Why Leeds United Should Already be Planning for the Premier League – by Rob Atkinson


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Leeds fans – fervent hopes and great expectations

A combination of Leeds United’s positive start to the Championship campaign, along with the fact of some rivals’ struggles when promoted to the Premier League, might give rise to doubts among our number as to how United would cope with our own longed-for elevation to the elite – should it finally happen. It’s a fair question, even at this early stage of the season – counting no chickens and not wanting to sound too arrogant, it still is very definitely something we’ve every right to ponder. After all, we’ve built up such momentum as a club this past year or so, with Elland Road packed every home game and thousands following the lads all over the country. There’s no denying it’s been a blast, we even surpassed some of the expectations and odds provided by the best pundits of the Sports betting and news sites, even given last season’s ultimate disappointment. Do we really relish the idea of trading all of that for the negativity of a long, grim relegation struggle in the Premier League next year? But that train of thought, logical and realistic though it might be, flies in the face of Leeds United’s urgent need for a return to where it truly belongs.

In considering our chances of survival if this season did see us making a successful promotion challenge, we’d do well to take with a pinch of salt the current club response to rumours of a possible takeover somewhere down the line. The Leeds owner’s position is given as being willing to consider more inward investment, while refusing to contemplate an actual sale of the club. But many fans, as well as many seasoned football pundits, feel that Leeds would have to change hands if they were to have a chance of competing towards the higher echelons of the Premier League. Even then, there’d be the strictures of Financial Fair Play to be negotiated; some of the club’s biggest challenges in a higher sphere would, it appears, be off the field of play. But the likes of Wolves have shown it’s possible to operate to a model that permits more than just a struggle to survive, and this is the type of example that United must follow, should they finally escape the clutches of the Football League.

Huddersfield struggled feebly for two seasons and then meekly surrendered. Hull City did well for a while, but now they’re back down. It will be interesting to see how Sheffield United fare in the top flight, after their steady start. But surely Leeds United, given the right type of ownership and structure, should be able to envisage a more secure foothold at a higher level than any of these Yorkshire rivals were able to achieve.

Clearly, we have to focus on promotion first and foremost, but it’s as well to have plans in place a long way in advance of any realisation of our current ambitions. So now really is the time to be wondering how we’d cope – and I firmly believe that those questions are already echoing around the corridors of power inside Elland Road. What the answers will be, who can say? But Leeds fans, who will remember how United set about the top flight on our previous two promotions in 1964 and 1990, are unlikely to settle for a weak approach next time. They will want to see us challenging as of old – and I believe it’s in this club’s DNA to do just that.

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11 responses to “Why Leeds United Should Already be Planning for the Premier League – by Rob Atkinson

  1. I believe Rob that the owner of QSI who is good friends with Mr Radrizzani will takeover at ER in the long-term. QSI have previously said that they’re preferred choice is Leeds Utd, and that they have studied the club for 2 years. In June you may recall that Radz and Bielsa were in talks with QSI over in Doha Qatar. Why was Bielsa involved in the talks? I can only think that they want him on board long-term. QSI would have the wealth to propel our great club back to competing with the Premier League elite. Interesting times ahead for the whites. #MOT

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  2. Life is LUFC

    With you on this one Rob, it is something I have thought about for a while now. It’s alright winning the battle to get back there, it’s staying there that is the greater challenge.
    Would Leeds be happy to sit in the middle of the table for a few years whilst they got settled and established before trying to win the division and all that entails. After all you do have to consolidate and build up the coffers as well as abide by the spending rules.
    You and I and many of our age group know you cannot have everything right now but I’m afraid our youngsters do get a bit impatient and want the lot all in one go and the consequences can go to hell in a hand cart.
    However let’s get this season rolling first and see where we finish up, no good rushing our fences just yet but I dream and pray and hope……….one day. MOT 🙂

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  3. Reality Cheque

    Plan to succeed rather than plan to fail obviously has to be the right choice Rob

    It has been an fairly impressive start to the season and lets hope that we can build on last night’s hard earned but deserved home win and make Elland Road much more of a fortress than of late. Eddie’s goal was almost a replay of his goal and Costa’s assist against Salford City, and Bamford’s decoy run to take out Brentford’s defenders and leave them looking at each other in disbelief as Eddie was able to ghost in unchallenged and tap into an open goal was truly amazing and showed that Bamford contributes much more than just goals

    I am a little confused that Bielsa rated Pontus the best player at his disposal last season but was happy for him to be sold to a direct rival for a relative pittance. That does not seem consistent with Bielsa’s response at former clubs to losing key players or missing out on transfer targets. Losing our leading scorer seems to have been engineered more by Roofe than the club, possibly on medical advice, as staying at Leeds with Bielsa’s intensive triple training sessions was likely to result in him spending more time on the treatment table with “stress” injuries than playing in matches. Just wondered what your opinion is on the Roofe sale Rob

    However, we seem to have recruited excellent replacements and whilst the jury is still out on the youngster White, he has made an amazing and impressive start so far

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  4. The eternal dilemma. What to expect from the sainted/tainted premier league?
    Regardless of spending big on players etc Leeds uregently need an increased ground capacity. 35,000 is nowhere near even in the championship.
    In the short/medium turn we need to replace the West stand with a stand that mirrors the east stand(I’m pretty certain this has been planned before). That should get the capacity up to approx 44,000.
    There is plenty of room at ER for further expansion.
    I realise this is a bit boring but it really bugs me that this potential has been missing for so long(cheers ken for ripping out the east stand seats).
    I think a takeover is deffo on the cards but FFP will affect the spend on players but possibly not on ground development.
    Just imagine a crowd of 58’000 (a midge above the attendance record) at ER as Nketiah bangs hat trick v the POD.MOT!

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    • It’s not boring at all, not to me. I’m fanatical about stadium development for all sorts of reasons, and investment in Elland Road (not capped by FFP) would increase revenue, which WOULD help with FFP strictures.

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  5. Spot on Rob and we don’t have to go,down the billion pound spuds route to have a ground with a rocking atmos. I listened to the Brentford game on Talk Sport .The noise came over brilliantly and was often commented on by the pundits.
    ER really is one of the last true football grounds. We just need a few more seats.MOT.

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