Tag Archives: Daily Mail

Leeds, Spurs, Everyone: Give Arsenal’s Main Man a Chance   –   by Rob Atkinson


The Tories think you are STUPID. That’s why they talk at you in three word, alliterative sentences, which they repeat over and over. 
Strong and stable. Brexit means Brexit. Magic money tree. Enough is enough. Coalition of Chaos. 

It’s the crudest and most obvious form of brainwashing you could imagine, but the Tories think – because you didn’t go to Eton, Harrow and then the Varsity – that you will be easily-led enough to vote FOR fox-hunting, the end of our NHS, tax rises for everyone except the rich, cuts in police and education, the Dementia Tax – and all the other nasties that the Nasty Party wants to foist on the many, so that the few can continue to ride their beloved gravy train.

They think you’ll be daft and masochistic enough to vote AGAINST free education, a decent living wage, investment in housing and social care and 10,000 extra police to make our streets safer. They think you’re THAT stupid. Well, are you?
I have a three word sentence for you. VOTE THEM OUT. And a four word sentence. BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE. 
Because, in one respect, the Tories are right. Enough IS enough. Seven years of Tory rule have dangerously weakened our front-line defences, driven teachers to despair, piled more pressure onto overworked and underpaid nurses and junior doctors. They’ve made a mess of the economy and a laughing-stock of the nation.

Now Trump is supporting the woman who failed as Home Secretary, who is failing as Prime Minister and who wants YOU to back her vague and uncosted manifesto – in effect, sign a blank cheque – for another five grim years, so that she can continue to run down vital services and sell off infrastructure. When Trump supports something, you know it can’t be good.
The last seven years of ideological austerity, which have seen national debt double to almost £2 trillion, are ample proof that the Tories are hopelessly malign and clueless. Enough really IS enough. And this election will be your last chance to make a fresh start before the Tories rig the democracy game to make sure they stay in power forever. Don’t be stupid. Don’t let them do it. The stakes are high, have your say on Thursday, and get rid of the Tories. 
Give Mr. Corbyn your trust and your faith. Give him a chance to put things right for the many, not just the few. It’s probably the chance of a lifetime to escape the yoke of neoliberalism. 

America missed the opportunity afforded them by Bernie Sanders. Look where they are now. We must not make the same mistake. 

#VoteLabour #JC4PM #ToriesOut

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Scott Gutteridge: My Side of the ‘Paid Cellino Fan’ Story 

In the interests of balance, and in the light of my previous article, I am reproducing Scott Gutteridge’s statement below, unaltered, unedited and without further comment.
I have recently become aware that a rather stupid story has been circulating in some media about my supposed involvement in a bizarre “plot” to somehow undermine Massimo Cellino, the Leeds United owner. I’m just writing this statement in order to put the record straight and to clear up some, frankly, wild inaccuracies.
Nobody who has an interest in Leeds United can be unaware that there are deep divisions at present between the pro and anti Cellino camps. However I am astonished at the media interest in this non-story given that it was a prank which some seem to have fallen for hook, line and sinker.
As an administrator on the In Massimo We Trust (IMWT) Facebook page I joined a website that seemed to me vehemently opposed to the owner in order to have a bit of fun and give them a wind up. I posted a statement there in which I claimed that an “unnamed source” at Leeds United paid me £500 a month to somehow place or write praiseworthy stuff about our owner. It’s kind of bizarre why anyone would believe that I was being paid to do it when I was actually doing it for free in any event and because I support the current owner. Nothing could be further from the truth. Mr Cellino did not pay me any money, ever. I have never received any money from the club, ever, and certainly not for writing a few posts on a Facebook site. I support Mr Cellino’s ownership of Leeds United and was posting stuff for free anyway. If you look at it logically it doesn’t make sense that I would be paid to do this when I was doing it anyway. As I have said this was a laugh, a bit of a joke, a prank that I pulled on those that want to get rid of our owner.
I have seen Daily Mail article and it has me quoted. It’s almost like the journalist had spoken to me which is odd because, again nothing could be further from the truth. I did not speak to that journalist. In fact I have never spoken to any journalist in connection with Leeds United. I certainly didn’t give him those quotes. I’m flabbergasted that a reputable newspaper could print stuff I am meant to have said them when in fact I’ve never spoken to them. It seems that The Daily Mail is even less accurate than Billy Paynter!
If you also look at the language used you’ll see it’s not really my style. It appears more in keeping with some signed confession from a hostage of Kim Un-jun. I am also happy confirm that I have never been to North Korea either!
I’m grateful for this opportunity to clear this matter up once and for all. What started as a silly idea seems to have taken on a life of its own. I’m just glad that it can be put back in the place it belongs – the playground so we can all get behind Steve Evans, the team and club to push it where it belongs – The Premiership. MOT

