him for advice.
"He spoke non-stop for ten minutes and among the things he spoke about was how to manage players and that's important advice as far as I am concerned."
John said that some changes will be made in the way the team play.
"I have my own ideas just as Kevin Blackwell had his," he explained.
"I come from a culture of entertainers. That was Bob's style and it is one I prefer. I have had very little time before this game but you might see one or two of them tomorrow. We have to get the ball down and start playing.
"Our priority tomorrow and in the next few weeks is to get results and if we can do that and entertain as well that will be the ideal formula."
Apart from the longer term injured players, United's only doubt for tomorrow's game is striker Geoff Horsfield, who has a hamstring strain. He will have a fitness test tomorrow.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Independent 21/9/06
Blackwell sacked as Bates aims to lift gloom
By Phil Shaw
In characteristically perverse fashion, Ken Bates sacked Kevin Blackwell as Leeds United's manager yesterday, less than 24 hours after the Championship's 23rd-placed team appeared to have eased the pressure on him by beating Barnet 3-1 in the Carling Cup.
Bates, who handed Blackwell a two-year contract extension earlier this year, had clearly taken a longer-term perspective. Leeds won only one of the last 10 League fixtures in 2005-06 and were trounced 3-0 by Watford in the play-off final. This season, they have just two 1-0 wins from eight outings.
Dennis Wise, a Chelsea player during Bates' time as chairman, is the early favourite for the job, although the former Millwall player-manager is only months into a three-year contract with Swindon. Others thought to interest the Leeds owner are Alex McLeish and Claudio Ranieri, formerly of Rangers and Chelsea respectively, and Luton Town's Mike Newell.
Blackwell, 47, succeeded Eddie Gray at Elland Road in 2004 after Leeds were relegated amid financial meltdown. He had arrived 12 months earlier as coach to Peter Reid after leaving a similar post at Sheffield United, with whose manager, Neil Warnock, he spent much of his career as a journeyman goalkeeper.
Where the Leeds of Peter Ridsdale and David O'Leary spent seven-figure sums on players, reaching the semi-finals of the Champions' League yet running up debts of £119m, Blackwell's first side had to be constructed around free transfers and trialists.
He later revealed that when he attended a course in football management at Warwick University, the Ridsdale-era Leeds were cited as an example of how not to run a club. He described the financial management of the club as "like something out of Blackadder - a cunning plan to take us further into debt".
Leeds were close to liquidation when Bates bought control in January last year. Blackwell's days looked likely to be numbered, the buyer having made plain during a previous dalliance with Sheffield Wednesday that he felt goalkeepers made unsatisfactory managers. But Bates was impressed by Blackwell's dedication and soon allowed him to buy players. The fees were modest when measured on the Ridsdale scale - £1.1m for Rob Hulse, £1.15m on Richard Cresswell, £800,000 for Robbie Blake and £700,000 on Kevin Nicholls.
If the play-off final proved anticlimactic for Leeds' 50,000-strong following in Cardiff, it was hugely embarrassing for their manager. His cautious tactics were designed for the away leg of a two-match tie rather than a winner-takes-all contest and were comfortably trumped by one of his former coaches at Leeds, Adrian Boothroyd.
The air of negativity has carried over into the new campaign. Leeds have lost three successive Championship home games without scoring and occupy the lowest position in their history. The fanbase has begun to collapse - the 7,220 crowd for Barnet was the smallest in 45 years - and chants of "Time to go, Blackwell" have started.
The 3-0 capitulation to Roy Keane's Sunderland last week provided an example of how a new manager can reinvigorate players and supporters. By firing the honourable but unfortunate Blackwell, Bates will hope to have a similar impact on Leeds.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Sunday Times 17/9/06
Coventry 1 Leeds 0: Blackwell on his last legs
Barry Flatman at Ricoh Arena
