Huddersfield Suffer Cup Final Thrashing at Hands of Crisis Club Leeds – by Rob Atkinson


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Jimmy Kebe celebrates scoring for Leeds United

It was the worst of times – and then, suddenly it was the best of times.  The Friday night had been pain and humiliation for every Leeds United fan, in the pitiless glare of the Murdoch media before the eyes of a hostile world.  And yet, just a few hours later, everything had changed, unrecognisably for the better. The team started against Huddersfield looking understandably a little sorry for themselves.  But they rode their luck, applied themselves when they went behind – and emerged 5-1 winners.  And then we heard the manager was reinstated – in fact, contrary to the previous night’s version of reality, he was never sacked in the first place.  On a personal note, I’d sustained a Twitter barrage from jubilant Millwall fans on transfer deadline night, they’d been gleefully delighted to see their least favourite Leeds fan reeling under the sheer weight of bad news.  And yet on the Saturday they lost 0-3 to Reading and remain in and around the gutter of the relegation zone, where such vermin belong. Schadenfreude rarely felt so good – right, Ms Kate Murray, stroppy Miwwwaww tweeter?  I am using the word correctly, I hope…  And to put a tin lid on it, Man U got beaten at Stoke, despite a comical SEVEN minutes of stoppage time.  Where are those penalties from the S’ralex days, eh?

Talk about Friday Night and Saturday Morning – Sillitoe never wrote such a dystopian/utopian contrast.  It’s been said that a week is a long time in politics – clearly a day is the difference between epochs in the crazy world of football. These were not so much two different and contrasting days as two parallel universes.   The speed with which things have turned around has been enough to leave anyone dizzy. For Leeds fans, the afterglow of the Derby Day slaughter is an oasis of happiness, paid for in full with Friday night’s pain and wretched suffering. And, in a particularly sweet twist, the club on the receiving end of this almighty volte-face was Huddersfield Town, bearers of the biggest anti-Leeds United chip on the shoulder you’re ever likely to see outside of Barnsley. Early on, they’d bossed it at Elland Road, but they were profligate; to some extent the authors of their own downfall. Nevertheless, they’d forged ahead, and then our captain McCormack missed a half-chance for Leeds. The glee in the away end was unconfined – “Ross McCormack, he don’t wanna play” they sang, innocently unaware of the tidal wave of Ross that was to engulf them, leaving them very sad and silent little Terriers by the end of the game.

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Ross!!

For McCormack, it was a performance you just couldn’t have made up.  A hat-trick, the day after the Sky Sports hacks had been doing their best to flog him to Premier League relegation candidates Cardiff.  A tough game against determined derby opposition, for which the preparation had been as far away from ideal as it is possible to imagine, a fragmented miscellany of disasters large and small.  A match day that had started with bleak pessimism seeping throughout the club, some of the staff turning up for work in tears, McCormack’s mentor apparently sacked.  Seriously, who writes this talisman’s scripts?  One hat-trick later, and Ross was on the radio, re-emphasising his commitment to Leeds United.  Our captain and the top scorer in the league had stepped up to the plate and delivered, big time.  We couldn’t possibly have asked for more.

And then, best of all, we heard those glad tidings that Brian McDermott is still our man.  It’s true that there are still a lot of explanations needed for what has gone on in and around LS11 in that nightmare day or so – but for the time being, the warm fuzz of happiness is just too darned comfortable and I don’t want to shake it off. Leeds win, thrashing Huddersfield in what is always their Cup Final. Millwall gloated for a night and were then comically, karmically, abjectly beaten at home the next day.  Man U lost at Stoke with their ineffectual manager bleating about deflections and worldies.  My smile still feels as though it may require surgical removal.  It’s all so different from the Friday night, and from Friday night’s nightmares.  I woke up the next morning hoping I had just dreamed it all, only to realise despairingly that it was true.  Never had I anticipated a home game with less appetite or enthusiasm. My get up and go had got up and gone.

And now – well, that Friday night reality, which got match day off to such a glum start, is simply not true any more.  The team fought like lions (sorry, Millwall) for the badge, the shirts, the manager and the fans. Young Mowatt played beautifully and broke his goal-scoring duck. Stewart was tricky and creative out wide. Even fellow winger Jimmy Kebe played well and scored – these two are at last looking fit and sharp and promise to lend a whole new dimension to our play.  The embattled team took an early, shattering blow, but then lashed back in a startling fashion, savaging the cocky Terriers in what turned out to be an epic mauling.  So life is good, however temporarily.  Whether it’s now a case of Marching On Together, or Forza Leeds – or maybe both – we can at least be content for the minute.

Friday was just plain horrible.  But Saturday, matchday?  It’s been bloody wonderful.

