I am starting to believe that the madness attached to Leeds United is somehow linked to my holidays.It seems when we slap on the factor ten another manager is sacked. We were in Spain when David O’Leary was fired.Wales – Kevin Blackwell. Tenerife – Simon Grayson. Lake District – Dave Hockaday and this week Cyprus. You get the picture. Beware Steve Evans – planning Florida in February! Mind you, there have been so many it probably also coincides with me having eggs for breakfast or wearing my lucky grey tee shirt.
By far the best gag of the week went to Paddy Power for revealing that research suggests that, by the end of 2017, nobody would be more than 6 feet from a former Leeds manager.
I have never trusted people who suddenly switch clubs. If, in the extremely unlikely event (OK – let’s face it – it will never happen), Ronaldo were to switch back to Old Trafford, the hundreds of white Real shirts seen routinely in the UK would suddenly turn red. For me, for whatever reason you choose a club, once done, that is it. No changing. Ever.
However, recently things have got so bad I am now wondering if divorce proceedings should be introduced, even on a trial basis. I am not talking easy, modern divorce but something more out of the Sixties where proof of wrong doing is a major requirement. This week may have been the final straw. The fact that the owner can sack yet another manager just a few months after deciding he was the best man for the job is laughable. For him to sack a manager and not be sure if he is allowed to do it is worse – and he has done it twice. Having had to reinstate Brian McDermott for having sacked him before he owned the club, there is now a question mark against whether or not he is allowed to be in a position to sack Uwe Rossler having been suspended again by the Football League for being a bit dodgy.
So, what are the grounds for the case against Leeds United Football Club?
Certainly, any club that builds a massive stand and installs seats so close together that anybody over five feet tall is knee-capped for 90 minutes has to be unreasonable. Visiting Manchester City’s ground for the Magic Weekend for a couple of seasons made me appreciate just how comfortable a modern ground can be.
You may think that 20 years of stunning mediocrity, punctuated by periods of sheer Keystone style ineptitude would be unreasonable but I don’t think so. Part of supporting a club is the up and down nature. The years of second division tedium in the eighties meant that the Tuesday night return to Division 1 against Man Utd in 1990 was all the sweeter.
Although the club has been rogered senseless by successive owners over the years, maybe I am not entirely blameless in that respect. My real passion these days is rugby league and season ticket loyalty has long since passed to Bradford Bulls (now that is a lesson in ups and downs in sport!).
Believe it or not, this used to be a valid cause for divorce and the club certainly hasn’t helped in this regard over the years. Anybody would turn to drink with this lot in charge.
This could be the clincher. Any club that still gets almost 30,000 people turning up week in – week out to watch minimally talented, passionless, over paid Bentley drivers has to have some thread of insanity running through it.
I certainly qualify on this measure. I have just realised that it has been more than 15 years since I set foot in Elland Road for a Leeds game (having gone under protest for rugby league test). Maybe this would be the easy way. After so long, maybe nobody would notice of I turned up at a new club? The nightmarish scenario would be to take my place at another ground only for the crowd to rise as one and chant “Leeds fan, Leeds fan, out – out -out” (or worse!).
No, it would have to be done officially and above board. Maybe FIFA or UEFA would see it as a nice little earner, charging an “administration” or “consultancy” fee to smooth the way. They must be short of a bob or two as they haven’t fined Jose Mourinho yet this week. Having said that, the suggestion that they may fine Man City for their fans’ booing the Champions League anthem is beyond belief. The words corrupt, tinpot and dictatorship all spring to mind.
So, assuming I was granted my divorce – where next. Geographically, I live almost exactly equidistant between Bradford City and Guiseley. My first taste of professional football was seeing Bradford City play Plymouth Argyle in around 1970. They have always been the second result I have looked for (OK third having looked hopefully to see if Man Utd lost). Maybe they should stay second choice. There is something appealing about a small cub like Guiseley. Then again, the divorce hasn’t become law yet, new manager, maybe new owner to come and Bolton away to his afternoon…by