Apart from an affinity with Leeds United, London-bred Ken Bates has many things in common with thousands of Yorkshiremen and Kevin Blackwell probably knows these characteristics only too well. Neither party sees the point in being either discreet or forgiving and when hard talking is necessary, they are invariably blunt and to the point.
Leeds fans had their say after a third consecutive defeat left the club second bottom of the Championship. Only four months after losing out in the play-offs, patience is wearing thin at Elland Road and Blackwell’s team have now gone five hours and 29 minutes without scoring a league goal in open play. “Blackwell, Blackwell, time to go,” came the chant from the away supporters with the final whistle still a minute or so away. “Blackwell, time to go!” Those doing the chanting can only surmise whether the chairman is of the same opinion. Perhaps Bates took note of the fact that Coventry’s new home is something of a citadel, with Micky Adams’ team losing only once in the preceding 19 games, but the tax-exiled chairman decided to stay at home in Monaco.
However he is scheduled to return for Tuesday’s Carling Cup tie against Barnet and also plans to watch the forthcoming league matches against Birmingham City and West Bromwich Albion.
Blackwell has no idea whether he will still be in employment for all or indeed any of those matches after reporting: “I spoke to the chairman on the telephone this morning and I don’t know what he is thinking.” But the manager, not too long ago lauded for changing the fortunes of the financially beleaguered club, is certain of one thing after this defeat that underlined the current malaise of his team.
“Life is not fair, is it?” he maintained after seeing David Healy’s early header hit the crossbar before Coventry struck through the crispest of goals from Stern John. “There was not much between the two teams but it’s just not happening for us on the field.” And when questioned about the chants calling for his departure, he added: “It’s not nice for anybody, but I just have to deal with the situation. I’m not the first and won’t be the last to suffer that sort of thing.” Certainly, there was a degree of misfortune about Leeds’ attacking display.
Aside from Healy’s ninth-minute header from Ian Westlake’s cross, Geoff Horsfield brought a fine reflex save from goalkeeper Andy Marshall as the visitors’ desperately sought an equaliser. But, defensively, Leeds were poor and deserved to be punished more for hesitant and uncommitted play at the back.
Understandably, Coventry played with far more freedom and their goal was a delight to witness for even the neutral. John began clever inter-play in midfield with the deftest of flicks before the move progressed with Kevin Kyle, Stephen Hughes and Marcus Hall making contributions. The lively Jay Tabb darted down the left-hand channel and, with Leeds’ marking negligible, John was allowed to finish what he started, stabbing in the low cross.
Coventry manager Micky Adams sympathised with under-fire counterpart Blackwell after Leeds’ third successive defeat and their fifth in eight Championship games this season condemned them to their lowest league position since August 1985.
Adams said: “It’s not nice. It hurts. It’s Kevin’s time now but it could be me next week. I’ve had it at other clubs and it’s a horrible feeling. “A football manager is a 24-hour job and when things like that happen it affects you, your family and everyone around you. All I can do is wish him and Leeds all the best.”
On the game itself Adams was delighted to extend his side‘s unbeaten home record this season. “It’s a fantastic three points and a fantastic win,” he said. “We played particularly well in the first half and really set our stall out. I don’t think anyone can deny us this win. It was a fantastic goal and I’m delighted. We are a very good side when we get the ball down and play.”
Blackwell had little more to say but insisted it could have been a different game had Geoff Horsfield taken his chance early in the second half. “Had Geoff scored when he was through one-on-one then it could have been a different story, but it just wasn’t our day,” he said.
Star Man: Stern John (Coventry)
Player ratings: Coventry City: Marshall 7, McNamee 6, Page 7, Elliott 6, Hall 7, Birchall 6, Hughes 6, Doyle 6, Tabb 7 (Cameron 74min, 5), John 8 (McKenzie 69min, 7), Kyle 7 (Hutchison 88min, 4) Leeds United: Warner 7, Kelly 6, Butler 4, Kilgallon 5, Crainey 5, Carole 5 (Stone 69min, 4), Gregan 5 (Douglas h-t, 5), Nicholls 6, Westlake 6 (Blake 85min, 5), Horsfield 6, Healy 7

