Time to Unleash Hell on This Leeds United Soap Opera Farce – by Rob Atkinson


Time for Crowe to enter the arena.

Time for Crowe to enter the arena

I’m going to keep this short and sour, because it’s late and I’m tired – and more than a little naffed-off after yet another day when Leeds United appears to have done its level best to give itself a good old kicking in the gonads. Whatever the ins and outs – assistant coach suspended after playing his part in a recent recovery, leading goalscorer marginalised for fear of him (horror of horrors) scoring more goals for his club, head coach bemused and disillusioned and considering his exit strategies – the net effect is simple and unambiguous. This is just not good enough. It absolutely will not do. Leeds United is a world-renowned football institution of proud history and immense reputation, with a loyal and fanatical global following – it deserves better. We deserve better – all of us.

Today is one of those days when the little flame of hope and optimism you’ve been warmed by recently flickers and blows out, leaving you cold and in the dark. It’s a day when you realise that the current incarnation of Leeds United is a sick joke. I won’t even say soap opera or farce, as per the title above – because no-one would have the brass neck to write it. It’d get laughed off stage or screen and the author carted off to the funny farm to wear a back-to-front jacket and take his ease in a comfily-padded cell. The thing about sick jokes is that they’re frequently just not funny. Such is the case – as far as Whites fans are concerned – with their beloved Leeds. The rest of football, though, will be chortling happily away, bad cess to them.

This latest experiment has failed. It’s time for the owner and his confused, confusing little band to back off and let someone else have a go. I say this with a heavy heart as someone who has backed Cellino as he fought against the Football League, an organisation I despise for hypocrites and buffoons. It was a case of “mine enemy’s enemy is my friend” – but there’s a limit. We had the humiliating succession of failed coaching appointments in the early part of the season. That was enough to stretch anyone’s loyalty. But still, many of us stayed loyal, wanting to believe in an anti-establishment maverick. At his best, Cellino just seemed so Leeds. He seemed to “get” the whole United thing. But it was a false dawn that has heralded a succession of depressing and soul-destroying days – the latest of which we have just winced and cringed our way through. It’s time to try yet another new direction.

The long-running Russell Crowe story has refused to go away and, it has to be said, the flames have been fanned more than somewhat by the man himself. Some raise doubts about his financial clout, but few seem to doubt his Leeds-supporting credentials – and what we need now more than ever is a fan in high places. And Crowe can attract financial muscle, as witness his involvement with the oddly-named Rabbitohs RL club in Australia. Crowe has the global profile; if he can carry along with him someone of sufficient wealth, then for goodness’ sake, let’s move on and give him a chance. How much better could we really do, given the current bleakly depressing state of affairs?

Life, Leeds United, the Universe & Everything is not ashamed to reassess its attitude towards the current regime at Leeds United. We’re being held up as a laughing-stock and that is simply intolerable. So let’s get behind the concept of change, not for change’s sake, but with a view to getting a real fan on board, someone who feels the pain and hungers for glory. Someone as impatient and pissed off as we are. Someone like Russell Crowe, and such minted partners as he may well be able to muster – and the newly-formalised fans group LLP. Why not? Leeds United remains an incredible opportunity for the right person or group of people. It’s the last true sleeping giant. It’s iconic and oozing potential.

Let’s do this – let’s unleash hell – before we all end up there.

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35 responses to “Time to Unleash Hell on This Leeds United Soap Opera Farce – by Rob Atkinson

  1. Alan Franklin

    Cellino out!
    If the supporters show they don’t want him, as well as the football league, he might be persuaded to sell.

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  2. Steven emsley

    Well here we go again … I can not to the life of me understand why we can’t get someone who has a brain between their ears running this club we all follow . Russell might just be the right person but how many times have we all said that.supporting LUFC has never been easy that’s why we have such loyal fans.
    I just keep hoping someone will reward the loyal fans we have and get this club moving in the right direction

    MOT as always

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  3. I just feel sorry for the young uns rob. At least we had Wilkos great team.