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26 responses to “Huddersfield Suffer Cup Final Thrashing at Hands of Crisis Club Leeds – by Rob Atkinson

  1. It’s never boring been a Leeds fan and thats why I love them and some times hate them but will never change them MOT Leeds Leeds Leeds

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  2. i wonder if the squad heard at half-time that Bmc was Staying and decided to turn it on in support.. Who knows.. all i do know is that like you im deleriously happy, for now.. 2morrow or even 2nite may b different.. im still mighty confused too..

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  3. Well supporting our great club is anything but boring eh? This has been the most astonishing spell I have ever known as a leeds fan (and we have had some astonishing spells).
    However, the team that started today proved that they fancy a battle….and more than that….want to play for leeds united.
    Do you know something…..,I wouldn’t write us off going up and I never thought I’d say that 24 hours ago !
    On and on and on !!!

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  4. mrbigwheels

    Mowatt… first goal to him, as well. Kebe played some football and what can you say…. McCormack is the new black… You are better suited to the yellow Rob, on the site. imo.

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  5. Sniffers shorts

    Bellisssssssssssssssimoooooooooooooo …… Yes I felt jubilant today first time in weeks ….. Thank you Ross yo the man ….. Oh how the little dog laarffffs

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  6. A win next week and we are well and truly back in the mix! Nice to see Kebe playing well today.

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  7. I spoke yestetday about a dunkirk spirit and wondered if Ross could turn a crushing blow into a victory of sorts , well today was his D Day rob , he stormed the beaches of elland road , he led his troupes from the front , he played a captains part in a crushing victory over an auld enemy , you could almost hear bobby Collins and billy bremner cheering him on , almost feel the Scots gaurds marching around the pitch , bagpipes wailing , oh flower of Scotland ,,,

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  8. Colin Spence

    I fear for Brian Mac.
    In affirming Brian’s continuing position, GFH are doing no more than covering their own cash-strapped backs for, as the current owners, it is they who would be legally obliged to pay Brian’s compensation,were he dismissed now.
    Perhaps they’re running scared.

    I also fear that the manoeuvre is a cynical stop-gap charade, easily rescindable, when and if, they get Cellino’s lolly.

    It all unfolds in epic ways.

    I think Brian Mac would be advised to stay his hand, and hire a very good lawyer.

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  9. David Smith

    Rob – as you say, let’s rejoice and enjoy the moment ! For most Leeds supporters, today’s result is like a morphine injection which has killed the pain, but sadly there is still the worry that a life saving operation is needed ! MOT

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  10. From what I heard, Huddersfield had chances and didn’t take them, and we were a bit slack at the back. Byram, the midfielders and forwards all had good games (no surprises from Stewart and Kebe – they’re just match fit now).

    Brian really was sacked, as was Paul Hunt. These sackings were done without the board’s knowledge. Haigh resigned, then went back, called Brian and told him he still has a job. That’s all according to Phil Hay. The sackings were illegal, and Brian was at one point coming in to work today, but has taken legal advice and been told not to. Feste did come in and has been sitting in the stand making notes on the players. One thing that may factor in here is that Flowers has announced his intentions. People should also remember that there are 3 separate parties here, all of which get bracketed as ‘owners’. GFH, who bought the club, appointed a board, and sold some shares to Nooruddin, then sold 75% plus an option to buy more to Cellino, this sale pending League approval. We can be confident that Scumbag has that in the bag this time, or thought he did. GFH think the same.

    The LUFC board consist of 3 men, Patel (who I think is just a GFH appointee), Haigh (the same, then also employed, then allowed to lend LUFC some of his own money), and Nooruddin, brought in by Haigh as an investor, and nothing to do with GFH. Let’s call them LUFC.

    Haigh led a completely legal management buyout (nothing to do with Nooruddin, who was said to be remaining as Chairman of what would have been a Haigh-Flowers-etc LUFC), which failed. GFH and Haigh’s lot fell out, GFH gave exclusivity to Cellino and ignored a bid which could have been better, let Scumbag send some of his creatures in this week to rudely shove everyone around. Then they did finished the deal and handed control to Scumbag, who continued to behave in his usual way and sacked various people including Brian and Paul Hunt, in Brian’s case through a lawyer, all the while ignoring the board, who weren’t told of the dismissals, which therefore become illegal.

    Either: 1/ some weird stuff we don’t know about has occurred, or 2/ some or all of the exisiting LUFC board, who include a man who owns 15% of LUFC, are out to save what they can of the club for its own sake (remember here that Haigh and Nooruddin have spent their own cash), or protect their positions/investments, or protect themselves from becoming legally responsible for illegal sackings, have decided to reinstate people, or 3/ Scumbag is shaken by events and has decided to behave like a proper owner, appoint a proper manager and sit upstairs, or 4/ Scumbag has considered what the League might have to say about his behaviour and remembered that he doesn’t have the power to bully everyone as much as he has and is backtracking.