Prime Minister Mosley… and The 1,000 Days That Established The British Reich – by Rob Atkinson

The Daily Heil - peddling made-up rubbish since 1896

The Daily Heil – peddling made-up rubbish since 1896

The Daily Mail and the Mail Online have been indulging themselves again, venturing deep into the realms of fantasy and propaganda as they seek to plant fear and terror in the public mind over that nice Jeremy Corbyn, in an article subtly headed “Prime Minister Corbyn… and the 1,000 days that destroyed Britain”. Having originally adopted a stance of jocularly poking fun at his supposedly non-existent chances in the Labour leadership election, they now seem more than somewhat worried about Corbyn, not to say absolutely terrified. So they’ve done this little “glimpse into a crystal ball” thing, just to ratchet up the tensions a bit among their loyal if dim readership.

It’s all good, knockabout stuff in the time-dishonoured Mail idiom. Here we have the awful spectre of billionaires fleeing the country; there we find football’s Premier League reduced to a Hackney Marshes shadow of its former greedy glory as prima donnas head for pastures greener – and of course there’s the sale of our nuclear arsenal to President Putin, with our consequent cold-shouldering by the USA’s possibly pre-menstrual President Trump(!) There’s even a little joke – the boyband One Direction, leaving our shores, never to return. Geddit? It’s the stuff of a Thatcherite Tory’s nightmares, designed to get under the skin of the “Disgusted of Godalming” brigade, or anyone else daft enough to take the Mail seriously.

Rothermere of the Mail and Adolf Hitler - Best Friends Forever

Rothermere of the Mail and Adolf Hitler – Best Friends Forever

But here’s the thing. The Mail is not alone in its ability (for want of a less flattering word) to dream up a “brilliant imagining” as they so modestly hail their own speculative scare-fest. Let us do some imagining of our own; let us consider how things might have panned out if Lord Rothermere, one-time proprietor of the Mail and originator of 1930s headlines such as “Hurrah for the Blackshirts” in that esteemed organ, had actually had his heart’s desire – with Oswald Mosley elected as Prime Minister instead of the Conservative Stanley Baldwin in 1935…

The night sky over London was thick with choking black smoke, a triumphant marker of the fires raging in the parks, casting a faintly demonic glow over the faces of those witnessing the first mass book-burning of the Mosley era. At last, our nation would break free of the shackles of left-wing dogma, as the works of so-called “socialist intellectuals” disintegrated before the eyes of an eagerly-watching public. The scene was repeated across the length and breadth of a British Isles looking to flourish under the jackboot of the British Union of Fascists. 

Soon, all such subversive rubbish would be gone, and the newly-formed Nationalist Government could turn its attention to other forms of cleansing, towards the day when Britain would be ethnically pure and, along with its strong ally Germany, the proud joint masters of Europe.

