Showing posts from July, 2012

Paynter close to Leeds exit

Sky 31/7/12 Striker to spend week on trial at Blackpool Leeds United striker Billy Paynter has been given the chance to earn a contract at Blackpool after linking up with the Seasiders on a week-long trial. The 28-year-old joined Leeds in a blaze of publicity after making a name for himself as one of the hottest strikers outside of the Premier League two years ago. His 29 goals for Swindon, including two braces against the Yorkshire club, fired them into the League One play-off final in May 2010 which they eventually lost to Millwall. But his time at Elland Road has been dogged with injuries and he spent three months on-loan at Brighton & Hove Albion before being placed on the transfer list by Leeds boss Neil Warnock at the end of last season. The Liverpool-born striker has scored just three goals in 27 league appearances since his move from Swindon and has made no secret of his desire to end his frustrating time at the club. And with Doncaster and Notts County also intereste

Luke keen to take his chance 31/7/12 New signing Luke Varney admits he wasn't going to miss out on the double opportunity of playing with Leeds United and linking up with Neil Warnock once the call came this summer. The 29-year-old completed his move from Portsmouth last week as the manager snared one of his long-time targets. "I'd pushed for this as hard as I could," said Luke, who has scored 68 goals in 288 career appearances. "I feel it's a very positive move for me and I hope it will work out for both parties. "I'd had three or four phone calls before from the manager over the years, but other things had come up and it never quite happened. It was unfortunate, but this time there was no way I was going to miss out. A few other clubs showed an interest, but once it was Leeds I was always going to come here." Luke made his debut at Bodmin Town last Wednesday and the United boss couldn't hide his delight after securing a player he has been chasing

Whites want Cranie

Yorkshire Evening Post 30/7/12 Leeds United manager Neil Warnock is looking to strike a deal with Martin Cranie after the former Coventry City defender reached the end of his pre-season trial, writes PHIL HAY. Warnock admitted he would be happy to add Cranie to the squad at Elland Road if Leeds and the centre-back can agree terms on a suitable contract. Cranie is a free agent after leaving Coventry in May and he has featured in all of United’s four pre-season friendlies, including three in Devon and Cornwall last week. A 45-minute outing at Torquay United on Friday night brought Cranie’s fortnight-long trial to a conclusion and Warnock is open to the possibility of signing the 25-year-old. Warnock said: “He’s a steady player and what I’d call a squad player. “Where it goes from here really depends on what Martin’s looking for and what we can afford to offer him. He’s calm, collected and a good lad who’s fitted in well with the other players. We just need to chat things over and

Leeds United Q+A, Gary Cooper of Leeds United Supporters Trust

Clarekonenil 30/7/12 The editor sets some questions, via email, for Gary Cooper, Chair of the Leeds United Supporters Trust. MG: Gary, it has been a long and frustrating summer as the takeover saga churns on and on. Have we stopped “daring to dream”? GC: I never stop daring to dream Michael and I hope despite all we’ve been through this summer that our members and the supporters keep believing they can dare to dream too? MG: LUST made some extensive plays on publicising the original approach to the club but since then significant part of your time have been spent “keeping confidences”. Notwithstanding who you are or not talking to privately wasn’t it a mistake for the prospective buyers to let Bates and company set the confidentiality terms? GC: Quite possibly, certainly in terms of getting off on the right foot with the fans, I think had the prospective buyers been able to give some form of acknowledgement to the fans it would have gone a long way towards building the confidence

Warnock looking for a captain

Leeds United boss Neil Warnock says he is giving everyone a chance before deciding who will be the new captain of the club. Leeds are looking for a new captain this season after the sale of Robert Snodgrass in the week to Norwich City. Warnock was being very coy when talking to Yorkshire Radio after the game at Torquay United on Friday night. "I will make a decision once I have seen them all. Tom Lees was gobsmacked when I gave it to him." So far this summer, Warnock has used four different captains in Leeds four games. Michael Brown (Farsley), Tom Lees (Bodmin) and Paul Green (Torquay) have all started games as captain, with departing captain Snodgrass wearing the armband at Tavistock.

