Showing posts from December, 2012

Leeds United face vital month

Yorkshire Evening Post 31/12/12 By Phil Hay Neil Warnock admitted that January would be a “vital month” for Leeds United after the club reached the transfer window five points short of the play-offs. United endured a sobering end to 2012 as a resounding defeat at Hull City left Warnock crossing his fingers in the hope of telling success in the January market. The Leeds boss, who is under contract until the summer and aiming for a record eighth promotion as a Football League manager, said he was receiving the full support of GFH Capital and insisted the club’s new owners share his sense of urgency with the new year upon them. United were comprehensively outplayed by Hull on Saturday, losing 2-0 to second-half goals from Corry Evans and David Meyler, and a gap of five points has opened up between Warnock’s squad and the Championship’s top six. Warnock told the YEP: “January needs to be a good month for us. It’s a vital month and I think everyone at the club knows how vital it is.

Drury frustrated by lack of opportunity

Leeds United defender Adam Drury says it has been frustrating this season after failing to win a regular place in the Leeds starting line-up. Drury started the game at Nottingham Forest on Boxing Day, his first appearance in over a month but he was once again dropped to the substitute`s bench for the trip to Hull City on Saturday. The experienced full back says he is just going to keep training hard and hope to get a run of games in the side when it arises. Speaking on LUTV, Drury said, "It has been very frustrating but it is one of those things, the manager picks the team that he thinks will win games. "I have only been injured for the Hull home game and before the Middlesbrough game when I had a back problem, other than that I have been fit and training every day. "I will keep myself in good shape and I will just have to take my chance when it comes. It makes it awkward when you do not get a run of games because it can take three or four games to get your consiste

Neil not pressing panic buttons

Yorkshire Evening Post 31/12/12 By Phil Hay Neil Warnock insisted today that Leeds United’s resounding defeat to Hull City was no cause for panic as he urged his players to keep faith in their Championship season. Warnock told his squad to forget about Saturday’s 2-0 loss at the KC Stadium, despite admitting that Leeds received a footballing “lesson” from a consummate Hull team. The United manager described City’s performance as “superb” and his players were subjected to a review of a one-sided Yorkshire derby after reporting to Thorp Arch for light training yesterday. Leeds’ match in Hull was the second in a spate of three in seven days, with a home fixture against Bolton Wanderers awaiting them tomorrow, and Warnock was weighing up his options this morning after United slipped five points adrift of the Championship’s play-off zone. The club lost 4-1 at Nottingham Forest on Boxing Day but were more comprehensively outclassed by Hull, who retained a hold on the league’s second au

Warnock cannot wait for transfer window

Leeds United boss Neil Warnock says he cannot wait for the New Year and the transfer window opening. Leeds produced a totally abject performance at Hull City on Saturday and were very lucky to come away with just a 2-0 defeat. With new owners at the club, Leeds boss Neil Warnock says he is now looking forward to bringing in some new players and he will be hoping to have them in before the championship game at Barnsley on January 12th. Speaking on Yorkshire Radio, Warnock said, "We are trying to bring in one or two in as early as possible. I hope that by the time we play our next league game after Bolton we will have one or two in. "We are in for one or two good players and we will be competitive. I know I will get the support and I need to keep my fingers crossed. "I am just hoping we can get the players and I am getting the support behind the scenes." Leeds will need to add plenty of quality to a side that look average. The centre of midfield lacks and pace a

2012’s had more downs than ups - Hay

Yorkshire Evening Post 29/12/12 By Phil Hay The world was supposed to end in 2012 and in that respect it could have been worse. But when Ken Bates spoke of a “particularly difficult year” in the same week as he sold Leeds United, it was a rare occasion when his comments met with unanimous agreement. This, in its own way, has been an annus horribilis for Leeds. It does not merit comparisons with 2007 – a time of relegation, insolvency and points deductions – but 2012 has been one of those years: defined by falling attendances, managerial changes and a takeover which took more than 200 days to complete. If United’s new owner, GFH Capital, delivers on its promise of a bright future and a fresh start then 2012, United’s 93rd year of existence, might yet be defined as the moment when the Championship club turned the corner. But as 2013 approaches, these are Inside Elland Road’s abiding memories of 12 hard and exacting months:
 1. Simon Grayson’s 
Escapology Only Bates knows when the

