Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Independent - Massimo Cellino: Fear and loathing at Leeds United

SPECIAL REPORT: The corridors and offices of Leeds United Football Club are not a pleasant place to be because of owner Massimo Cellino’s erratic, irrational and unprofessional working patterns
Ian Herbert Chief Sports Writer
The punch to the stomach routine is something Massimo Cellino’s staff at Leeds United have learnt to live with. It entails the boss drawing back his arm and making to hit an unsuspecting employee who has the misfortune to cross him in a corridor, then withdrawing it at the last minute, the grin revealing that this is a joke. They’ve not exactly been shrinking violets at Elland Road down the years. Just ask Kevin Keegan about Johnny Giles and Billy Bremner thumping him at Wembley in 1974. But this can be unsettling.
It is one of the many reasons why no one is grieving about the fact that Cellino was last week barred from running Leeds and, pending an appeal, that he will be out until next June. There’s a vague notion that Leeds need Cellino because he has the money to put the club back together again, but the evidence to support that proposition is hardly overwhelming, either.
It’s a measure of the way that staff are on edge that an investigation into the inside story of working life at Cellino’s Leeds has to be told without names, because despite the initial sense the 59-year-old gives new employees that they’re the answer to all his prayers, things can turn sour very quickly. The man seems to have a temper. “One minute you’re the best thing since sliced bread. Next minute you’re out,” says one of the many senior executives who has been and gone.
Employment law does not seem to form a part of his universe, as the case of Lucy Ward, the former Leeds Ladies midfield player who worked in the club’s academy, reveals. Her disciplinary record is unblemished, yet she was suspended for an act of “gross misconduct” in May: ostensibly spending too long working as a BBC analyst at last summer’s Women’s World Cup in Canada. The employment tribunal’s court papers suggest she gained the permission of her line manager and that her BBC engagement was an excuse to dismiss her. The tribunal will hear evidence that she was sacked because she happened to be the long-term partner of the former manager Neil Redfearn, who was shown the door on the same day.
The preliminary hearing threatens to drag the club’s name through the mud, though Cellino may seek to settle out of court. One of his favourite sayings is “a bad settlement is better than a court settlement”. Settling on time seems a less common strategy. A source who has worked at the top of the club suggests there are currently no fewer than 30 legal claims for payment against Leeds. These include the High Court suit served by his own lawyers Mischon de Reya, relating to £150,000 of unpaid fees, run up when he got the Football League’s attempt to block him buying the club overturned. “He doesn’t pay, then changes firms,” says one source.
Cellino did not even seek a settlement in the case of Cameron Stewart, the Manchester United academy graduate Leeds had agreed to sign on loan with a three-year permanent deal to follow, last year. The player’s contract was signed and he was playing for Leeds at the end of the 2013-14 season. But after the paperwork proved to be flawed – the Leeds signatory, David Hague, was unauthorised because he’d left the club – the Football League sent it back.
Cellino then arrived at the club, decided he didn’t want the player after all, and ripped up the contract. It was when Stewart pursued a compensation case, through the Football Association, that Cellino’s management of the club was laid bare. He suspended club secretary Alison Royston because of his dissatisfaction with the way Stewart’s contract had been drawn up, hired her back on a consultancy basis when he lacked the expertise required for the arbitration hearing, which he admits he did not attend, then dismissed Royston again when the proceedings went disastrously wrong.
Stewart, now at Ipswich Town, was awarded £750,000 compensation which equated to the wages he would have earned in the entirety of his contract, though it took the threat of a transfer embargo from the Football League to get Cellino to pay it. “Fortunately, in this country we do have a way of ensuring things are done,” says a source involved in fighting the 24-year-old’s case. “Cellino could have settled for so much less,” says the former Leeds executive.
Cellino, who tells The Independent today that he has “never heard” of Lucy Ward, says that the first he knew of Stewart was a letter from the Football League informing him that the contract – agreed before he had bought the club – was invalid. “When I came to Leeds I didn’t know who this player was. There were lots of things to face when I took over,” he says. “We did not know the rules in England. Apparently the player had signed a contract.”
Cellino claims he was poorly advised on the case by his lawyers, the experienced sports specialists McCormicks, and was forced to change advisers. He also castigates Stewart’s agent, Peter Morrison of the James Grant agency, whom he claims he had employed to help him buy players for Leeds. Only after two of those players had come in did Cellino discover they had been on Morrison’s books all along: the forward Nicky Ajose, as well as Stewart. “I feel a bit stupid about that,” Cellino says. “[If I had known] I would not have worked with him when I first [arrived] at the club.” Others have a different view of Morrison. “He has done more work to help Leeds than anyone,” says one source. “He has done nothing whatsoever wrong.”
The dozens of staff and contracted professionals shown the door include Steve Holmes, player liaison officer and academy staff member, whose “offence” appeared to be the absence of ballboys before last year’s pre-season friendly against Dundee United. He was told to remain away from work for a month and subsequently dismissed. He is now thriving at Sheffield United. “His workload at Leeds was immense,” says a source.
Managers keep coming and going, too. Steve Evans, whose first home game against Blackburn Rovers is on Thursday, is the sixth in 18 months and the payouts due to the dismissed keep mounting. Cellino is thought to be the only owner in British professional football to be paying, or paying off, four managers concurrently (Evans, Redfearn, Uwe Rosler – dismissed last week – and Darko Milanic.)
Given the desperation to see off the club’s last owners, Bahrain-based investment bank, Gulf Finance House, some feel Cellino is well placed to buy them out of the mess. But the notion that he can put the club on a path back to glory is contradicted by his struggle to secure finance to buy the lease to Elland Road from its holder, Manchester businessman Jacob Adler, who is ready to sell.
It has been widely reported that the cost of buying out Adler is £15m – the kind of investment or borrowing limit that would be within the means of most wealthy owners. Cellino is struggling to find a lender, with one source suggesting his two tax evasion convictions in Italy are a deterrent to finance houses. Cellino admits attempts to buy out Adler are proving difficult. “Every day I try to start to do this, there is a new problem,” he says. He insists the price is more than £15m, though will not say what. “I don’t like to say how much. It’s not very nice to talk about money,” he says.
Without the unholy operational mess that has engulfed Leeds, some of the smaller details of day-to-day working life with him – his failure to make it from his apartment behind the Leeds Malmaison Hotel for a very significant recent player/agent meeting; his smoking in his office; employing his son in the club shop – would be less consequential. But each seems to be an incremental addition to Leeds United Football Club becoming a godforsaken place, from top to bottom.
To look around the leagues and see the modestly rich British individuals who own modestly sized clubs – Peter Coates at Stoke, Michael Wynn-Jones at Norwich City, Crystal Palace’s four-man consortium– is to wonder why Leeds United have not been a source of attraction. Located in a wealthy one-club city, with a history which, with due respect, dwarfs each of those three named sides, Leeds is surely a greater football investment opportunity than any in the British game.
The fan base brought 27,672 to the opening fixture of this season against Burnley. Instead, with no salvation in sight, the club’s staff await news of Cellino’s latest legal fight with the Football League, knowing that sooner or later the Range Rover or Audio X5 will swing into the car park again and they will need to be careful how they go in the corridors.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Amid The Drama, Leeds United Face A Dangerous Test

Sabotage Times
Just in case you'd forgotten, amidst the ever-spinning whirlwind of madness that has been the last 5 days, Leeds United have a football match tonight.
Patrick Gunn
Yes, it may seem fanciful to expect a drama production team such as the one based at Elland Road to play a game of professional football from time to time, but that's the reality of things. Less than 24 hours after being confirmed as the club's new manager, after which the man who hired him was effectively banned from the club by the Football League, Steve Evans hopped on the team bus down to London to take his new side to face Fulham at Craven Cottage. What can possibly be expected of Evans in his first game is hard to say - Leeds have been in poor form for weeks now, and the circumstances surrounding his appointment are typically muddled. Going by his press conference, however, Evans seems fairly confident of his chances.
Saturday's game against Brighton was an unfortunate end to the short tenure of Uwe Rosler, a man I felt would have done well given more time to build a side capable of playing his preferred style of football. Cruelly reduced to 10 men for the last 5-10 minutes after Liam Cooper's injury, Leeds were put to the sword by Bobby Zamora with just a fraction of the game left to play, after impressing in spells against the league leaders. Not a great result, all things considered, but a promising performance against a good side following the previous capitulations to Middlesbrough and Birmingham. Chris Wood's shocking miss in the second half could even have put Leeds in a winning position come full time, but his free header was atrociously off the mark, flying wide of a half-open goal. The last time Wood missed such an opportunity, it was immediately repaid with a crushing, game-winning-strike against Derby. He would do well to pull out one or two against Fulham tonight.
Rosler's dismissal on Sunday was kept quiet by the club, who chose to announce his departure on Monday morning, hours before the Football League announced that Cellino was once again being disqualified from his position as owner. Eagle-eyed readers pointed out that the 2-week appeal period for this decision ended on the 28th of the month, meaning that Cellino had seemingly known about this decision for 5 days already, 5 days in which he forcibly limited the number of away tickets available to fans in a shockingly ill-conceived "protest" against the League and Sky TV, before sacking yet another manager a mere 11 games into his first season. With all the wildly optimistic talk in summer about Cellino's perceived "transformation" into a calmer, more laid-back owner thanks to the presence of Adam Pearson, it's no surprise that a day like Monday would come at some point, like the cork firing out of the shaken up champagne bottle that is Massimo Cellino's entire existence.
While Monday was simply another day to those fans who had grown tired of the Italian's antics long ago, it seems to have sparked a fire in the bellies of those who had been willing to give him more time in the past. As the football world once again pointed its mocking fingers towards Elland Road, another section of the fanbase decided that enough was enough, Cellino had to go. Has any announcement of an owner's disqualification ever received such unequivocal praise as the one released by the Football League on Monday afternoon?
Regardless of the fallout from the announcement, and the general uproar that followed his surprise appointment, Steve Evans is, for all intents and purposes, the Leeds United manager. As such, it is up to him to make sure that his team is focused and prepared for a stern test come Wednesday night. Fulham may not be the best team in this league, but they possess dangerous talent going forward, talent that Leeds fans will be well aware of. After Brian McDermott, Ross McCormack was one of the first victims of the Massimo Cellino dictatorship at Elland Road. Having spoken out staunchly to defend his manager and voice his distaste for the direction the club was heading, McCormack was purposefully kept at Leeds at first by his new President, who refused him the opportunity to head out to the preseason training camp in Italy, before being sold to Fulham for a reported £11 million. Many will look at McCormack and form images of a man who was unwilling to pledge his loyalty to the club he had almost single-handedly kept in the Championship, but regardless of your personal opinion of him, he will always represent a goal-threat at this level.
Alongside McCormack at Fulham are former Leeds men Matt Smith, Luke Garbutt and Tom Cairney. Garbutt & Smith have played minor roles for Kit Symons' team this campaign, and Cairney is suspended for tonight's game, but their presence at the club gives this fixture an extra kick, though given the importance that 3 points would represent to Leeds, that kick seems irrelevant in the grand scheme of things. With Charlie Taylor out with illness, Gaetano Berardi is likely to cover at left back, meaning that Evans will be forced to choose between Scott Wootton and Sam Byram on the right side of defence.
In his final game, Rosler went for the first option, provoking accusations of interference in his team selection. Evans however, like so many other before him, has promised Leeds fans that he, and only he, will pick the team on matchdays. Tonight's team selection could play a huge part in determining whether Evans is justified in his assurances, or simply deluded. Playing Byram tonight would represent, not only a show of authority to the fans, but also a strong backing of a young player that has been through a troubling few weeks. This is the perfect opportunity for Byram to prove that he still has the talent and desire required to play for Leeds.
Evans is likely to revert to a basic 4-4-2 formation, one that Rosler had switched to at times, but ignored in the long run in favour of his preferred 4-3-3. While it allows 2 up front, which looks to work well for Wood & Antenucci, the drawback of the 4-4-2 is that the central midfield can often be over-run by more modern, midfield heavy formations. If Lewis Cook advances, one or more of the wingers will have to drop back inside, leaving the team light in width, while the alternative of not allowing Cook the opportunity to move forward would, frankly, be madness. Against Brighton, Cook once again looked magisterial in comparison to some of his more experience team mates. The 18 year old seems to glide over the turf at times, but now finds himself under his 5th permanent head coach in his short professional career. Cellino's trigger finger has been responsible for a lot of negativity at Leeds, but if it ends up ruining the development of a player like Cook, who has the world at his feet in terms of pure, raw talent, then there will be hell to pay.
Look, I really don't know. Form books go out of the window with a new manager, could go well, could go wrong, you just never know. Evans has only had 2 days with this team, which doesn't seem long enough to learn their intricacies and strengths as a squad, but going back to a simple formation could help the players after the constant rotations under Rosler. 3 points would be huge for Leeds tonight, but I don't see that kind if impact coming straight away. All things considered, I'd be happy with a draw tonight, and hopefully Ross has a quiet game.