Neil’s bid to unify club needs a helping hand

Yorkshire Evening Post 28/7/12 By Phil Hay: Inside Elland Road With one glaring exception, Leeds United’s pre-season tour of Devon and Cornwall has been a lesson in positive PR: inclusive, welcoming, sensibly mapped out. It was Neil Warnock’s intention and a product of his philosophy. Nurture a club’s support and they will nurture you. He had bridges to build from the outset at Elland Road – bridges burned by other people – and he has done so religiously since the day of his arrival. Three months in the job last season was enough to show him what happens when Leeds and their crowd find themselves at odds. The concerted effort on his part to repair that relationship has done him credit. You sense it is appreciated. On Tuesday, somewhere in the region of 400 supporters travelled into the Cornish countryside to watch an open training session and mingle with United’s players. “I’ve never seen them train before,” said one fan. “I was more bothered about this than going to the friendl

Midfielder deal completed 27/7/12 Midfielder David Norris has completed his switch from Portsmouth after signing a three-year contract with the club. The 31-year-old underwent his medical after agreeing a deal, and his move was finalised on Friday. The player will meet up with his new team-mates on Monday before travelling to Norway for the pre-season game against Sandefjord next Wednesday. Fellow midfielder Rodolph Austin has also signed a contract with the club, although he must fly to Jamaica to finalise some paperwork before joining up with the squad in pre-season. 27/7/12 South West tour ends on a high McCormack double sees off Torquay... TORQUAY 1 (McKenzie 75), UNITED 2 (McCormack 7, 11) Torquay: Poke, Nicholson, Downes, Saah, Lathorpe, Mansell, Jarvis, Howe, Morris, Leadbitter, Bodin. Subs: Rice, Macklin, MacKenzie, Easton, Stevens, Craig, Cruise, Thompson, Yeoman. Leeds: Ashdown, Lees, Cranie (Byram 46), Pearce, Drury, White (Rogers 79), Green, Brown (Thompson

I’ve already signed Rob’s replacement

Yorkshire Evening Post 27/7/12 Phil Hay Neil Warnock has revealed that Luke Varney will be used to fill the gap left by Robert Snodgrass as he urged Leeds United to move on quickly from the sale of the Scotland international. Warnock admitted that Snodgrass’ move to Norwich City last night on a three-year deal had heightened the pressure on him to secure his “marquee signings” but Varney is set to operate as Snodgrass’ replacement next season after joining Leeds from Portsmouth in a £200,000 deal. The 29-year-old forward made his first appearance for the club in Wednesday’s pre-season friendly at Bodmin Town. Varney started the game on the left wing but drifted into a free role behind Andy Gray and Ross McCormack, scoring the opening goal in a 4-0 win. Warnock planned to use Snodgrass in a similar role next season but that strategy has been wrecked by Norwich’s successful bid to sign United’s club captain. Snodgrass passed a medical on Wednesday, 24 hours after City’s £3m offer wa

LUST on the Radio

Transcript of the latest interview with Gary Cooper (Chairman of Leeds United Supporters Trust) with Katherine Hannah on West Yorkshire Sport, BBC Radio Leeds 25/07/2012 KH: The Leeds United Supporters Trust has again called on the club to be told what is happening particularly in terms of the takeover. So let's get more from the Leeds United Supporters Trust now and talk to Gary Cooper who represents them, good evening Gary GC: Evening Katherine KH: Just again, so many questions and so few answers, what is happening with the takeover what do you know? GC: Excellent question, one we're asking ourselves of both the club and the prospective new buyers. We would really like to hear something, anything at all, just that acknowledges that the deal is ongoing, that things are moving on. I think what has been really disappointing about this whole deal, and we appreciate the need for confidentiality and appreciate the due process and all the rest of it, but one of the main issues t

"Bidder is an offshore bank" - Adam Pope on Twitter 27/7/12 Adam Pope Re #lufc takeover from @IAA_Bahrain "Shaikh Abdulrahman bin Mubarak Al-Khalifa was merely the advisor for the interested party." continued re #lufc takeover continued "The bidder is an off shore bank in Bahrain who has gathered a group of investors from the region." continued re #lufc takeover "They are interested in developing the property associated with the club." continued re #lufc takeover "The bank wants to remain anonymous at the moment until the due diligence period is over." finished