Hull City 2 Leeds United 0: match report

Telegraph 29/12/12 By Ian Baker Neil Warnock is not often tactically outfoxed but even he would have to admit he did not get his formation and team selection spot on for this Yorkshire derby. The Leeds manager opted to play a wing-back system to match up against Hull City but the move backfired spectacularly as Steve Bruce’s Hull marched further towards returning to the Premier League. Second-half strikes from Corry Evans and David Meyler were enough to give the hosts the local bragging rights but in truth it should have been an even more convincing scoreline as Leeds were thoroughly outplayed, unable to fashion a decent chance in the entire 90 minutes. “I’m very disappointed,” said Warnock. “Aidy White and Sam Byram did their best at wing-back but it was an experience for them. I went with Davide Somma up front and thought he was ready to start but it was the wrong decision.” Hull will wonder just why they did not have a half-time lead with Sone Aluko and Ahmed Elmohamady domina

Hull City 2 Leeds United 0: Beaten Warnock full of praise for Tigers

Yorkshire Evening Post 29/12/12 Second-half goals from Corry Evans and David Meyler earned Hull City a thoroughly deserved win over Leeds United. Steve Bruce’s side dominated a one-sided Yorkshire derby and collected three points with a brace of finishes in the space of three minutes. Hull’s first-half dominance continued immediately after half-time and it took a low, one-handed save from Paddy Kenny to deny Meyler on 48 minutes. Sone Aluko pulled a shot narrowly wide moments later as Meyler slid in at the far post but City took the lead on 52 minutes when Evans latched onto Aluko’s through ball and slipped the ball inside Kenny’s far post. City consolidated their lead three minutes later when Meyler met Robbie Brady’s corner with a clinical header which flew into the top corner of the net Kenny denied Hull a third goal by diving to parry Stephen Quinn’s curling effort and a tired-looking Leeds side struggled to create any chance of note in reply. “It’s been a huge month for us.

Profits tumble at Leeds United

Yorkshire Evening Post 28/12/12 By Phil Hay Leeds United have underlined the importance of GFH Capital’s recent takeover by publishing new figures which reveal a major financial downturn at Elland Road. The club’s results for the 12 months leading up to June 30, 2012 show marked decreases in turnover and gate receipts and an operating loss of more than £3.3million. United posted an overall profit of £317,000, helped by the sale of ex-player of the year Max Gradel and former club captain Jonathan Howson, but the figure decreased dramatically from £3.5million during the previous 12 months. Gate receipts were down 10 per cent and turnover fell by almost five per cent to just over £31million. United’s parent company, Leeds City Holdings Limited, saw more severe decreases with its operating loss standing at £4.193m and its overall loss recorded as £536,000. Along with the club, Leeds City Holdings Limited owns Yorkshire Radio – United’s official radio station – Leeds United Media Limi

January signing number one 27/12/12 Ryan to join on permanent basis... Ryan Hall will become the club's first signing of the January transfer window when he makes his move from Southend United permanent next week. The 24-year-old initially joined on loan earlier in the season, but he will complete the formalities of a two-and-a-half-year deal when he makes the switch full-time. Ryan has made five senior appearances so far, two starts and three substitute appearances, and he has scored five goals in two Development Squad matches, including a four-goal haul against Derby County in November. "When we brought Ryan in I said I believe he is a player with potential for a big future," said the boss. "He had only played once this season and his match fitness, and bringing him up to speed was the biggest priority. "I'm sure during the length of his contract Ryan will have the opportunity to establish himself at this high level, and you can see that from his contribution at