Soon, too, the British people would have a Royal Wedding to enjoy, as King Edward the Eighth met his bride at the altar of Westminster Abbey. And then, joy unconfined, with a spectacular coronation for our beloved new Queen Wallis, followed by a honeymoon as guests of Chancellor Hitler at his Bavarian retreat. Here, yet stronger links would be forged between Germany and Britain, as the two most powerful nations in Europe looked to extend their joint empire south to the Mediterranean, and far beyond…

At home, those with the good luck to be part of Mr Mosley’s Aryan-dominated economic miracle would thrive, due in no small measure to the opportunities afforded them by the expulsion or disposal of various groups of “undesirables”. Of the old guard, the likes of Winston Churchill were placed under house arrest shortly after the ’35 election for the expression of “Unbritish sentiments”. Rebellions in Scotland, Yorkshire and other militant and intractable parts of the United Kingdom were put down firmly but fairly, by use of reasonable military force and with an acceptable level of casualties among the rebels. The ringleaders of these mutinies had the honour to become the first traitors publicly executed since the glorious days of Queen Victoria, with a mass example of national discipline taking place via machine guns in Hyde Park in mid 1936.

By late 1938, the map of Europe had been radically reshaped as France, caught helpless between Italy, Spain and Britain/Germany, was squeezed out of existence by this quadruple Fascist Alliance. Paris fell before the massed tanks of the United British/German Army, de Gaulle was guillotined in the Place de la Concorde and the scoundrels of the much-vaunted French intellectual society were forced to flee, via Switzerland or Portugal, across the Atlantic to the United States.

As time went on, further examples of sedition were rooted out and dealt with. Subversives like Clement Attlee and Aneurin Bevan, with their dangerous notions of welfare states and national health services, have been confined to a correction camp on the Isle of Wight, from where they are unable to peddle their filth. The idea of succouring the weak and unfit bids fair to undermine national prosperity, and the British/German peoples are solidly behind the abiding concept of “Survival of the Fittest” with its associated precept of “Work Sets You Free”, shared in Germany as “Arbeit Macht Frei“. Instead of being pampered and pandered to, those unable or unwilling to make a contribution to society are housed in dedicated camps, such as Rochdale and Coventry in Britain, and Belsen, Dachau and Auschwitz in Greater Germany.

In these first three years of the Mosley administration, great strides have been made towards restoring Britain to its rightful pre-eminent world position. Great Britain is now respected abroad, in countries like Argentina and Emperor Hirohito’s Japan; we are once more a country where strong Aryans can make for themselves a good life, with no fear of racial dilution or that pollution of the mind which comes with the free publication of treacherous left-wing nonsense, now thankfully suppressed.

We at the Daily Heil can look back with pride at the part we played in bringing this new order about, as well as our sterling contribution in the first thousand days of Mr Mosley’s premiership. Let us look ahead now, under our Leader and his staunch ally Herr Hitler, to continuing prosperity for the master race in its natural homelands of Britain and Germany; we look forward with growing pride and optimism to a Kingdom/Reich which may last well beyond a thousand days, yea, even unto a thousand years!

Hail Mr Mosley and the Fatherland! Heil Hitler!! A rousing chorus, if you please, of “Hoorah for the Blackshirts”!!!

That’s one way things might have turned out, though it’s highly doubtful that the Mail would care to “brilliantly imagine” any such thing these days. All that Nazi-sympathising stuff is such a long time ago now, buried in their past and, surely, not to be mentioned by persons of taste.

Still – sauce for the goose, as they say. And alternate histories can hardly be as downright ill-grounded as pointless, biased, agenda-driven speculation about the future – now can they?

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.

Mail Exclusive: “LUFC Owner Cellino is Clone of Saddam” – by Rob Atkinson

In a story that will rock the football world for its breathtaking lack of any supporting material, the Daily Heil can reveal that Massimo Cellino, previously supposed to be an Italian corn billionaire, is in fact a genetic mutation of executed tyrant Saddam Hussain. It is further thought – although this publication has seen no actual evidence – that the purchase of Leeds United in 2012 was funded entirely through secret funds generated by the proceeds of the sale of Weapons of Mass Destruction, transported clandestinely aboard Cellino’s evil yacht, Nélie.