Good times, Bad times - New pages uploaded at

In these times of trouble, Mother Mary comforts me, whisper words of wisdom, let it be, let it be... Matches 29 November 2011 - Nottingham Forest 0 Leeds United 4 The shocking news of the death of former Leeds midfielder Gary Speed united football and the players and their supporters gave the best possible tribute with a memorable evening at the City Ground 2 November 2011 - Leeds United 0 Blackpool 5 A drepressing evening at Elland Road as Paul Rachubka's first tem career with the Whites was cruelly brought to a sorry conclusion by hapless and nervy performance in front of the club's supporters 19 January 2011 - Leeds United 1 Arsenal 3 After pulling off a shock draw at the Emirates, United couldn't really compete with Arsenal in the Elland Road replay, but had the satisfaction of the best goal of the night, a screamer from Bradley Johnson 8 January 2011 - Arsenal 0 Leeds United 0 "THEY'RE AT IT AGAIN!" A year after high profile FA Cup

DEAL AGREED FOR MIDFIELDER TO JOIN 26/7/12 Leeds United have agreed a deal to sign Portsmouth midfielder David Norris, subject to a medical. The 31-year-old will travel to Thorp Arch before a deal can be finalised, enabling him to make the move to Elland Road. Norris was linked with United last summer before he moved from Ipswich to Portsmouth. He has made over 400 career appearances and has featured for Boston, Bolton, Hull and Plymouth before moving to Portman Road in 2007. "I've always liked him since he was at Plymouth and I've followed him since then," said United manager Neil Warnock. "He has good energy and the way we are at the moment you can't get enough good players in that area. I think he'll fit in well, he'll fight for his place and give us the competition. He'll be another good signing I think. "He's got a knack for goals. I've already mentioned about Paul Green scoring a few goals this year and it's the same with Norris. I think

Snod snubbed Warnock pleas

Yorkshire Evening Post 25/7/12 By Phil Hay Neil Warnock was facing up to the painful loss of Robert Snodgrass today after Leeds United failed with a last-ditch attempt to keep the winger at Elland Road. Snodgrass has opened talks with Norwich City and will complete a move to Carrow Road in the next 48 hours if he and the Premier League club agree personal terms. United admitted defeat in their battle to keep Snodgrass after receiving a £3million bid and being told by the Scotland international that he wanted to call time on his four-year career at Leeds. The YEP understands that United’s prospective new owners – a group from the Middle East who are working towards a takeover after beginning due diligence on the club’s accounts – were directly involved in efforts to persuade Snodgrass to remain at Elland Road and sign a new deal. But the planned takeover remains incomplete almost two months after United began negotiating with the unnamed buyers, and Snodgrass delivered a major b

L.U.S.T. Update: It's time to Involve The Fans in Leeds United's Future

LUST Statement 25/7/12 On behalf of our 7,000 members, the Leeds United Supporters' Trust want to express our frustration and disappointment with the way the takeover of Leeds United is being handled. We believe the time has come for the fans to be told what is happening at their club. L.U.S.T. has done all it can this summer to keep anxious fans as informed as possible, without compromising our contacts. But the complete silence from the buyers, and the wholly inadequate statements from the club itself, have kept Leeds fans in the dark about what will become of their club after this summer. We respect the need for confidentiality, and that the legal process needs time. However, we believe that Leeds United's fans should also be respected. One of the aims of our Vision Statement is for the fans to be seen as an integral part of the club again, after nearly a decade of being left on the sidelines by the current board. By not responding to calls from the fans for informati

Snodgrass quits Leeds as Norwich stump up £3m

Yorkshire Post 25/7/12 LEEDS United captain Robert Snodgrass is on the verge of leaving Elland Road after the club accepted a £3 million offer from Norwich City. Snodgrass has quit United’s pre-season training camp in Cornwall and is due to open talks with Norwich today ahead of a proposed move to the Premier League club. It is understood Norwich have negotiated a £3 million deal with £1.5 million to be paid up front. Leeds manager Neil Warnock has been fighting to retain Snodgrass ever since his appointment as manager in February, naming the Scotland international as club captain and offering him a deal which would have made him the club’s highest paid player. But Snodgrass declined to accept that offer and entered the final year of his existing contract at the beginning of this month. Warnock told United’s official website: “I can honestly say that in all my time in football I’ve never worked so hard to keep a player. He’s made it clear what he wants to do and he’s had his head

