How do you solve a problem like Jonny?

26 Jan 2012 02:07 pm, by YorkshireSquare

The sale of Jonny Howson to Norwich has certainly raised debate amongst Leeds United fans. It has caused many fans to throw their season ticket renewal forms in the bin, protests outside the ground and mobilised the Leeds United Supporters Trust. Of all the transfers in recent times this is certainly the most emotive, there were mutterings over the sales of Beckford, Schmeichel and Gradel but nothing like what has been seen in this last week or so. Born in Morley, lifelong Leeds United supporter and a product of our academy he was one of us. He was young, gifted and the club captain, a representation of our promising young squad and ambition but now he has gone and along with it the hopes and ambitions of many fans.

But what could the club do? Howson was out of contract in the summer and would have been 24 at the time meaning no compensation. He had not agreed to any contract offer the club had put to him and has stated his desire to play Premiership football. It is not the first time of course that Leeds United have been in this position, two years ago they were in the same position with Jermaine Beckford. At that time the club turned down an offer of £1.8 million from Newcastle in the belief that Beckford was invaluable in the push for promotion. This time round they have decided that Jonny was not vital for the promotion push and have accepted a bid of £2 million from Norwich. In the case of Beckford the gamble paid off, will the same be true with Howson?

I have to say I was distraught when I head the club had accepted an offer but with the facts laid bare it is probably a shrewd business decision. £2 million for a player who is out of contract in summer is a lot of money and with the capture of Delph on loan we have a good enough replacement to see us through until the end of the season. The main issue now is with the supporters, they are split over the sale, divided over the club hierarchy and many now see the club as having little ambition. Ken Bates says that the manager now has a fighting fund for players, let’s hope that this is now invested in players who share the passion and ambition of the fans. The players have shown some real spirit recently coming from behind to pick up points, let’s get together, get behind the players and make this season count.

We've been through it all together, we've had our ups and downs but we're gonna stay with you forever, at least until the world stops going round.

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Kyle_5351 wrote on 27 Jan 2012 10:27 am

At the end of the day I would say the club will benefit from this outcome. Yes, I was deeply gutted when I found out the club had accepted the offer from Norwich, but looking at it I would have done the same thing. Take 2mil for a player out of contract in the summer and who will not play for 3-4 weeks? Or run the risk of Howson leaving on a free in summer to play Premiership football?

People can say all they like about the lack of ambition, but I am seeing this as a decision that had to be made. Everything is speculation as to why the contract was not signed at Leeds, but I feel we can and need to move on. Delph will hopefully be here for the rest of the season and I can see him having a decent partnership with Clayton. This will give us enough time to recruit someone in the summer.

It is a time where the fans need to support the current players and the players need to put the effort in for the fans. We can get promoted this season, everyone just needs to band together. It is the main thing we can do. Negativity will not accomplish anything.

Anonymous wrote on 26 Jan 2012 04:36 pm

as last someone with common sense. JH wanted to leave the club so lets move on & give the team the support they deserve. Stuff Bates

YorkshireSquare wrote on 26 Jan 2012 03:27 pm

Sniffersfinalheader wrote:As you have stated, Howson had rejected contract offer(s), but you don't appear to be asking why? Is it possible Howson thought that the terms were derisory (nothing new there)?
Becchio signed a new contract after some negotiations, he was obviously happy with the wages. Also looking at our wage bill, if Bates is to be beleived, it is one of the higher ones in the division. I do agree though that it isn't great when a Leeds supporting lad who has come through the academy and has captained the club is leaving. That said though if he loved the club so much he would have signed would't he? Perhaps Howson was taking a gamble, don't sign a new contract, wait to see if we get promoted and sign a new better deal then. If that was a gamble Jonny took maybe it hasn't worked out the way he expected. I would like to hear Jonnys side of the story though but I don't think we're likely to get it.

Sniffersfinalheader wrote:By the way, how can you talk about Delph being a suitable replacement, he's here for a month and we are only one Villa midfield injury away from him being re-called. Please don't embellish or give credence to our board/managements spin.
I think Delph will be here for more than a month and will build a decent partnership with Clayton for the rest of the season. I don't think in any way it's a permanent solution and thats why I said that the club must no go out and buy players that match the ambition of the fans.

Sniffersfinalheader wrote on 26 Jan 2012 03:15 pm

As you have stated, Howson had rejected contract offer(s), but you don't appear to be asking why? Is it possible Howson thought that the terms were derisory (nothing new there)? We appear to be paying below average wagesfor this division, judging by the players that we have been linked with, that have gone elsewhere and by the increasing number of our own players that elect to move on. Bates, can't have it both ways, demanding promotion and cashing in on our better players doesn't hang together whichever way he chooses to spin it. Even in a poor standard Championship, we have had some shocking results and any fan that thinks we will be in the promotion mix is as deluded as Bates. By the way, how can you talk about Delph being a suitable replacement, he's here for a month and we are only one Villa midfield injury away from him being re-called. Please don't embellish or give credence to our board/managements spin.

Chareose wrote on 26 Jan 2012 02:53 pm

"Delph " is not a replacement........hes only here for a month forgodsakes ! Theres no evidence that any decent permenant signings will be made