Whilst the Heil is unable to prove any of these cast-iron facts, we are quite happy to go into print with them. We strongly believe that slurs and smears against Leeds United – fabricated and groundless though they may be – are firmly in the realm of public interest journalism, as per the best tradition of our current proprietors and their card-carrying Nazi forerunners.

Now it is firmly established, beyond any reasonable figment of our sports editor’s imagination, that Leeds as a club is owned by the living clone of Saddam and funded by the proceeds of his evil if non-existent WMD, we at the Heil are calling upon the gentlemen of the Football League to act – and to act now. Leeds United has for too long been a stain on our national game – although this publication has seen no evidence of this. Nevertheless, the continued existence of Leeds reflects badly on the Football League and its venerable administrators and officials, money-launderers, jailed tycoons and convicted rapists.

Your super, soaraway Heil will not rest until the Son of Saddam and his vile crew have been dispatched to the nethermost pit of Hell where they most assuredly belong – although this publication has seen no evidence of this.

Paul Dacre is the holder of the Iron Cross.

Should Gutter Rags Mail and Mirror be BANNED from Leeds United? – by Rob Atkinson

Short and sweet this one, folks (at least my trolls will be pleased…)

Many of you will have read my occasional rants about the gutter end of the national press and their entirely destructive attitude towards Leeds United. In pandering to market forces (as, clearly, most of their readership will hate, loathe and detest the very name of our heroes in white), these toilet rolls lose no opportunity to have a dig – the Daily Fail have been at it again today, descending to the type of spite normally associated with pigtail-pulling schoolgirls. I’d provide a link but, on this occasion, I simply can’t be arsed.

Simple question, then, and I value your input as ever – should these two imposters and certain other of the gutter end of the Fourth Estate be banned from Elland Road?

I’d appreciate your views and, if possible, a little bit of the reasoning behind them.

I’d do a poll – but again, quite frankly, I really can’t be bothered. This is one question I just want to get out of the way with as little fuss and bother as possible. After all, it doesn’t affect me, as I never put money into the pockets of these dire excuses for news journals (and I’m sure many of you are the same) – but it does make my teeth itch that the talentless and booze-raddled hacks concerned are infesting the Leeds United press box, and absorbing the gratis hospitality. And no, it’s not envy. Been there, done that; but I was – naturally – coming from a supportive angle, as I love the club. The attitude and agenda of the hostile gutter press is diametrically opposite to mine. And, even though I don’t buy their crap, I’m sick of seeing it happen and reading snippets of their venom online. So, I just wondered what people think about a ban.

Over to you, with thanks.

Tabloid Smears Can’t Mask Growing Optimism at Leeds – by Rob Atkinson

Big Mass

Big Mass

It’s been just another few days in the grubby life of tabloid sports journalism UK style. Those booze-befuddled hacks, desperate to sell more copies than their fellow downmarket scandal rags, wallow happily in a sea of effluent they’ve excreted themselves, pandering to their readership’s darker prejudices. The target, of course, is everybody else’s favourite bêtes noires, our own beloved heroes in white, Leeds United.

This week, it’s been the Daily Heil with a mish-mash of unrelated stabs in the dark, all attempting to add up to a hatchet job. Very poor, very amateur … very Daily Heil. The truly awful Daily Mirror, for their part, attempted to up the ante by luring an unwary ex-United hero, Dominic Matteo, asking him a bunch of loaded questions and publishing the result under the supportive title of “Leeds are a laughing stock and I fear they’ll get relegated”.  Matteo’s recent dismissal from his position at the club is, of course, entirely unrelated to the views he now expresses, which in turn have nothing to do with the soiled wad of banknotes undoubtedly pushed his way from the Mirror‘s own filth fund. This blog understands that Matteo himself is less than impressed with the headline, the poor naïve soul. Bit late now, Dom – isn’t it? For future reference: when you sup with the Devil, you’d better use a long spoon.

