Byram Is a Realisable Asset, NOT a Leeds United Necessity – by Rob Atkinson


Boy Wonder Byram

Boy Wonder Byram

Everywhere you look within the Leeds United blogosphere at the moment, people are gnashing their teeth, tearing their hair, rending their clothes and exhibiting other biblical signs of anguish and angst – and all over one slip of a lad. Sam Byram was an unknown to 99% of the support three short years ago. Then he had a dream pre-season, started off the Championship campaign in the first team – and stayed there, producing displays of a maturity and confidence far in excess of his tender years.

Naturally, being Leeds, this seeming success story is a double-edged sword. The presence of a boy wonder in the first team (otherwise known in LS11 as “the shop window”) more usually produces feelings of rampant insecurity among the Leeds faithful, rather than the warm glow that should accompany the sight of a youthful prodigy in the famous white shirt. We know our place in today’s scheme of things, and it is very much that of “feeder club”. Each successive hero has played his way into our hearts, prospered briefly in front of our adoring eyes and then departed for pastures greener, or more likely Canary yellow, with no sign of any adequate replacement.

It’s happened with Beckford, Howson, Snoddy, Becchio and Uncle Tom Cobleigh and all.  Local hero status is no protection from the Lure of Elsewhere. Howson supposedly had Leeds tattooed on his heart, but it seems to have been erased easily enough, and our last sight of him was as he wheeled away after scoring a winner against us. Byram could so easliy have followed the well-trodden path out of Elland Road a year ago; Southampton, awash with Liverpudlian money from their fire sale of last summer, were rebuffed after an offer of £4.5 million or so for Byram – but there are now rumours that more serious suitors might be willing almost to double that sum.

Sam is quite possibly the jewel in the crown of the Leeds Academy production line. Despite an injury-affected and form-blighted last year or so, he really is that good. It’s natural then that worries over his short-term future should be particularly unwelcome at a time when a maverick owner and the latest in a long and dismal line of “head coaches” are supposed to be building for the club’s eventual re-admission to the Promised Land of the Premier League. But really – should we be worrying at all?

We need to take a long, hard look at what is necessary to get us out of this division in the desired, upwards, direction. That list will include strikers who know where the goal is (Chris Wood?) and are proficient at sticking the ball therein; midfielders and wingers – all very much according to the prescription of our former gaffer Dr. McDermott, who had seen this treatment work wonders at Reading. We also need tough, all-action ball winners who are preferably not in the superannuated class (Tom Adeyemi??), and a solid defence who will be mean enough at the back to make sure that increased productivity up front results in a net force taking us a lot higher up the league.  What we probably don’t actually need, and won’t until it’s time to start plotting our approach to the top flight, is a potentially world-class performer on the right flank. It’s superfluous to our current requirements; we’re casting pearls before swine.

It would be OK, of course, if Sam did stick around.  It might even be better for the lad himself – too many fledgling superstars have gone up a level and struggled to stay afloat, look how Fabian Delph initially struggled at Villa.  He’s only now beginning to look the player that seemed likely to be evolving under the guidance of Gary McAllister – and he may be about to disappear into the black hole that is the fringes of City’s 1st team squad.  Byram might well benefit from another season at least of learning his trade at Leeds, or so the conventional wisdom goes. 

Looking at things realistically though – if there WAS an offer of £8 million for the youthful and richly promising Sam, and if that £8 million were to be made (don’t laugh, now) available for the construction of a team that would challenge strongly this season – might not that be a good option for Leeds? It’s the kind of money that, as was said about the fortune we mugged Fulham out of for McCormack, could easily fund the four or five quality additions that we realistically need to propel us into the very top echelons of the Championship. Whether such investment would actually be made is, of course, another matter entirely – but that still doesn’t make the case for hanging onto a valuable, possibly wantaway player. Once promoted, it’s a different ball game, but in the here and now the priority is actually getting there, and a lavishly-gifted Byram in a team consisting otherwise largely of uninspiring plodders doesn’t look like being enough to realise the dream.

A lot will depend on the attitude of the lad himself, and historically no sentimental feelings of attachment to the club that has nurtured their talent have persuaded previous uncut diamonds to hang around and be polished at Elland Road. So if Sam wanted to go to a Premier League club, would we, could we, should we, stand in his way?  My view is that you don’t sacrifice a lad’s ambition and desire to mix it with the best, on the altar of narrow club interests – such a policy is liable to blow up in your face, leaving you with a disaffected and depreciating asset on your hands. No, if Byram does want out – especially as his current deal is fast running down – we’re better off gritting our teeth, securing the very best deal for Leeds United – don’t forget that sell-on clause, Massimo! – and getting on with reinvesting the loot in a team that will do the job at this level. We can leave worries about how we cope in the Premier League for such time as it becomes a live issue, rather than the distant prospect it is right now.