    Both my kids 14 & 12 are more into the egg chasing, can’t blame them really

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  4. I’m so frustrated. You’ve summed up perfectly the complete deflation of that little bubble of optimism which has been steadily growing this year.
    Child gone, Thompson gone, Salerno, Antenucci, Redfearn, Cellino, Bamba, the Kids, who knows? The slimy Umbers slithering around in the background like some undead version of KB.
    Looks like the FL have succeeded in sabotaging us once again.
    Seems to me the decks are being cleared for another TOMA.
    At least we are in a better state this time – oops, there’s that stupid optimism again.
    MOT

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  5. Your dreaming in color that Crowe is going to invest in LUFC. Thomson is gone and Redfern will quit in disgust next week. Merco will go back to Italy at the end of the season as well as most of the Italians and as for Cellino he will never show his face in Leeds again. Most of the young talent will be sold to other clubs and Leeds will face relegation next year. Simple as that but it has to be said.

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  6. Philip of Spain.

    Knock down the walls,cast aside these money lenders.God forbid one of our scorers,score,what kind of bentness is this.?How can Redders continue with these skunks!!? He could go,who would blame him and if he does what does this year mean,absolute Jack shit!!! The Rags are pissings themselves again,digging out all the naff cliches we thought had been pushed down their throat,by success on the field since the turn of the year.I despair, the evil is back!!!

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  7. BITESYERLEGS 74

    You really couldn’t make this shit up could you? Why does everything go SO pear shaped for LUFC everytime things seem to be looking up? Like you and a lot of others I backed MC, but I am beginning to think he may Salford born and therefore full of shit, time for him to fuck right off methinks. But how the hell does someone get hold of the club now and sort it out? How can so many real money people pass a club like ours by? Baffled, bewildered, sad, sick and twined as a fuckin wasp. . . That’s me

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  8. JOHN INGHAM

    Oh dear Rob,it’s heavy heart time again,we thought we had some stability at last,but true to form the rug gets pulled out and we’re a laughing stock again.How they will all laugh.I know there will be great times again,but I’m 65 now and running out of bloody time myself.Keep up the rallying.mot!!!

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  9. dirty leeds

    well its back to a laughing stock of a club again.I was getting overwhelmed with all the positivity on the field,so its only natural that our Italian friends should mess it all up.I was pro cellino,but my patience is wearing thin now.

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  10. Rob
    What happened yesterday shows that thankfully the verminous CELLINO era needs to come to a quick and hopefully painless ending. He has never been Fit and Proper for Leeds or any other team in this country. A terrible unpredictable irrational and actually destructive man, we need him gone ASAP.
    It is believed CELLINO has been in serious negotiations with a major potential buyer for some time.
    We can only hope that the Red Bull interest is progressing or that another unnamed heavyweight is ready to pounce.
    CELLINO and the equally wretched and dangerous GFH need to be consigned to history.
    RUSSELL CROWE may well be a huge fan and very well intentioned but this project does not need a Millionaire to revive us but a Billionaire!!!

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    • Crowe can’t do it alone, but he represents the best chance of fan ownership – and he’s proved in Aussie RL that he can attract serious money to transform and reinvigorate a sports club previously on its knees.

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  11. David Dean

    If Redders goes so do I. My first match at Yell and Roared was 1961 and my last match may be Rotherham 2015. How must Redders feel?Baffled, hurt, disillusioned and betrayed? He will feel bitter and resentful and probably regretful and little guilty maybe for going along with our false messiah and at times bending the truth and exaggerating to protect his boss who many of us loved. This is so mind boggling that you think … Ey up Massimo is banned and toeing the line and when he emergies from exile he will ride into town like the Lone Ranger and rescue us all from this madness. A gun battle between the incumbents, Bumbling Umbers and Lee Van Cleef Solerno will insue and Childs and Thompson will be released from being tied up and hidden away. How can this happen, it really beggars belief? When you think about the situation in the cold light of day you really do start to think “what is the point – give up and get a life”. Reading everything on Twitter and thinking about all this nonsense is such a waste of time if Redders leaves and the kids follow. I despair. Russel Crowe offers a glimmer of hope but surely it is a pipe dream. Are we locked in the clutches of the devil himself. Did we sell our souls on that fateful night in Paris when we ripped out the seats and shamed ourselves. Now is the time to rip out the seats and show our anger by not going to Elland Road on Saturday for the Blackburn match and the following Saturday at home to Cardiff. An empty stadium to show our support. Then massive support for the lads at the final two home matches to show what kind of crowds we can have at Elland Road. I am probably talking shit because this is just a bad dream isn’t it? Someone save us from this insanity, please.

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  12. Lykewakewalker

    Common sense tells you that no club would suspend a coach without a good and valid reason, no club would refuse to play their top scorer because they might have to offer him a permanent contract and surely no club would let the best manager that they have had for a long long time walk away disillusioned, but this is Cellino’s Leeds and common sense just goes out of the window.
    Surely now even the most faithful fan must see that it is time to boycott matches and show this current regime that we have had enough.

