Tag Archives: Daily Mirror

Top Ten Reasons People Hate Leeds United   –   by Rob Atkinson

  1. My dad told me to. 
  2. It’s totally cool to hate Leeds scum. 
  3. Everyone else in my school year hates them. 
  4. My grandad told me to. 
  5. The Daily Mirror told me to. 
  6. That ginger Peterborough fan told me to. 
  7. Erm…
  8.   
  9.    
  10. That’s it, with regard to this one.
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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.

Mirror Reports Brazilian International is Latest to Quit Leeds – by Rob Atkinson

Brazilian midfield genius Embargo - leaving Leeds

Brazilian midfield genius Embargo – leaving Leeds

In yet another Elland Road exclusive, the Mirror can disclose that the latest high-profile star to turn his back on the troubled West Yorkshire giants is expected finally to depart the club today.

Your Sensational Soaraway Mirror (Ed: is this soaraway thing OK, or is it already in use??) has been keeping a close eye on developments at Leeds over the past few months, and has been able to keep their long-suffering fans up to date with what is rapidly becoming a summer of humiliation for the once-mighty “Lilywhites” (check if this is actually Leeds, or just Spurs or someone – Ed.)

Only yesterday, we reported the latest in a series of embarrassing cost-cutting measures, with players being required to bring packed lunches, wash their own kit, pay to train and hire the stadium for home matches whilst coughing up for travel and overnight stays on away trips. Your ever-reliable Mirror* has also charted the inevitable departures from the club, faithfully reporting the exit of Ross McCormack to Newcastle, Norwich and Fulham for a fee of £6m, £8m and ten MILLION pounds.

Now, in the most worrying development yet, the Mirror understands that the transfer of Embargo, a tricky Brazilian international playmaker, is set to be confirmed today, in the latest shattering blow to the crisis-torn club’s already slender hopes for the coming season. The burning question is: how much more are the worried fans of Leeds United actually prepared to take??  (Ed: could we stretch this to a double-page feature – really take the piss? Who is this Embargo anyway, has he figured in the World Cup??)

With the loss of Embargo, the Leeds midfield options look to be severely limited. In an interview which took place yesterday in the head of our Chief Sportswriter, Oliver Scum, ex-Leeds star Eddie Lorimer stated: “It’s ridiculous. We were going to build a team around Embargo, and now he’s going – and we’re not even being told where.” (Ed: maybe ditch this bit and make up a Norwich connection??)

Whatever the outcome of this summer’s wheeling and dealing, it seems certain that, for Leeds United – shorn of their world-class, globally celebrated Brazilian midfield genius Embargo (Ed: steady on, old boy – we don’t even know who he is yet) – this is going to be a long, hard season, culminating in relegation, bankruptcy, administration and flats being built on the site of a demolished Elland Road. (Like it, like it!! – Ed.)

Yes, it’s party time at the Mirror. Help us celebrate folks – buy tomorrow’s paper with its 28-page pullout on “The Death of Leeds United”. Yippee!!!!

* Mirror: means of seeing everything back-to-front and the wrong way round.

Leeds-Hating Gutter Press Step Up Campaign to Sell Ross McCormack – by Rob Atkinson

Daily Heil - one of the gutter brigade

Daily Heil – one of the gutter brigade

The crappier end of the press in this country can be very, very predictable indeed when it comes to their coverage of Leeds United.  I’m talking here particularly about the likes of the Mirror, the Mail (or the Daily Heil, as it’s colloquially known) and the Express – and then even a step lower than these diseased organs, down to the trash comics like the Sun and the Star.  Even the so-called “quality” papers can be relied upon, more often than not, to print rubbish about the Whites of Elland Road.  They hear the song that echoes around football grounds everywhere whenever a game of professional football is played in this country. They know from this that there’s a lot of clueless individuals out there who “all hate Leeds scum” – without knowing why, beyond the fact that their dads did too, back in the long-ago sixties and seventies.  They know that this Leeds-hating, brainless yet massive constituency forms a significant market, and they’re ready and willing to pander to it – as this will sell thousands more copies of their grubby rags.  It’s not big and it’s not clever – but it is lucrative.  And really – why let a few scruples get in the way of the bottom line?

