Ghost of Transfer Windows Past Haunting Worried Leeds Support – by Rob Atkinson


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Ashley Barnes – blocked by GFH and gone to Turf Moor

If there’s ever a time that no self-respecting Leeds fan is going to come over all misty-eyed and nostalgic for, it’s any one of the last few January transfer windows.  These post-Christmas peaks of excitement have been anything but for United fans in the past few years – and there are now just the vaguest stirrings of discomfort arising out of the growing suspicion that this one may, ultimately, be no different.  In recent times, the diet for the long-suffering Leeds United support has been pretty lacking in variety come window time.  Large helpings of reassurances, seasoned with well-worn platitudes and promises that melt in your mouth but do little to satisfy that incessant, gnawing hunger for squad reinforcement.

So far this January, we have been told that the takeover (still awaiting its “imminent” Football League ratification) will have no effect on the availability of funds for manager Brian McDermott to go out and get what we need.  There have been two morsels landed, both traditional Leeds loanees, but with the possibility of permanence come the summer – depending on what league we’re in.  We’ve also been told that Brian wants to get the deals done early, rather than waiting for that climactic final day, when Sky get all excited, fans of other clubs gather outside their stadia to heckle harassed TV reporters – and Leeds fans pretend not to care and that they have other stuff to do.  The thing is, most of January has already slid by – with just those two wingers, the ones who looked so lost and lonely at Sheffield Wednesday, signed-up so far.

Still, the reassurances come.  There are just i’s to be dotted, t’s to be crossed, before TOMA becomes a renewed reality.  Work has been going on backstage and we are to hope the fruits of that will be seen “in the coming days”.  But the main headline is of GFH blocking a move for a striker that BMcD wanted to bring on board, even though the measly half-mill required was apparently washing around in the club’s coffers.  That’s certainly caused some consternation out here in fan-land, and it’s not difficult to see why.  Have GFH blocked this one because we’re back in dare-to-dream territory, and aiming higher than the likes of the admirable Ashley Barnes?  Or is it for some less palatable reason?  Either way, the lad’s gone to Burnley and our Brian was presumably left less than chuffed.

We really have to hope that this isn’t going to be yet another transfer window where much is promised and yet very little is delivered.  The icy fingers of doubt are beginning to make themselves felt, though, insistently tapping us all on the shoulder while a cold voice whispers in our ear “Haven’t you heard all this stuff before?”

The next couple of weeks might not be make or break for United’s promotion prospects – it may well be that those are doomed to dwindle for yet another season, and we’ll be invited to look ahead with optimism to 2015.  Or 2016, or … well, you get the picture.  But those same couple of weeks could be very significant indeed as far as the grossly over-stretched trust and confidence of the United fans are concerned.  If nothing significant happens – yet again – after all those promises, hints and reassurances – yet again – then surely questions will be asked, not least the pertinent enquiry: “Are you lot taking the mick?”  Because we’re fast approaching that time of the window when we start expecting to be told what a wonderful thing the emergency loan window is, or the summer transfer window, where plans are “already well advanced”.

Quite frankly, we have heard it all before.  Please get real, United.  Please don’t toy with our hopes and fears.  This sort of thing really has happened far too often already – and it’s becoming rather boring.

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31 responses to “Ghost of Transfer Windows Past Haunting Worried Leeds Support – by Rob Atkinson

  1. My sentiments exactly rob , I’m bored with the small talk and false dawns , if this lot are serious players in this game then, to quote them , get back to basics, and to me getting back to basics is going out and finding a bobby Collins , billy bremmner or Gordon strachan , a midfield man with fight and desire to make this club great again , a man who leads from the front

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  2. Rob do you think Shaun Harvey has anything to do with this hold up

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    • I wouldn’t find it a massive shock!

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      • It’ll be, in part at least, those cnuts at the League. The fans of the other clubs in this division hate us, of course, so they want us to stay down here in the sh*tehole with them. But even more than that, their owners want us to stay here because of the cash we Leeds fans spend at the likes of the Wendy House and the Riverdance stadium.

        Haigh is still scum though. Big-mouthed Rsole should find the cash himself. Surely he and his playmates intended to pay the cost of the Barnes transfer & wages anyway, or at least to pay those to GFH as part of the takeover price? He wouldn’t be trying to pull a fast one would he, fine upstanding gentleman that he is?

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  3. Being fed half truths again….. A degree of sympathy has to be given to BMC for again operating in difficult circumstances. However Rob as I posted on YEP, the article by Adam Lefondre criticizing BMs Reading reign is very disturbing. The problems with holding possession mirror our teams this season. We should be developing a style of play and a type of player that can keep the ball in case we are promoted. It also feels like we are running out of time to get this sorted (what with lost generations of fans) and I feel scared and frustrated. We cant afford to waste another 3 years with the wrong manager and owners with little ambition. What Carry on as we are and then realise we got it wrong in 2 years time ????? This is the deep lying source of leeds fans frustration….. the clock is ticking !

