Daily Archives: 10/04/2015

Millwall Now Second to Cardiff in ‘Too Scared for Leeds Trip’ Stakes   –   by Rob Atkinson

Too soft to go to Leeds: massed Cardiff fans safe at home

Too soft to go to Leeds: massed Cardiff fans safe and well-guarded at home

Prior to this weekend, it had been thought that the seasonal award for “Scarediest Fans in the Championship” would have gone to the stalwarts of Millwall FC, after their entire away following for the recent defeat at Elland Road turned up on a skateboard and spent the match, pale of face and quivering silently, high up in the West Stand. 

However, it has now emerged that the followers of Cardiff City have somehow contrived to out-chicken even those tragically faint-of-heart Millwall “supporters”, by bringing a grand total of zero fans to their away fixture at Leeds United. The trip to LS11 is generally accepted as the acid test by which other Championship clubs can measure their fan’s moral courage or lack thereof. Millwall achieved a rating of “lily-livered“, which was expected to see their supporters crowned “Most Frit 2014/15“. But the Cardiff score has taken them into the realm of the spineless, with a provisional rating of “Soft as an embryo jellyfish“.

A spokesman for the Bluebirds Travel Club, Dai Arrear, confirmed that there had been absolutely no appetite at all for a tough trip North. “The guys are staying in the Valleys, isn’t it,” he quavered, nervously. “They didn’t fancy it, see. So they’re stayin’ yer, boyo, where it’s a bit more peaceful, like.”

The response at Leeds was one of frank puzzlement. United’s away allocation is invariably over-subscribed and the club take a vociferous following with them, even for a midweek “bubble” match. “We thought that clubs like Millwall and Cardiff would return the compliment,” said one baffled Leeds “Barmy Army” regular. “It’s most upsetting and really a bit rude. We always plan a warm welcome for our visitors, as we invariably receive around the country ourselves. To have not one single fan representing you at an away match – it’s ridiculous. Shameful.”

Millwall fans will be relieved to have avoided the unwanted title of “Softest Cissies in the League” in what is expected to be their last season at this level for some time. But the fact remains that both of these clubs trade on what seems now to be an entirely unmerited reputation for exuberant feistiness. It is to be hoped that both will do better in their respective leagues next time around. Millwall are expected to be in League One for the 2015/16 season, and it may well be that trips to Barnsley and Sheffield United will be easier on their jumpy nerves than the Elland Road ordeal. 

Cardiff should have the chance to redeem themselves next time around and may well be encouraged by the thought that, having achieved a zero away following for this weekend, at least things can’t get any more embarrassingly shameful than that, next year.

For now, though, they will remain objects of ridicule, laughed at for being “as scared as David Camoron bottling a live debate with Ed Miliband“. Whether that rather severe judgement seems a little harsh is open to some doubt. But the once-notorious “soul crew” – long prefixed with the letter R in and around Leeds – do seem to be bang to rights on a charge of moral cowardice – and that’s not something they’d be proud to sing about in the Valleys this week.  

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Tory Press To Use “Miliband’s a Leeds Fan” Smear Tactics??   –   by Rob Atkinson

Miliband - the dirtiest smear yet...

Ed Miliband’s a Leeds United fan – the dirtiest tabloid smear yet…

As the General Election draws closer, and the various tax-dodgers, fox-hunters and perverts who form the natural band of Tory supporters start to gibber quietly with barely-restrained panic, the brainless yet powerful moguls behind the country’s filthiest gutter rags are casting about for more dirty tricks to use against the Great White Hope of the Labour Party, Edward Samuel Miliband.

Great White Hope?? I hear you expostulate, outraged in your righteous anger. Isn’t that a bit – well – racist?? No, not at all – not in this context. Definitely not. Ed, you see, is a Leeds United fan – a true White – as well as the person adjudged this morning by the Financial Times as having an 82% chance of being the next Prime Minister. So May the 8th, or a few coalition negotiating days after that, could see our new leader giving the old Leeds salute on the doorstep of Number 10. It’s a thought to conjure with, right enough.

