Showing posts from 2023

Leeds United owner's agreement to take control of European side confirmed with 'guarantees' - YEP 27/5/23

A preliminary agreement for Leeds United chairman Andrea Radrizzani’s Aser Holding and Gestio Capital to take over Sampdoria has been confirmed by the Italian side. By Lee Sobot Aser Holding and Gestio Capital will take control of the club pending a debt restructuring agreement and agreements with creditors. A statement released by Sampdoria read: “The Board of Directors of the U.C. Sampdoria S.p.A. announces that during the night a preliminary agreement was signed for the finalization of a capital increase in the company by Gestio Capital and Aser Holding. "The proposal presented by Gestio Capital and Aser Holding proved to be more in line with the interest of the company’s creditors and the recovery plan prepared by the club and, at the same time, adequate guarantees were given for the future of Sampdoria. “The completion of this transaction is conditional on the completion of the preliminary activities to the presentation of the application for the Debt Restructuring Ag

PSG owner could reportedly revive Leeds United investment interest alongside Radrizzani takeover - YEP 25/5/23

French daily newspaper L’Equipe report Leeds United chairman Andrea Radrizzani is in ‘advanced talks’ with Paris Saint-Germain’s Qatari owners (QSI) regarding a stake in relegated Serie A club Sampdoria. By Joe Donnohue Leeds’ chairman and majority shareholder Radrizzani is close to a buyout of the historic Italian club who were relegated to the second tier earlier this season, according to reports on the continent. Now, L’Equipe claim Qatar Sports Investments are involved in ‘advanced talks’ to acquire a minority stake in the soon-to-be Serie B club, with Radrizzani taking majority control in a scenario similar to the deal struck by the Leeds chief and 49ers Enterprises. The report also states QSI could even be willing to invest in Leeds in due course, which adds another dimension to the uncertainty surrounding the club’s immediate future. The 49ers are understood to have an agreement with Radrizzani to complete a full buyout of Leeds United before January 2024, with this summ

Sam Allardyce hopes for celebration ‘hangover’ and says he could stay on at Leeds - The Athletic 26/5/23

By Luke Bosher Leeds United interim manager Sam Allardyce has not ruled out remaining at Elland Road beyond the end of this season and says he hopes to wake up with a “hangover” on Monday. Allardyce’s side host Tottenham Hotspur in their final Premier League match of the season on Sunday, needing to win and for Everton to drop points to have a chance at avoiding relegation. Allardyce was appointed to replace Javi Gracia earlier this month but has won only one point from his three matches in charge so far. Asked about his future on Friday ahead of the visit of Spurs, Allarydce said: “That’s to be decided after the end. “It’s always been a case of we will discuss whatever we needed to discuss at the end of the season based on where we are, based on what I think the club needs to go forward, based on what the club thinks. “If that’s aligned with each other, we’ll wait and see. That discussion happens over a period of time. I just hope we’re talking in a very positive nature on

Leeds’ player of the season: Rodrigo – 13 goals and he’s looked up for a scrap - The Athletic 26/5/23

Phil Hay What better way to sum up last season than to say that, at the end of it, Leeds United shelved their player-of-the-year awards completely. No-time-for-distractions was the official explanation, but as an irate crowd became more volatile and relegation loomed, it was convenient not to poke the bear further by handing out superficial prizes. It remains to be seen whether the appetite is there for a return to the routine of end-of-term accolades this year, given 2022-23 has been 2021-22 revisited and the issue with fraught campaigns is that, by definition, stand-out performers tend to be limited. There are times when, in spite of the general malaise, Ross McCormack scores 29 goals and stays clear of incoming fire. But there are others where player of the year goes to an Eddie Lewis, simply because he’s the last man people want to run out of town. Slim pickings, then, and in the discussion about who deserves the trophy as Leeds face up to going down, very few hills to die

Big questions for Big Sam as he plots Leeds miracle: Risk Rodrigo? System change? - The Athletic 25/5/23

By Phil Hay The priority for Leeds United’s medical team this week was to find a way to patch up Rodrigo and there is something fitting about the club blundering towards relegation with half of their squad either absent or thereabouts. Sunday’s game against Tottenham would be ominous enough with a full complement of fit players — roll a six and trust in the possibility that everybody else rolls a one — but Leeds in the mud with injuries all over the place is the epitome of their regression, the Charge of the Light Brigade in sporting form. Patrick Bamford is almost certainly out. They will try to hold Rodrigo together with string. No Tyler Adams and no Luis Sinisterra. Just another day at Elland Road. The penny, you suspect, dropped quickly with Sam Allardyce about the resources on offer to him and how they married up with the push for survival in the Premier League but last Sunday, after a 3-1 defeat at West Ham United, the reality of the tools at his disposal truly dawned. Bamf

