West Ham “McCormack Bid” is the Acid Test for Leeds United – by Rob Atkinson


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Please….. no more bloody straws…

When a tantalising Sky Sports News tweet appeared today, promising a “major Leeds United transfer development” after 4pm, you somehow knew it wouldn’t be good news – despite David Haigh’s promise of just that for long-suffering Leeds fans sometime this week.  But good news and the January transfer window don’t really go together like fish and chips for Leeds United.  The January transfer window is more of a misery time for us, or at best one of bleak disappointment, leading to dull and resentful apathy.  That’s the way it has been and – despite the usual promises – it’s looked for some time now as though this one will be no different.

So when this Sky Sports story finally broke, telling the world that West Ham United have made a “surprise bid” for our Captain of one week, Ross McCormack, the natural reaction was to laugh bitterly – and the first thought that went through a cynical head was, “Yeah, that’d be about right – why not really rub it in?”  After all, this is the club that sold top-scorer Luciano Becchio just when we needed him most, this time last season.  This is the club that sold our brightest talent and the nearest we’ve had to a Leeds United icon lately, in Robert Snodgrass.  Those were to Norwich, of course, a small club who seemed to delight in being able to pick on a moribund giant.  West Ham could easily be placed into that category too.

A hybrid of two riddles here: what do West Ham and Leeds United have in common – but also what’s the difference between them?  Answer: both are joke clubs – but West Ham are a joke club with some money.  And money talks, as we can all deduce from the deafening silence (apart from those few isolated tweets of promise) emanating from our club this past few weeks – weeks that were supposed to be about making signings and ratifying a takeover, for those who believed all the blarney we were fed in December.

It’s hard to write that riddle thing, even to make a point.  But, with everything that’s gone on at Leeds United lately, it’s difficult to reach any other conclusion but that we are a joke club.  A sick joke, an unfunny joke.  A joke club run by joke people who believe they can get away with feeding the fans crap for breakfast, lunch and dinner – and then expect them to beg for more crap for supper.  And the sickest joke of all is that they probably can get away with it.  The only possible source of resistance is from the fans, and our fans are as divided as any, with some factions for GFH, some wanting the Sport Capital group, even a maverick few still harking back to Bates – and all of them willing indeed eager to have a barney with any of the rest, whilst pouring ridicule on the few real attempts out there at organising support.  Read any Leeds United internet forum, and you’ll see it’s true.  We might all be Leeds, but United we most definitely are not – and that’s tantamount to a licence for the suits in the boardroom to do as they think best – a scary thought for anyone who wants Leeds United once again to occupy a prominent place in English football.

There’s the story of the straw that broke the camel’s back (this is not a middle-eastern consortium reference).  The moral is, of course, that if you go on piling up the burden on the poor old camel, it will eventually collapse at the addition of even one more straw.  In the same way, the faith and patience of the fans – those of us who can smell the stench of what we’re being fed – is surely at breaking point.  What will it take for that faith to finally collapse?  And what happens then?

The only way to register a protest in today’s world is to try and hit people in the pocket, because of that aforementioned fact that money talks.  It’s not the club’s fault that West Ham have seen fit to bid for McCormack.  But it IS the club’s fault – presumably – that this is the only item of news we currently have to chew on, we who are so hungry, so starving for some positive tidings, a ray or two of hope that maybe we have a brighter future.  That positive news, despite many coy hints, smileys and tweets from the usual suspects, has failed to materialise.  Our expectations have been managed; two loans apart, the club has almost managed to negotiate yet another window with no investment anywhere near the scale of the serious players at the top of the league.  That’s taking the mick, and dress it up how you like, it’s not good enough for a club like Leeds United with fans like the fanatical yet deeply put-upon Leeds fans.