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  13. Steve trebert

    Even a fictional story would be hard pressed to match what is LEEDS UNITED . Good article Rob. Let,s hope for a better day today. Remember Brian Mc Dermott. He was reinstated

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  14. Couldn’t agree more Rob . I gave cellino the benefit of the doubt and was beginning to believe again . How stupid was I ? It doesn’t help as the powers that be haven’t told us why Mr Thompson has been suspended. Hell they’ve not even tell Redders. The latest ive heard is he was suspended for under performing . Bollocks the team is 100% better than 19 games ago when he arrived to help Neil .That’s disgusting . I thought as mad as cellino is he had Leeds in his blood . Obviously not . As for the ones who say hes not in charge as hes suspended , we all know hes still firing the bullits . Come on Russel Crowe we need someone who really cares and puts his money where is mouth is along with the fans consortium. Lets all make it clear tomorrow how we all feel . CELLINO OUT !!! . M.O.T

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  15. Cellino spend some big money and back the manager and team or f##k #ff ! As for useless grabbing gfh and friends sell up and f##k #ff! We’ve had enough, it’s been too long since we could be proud of the club rather than ourselves the fans. Make or break, those who were there when football was king will fade away, those younger will choose the disposable teams of Murdoch s money circus.

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  16. Rusty paid 1.5 million quid for a 37.5 stake in South Sydney. Unfortunately can’t see him having the cash for Leeds

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    • I think he could buy the club. The level of investment needed to revive it would be a different matter, as it was in Sydney. But Crowe clearly has mega-minted contacts and backers and can carry people along by the force of his personality and global profile.

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  17. SnifferClarkesBoots

    I put my hand up. I too backed Cellino, hoping he was the maverick we required to break the previous cycle of toxic ownership. Unfortunately whatever his intentions – no matter how ‘good’ – he too came with a very chequered past that refused to go away.

    Given his megalomanic tendencies and need to ‘do it his way’ (often with little heeding of common sense or others’ advice), he ran up against the equally powerful and many would say equally corrupt FL.

    I’m now hazarding a guess that Cellino realises he can’t win – or at least it will take him several years of court cases (and money) to effect some form of outcome. In such a situation the obvious action would be to cut his losses – and get out!

    The most recent actions of undermining the coach by sacking his assistant, plus other signs such as lack of contract renewals, strikers being ‘rested’, the mystery surrounding Child’s leaving – seem to suggest this could be the case. Let’s say, I would be very surprised to see him come storming back next season, though in truth no one can predict what Cellino will do – not even Cellino. But the whole situation leads to further speculation, more instability, not to say intrigue as to what the next chapter holds.

    One thing for certain, Leeds is a horror story of the most grotesque proportions, and has been riddled with a plethora of ogres vying for dominion – slaying the local populace at their will. The question now is, will the ‘supporters of good’ be able to rise up and mount a challenge in the form of Leeds Fans LLP? But I sense we will need more that 25%!

    I don’t think we can look to the likes of Russell Crowe to come to our rescue, clad in shining armour. At best he can advise the supporters and their champions how to set about wresting ownership from the powers that be, having successfully achieved this, not only in fiction, but in his homeland.

    Certainly the time has come for all Leeds United supporters to be proactive and show that we are serious about breaking this cycle of ‘owners from hell’ – before it really becomes too late.

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  18. In a word rob , disgusted … tomorrow should have been a day of respect for two lads murdered following the team they loved ,, it should have been a day to show case a few young lads and put on a display that would have made their families proud , instead this lot have made us a laughing stock once again

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  19. wetherby white

    to right Rob. The brief “official” statement that tells no one anything other than the return to utter turmoil of the end of last year. One of our biggest challenges is to keep the vultures away from out young talent. With the sacking of Tommo and the possible exit of Redfearn, guys the youngsters looked up to, knew and respected – will be all the no doubt slimey agents of these players will need. This clubs going nowhere etc…come and join a lower tier premiership club and enjoy a life or death relegation battle all next season.
    Truly depressing.