Brutal Leeds United decisions on hold as Andrea Radrizzani wields power to improve 2023/24 Whites chances - YEP 23/5/23

A three per cent chance is still a chance but most would look at Leeds United's predicament and consider it to be all over bar the screaming and shouting. By Graham Smyth This is not flagrant negativity or the local media's public vote of no confidence in its team, yet when you're required to have faith not only for one result but two others as well, it speaks volumes about the situation the Whites are in. There will be no going quietly, of course, for BT Sport have decided that, should it come to that, the relegation will be televised. All that can be asked, really, is that Leeds United at least go out with a bang, if they are to go. The plea to the players can only be to go out on their shields, fighting to the last. If, and it's the biggest if of all, the events in three fixtures conspire to keep Leeds in the Premier League then we can call them Big Sam and his three percenters. The summer, though still bringing big change, won't be quite as manic. If n

What Leeds’ relegation would mean: Takeover, head coach, stadium and more - The Athletic 23/5/23

By Phil Hay The sobering reality for Leeds United is that relegation next Sunday, if indeed there is no way out, would barely be even the start of it. The club are all but sunk with one game left, reliant on the biggest stroke of luck they could ask for, and Elland Road can see a monumental summer looming. The close-season promises to be manic if Leeds survive and more frantic again should they return to the Championship, heralding changes which have to amount to an almost total reset. They got away with it last season, rescuing themselves on the final day against Brentford, but the drop feels more inevitable this time and nothing in their sorry surrender away to West Ham United on Sunday suggested they are about to dodge disaster for a second year running. What next, then, for the club who stormed the Championship in 2019-20? Their head coach, Sam Allardyce, has a short-term contract that covers one more match. They have been without a director of football since Victor Orta pa

Leeds United youngster suffers, ex-decision maker back in spotlight and off-camera West Ham moments - YEP 22/5/23

Forget the bow bells, the relegation bell was tolling for Leeds United in the east of the capital on Sunday and unless the final weekend of the season brings forth some miracle, there will be no league visit to London Stadium next season. By Graham Smyth The Whites' performance was decidedly sub-par and hope of a great escape dwindled further, particularly after Everton's late, late comeback to take a point against Wolves. Leeds now need to beat Tottenham Hotspur at Elland Road on the final day and hope that Bournemouth can thwart Everton. It was once in Leeds’ own hands but now it is not. Here's the YEP take on another painful day for Leeds in London. Good day Joel Robles Had it not been for the stopper, things would have been even worse. He made some good saves and continued to show that his introduction to the side, in place of Illan Meslier, was the right call. Rodrigo A 13th Premier League goal of the season, a league tally he has only bettered once in

West Ham United 3-1 Leeds United: Almost time - Square Ball 22/5/23

GET THIS OVER Written by: Moxcowhite • Daniel Chapman Time was always against Sam Allardyce at Leeds United, but this weekend the problem was too much of it. He was given four games to try to keep the club in the Premier League. By the end of his third, he looked as sick as those of us who have been watching this all season. A match that started well went on too long, like the season, like the club post-promotion. Allardyce will talk the talk about playing Tottenham next weekend, and who knows, who knows. But even if a miracle keeps Leeds up, Sam and all the fans will be glad when this is over. West Ham’s players brought their children with them onto the pitch. After their families were subjected to a lot of hoodied posturing at the end of their successful Conference League semi-final in the Netherlands, the Hammers were making up for it with bring the kids to work day. Declan Rice was possibly, probably playing his last home game and the Premier League was straining to make some

This is what Leeds United have become - Graham Smyth's West Ham Verdict as habits get ticked off - YEP 22/5/23

By Graham Smyth Can there be any surprise that Leeds failed to hold a lead, failed to control a game, failed to take chances and failed to win at West Ham? This is what they do. This is who they have become. Forever blowing leads, a grand total of 25 points have been given up from winning positions this season. It's not the hope that kills you, it's lacking the quality and tactical nous to kill a game. And a 3-1 defeat at the London Stadium, against a team with nothing at all to play for and a European final to think about, Leeds did nothing whatsoever to suggest they can suddenly change their ways at the last minute. Yes, they took the lead on 17 minutes as Rodrigo - who else? - swept home a Weston McKennie long throw on the volley. But everything that followed was classic, unadulterated 2022/23 Leeds. Getting into excellent positions only to butcher the opportunity with a complete lack of composure? Check. Giving the ball away and with it control of the play? Check.