Leeds United Football Club need to consider very, very carefully now as to just how much more their loyal body of fans will put up with.  Nobody likes to be made a fool of, especially not in front of a gaping, jeering world of rival fans, workmates and just anybody who feels inclined to rub salt into wounds, ie almost everybody.  The time is approaching when the final straw will be added to that onerous burden, and then some sort of collapse of support is possible.  People will vote with their feet, people will find better things to do with the hard-earned money in their pockets.  Why shouldn’t they?  The club will always preach about loyalty and support – but that’s a two-way street and at the moment the traffic is strictly one-way.  So why should people continue to pay still-exorbitant prices to watch football at a club which seems to have forgotten entirely what it’s supposed to be about?

It may well be that joke club West Ham are kidding themselves if they think they can tempt McCormack to join a team that has just sustained a 0-9 defeat in a semi-final and who are very probably headed for relegation.  But if Leeds United have any say in the matter – and after all, they do – then they need to consider very carefully what’s best for the club and the fans before taking that usual step of buckling and grabbing the cash.  That camel’s legs are trembling, and who can tell how many more straws it will take to complete the job of flattening it along with all of our hopes, our faith, our belief?

This bid for Ross McCormack may well be the acid test.  Can Leeds United pass it?

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50 responses to “West Ham “McCormack Bid” is the Acid Test for Leeds United – by Rob Atkinson

  1. phil brown

    this would be the final straw….im sure master bates has stuck a turban on his head and got a job with GHF…why does this club seem to attract the biggest w….rs as owners…like you said how much longer can this lot carry on treating the supporters of this fantastic club like dik eds …oh for the days of manny c and the great Don….MOT

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  2. If Ross goes it will the end as far as I am concerned. Enough will definately be enough!

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  3. gloster white

    great image of that camels knees trembling, I think your right, fans have been pounded into a daze and could leave for good forgetting the way back to elland road, scarey!

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  4. Another good post Rob,surely any bid would have to be rejected out of hand because there’s nobody to replace him and what sort of money is on offer, more than Middlesbroughs pathetic offer? I do disagree slightly Rob, as we all would be united if only we were a “normal” club, most clubs fans would be disjointed if they were run like ours! If our illustrious leaders lead us in the right direction we would see more togetherness. Just wait for that HammersFan (the games gone crazy) twat to gloat!!

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    • “The games gone crazy” is the best Leeds blog out there! I’ve supported Leeds since 1970, travelling from Somerset and now Canada to see the once mighty whites. Well I’ve had enough. Lets be frank about it; football resides in the entertainment business, winning trophy’s is not the be all and end all these day’s; it’s all about putting on a show for the fans, and the only stage to perform is the premier league, so get real, forget Leeds until they land a leading role in the greatest show in town. It’s not about how many fans come through the turnstiles any more; Leeds will simply have to wait until a multi billionaire rocks up; sadly it’s the only way.

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  5. bobcat white

    Good article, I think you’re right in saying we (Leeds fans) are heading for a crossroads. It’s been 10 long years since the premier league and we’ve been more than patient with the lost promises from all managers and owners saying we’re heading in the right direction now blah blah.. If the worst should happen and Rosco leaves and / or this new owner business drags on (and on) then I for one will say enough is enough. I will always want Leeds to do well but in the future I will no longer be attending games or parting with my hard earned for this club. I actually think we are too loyal and this is taken advantage of by the club. But hey, I hope I’m wrong!

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  6. Bobcat White you are right! Bates hung on because of fan loyalty but the tide is turning. Don’t normally use expletives, but about fucked off with everything. The only hope we have is David H. Read the blogs recently and people forget he threw Bates out for us and no doubt is still working hard on a good ownership deal for Leeds and the fans. Let’s hope so!

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  7. I think this about Rob and the new takeover has been a smokescreen for having the fans occupied while no money is spent jurying the window.
    Barry

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  8. I agree wholeheartedly with everything on here, if Ross goes that’s me done for this season.
    MOT but I won’t be putting any more of my dosh in these to$$ers pockets.

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  9. OMG! HF must be creaming himself!

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  10. Ian gladman

    Good article.and I’m a hammers fan,your 100% right about being joke clubs.i think both clubs are cursed tbh,must be harder for your lot to take as you have a very successful history,but us hammers are used to shit managers and dreadful owners.id personally like McCormack at upton park,but I doubt we could afford him!good luck this season lads!