Meanwhile, the gutter press are unlikely to miss a trick in their quest to find any nasty little fact or fiction with which to smear the unflappable Ed – something they seem ever more desperately eager to do, despite the line being peddled not so long back that Miliband was a figure of fun and unelectable, so why bother. The Tories and their poodles in the Press are suddenly very much bothered and more than a little rattled and threatened – they need something salacious, scandalous or just plain unpopular to sling at the man who threatens to oust current incumbent David Camoron from his unelected tenure in Downing Street.

And what, in the dim and undemanding public mind, could be more disgusting or repellent than a chap being outed as a Leeds fan? We’re still the club they love to hate – still the name that pillocks such as Jimmy Greaves and various other has-beens can barely bring themselves to spit out with all the venom at their command. Unpopular doesn’t really begin to describe it. Leeds United, as an institution, is marginally less palatable for Joe and Jill Public than a slug sandwich.

And yet, so far, the Daily Heil and its bottom-feeding brethren at the sewer end of Fleet Street have failed to make capital of this. Instead, they’re concentrating on other, seemingly less damaging issues. Not all that damaging to Miliband, anyway. Today, it’s a peculiar non-story about the Labour leader’s love-life prior to his thirteen-year relationship with barrister Justine Thornton, his wife since 2010 and the mother of his two children Daniel and Samuel. It’s a shocker that, isn’t it? 45 year old man had relationships before he met his wife. A heinous crime.

Really, it’s just too laughable for words – and resounding testimony to just how worried the Tory press has become of late. The Daily Heil, by the way, is owned by Jonathan Harmsworth, 4th Viscount Rothermere – who, interestingly, is a non-dom – a category of tax avoiders who have been much in the news this past day or so. The fact that the gloves are now coming off may not be entirely unrelated to this issue.

So it is laughable – except for the people incidentally involved in the revelations about Miliband’s pre-current relationship history. One of those people just happens to be a woman who was recently bereaved of her husband and is therefore currently going through a very dark and lonely time indeed. She’ll need all the sympathy and support she can get right now – but there she is, on the front page of Viscount Rothermere‘s toilet roll of a so-called newspaper, being shamefully exploited because Jonathan Harmsworth doesn’t want a Labour government interfering with his opportunist taxation arrangements. Pass the sick bag, do. The reference in this article to Ed Miliband and his impeccable choice of football club is intentionally light-hearted – but really, I’d rather they used that, for all the good it would do them –  instead of intruding so callously on the grief of a woman whose only “crime” is once to have been involved with the man who will probably be our next Prime Minister.

I want Ed Miliband to be the next Prime Minister. We all should really – we’re all Leeds, aren’t we, after all? And yet I’m aware that, in the demographic of Leeds United support, that ain’t necessarily so. There are plenty of you out there who, for reasons I just can’t begin to fathom (unless you really are slavish believers of tabloid tripe), intend to do all they can to vote this incompetent and corrupt shower back into the power they should never have had their hands on in the first place. Which, I feel, is a shame.

But if I can do my bit, through Life, Leeds United, the Universe & Everything, to highlight some of the nasty-minded, shamefully-motivated tricks that are currently being played by the rich and powerful to protect their own vested interests – then this article will not have been in vain. If it results in just one or two people thinking for themselves, instead of believing what they’re being fed by self-interested and greedy owners and editors, then all of the pixels and fonts thus invested will have been worthwhile; indeed, cheap at the price. Especially if that all ends up with a tick going in what I firmly believe to be the right box on May 7th.

Ed for PM! Let’s have a Leeds fan in Number Ten, not least because it will further annoy and discomfit all of those rabid Whites-haters around the country and the world. For all the right reasons, of which there are many – and even some of the less serious and more light-hearted ones –

VOTE LABOUR THIS TIME.