Saturday, September 16, 2006 16/9/06
United beaten at Coventry
United manager Kevin Blackwell marked his 100th game in charge of the club by ringing the changes, following the midweek defeat at the hands of Sunderland.
Kevin Nicholls was handed his full debut at the centre of a three-man midfield with Sean Gregan making his first Coca-Cola Championship start of the season as the anchor man. Steve Stone and Jonathan Douglas were the men who made way by dropping to the bench.
Seb Carole was also recalled to the starting line-up in place of Eddie Lewis as Blackwell opted for a 4-3-3 system at the Ricoh Arena.
It's a formation favoured by the manager, particularly away from home, and it almost paid dividends as early as the eighth minute when, after soaking up early Coventry pressure, United broke quickly and David Healy rattled the bar with a header, following an Ian Westlake cross from the left.
Westlake also forced City's Elliott Ward into evasive action when the defender had to react quickly to clear a low pass intended for an unmarked Geoff Horsfield.
But the home side looked lively going forward and their first clear opportunity came midway through the first half when Jay Tabb stabbed a weak shot straight at United goalkeeper Tony Warner, following some neat build-up play.
Moments later, though, Coventry were rewarded for their perseverance when Marcus Hall released Tabb on the left and Stern John was on hand to capitalise on a low cross to fire the Sky Blues into a 25th minute lead.
John's strike was enough to give Coventry the advantage as the game edged its way towards the half-time break.
The United manager re-shuffled his pack during the interval with Douglas replacing Gregan. United also switched to a 4-4-2 as they sought to gain a route back into the contest.
Coventry goalkeeper Andy Marshall was forced into making his first save of the contest shortly after the break - Westlake shooting from distance - and Horsfield narrowly failed to connect with a low cross from Healy as Leeds started brightly.
The two front-men linked up well again moments later, but with Horsfield bearing down on goal Marshall reacted quickly to prevent the danger. Horsfield also sent a header flashing wide of the upright as United threatened again.
At the other end, Warner did well to deny Michael Doyle when the Coventry midfielder was handed a good opportunity after the hosts broke quickly and incisively.
But Leeds pushed forward again and Nicholls could consider himself unfortunate when a curling effort from 20 yards drifted wide of the upright with Marshall floundering.
United threw men forward in the hope of salvaging an equaliser, but almost paid a price with eight minutes left on the clock when, after Coventry broke quickly, Warner pulled off a fine save to deny home debutant Leon McKenzie.With three minutes to go, United almost snatched an equaliser when Horsfield met a Nicholl's corner but his header was tipped over the bar by Marshall. But that was United's last chance and the Sky Blues celebrated victory by the only goal of the game.