Report on Financial Statements 27/12/12 Leeds United Football Club Limited ('Leeds United') is the primary wholly owned subsidiary of Leeds City Holdings Limited ('Holdings'). The financial year end for both companies is 30th June 2012. Leeds United Football Club Limited Headlines Turnover: 2012 - £31,080,000 : 2011 - £32,678,000 Operating Profit: 2012 - (£3,348,000): 2011 - £939,000 Overall Profit: 2012 - £317,000 : 2011 - £3,504,000 Turnover decreased by 4.9% in the period. Gate receipts decreased by 10.6% in the period to £11,368,000 which represents 36.6% of turnover. First Team Squad and Management costs were £12,869,000 compared to £11,614,000 in the previous period in the Championship and represents 41.4% of turnover. Leeds United employed an average of 213 full time employees during the period compared to 207 in the previous period. In addition, 667 casual part time people were employed. Leeds City Holdings Limited (C

Ownership Statement 28/12/12 Leeds United Football Club Limited ('LUFC') the company that holds the share in the Football League, is a member of the West Riding County Football Association and an Associate Member of the Football Association. LUFC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Leeds City Holdings Limited ('LCH'). LCH is wholly owned by LUFC Holding Limited ('LUH') a company based in Grand Cayman. LUH is a wholly owned subsidiary of GFH Capital ('GFHC') a company based in Dubai. GFHC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Gulf Finance House, BSC which is based in Bahrain. No shareholder in Gulf Finance House, BSC holds over 10% of its shares. December 24 2012

Nottingham Forest 4 Leeds United 2: Sharp unpicks Leeds lock to open floodgates for Forest

Yorkshire Post 26/12/12 Leeds United manager Neil Warnock concedes his team were outplayed by Billy Sharp after his double helped set up a 4-2 victory for Nottingham Forest at the City Ground. The on-loan striker from Southampton took his tally to eight goals in 18 games and was also at the heart of the flashpoint incident that Warnock felt swung the game in Forest’s favour. Leeds were ahead through an 11th-minute goal from Paul Green but Sharp went down under a challenge from Tom Lees to give himself the chance to equalise from the spot before the end of the first half. Sharp then fired his second of the game soon after the restart and a three-goal blitz in nine minutes – Rodolph Austin scored a clumsy own goal and Dexter Blackstock headed home the fourth – stunned the visitors, who had a late consolation from Davide Somma. However, Warnock believes the penalty marked the start of his side’s downfall. “I just hope Tom learns from the incident – it is a harsh lesson for him but on

Nottingham Forest 4 Leeds United 2

Yorkshire Evening Post 26/12/12 Billy Sharp struck twice as Nottingham Forest turned on the style either side of half-time to send Leeds United spiralling to defeat at the City Ground. Forest, who had slipped to 11th place after taking only four points from their previous five matches, were the latest side to make a mockery of the form book in the npower Championship after Sharp converted a late first-half penalty to cancel out Paul Green’s early opener for Leeds. Sharp fired his second of the game soon after the restart and a three-goal blitz in nine minutes - Rodolph Austin scored a clumsy own goal and Dexter Blackstock headed home the fourth - stunned the visitors, who had celebrated the completion of last week’s takeover by Dubai investment bank GFH Capital with victory over Middlesbrough on Saturday - Leeds’ fifth win in their last six league games. Defender Greg Halford, midfield pair Radoslaw Majewski and Adlene Guedioura, plus striker Blackstock returned for Forest, while

Hands off our Beccs!

Yorkshire Evening Post 24/12/12 By Phil Hay Neil Warnock warned rival clubs that Luciano Becchio would be off-limits in the January transfer window after the striker’s 17th goal of the season intensified Leeds United’s pre-Christmas surge. Becchio struck twice at Elland Road to seal a 2-1 win over Middlesbrough on Saturday and a delighted Warnock rejected suggestions that the Argentinian’s prolific strike rate might provoke a battle for his signature next month. The United manager said he had received assurances from the club’s new owner, GFH Capital, that he was under no pressure to sell players, and he indicated that Becchio, who has 18 months remaining on his contract, would be retained next month regardless of any offers for him. Becchio’s form has established him as the Championship’s third highest scorer, behind Burnley’s Charlie Austin and Crystal Palace’s Glenn Murray, and his second-half header handed an improving Leeds side their fifth win in six league games on Saturday