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Leeds United: A History

In Leeds United: A History, author Dave Tomlinson relates the complete and definitive history of the club from the early days of Leeds City to the present day. Through the voices of the people involved with the club, including supporters, players and former players, owners, administrators and local writers, to describe the club's history within its social context, how changes have affected the club and how developments in football itself have made an indelible impact upon both the football club and the wider community. This is a must-have for any fan of the 'Mighty Whites'.

‘It's not the despair... I can take the despair. It's the hope I can't stand.’ - John Cleese in Clockwise

Every fan of Leeds United will get the sentiment and readily acknowledge the masochistic nature of life as a follower of the Mighty Whites; right from its humble beginnings as Leeds City, the club has been dogged by a cycle of brave new dawns that inevitably give way in a resigned shudder to a disaster even grimmer than the last.
City struggled against financial challenges from the moment the club was established and just as the peerless Herbert Chapman offered the promise of promotion, Leeds were unceremoniously thrown out of the League and disbanded for making illegal wartime payments to players.
Football was reborn in Leeds with the formation in 1919 of United, Second Division champions in 1924 before spending the next fifteen years yo-yoing between divisions.
After the Second World War, Major Frank Buckley unearthed a superstar in John Charles; the Gentle Giant led United to promotion in 1956 before his big money transfer to Juventus left his colleagues with little to look forward to but relegation.
Don Revie brought unprecedented success to Elland Road, but after he left for the England job, the club meandered under the mismanagement of directors who had been spoiled by the achievements of Revie.
Howard Wilkinson led United to the League championship in 1992 before big money took centre stage and the powers-that-be lost faith in Wilko’s plans.
David O’Leary took a set of exciting youngsters through a memorable Champions League campaign only for financial gambles and a high profile trial to bring the club to its knees.
Promotion hopes beckoned in 2006 but United were hammered in the Play-Off final and relegated a year later as Ken Bates plunged the club into administration.
Simon Grayson’s side earned promotion in 2010 and went close to a return to the Premiership before Bates’ unwillingness to invest scuppered those hopes.
GFH Capital promised a money-driven revival, but their promises ran into the sand.
And now we have the eccentric Massimo Cellino …
To live through such a rollercoaster history requires resilience, the kind which few supporters possess. It’s miserable, fascinating, frustrating, exciting and chaotic being a Leeds fan and it doesn’t look likely to change any time soon … Marching On Together!!

Buy this book at Amazon

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Yellow is back for United as 2015/16 away strip is unveiled

leedsunited.com 29/7/15
Leeds United will wear yellow again for the first time in five seasons after the new away kit for 2015/16 was unveiled on Wednesday.
The stunning new design by teamwear partners Kappa will be available to purchase in the Elland Road Superstore from 9am this Friday morning (July 31).
It will also be worn for the first time by the players in Saturday’s Elland Road pre-season friendly against Premier League side Everton.
We can also confirm there will be no third shirt this season, meaning United will only play in either white or yellow.
Kappa’s striking new design is a predominantly all-yellow affair, with a blue trim around the collar ensuring a stylish fit to the shirt.
Kappa’s iconic ‘Omini’ logos appear on each shoulder, while ventilation panels down the sides allow for maximum breathability in all climates.
Much like the immensely popular new home kit, the away shirt is without a main sponsor, making it unmistakably Leeds United with a retro feel.
2015/16 away kit prices (Season Ticket Holders and Members receive 10% off):
Replica shirt £45
Player fit £55
Junior shirt £36
Adult shorts £22, junior shorts £20
Adult socks £10, junior socks £8

Rosler looking for wide man to complete his Leeds United squad

Yorkshire Post 29/7/15
Leeds United manager Uwe Rosler is facing a fight against time to bring in a left winger for the start of the new season.
Having strengthened his squad with six new signings over the summer months, it is widely understood that he now wants one more player to join the ranks as he seeks to provide some width down the left flank.
The arrival of goalkeeper Ross Turnbull on a free transfer from Barnsley – signing number six – left Rosler with a well-balanced squad of players.
The 46-year-old had already spotted an obvious shortage of goals in the team, so deals for Chris Wood and Lee Erwin were done. Tom Adeyemi’s loan from Cardiff City gave Rosler sufficient depth in his midfield and the deal with Sol Bamba retained a strong centre-back and a potential captain. Turnbull came in as cover for a goalkeeper in Marco Silvestri who will start the new season as first choice and was otherwise lacking an experienced deputy.
Turnbull was the most recent of the arrivals, signed to a two-year deal on July 15 and in time to go on tour to Austria and Norway. Since then Leeds have tried and failed to finish Rosler’s team off with a deal for an out-and-out winger.
It is still the top priority as the club head into the last few days of pre-season and begin counting down to the visit of Burnley on August 8.
Rosler never intended to gut the squad at Elland Road, realising that he would be working to a budget this summer and happy in any case with many of the players he inherited in May. His shift towards a 4-3-3 formation was assisted by the ability of Sam Byram to operate as a right winger and United’s substantial investment in Wood, a reliable goalscorer who Rosler believes is capable of fending for himself in a front three.
The left-hand side was more of a problem and Rosler’s pre-season experiments have largely served to convince him and the club that a specialist wide player is needed.
But time is running out if he wants to get his man ahead of next weekend’s big kick-off.
Rosler said: “There are areas where we want to improve. Our financial framework is restricted but we still want to do at least one more thing. In some areas we are very light, especially when you talk about wanting to play with width and three up front.”
At one stage a week ago, Leeds thought a deal to sign Catania’s Raphael Martinho was about to fall into place.
A medical was mooted, though Martinho never actually completed one, and United discussed the transfer at length before deciding that the Brazilian’s poor grasp of English might be a problem. Unconvinced that he would settle in Leeds, the club chose to move on.
Earlier this month, Cellino made contact with French club Bastia about Floyd Ayite, a 26-year-old Togo international who is reported to be worth around £2million.
United’s Italian owner did not like Bastia’s valuation and has left that option alone. In the past few days the search has turned elsewhere. Cellino believes the club have enough alternatives, though none of them would be cheap and he is resistant to the idea of signing loanees who do not sign with a view to a permanent deal. Manchester City’s Brandon Barker, a player linked with Leeds throughout the summer, was ruled out for that reason – City’s reluctance to discuss the option of a full-time move.
“With loans that have no (right of) redemption, you are only paying to train another club’s player,” Cellino once said. “I’ve never done a deal like that in my life.”
Leeds also remain intent on balancing the books, despite their willingness to pay around £2m for Wood.
Having negotiated the sale of Billy Sharp to Sheffield United on Saturday, the club are trying to remove Steve Morison and Nicky Ajose from their wage bill having decided that neither player is needed for the forthcoming season.
Sources at Elland Road believe Morison’s preferred move is a return to Millwall but the striker’s wage is far beyond the reach of a League One club.
He became one of United’s top earners when he signed from Norwich City in 2013 and Leeds are anxious to avoid an expensive pay-off.
Ajose, meanwhile, has two years left on his contract but was encouraged to look for a new club by being omitted from United’s pre-season tour. The 23-year-old, who made little impact after his move from Peterborough United a year ago, remained in England instead and trained with the club’s development squad.
“I said to Nicky that he would find it hard to get regular playing time,” Rosler said.
“I think to be honest to players is the best way to be.
“He’s trying to sort out his future. That’s the best thing for the player and for us.”

