How do you solve a problem like Jonny?

26 Jan 2012 02:07pm, 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.