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  20. king sniffer

    Agree totally Rob. I think he’s just the man we need now. He’s done it before so he’s got the experience and know how we need. Maybe he could team up with the Mike Farnan and Gary Verity consortium, or just bring over the team he’s used before. Is it the case that Cellino is a total authoritarian and if anyone utters a sentence he doesn’t like they’re gone? You never know, Russell Crowe may also have a contact who’s good at lifting curses! MOT

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  21. O.M.G this could only happen to us!!!, yet again we are sinking…..but then Hope….WE THE FANS OF THIS GREAT CLUB ARE ITS LIFEBLOOD…WE ALWAYS HAVE BEEN THERE THROUGH THICK AND THIN……us and of course the PLAYERS!!!!!!!!!!….SOMEHOW SOME BLOODY WAY WE will get there…..we have in the past we will in future, just please someone raise enough cash to rid us of BATES GFH AND MASSIMO
    Sorry Rob but this is beyond disgusting…..and HE has to have been the trigger finger, as he’s so fond of telling us its his club!!!……BUT IT BLOODY WELL IS’NT ITS OURS……always has been
    The red mist descended and its going to take a great effort to come back down to earth, is it possible this clown is doing this to asset strip us a`la le BATES???
    Seriously worried about any chances of keeping the kids?
    Yours fumingly
    Don

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  22. RoystonLUFC

    I also backed Cellino. But as I’ve stated elsewhere, shouting “Cellino out” without having a viable replacement is worse than useless. We only have to look at the previous “out” campaigns to see the bad results. Bates went and left us with GFH, GFH went (almost) and left us with Cellino. So who will replace Cellino? We have no control over his replacement so another maverick or leech is bound to step in. Then what?

    Unfortunately I’m not presenting a solution here, but I’m definitely saying that the endless “out” campaigns have failed. The only time that an “out” campaign will work is when we simultaneously have an “in” campaign. In other words, we’ve lined up a perfect replacement. But in the absence of a replacement we might just as well put up with MC. I’m taking a “devil you know” approach here but it’s based on our very recent history.

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  23. AllWhiteNow

    I don’t have any new words to describe this continuing madness afflicting our club. Money-men. F##king us up again. ‘significant under performance’ what’s that meant to mean? Well, in money-management-speak it probably means that the ‘Director of Football’ [Salerno] instructed the Asst Coach[Thommo] to do what he wants – like, produce some kind of detailed dossier on the squad to inform sale of player negotiations – and Thommo refused.

    Speculation of course. But it will be something along the lines of that kind of General Management power bollocks and nothing to do with the best interests of football success for Leeds United.

    What a crock of shite. Again. I am truly sickened. What’s the positive spin? At least we aren’t Portsmouth or Coventry or Blackpool?? Its rubbish isn’t it?

    More soap opera for years to come….. Really depressing.

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  24. ‘Too depressed by this crock to comment…

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  25. The only thing we can do is vote with our feet, it is us that make Leeds great.
    I have only started going again but will stay away till Cellio start’s to behave like a fan not as a dictator

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  26. Rob,
    Spurs fan here, but no Schadenfreude (at least not until you have another go at Spurs). I have been following football since the mid-1960s and remember the Leeds side that carried all before it. I would welcome Russell Crowe getting involved with Leeds. I agree that he will bring backers with him and he would make life a lot more interesting both for Leeds fans and for the neutrals. It might even persuade numerous Leeds fans I know who have deserted Leeds for Arsenal (a deadly sin, of course) to go back. Let’s face it, things at Elland Road cannot get much worse.

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    • Spot on again Harry. You do seem to have a handle on things – for a Spurs fan 😉 My regard for Arsenal doesn’t amount to desertion – if it did, I wouldn’t be in such pain now.

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  27. milano whites

    Cheers Rob. Very mixed emotions myself as had backed Mad Massi and hoped the wild card would fit. You have helped me decide…Mad Man out with your band of willy wonkers who don’t even know the name of our top scorer..Marco Ant what the flooook. Fans have got to get ownership and maybe for once the FL, spits, can do us a favour and keep this twat away…MOT bruv

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  28. David Gill

    Hi Rob,
    Here in OZ, Russell has done a great job redirecting the RABBITOHS.
    He has shown great leadership in improving the club, dragging in well minted individuals, making the team shirt as the most valuable advertising space in the competition.
    A few years ago when Bates was running the show, Frank Lowy was reported to have shown interest, but was dismissed by Bates as a lightweight. Check his credentials. Russell also has a guy called Packer as a sponsor & personal friend, again on the right company to run a football club. If Russell can some of these guys behind him we might start going forward.

    Like

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