WARNOCK ON HIS NEW FACES 24/7/12 A busy week of deals delights manager... United manager Neil Warnock is delighted at the prospect of welcoming four more new faces to his squad. Former Portsmouth striker Luke Varney is set to join up with his new team-mates for the remainder of the tour of the south west, goalkeeper Jamie Ashdown and striker Andy Gray were already with the travelling party and have agreed deals to stay on, and a further deal has been agreed to sign SK Brann's Jamaican international midfielder Rodolph Austin. Striker Gray is the most familiar face to Leeds fans having started his career with the club. He returned as a trialist during the summer, and scored two goals in the 5-2 friendly win at Farsley last week. Andy is finalising a one-year deal with the club. "Right from day one he's always wanted to sign a year," said the boss. "I feel we did have options, but with the squad that we have he gives us good cover and there's always a goal in Andy.

Quartet are only Start!

Yorkshire Evening Post 24/7/12 Neil Warnock’s plans for next season took a big step forward with four deals in one day – but the Leeds United manager insisted: “The crucial signings are still to come.” Warnock’s persistent work in the transfer market paid off yesterday as agreements with out-of-contract trialists Andy Gray and Jamie Ashdown followed confirmation that Luke Varney and Rodolph Austin were destined for Elland Road. Leeds have agreed a one-year deal with Gray, the 34-year-old striker who began his career with United, and goalkeeper Ashdown complete a move to Elland Road in time to make his first appearances in last night’s pre-season friendly at Tavistock. Varney, meanwhile, is poised to join Leeds after passing a medical and agreeing personal terms and his transfer will be officially finalised once the striker and Portsmouth reach a settlement over wages deferred by him during Portsmouth’s administration. Austin’s £300,000 move from SK Brann – a signing which Leeds li

Leeds Utd win battle over costs of policing matches at Elland Road

Yorkshire Post 24/7/12 LEEDS United have won their High Court action over who should pay for policing of matches at their Elland Road stadium. The Championship side asked for a decision on which of the services deployed by West Yorkshire Police for the last three seasons were special police services, and whether it was entitled to be repaid for services wrongly categorised. The litigation involved policing in the extended footprint of land around the stadium which is not owned or leased by the club - who claimed this fell within the scope of a constable’s normal common law obligations to maintain public order. Mr Justice Eady, in London, said those services could not be classified as special police services and the club, whose home matches have one of the worst records of football-related violence in the country, should be repaid. He concluded that the services rendered fell within the normal constabulary duty to keep the peace. “More generally, it seems wrong to discount the maj

DEALS AGREED FOR VARNEY AND AUSTIN 23/7/12 United boss strengthens further... Leeds United have agreed a deal to sign Portsmouth striker Luke Varney on a two-year contract. The 29-year-old completed a medical at United's training ground on Tuesday before agreeing a contract that sees him become the latest addition to Neil Warnock's squad. Luke, who has scored 68 goals in 288 career appearances, netted six goals in 28 starts for Pompey last season. He started his career at Crewe in 2003 and after a £2m move to Charlton he has enjoyed spells with Derby, Sheffield Wednesday, and made 30 Premier League appearances for Blackpool, scoring five goals. Meanwhile, the club has also agreed a deal to sign Jamaican international Rodolph Austin. The 27-year-old, who can play in central midfield or at the back, is currently playing in Norway with SK Brann and the United manager is a long-time admirer. The boss took Austin on trial at QPR last summer, but was unable to conclude a deal to take him to Lof

UNITED HIT TAVISTOCK FOR SIX 23/7/12 Leeds cruise to pre-season victory... TAVISTOCK 0, UNITED 6 (White 40, Green 45, Own Goal 61, Rogers 77, Poleon 86, Thompson 88) Leeds: Kenny (Ashdown 46), Lees, Crainie (Byram 68), Pearce (N Turner 80), Drury (L Turner 80) Snodgrass (Thompson 68), Brown (Pugh 46), Green (Poleon 68), White (Rogers 68), McCormack (Nunez 68), Becchio (Gray 46) Goals from Aidy White and Paul Green shortly before the break perhaps didn't tell the whole story of a half which United pretty much dominated with some neat passing and movement. Ross McCormack did send one early chance fizzing wide while Tom Lees was a constant threat with crosses from the right flank. Green was almost rewarded with a goal on the 20-minute mark but his shot was blocked on the line by Snodgrass. Jason Pearce also went close with a header while Snodgrass and McCormack both had further half chances to open the scoring. But Leeds did go 1-0 up five minutes before the break when White latched onto a