Becchio blast defeats Boro

Yorkshire Evening Post 24/12/12 By Phil Hay Apocryphal or not, it became one of John Lennon’s most famous quotes. Was Ringo Starr the best drummer in the world? “He’s not even the best drummer in The Beatles.” There is something of Starr about Luciano Becchio. In a debate about the best forward in the Championship, some would argue that there are better forwards at Leeds United. But Championship football is all Leeds could aspire to next season were it not for Becchio’s enduring class. Whatever his faults – and even his manager sees a few – the Argentinian has strayed into indispensable territory. Neil Warnock can take or leave many of his performances but United’s boss accepts that the game would be up without his 17 goals. It might yet be up if Leeds rely on Becchio in the second half of this season as heavily as they have in the first. Warnock made that point to United’s new owner when he met with representatives of GFH Capital after the completion of their takeover on Friday.

Takeover press conference transcript - 21 December

Shaun Harvey: First of all, welcome to Elland Road. I don’t think it needs and major introduction as to the reason why you’re here today, but it gives me particular pleasure to welcome on my left Salem Patel and on my right David Haigh, who are both representatives of GFH Capital, the new owners of Leeds United Football Club. It would be appropriate for me to add at this stage the apologies of Hisham Alrayes, who has also joined the board of Leeds United but is currently on other business in the Middle East and unable to join us today, but he will be seen at Elland Road in the not too distant future. On behalf of everybody on the top table, I would like to offer our thanks to the professional teams that have worked behind the scenes in making this transaction possible. This required a lot of effort on behalf of a lot of different people and for that we are grateful. And finally, ladies and gentlemen of the media, if when you’re asking questions you could announce your name and the

Warnock - I don't want to spend stupid money

Leeds United boss Neil Warnock says he will not want to spend stupid money when the transfer window opens in just over a week`s time. Leeds finally announced new owners on Friday, with Dubai based investment bank, GFH Capital taking over the reins at Elland Road. Warnock has been promised support in the January transfer window by the new owners but the Leeds boss feels it is a matter of getting in the right players at the right price, rather than spending what he calls 'stupid money`. Speaking on Yorkshire Radio, Warnock said, "I think they know I don`t want stupid money. I won`t be spending stupid money for the sake of it. "It is a matter of trying to get the right two or three players in, wheeling and dealing, because that is what I have done all my career and nothing will change. I am never going to spend five million on a player; we need to walk before we can run. "I just need the support for the type of players I am trying to get in, that is what is importa

Leeds United 2 Middlesbrough 1: Becchio wins Warnock praise

Yorkshire Evening Post 22/12/12 Leeds manager Neil Warnock hailed Luciano Becchio’s finishing as the Argentinian’s double earned his side a 2-1 win over Middlesbrough. Becchio hoisted his tally for the season to 17 and his recent scoring spree to seven in seven league and cup games - but an additional striker is still on Warnock’s wish-list. Warnock said: “Luciano’s first goal was unbelievable. It was not even a half chance but a top-quality finish. “It was the first time he had ever been on the winning side in a five-a-side game in training on Friday. He looked so lively that I said ‘is there any chance you’ll be like that tomorrow’ - and he was! “I still feel we need another striker because Luciano can’t play week in, week out, with so many games coming up and we need someone in case he gets injured. That has to be my priority. “It was a super day for our new owners at the end of a really positive week. I have to be delighted, especially coming from behind to beat a very good

Leeds United 2 Middlesbrough 1: Becchio double earns Whites victory

Yorkshire Post 22/12/12 LUCIANO BECCHIO ensured Leeds United’s new owners enjoyed the dream start to their tenure with a thrilling victory over Middlesbrough. The Argentinian took his tally to 17 goals for the season with a strike either side of half-time to keep on track United’s hopes of gatecrashing the promotion race in the second half of the season. Defeat was harsh on Boro, who played some neat football and also created a host of chances in front of a 25,406 crowd that included 3,000 in the away seats. However, that failure to punish Leeds when on top came back to haunt the Teessiders to ensure GFH Capital’s takeover on Thursday was followed by the West Yorkshire outfit claiming a fifth win in six league games. Becchio had cancelled out Lucas Jutkiewicz’s opener with a stunning turn and shot on the stroke of half-time. The Argentinian had hardly been in the game up to that point but he then underlined his importance to Leeds’ promotion prospects by netting the winner, alb