Leeds United: Whites set to profit from Gradel sale

Yorkshire Evening Post 29/7/15
Leeds United are set to receive a six-figure cash windfall as former winger Max Gradel closes in on a move from St Etienne to Bournemouth.
United stand to profit from a sell-on clause agreed when Gradel quit Elland Road for France in 2011.
The controversial sale of the 27-year-old earned Leeds an upfront fee of around £2m but the terms of the agreement guaranteed United a cut of any future profit made by St Etienne – believed to be 10 per cent. Bournemouth, who Gradel played for previously, appear to have won the race to sign him and are expected to pay more than £5m to complete the transfer.
The deal is expected to go through once St Etienne complete their Europa League qualifying matches.
Gradel’s exit from Elland Road four years ago caused much upset among United’s support, coming at the very end of the summer transfer window and sacrificing a winger who had won their player-of-the-year award three months earlier. The Ivory Coast international scored 18 times during the 2010-11 campaign, helping Leeds to the brink of the Championship play-offs.
United have twice expressed an interest in re-signing Gradel in recent years – once while Neil Warnock was manager and again with Brian McDermott in charge. They were priced out of a deal on both occasions.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Leeds United star Cook taken off as ‘precaution’ says Rosler

Yorkshire Post 27/7/15
UWE ROSLER allayed fears of a serious injury to Lewis Cook after the midfielder limped out of Leeds United’s friendly defeat to Hoffenheim.
United’s head coach said Cook was withdrawn as a “precaution” during the first half of yesterday’s match in Norway after taking a blow to one foot.
Leeds’ talented youngster completed just 15 minutes of a 2-1 loss in Lillestrom but is expected to recover in time to feature in the club’s last friendly at home to Everton on Saturday.
Rosler has seen a spate of injuries among his midfielders during United’s pre-season schedule. Luke Murphy underwent surgery three weeks ago and will miss the start of the Championship season and Tommaso Bianchi sat out yesterday’s friendly with a swollen knee.
Rosler, however, expects Bianchi to train this week and asked about Cook, the German said: “He’s fine. He got a kick on his toe and we took him out just as a precaution.
“We didn’t want to risk him two weeks before the season starts.”
Leeds are entering the closing stages of their pre-season programme after Saturday’s defeat rounded off a week-long tour of Austria and Norway.
Rosler’s side lost 2-1 to Eintracht Frankfurt near Salzburg last Tuesday and were narrowly beaten by another Bundesliga team in Lillestrom, in front of a crowd of more than 2,000.
United fell behind to a second-minute strike from Mark Uth, scored from long-range, but new signing Tom Adeyemi equalised when he finished off a well-worked corner with 25 minutes gone.
Rosler expressed satisfaction with United’s first-half display but conceded that their intensity dropped after the interval, on the back of a long week of training.
Hoffenheim settled the friendly on 67 minutes through a close-range finish from Steven Zuber.
“The first 45 minutes were excellent,” Rosler said. “We camped in their half against top opposition.
“We looked physically very strong and sharp when we pressed them high. We looked dangerous from set pieces and from open play.
“I was very happy. I praised the players a lot at half-time –probably a little bit too much but because we’ve come to the end of a very hard week.
“We couldn’t keep that level up in the second half but we had two or three very good chances. A draw would have been a fair result.
“It’ been a good week and we’ve put a lot of good things in place. I think you could see that.”
Rosler’s hunt for an out-and-out left winger remains at the top of the agenda at Elland Road with the start of the new season approaching rapidly.
Leeds gave serious consideration to signing Catania’s Raphael Martinho but pulled out of talks last week after deciding that the Brazilian – a player who speaks virtually no English – might struggle to settle in England.
Interest in Bastia’s Floyd Ayite has not progressed and Rosler used both friendlies abroad to try out options within his squad, using Casper Sloth as a left winger against Frankfurt and giving that role to Souleymane Doukara in the defeat to Hoffenheim.
Doukara, who moved to United from Italy a year ago, scored seven times for Leeds in his first season at Elland Road but became increasingly peripheral in the second half of the term.
Asked if he was happy with Doukara’s display, Rosler said: “On the ball yes but without the ball Souleymane knows he has to work very hard. “But he’s putting a lot of effort in and there were a lot of encouraging signs from him. He wants to do well.”
Leeds United line-up v Hoffenheim: Silvestri, Berardi, Bamba, Bellusci, Taylor (Cooper 65), Adeyemi (Sloth 84), Cook (Phillips 15), Mowatt (Walters 85), Byram (Erwin 80), Doukara (Antenucci 61), Wood (Morison 80). Subs (not used): Turnbull, Coyle, Wootton, Horton.

Sharp departs for Blades return

leedsunited.com 25/7/15
We can confirm that striker Billy Sharp has left the club to re-join Sheffield United for an undisclosed fee.
The 29-year-old, who joined moved to Elland Road from Southampton last summer, scored five times in 35 United appearances last term.
We would like to thank Billy for his efforts here and wish him all the best for the future.

We deserved a draw - Uwe on Hoffenheim

leedsunited.com 25/7/15
Uwe Rosler was full of praise for United’s display despite seeing his side suffer a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Hoffenheim on Saturday afternoon in Norway.
United had fallen behind after just two minutes in Lillestrom, with Mark Uth’s unstoppable effort leaving those inside the Arasen Stadion stunned as it sailed into the top corner.
But Rosler’s men responded well and pulled level on 25 minutes courtesy of Tom Adeyemi’s first goal in Leeds colours.
Second-half substitute Steven Zuber managed to clinch the victory for Hoffenheim, converting a cross from close-range, but Rosler still drew plenty of positives from the pre-season tour’s closing game.
“I thought the first 45 minutes were excellent,” he said. “We camped in their half – against tough opposition from the Bundesliga.
“We looked very strong physically and sharp. We pressed them high and they didn’t come out of their half.
“We looked dangerous from set-pieces and we looked dangerous from open play. We had lots of chances – I’m very happy.
“I praised the players a lot at half-time – probably a little bit too much – due to the fact that we were at the end of a hard week.
“We couldn’t have kept that level up in the second half but we still had two or three very good chances.
“It was just a couple of square passes where there would have been a tap-in – there was one for Souleymane and one for Morro. Mirco had a good chance too.
“We should have got a draw – I think a draw would have been a fair result considering both halves.”
Lewis Cook was forced off through injury after just 15 minutes of the game in Norway, but Rosler confirmed that removing him was purely precautionary.
“He is fine,” the head coach said. “He got a kick on his toe and we took him off – it was just a precaution.
“We didn’t want to risk anything two weeks before the season starts. Kal came on and was terrific in the first half.”

Leeds United: Cook limps off as Whites lose to Hoffenheim

Yorkshire Evening Post 25/7/15
Lewis Cook limped off injured and Tom Adeyemi scored his first Leeds United goal as the club suffered a 2-1 defeat to Hoffenheim in their penultimate pre-season friendly.
Cook was lost to a knock early in the first half in Norway, creating a fresh injury worry for head coach Uwe Rosler with the new Championship season two weeks away.
The Leeds boss saw Luke Murphy succumb to knee surgery earlier this month and midfielder Tommaso Bianchi also missed this afternoon’s match with a problem sustained in training.
There was better news about Chris Wood, however, as the striker started against Hoffenheim.
Wood - Leeds’ new signing from Leicester City - missed the previous two games against York City and Eintracht Frankfurt with a hamstring problem but he was passed fit for today’s clash at Lillestrom.
Adeyemi, meanwhile, struck on 25 minutes to help Leeds recover from an early Hoffenheim goal.
The Bundesliga side scored after two minutes through a long-range Mark Uth goal but Adeyemi, who joined Leeds on loan from Cardiff City last week, pounced when flicks from Sam Byram and Souleymane Doukara allowed him to convert an Alex Mowatt corner.
Hoffenheim sealed their win in the second half when Steven Zuber found the net from a few yards out.
Today’s friendly rounded off United’s tour of Austria and Norway and Rosler’s side will now return home for their last pre-season match at home to Everton next Saturday.

Hoffenheim claim victory in Norway

leedsunited.com 25/7/15
UNITED 1 (Adeyemi 25), HOFFENHEIM 2 (Uth 2, Zuber 67)
United team: Silvestri, Berardi, Bamba, Bellusci, Taylor (Cooper 65), Adeyemi (Sloth 84), Cook (Phillips 15), Mowatt (Walters 85), Byram (Erwin 80), Doukara (Antenucci 61), Wood (Morison 80). Subs. Turnbull, Coyle, Wootton, Horton.
Hoffenheim team: Baumann, Schar, Schmid, Strobl, Toljan, Schwegler, Uth, Kim, Sule, Ochs, Volland. Subs. Grahl, Rudy, Zuber, Amiri, Elyounoussi, Rapp, Szalai, Mees, Gimber, Promel, Joelinton, Schindler, Kapp.
Booked: Phillips, Bamba, Cooper (United)
Att: 2,824
Just under 3,000 United supporters descended on Lillestrom SK’s Arasen Stadion in Norway for the final friendly of the pre-season tour – a meeting with highly-rated Bundesliga outfit Hoffenheim.
Uwe Rosler had anticipated a “top drawer” test ahead of kick-off, and that looked to be the case within just two minutes of the game getting underway as Hoffenheim took an early lead, Mark Uth unleashing an unstoppable strike into Marco Silvestri’s top corner.
United looked to respond, with Chris Wood glancing Alex Mowatt’s whipped free-kick just wide of the far post but some stern defending was required at the opposite end as Sol Bamba was well-placed to block a corner on the line.
The 15th minute of the game brought a worrying sight for United supporters as Lewis Cook was forced off after picking up a knock during the early stages.
Uth almost added a second spectacular goal to his name with a curling effort which clipped the top of Silvestri’s crossbar, while Kalvin Phillips – Cook’s replacement in midfield – carved out United’s best opening with a free-kick that was headed inches wide of the post by Souleymane Doukara.
Rosler’s men did manage to pull level on 25 minutes following a well-worked corner routine. Mowatt’s floated deliver was nodded back across goal by the towering Sam Byram, finding Doukara to flick into the path of Tom Adeyemi to sweep home his first goal in United colours from six yards out.
United were visibly growing in confidence as the game progressed and Byram could only loft a volley onto the roof of Baumann’s net after a bursting run and back-post cross from Charlie Taylor had picked him out arriving inside the area.
The scoreline remained even going into half-time and only the heroics of Silvestri ensured it remained that way in the opening stages of the second period, as the United goalkeeper denied substitute Tarik Elyounoussi with a strong stop one-on-one.
The Italian then needed to be alert to beat away Jonathan Schmid’s goal-bound free-kick with two hands, but there was little he could do to prevent Hoffenheim from re-taking the lead on 67 minutes as substitute Steven Zuber turned home a low cross from close-range.
A raft of second-half changes from both sides slowed the pace of the game somewhat, but United had fresh legs in their new three-pronged attack of Mirco Antenucci, Steve Morison and Lee Erwin.
Lewis Walters was also introduced in the closing stages as United pushed for a late equaliser, but there proved to be no way through in the penultimate pre-season friendly of the summer.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Blades target Sharp told to return from Leeds training camp