Sky Sports 16/9/06
Blackwell rejects Curbs talk
By Peter ORourke
Under-fire Leeds boss Kevin Blackwell has rejected talk that Alan Curbishley could replace him at Elland Road.
Blackwell's future has been the subject of intense speculation after a disastrous run of form saw the team slip into the Championship relegation zone.
Angry fans called for Blackwell's head after Wednesday's defeat to Sunderland, but Blackwell is refusing to give up.
Former Charlton chief Curbishley has been strongly linked with succeeding Blackwell should the axe fall on the Leeds boss, but Blackwell has laughed off talk that Curbishley could replace him.
"Alan wouldn't come here unless he had millions to spend - and we don't. Whoever came in here would face the same problems I've had," said Blackwell. "The club's lost enough money paying three ex-managers so I am sure the chairman would not want to do that again."

Monday, September 11, 2006

Yorkshire Post 11/9/06
I'll just keep doing my job – Blackwell
KEVIN BLACKWELL has hit back at the Leeds United fans who called for his dismissal after yesterday's last-gasp defeat to Wolves and insisted: "I am doing the best job I can."
Jay Bothroyd's superbly struck winner in the second minute of stoppage time was enough to nudge United down a place to 16th in the Championship with a return of two wins and a draw from their opening six games.A section of Elland Road's lowest league crowd since the late 1980s vented their frustration at the final whistle by chanting 'time to go' at the under pressure Blackwell.He, in turn, pointed with some justification to the nature of his side's display against Wolves, but the United manager must also be well aware that results must improve sooner rather than later if supporters are to be placated.Blackwell said: "I am doing the best job I can and it is disappointing when things do not go my way. I want to win every game, just like the fans do."When you look at that performance, you would not say that was a team in trouble. There are five or six players to come in who will add real quality. When we have them in, we will be okay. To lose against Wolves was very unjust on the players, never mind me."Asked about the reaction of the 16,268 crowd at the end, Blackwell added: "I cannot go on and head the ball, can I? I cannot play in midfield and I cannot play at the back. Listen, anyone who saw that display, I do not think has a lot to moan about."But there are fans who if you do not win with style, they criticise. If you do not win by four or five, you get criticised. All I can do is just keep doing my job here."To be fair, we have had a horrendous run of injuries. The squad is as thin as it has ever been. There were only 16 players available to me, as was the case at Sheffield Wednesday (a fortnight earlier)."The good thing is Kevin Nicholls is on his way back and Steve Stone was available again. Geoff Horsfield is also available now after suspension." Bothroyd's winner was the third goal Leeds have conceded in stoppage time this season and Cardiff City left Elland Road with three points last month courtesy of Willo Flood's 83rd-minute strike.Blackwell, however, has called on his players to remain positive ahead of Sunderland's visit to Elland Road on Wednesday night.He said: "The lads are obviously down but I have told them they have nothing to be ashamed of. They played well. We had so much possession and so many chances that it is galling to lose."You look at the game and it is not for me to tell you. We deserved a lot more out of that game than we got. We played Cardiff and lost 1-0 here. We have lost 1-0 to Wolves. But we dominated, in my opinion, both games. If anyone writes anything other than that, I think they are blind."It is just not happening for us in the box. We had eight shots on target and to get nothing is disappointing. But there is no good moping about it, we just have to start all over again."Wolves manager Mick McCarthy knows all about the frustration of conceding costly late goals, his then Republic of Ireland side being denied a place at the European Championships to a goal by Macedonia five minutes into stoppage time.He said: "I was just saying to the staff (when the score was 0-0) 'I think this is a good point away at Leeds'. We would have taken that. It is not like we were all over Leeds."They had the better of the first half, there were periods where we weren't as good as I would have liked. Matt Murray made two great saves and it was looking like he was heading for a man-of-the-match performance."But in the second half he did not have as much to do and I think we levelled the game up. The difference was we scored, they didn't."

Sunday, September 10, 2006 10/9/06
UNITED: Warner, Kelly, Butler, Kilgallon, Crainey, Carole, Douglas, Westlake, Lewis (Stone 83), Healy, Moore (Beckford 78) Subs: Sullivan, Gregan, Blake.
WOLVES: Murray, Olofinjana, Breen, Craddock, Henry, Cort (Bothroyd 46), Edwards, Johnson (Clarke 75), Potter, Jones, Mulgrew (Little 44). Subs: Ricketts, Ikeme.
Referee: L Mason
United manager Kevin Blackwell handed Jonathan Douglas his first start since joining the club on a permanent basis while David Healy returned from goalscoring duty with Northern Ireland to partner Ian Moore in the front-line.
And both sides started brightly, playing some neat attacking football. Carl Cort, who had a good early chance, and Jemal Johnson forged a lively strike pairing for Wolves while Ian Westlake and Douglas were pivotal in driving Leeds forward during the early stages.
United's best moment early on came when Seb Carole threaded the ball through to Westlake, but the midfielder was unable to apply the finishing touch due to some good defending.
In keeping with the lively start Cort fluffed an opportunity at the other end before Moore forced Matt Murray into making his first save of the game. From the resultant corner, Matt Kilgallon had a header cleared off the line and Paul Butler fired wide of the mark.
The game continued apace with both sides playing a refreshing brand of open football. Johnson twice saw shots blocked by Stephen Crainey and Kilgallon while Moore again went close at the other end when he tested Murray after more good build-up play.
Wolves duo Gary Breen and Charlie Mulgrew also found their names in the referees notebook, following cynical challenges on Moore and Gary Kelly as Leeds looked to break quickly.
Wolves goalkeeper Murray was kept busy, however, and he pulled off his third good save of the first-half on 37 minutes when did well to deny Carole after more good work by Douglas. In contrast, United keeper Tony Warner was comfortably able to watch a Johnson shot fly high over the bar after the
visitors responded with a quick break.
Wolves made a substitution at half time bringing on Jay Bothroyd for Cort and the visitors attacked immediately and Warner had to pull off a good near post block when Jemal Johnson hit a close range shot.
Westlake took United onto the attack with a strong run from midfield before he was fouled by Seyi Olofinjana but Lewis, from a good position a few yards outside the penalty area, hit the free kick just wide. Shortly afterwards a mix up in defence caused United an anxious moment until Warner punched the
wall away.
Carole raised United's hope with a menacing run on the right before cutting inside but his hard, low shot was blocked. Then United weathered a spell of Wolves pressure which forced two corners in quick succession.
Healy turned quickly just outside the Wolves penalty area but his rising shot passed over the bar and shortly afterwards United had a chance when Wolves keeper, Matt Murray, dropped a cross. The ball fell for Butler, who turned and fired goalwards only to see Gary Breen block the ball.
With 12 minutes to go, United replaced Moore with Jermaine Beckford and the young striker made his presence felt with some good work on the right which ended with a good low cross that caused a mix up between Murray and Craddock but the latter recovered sufficiently to scramble the ball behind for a
United attacked strongly at the end but Wolves held on and shocked United with a 90th minute strike, Bothroyd firing in a 25 yard rising shot.