We need to cast off that “Feeder club” image as the mortally humiliating insult it is. We Are Leeds, after all. But in order for that to happen, we may need to embrace the unwelcome label in the shorter term, and speculate to accumulate. And at least these days we seem of a mind to drive a very hard bargain, unlike previous years when the attitude has been disgustingly meek and humble as we accepted pittances for valued assets. If the departure of Sam were to provide the funds to finish the job, then that sad loss will turn out to have been a worthy sacrifice.

The ugly truth of the matter is that a stubborn desire to keep a luxury we can’t afford, and frankly don’t really need in our current situation, could turn out to be the ultimate example of short-termism, to the detriment of our longer-term prospects of life at the top.

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75 responses to “Byram Is a Realisable Asset, NOT a Leeds United Necessity – by Rob Atkinson

  1. yes but we’re not accumulating Rob: Cellino has banked £11m from McCormack and says he is going to spend it on the ground. Well, we’ll see, but even if he does Cellino will be asset-richer while sitting on the best stadium in League One. He’ll take another £10m or so from selling Byram and Smith – let’s see if he reinvests any of that rather than bringing in loans with the option to buy in 12 months (Serie B never-weres on low wages). Oh, and his coach, a laughing stock in his own right, is understood to earn about £80,000, in football a risible sum.
    A cynic might infer that Cellino’s simple objective was to make as much money out of the club as quickly as possible. Nothing he has done so far argues against that, whatever his cute PR and the obtuse yearnings of our much-abused supporters.

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    • I think people are being a little hasty in harshly judging the imports. Give them time to settle in and gel as a team – then we’ll see.

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      • mrbigwheels

        I’m sure the imports will gel and what is happening may be the fore runner to a massive improvement in the quality of football on match day. What concerns me is how the Coach will manage them and the team selection. Saturday was a clueless exhibition with the coach freely admitting post match that, ‘Smith made a difference when he came on’….. Why didn’t he start then?. Byram looked totally frustrated as he did in the Dundee match with the front two out of the game, substitutions too late, Hunt starting etc, etc.
        Whether Byram goes or stays. Whether the imports gel and play well or not, the entire team performance is dependent on the coach and his ability to manage the team.
        Cellino has instigated a massive amount of changes in the business structure at Leeds and we would have sunk without it.
        In fact selling Roscoe and maybe Bryram along with those many changes does not worry me. The one thing that does though and this is Cellinos…. ‘Big One’…. is his choice of Coach and although he will eventually ‘move on’, Cellino will linger with him perhaps for too long a time.
        I hope I’m proved wrong and Cellino admits pretty soon… he got it slightly wrong but you’ve got to try stuff. I’ll accept that and many of us would too.

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      • Sorry Rob,
        I totally disagree, and find your comments on the remaining team members as “uninspiring plodders” is out of order. We have seen enough of Murphy, Mowatt, Cook and Taylor to suggest that with last season under their belt, they will be as good as Sam. Following the pre season fiasco last seasons imports were thrown into a team with little cohesion, and, playing for three different managers and altering styles of play and systems mid way through, not by choice, but necessity.
        Given the time Beradi settled and turned out to be pretty good, Silvestri is the best keeper we have had since Nigel Martin, Bellusci at times looks quality but l would much rather see him just in front of the back 4 as the defensive midfielder where he would have cover for the odd mistake which last season proved costly. injury, tactical changes and lack of a continuous run did not allow Antenucci, Dukara, Sloth or Bianchi to totally establish themselves, but all showed distinct possibilities especially Antenucci, Time will tell, and this year we have had a proper pre season.
        I mentioned two years ago in one of my responses to you, that I thought after Rob Snodgrass departed, Byram was wasted at full back and that he was probably the best right sided or central midfielder in the club, I still stick to that. At that time I said that all we needed was a dominant centre half, we got that in Bamba, a midfield general and at least one winger. we are still waiting for the last 2. given these, the three new boys we have already got, Cooper, Wooton and the other youngsters ready to break through, we have a squad good enough for automatic promotion. not just playoffs.
        Like you, If Byram does not sign a new contract, we must maximize what we can get for him.

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      • I do wish people wouldn’t feel they have to say sorry for disagreeing. Disagreement is at the heart of heathy debate and, while penning opinion pieces is all about thinking you’re right (by definition), I for one can be persuaded otherwise by reasoned argument. Though not in this matter, not yet!