Yorkshire Post 23/7/15
Phil Hay
Billy Sharp’s move to Sheffield United is edging closer after Leeds United told the striker to return home from their training camp in Austria.
Sharp was given permission to quit United’s base in Kossen and fly home to England this morning after productive talks between Leeds and Sheffield United over a transfer to Bramall Lane.
The 29-year-old is a long-time Sheffield United target, a club he has already played for twice in his career, and Leeds are working to finalise an agreement with the Blades in the coming days.
Negotiations progressed positively in the early part of this week and Sharp was left out of United’s pre season friendly against Eintracht Frankfurt in Eugendorf on Tuesday night.
Head coach Uwe Rosler declined to comment on the reasons for his absence but it is understood that the forward was omitted because of his anticipated departure.
Sharp still has a year left on his contract at Elland Road and Leeds are reluctant to bear the cost of his remaining wages having paid around £600,000 to sign him from Southampton last year.
The two clubs appear to be on the verge of an agreement, however, and Sharp is poised to end his stay at Leeds after only one season in West Yorkshire.
Meanwhile, United have ended their interest in Catania’s Brazilian winger Raphael Martinho.
Leeds were in talks about a deal to bring the 27-year-old to Elland Road but are understood to have pulled out of discussions in the past 24 hours.

Leeds United: Adeyemi relishing new role with Whites

Yorkshire Evening Post 22/7/15
Phil Hay
The story of Tom Adeyemi rejecting a place at Cambridge University in order to chase a career in football is an apocryphal tale which seems to have stuck.
“That’s more of a myth than anything,” he says. “Quite a good one but still a myth! It seems to be following me around everywhere though, so I just go with it.”
It is true, however, to say that at the age of 18 Leeds United’s newest signing had options. He sat his A-levels and did well enough to apply for university. “The A-levels were really a back-up plan,” Adeyemi says. “I did them knowing that football was what I wanted to do. I’d say I made the right choice.”
Uwe Rosler, United’s head coach, sees in Adeyemi not only a talented, athletic midfielder but a youngster who knows where he wants his career to go. After signing him on loan from Cardiff City last week, Rosler spoke about the “natural progression” of someone who has played in League Two, League One and now the Championship.
In terms of English football, that leaves only one more logical step for Adeyemi. “It’s always been the ambition for me – to be an established Premier League player,” he says. “I know I’ve got some way to go to get myself to that level but I’m very hard-working. I believe I’ll get there eventually.
“The choices I’ve made have worked out so far but there’s no guarantee. At 18 you don’t know what the next few years will hold because football’s so volatile. Even now, at the age of 23, there isn’t a guarantee that I’m going to have a long, successful career. It was definitely a gamble (deciding not to go to university) but it’s one I’d take 100 times out of 100 if I had the chance again.”
Adeyemi learned about the volatility of football at Cardiff last season. Signed 12 months ago from Birmingham City for a fee in excess of £1m, he slipped out of favour after Cardiff sacked Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and named Russell Slade as their new manager. The 23-year-old planned to fight for his place this summer but, after returning for pre-season training, he realised that his prospects were slim. Rosler, who coached Adeyemi at Brentford in 2012 and 2013, asked to sign him and Cardiff were more than ready to negotiate a long-term loan with a view to a permanent transfer.
“I went back to pre-season with every intention of fighting for my place at Cardiff,” he says. “It became clear that I wasn’t going to be a big part of the plans. I thought there was a good chance I’d be moving on and when I heard of interest from Leeds, it was done.
“Managerial changes are part of the game. It comes with football, doesn’t it? It happened at Leeds last season. It’s hard when someone signs you and then another manager comes in and doesn’t particularly see you as their player but this is a new opportunity for me. I’m really looking forward to it and at 23, I want a stable period and somewhere to call home.”
Rosler targeted a holding midfielder at the beginning of the summer and the importance of a signing like Adeyemi – a box-to-box player – was increased after Luke Murphy underwent knee surgery earlier this month.
Leeds chose to release Rudy Austin before appointing Rosler as head coach but the German felt that a player with the same attributes was needed.
Adeyemi’s fitness was slightly short when he completed his transfer but he travelled on this week’s tour of Austria and Norway and made his first appearance in Tuesday night’s friendly against Eintracht Frankfurt in Eugendorf.
“I’ve done a little less training than the rest of the boys and potentially I’m a little bit behind but I feel like I’m catching up really quickly,” he says. “In the next couple of weeks I’ll be up to that level and hopefully beyond. I know what the manager’s about and what he demands of his players. I like to think I can provide what he’s looking for. I’ve been part of his system before so hopefully I’ll be able to slot straight in. That’s one of the reasons why I joined.
“But then there’s the fact that it’s Leeds United, arguably the biggest club in the Championship. All round it just seemed like the perfect thing to do.”
Rosler has spoken of aiming for a top-10 finish next season, believing that to be progress after two years in which Leeds have ranked 15th. But Adeyemi said: “The gaffer’s talking to us about having a top-six mentality – on the pitch, off the pitch and around the training ground. I think that’s really what we’re striving towards.
“If we do everything that a top-six team would do and produce on the pitch then we can be in and around the play-offs. That’s the plan.”

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Eintracht Frankfurt 2 Leeds United 1: Whites given tough workout in the sun

Yorkshire Evening Post 21/7/15
In the humidity of a brilliant Austrian summer, Eintracht Frankfurt’s coach had one message for his squad: keep the ball and let the opposition sweat. Leeds United’s players might not have wanted that but under the shade of his dug-out, Uwe Rosler was pleased.
The German coach knows German football and he warned Leeds that a team from the top half of the Bundesliga would try to pass them to death. It went that way for much of last night’s friendly in Austria but it was Frankfurt who flirted with defeat despite their limitless hold on the ball.
The possession stats from Eugendorf would make fascinating reading and Eintracht were looking on in amazement at the scoreline with an hour played but they made heavy weather of doing with a flood of chances what Steve Morison did with one. The striker drew first blood in a fine friendly in the 27th minute by bludgeoning a split-second opening past Eintracht’s idle goalkeeper.
It would have pleased Rosler to see his team have more of the game and more menace in their play but there was no denying that Frankfurt were Bundesliga class.
They finished ninth in their league last season and it showed in their performance and the result. As pre-season tests go, Leeds might not get better before the Championship season starts.
When he reflects on it, Rosler will take comfort from the fitness of a squad who were still there and still running when Frankfurt’s spirit began to flag in the lead up to half-time. The Germans had hit the crossbar and a post by then and looked capable of cutting Leeds open at will but incapable of scoring from any range.
Under severe pressure, Rosler’s defence hung in time and again until Johannes Flum broke the dam on 61 minutes and with that mental block cleared, Stefan Reinartz bundled in a winner for Eintracht 14 minutes later.
“We showed a lot of mental strength,” Rosler said. “It was our only chance to compete against a very good footballing side.
“They are a side above our qualities and for me we got exactly what I wanted – a very good physical examination.
“With all due respect, I don’t like friendly games, two or three weeks before the start of the season when you’re winning easily. We’re where we want to be. We wouldn’t have had this scoreline had we not presented ourselves as a team and that for me is a big plus.”
In was true, also, that Morison’s goal stemmed from the tactics that Rosler is trying to employ at Elland Road. Sam Byram created it, breaking down the right and forcing Frankfurt’s backtracking defence to yield the possession to Morison inside the box. The striker’s finish was deadly and a large Leeds following lapped it up.
The friendly in Eugendorf was well attended and United’s crowd ran into several hundred, outnumbering the attendance from Frankfurt. The local police kept their distance at first but riot officers were spotted practising baton charges in a sports hall behind the main stand, hedging their bets.
They did not waste time in rounding up a small group of Frankfurt ultras who arrived just before kick-off but the group were allowed into the ground and fighting with United’s fans broke out at the final whistle, forcing the police to wade in. One Leeds fan, bleeding heavily from the face, needed medical attention.
Eintracht’s team was not at full strength but they came heavily-armed, despite a couple of absentees. Alex Meier, their goalscoring midfielder, is recovering from a knee operation and international football is occupying a couple of other players but they start their season in three and a half weeks and Rosler got the opposing line-up he wanted. Both sides trained in the morning before the game, leaving their tanks slightly empty by early evening. It was clear, however, that Frankfurt had plenty left in their legs and they kept the ball religiously from the kick-off. They produced the first chance – a shot from Takashi Inui which Marco Silvestri saved – and should have scored early on when Stefan Aigner drilled a low finish against Silvestri’s legs.
Makoto Hasebe created the second opportunity, doing what Rosler is asking his team to do by breaking into space on the right flank. Frankfurt targeted that area, running Gaetano Berardi ragged and looking for free men in the box. Aigner had the ball in the next on 13 minutes but strayed offside as Haris Seferovic fed possession to him.
There were brief moments when a midfield of Alex Mowatt, Lewis Cook and Tommaso Bianchi found a way to compete but Frankfurt’s slick football was always waiting.
Inui rattled the crossbar with a dipping shot which Silvestri barely saw as he stared into the sun but after chasing the match for so long, Leeds scored with their first chance.
Byram was given the rare luxury of space on the right wing and found Frankfurt’s defence in a bit of disarray as he drove a cross towards Morison. A ricochet inside the box favoured Morison who, as the stand-in for an injured Chris Wood, smashed the ball past keeper Heinz Lindner.
“We were mainly occupied with defensive work, I can’t deny that,” said Rosler. “But we knew it would be like that. In the first 20 minutes we got a bit of a shock because we have not met in pre-season such a quality team.
“After that we relaxed a little bit and sometimes it’s good when you don’t need to create 10 chances to score a goal.”
Frankfurt intensified their onslaught and United’s resistance became wild. In one move in the 34th minutes, Seferovic drove a sitter against Silvestri, Inui’s follow-up from a yard out found Liam Cooper on the line and Inui’s second attempt cracked against a post, again from point-blank range. The crowd in the main stand could only laugh.
The start of the second half did not really differ and within three minutes, Seferovic was rounding Silvestri and shooting into the side-netting as the goal stood empty. After a quiet time on the left wing – a position which Rosler continues to try to fill – Casper Sloth moved into a central role up in support of Morison and then made way for Mirco Antenucci before the hour.
Inui had mis-hit another gift of an opportunity by then, skewing it away from an open goal, but Leeds could have had a second goal when Lewis Cook met Byram’s low cross with an effort which Lindner gathered low down.
Eintracht accepted that favour on 61 minutes, equalising when Flum arrived unmarked to turn in Aigner’s header at the back post. It had to come eventually and they forced a win 15 minutes from time with a goal which summed up their finishing – Stefan Reinartz’ shot deflecting in off Scott Wootton after Reinhartz had first managed to hit Cooper on the line.
Rosler’s team move on to Norway next for a friendly against Hoffenheim, the side who finished a place above Frankfurt in last season’s Bundesliga. “I think that will be a step up,” Rosler said. “That’s good for us and I’m very happy.”
Eintracht Frankfurt: Lindner, Oczipka (Djakpa 67), Abraham (Kinsombi 77), Flum, Hasebe, Stendera, Reinartz, Inui (Bunjaki 83), Aigner (Gerezgiher 61), Castaignos (Waldschmidt 20 (Medojevic 67)), Seferovic (Kadlec 61). Subs (not used): Balayev, Becker, Ignjovski, Kinsombi.
Leeds United: Silvestri (Turnbull 77), Wootton, Cooper, Bamba (Bellusci 77), Berardi, Bianchi (Adeyemi 57), Cook (Phillips 72), Mowatt (Taylor 63), Byram (Erwin 77), Sloth (Antenucci 57), Morison (Doukara 72). Subs (not used): Coyle, Doukara, Walters, Horton.