Leeds United's body language in 3-0 defeat at West Ham United tells a different story to the Premier League table - Yorkshire Post 22/5/23

For any photographer playing relegation bingo, it was all there. By Stuart Rayner Luke Ayling crying into his hands? Snap. Joel Robles sat disconsolate in his goal? Flash. Rodrigo burying his head in his shirt? Click. Sam Allardyce ripping his tie off as he stomped down the tunnel? Say cheesed off. If you were not fully up to speed on your permutations and "as it stands" table, you would think you were watching Leeds United being relegated from the Premier League. They go into the season’s final game in with a chance but relying on favours. A win at West Ham United would have spared them that. Last year Newcastle United, surging towards the finish line, helped them out, this time they need Bournemouth, whose brilliant season stopped as soon as they hit the safety mark against Leeds, to hold Everton up. Leicester City taking points at Newcastle on Monday would further complicate matters. But the Leeds players did not look as if they believed they can do the n

Leeds United: Uncertainty is the only certainty for a club in limbo - The Athletic 22/5/23

By Phil Hay Up in the heights of the London Stadium sat a group of Leeds United supporters in Sam Allardyce masks, fancy dress on the go on a day which needed some levity. As paper-thin as his opportunity to manage the club looked — four games and do what you can — it still had the potential to earn him a little cult following in their patch of Yorkshire. Down on the touchline at West Ham, halfway through the first half, Allardyce stumbled across a stray £5 note by his technical area but if he thought the find meant his luck was in, it could end up being all the extra he earns in pursuit of survival. A bonus was riding on the avoidance of relegation but nobody would stake that fiver on him or Leeds dabbling in miracles. Cult potential has evaporated. Leeds are on the brink. Not even he could pretend that survival next weekend would represent a triumph of coaching. It was never meant to be, Big Sam in charge of a team whose football once made Leeds a city of culture, but there c

Sam Allardyce rues Leeds’ ‘squad quality’ and admits club needs survival ‘miracle’ - The Athletic 21/5/23

By Omar Garrick Sam Allardyce says Leeds United “have a long way to go” in terms of squad quality and has conceded it would be a “miracle” if they stayed in the Premier League this season. Leeds suffered a 3-1 defeat to West Ham United at the London Stadium on Sunday, leaving them on the brink of relegation with one match left to play. The West Yorkshire side — 18th in the table — need to win their final league game against Tottenham Hotspur and hope Everton fail to pick up points against Bournemouth to have any hope of remaining in the top flight. Allardyce said to Sky Sports: “Obviously, very disappointing. There were lots of things that suggested we had opportunities to get three points in the first half but unfortunately failings in the final third let us down. “The second half was a bit of a battle, a bit of a struggle and then whatever we tried in terms of changes didn’t improve the situation for us. “We have to look at ourselves and say if we do win next week and mir

West Ham United 3 Leeds United 1: Whites too timid to grab their own destiny in Premier League relegation battle - Yorkshire Post 21/5/23

Leeds United's fate was in their own hands at east London but when the chance came to grab it, they were just too timid to do so. By Stuart Rayner Their 3-1 defeat at West Ham United means that for the second year running, Leeds will be relying on favours to keep them in the Premier League. Last year it was a Newcastle United team enjoying a very strong sprint to the finish who helped bail them out, this time they need a Bournemouth side whose brilliant season stopped as soon as they hit the safety mark against Leeds a few weeks ago to hold Everton up. And then they need to help themselves. Helping themselves was something that proved beyond them at West Ham United. Early on when the sun was shining on the Olympic Park, a Sam Allardyce escape act was looking well and truly on. When the full-time whistle blew it still was, but Leeds had made their job harder than it ought to be. They trail Everton by two points and three goals' difference going into their final g

West Ham United 3 Leeds United 1: Flat Whites blow chance as awful defeat leaves club on brink - YEP 21/5/23

Leeds United’s place in the Premier League is now dangling by a thread following a hugely disappointing performance in Sunday’s clash at West Ham which ended in a 3-1 defeat. By Lee Sobot Leeds squandered a fine chance in just the fourth minute through Rodrigo who failed to control a pinpoint cross from Patrick Bamford who had been played in down the left by Robin Koch. Bamford's cross found Rodrigo in the middle of the box but a heavy touch saw the ball bobble back to Lukasz Fabianski who then safely held a first time volley from Jack Harrison three minutes later after a Luke Ayling cross. Leeds, though, had looked far more likely to strike first and went ahead in the 18th minute through a terrific finish from top scorer Rodrigo who connected first time to a Weston McKennie long throw with a volley that was rifled past Fabianski from the middle of the box. West Ham looked off colour following Thursday night's exertions in Europe but Irons captain Declan Rice looked to