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    • I think BM does want to do those things. He did mention, when he came to us, that he hadn’t had the cash to get the players he wanted to Reading. Looks like history might repeat itself. Then again he hasn’t bought any duds yet except that nomark ‘I score less goals than Varney but that doesn’t matter because everyone likes me’ Hunt. If he doesn’t play well once he’s fit I’ll start booing him. I’ve only once booed a Leeds player (Wayne Entwistle; done a few managers though), though I did once attempt to murder Peter Barnes (worse Leeds player of all time) but was held back.

      If Leeds do nothing in this window I’m going to boo every player I don’t like. It’s high time our owners realised that they have to earn our respect by allowing the manager to replace the rubbish he inherited.

      Having said that, I agree Chareose, BM’s clock is ticking. Making Ross captain (couldn’t he at least have been Acting Capt.?) is the stupidest thing he’s done. We’ve seen what happens when Ross tries to take responsibility for the oafs he’s surrounded with – he drops deeper and deeper.

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      • Ross is the only choice as captain.
        He dos not hide, and really leads by example.
        Apart from the young lads, there is only Paddy who can be sure of being picked for thee team.
        The clowns in defence could never be a captain.
        Midfield – again nobody but Mowett would be playing if we had a better squad.
        Brown has experience but rarely plays.
        Murphy is too timid, and indecisive.
        Ross loves Leeds and hates to lose.
        If he has to come deep it is because he is trying to find the ball!
        Maybe while he is there he can kick the midfielders and defenders up the Khyber.
        Somebody has to.

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  4. Twas ever thus Rob!
    Homer nods!
    Bates used to say “there is money available for the manager. We won’t say how much, as it will alert other clubs”.
    You have GOT TO LAUGH.
    There is nothing else to be done.
    We have had one loanee, with a view to purchase at the end of the season.
    Another who we will only buy if we get promoted!!
    LAUGH OUT LOUD!
    So money is there, somewhere.
    Brian only has to find it!
    The one good thing about our dreadful form is that IF there is money, it will be spent.

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    • You do have to keep the amount you have quiet, otherwise prices go up. Without parachute money or a so-called super-rich benefactor (the ‘investments’ are usually loans) we don’t have it to burn, and even the bandied-about 8 million figure won’t go that far.

      The real question is: ‘Is Haigh like Bates?’ Just a few weeks until the end of the window, when we’ll find out.

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  5. sniffershorts

    Hi Rob, along with information from the club and in sufferable silence and dreading doom surrounding us and our club. We now get this news, I can understand why perhaps GFH had not released the funds due to the impending good news we are all awaiting, awaiting, awaiting. And that maybe Brian is already in discussion with the Consortium and looking to bringing in bigger fish. But as per usual as you say its all gone to pot again, and we are all biting our nails, and not telling all and sundry its gonna happen sometime soon is tumble weed time. It is now embarrassing to shout from the roof tops, especially when we have been so inconsistent on the field as well, that nagging score line from last week just wont leave my mind, and what would normally induce some excitement of having a day off on a Saturday, to watch them on the box …….. I am not convinced we are gonna turn up again and get turned over by the ruddy foxes. All this bullshit on formation cant be strictly believed,
    as we have not played well at all. I do feel the pressure on the players has a lot to do with the mind set, as by this time next season we will have got shod of a few stragglers, even green is hedging his future with his school of excellence …. as said before unless funds and the takeover happens by the weekend and if maybe, just before the game on Saturday may ultimately lift the spirits all round at LS11 we can really put to bed this term. 15 days for deadline is a long time, but as you the last knockings only to pick up dead wood is continually irritating. Even you who spurs us all on with passion have been very quiet, normally your input is daily ….. we are all bloody nervous and bloody sick to the back teeth of being a laughing stock …. really pathetic boring political business of lets hang on from GFH and cream the club as everyone else seems to do…. I despair, we despair , lets hope we get some news on Saturday or Friday night….. MOT god I feel sick!!!!!!!!

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  6. Rob- A brilliant article as always, always left feeling you must be able to read my exact thoughts, after reading each article, as you are spot on. Its always like a massive carrot being dangled in front of our noses, only to be pulled away at the last minute. Our owners, like Bates knew before, we will turn up no matter what, but don’t expect us to keep quiet if things are not right on the pitch and above.

    I would like to see Le Fondre and or Billy Sharpe, the lads from Leeds at Blackburn Tommy Spur and or Cairney, or Rowe from Peterborough. Really want to see Dawson get a start as i think he has a big future. Still gutted Dexter went back to Florist injured, as our run of bad luck etc coincided with him getting injured.

    Anyway Rob keep up the good work scholar

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  7. David Smith

    Let’s not be too dismissive about the abilities of Messrs Kebe & Stewart after one appalling game – as I recall, two decent wingers in the team were always meant to be the icing on the cake – sadly it’s the cake itself that appears to lack the required ingredients !

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  8. They cannot be serious or we would surely have signed Wells . I bet he couldn’t believe Leeds didn’t come in for him and the poor lads ended up at udders. And then there’s the Barnes rumours – same old , same old

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  9. If it’s true that palace are after smith then i’d snap their hands off. We could get silly money fr the lumbering fool as he’s just the type Pulis likes and it would pay for one or two decent players. It is also crucial that we release the gutless and spineless warnock signings who are quite content to see out their contracts and get paid for nothing . It’s no surprise we aren’t getting transparency from Haigh and co either. He’s just like any other smarmy tory,full of shit.