Frankfurt: Rosler hails 'terrific' United

leedsunited.com 21/7/15
Uwe Rosler hailed his players as "terrific" despite Tuesday’s 2-1 pre-season friendly defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt, saying "we got exactly what we hoped for" out of the game.
Steve Morison had opened the scoring after 26 minutes on a sweltering evening in Eugendorf after, beating Frankfurt goalkeeper Heinz Lindner with a well-placed finish after being picked out inside the area by Sam Byram.
The goal came somewhat against the run of play, with United soaking up large spells of Frankfurt pressure and seeing the Bundesliga side clip the crossbar prior to taking the lead and ending the first half strongly.
Johannes Flum equalised for the Germans on 59 minutes after meeting Stefan Aigner’s header at the back post, before Stefan Reinartz clinched the victory for Frankfurt 15 minutes later as he forced the ball home from close-range.
Rosler said: "I think the players were terrific. We got exactly what we hoped for – we played against a team with very good ball possession.
"We worked very hard against them and we worked extremely well in the shape. The longer the game went on, we adapted to their quality a little bit better.
"We kept the ball and scored the goal on the break.
"For periods in the second half, we matched them in the passing. I’m very, very happy – everybody got a run-out.
"It did a lot for our fitness and there were no injuries. Pre-season is all about preparing for 10 months. Today we saw a lot of mental strength.
"Everyone who started or came on wanted to impress and work extremely hard. That was our chance today to compete against a very good footballing side.
"The shape was very good. We had one or two problems we sorted out in the first half, so we became more stable.
"After a while, the players got their breath back because they had to run a lot in the first 20 minutes.
"We got exactly what we wanted – a very good physical session. Hopefully everyone will return to light training tomorrow and prepare for Saturday."

Frankfurt comeback sees off United

leedsunited.com 21/7/15
UNITED 1 (Morison 26), FRANKFURT 2 (Flum 59, Reinartz 74)
United team: Silvestri (Turnbull 77), Wootton, Cooper, Bamba (Bellusci 77), Berardi, Bianchi (Adeyemi 56), Cook (Phillips 71), Mowatt (Taylor 63), Byram (Erwin 77), Sloth (Antenucci 56), Morison (Doukara 71). Subs. Coyle, Walters, Horton.
Frankfurt team: Lindner, Oczipka, Reinartz, Inui, Seferovic, Aigner, Flum, Abraham, Hasebe, Stendera, Castaignos. Subs. Balayev, Becker, Kadlec, Djakpa, Waldschmidt, Medojevic, Ignovski, Kinsombi, Gerezgiher, Bunjaki.
After touching base in Austria on Saturday afternoon, United’s pre-season tour kicked-off with a friendly against Bundesliga outfit Eintracht Frankfurt in the intimate surroundings of Eugendorf’s Sportzentrum.
It was the Germans who began the brightest in front of a partisan United following, with Marco Silvestri sprawling low to his left to hold Tokashi Inui’s effort, while Hans Seferovic skied a back-post volley into the fields behind the goal.
Silvestri then denied Stefan Aigner with his legs after the striker was found lurking inside the area, before the closest attempt of the opening exchanges saw Inui ping the crossbar after cutting inside from the left.
But – somewhat against the run of play – it was United who opened the scoring on 26 minutes following a swift break up-field. Sam Byram strode down the right and delivered a low cross into the area, where Steve Morison muscled his way onto the ball before firing emphatically beyond Heinz Lindner.
Frankfurt looked to respond but they found the United defence in inspired form as Inui's strike was pushed away by Silvestri before Seferovic saw the rebound blocked on the line by the sliding Liam Cooper from point-blank range. The striker then clipped the post with his third attempt as manager Armin Veh looked on in bemusement.
It was United who were ending the half the strongest of the two sides, and Byram continued to cause problems down Frankfurt's left with his energetic bursts into space. Sights of goal remained scarce, though, and Uwe Rosler's men took their 1-0 lead into the break.
United returned for the second period unchanged but Casper Sloth was being utilised in a more central role behind Morison as Alex Mowatt switched out to the left.
Frankfurt could have equalised within just four minutes of the restart as Seferovic rounded Silvestri after being slotted through on goal, only to see his effort hit the side-netting from a tight angle.
At the opposite end, Lewis Cook was smothered by Lindner’s low save after being played in by Byram, before Rosler made his first changes of the evening, introducing Tom Adeyemi and Mirco Antenucci in place of Tommaso Bianchi and Sloth respectively.
Frankfurt managed to pull themselves level on 59 minutes through Johannes Flum, meeting Stefan Aigner’s header across goal with an outstretched leg to guide the ball beyond Silvestri at the back post.
And their second goal came 15 minutes later as the Bundesliga side went ahead somewhat fortuitously. A goalmouth scramble saw Cooper block Stefan Reinartz’s attempt on the line, before the Frankfurt midfielder was able to scramble in the rebound via the back of the unassuming Scott Wootton.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Leeds United: Rosler is looking for Whites to step it up

Yorkshire Evening Post 19/7/15
Leeds United’s pre-season trip to Austria and Norway will see them move from conditioning to tactical work against useful opponents Eintracht Frankfurt and Hoffenheim. Phil Hay reports.
The first two weeks of Uwe Rosler’s pre-season plan dwelt solely on fitness.
The German was happy to admit that Leeds United’s players would not enjoy the slog.
In Austria and Norway, Rosler’s interest is entirely in football; in tactics, formations and the technical aspects of how he wants Leeds to play next season.
It is no coincidence that as his own focus changes, the standard of the club’s opposition does too. United were at risk of being left without a meaningful friendly tomorrow after a game against Athletic Bilbao fell foul of Bilbao’s involvement in the Europa League but a meeting with Eintracht Frankfurt in Salzburg will give Rosler what he wants – an examination by a side who should in theory be better than his.
Frankfurt’s league season starts a week after the first weekend of the Championship term but like Leeds, their time in Austria is the second phase of their summer training programme.
The Bundesliga club – ninth in their division last season –lost 2-1 to Heidenheim on Saturday and will play Fulham after their game with United.
German football clubs, as Rosler knows, are sticklers for fitness and United are playing two of them this week.
On Friday, the squad fly to Norway to play Hoffenheim in Lillestrom, another side who finished the 2014-15 season inside the Bundesliga’s top 10.
Rosler’s intention was that Leeds’ tour of Austria and Norway would be used as advanced preparation for the start of the season, rather than a means of running his players ragged.
“There’s two options,” he said. “You can go away for a conditioning camp early on or you can go for a playing camp just before the season starts.
“I wanted to go and meet two very strong opponents, to expose ourselves against teams where we have to run a lot, chase a lot. German teams are normally very fit. It’s a great challenge to measure against top opponents.”
The quality of the opposition – including Everton who will visit to Elland Road on August 1 – mattered more to Rosler than the number of games he could squeeze into the summer.
Leeds will play only five senior friendlies before the season begins and United’s head coach instigated a rapid rise intensity at York City on Wednesday, pushing seven players through 90 minutes of a 1-1 draw on only their second appearance. Others did the same during a second-string match at Tadcaster Albion that same night.
A total of 25 players flew with Rosler to Munich on Saturday, a squad which showed two notable omissions. Adam Drury, the 21-year-old who Leeds took on trial from Manchester City recently, failed to make the tour and forward Nicky Ajose also remained in England. Chris Wood was fit to travel, despite the tight hamstring which kept him out of the draw at York, and he is likely to start against Frankfurt tomorrow.
United’s secluded training camp is based in the west of Austria, on the border with Germany and a short distance from the village of Kossen. All of United’s six new signings are present and midfielder Tom Adeyemi will make his first Leeds appearance this week. The 23-year-old missed Wednesday’s game against York as Rosler looked to build up his fitness after recruiting him on loan from Cardiff City.
Leeds’ work in the transfer market is almost complete and a left winger is the missing piece that Rosler and owner Massimo Cellino hope to find before the season starts on August 8.
“By this stage we were hoping to have most of our recruitment done,” Rosler said. “That gives you a chance (on tour) for coaches and players to get to know each other. You have time to talk and to get things across but also to have some off-field activities. We will have one or two.”
The venue for tomorrow’s game, Sportzentrum Eugendorf, holds around 1,000 supporters and Leeds expect two or three hundred of their fans to attend. A much bigger crowd will be seen at the friendly against Hoffenheim in Lillestrom, helped by United’s large Scandinavian following.
“Lillestrom is in my heart,” Rosler said. “It’s the club where I finished my career as a player and started my career as a coach. It’s a fantastic opportunity, along with the fact that Leeds have a big following in Norway.
“It’s so much fun when you go on a training camp and you have such a strong following.
“Every game means something for us because we want to give something back.
“The supporters spend a lot of money, they give their holiday away to follow the team and it’s our duty to give what we can.”