        The only thing I won’t have is people being abusive or unpleasant – they either get the sharp end, or simply get binned. But debate is always good 👍

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  2. mrbigwheels

    Some common sense at last and no doubt MC will be looking at Byram in the same light. £8/10m will be achievable. There are quite a few top teams looking to solve their defensive issues at the moment.
    The big question of course is always the one of reinvestment of that capital into the team.
    Hope it does happen for the lad and together with the Roscoe income we will see where MC really sits with squad development and hence the future of this Club will be decided… pretty soon.

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  3. wetherby white

    sorry Rob totally disagree. The departure of Byram would just be another execellent young player leaving Leeds and to be replaced by who? Our foreign imports are coming into a league where every tin pot team is busting a gut to put one over the once mighty Leeds United. How are they going to fare on a wet Tuesday night in Bournemouth or one of our endless derby games where traditionally our gutless wonders roll over very quickly.
    Recruitment of quality is hard enough with an eccentric owner, refusing to pay the going rate wages and a coach from nowhere.
    In Byram we have one of our pathetic handful of players who we KNOW can cut it in this league. Build a team around him, Pearce, Murphy and Smith (there arnt any others that are proven as yet) and hope that the imports cut it.
    We don’t even desperatly need the money, Cellino is just choosing not to spend much of it.

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    • maltawhite

      It really makes me smile when I see ‘ how will they get on on a rain soaked Tuesday night,’ or something of the ilk. Newsflash people, there are Tuesdays in Italy, teams play on a Tuesday and it is also known to rain there too. The only thing that should concern us about the ‘foreign imports’ is are that they are a better standard to what we had. As of yet we cannot say, as Hockaday decided to play pretty much the same team that struggled last year. I am sure that over the next couple of weeks when they’ve had a bit more time to settle, we will see the most of the new outfield players in the team.

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      • Counte Of Monte Fisto

        To me the issue is that we fundamentally havent addressed the issues of last season (at the moment)

        We are still playing Austin, Wooton, Tonge and Hunt, Poleon is still no the bench and we haven’t got a replacment for Lees.

        Currently (& I hope things do change quickly) we are worse than last year.

        The weather is irrelevant, I think people mean the Championship is a VERY hard league & playing for Leeds is even harder than it is for say Sheff W or Forest

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  4. Agree – Sam may become a fine player but right now I would trade him for a top class centre back and a decent centre forward (and maybe a good centre Mid as well). We need leaders on the pitch; we don’t have any (Pearce?); we haven’t really had a good leader for a while, and Byram isnt a leader.

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    • Counte Of Monte Fisto

      I don’t think people are unhappy with the trade bit but we never seem to fully invest any incoming receipts.

      IF (& thats an almighty IF) it were guaranteed that we would spend ALL of the money on quality around the team I would be ok.

      But we won’t so I arent ok

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  5. At the moment I’d rather hang on to him. Even if we got 10 mil seasons already under way and with the time it seems to take to get some of these transfers through the door I doubt we’d have enough time to get someone decent in to replace him. With a team with a lot of mediocre players (that’s be kind for some, looking at you Wootton) surely we need to hang on to the good player/s?

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  6. Put like that, it does seem logical that selling Sam would make sense,but I think it comes back to that old, hot potato,Will he spend the money raised on new players.So many times we have been let down in this department,that we are now naturally scinical of any sales made that don’t seem to make any sense to us.

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  7. sniffersshorts

    as per usual you are an old head on sensible shoulders, I too am of the opinion that Cellino should splash some cash, we are all to believe he is cash rich,but is the importance on retaining Bryam, not really, £10 mill goes a long way on buying replacement(s), is there importance on buying back Elland rd, long term yes as the expenditure leaving the club is key to future success and ready money, short term it means less cash for players in January, maybe when we need to strengthen yet again, because we will need to that is for sure at this rate. I do worry that the investment again is on loan deals, with hope that these imports improve and we can buy a few gems. but again they are easy to let go back to their clubs if they prove to be not for us. why would Cellino constantly tell us the club is in the crap if it wasn’t, its obviously a lot worst than we think, but do we want stability for a couple of seasons or non existence, unfortunately at this present time we cannot have our cake, it was eaten by the greedy buggers before him. I read that GFH are about to take a landfall of cash $200 mill, will any of this be put into the club, them being a substantial stake holder, not on your Nellie. as you say we are in a state of flux and constant worry yet again. The Hock probably didn’t use Smith earlier enough on Saturday, if we had come away with a nick draw, we would be so much happier, we all hate loosing, playing well and loosing grates on me, but its better than loosing badly, which we did.We are one game into the season for christs sake, and its all doom, come on show some grit and guts, there is a long way to go yet. As for the lad Bryam, he would be daft to leave now he really would, he had a cracking season before last season, but he was burnt out, he will crash and burn in the premiership if sold up the river to early, I hope we can keep him but £10 mill would be a steal, as it was with McCormack, so be it if it happens, we move on ………….. hopefully MOT

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  8. sendemback

    Paying out 1mil for a player then finding out hes not worth it. ie Murthy whats the best option try before you buy.Cellio knows his business at least they can go back if not up to the task.Who would,nt want half this team kicked into touch.