Exclusive – David Haigh & Salem Patel Interview

Right in the Gary Kellys 22/12/12 Now we all know as proud Leodensians that yesterday was `Mad Friday’ when common sense is put aside, in favour of Viking style lager consumption, and indeed Viking style pillage. A night when traffic cones, kebab shop owners, and taxi drivers alike quake in fear and dread. At RITGK our Friday night was little mad for different reasons, as our site editor received a tweet inviting us to meet up with David Haigh & Salem Patel at a smart Leeds City Centre Hotel the following morning, Did that just happen – erm yes it did. An earlier than anticipated train ride from Birmingham & Wakefield for Matt BB & Matt M, saw us land in rain soaked Leeds not knowing quite what to expect. We randomly bumped into David first in the reception, and once we’d ensured the scene was clear of prying eyes and ears we spoke, more openly possibly that we might have imagined after 7 years of a `nearly’ closed media shop at Leeds – why? Well as per Salem Patel “No

It’s a fresh approach from new owners

Yorkshire Evening Post 22/12/12 New directors Salem Patel and David Haigh joined Shaun Harvey to face questions at Elland Road. Why did GFH Capital decide to invest in Leeds United? Salem Patel (United director and GFH Capital director): “We had a brainstorming session in May. We have a new acting CEO and we were looking for new ideas. Being from England and being passionate about football, I said we should look at English football. It was before the new (Premier League) broadcasting deal had been announced. We were looking for different types of investments. Everyone is investing in health care and defence sectors. I thought ‘let’s push the boat out a bit.’ “We are really pioneers of investment in the Middle East and we thought football would be a very good sector to go into. We looked at several clubs and it was coincidental that we happened upon Leeds. But when we got the investment memo from the broker saying ‘this is for sale’, I was in London at the time and met the broker.

New director Patel keen to keep hold of ‘key’ loan duo

Yorkshire Evening Post 22/12/12 New Leeds United director Salem Patel has backed Neil Warnock’s decision to pursue the January signings of Jerome Thomas and Alan Tate, describing the pair as “key players”. Patel, who along with David Haigh met with Warnock at Thorp Arch following the announcement of GFH Capital’s takeover yesterday, gave a clear indication of Leeds’ desire to keep Thomas and Tate as talks with the players’ parent clubs intensified. United are understood to be willing to pay £250,000 to turn Tate’s loan from Swansea City into a permanent agreement next month and GFH Capital will support Warnock’s attempt to secure Thomas until the end of the season having witnessed the winger’s impact during his short spell with Leeds. Thomas is due to return to West Bromwich Albion after United’s New Year’s Day game against Bolton Wanderers and Tate’s final appearance is also scheduled for January 1. On-loan Stoke City midfielder Michael Tonge, meanwhile, was due to play for the l

Bates’ absence sums up new dawn at Elland Road

Yorkshire Evening Post 22/12/12 By Phil Hay The last time Leeds United held a major press conference in Elland Road’s Bremner Suite, the club unveiled Dennis Wise as their new manager. Ken Bates addressed the floor that day surrounded by friends and allies – Wise, Gus Poyet and Gwyn Williams. “Chelsea Re-United” as one journalist joked. “They say ‘keep your friends close and your enemies closer’.” Bates teased. “I’ve got them on the top table.” He was missing from the top table when the media gathered beneath the West Stand on Friday. As the seller in the deal which handed ownership of Leeds to GFH Capital on Thursday night, he kept his distance while club chief executive Shaun Harvey sat down alongside new directors David Haigh and Salem Patel, the buyers’ representatives. When the 81-year-old’s name came up, Haigh was complimentary but insistent. “The buck stops here,” he said. Not in Monaco and not with Bates. Not any more.” Willing though GFH Capital were to retain him as ch