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  11. Seriously worrying at this moment in time, 6 weeks ago the club was in a positive happy place, people were smiling and we had optimism that good things were around the corner. Results on the field have, I believe, been seriously affected by the goings on behind the scenes. I did not expect promotion this season but what I did hope for was stability and to start building on some firm foundations for next season. At this moment we are at a massive crossroads for this club, if this takeover is another shambles people will feel well and truly ripped off and it could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. If McCormack leaves (and who could blame him) we are well and truly f!!!!d. No one appears to know anything or if they do they don’t want to speak including Haigh, LUST. Where we go from here God knows.

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  12. When the club sold Howson to Norwich I was fuming and tried to get my season ticket money back even though I knew it was too late. The problem for me is I buy 2 season tickets in the East Stand for myself and my wife. When GFH took over I was expecting good things. But what with reports about this Italian Joker buying the club – well I just don’t know anymore. But for definite if they sell Ross that is me finished and I know I will never be back, Ever.

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  13. ‘Leeds are a joke’. At last! Some perspective…

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  14. There has to be truth in the Italian job otherwise Haigh would be denying it and how can the league’s top striker be sold during a takeover unless the incoming owner sanctions it?
    Only at LEEDS! WTF is going on?

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  15. I think we all have to consider if Ross wants to leave , be honest can you see us getting promoted this year ? No , so if you were a professional footballer where would you want to play ? In the premier league , the club is not important or the possibility of coming straight back down, its simply a case of opertunity knocks and do you walk in ? , I think in the last ten years and even as far back as Jordan and mcqueen we’ve always blamed the owners or managers for selling them and we never consider that the player wants to go , ala cantona

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  16. dickoleeds

    Acid test is absolutely correct. The frustration of nothing happening regarding the takeover is boiling over though which I totally understand being as frustrated as anyone. How can things go so seriously bad over a 5/6 week period??. As fans we will always be around and any threats , last straw etc are not real as in the cold light of day and because we love the club we will always remain. I am gutted for McDermott. He is the only manager for me who has tried tirelessly to unite the club from academy to staff to fans etc. He was left with a mid table squad and up until recently got results from them. He must now be as frustrated as we are and bemused by current affairs.
    Ross will stay but unless the takeover happens god knows what will happen at the end of the season. We are Leeds and use to it……………………..

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  17. It seems we have reached the point of no return. Whether it is the Italian joker or the Sports Direct Yorkshire duo, it’s cards on the table time and if it isn’t decided now, then look forward to the even further demise of our once great club. Grasp the nettle… get stuck in and bloody do something, or spend the rest of your life wondering what might have been.

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  18. I think if we get £6mill for him it would be good business.

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  19. If the unambitious Leeds owners had their own way, McCormack would have joined Middlesbrough for peanuts at the start of this season. If McCormack left Leeds now, it would be the last straw amongst Leeds fans, because apart from McCormack and Byram, there are “NO” other assets in the huge playing squad at Leeds.
    The magnificent Leeds supporters are the only other proper asset that the football club has and they all deserve much better than having to watch an extremely poor team that are going backwards.
    This current period must be the most depressing and negative period of the clubs history, because the current Leeds team are much worse than the League 1, Leeds team ever was.

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  20. I do fear that the uncertainty will result in the sale of Ross Mac, I just wish that someone, anyone who has an ounce of class will take us over and lead us forward, but I doubt it! I cant for the life of me see why not, we have the support, ground and potential to be another Man City, flick the right switch and we are full every week with supporters buying the merchandise etc, if I had the cash (which I dont regretfully) I would buy in tomorrow, for gods sake, Blackburn Rovers had more interest in them than Leeds, dont get it at all…..

