This week Leeds United announced a new shirt sponsor, good news given we didn’t have one last season and the potential loss of sponsorship revenue that has meant. But no, not when it’s 32Red, Twitter went into meltdown at Leeds United having the word ‘Red’ on their shirts. I know the association is with ‘them’ over the other side of the Pennines but is it really worth worrying about that much? After all it’s only 9 years since we had RedKite as shirt sponsors and they didn’t have the decency to change the actual colour of the logo on the shirt. Leeds have even worn red at various times in the past during the 60s and 70s. As far as I’m concerned we’ve got plenty more important things to worry about.
We don’t have a head coach for next year
Head coach or manager, whatever you want to call them, we haven’t got one for next season yet which is slightly worrying. Steve Evans may be sat in his office at Thorp Arch twiddling his thumbs but he can’t really do anything particularly constructive if he has no mandate for next season. Players whose contracts are running out should have been secured on longer deals, the retained and released list should be completed, transfer targets should be identified and pre-season plans should be put together. But how can that be done if we don’t have a coach in place for next season? Fail to prepare and prepare to fail, if we don’t get sorted soon we will be playing catch up from the off next season.
We don’t own our own stadium or training ground
The Yorkshire Consortium sold Elland Road and Thorp Arch for around £12 million back in 2004 in order to repay a loan from Jack Petchey. Leeds United currently have a 25 year lease and pay rents of approximately £2.7 million per year. Subsequent owners have promised and failed to buy back the properties for the club. In an era when money talks but financial fair play it is vital for clubs to maximise match day income and minimise regular outgoings. The rumoured asking price for Elland Road is around £16 million, given the rent we pay it seems like financial sense to repurchase as soon as possible.
Our defensive performances
This is a season which has been plagues with defensive mistakes and mix ups. We have shipped 58 goals this year which is comparable with those around us in the table but the mistakes have cost us dear. Scott Wootton has been the fall guy, playing is part in a few memorable mix ups particularly against Watford and Preston, but the whole defence including the keeper have had their moments. It is the key area for strengthening next season, two new centre backs required asap.
Our President is having doubts
So Cellino is having doubts. He revealed to the Times that despite being acquitted of tax evasion he is tired and hurt and lonely and regretted buying the club. We’ve heard it before though, he was all set to sell a share to Leeds Fans Utd before backing out. Whether you are a fan of Cellino or not whether you welcome his announcement that he wants to sell or not it is surely dangerous for him to become disinterested. There are decisions to be made for the coming season and someone needs to make them.
The disruptive influencesIt's better to walk out, not because I'm dishonest but because I'm tired and hurt and lonely. If I could turn back time and you ask whether I would come to this club, I would say never. If somebody doesn't come in then I have no choice but to run it. A lot of people have called me, but they are just fishing. I don't see the money.
If Leicester have proved anything to us this season it’s that with good team spirit and teamwork you can achieve anything. The last game of the season epitomised our team spirit, Antenucci arguing with Wood about who would take the penalty then refusing to celebrate the goal with the rest of the players. The legacy of the absentee six, who cost Neil Redfearn his job, still lingers. Antenucci may have gone but Bellusci one of the ringleaders remains and is clearly a divisive figure amongst both players and fans. Noel Whelan certainly isn’t a fan;
For me Bellusci has got to go. I don’t think he’s right for the club, I don’t think he’s good for the players. I’m sorry to say that. I’ve been in clubs where one person is a disease and you have got to get rid of that disease or else it spreads. You want everyone fighting the same cause, a togetherness, a good attitude about everybody. Either he changes his attitude and buys into that. You know, it is his decision.