    I guess it’s a combination of 2 and 4 (remember Feste was in the ground working today) and that Scumbag will want to sack everyone again later. It might be 3, considering the reactions of sponsors, press and fans, but i doubt it.

    As for whether Brian is still manager, the LUFC board/Nooruddin/Nooruddin and Haigh may say that he is – as he wasn’t legally sacked, they can deny that he was sacked and possibly mean it – but he didn’t come in today. So 1/ Brian doesn’t want to come back and work for GFH (not that vague thing, ‘the club’, or the LUFC board, but GFH) and considers that having been kicked out he’s kept his promnise to stay until forced out, or 2/ won’t come back without guarantees about how he does his job, or 3/ has been advised that if he does it could force the League to rubber stamp Scumbag’s purchase, which could fail if he doesn’t, or 4/ some weird stuff we don’t know about.

    I hope it’s 3 and we get lucky, but I reckon Brian won’t be back, as the process will drag on and Scumbag likes his yes men. If 2 is involved then Brian won’t want to work under Feste performing a hands-on Glynn Williams role. I don’t know if Scumbag is here because he wanted the option on buying the ground that comes with ownership of LUFC or if he wants to milk a premiership club for cash or have a premiership club to feed his ego, but I doubt he’ll give up any control.

    Also there are various lawsuits threatened or pending. Bates, Flowers, another from Bates I’d guess, Haigh, maybe Nooruddin or even Patel, not mention a few unfair dismassal claims (I think other staff may have been sacked).

    Also, if the League let the sale go through, Scumbag will break various rules so contemptuously that they might take sanctions against the Scumbag LUFC that would emerge.

    Also, Scumbag is crap at running a football club. Don’t believe this weird bullshit some people are talking about how he took a tiny club with a rubbish ground, built them up and that his innocent and shy nature caused him to be cruelly treated by the corrupt Italian state. Cagliar won Serie A in 1970, they’re an Ipswich type club, aren’t doing well, and only in a country like Italy could this arrogant fool get a way with as much as he has. He’ll come a cropper and therefore so will LUFC and so will ‘the club’.

    Also, one more boring little detail. The money Scumbag is putting in becomes a loan that needs paying back if he doesn’t get League approval. I wonder if that loan has to be paid back by GFH or by the LUFC company, be it the version currently chaired by Nooruddin or one with new owners if GFH have to sell some other crook. Which one could it be, GFH or LUFC, does anyone have any ideas? I’m stumped, myself, couldn’t possibly guess.

    So don’t expect to see Brian back, don’t expect this to clear up soon, and don’t be surprised if there’s chaos for years. Don’t be surprised if some fawning puppet creature gains promotion to the Premiership with a load of second-hand Italian players, do be shocked if we stay up, and don’t be surprised if either 1/ LUFC fold completely or 2/ are in the 3rd or 4th division or even outside the League when this finishes, and don’t be surprised if it’s 2025 by then. Do be surprised if it’s any time soon and you see me spending money on the place. I may not be able to give up reading blogs or Phil Hay’s Twitter feed but I’m not paying money into the current mess.

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    • Blimey, bet it’s good to get that off your chest! Can you tell me where to buy one of those Crystal Balls? Seriously though, your comment mirrors most fans thoughts that the future of the club is impossible to predict at present.

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      • Most of it’s from Phil Hay. I usually do call these things right, unfortunately. I remember the hell I got when I said that we’d be relegated from the Premiership all those years ago, at a time when everyone else thought we had enough points. Only thing I’ve called wrong lately is Ross’s captaincy. I hope that’s an omen…

        Actually I’m in deep shock now at the news that Flowers and Farnon are working together. I thought that wouldn’t happen. I think Flowers or Farnon have said Brian would be retained if they get the club – and that they’ll buy the ground back. If they get the club and can only underwrite the next year or 3 as well, then dreams do come true… and I’m bloody Walt Disney.

        Reportedly they’re talking to GFH tomorrow but there are rumours that GFH are involved with the people who want to buy Cagliari, if so they may be going through the motions. Hopefully we’ll know our fate tomorrow or Wednesday.

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      • I’d love to think it might be so soon! I note BMcD’s plea for it to be sorted “very soon”. But frankly, I doubt it.