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  9. Cellino is on record as saying that the money for the ground purchase was already in place before selling Ross, now all of a sudden the £9 mil or so from him is going to buy the ground. I’m all for letting Byram go, for a decent fee, IF the money goes into player investment, but on the evidence so far, it won’t.

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  10. The kids got too much talent to be wasting his career at ER, let him go make something of himself. Its okay saying ‘that just makes us a selling club’ but look at the talent Southampton have sold over the years (& not just this summer-Walcott, Bale etc) and they are in a place we can only dream about. If we could guarantee Cellino getting say £8M for him & then he duly spends it on 4 or 5 decent players then all well & good, but would that actually happen?

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  11. Nice one Rob, as always ! Interesting viewpoint.
    The question that needs answering is WILL MC reinvest? Anybody reading this please don’t judge him on previous bearded[not] wonder or GFH – we all know now that the best interests of the club did not match their agendas.
    Only time will tell – we’re only one game into the season, against a ‘bogey team’ who always seem to get points off us; please don’t be so negative about the long season ahead.
    I wouldn’t have said I’m an optimist but I just feel different about MC and like the way he talks…he’s so passionate about the club ! I trust him.
    MOT

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  12. Aussie Dave.

    I’m with you on this one Rob. If we could get £8M or so we could afford to pick up talent like Sharp, Murray, Sorensen, Cooper, etc. as a collective as well as a winger or two. Byram won’t get us to the Promised Land but all of these plying their trade at Elland Road could.

    MOT.

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  13. You have to keep your best players and add to them . Cellino has said we don’t need the money . We are accepting being a selling club which cannot be right if we want promotion . If and when we go up hopefully we will need 4 or five players to compete not a whole new team . You have to have a nucleus to make it happen in the first place .

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  14. Lot of ifs there Robbo

    Its a difficult call but I think its a lot simpler than most of us like to think………you keep selling your best players then don’t expect success

    I mean how long does it take new players to gel ? Some never will settle. Theres no guarantee for example that Beradi is good enough to replace Byram or that he will hang around in cold west yorkshire

    Then there is the seeming ambition of getting promoted. If we do get up then that’s when you want your young youth players because they are the ones who will adapt not the old grizzled veterans. It was the secret behind Wilkos Leeds success……the likes of Speed and Batty stepped up and propelled Leeds forth

    my Final point is great yes sell him at 8 million but A/ Cellino has shown no willingness to part with money for decent players and B/ we only have 2.5 weeks left of the Window to get players in !

    Id say keep him unless we get 8 mill +++ and we got a good feeling about signing new players, otherwise forget it.

    Cellino still has to earn my trust when it comes to spending cash on players. The RM money appears to be saving him putting his hands in his pocket as he promised before he bought leeds

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  15. jamesnotfred

    I hated paying rent for a place to live. The pressure of having to find money at the end of the month seemed futile. Straight down the drain, as far as I was concerned. Now I’m in a position where investment in my abode rewards my family life. The cash flow has a totally different philosophy about it. The critical thing about it is the expenditures are much more positive.
    I would be crazy to hang on to a Porche when a Clio can do the same job. I’d save on insurance, petrol and car tax plus I’d have a large money injection That money could be redirected to a sound front door, a new kitchen and quality food.
    Yes, it takes time and requires some hard decisions. Clear thinking is the reward, as the pressure of other peoples demands pale in to the background.

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  16. You just have to look at Derby and to a certain extent Ipswich and even Millwall to see what impact a good coach/manager can have on a club.
    Like others I don’t understand why Hunt started on Saturday, it made no sense. I worry that Hockaday will be out-thought tactically this season. I hope he’s not the puppet so MC can play Football Manager 2015 with LUFC.

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  17. sendemback

    Cellio ran his former club the same.Bring through the younger better players then sell on.Thats how he kept Calliga a viable business and he stayed a wealthy man.