Redfearn’s departure hurts Leeds United, but was inevitable

Yorkshire Post 16/7/15
Phil Hay
The risk to Neil Redfearn in becoming Leeds United head coach was borne out by his resignation.
There are many who will say that it was bound to end this way - and not just because of Massimo Cellino’s punishing critique of him two months ago.
Cellino killed their relationship by attacking Redfearn in a Sunday Mirror interview on May 18 but Redfearn was in harm’s way from the moment he accepted his promotion from the academy last November.
He was asked back then how realistic his deal with Leeds was; whether it was genuinely feasible to think that if he did not survive as head coach beyond last season, the role of academy manager would remain open to him. “I’m realistic enough to know that things happen in football,” he said. “I could take the Under-11s and still enjoy myself.”
That is probably true, or it was when Leeds promoted him from within. But Redfearn’s humble opinion ignored certain facts of life: the most obvious being that if he was replaced as head coach this summer, somebody somewhere - and namely Cellino - would have taken issue with him, his performance or both. In those circumstances working relationships become awkward and jobs are lost. That’s how football always goes.
Certain sources close to Redfearn were honest enough to accept that Uwe Rosler, United’s new head coach, might not appreciate the presence of a popular ex-boss in the background day to day.
“If the season starts poorly,” one said, “it won’t help if supporters start chanting for Neil. If Rosler wanted a change then you’d understand.”
As it happened, Rosler and Redfearn spoke earlier in the summer and spoke amicably. None of this was Rosler’s responsibility and there is no bad blood between them. The conflict was purely between Redfearn and Cellino, even though they have not spoken for weeks and Adam Pearson, United’s executive director, was left to argue over the terms of a severance package once Cellino decided that a parting of ways was necessary.
A few weeks ago it seemed that a deal might be struck and Redfearn would move on with the standard website statement thanking him for his efforts and wishing him well. The last time he went to Thorp Arch, he met with Pearson and was told to return home.
Since then discussions have gone nowhere and his resignation today will bring about further court cases. Redfearn plans to seek damages and is likely to ask for an apology over the Sunday Mirror article in which Cellino called him “weak” and accused him of acting like “a baby”.
One reason for the absence of a settlement was Redfearn’s refusal to agree to a statement which implied that he was leaving the academy by mutual consent. In his mind he wasn’t. Leeds and Pearson in turn took umbrage with Redfearn’s decision to seek advice from Graham Bean, a former employee of the club who Cellino fell out with badly and sacked last year.
Precisely when Cellino’s relationship with Redfearn when the same way is difficult to say. Cellino was subject to a Football League disqualification for most of Redfearn’s tenure as head coach and spent most of the first half of 2015 in Miami. Even so, he was well aware of the controversy which stemmed from the suspension of Redfearn’s assistant, Steve Thompson, the saga of Mirco Antenucci’s contract and the withdrawal of six foreign players through injury before Leeds’ 2-1 defeat at Charlton Athletic in early April.
Cellino knew too that dissent from the public was aimed at him and that United’s support were siding in big numbers with Redfearn, suspecting that the 50-year-old was being deliberately undermined. On the last day of the season - when a protest was mooted but never materialised to any great extent - Cellino skipped Leeds’ game at home to Rotherham United and went scouting to Morecambe instead.
Some at Thorp Arch, including players like Sol Bamba, were annoyed by the circumstances in which Redfearn was being asked to cope and also with United’s failure to confirm whether or not his contract as head coach would be extended. Other staff, however, were equally unhappy about the insinuation in some quarters that the productivity of Leeds’ academy was purely down to Redfearn. Towards the end of last season, Redfearn himself was increasingly at pains to stress that the machine at Thorp Arch had more than one cog.
By that stage his fate was essentially sealed. Cellino’s view of him was made plain at the gruelling press conference staged by the Italian after his return from disqualification. Cellino was peppered with pointed questions about Redfearn and finished the briefing with mocking comments about the ‘Leeds salute’ and the issue of finance.
His message was clear enough: Redfearn might be Leeds, Leeds, Leeds but money makes the world go round and at Elland Road, the money comes from Cellino. Relegation battles and league position did not come into it.
What impact Redfearn’s departure will have on United’s academy is only possible to surmise at present. The output at Thorp Arch in two, five or 10 years’ time will be the gauge of how positively or negatively the many changes under Cellino have affected the production line.
That does not change the fact that many of the graduates who trained under him speak extremely highly of Redfearn’s influence.
Much of the work done by Leeds in the close season has been considered and good. Some of it has been better than good; impressive enough to build bridges with the public. Compared to all that, the handling of someone with Redfearn’s service feels sour and unbefitting of a good club; the sort of behaviour this regime still needs to grow out of altogether.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Neil Redfearn quits Leeds United

Yorkshire Post 16/7/15
FORMER head coach Neil Redfearn has quit Leeds United amid claims the club made his position ‘untenable’.
The 50-year-old handed in his resignation earlier this morning after he and Leeds failed to agree the terms of a deal to sever his employment.
United executive director Adam Pearson had been attempting to negotiate a settlement following the breakdown of Redfearn’s relationship with owner Massimo Cellino.
But in a statement released this morning, Redfearn said: “It is with great sadness that I am resigning from my employment at Leeds United with immediate effect.
“I am desperately disappointed that Adam Pearson’s ‘offer’ of a return to my old position as academy manager was not genuine and the club have since made my position untenable by refusing to let me take up my post at Thorp Arch.”
Redfearn finished last season as United’s head coach, managing the first-team squad in a period when Cellino was banned from running the club by the Football League, but the Italian chose to replace him with Uwe Rosler after regaining control of Leeds at the start of May.
Redfearn’s contract as head coach gave him the option of returning to his old job as academy boss, a position he first took up in 2012.
Cellino, however, attacked Redfearn in a national newspaper interview on May 18, describing him as “weak” and of behaving “like a baby”. Cellino accused Redfearn of attempting to turn the club’s supporters against him during a fractious end to last season.
Pearson nevertheless insisted two days later that Redfearn would be welcome to retake control of Leeds’ academy, saying: “It (the offer) is definitely a realistic offer because I made it. It was said with all credibility and it’s been given to him.”
Despite that, Redfearn was absent from the club throughout the summer and has not been present at Thorp Arch since the Rosler’s squad began pre-season training at the start of this month.
Cellino is understood to have pushed a parting of ways following their public and bitter fall-out and talks about a severance package continued for a number of weeks.
The failure to agree a settlement is likely to see Redfearn bring legal action against the club.
The former Barnsley midfielder leaves United after more than six years as a coach at Thorp Arch.
He joined the youth-team staff in 2009 before becoming academy head in 2012 and head coach last November. He also acted as caretaker manager on three occasions.
His short tenure as head coach saw Leeds escape from severe relegation trouble but the period was marred by the unexplained suspension of his assistant, Steve Thompson, in April and the controversy surrounding the withdrawal of six foreign players through injury ahead of a 2-1 defeat at Charlton Athletic later that month.
He was widely credited with helping to bring through a crop of young players, a number of whom played regularly for the first team last season.
Redfearn’s statement read: “I would like to place on record my thanks to everyone connected with the first team, including the fans, for making last season both productive and beneficial after a difficult start.
“Very importantly, I would like to pay a special tribute to the academy where I proudly worked along with others for the best part of six years.
“I would like to wish Uwe Rosler and his staff and players every success for next season and beyond so that Leeds can go back to the Premier League very soon.
“It has truly been an honour to represent and serve this great club.”
United have been approached for comment by the YEP.
Full Redfearn statement: “It is with great sadness that I am resigning from my employment at Leeds United with immediate effect.
“I am desperately disappointed that Adam Pearson’s ‘offer’ of a return to my old position as academy manager was not genuine and the club have since made my position untenable by refusing to let me take up my post at Thorp Arch.
“I would, however, like to place on record my thanks to everyone connected with the first team, including the fans, for making last season both productive and beneficial after a difficult start.
“Very importantly I would like to pay a special tribute to the academy where I proudly worked along with others for the best part of six years.
“The LUFC academy is now regarded as one of the most productive in the country and last season proved testament to that with the continued development of Sam Byram, Alex Mowatt, Lewis Cook, Charlie Taylor, Kalvin Phillips, Lewis Walters and Chris Dawson amongst a crop of outstanding young players to wear the Leeds badge of honour and to don the famous white shirt.
“The academy philosophy and coaching programme that I wrote and developed will be part of my legacy to this great club and hopefully will help shape more top young professional footballers moving forward.
“I would like to wish Uwe Rosler and his staff and players every success for next season and beyond so that Leeds can go back to the Premier League very soon
“Last, but not least, I wish to thank the fans for their unstinting support both during my time at the academy and whilst in charge of the first team.
“It has truly been an honour to represent and serve this great club.”

A lot of positives - Rosler on York

leedsunited.com 15/7/15
Uwe Rosler was keen to focus on "the positive things" following Wednesday's 1-1 pre-season draw at York City, saying his side were "far more competitive" than Friday's opening fixture against Harrogate.
With little between the two teams during the opening stages at Bootham Crescent, Rosler’s men broke the deadlock on 35 minutes as Sam Byram met Alex Mowatt’s back-post cross to power a header home from close-range.
United looked to be good value for the lead, with goalkeeper Michael Ingham keeping the hosts in the game with a number of fine second-half saves, but York struck 10 minutes from time to level the contest with a tap-in from Marvin McCoy.
“There was a lot of good stuff,” said Rosler. “The goal against us was unnecessary but we are focusing on the positive things.
“The way we pressed was far more competitive today than it was against Harrogate – it was a proper football match.
“We met good opponents and – especially in the first half – we were against a lot of height.
“We had to cope with starting from the keeper to the back four – we had a much higher line.
“It was much more competitive, we were braver in our defending. In midfield we passed the ball very well occasionally.
“At times we lost a little bit of shape when we were attacking because our energy and enthusiasm took us into areas where we exposed ourselves a little bit in the middle.
“Up front, I was happy with the amount of chances we created. Overall, we should have won the game – there were a lot of positives.
“The thing to learn from it is that when we’re getting tired, we have to keep it simple – we were getting tired but when it’s the first 90 minutes, it’s understandable.
“Sometimes we tried to complicate things and that cost us.”
Rosler was dealt an injury blow shortly before kick-off as striker Chris Wood picked up a knock during the warm-up, but the head coach insists the move to replace him with Steve Morison was only precautionary.
“He’s not injured,” Rosler explained. “It was irritating for us – he felt something in his hamstring.
“The hamstring is fine, it’s at full power – but he felt something and we didn’t want to take any chances.
“It’s a little bit irritating because we want to get up to speed.”
The game saw a first appearance in a Leeds shirt for new goalkeeper Ross Turnbull, and Rosler said: I think he did very well.
“It was a solid, experienced performance from him and that is exactly what we need.
“Marco Silvestri did very well last season and got stronger and stronger throughout the year and has done in pre-season.
“Marco will start as the number one and then he obviously has to keep the shirt – that comes through good performances.