So, in the interests of satisfying their Leeds-hating mass-market, the papers will have no hesitation in printing any old rubbish that might stir things up or cause upset around LS11 – anything they can fabricate or indiscriminately recycle to unsettle things at Elland Road is grist to their less-than-choosy mill.  Sometimes this will take the form of bare-faced lies – one outstanding rag the other week claimed that, if Massimo Cellino’s appeal against his tax evasion verdict were to fail, he would probably go to jail – and sometimes it’s just a matter of making something up and running with that.  For this latter category, the hack concerned will normally look at the best player Leeds currently have and write some illiterate piece linking that player with one of the last clubs Leeds fans would wish to see him leave for.  This is done with the aim of making the player restless if possible, irritating the Leeds fans and pleasing their army of anti-Leeds readers.

At its worst, this type of sleazy journalism can amount to illegal approaches from interested clubs with the media concerned acting as a conduit.  It’s not confined to the printed press either.  In January, Sky TV got ever so hot and bothered on deadline night, when the furore of McDermott’s abortive sacking developed into a feeding frenzy over Ross McCormack’s immediate future. With literally only a few hours of the window to go, Sky went into overdrive, doing their level best to generate interest from the likes of Cardiff and speculating frantically that the player would be making an urgent transfer request and heading off back to the Valleys.  There was genuine excitement and eagerness at Sky HQ – and a palpable grief and disappointment amounting to actual sulkiness, when nothing happened after all.

Now, we have the fag-end of the season to go; those last few games with not a lot hanging on them for Leeds, not a lot for the lazy hacks who masquerade as journalists to exercise their poison pens over.  So, we start with the traditional “let’s whip up some transfer interest in their best player” nonsense – and all of a sudden, our Ross44 is linked with the likes of Leicester and West Ham and sundry other smaller clubs.  It’s calculated to annoy and to disrupt – but we should bear in mind that, from all we now understand, transfer policy in these Cellino days will be advised by what is best for the club first and foremost – not by any desperate need for money and not by a willingness to pander to a player’s own whim.  The fact of the matter is that, for every transfer “story” in the gutter press that actually comes to be, there are perhaps 19 that never had even a whiff of truth about them, and which end up being far more useful as the wrappings of choice for those who love fish and chips.

It’s all part of being Leeds, after all.  We don’t need to foster a siege mentality at this club – it arises naturally because there is a state of siege as far as the rest of football and the assembled media are concerned.   And that’s annoying and sometimes even a bit upsetting – but really – would we have it any other way? Would we rather be a Man U, fawned over by a media which is comprised of liars, cheats and sycophants?  Not really.  It’s better to be Leeds, and to know exactly where we stand in relation to our enemies out there. We just have to remember: don’t believe everything they put in the papers. Or, in our case – disbelieve just about everything.

At least that way we’ll be nearer the truth.

Daily Mirror’s Leeds United Red Bull Link is Just Their Usual “Bull” – by Rob Atkinson

Image

Answer: The Mirror, Sun, Mail etc etc

The ecologically-fanatical Green movement have occasionally waxed lyrical about the possibility of generating energy from methane – using the flatulent output of millions of fields full of peacefully-chewing bovine powerhouses to provide light and warmth for our homes. It’s a nice if slightly smelly idea.  The Mirror newspaper appear to have adopted their own version of this cattle exploitation concept, basing their sports journalism service, for want of a more appropriate phrase, on the more solid waste output of those noble beasts. How else to explain their continual fabrication of outlandish stories concerning Leeds United?