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  18. louthwhite

    Agree totally with Strandli. I can’t believe how Cellino has cast his spell over so many Leeds fans. It doesn’t matter how much we get for Byram if the chairman doesn’t put it back into the squad. The Championship’s top scorer on 28 goals and has yet to be replaced. He has already said he is going to spend only 15M on players and that’s including wages. Mind you he didn’t say it how long it would take ! Lets look at the facts. We have let released 17 players from last season and we all agree that the squad from last season was not good enough. We have let a centre half go for next to nothing without having his replacement in before he left. We have brought in 7 to 8 players most of which are from lower Serie A or Serie B. Byram is no fool. He doesn’t want to waste another couple of years in the Championship with this side. It is demotivating for the lad to see McCormack and Lees leave and new arrivals who are probably not up to it and for a coach he never heard of. Then he sees Cellino’s antics with the on/off negotiations with Viviani and Sorenseon. Guess what….neither player signed ! This is a quote from Cellino re Hunt and Morison : “Hunt has the skills,” “He’s a good guy. Morison is a character – a bullet – but a bloody good player with skills also. If he wants, if he really wants, he can be a big player here. This is not mathematics. It’s football. And football is strange. Hunt, he never scored last year but maybe this year he will make 35 goals”. If we are depending on Hunt and Morison to score goals for Leeds United this season, get out the Sat Nav for Preston and Sheffield United next season. Faith is a good thing. Blind faith without reason in Cellino over a period of time is crazy. He has delivered nothing on the pitch so far but blind promises. I really hope I am wrong and The Hock makes it, but I’ll be surprised if he is still there by Halloween. And do you know what ? You are dead right, Rob. Sam Byram is not Leeds priority. It’s not Hockaday’s fault, and it’s not Sam Byram’s fault, because both individuals only want to better themselves. But many of us thought the days of selling our best players where behind us when Cellino took over the reigns ?

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  19. Bitesyerlegs74

    Agree with you totally Rob. The sooner people realise we are going to have to grind our way out of this league the better. If Sam has to go to fund buying 3 or 4 out of the bargain bin so be it, we need a squad to compete. Lets worry about premier quality as and when we get there. In our hearts and minds we are SUPER LEEDS! In reality where it counts, on the pitch, sadly we’re not. But we can be again if we MAKE HASTE SLOWLY. I was weaned on the Revie Leeds and know what its like to watch a truly great Leeds side, but that side didnt appear overnight either. Well done Rob. You talk a lot of sense. 99 percent of the time anyway!

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  20. sniffersshorts

    just had a look at Bellusci on You tube, mmmnn bit like whenever celebrities show up in that mag, name escapes me, it all goes tits up!!!!!!! hard man like his style if we get him I nominate his nickname The Enforcer or the blues brother!!!! , no fear at all, Hard as Hunter and Vinnie but bit more style about him….. because he Italian of course….. WE ARE LEEDS

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  21. sniffersshorts

    cooper confirmed in via chesterfield web site, the enforcer next, we now need a proven goal scorer and perhaps that Brazilian ……… then we improve as season goes on

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  22. Well we haven’t sold Byram as yet but we are buying Cooper and getting Ballusci. Two or three more additions should put us back in the frame. As you say Rob don’t dismiss these Italians before they have started. 8 mill + for Sam would be a good deal and he has made it known through his agent that he wants away to the Prem. Also I just have this niggle in my mind about that hip injury. Good as he is, I personally don’t think we have seen the player of two seasons ago.
    BTW any of you who think Cellino is short term for profiterring are way off the mark in my opinion. Millwall was bad, but if we could win the next two and get more players in then it will be a distant memory.

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  23. Cellino is now rushing around to sign the players that should have been signed weeks ago, when the chance was there to settle them in, for the start of the season, but that has been down to everything being done on the cheap.
    The sale of Byram might be the last straw for a few Leeds fans, but if Leeds can get 7 or 8 million for Byram, then he should be sold.
    What people have got to remember is that the Leeds defence has still been dire for the last 2 seasons, even when Byram has played, so will he be a big loss to the team? Maybe not, but has Byram also been the tiny difference between Leeds surviving or getting relegated, for the past 2 seasons?

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  24. Whether we like it or not we’re all Feeder clubs to an extent- Arsenal to Man City, Newcastle to Arsenal- Debuchy and now possibly Tiote, Leeds Utd to Norwich etc etc. I think the secret now, and it hurts like hell to admit it, is to try and be philosophical and see the bigger picture. Tie players down with big contracts and when a stupid bid comes in for them take the money, have a adequate replacement in mind and as Rob says put a sell on clause in the outgoing players contract like we’ve just done with local lad Fraser Forster. As long as there IS a long term plan going forward and these deals arn’t done for the specific purpose of lining the owners pockets I have now reluctantly accepted that this is the way forward for most football clubs working to a budget. To a lesser degree in my opinion, this has always gone on in football it’s just the money in the game now has significantly altered how the game is run and it’s now either the owners wanting to make massive profits or the players wanting to cash in on their own clubs financial vulnerabilities. I think in the case of Leeds United you’ve just got to grin and bear it at the minute. If Massimo can continue getting massive amounts for half decent players then let him get on with it, as long as it’s ploughed straight back into the club. I don’t know how much money he’s actually worth but he needs to decide if he’s serious about going for the riches the premier league has to offer. The only problem then is instead of Norwich trying to poach all your best players it’ll be Chelsea or Man city. Same shit, different league that’s all. NUFC.