Byram on target in York draw

leedsunited.com 15/7/15
YORK 1 (McCoy 80), UNITED 1 (Byram 35)
York team: Flinders, McCoy, Berrett, McCombe, Summerfield, Oliver, Penn, Carson, Lowe, Winfield, Player A. Subs. Ilesanmi, Player C, Straker, Player B, Platt, Meikle, Hirst, Ingham, Rzonca, Godfrey.
United team: Turnbull (Horton 81), Berardi (Wootton 72), Bellusci, Bamba, Taylor, Byram, Cook, Bianchi, Mowatt (Ajose 77), Erwin (Drury 56), Morison. Subs. Purver, Dawson.
Attendance: 4,348 (2,313 United)
United’s second pre-season friendly of the summer – another local affair in the shape of a visit to York City – saw Uwe Rosler hand a first start to goalkeeper Ross Turnbull, just hours after completing his switch from Barnsley on a two-year deal.
Elsewhere, a United XI – overseen by Rob Kelly and Richard Hartis – were in action at Tadcaster Albion and featured several first-team members, including Marco Silvestri, Liam Cooper, Billy Sharp and Mirco Antenucci in a bid to increase the squad’s share of playing time.
Kick-off at Bootham Crescent was delayed by 10 minutes due to crowd congestion outside the stadium as United fans flocked to get a glimpse of how Rosler's side were taking shape ahead of the tour of Austria and Norway.
Rosler was forced into a late change to his starting line-up, with Steve Morison coming in to replace Chris Wood in attack due to a knock picked up during the warm-ups.
Goalmouth openings were scarce during the early exchanges, but it was York who were first to threaten through trialist ‘Player A’. He darted through on goal but a last-ditch lunge from Giuseppe Bellusci managed to turn the ball behind.
United’s first sight of goal came on 18 minutes through the lively Lee Erwin. The summer signing from Motherwell, linking well down the left with Charlie Taylor, worked his way inside before drilling a low strike from range into the arms of goalkeeper Scott Flinders.
Rosler’s men were starting to see more of the ball and they duly carved the best of the early openings after 20 minutes as Lewis Cook slotted Morison through on goal, only to see his attempt turned behind by the legs of Flinders.
Sam Byram then tested Flinders from 20 yards out, while York could have opened the scoring at the opposite end as Player A blazed a back-post volley well over Turnbull’s bar.
The deadlock was eventually broken after 35 minutes courtesy of Sam Byram’s back-post header. Alex Mowatt worked himself into space down the left and teed the ball up with an inch-perfect cross for his team-mate to power home from close-range.
United ended the first half in control and looked good value for the lead. They returned from the break unchanged and could have doubled the advantage within seconds of the restart as York substitute goalkeeper Michael Ingham smothered Morison in front of goal.
Byram fired wide and Berardi drilled a long-range effort into Ingham’s arms, before Rosler was prompted into making his first change of the evening on 56 minutes, introducing trialist Adam Drury – formely of Manchester City – in place of Erwin.
And the 21-year-old full-back was involved almost immediately, as Ingham just snatched the ball from his toes after going through on goal. Drury then tested Ingham down to his right, forcing the York keeper into a smart stop to keep out his back-post header after being picked out by Lewis Cook.
Ingham’s work was cut out, and he was again called upon to push Charlie Taylor’s curling effort around the post as it looked to creep in.
His finest save of the half came on 75 minutes to keep Morison at bay once again, acrobatically tipping his goal-bound volley over the bar following Mowatt’s run and cross down the United right.
But, for all of United’s pressure, the hosts managed to get back on level terms with 10 minutes remaining on the clock, Marvin McCoy tapping home Anthony Straker's back-post cross to equalise.

Leeds United sign Barnsley keeper Turnbull

Yorkshire Post 15/7/15
Leeds United have signed former Doncaster Rovers and Middlesbrough goalkeeper Ross Turnbull from Yorkshire rivals Barnsley.
In doing so, Uwe Rosler has ticked another box in his plans for the new season.
Turnbull arrives at Elland Road principally as cover for first-choice keeper Marco Silvestri.
United have signed Turnbull on a two-year contract after the 30-year-old completed his recovery from a back injury.
Turnbull missed Barnsley’s run-in last season after undergoing surgery on the problem but Leeds monitored him throughout the summer and finalised a free transfer this afternoon.
He is expected to play in one of United’s friendlies at York City and Tadcaster Albion this evening.
The former Middlesbrough and Chelsea player had 12 months remaining on his deal at Oakwell but Barnsley will use Adam Davies as first choice during the forthcoming League One campaign and were looking to remove Turnbull from their wage bill.
The transfer takes United’s tally of summer signings to six, following on from the arrival of midfielder Tom Adeyemi from Cardiff City yesterday and leaving a winger as Rosler’s remaining priority.
Turnbull spent the bulk of his career with Middlesbrough - a period in which he moved out on loan repeatedly - before Chelsea unexpectedly signed him in 2009.
He was rarely used at Stamford Bridge but his spell in London coincided with Chelsea winning the Champions League. A move to Doncaster followed before Barnsley took him on last summer.
Leeds were effectively without cover for Silvestri after releasing Stuart Taylor at the end of the 2014-15 season.
The club landed Charlie Horton from Cardiff last month but the 20-year-old is being lined up to play for their development squad next term.
Rosler admitted yesterday that his work in the transfer market was “95 per cent complete” after Cardiff agreed to send Adeyemi to Elland Road on a season-long loan.
Leeds want to add an out-and-out winger to their squad and the club are understood to have enquired about Floyd Ayite, a Togo international who plays for French top-flight side Bastia.
Ayite, 26, is an ex-Bordeaux and Reims player who finished last season with six goals as Bastia fought their way clear of relegation.
He is likely to cost a seven-figure fee, however, and United have identified other options including Catania’s Brazilian winger Raphael Martinho.
Martinho was targeted by owner Massimo Cellino last season but issues with the 27-year-old’s passport are thought to have complicated discussions.

Rosler is delighted with his summer business

Yorkshire Post 15/7/15
UWE ROSLER believes Leeds United have stolen a march on their Championship rivals by getting “95 per cent of our business done” with the new season still a little under a month away.
The Elland Road club yesterday sealed a fifth addition of the summer after Tom Adeyemi joined on a season-long loan deal from Cardiff City.
Following on from the £2m capture of Chris Wood plus the arrival of Sol Bamba, Charlie Horton and Lee Erwin, Rosler is delighted to have the make-up of his squad all but confirmed at such an early stage.
Ahead of tonight’s friendly clash at York City, the United head coach said: “We have done good business within our framework and our budget.
“As a manager, you always look to ask the question to your chairman. Can we do something there? You never rest, you are never happy. But I have an understanding of the financial situation of the football club.
“I have always been a believer that you can only do what you can do, and get on with what you have. Optimise things through good training.
“Compared to other teams, we are going into a training camp with 95 per cent of our business done.
“It is a fantastic achievement and Mr Cellino has been crucial in that.”
Football, of course, is a business where things can change quickly. An out-going transfer here or a serious injury there can throw even the most well thought out plans into disarray.
With Premier League clubs coveting Sam Byram and Billy Sharp interesting Sheffield United and Wigan Athletic, Rosler may yet have to do more than keep tabs on possible recruits in the wide positions that he admits United are “thin”.
For now, though, the German is delighted to have Adeyemi, a former loanee at Bradford City, on board.
The pair worked together at Brentford when the midfielder was on loan and Rosler said: “Tom is a smashing lad, very ambitious. A top professional.
“He has been proven in League Two, League One and in the Championship. He is a very competent Championship player.”
Adeyemi, who United can sign permanently for £1m at the end of his loan spell, started his career at Norwich City and moved to Valley Parade for the 2010-11 League Two season.
He spent the following year on loan at Oldham Athletic before linking up with Rosler at Griffin Park in 2012-13.
A permanent switch to Birmingham City followed that summer before Cardiff, then managed by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, paid an initial £750,000 to take the midfielder to Wales.
Only 11 Championship starts followed last term following a change of manager and that gave Rosler the chance to bring the 23-year-old back to West Yorkshire.
The Leeds chief said: “When you have an opportunity to bring in a player like Tom under the conditions we got him – at the age of 23, 150-plus starts in the Football League, potential to get better – you take it.
“I worked with the player at Brentford for a year and the fact we lost Rodolph Austin with his attributes and qualities and Luke Murphy, it was too good an opportunity.” Murphy will miss the start of the season due to injury, but yesterday signed a new deal to stay at Leeds until 2019.
Rosler added: “At Brentford, we lost the play-off final and we offered him (Adeyemi) a three-year contract but natural progression for him was to do his duties in League Two and League One.
“Tom wanted to go to the Championship.
“He went to Birmingham and had a very good season there, (where he was) young player of the year.
“We needed that sort of player. Someone who gives us different options. We have good midfielders but we needed someone with different qualities. Tom gives us that. He is very good for us.
“It is also always good when you have loans that you have the option to buy a player.
“I am very happy to work with Tom again. When I see our midfield and the option that gives me, I get very excited about it.
“Tom in many ways did it the hard way. I admire him for the way he did it. Everything worked out to plan apart from after the change of manager at Cardiff and a couple of injuries.
“It set him back a little bit but he has a very defined career plan and at some point he has to find a home. He thought he had it at Cardiff but in football things happen.
“We have to get him fit. He won’t play at York. He is at a different stage of his pre-season but he will play some part on Tuesday against Frankfurt.”
United are involved in two friendlies tonight with an XI featuring several first-team players also due to take on Tadcaster Albion.
Rosler will be at Bootham Crescent, suggesting the side taking on York will feature more of the players he considers to have a chance of starting against Burnley on August 8.

