If the WACCOE Forum Grew Up a Bit, Wouldn’t Leeds Fans Have a More Effective Voice? – by Rob Atkinson

WACCOE - could do better

WACCOE – could do better

One of the most potentially effective means whereby Leeds United fans’ discontent and opposition to the current Elland Road regime could be co-ordinated and focused is the wealth of fan forums out there. There’s the chance here for a collective voice of protest, for some kind of unified voice raised against the Fred Karno’s Army who are running things now. A much more effective army is out there and waiting to be mobilised. But, for the time being, all the potential thus afforded is being wasted in the insistence on one-upmanship, puerile and cringe-worthy humour – and the apparent need to nip in the bud any attempt at serious discussion of the issues that face our club.

The WACCOE Forum is a major offender. I should really declare an interest, as I have been virtually silenced on there for the crime of failing to go along with the right-wing, hard-of-thinking hard-core “laddish tendency” that seems to call the shots. That’s hardly going to have me singing their praises – but, the fact is that there are some seriously deep thinkers on there, people who could do a lot of good. If only they weren’t continually stifled by the Beavis & Butthead atmosphere that seems to reign. WACCOE used to be a lot more of a force for good than it is now – sadly, the overgrown schoolboys seem to have taken over, abusing powers of “moderation” on a whim, interested only in what amounts to a series metaphorical “weeing highest up the wall” contests, with each successive contributor desperately trying to outdo the one before, hoping against hope for a lol, or something similarly brainless.

It’s frustrating. A lot of the time, a topic will start off as something you think might go somewhere, and the first few responses develop a promising theme, with interesting points of view appearing. And then – somebody has to say something frightfully witty – and it degenerates from there. Very sad, and a waste of everyone’s time – particularly when you think of the urgent need for co-operation and a bit of constructive thinking. But the self-appointed guardians of the Forum ethos won’t have it, so it all ends up back at the lowest common denominator, with the chief offenders frantically reassuring each as to what fine and zany guys they all are. It happens time and time again, with wearisome predictability.

I’m aware that there are other forums out there, some of whom may not have plumbed the depths to quite the same extent as WACCOE and, to a lesser degree, the Service Crew Forum. But I still haven’t quite acquired the habit of anywhere else, so it’s these two that I tend to use as a yardstick of how the Leeds forums online are conducting themselves – and of how effective they might be should the time come when the fans have no other choice but to mobilise against people who seem set fair to run our club into the ground.

Ironically, people on WACCOE sometimes point a finger at this blog, alleging that no other views than mine or those closely agreeing with mine are allowed. Well, for a start, this is not a Forum – it’s a blog – although it can occasionally act like a forum, as there are frequently lively exchanges of opinion in the response thread to many of the articles. Where I do refuse to print something submitted, it’s almost always because of the level of personal abuse contained in it; one of these days, I’ll put a few of the rejected comments together and open a few eyes. From the level of whinging about this on WACCOE, I can only assume that many of these abusive comments originate from the sewer end of their readership – well, just grow up a bit guys, and express yourselves like adults, and I won’t be deleting you – will I?

The fact is, though, that WACCOE was set up is a Forum – they don’t do articles as such, it’s all about topics for discussion. I would challenge the moderators to demonstrate that my few recent contributions were so offensive as to be banned from appearing – they weren’t offensive at all, of course. Mine is a blanket ban, because the sensitive souls who moderate the thing can’t bear being challenged or disagreed with. Which makes their allegations of censorship on Life, Leeds United, the Universe & Everything slightly ironic – to say the least.

The point is, of course, that everybody with the interests of Leeds United at heart needs to up their game right now – because it’s more than likely that we’re going to have to make ourselves heard as a fanbase in the near future – if things continue to go downhill at Elland Road. That cause is bigger by far than any petty disagreement between neighbouring internet locations – but it surely means also that there is some growing up to be done in places like WACCOE, where the emphasis currently is on sticking the head in the sand when anything serious is raised, and having a jolly good big boys’ laugh about it all – whilst seeing who can wee the highest, naturally. It’s as pathetic as it is unproductive, and you can imagine how it affects the silent majority. What you get is the usual suspects, over and over again, self-indulgently dominating and ruining what could be a very good and useful internet resource for Leeds United fans – if only it wasn’t so insistent on the clique approach, with in-jokes, puns and other frightful examples of schoolboy humour, against the background of a determinedly blind eye turned towards anything they don’t like.