The good thing is that neither of these pisspoor efforts at spreading alarm and despondency have been any more effective than a cat-flap in an elephant house. They’re irritating, nothing more – the kind of articles you could predict, almost word-for-word, without even having to glance at them. Such is the parlous state of UK tabloid coverage regarding football in general and Leeds United in particular. These people have their agenda and, once you take that on board, their stuff generally means nothing.

The other good thing is that, slowly but with gathering momentum, the Leeds United locomotive is pulling away from the sidings and getting ready for full steam up. The driving force behind this is, of course, United’s own Signor Loco, Massimo Cellino. There is definitely something about this guy that hasn’t been seen in the vicinity of Elland Road since – well, ever. He’s one on his own is Big Mass, they broke the mould when they made him. From a most inauspicious start, he’s gradually won over more and more of the vast Leeds United army out here. Supporters of the maverick Italian have seemed to outnumber the naysayers and doom/gloom merchants for some time now. In the beginning, the balance was rather different.

 

The wisdom of Cellino

The wisdom of Big Mass

The thing about Cellino is, every time he opens his mouth, pure gold pours out. For a stranger to these shores, he has a way with the language that is at once unique, compelling and deeply memorable. We all remember his observations about buying a bitch for a night, but not being able to buy the love, my friend. Admittedly, he’s not the most PC guy around. But that was a hell of a quotable sound-bite for somebody caught unawares by a phone call out of the blue, more than a touch ‘tired and emotional’ and with his guard distinctly down. There’s a fluency to the quote, a rhythm that lodges it in your consciousness. He’s been coming out with similarly notable pronouncements ever since. Some are less printable than others, but all have that Big Mass stamp of authority, confidence and authenticity about them.  Cellino shoots from the lip, he doesn’t waste words and he always makes his point crystal clear.

Actions, they say, speak louder than words – so it’s encouraging that Big Mass has recently started to show himself as a do-er and not just a talker. Shock waves are still reverberating around the football world at the price he extorted from poor old Fulham FC for a flash-in-the-pan Scottish badge-kisser of dubious motivation and fitness. People keep appearing in social media, all shocked-like, and pointing out another two or three internationals who have moved for a combined fee of less than Cellino got for Rossco. Don Revie described his capture of John Giles from Man U as “robbery with violence” – and so it was. By that reckoning, Fulham have been the victims of an armed blag that John McVicar would have been proud of.

The sale of McCormack was greeted by a kind of astounded approval by the Leeds United supporters fraternity – remarkable when you consider it represented the departure of yet another top performer, even though you did have the feeling that No. 44 might have had difficulty reproducing that annus mirabilis form next time around. But there were no mass protests, there was no real social media uproar. People were just too damned impressed by the amount we got. Naturally, there have been some feeble peeps from the usual doom-monger suspects, bleating about the figure being misleading, blah blah. But for the most part, we seem satisfied with the deal – and why the hell not?

If that wasn’t enough reason for a burgeoning optimism about LS11, then throw in a rash of signings since Ross sulked off down south, mostly unknown to us it’s true – but that doesn’t mean they aren’t quality. Nobody had heard of Hasselbaink before he arrived, or Radebe, or even Yeboah to a certain extent. Cellino and his deal-maker Salerno have form for finding rough diamonds and polishing them up. They managed it in a Fiat 500, and their stock is a lot higher now that they’re in charge of a Porsche. And all the time, Big Mass is there, hands on, sorting problems and building towards the new season, generally smiling, throwing out little nuggets about having millions in working capital – generally creating an atmosphere of positivity around Leeds that we haven’t seen the like of since before Publicity Pete got found out. A 16-0 pre-season win has done nothing to harm this heady feeling of reckless happiness, either (doom-mongers: “Who were we playing, Brazil?? Haw, haw, haw.”)

In such a swaggering manner are we sauntering expectantly towards the new season and 46 acid tests of the new regime. It won’t be all moonlight and roses, we can be sure enough of that. But there does now seem to be a new, unfamiliar optimism in the air, a feeling that last season can be consigned to history with a lot of its baggage now shed and a tasty few signings on board – with more to come. The feeling is growing that the new season will see a Leeds United worthy of our support – and that is support well worth having, when the crowd are up for it and the team are fighting for the shirt. We’ve seen those days before, long ago admittedly – but who knows? Maybe they’re on the point of coming back.