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  10. Speaking of repeats!

    Very discerning to say the least, this just after LUST’s exclusive they published yesterday.

    Does make you wonder how that meeting went.

    Gary Cooper; “Can I shake your hand David”
    David Haigh; “Of Course” (mutual sweat sharing commences).
    Gary Cooper; “Now then David, can you repeat to me what you have told every newspaper and blog site over the last two weeks”
    David Haigh “Sure” (usual diatribe follows).
    Gary Cooper “Do you mind if I publish our meeting details as an exclusive”
    David Haigh “Of course, goodbye”
    20 minutes later…
    LUST Exclusive… Gary shakes David’s hand.

    I mean that was the only bit nobody had already heard surely. Mind it can’t get worse than YEP publishing the same article over and over…

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  11. The fans have supported the club, ridden along on the crest of the GFH ‘the good times are back’ wave, with 30k plus crowds recently and the superstore tills have been ringing louder than Big Ben, and yet players like Cairney, Barnes (both 500k) & Wells (£1.3m) end up joining clubs that have limited expectations and half the following! Utterly gobsmacking, embarrassing and disappointing

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  12. The problems have been year in and year out since Leeds went bust! I am normally a peaceful man, but I wish that the mafia would get Risdale, Bates and Harvey and put them against a wall blindfolded, with David Haigh and Salah Nooruddin looking on, and fucking shoot them! Misery, upon misery has been heaped on Leeds fans over the years and people who cannot do the job should not take in on. Leeds United are too big for the likes of Risdale and Bates! Lets hope that David Haigh is listening because there are a lot of very angry supporters at the present!

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  13. Really fed up with this. No matter what’s happened here and why, Haigh shouldn’t have shot his mouth off. This is just like the last 2 windows – the manager starts getting players in and is then told to stop.

    We must ALL make sure that we communicate our displeasure to Haigh. He’s on his last chance before the HAIGH OUT starts as far as I’m concerned.

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  14. And might i suggest that the club improve their public relations with us supporters too. Before xmas i rang the Elland Rd switchboard to enquire on how to get a photo of Ross McCormack signed for my 7 yr old who idolises him. The woman was most unhelpful and spoke to me as if she couldn’t be bothered. I was told that the players “don’t do that anymore” as they wouldn’t have time to play football if they signed everything that was sent to them. One would think she was talking about Barcelona or real madrid,instead of a mid-table rest home for the league of(warnocks)friends. Anyway i sent a photo and sae to RM at Thorpe Arch over 6 weeks ago and haven’t heard a thing. Sort yourselves out LUFC and remember who pays your wages.

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    • Depressing to hear that sort of thing. A friend asked me recently to sound LUFC out about scattering of ashes at the ground. It took me weeks and several emails to get a response, finally, from one helpful guy who’d noticed my enquiries had been ignored. There’s too much of this from an organisation that can’t afford to lose any more of its core support, not to mention the up and coming generation, alienated by top-flight prices for substandard football, who would now rather stay home to watch Chelsea v City on the box.

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      • Yes, that’s really bad, especially as the players do sign things, pose for photos and so on, when they’re out and about. And I’m sure Ross would, his career aim is, basically, to be a hugely-popular Leeds player.

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  15. That transfer can’t have been blocked for bigger fish otherwise McD and Haigh would not have tried to do the deal. Is there some sort of power struggle going on or have GFH has a better offer.
    One thing is certain as pointed out to me today – only Leeds could have been bought by Middle Eastern guys with no money! Ken Bates last parting gift to us morons. As an aside it is worrying that Haigh states that they have invested 6mill into the club presumably to keep it afloat with cash?

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  16. Great post Rob, equally good comments from the usual suspects, McD talking to someone tomorrow, who’se it going to be? Collins, Bremner, Strachan, I’d settle for Vinnie but somehow I think it will be someone of lesser renown.
    Fingers crossed and always MOT.

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    • i’d settle for a vinnie too karl , or a batty , speed , etc etc etc , the list is long in that department , but bamc is supposed to be one of the best scouts in europe , that’s what his reputation is built on , time to give bmac the money to find us a general is what i say .. MOT

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  17. Spot on again Rob. I still find it hard to believe that the money men can’t see the potential in Leeds United. A little bit of form this season has seen crowds return to something like we are used to at Elland Road. Surely they can see the obvious link: entertaining football = bigger crowds = more revenue. However, the mood of the fans is such that our evr-extendable eternal optimism is been tested to the limit with promised take-overs and having to watch other clubs snap up any half decent player available. If Haigh et al continue to sit on their hands whilst the team continue to offer up some of the dross we have had to endure over the past month, then some of our less committed fans might start to slink off in to the woodwork again. Crap football = diminishing crowds = less revenue: simples!!
    I still haven’t gotten the nightmare of Saturday out of my head yet and have had to work hard to suppress the growing anger this week at what is starting to feel like more spin and more BS as another transfer window comes and goes along with our chances of reaching the play-offs (again).

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