This blog will continue to shout as loudly as possible and hope to be right at least as often as it’s wrong. There’s been some humble pie eaten here lately, as the position of the blog has switched from pro-Cellino to anti – but there’s nothing to be gained by refusing to acknowledge a mistake once it’s been identified. You have to take a deep breath, trim your sails for a new prevailing wind, and sail on, hopefully in the right direction. I was wrong to back Cellino. I’ve taken that on the chin after a real effort at being loyal – and now I’m seeking what I believe would be a better future for the club I love. I know that many will condemn me for that, but equally there are many who agree. The best you can do is call it as you see it and go with the dictates of your conscience.

If it does come to a gloves-off fight between the fans and the current Leeds regime, than I would hope that a massive proportion of Leeds’ massive support would want to be in there, battling for the right outcome and a better future. In which case, the more United we can be, the better it will bode for that future. And it will be a case of “the more, the merrier” – so I do think it would be a good idea if some of the saner souls over at WACCOE – and other forums – could possibly start thinking about getting some actual grown-ups into positions of moderation – so that a change of tone and standards might be achieved, from the annoyingly adolescent to something that could be incredibly useful in a unified Leeds fan movement. That seems like common sense to me. The way things are at WACCOE right now, it’s easy to pick holes in the way the forum is run and the consequent dumbing-down of content. But that gives me no pleasure – I’d rather see it as the powerful force for fan protest that it definitely could be.

Really – is that too much to ask?

19 responses to “If the WACCOE Forum Grew Up a Bit, Wouldn’t Leeds Fans Have a More Effective Voice? – by Rob Atkinson

  1. You hit the nail on t’head Rob, I’ve been feeling this way about the forum I frequent for awhile now. No matter what the subject of the post it always quickly degenerates into an argument between the two main cliques (pro/anti Cellino) and who was right or wrong on a post made months ago. ‘Facts’ are almost always gleaned from the most reliable of sources (Newsnow and Twitter) or the always popular ‘inside source’. If everybody who said they ‘just got off the phone from my mate at Elland Road’ was telling the truth they would surely need an office dedicated to the leaking of information down there.

    I could write pages highlighting the different ways our Leeds community is dividing across the forums with all these nonsensical arguments based on hearsay and rumor, but basically I agree with your message that we should be united at this time. On the forums it’s become about egos and not about football. It doesn’t matter if you like or dislike Cellino, Love Leeds and stop all this pointless point scoring. That should be left to The Sun! You only have to look at the Josh Warrington fight from last weekend to see the power created by a united Leeds crowd.


  2. Belfast White

    As ever well said Rob, well said. ‘Tis true; United (Leeds) we stand, divided we fall…even further. We really need to get Il Duce and Umber doodle dandy out of our great club, and a decent owner in…think Swansea, Stoke, Southampton etc and double the potential.
    I also really hope lots of fans buy shares in the new group wanting to buy into Leeds. Seems a lot are holding back, waiting to see. They come across as a pretty able bunch.


  3. Witheld because it is on Waccoe and this shows you don't respect views

    If your can rise above the minority on Waccoe who shout your down then you have a view worth listening too. All to often people like you bleat about the fact you are not being heard because you have no real ability to get your point across unless you have your own soap box called a blog. Leeds united is a broad church and a lot of blogs like yours forget that if they don’t get their own way and their own views across. Time for you to understand that if you believe in something, then be clear, be strong and fight your corner, don’t wimp out of the debate and revert back to the “all the guys on this forum are muppets” viewpoint.
    I KNOW for a fact that Waccoe is a broad church.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Rob,
    Again spot on!!!…….obviously many from Waccoe read your blog…
    so YOU start the ball rolling as you may already have here….Raise the pettion I’d sign it in an instant. Get MASSIMO out now!!