If that is the case – well, it’d take more than a few miserable and talent-free hacks wielding their poison pens to deflect us from our path onwards and upwards.  We’ll be Marching On Together quite shortly now, setting off on that League marathon with a visit to darkest Millwall. Bring it on, then. Forza Leeds and the tabloids can stick their spite and negativity where the sun don’t shine.

Sacked Matteo Takes Mirror’s Thirty Pieces of Silver – by Rob Atkinson

Let me say right from the start – Dominic Matteo is a Leeds United hero. He’s earned that status, as have a select few before and since his time at Elland Road, by virtue of one historic, iconic moment. When Matteo rose at the near post to head home a corner into Milan’s net at the legendary San Siro, he sealed his place in Leeds United folklore – a place cemented by his subsequent performances in the white shirt. Yes, Dom Matteo is a bona fide Leeds hero. But even heroes are not immune from criticism.

Peter Lorimer could doubtless vouch for that, if he was of a mind to. His place in United’s pantheon of greats is a far more elevated and glittering one than even San Siro hero Matteo’s. Lorimer made his debut at the tender age of 15 and went on to forge a fearsome reputation as the rocket-shot weapon in the Leeds locker. Lash, they called him, and legend had it that goalkeepers would dive out of the way of one of his 90 mph strikes, rather than attempt a save and thereby risk injury or worse. Lorimer played a massive part in the golden era of Super Leeds; his “legend” status was surely indisputable.

Except, of course, he’s viewed very differently these days. Peter Lorimer is guilty, in the eyes of many Leeds fans, of selling his soul to the devil, in the not-so-cuddly guise of Wicked Uncle Ken Bates. That such a sparkling reputation as Lorimer’s could be so sullied should be a warning, surely, to lesser lights – that treachery and duplicity will not be tolerated by Leeds fans, no matter what your achievements are. It’s a warning that Dom Matteo, with his peroration in the paper that hates Leeds United more than any other gutter rag you could name, appears to have failed to heed.

In writing for the Mirror – a toilet tissue of a so-called “newspaper” – Matteo risks putting himself outside of the Leeds United family. He risks becoming a pariah – which is how some now see the iconic “Lash” Lorimer. The Mirror is not the only scandal rag currently to have a pop at Leeds – the lamentable Mail, often known as the Daily Heil by those with the inside track on editorial politics, has also had a go. It’s not too surprising; the gin-raddled hacks who staff these chip-wrappers-in-waiting are well aware that bad news about United sells copies among the cluelessly-ignorant, Leeds-hating hoi polloi.

But the Mail are just winging it; the Mirror have managed to lure the presumably unwary Dom Matteo, a contemporary Leeds hero, over to their dark and loathsome operation. It’s not a particularly wise move on the part of Matteo, recently sacked by Leeds – though he would surely claim this has had nothing whatsoever to do with his outburst in the most degraded of all gutter rags, the Sun not excepted. Had wiser counsel prevailed, Dom may well have stuck to disseminating his wisdom through the pages of the Yorkshire Evening Post, which benefits from both a more enlightened editorial stance and a readership to match. At least that way, his glowing reputation among Leeds fans would not stand at risk of becoming tarnished – as it does today.

It’s to be hoped that Matteo was well paid for his intemperate contribution in the slimy pages of the Mirror. Exactly how much it’s been worth to him, we’re likely to be left to guess. Thirty pieces of silver, perhaps? It’s a tad out-dated and probably not all that inflation-proof – but in the circumstances, it does seem appropriate.