This morning, in a transparent attempt to up the ante after yesterday’s news of additional investment for the Elland Road club, the powers that be at the Mirror have evidently set some hacks to work to find something – anything – to muddy what seem to be unusually clear and sparkling waters for Leeds United.  It’s not difficult to take an old and tired story, polish it up a little and then serve it up as something new and tasty for the kind of undemanding and uncritical readership catered for by the trashier Redtops. Not difficult – but not particularly clever either.  It makes you wonder – don’t the writers on the Mirror have any ambitions to work for proper newspapers?  If they do, then surely their current tenuous relationship with the truth of what’s actually happening will hardly help them on their way.

For the avoidance of doubt, Red Bull are a franchise that have added several sports outfits around the world to their portfolio, but without any real attendant record of success. Their involvement tends to be characterised by getting in there, ripping up most of the traditions surrounding their purchase in favour of the appalling measure known as “re-branding” and then watching a previously independent club or team go swirling down the plughole.  This is not an approach that would be tolerated at Leeds United, a club notorious for the militancy and truculence of its support.  What seems as certain as these things ever can be, is that GFH Capital, the owners of United, are well aware of the limits imposed by that support on their latitude for instituting radical change.  But the likes of the Mirror have never let inconvenient facts get in the way of making up fairy stories as a simple alternative to reporting actual news.

A mere two months ago, this blog was relieved to hear that the Mirror was reporting as fact Leeds manager Brian McDermott’s readiness to quit Elland Road and take over the Ireland job.  Relieved, because of the reliable principle that – when the Mirror reports something as fact – it’s invariably just more of those bovine solids that they seem to find so palatable it’s positively their staple diet. Again, there was a wisp of credibility about the tale – Ireland were looking for a man of ability and integrity (in the event, they got Roy Keane instead), and the Mirror had simply followed their usual policy of adding two plus two, to arrive at thirteen-and-a-half.  You won’t ever go far wrong just by reading the Mirror and disbelieving all of it.

Meanwhile, back in the real world, it does seem that Leeds United may at last be on an identifiable and navigable path back towards the top.  A promising league position – despite yesterday’s blip – and a good manager with a decent squad and some potential to add to it in January – these are as close to good times as we’ve seen at Elland Road for many a moon.  None of which will be good news for the Mirror, the Sun and the other examples of toilet paper at the lavatorial end of the print media.  But frankly – who cares?  The truth is still out there, you just have to know where to look – and be determined at all costs to avoid the pungent Bull you’ll see in the gutter press…

Relief for Leeds Fans as Mirror Reports McDermott “Ready to Quit Elland Road” for Ireland Job – by Rob Atkinson

Despite worrying rumours yesterday that Leeds United manager Brian McDermott was a target for the Irish football authorities, looking for a successor to Giovanni Trapattoni, there is welcome reassurance this morning over McDermott’s own intentions.

The encouragement for Leeds supporters anxious over the possibility of losing their manager comes in the form of a Mirror article stating that he “would be willing to leave Leeds” and “would jump at the opportunity to replace Giovanni Trapattoni”. However, the use of accepted code phrases for a fabricated story “Mirror Sport understands…” and “…the former Reading boss has communicated this to those closest to him” will come as an intense relief to those with Leeds United’s best interests at heart who, but for the source of this story, might have been tempted to take it seriously.

With McDermott effectively confirmed as out of the running due to the Mirror’s intervention, bookies will be watching to see who else the former newspaper nominates as “certs for the job” so that they can lengthen those odds accordingly. This is reportedly in line with accepted policy, as in the case of the Mirror recently speculating that a weekend would directly follow Friday, causing odds there to drift out to as long as 150-1 in some markets.

In other news, rumours of a merger between the Mirror Group and a leading toilet-roll manufacturer could not be confirmed last night, though a spokesman in a shabby raincoat with beer-stained elbows stated that “the Group are always looking for strategic partners in closely allied fields”.