  5. milano whites

    Heyup Gaffer..sounds like they’ve pisssed you off…going to research..Mad Hatter out…MOT/YRA


  6. Well said Rob – and it needed saying.
    I get so frustrated every day when people are bitching – whatever site I’m trying to follow.
    I know I love Leeds, always have and always will – and I know others say it BUT sometimes it makes you wonder with some of the downright rude or offensive, personal comments when someone doesn’t like or want to hear your opinion!

    MOT is important – and particularly the TOGETHER bit! We have enough downers outside our family!
    Best Wishes to All!


  7. milano whites

    Bloody great mucker. I had it with YEP for one, and the points you make above also infect that site. I want to see our lads playing for the shirt and community, in white at home, chancers and media scum out. Who the flook are we…the South Stand ER and JH acknowledged that last night. I can not get over as much as I want, but had a season ticket for years as a lad growing up in Skipton. My family is growing with nephews and nieces, brrothers in law an all, and even if they don’t support LUFC openly they always want to come along…keep going Rob…MOT/YRA


  8. Once again I am pleased the season has finished. At the end of most every season I have been disappointed but thought ‘ Lets wait to see what happens in the summer – next season we will get it right’ And every time nothing changes. Something has changed though because this time I’m thinking ‘its going be crap again next year there is nothing to look forward to except more of the same rubbish. As a supporter I feel I am being taken for a mug by successive owners – owners who do not deserve the fans of Leeds United. So until we get stability I can’t go to games anymore. Last night was my last match. It hurts.


  9. 2b frank strandli

    Leeds leeds leeds


  10. theseagullbus

    Good points and for too long that place has been the source of division and run by an agenda pushing clique-even worse than it used to be.You have to be a Risdale/Bates/Cellino hater (delete as applicable) and no other point of view is considered,plus the bullying and hatred towards fellow Leeds fans has no bounds.
    Personally I’ve become very much against Mr Cellino and would welcome some constructive united dialogue to find solutions,but reasonable ways of doing this would be hammered by the waccoe clique who want to man the barriers all the time.
    Its long become a parody of itself and ceased to be of any relevance to the general fanbase.They were actually offered the chance to engage with the fans’ groups but their admin refused,which shows the mentality of the people running it.
    Hey ho.


  11. Rob, your call for unity is spot on. In appealing for a response from WACCOE, and other Leeds fans’ forums, you might be trying to herd cats. However, if hungry enough, cats will work together to kill a prey or defend a territory. Leeds fans are certainly hungry, to the point of starving, and we know our territory is being taken. We just need a real target to attack. Currently, all we can see is a ball of paper on the end of a long string that someone (probably Bates’ mates’ mates) is pulling. Identify the hand that’s pulling the string and we’ll eat it.



    Well said. Your man enough to admit your change of heart toward Cellino and there’s a lot of us, I suspect, feel the same. I know I do. Loyalty is a great virtue. Not blind loyalty though, thats a very dark alley to walk down.


  13. I don’t know if it’s the nature of forums Rob, but you could easily be describing the one I read ( and occasionally contribute to), namely JA606. The Leeds United page is one of the most populated but it appears to be ‘ruled’ by a clique of regular contributors and woe betide anyone who ‘swims against the tide’. It’s a shame, because there can be some lively debate, but too often detractors are castigated for airing concerns and opinions. It appears you’re either inside the tent peeing out, or outside the tent peeing in. Another example of a good forum spoilt by some tedious individuals. But at least it’s another example of some decent fans that offer a barometer on my thoughts and concerns about the Leeds United circus.


    • Exactly, Wriggy. I’ve had the self-same experience on that self-same forum, and other variants on the whole, sadly defunct, BBC 606 theme. When it was BBC moderated it was OK – but sadly, fan moderation of fans means you end up with the type of person who feels they are qualified to tell others what to say or think – what I term the “yappy student tendency – and who should therefore be nowhere near a role like that. Lunatics in charge of the asylum is an apt metaphor, I feel. And “swimming against the tide” is an excellent way of describing how it feels to be a lone voice opposed by a mob on one of these so-called forums. I used to enjoy it, but I lack the patience now.


    • milano whites

      Best to piss in with a lot of this lot lad…MOT/YRA


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