Norwich in for McCormack … Yeah, Yeah, Put a New Record On – by Rob Atkinson

Ross McCormack

Ross McCormack

They’re not the brightest bunch down at the Daily Fail – they seem to lack any real intelligence or imagination.  This is odd for a representative of the gutter end of the Fourth Estate which depends so much on fabrication and ludicrous hogwash for the majority of its output.  Perhaps the strain of supporting Mr Camoron’s ridiculous and unelected regime has addled those tiny brains.  Whatever the cause of this rag’s latest foray into Fantasy Island territory, it’s all getting more than a little boring now.

What the Fail‘s dim but persistent hacks have cottoned on to is the fact that the best way to rile Leeds United fans is to run yet another story linking our current best player (no challengers to Mr McCormack for this title at the moment) with Norwich City – based purely on that backwoods Norfolk outfit’s notable record of signing some of the Whites’ meagre pool of talent over the past few seasons.

The difference at the moment of course is that Norwich are now a Championship club again, having suffered an hilarious relegation despite securing the services of 75% of the Leeds United League One midfield. When those regular raids on the Elland Road playing staff were going on, the Canaries were, albeit temporarily, Premier League birds.  It’s a distinction far too subtle for the booze-raddled mind of your average FAILOnline fantasist, but that Premier League status did make a difference for as long as it was a fact. It’s a difference that no longer applies, though – so what (we might ask) is the rationale behind the current story linking our Ross to the ex-Premier League (they are no more, they have ceased to be) Canaries?  I’ll tell you what. Nothing. Nada. Zip, zilch and, as Mr Cellino would no doubts say, niente.  It is all, to use a technical term descriptive of the journalistic standards at the Fail, bollocks.

It’s hardly unlikely that Mr McCormack will move on to pastures new this summer.  He will have no shortage of clubs queuing up to recruit him, and on much better terms than his present agreement.  But Leeds United have him tied to a contract, and Ross himself has spoken of the attraction of staying at Elland Road and winning promotion as captain.  Much better, he said, than playing in the Premier League with “just any old club”.  So how much better still are his current circumstances than the scenario of playing for just another Championship Club, against Leeds United (to whom he has consistently pledged his allegiance) – and uprooting his family into the bargain.  It just doesn’t add up.  Then again, neither does your average Fail hack’s expenses account.

The “writers” for the likes of the Sun, the Mail, the Mirror, etc etc, are never going to be good journalists, telling the truth and uncovering legitimate stories.  That’s so far beyond the bounds of probability as to be laughable. But they could at least vary the standard fare a little, in the hope of eventually becoming slightly less pisspoor journalists.  Why not link McCormack at least to a Premier League club?  It’d still be made-up crap, most likely – but at least it wouldn’t be quite such transparently obvious crap.  The current habit of using Norwich all the time, just because of the well-known irritant factor for those of a Leeds persuasion, is lazy; it’s unimaginative; it’s boring.  It doesn’t help the clubs concerned, or the fans of those clubs – and neither does it reflect well on proper journalists working for serious newspapers, who tend to get tarred with the same brush by an undiscriminating public as the morons who rattle off the same old crap from their rightful place at the sewer end of Fleet Street.

So please – do us all a favour.  Put a new record on, or just shut up altogether. Or stick to writing astrology columns. You wouldn’t be missed in the real world of sport – and at least doing horoscopes you’d have a bit more chance of being right once in a blue moon. 

Rejoice! The Disgustingly Bigoted Daily Mail HATES Leeds United – by Rob Atkinson

Daily Heil - leaders of the gutter brigade

Daily Heil – leaders of the gutter brigade

Everybody knows that Leeds United aren’t exactly the toast of Fleet Street, or Wapping, or whatever geographical location you can choose these days as a symbol of the home and hearth of the English national press.  Actually, Fleet Street remains the single most appropriate spiritual location for the gutter end of our national newspaper industry – as the River Fleet was famously one of old London Town’s most noxious and disgusting open sewers.  Some things never really change.

Prominent among the Leeds-hating mainstream press is the scurrilous and disgusting Daily Mail – known as the “Daily Heil” by those of a discriminating nature who are all too well aware of this rag’s antecedents. The hacks at the Heil can always be relied upon to jump on the bandwagon of hating the Damned United in print and, these days, online too.  But it’s a fact that some publications are just so bloody awful that you wouldn’t actually want them printing a positive word about your beloved club.  It’d be a bit like getting a publicity break from Max Clifford.