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  21. Whiterhino

    The sale would be suicide for past,current or future owners (depending on your angle of who actually runs LUFC). Surely they are not that stupid……….mmmmm no answer not required

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  22. To be fair to whoever it is that owns our club this month, the Hammers offer could be a paper rumour and has not (as far as I know) been confirmed by either club. Neither have they denied it though!
    The Board rejected Boro’s advances for Ross, and may have the intestinal fortitude to do the same again. To do so, would certainly send out a statement to the fans, and God knows we need reassurances now!
    The last week of the January window is enough to fill any Leeds fan with dread, and is testament to how badly-run our Club has been.

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  23. AllWhiteNow

    Poweful stuff Rob. And spot-on. A ‘joke club’. No wonder I’ve been feeling sick and depressed since Xmas. Just when you thought things couldn’t get worse…then a whole load more shite is poised above our heads. Its one hell of a test and I just can’t forsee the future if Rossco goes – unless there is some huge radical master-plan being hatched to revamp the squad from top to bottom. Likely? Not a bit….

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  24. West Ham are a good club in trouble, a lot like us. Not as big or as good, but a good step up from the likes of the Wendies or, indeed, half the Premiership. I wish Leeds fans would stop moaning about Norwich – we did just the same to Portsmouth. If we’re promoted the relative positions of ourselves and Norwich will reverse. Snodgrass, the nearest to an icon, and Becchio, our best? Byram and Ross, I’d say.

    Inevitably, I agree with you about everything else. You’re dead right at the end – if we get to a place where it looks like Bates 2, then I’m not going through it again. Over 10 years ago now I saw everything that was coming – not difficult – and decided to stick it out. I don’t regret it, even though it went on for so long, but if it starts up again under a similar owner I’m off, and I won’t come back unless we do a Portsmouth. When they’ve paid their debts to parasitical ex-players (including 3 of ours, who are still leeching wages from them) they’ll prove too strong for the 3rd and 4th divisions. In fact I might even go and watch them in the meantime.

    I sometimes wonder if we are cursed.

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  25. By the way, this sale won’t happen. I think Ross sat down with his wife a few years ago, decided that they like Leeds and sent their kids to school here, and that Ross would stick it out here no matter what. He isn’t someone who’d command an automatic place in any Premiership team, so he chose to stay at the biggest club outside and try to hit the ‘Leeds legend’ bracket. He’s young enough to score 100 goals for us and maybe reach 250 appearances. If he does those he’ll be the outstanding player of this terrible period. (Nothing wrong with that, good luck to him.) Colin wanted him to go and he stuck it out, so why would he leave now? If things go wrong I think he’ll be the last good player to leave.

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  26. Not this again 😦 wonder where we’d be if we didn’t have him this season dread to think! Should have guessed when they made him captain….

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  27. David Smith

    Rob – another very sound blog and without doubt you are speaking for the majority of right thinking Leeds fans. Your exasperation is almost palpable and it beggars belief that we have reached the end of another week without the courtesy of some feedback from Haigh & Co !

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    • That’s exactly how I feel David. I’m glad it comes across – it’s sometimes difficult to put into words exactly how frustrating this all is. But as Leeds fans we’re bound by a common experience, so perhaps it’s not necessary to be explicit. Suffice to say that being a Leeds fan is inimical to the successful management of chronic hypertension! I need a holiday…

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      • Haha, I mis-read your second sentence Rob, and thought you’d written that “as Leeds fans we’re bound by a CONMAN experience”. Which, when you think about it…

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  28. Craig kitson.

    Brilliant blog Rob,keep speaking the truth, these Charlatans must be exposed for what they are, if Ross goes I’m finished after 40 years , blind loyalty gets you were our club is today,in Italy or one or two other Europeon country’s they would have boycotted ages ago, this turn up no matter what let’s them get away with it, time to vote with our feet and money it’s the only option,even if it hurts,keep up the good work.

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  29. Mirfieldwhite

    Good stuff as always rob. I have been home and away this season and from a football point of view I can never remember us being much worse. The current results are a true reflection of where we are. If we can get 5-6 mill for Ross and give it to Brian I would be delighted. McCormack isn’t as good as he thinks he is. His two misses on Saturday showed that. The worst thing of all is for ten years the various owners have taken the fans for granted. Nobody likes having the piss taken out of them. However , I don’t see any way out , get behind the boys who pull on the shirt , support them as they aren’t creating the bother off the field . Just booked our taxi from Exeter airport to Yeovil. Keep the white flag flying high. Mot.