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  25. You are all well behind the times, we have signed , Cooper, ballistic and sharp. Argard move collapsed but after two players. Cellino is not in this just hoping to make a profit . He likes to win and he wants people around him who are winners . He has . Stated that with Leeds United he will not have to keep selling players to keep the club afloat. He is moving to leeds lock stock and barrel from Miami.you don,t do that unless you are committed to the success of of your endeavours. I believe in this man, mistakes might be made but he will succeed in the end MOT

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  26. Byram is the long term future, what your talking about is average and short term ! Its what every other team aims for today and then comes straight back down because of it. The young players are the ones who adapt and learn from moving to the higher division ! Did Wilko or leslie silver think like you and all the rest of the average also rans that annually head into the premiership, do absolutely nothing and come straight back down again ?? No they kept Batty and Speed, kids that would fight for the club they grew up with twice as hard as the next man
    it also saves the club money in the long term because young players like byram will cost you 8 to 30 million if your a premiership club

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  27. Ropey Wyla

    I feel like I’m in a timewarp reading some of the comments on here, is this a re-posted article?

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  28. “You don’t sacrifice a lads ambition etc etc”, how very generous of you. We should be putting up signs around TA welcoming unscrupulous agents to whisper in young lads ears. ” Don’t worry lad, it’s fine, your clubs interests can be sacrificed for immediate personal gain. Don’t worry son, I read it on roblufc.org, so it must be okay”! Yeah, brilliant….

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  29. chris moore

    i agree 100% sentimentality is the real problem here… If they promise to Use the Money to fund three Top Player.each value at 2 to 3 million,Leeds would be in a far Better Position to be Promoted.Common sense tells you this. Byram is an Asset for Leeds either way you look at it. we need to Build the Team round Mowatt, Cook, Bamba and Tom Adeyemi..we can Afford to sacrifice Byran as long as we can buy three Top Players. One Central defender.A Prolific Winger,who can play also anywhere in midfield and can score many goals..and one Top striker to replace Morrison. come on Fans,we need to be realistic. Byram could well be Leeds’ Top Player in 2 years time,but we need to be back in the premiership and sometimes you have to use your Asset to Further your Ambitions..we don’t want to struggle another couple of years,that why sell one of your best, for more depth of Quality in our Squad

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  30. Absolutely! the Author is correct..we can build a very strong side if only we had another three to four players..we need strength in depth. Byram is only worth One Player only. we can fill his space ,but we cannot fill the Squad with depth if we hold on to him..what if he is injured or get off form?

    if selling him means our chances of promotion increases,then why are we holding on to him? if we get 8 Million please do what is best for the Club.sometimes you have to sell your best in order to Invest in Numbers..we need Numbers right now. we have plenty of Quality but lack a few more…Byram cannot make up for three players we Require..it is Realistic to sell in order to Improve the Squad.but keep Mowatt and Cook…

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  31. BITESYERLEGS 74

    Very well put. Pragmatic. 👍

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  32. chris moore

    Karol,it not short term..if Leeds stays in the championship,we lose him next Season? do you think he will sign another Contract?you can forget your long term plans..NO,If we Improve all the Squad and area of the Field,we can Qualify and get promoted,then the money we will get from this far Outweigh the vale of Byram

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    • HES OUR ONLY EFFECTIVE WIDE PLAYER YOU MUPPET, your in dream land..yes sell him a week before our first game and then write a book entitled ” How to screw your season up a few days before it starts”

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  33. we cannot risk losing him..i don’t mean Now,but in a Year time when Leeds do not get promoted..that the time we might lose him for a free transfer..come on fans,let him go..we need a few Good players now he can only offer us one position.we can make up that loss .we are still lacking a few more Players.isn’t that clear?
    Rob Atkinson is right..why can’t we accept the truth?