BBC 10/9/06
Leeds may be debt-free in a year
Leeds manager Kevin Blackwell has revealed that the club will be almost debt-free within a year.
Blackwell told BBC Radio Five Live's Sportsweek programme: "It is only 18 months since the club was relegated and in £121m worth of debt.
"We have had to deal with that millstone around our necks and still try to win games - and despite having lost so many players.
"But this time next year the club will not be in any debt whatsoever."
As a result of Leeds' crippling debt - and drop into the Championship - they were forced to sell many of their biggest players.
Robbie Fowler, Harry Kewell, Jonathan Woodgate, Aaron Lennon, Paul Robinson, Danny Mills and Olivier Dacourt are just some who departed.
Not all of those who left the club left the payroll.
Fowler and Nicky Barmby were being paid by Leeds up until this summer.
And BBC Sport understands that Mills and Paul Okon are still receiving a salary - and will do so until the end of this season.
According to Blackwell there are more than half a dozen ex-Leeds players still drawing money from the club.
Blackwell said: "We have not invested in players this year but that has helped to pay the players - seven of them - who are not at this football club anymore.
"That situation ends at the end of the season and the club will move on quite quickly and have actually dealt with its debts.
"Whereas other clubs are still carrying £40-50m worth of debt, we will be right down to maybe £4-5m. "My understanding is that this time next year the club will be well off in terms of finances - in the top six or seven clubs in the country."

Saturday, September 09, 2006 8/9/06
United chairman Ken Bates has revealed that the club turned down a transfer deadline day bid for winger Eddie Lewis.
Wolves stepped in last week in the hope of signing Eddie - but the bid was rejected, and the chairman's revelation comes just days before the two sides go head to head in the Coca-Cola Championship.
"We had a deadline day bid by Mick McCarthy who tried to buy Eddie Lewis," the chairman revealed on Yorkshire Radio.
"Of course we said no, and I'm hoping that he will show them what they missed out on, when we meet on Sunday."
The Elland Road chairman has also hit back at suggestions that the club failed to make any attempt to find a compromise deal with Eirik Bakke before his move to Norwegian outfit Brann Bergen.
"Eirik Bakke was on £23k plus £4k an appearance and we couldn't afford him," said the chairman.
"We approached his agent on a number of occasions to see if we could meet halfway or somewhere, to compromise, but his agent was adamant that we had signed a contract with Bakke and he wanted all his money.
"It's not true that we didn't try and find a compromise. In the end, Bakke has gone out and Jonathan Douglas, a good young international, has come in."I think that's a good deal."