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  30. john palmer

    Good blog it’s how I feel ,sad thing is, it could almost be last year at this time it was written, substitute Becchio for McCormack ,personally it’s been the performances of Ross thats kept me turning up,loose him and I don’t think ican keep making the effort .On the brighter side he did say he wanted to stay & become alegend & he’s correctly been made capt. since, just a pity we are not on agood run there would be no worry.

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  31. dickoleeds

    Tweets from Chairman and MD confirming rejection of West Ham’s bid is good news. Interesting week ahead!!! I think they just might pass the acid test!!!! Still even after a decade of hurt I remain an optimistic LUFC lifelong fan. Hope one day to be repaid for sticking it out though.

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  32. Reality Cheque

    Absolutely spot on Rob, spoken from the heart of a true Leeds fan in a way which so accurately and comprehensively reflects the current concerns and deep frustration of our fan base. The subsequent twitter assurances of our chairman and Mr Haigh regarding the club’s rejection of West Ham’s offer for Ross Mac does demonstrate how even a simple statement can (at least briefly), allay so much anxiety/uncertainty and prevent conspiracy theories running wild and unchecked day after day. Even the briefest press release which confirms that negotiations regarding the TO are continuing between all relevant parties, would demonstrate more appreciation of the need for the clubs fan base to be kept within the loop, (rather than the endless, deafening silence we have endured so far). Anyhow,its getting rather late now so we all need to take our medication and hope that tomorrows group therapy session involves lots of long awaited enlightenment regarding our soon to be great again football club!!! MOT

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  33. Steven emsley

    Good blog rob however we all say that we will no longer take the crap and go again but we have in very large numbers over the last ten years of hard labour.we have had more downs than ups over those years,but we still pack the grounds that we go to becouse lufc is in the blood my fellow Leeds fans and not many clubs have that loyalty And it can never be bought choose how much money you have . things will change for the good I can feel it keep united

    And keep fighting (as the Don slogan said)
    Mot

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  34. Good read Rob. I have said this before but we are expecting too much of GFH. They are go- between financiars – buy something with potential and sell it on for a profit ASAP. Seems to me like David Haig’s “exclusive” consortium statement has been put to the acid test because GFH has obviously received a better offer. Now maybe Haig is negotiating with GFH and the Italian Disaster to see where it leads. Hence the lack of communication because nothing has been settled.
    Great timing all this with the transfer window nearly over . I would be surprised if Ross McCormack was sold because that would undo all the good work GFH did to keep the same player from the clutches of the Smogmonsters.
    The frustration felt by all Leeds fans is understandable – the past ten years of Bates have been simply miserable. Whether they change significantly under Haig remains to be seen but I think all of us just want a difinitive answer on the ownership issue NOW . Unless we get that answer shortly there will be endless melt downs of Leeds fans all around the world ! Even Rob of this blog is just about having one ! Cheers and remember MOT!

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  35. dickoleeds

    Hold up on takeover is because of the Cellino’s interest. He needs credible senior management to pass football League test. watch this space for Adam Pearson’s name being associated with Cellino’s approach!!.

    Come on Haigh pull your finger out.

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  36. We can credit RM with a lot more intelligence than the average footballer. So why in the world would he be joining a shower of shit like w,ham with their desperate fight to stay up? They can only attract thickos and hasbeens,andy caroll and carlton cole etc.

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  37. WELL WELL WELL I RTN FROM A WEEK AWAY blah, blah, blah….

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  38. rob i think the takeover will go through early february window closed conveniently another smokescreen so investment in the team cant be made i am actually talking about some hard cash being spent owners will blame someone for the hold up and say their hands were tied but the window has passed plus we are still stuck with some of the deadwood on the payroll a dog with a mallet in his ass can see this coming what youi think

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