The latest in a long line of articles with a distinct and rank anti-Leeds flavour appeared today under the byline of journalistic nonentity Patrick Collins, for whom you will search Wikipedia in vain – a damning indictment of the status and esteem of any “national” journalist.  This particular Patrick is not to be confused with Patrick Barclay, who is a distinguished and erudite sports writer. But the Lesser Patrick’s lazy piece, published by HeilOnline, was typical of the anti-Leeds genre – take a handy quote, put a conveniently negative spin on it, burble on a bit and then submit it, to an uncritical and tasteless editor.  Another day’s work done, another small addition to the Heil‘s record of shame.

One phrase ostensibly describing Don Revie’s Leeds United – and you can imagine the Lesser Patrick toiling over this until he thought he’d got it just right – went as follows: “Those of a certain age will recall a team of extravagant talent, irredeemably tainted by a taste for cynical brutality.”  Now there is rich irony here, albeit of the unconscious kind, something that will have sailed right over the empty head of your average Heil hack.  Because the fact is that, whenever such a wretched scribbler uses the words “irredeemably tainted”, readers everywhere will smile knowingly and think of the history of the Daily Heil. It’s not a story of which anybody but a moron such as Paul Dacre, or some of his allegedly noble and undeniably moronic predecessors, such as Lord Rothermere, could possibly be proud. The record of the Mail is littered with headlines which expose an editorial attitude that belongs in a Berlin bunker.  It is a history of abject shame and an utter poverty of proper journalistic and editorial standards.  If this is not true, then let them sue me.

Just to take the odd example from the past; in the 1930s, this “newspaper’s” proprietor, Lord Rothermere was vociferous in his support for various friends overseas, notably Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini.  The Heil’s editorial stance towards these “heroes” of Fascism was therefore somewhat sympathetic, to say the very least. In January 1934, Rothermere himself penned an article headed “Hurrah for the Blackshirts” – and the paper provided details including an address to write to, in the earnest hope that “…young men may join the British Union of Fascists…” The Spectator commented at the time “…the Blackshirts, like the Daily Mail, appeal to people unaccustomed to thinking. The average Daily Mail reader is a potential Blackshirt ready made. When Lord Rothermere tells his clientèle to go and join the Fascists some of them pretty certainly will.”

More recently, the Heil has further immersed itself in disgrace and infamy with a series of headlines attacking minorities – usually conveniently vulnerable minorities – with absolutely no scruples as to whether or not their content contained any truth at all.  One example of this was the trumpeting of the alleged discovery of a “gay gene” which, the rag hoped, might lead to abortions of those pregnancies which could supposedly be identified as leading to the birth of what they would presumably refer to as “gay babies”.  The mind boggles painfully at that – but it’s pretty standard fare, sadly, for the Heil. Columnists in modern times have tended to include those who might be relied upon to continue the not-so-grand Heil tradition of bigotry and ignorance in print as well as online; the prejudiced, ridiculous and brainless Richard Littlejohn is an apt example of this policy.

For all of the reasons referred to above, I’m never all that bothered when another clueless and talent-free Daily Mail hack has a go at my beloved Leeds United. It’s an irritant, nothing more.  And the good bit is that it gives me the kind of excuse I’m always craving to have a go, in my small and humble way, at such a very despicable and diseased organ.

So keep it coming, you modern representatives of Rothermere’s shameful legacy. I’d hate to be identified in any positive way with such a very tawdry publication, fit as it is for nothing better than wiping rear ends; it follows that I’m almost always glad to see the football club I love attacked so regularly by the likes of the Heil.

After all, just as we are defined by the quality and decency of our friends and allies, so too can we be judged in the best possible light by the bigotry and stupidity of our critics and enemies. ‘Twas ever thus – and long may it continue to be true.