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  11. Compo's Style Guru

    Just back from the game. Don’t drink very often but drunk as a skunk tonight! Ciao

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  12. It’s a great feeling to win at last and be the “party poopers” in the Poodles cup final, isn’t it Rob.
    I feared the worse before today’s kick-off, but Leeds were magnificent and the “them against us” situation, really motivated the team brilliantly, to finally silence those Poodle fans, who seem to revel and delight in Leeds United’s misfortunes, instead of concentrating on their own football club.
    Just like after the 4-2 win at Huddersfield last season, they all suddenly disappear from the face of the earth and are finally silenced from the back-biting that constantly happens on BBC Radio Leeds or should I say “BBC Radio Hate Leeds”.
    The Leeds fans and players will relish this result, but they will be professional and respectful in winning and move on to the next game and not still be going on about it in 4 weeks time, like the Poodle fans do.

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  13. AllWhiteNow

    ‘Football, bloody hell!’ The truest words he ever uttered. I can’t explain any of it this last week, or in the weeks to come. Supporting Leeds is just a roller-coaster ride – hang on to everything this season! 🙂

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  14. Just want to add how pleased I am for Ross, as he now has 20 League goals this season. Don’t mind admitting I got it wrong when I said he shouldn’t be captain.

    Also, while I don’t much care about our results at the moment, happy that the poor Terriers went home without a bone to sadly widdle against lampposts.

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  15. Kevin Wilson

    Don’t you think its about time we went on the offensive? According to the YEP Cellino and his gang are very superstitious particularly with the colour purple (pardon the pun) and the number 17, both apparently unlucky. How about getting some cards, banners or even shirts, all purple with the number 17 on and waving them at these oafs if/when they takeover or next show their fat, ugly, greasy faces at Elland Road? Anybody up for it or is this the ravings of a delirious, beer soaked, euphoric madman? MOT

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  16. And now this:
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/leeds-united/10612605/Leeds-Uniteds-prospective-new-owner-wants-Brian-McDermott-back-as-manager.html
    Contradicts what he said before. I reckon he’s realised the League might use the illiegal sackings against him.
    Also seems that Hunt was sacked, reinstated, and sacked again today.
    Whatever Cellino says, I reckon there’s as much chance of Brian managing, or “coaching” a squad without knowing who the players are from one minute to the next as there is of Workington winning the champions league.
    I really hope that the League kick Cellino out, and that he’s lying about LUFC wanting to sack Brian. In fact I think he is lying, becuase it was Cellino’s lawyer who did the sacking, and Nooruddin calling to get Brian back. Probably Cellino’s annoyed with Nooruddin and Haigh and attempting to smear them. Clowns, as you say… only very unfunny clowns.
    There used to be a football club over there.

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  17. Reality Cheque

    My thoughts go out to Brian right now with all the differing accounts of events and the alleged desperate financial status of our club. He is probably in need of a Damned if I Do, Damned if I Don’t T-shirt and will need to be guided by his legal advisors. He deserves to be treated so much better and it was truly amazing to be amongst such a large crowd chanting his name and voicing my frustration and anger towards the current/prospective owners of our great club. Ross McCormack- you are amazing-not only in your loyalty and support of our club/manager but your William Wallace-esque captaincy, leading from the front with a very ‘brave heart’ and totally flattening the pretenders to our throne (Kings of Yorkshire, England, Europe, the World, Universe etc) from along the A62. Superb team performance. Hope some stability and success prevails in the coming weeks/months/seasons. Keep us informed Rob (you will need an army of researchers and a couple of dozen lie detector machines to make any sense of what’s happening right now). Look forward to your next post.

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  18. The King is dead, long live the King

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  19. Well you couldn’t have written the scrip for the last few days!
    I hope Brian returns and Cellino develops an understanding with him. I don’t know what to believe but it was interesting that Gibbs was still there which is unusual. Brian may have to accept that he has to run the rule over some suggested players in the future – that’s the nature of things today in football.
    What is certain though is GFH are in a mighty financial mess and I think have to meet repayment on a 100 million loan very shortly and Leeds are running a loss of about 15 million. Have GFH sucked working capital out of the club or are overheads too high? That seems strange to me with the gates we have been getting. I know we have a big squad but so do others in the Chamionship and operate with far lowers gates than Leeds.
    I really hope everybody can come to terms this week as GFH could drag the club into Administration, so we should all be careful ‘what we don’t wish for’!
    Maybe the other group will step in if it all falls apart again but I doubt they have the money and GFH urgently need cash even through a cut price deal if it is 25 million and they paid 50 million so we understand.
    In my opinion this is all very urgent now to get this done to save the club from financial meltdown.
    Cellino has the cash to move us forward I am sure and would not invest to lose his money so lets hope sense all round prevails and it all settles down and we can get on a run to the play-offs with everyone MOT.

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    • I wouldn’t want the FL to be too aware of any urgency in this approval decision – nothin more certain to make them drag their heels. Those old boys do not like us one little bit.

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      • Yes Rob but Shaun Harvey will have the inside track! Nobody likes us which is why we are Leeds and we don’t care!

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