DUO AGREE UNITED DEALS 23/7/12 Gray and Ashdown to join up permanently... Leeds United manager Neil Warnock has strengthened his squad further with the recruitment of striker Andy Gray and goalkeeper Jamie Ashdown. Striker Gray will make his return to Leeds more permanent after agreeing a one-year deal to re-join the club where he started his career. The 34-year-old made 29 appearances for the club at the start of a career that has taken in 11 clubs and over 500 senior appearances, and he has now returned to his roots. Andy joined the club on a trial basis at the start of pre-season and made an immediate impact last week when he scored twice on his "second debut" against Farsley in a 5-2 victory. Andy is joined by former Portsmouth goalkeeper Ashdown in agreeing a deal to join up with United. Ashdown made his debut as a trialist in the pre-season friendly at Tavistock on Monday evening. Ashdown, who was a regular at Portsmouth last season, has joined up with the squad in Cor

A slow summer has left Warnock playing catch up - Hay

Yorkshire Post 21/7/12 The success of Leeds United’s summer to date can be judged on the group of players who have trained at Thorp Arch during the past 10 days. In simple terms the club’s squad contains more transfer-listed members than it does new signings; under-subscribed for pre-season and nowhere near ready for the main event. There is time yet to remedy that but the periphery of the new Championship season will soon be counted in days rather than weeks. The laboured trudge towards supplying the club’s manager, Neil Warnock, with the squad he asked for cannot continue much longer, not unless next season is to rest on a wing, a prayer and the scramble that is the latter stages of the transfer window. Beyond the obvious shortage of money at Elland Road – a shortage which seems insurmountable without external investment – and a transfer market which one agent called “painfully slow in general”, the pending takeover of Leeds United is the cause of this. It is to be hoped that a t

Jones expecting exciting two weeks at Leeds

Leeds United assistant manager Mick Jones is hoping it will be an exciting time over the next few weeks as boss Neil Warnock looks to strengthen his squad. Warnock admitted earlier in the day that he was looking to bring in around eight players before the season starts. Jones has worked with Warnock for most of the last 23 years since first teaming up with him at Notts County in 1989 and he says that he has never seen Warnock working as hard as he has this summer. Speaking on Yorkshire Radio, Jones said, "I have never known Neil work as hard as this. He has been at it all summer and more so the last week or so. "I just hope it will be exciting times over the next ten to fourteen days." The club have been boosted by the news that out of contract Aidy White has agreed a new three-year deal today, after looking like he would be leaving this summer. Warnock also believes that midfielder Michael Brown will sign the new one-year deal offered to him over the summer. Leed


Image 20/7/12 FARSLEY 2 (Muller 60, Watson 68), UNITED 5 (Gray 31, 35, Rogers 36, Paynter 64, Payne 89) Farsley: Guildford, Hay, Serrant, Briggs, Jackson, Radcliffe, Watson, Bambrook, Jones, Grant, Priestly. Subs: Muller, Carr, Pacey, Burgess, Dugdale, Ferdinand, Flowers. Leeds: Kenny, Lees, Crainie, Pearce, Pugh, Brown, Green, Rogers, McCormack, White, Gray. Leeds: (2nd half) Cairns, L Turner, Killock, Gimpel, Taylor, Byram, Thompson, Lenighan (Poleon), Payne, Nunez, Paynter Leeds United opened up the pre-season campaign with two trialists in a senior starting line-up at Farsley. Former Portsmouth defender Martin Crainie and ex-Leeds youngster Andy Gray were both included in a side that also included debut men Paddy Kenny and Paul Green. Manager Neil Warnock had stated his intentions to play two different teams in each half, and he was also quick to point out that after a heavy morning on the training ground, he was treating the match as a fitness exercise first and