Yorkshire Evening Post 7/9/06
United finalise 'tapping up' evidence
Leeds United were today making their final submissions to the Football Association and the Premier League as the tapping-up scandal involving Chelsea prepared to gather speed.
Leeds have until this evening to put the finishing touches to their case against the Premiership champions, who are accused of breaking transfer regulations by making illegal approaches for three players at United's academy.
The file of evidence from Elland Road will be considered by the FA and the Premier League alongside Chelsea's defence, and top-flight representatives will meet with officials from Leeds on Tuesday before deciding whether the Stamford Bridge club has a case to answer.
Charges are widely expected to be brought against Chelsea later this month, and a commission will be appointed to determine their guilt provided United supply sufficient evidence tonight.
The investigation into Chelsea's behaviour is a joint inquiry between the Premier League and the Football Association since the alleged offences relate to the rules of both organisations. The case against Chelsea stems from their capture of youngsters Michael Woods and Tom Taiwo from United's academy in April of this year. Leeds claim the London club broke Premier League, Football Association and Football League rules by signing both players, and have also accused Chelsea of making an illegal approach for midfielder Danny Rose, who later decided to remain at Elland Road.
A formal complaint was made by United at the start of last month, but Chelsea have denied the allegations and responded by accusing Leeds chairman Ken Bates of making "rude, insulting and inappropriate comments" towards owner Roman Abramovich and his staff during a press conference at Elland Road on August 2. Chelsea's complaint is also being considered by the FA.
Bates said today: "Our evidence needs to be in place by this evening, and there will then be a meeting with the Premier League before they decide whether Chelsea have a case to answer.
"We've made our position and our complaint very clear." Bates has already demanded punishment stretching beyond a financial penalty, which would scarcely the wealthy Abramovich.
Chelsea have a suspended three-point deduction hanging over them following their illegal approach for former Arsenal left-back Ashley Cole last year, and United will hope for stringent sanctions if their case if proven. Leeds are also intending to secure adequate compensation stretching into seven figures for Woods and Taiwo after turning down an initial offer of £200,000 per player from Chelsea.
Meanwhile, United midfielder Gylfi Einarsson is set for an eight-week absence after being sent for surgery to remove floating bone from his hip.

Yorkshire Evening Post 7/9/06
Ole Healy
Leeds United boss Kevin Blackwell today saluted a "world-class performance" after watching David Healy cut down Spain with a brilliant hat-trick.
The Elland Road striker single-handedly guided Northern Ireland to a 3-2 victory over Spain at Windsor Park last night – a year to the day after his goal claimed the scalp of Sven Goran Eriksson's England.
Healy's treble improved his outstanding international record to 23 goals from 52 appearances for the province, and the victory allowed Northern Ireland to make a remarkable recovery from their 3-0 defeat to Iceland on Saturday.
The 27-year-old will return to Yorkshire in time for Leeds' Championship clash with Wolves at Elland Road on Sunday, and Blackwell is looking to exploit a player in form when Mick McCarthy's side come calling.
Blackwell said: "It was a world-class performance, absolutely. It shows what David is capable of at his best and I very much hope he'll be bringing that kind of goalscoring quality back to Elland Road.
"He's started the season well anyway, but he'll be full of confidence on Sunday. I'm delighted for him."
Healy operated as a lone striker last night, a position he has filled in the past for United, but he is still waiting to score his first goal from open play at club level this season. His penalties have secured 1-0 wins over Norwich and Sheffield Wednesday.
Healy is rapidly establishing himself as one of Northern Ireland's finest ever players after becoming the province's leading scorer, and admitted the victory over Spain had made amends for the defeat to Iceland.
"I love nights at Windsor Park. Everybody felt we let people down on Saturday," Healy said. "The players were more disappointed than the fans, but we showed our character more than anything. We've bounced back and it is a massive occasion."

Friday, September 08, 2006

New pages uploaded at

8 May 2006 - Preston North End 0 Leeds United 2

"Billy Davies - Job Done": the gloves come off as United smash North End on a riotous night and win their place in the play off final at the Millennium Stadium