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  34. Your logic is irrefutable. What we need is for Sam to sign up longer term or 8-10mill for squad investment.
    The other argument is that resisting a sale sends out a message that we’re serious about building for the future.
    On a different note, as I eagerly await my 51st full season , I despair when reading social media comments from our, so called ‘best fans in the world’. Best set of spoilt, dissatisfied, whinging moaners more like!
    MOT

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  35. Rob the crux of the matter is as you say whether any sale proceeds are available for I think 3 or 4 quality signings which I feel we still need to launch a realistic promotion challenge. That said the other key factor this season we shall require is STABILITY! It will be a total disaster if 10 (or less) games in Cellino stays true to form and sacks the coach for only being mid table. This club more than anything else now requires a period of stability to build a team and style of playing that can get us promoted and hopefully Heavy Metal is that magic formula

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  36. We have not heard from Adam Pearson for a while, or Massimo.
    Pearson promised 4/5 new additions as did mr Rosler.
    I think this was to boost season ticket sales – an old Bates trick.
    Sam is still with us because no one has made a real offer.
    As soon as they do he will be gone.
    Anyone on a decent wage will follow the others out the door.
    Morison next?
    We have not replaced any of our better players, with top players, and this will continue.
    If our lack of ambition continues, so will the player drain.
    This close season has been the poorest I can remember.
    The coach cannot transform an average player into a star.
    He cannot make a player a faster runner or a quicker thinker.
    Mr Rosler has been lied to about team recruitment, as Brian was before him; as Warnock was ; as Simon was etc.
    The ‘4/5 quality players’ is an illusion.
    Our rivals have made excellent signings, and some have spent well to gives themselves a chance.
    We are a mid table team, with no real goal threat and a fragile defence.
    However, we are stuck with it, as we were under Bates.
    Broken promises and downright lies keep us on the hook.
    “There is still time”, of course – another golden oldie!!
    Being super fit, and running around closing people down is good, but without quality, and our share of the ball, we will burn our selves out!!LOL
    I’m still looking forward to the season, but Burnley will be a big test.
    MOT

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  37. Its not “Pragmatic”, its stupid………… Every year its the same and every time there is interest in our youngster all the same dumb ass Leeds fans that never learn, crawl out to spout the doctrine of ” yeah sell im we can use the money to buy loads of great players” but it NEVER works like that at any club…………look at Spurs, they sell Bale and then spend 100 million………AND DID NOTHING, Everyone congratulates Southampton for treading water but imagine where theyd be if they actually kept hold of all their kids now littering Liverpool, Arsenal and Manure teams
    *Byram is already a leeds stalwart, hes not a gamble like any new signing
    *Based on preseason hes our most effective player by a country mile (ask anyone who saw the first 45 against eintracht)
    *Hes our ONLY natural wide attacking player and no they don’t grow on trees
    *As Karol said, in a few years when we are in the prem we will start looking around for decent young british players but oh yeah…we had them………..
    *People said this about Delph, People said it about Howson………etc but we are watching them and Milner, Lennon and co kick it up for other clubs while we languish………theres a clue there
    *Then theres the attitude of your youth players = more commitment, loyalty and a group of them together is dynamite due to them creating a peer group======Revies team, Fergies team = Scholes, Bechkam, Giggs etc, DOLS BABES…………list goes on
    Oh and by the way it would be seriously dumb to sell him unless you got three players lined up anyway ! we are almost at our first game forgodsakes

    So yes go for it, sell him but it NEVER works out………

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  38. Usually agree with your articles but completely disagree with this. You say we need wingers but Byram has been playing as a winger in pre-season, and quite an effective one. He could be the winger we need.

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  39. Why would Cellino buy Leeds United to make money? Anything he’d make would be small change in comparison to his vast wealth. As for selling Byram,it would be the worst possible move since Cellino said to Dave Hockaday ” i’ve got a great idea”. The fact that premier league clubs have shown an interest illustrates the level he’s capable of playing at. Why sell him only to buy championship players whose usefulness would be limited to this league. Marching/Goose stepping on together.

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  40. Rob,
    I normally enjoy your blogs they are a lot better than some of the dross out there, however I think it is irresponsible to put out this piece again at a crucial time for the club and has just fuelled more speculation that he is about to go. Don’t forget this lad has worn the Leeds badge on his heart and must be dismayed reading this sort of stuff. On this occasion rob you appear to be no better than the gutter press you slag off so much.i am glad to see it has been removed from newsnow site.i am looking forward to the new season with all our bright young stars in the starting line up,
    Andy

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    • (A) Byram has a year to go on his deal – cash in NOW, or lose out big time in 12 months.
      (B) The article is still on News Now 😉👍

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      • Only on mobile news now.
        In response to your comment about the time his contract has to run would it not be better to keep him see were we are at Crimbo.should we be in top 3 then he may well stay thinking why leave when Leeds could be a prem team in a few months time. If he does go in jan and Leeds are doing well then I assume he would have had a good season and therefore increased in value. And I say again if he has no intention of leaving and is reading some of these comments he must be feeling demoralised at fans sounding more like football club owners.

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      • I sometimes worry about the naivety of a large section of Leeds fans.