Leeds United – An Open Letter To Robert Snodgrass

Football FanCast 20/7/12 Written by Steve-Turner Dear Robert. You are our captain. You are the player we look to when times are tough, when we need inspiring, when we can see no way out. Throughout the last few years those times have come thick and fast, both you and us, the fans, have faced battle after battle together. Like you, we know how it feels to be lied to, to watch our best players forced out and labelled as the unreasonable ones, as the ones chasing riches. We feel the same disappointment and disillusion that you do, as another transfer window slams shut with no noticeable replacement. We are the same as you, captain. We are Leeds through and through. Over time you have shown again and again that you have the club at heart. You dared to speak up when nobody else would. Leeds legends stood before us all and would read the script given to them week after week, proclaiming that there were no issues at the club, that the players leaving really didn’t want to stay, that w

Leeds United ponder new Snod bid

Yorkshire Evening Post 20/7/12 Leeds United were weighing up an increased bid from Norwich City for Robert Snodgrass today amid growing doubts about the future of the Scotland international. The Yorkshire Evening Post understands that an improved offer arrived at Elland Road yesterday afternoon, three days after Norwich failed with a £1.5million bid for United’s highly-rated club captain. City’s latest approach – one of several offers made by them for Snodgrass in the past 12 months – was still under consideration last night with Leeds in the grip of advanced takeover talks and on the brink of a change of ownership. United manager Neil Warnock has long been opposed to the possibility of selling Snodgrass, despite the winger having less than a year remaining on his contract, but Leeds’ rejection of the bid tabled by Norwich on Monday came with an admission from Warnock that Snodgrass might have had his “head turned” by interest from the Premier League. The 24-year-old has been club

LUST Interview with BBC Radio Leeds

Transcript of interview with Trust Chairman, Gary Cooper, on West Yorkshire Sport, BBC Radio Leeds 17th July 2012 It was understood that due diligence continues as the interested party looks at the clubs books. It was the Leeds United Supporters Trust who, a few months ago, told us that they knew of an offer to buy the club that was on the table. The Trust has today issued a statement asking the club for concrete news on the deal, Adam Pope spoke to the Trust Chairman Gary Cooper earlier after he had returned from the Football Supporters Europe conference in Turkey. GC: Yes, it's gone really well. I attended the three day event in Istanbul and I was very impressed. It was the first congress that I have actually attended and I think as an organisation the FSE has made leaps and bounds over the last 2 or 3 years. It certainly is ringing the doorbells of UEFA in very high places and I think it is an organisation which will assist supporters trusts and supporters groups of all kind

Leeds takeover imminent

ESPN 18/7/12 By Harry Harris, Football Correspondent ESPN understands that Leeds United are on the brink of a takeover, which could be completed in the coming days. Leeds have been in talks with a group of investors for some time, fronted by Bahrain-based Sheikh Abdulrahman bin Mubarak Al Khalifa, a Leeds United fan who failed with a takeover bid in 2003. After protracted discussions and countless rumours, an ESPN source has said: "A takeover is now imminent, it could happen any day." ESPN contacted current owner Ken Bates in Monaco, who refused to comment on the possibility of an impending change in ownership. Bates told ESPN: "I am here in Monte Carlo but I am making no comment at all. If anything happens you will be the first to know." Bates also refused to confirm that the party involved was in fact the reported Bahraini investors. Bates, though, did confirm that "an investor" has been granted an extension to the usual business process of due di

What Warnock Said: Incompetence, Due Diligence, and Bonkers Fans

The Scratching Shed 18/7/12 Neil Warnock talked to TalkSport this morning, covering the contract fiasco, transfer moves, takeover news, and fans. As Norwich offer roughly £1.5m (half of their offer last season) for Robert Snodgrass, Warnock told of his frustration at players supposedly having their heads turned. Incompetence I was hoping when I came to build a team around [Snodgrass]. But players get their heads turned and it’s difficult. You understand the player’s point of view, when he sees Howson and Bradley Johnson go down to Norwich, but it’s disappionting for me. It’s bad enough letting go of the transfer list and starting from scratch; but when you’re letting go of your best player it’s disappointing. There’s a few clubs that like Rob. You can understand why, he’s a top player and he has been for a couple of years. You can also see it from his point of view. There’s been three or four lads sold upwards while he’s been there. We’ve had 2 or 3 decent offers for Ross, and I