Read the full story at

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Yorkshire Evening Post 2/9/06
United upset with Bernard
By Richard Byram
Leeds United chief executive Shaun Harvey has hit out at Olivier Bernard accusing him of reneging on a deal to join the Whites.
The French defender, 26, had agreed terms with Leeds subject to him passing a medical but had an eleventh hour change of heart and decided to sign for former club Newcastle United instead. In a statement Harvey said: "Terms were agreed with the player for him to join Leeds, subject only to him passing a medical. "The player has since reneged on the agreement reached and joined Newcastle United. "We are, both disappointed and relieved, as we would have very much liked Olivier Bernard to strengthen our squad. "But if he did not want to play for Leeds United it is better to find out now, as we are only interested in players who are fully committed to the club." Meanwhile, the club's proposed loan move for Charlton goalkeeper Stephan Andersen collapsed because United were unhappy with a recall clause in the deal, according to the Addicks. A move for the Danish keeper, 24, was agreed on deadline day, and even announced by Charlton late on Thursday evening, but according to the Londoners, United then pulled the plug. Charlton spokesman Andrew Mills said: "It looked as though the deal was done, but Leeds were uncomfortable with the recall clause we were keen to implement so, regrettably, it did not happen." United then brought Fulham 'keeper Tony Warner back to Elland Road until January 1. 1/9/06
Shaun Harvey, Leeds United's chief executive officer, said: "Leeds United had hoped to complete the signing of Olivier Bernard this morning, after waiting for the player to agree cancellation of his contract at Rangers.
"Terms were agreed with the player for him to join Leeds this morning, subject only to him passing a medical, which was scheduled to take place at 9.30am today.
The player has since reneged on the agreement reached last night, and joined Newcastle United. We are, both disappointed and relieved, as we would have very much liked Olivier Bernard to strengthen our squad, but if he did not want to play for Leeds United it is better to find out now, as we are onlyinterested in players who are fully committed to the club."
Sky 1/9/06
Leeds loan collapses
By Tom Adams
Charlton Athletic have revealed that Stephan Andersen's deadline day switch to Leeds United has fallen through due to the conditions of the proposed loan.
The Addicks announced on Thursday night that the Danish keeper had moved to Elland Road for the remainder of the season, but concerns from the Yorkshire side eventually scuppered the deal.
Charlton boss Iain Dowie wanted to include a clause that would have allowed the Premiership side to recall the 24-year-old at any stage, as they could see Scott Carson return to Liverpool under similar circumstances.
However, Leeds, who extended the loan of Fulham keeper Tony Warner on deadline day, were unwilling to agree to the amendment, leaving both Charlton and their goalkeeper frustrated.
"It's a disappointing situation," general manager Andrew Mills told the club's official website.
"It looked as though the deal was done but Leeds were uncomfortable with the recall clause we were keen to implement so, regrettably, it didn't happen.
"We felt we needed to mirror the Carson situation. "Iain couldn't afford to loan out Steph and not have the option to recall him in the event of anything happening with Scott.

Yorkshire Evening Post 1/9/06
United chasing fourth signing
By Phil Hay
Leeds United were today on the trail of a fourth new signing after a busy night of transfer activity at Elland Road.
Leeds have been pursuing a foreign defender with five years of Premiership experience under his belt after the player in question reached agreement to end his contract with his current club.The termination has made him a free agent, allowing Leeds to step in and secure his signature despite the closure of the August transfer window last night. United brought in three players before the deadline, and boss Kevin Blackwell was confident of landing his experienced target after a medical today.Jonathon Douglas was the club's only permanent signing yesterday, joining on a three-year deal from Blackburn for an undisclosed fee, but goalkeepers Tony Warner and Stephan Andersen have both agreed loan moves to Leeds.Fulham's Warner spent the opening month of the season at Elland Road, making five league appearances, but the cost of his wages were expected to prevent Blackwell from extending the deal.However, the 32-year-old has returned to United until January 1, and he will be joined in the ranks by Charlton's Andersen, who accepted a season-long loan yesterday.The 24-year-old Danish international has been at The Valley since 2004 but has made a limited impression in Charlton's first team.Andersen made 16 appearances in the Premiership last season, but the London club recently signed former Elland Road keeper Scott Carson from Liverpool, and the Dane's prospects under Iain Dowie do not look promising.

Friday, September 01, 2006

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17 January 2006 - Leeds United 3 Wigan Athletic 3

Mixing it with the big boys again, United play out a classic Cup-tie against Wigan, with Gary Kelly reserving one of his specials for the occasion

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