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      • Chareose

        your forgetting we are due sizable compensation if byram goes on a free………..that’s possibly why the club is not panicking

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  41. Sign Sam on a long contract and pull down the shop window shutters.
    If we sell it sends out the message that our assets are for sale, all of them. We will never get promoted unless we keep the players who are good enough, build a team around them. Did Revie sell his young guns, no he built around them.
    MOT

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    • What if he won’t sign though? I’m talking about that scenario. If he won’t, we have a rapidly depreciating asset on our hands and an urgent need to realise it.

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      • Chareose

        mate like TSS twittered earlier, you almost certainly replace byram with like for like quality at a cheaper price……. so whats the point of buying players who arnt as good, theres a reason why prem clubs are looking at these kids

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      • The reason is that Prem clubs are looking for quality to work alongside quality and can afford to do so. If you sold Byram for £8m and signed 3 good Championship players for around £2.5m apiece – could you seriously argue that doesn’t enhance the squad??

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  42. to be honest guys i want him here this season with us i dont give a flying hoot aboutanything but the team and the manager, the board cash reserved etc are not my business

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  43. king sniffer

    Can…open……worms everywhere!

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  44. Well said Asif. Lets not have any more of this ridiculous talk of Sam being sold and replaced with journeymen. Imagine if Revie had sold the young Paul Reaney? Besides as soon as clubs know that Leeds have 8m to burn they will suddenly want 2.5m for players worth 1m. Whether his contract is up or not next June is immaterial,if he can play premier league football with Leeds next year he’ll stay. The only way Leeds will play premier league football is if we keep our best players. END OF. I worry too about the naivety of Leeds fans sometimes.

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    • I can’t understand why there are these comparisons between now and the early part of the Revie era. It’s a totally different world now. It is worth pointing out, though, that the young, homesick Billy Bremner would have been on his way if a £20k fee had been met.

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  45. My view is if that we do sell Byram the team will deteriorate..simple as. It’s all very well talking about reinvesting the proceeds in other areas but the McCormack sale has already demonstrated Cellino won’t pay the wages demanded by the quality players we need. Nothing has changed since his Cagliari days..Unfortunately for that reason whilst Cellino pulls the strings the bet we can hope for is that we continue to produce the quality organically but more importantly keep hold of it for as long as possible..This means keeping Byram.

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    • But that argument defeats itself. If Cellino won’t pay attractive wages, it’s unlikely that Byram will sign a new deal. Then it’s a choice between cashing in now, or losing him for peanuts next summer.

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      • Rob is it not time you closed this one, you can’t win them all, your readers clearly disagree with you this time .you are the one that Leeds Mick is referring to.
        Andy

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      • My readers clearly disagree with me, do they? If you read ALL the comments, you’ll see the better-informed ones are right with me on this.

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  46. The time lapse between today and the early 60s is irrelevant. Sure the game has changed, situations haven’t changed though and the fact that we currently have our best right back SINCE Paul Reaney is wholly relevant. He’s better than Gary Kelly and Mel Sterland too. Just think if Revie DID make the mistake of letting Reaney go? George Best would have ran amok. Good players are good players whatever the era.

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  47. Hopefully Sam stays and helps Leeds United. I suspect – based on Cellino’s very long track record – that if Byram is sold then the bulk of the cash will disappear offshore and we’ll have a sudden influx of bargain basement Italian no-mark loanees but no real replacement.
    Yes if Sam doesn’t re-sign his contract then he IS a depreciating asset, but if he is sold now and the money evaporates a la McCormack then his cash worth to Cellino is huge but negligible to Leeds United FC.
    Retaining Byram is a gamble for Cellino, but a generous and exciting one which makes a good statement, IMHO.

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    • But CAN we retain him? What contract offer will be made? Will he be expected to turn his back on a Prem wage “for the honour of wearing the Leeds shirt”??

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      • It’s a balancing act, I agree Rob. We don’t know what Sam is on, nor do we know what – if anything – has been offered. I also agree that he (and the grasping agent) must be tempted by the silly PL money. However what might be going through his mind is the prospect of earning good money but playing endless reserves matches in obscurity or getting splinters on a PL subs bench week after week.
        Having said all that, with Cellino you just never know what can happen.
        Exciting, innit?

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      • Riveting 😎

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  48. patrick hogan

    The thing is Rob. I’m a bit sick of different sites creating a bit of hype about losing Sam Byram next season on a free. They simply ignore the Bosnan ruling. At his age we’d be entitled to a fee – and a reasonable one; admittedly not what we could ask when he’s on a lengthy contract, but not a pittance either. I’m simply trying to point out one of the shades of grey.

    Like

  49. Pingback: Divide and Rule: Cellino Deliberately Pits Leeds Fans Against Sam Byram   –   by Rob Atkinson | Life, Leeds United, the Universe & Everything

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