Adeyemi capture excites Rosler

leedsunited.com 14/7/15
Uwe Rosler has spoken of his excitement at the loan signing of Tom Adeyemi, saying that the opportunity to work with the midfielder again was "too good to turn down".
Adeyemi became United’s fifth signing of the summer so far on Tuesday morning, joining on a season-long loan from Cardiff City with a view to a permanent deal.
And the 23-year-old is no stranger to Rosler, with the pair having spent the 2012/13 campaign together at Brentford – where Adeyemi was on loan from Norwich.
“I worked with Tom at Brentford and I’ve followed his progress since then,” said Rosler. “He’s a very competent midfielder with Championship qualities.
“After we lost Rodolph Austin and with the injury to Luke Murphy, we were short in the midfield area. The opportunity to work again with Tom was too good to turn down.
“He will add physicality, dynamism, good athleticism, height and footballing skills to our midfield.
“We have different types of midfielders now and it makes me excited to work with all of them.
“The most important thing is that they are good players, and Tom is a good player. But, at 23-years-old, he is a young player and he has the best years ahead of him.
“We have the option to buy him after a year but we will address it step-by-step.
“What excites me with him is that he has a lot of experience – he’s started over 150 games in the Football League and has played regular football for many years.
“He knows the Football League and what that means. I think he will add quality and experience to our midfield. We have several options now and he is the one who can play with all of our other midfielders.
“He has a very good attitude – he wants to learn and he wants to listen. That’s all we can ask for.
Asked if the chance to sign Adeyemi came as something of a surprise, Rosler replied: “To be totally honest, yes. I wasn’t aware that he was available.
“After the injury with Luke, we started to look more intensely at who we could bring in.
“We got a tip that he was available and he ticks a lot of boxes that we were looking for in that position.”

Leeds United: Midfielder Murphy takes a pay cut to stay with Whites

Yorkshire Post 14/7/15
Leeds United midfielder Luke Murphy has signed a new four-year deal with the club – and taken a substantial pay cut in the process.
As reported in the YEP yesterday, Murphy, 25, has agreed fresh terms until 2019 with the Elland Road side he joined for £1million from Crewe Alexandra back in 2013.
He is currently sidelined with a knee injury he picked up in pre-season training, but says he is happy at Leeds and never had any intention of leaving.
Murphy, whose contract was due to expire at the end of next season has played 72 times for the Whites and played a big part in their resurgence in the second part of last season – having been out of favour before Christmas.
A statement by the club said the Macclesfield-born schemer had shown his commitment “by taking a considerable wage reduction to sign until 2019”.
Murphy said: “There wasn’t really much to think about – I’m really happy here.
“I’ve obviously had ups and downs but towards the end of last season I really started to feel at home. The atmosphere in pre-season is really positive.
“I started to feel as though I was playing my best football here and hopefully that can continue. I want to repay the faith shown in me by performing on the pitch.
“Hopefully, I’ll be able to do that in the next four seasons and get this club back to where it belongs in the Premier League. The signings that have come in already this summer have shown real intent of what we’re about and what we’re hoping to achieve in the near future.”
Head coach Uwe Rosler said: “I’m a big admirer of Luke, I’ve said that a few times. He finished the season very strongly and we have high hopes for him this season.
“A lot of people don’t see this side but Mr Cellino has stuck by a player who is basically injured and going into the last year of his contract. That is a big statement from the owner.
“He proved his worth to the club before and we’ve offered him a new contract. That’s the way football should work. I’m very happy that he’s signed and I’m looking forward to working with him very much.”

The perfect club for me - Adeyemi

leedsunited.com 14/7/15
Tom Adeyemi insists it was an "easy decision" to make his loan move from Cardiff City, saying the opportunity to link up again with Uwe Rosler helped make Leeds the "perfect club to come to".
Adeyemi, 23, was announced as United’s fifth summer signing on Tuesday morning after joining from the Bluebirds on a season-long loan with a view to a permanent deal.
The midfielder has previously worked under Rosler during a spell at Brentford, and he says the opportunity to be coached by him again played a big part in making this switch.
"I’m really happy to be here," Adeyemi said. "I’m glad it’s all gone smoothly and I’m just looking forward to getting out there and getting the season started.
"I first heard it was a possibility last week and over the weekend it became clear that it could happen.
"Cardiff said they were happy for it to happen and at that point it was an easy decision for me to get on the motorway.
"My agent spoke to a few clubs once it became clear Cardiff would be letting me go out on loan.
"But with Leeds being a massive club and the manager being here and having worked with him before, it was the perfect club to come to."
When asked about Rosler, Adeyemi added: "He had me on loan at Brentford from when I was at Norwich when I was younger, maybe three years ago now.
"I enjoyed working with him, he’s a really good manager. The opportunity to work with him again was one which I was happy to take.
"We had a little chat about the way he sees the team lining up and where I would possibly fit into that.
"He says there’s a number of different options of ways he wants to play. He’s going to have a look at the players over pre-season, myself included.
"He made it clear that – like every other player – I’ll have to fight for my place and make sure I do well to keep it."
The former Norwich midfielder becomes United’s first loan signing of the summer, but he says the possibility of a permanent deal at the end of the season will give him something to work towards.
"It’s a massive incentive for me to do well because I know that if I do put good performances in, then there’s a possibility that something could happen," he explained.
"It’s a great opportunity for me."

Cardiff midfielder Tom Adeyemi moves to Elland Road

leedsunited.com 14/7/15
We are pleased to announce the signing of midfielder Tom Adeyemi on a season-long loan from Cardiff City.
Adeyemi, who joins with a view to a permanent deal, becomes our fifth arrival of the summer so far.
The 23-year-old, a product of Norwich City’s youth system, follows former Cardiff team-mate Charlie Horton, Lee Erwin, Sol Bamba and Chris Wood in making the switch to Elland Road this summer.
Adeyemi’s career began at Carrow Road and he made his senior debut aged 17, before going on to enjoy fruitful loan spells with Bradford City, Oldham Athletic and Brentford - playing under Uwe Rosler at the latter - as he gained valuable first-team experience.
As a youngster he declined an offer from Cambridge University to pursue his footballing career, and March 2010 saw him named as the League One Apprentice of the Year, an accolade recently won at Championship level by United’s Lewis Cook.
Adeyemi’s five years as a professional with Norwich – totalling 17 appearances for the Canaries - came to an end in summer 2013 and Birmingham City subsequently snapped him up on a two-year deal.
The midfielder became an integral part of the Blues’ team, making 40 appearances and scoring three goals along the way to being named as the club’s Young Player of the Year in his debut season.
Adeyemi was chosen as Birmingham’s vice-captain at the start of the last campaign, but Cardiff moved to take him to South Wales over the summer in a deal reported to have been worth over £1million.
He featured 23 times in all competitions during 2014/15 and will now add to Rosler’s midfield options as the head coach readies his side for the new Championship season.

Leeds United brings catering and beverage rights back in-house at Elland Road

leedsunited.com 13/7/15
Leeds United is delighted to announce that the club has re-purchased the catering and beverage rights for Elland Road Stadium and the Centenary Pavilion.
All catering, both match-day and non-match-day, had been sold and outsourced to Compass back in June 2012 for a significant upfront payment.
United Chairman Massimo Cellino said: “I’m delighted to have brought back what naturally belongs to Leeds United.
“To be able to provide our own Conference and Banqueting facilities on match-days and non match-days is a positive step in the restructuring of the club.”
This change is with immediate effect and all catering and beverage sales throughout the year will be the responsibility of Leeds United.
Mr Cellino added: “It is now the club’s intention to be in control of all its own assets as soon as possible.
“A lot of these assets like the club’s Conference and Banqueting businesses had been sold off over the last 10 years and this has been a contributing factor in the club’s financial losses.
“Owning our own Conference and Banqueting business again is a significant move towards making Leeds United Football club financially viable on a long term basis.
“The Elland Road Stadium is another important asset that is high on the list of priorities for me to bring back into club ownership.”

Monday, July 13, 2015

Leeds United: Bamba ready to step up to captaincy if required

Yorkshire Evening Post 13/7/15
Phil Hay
Sol Bamba says he will be ready to step up and take the captaincy at Leeds United next season if head coach Uwe Rosler gives the armband to him.
Bamba admitted that he would be happy to lead United’s squad after earning praise from Rosler for setting the example during Friday night’s friendly against Harrogate Town.
Rosler described Bamba’s 45-minute performance in a 1-1 draw at Wetherby Road as “fantastic”, crediting him for “setting the tone” after an unconvincing first half.
Leeds trailed at the break having struggled to adapt to Rosler’s 3-5-2 formation but a change of system and personnel at the start of the second half saw Steve Morison produce an immediate equaliser.
Rosler singled out Bamba afterwards, saying: “That’s how I wish to see my defenders competing.”
Bamba returned to Leeds on a two-year deal from Palermo a month ago, completing a permanent transfer after a successful loan at Elland Road last season. The 30-year-old – an Ivory Coast international – was one of several players who captained United in a campaign when the armband changed hands repeatedly and he already looks like a leading candidate for the responsibility next season.
Bamba said: “I’m not going to say that I want it but if I got it then I’d be happy. “It would be a huge thing for me to be captain of a big club and it would be an honour and a privilege. But I’m not asking for it. If the gaffer thinks I deserve it then I’ll take it with pleasure. If it’s anyone else I’ll just do my job.”
Bamba refused to place great significance on the result at Wetherby Road, against side who will compete in Conference North next term.
The match was Leeds’ first friendly of the summer and Bamba said: “It can be difficult. You saw that with the result.
“The positive thing is getting ready and getting your fitness back.
“We know what has to be done so we’re happy. There’s still hard work to be done.
“In the first half it was 3-5-2 and in the second it was 4-3-3. We need to get used to that.”
Friday’s match was marred slightly by verbal exchanges between defender Giuseppe Bellusci and Leeds supporters who attended the friendly.
Bellusci – one of six foreign players who were controversially declared injured 24 hours before a game at Charlton Athletic in April – was booed by sections of the crowd during his appearance in the first half.
The centre-back, who cost £1.6m from Catania last August, has three years left on his contract and is expected to be heavily involved in Leeds’ forthcoming campaign.
Writing on Twitter on Saturday, Bellusci said: “For those who did not understand. I said: ‘(You) don’t like me ok. But the first game you should support the team, not me.”