Leeds fans can sleep easy this deadline day, but it hasn’t always been that way
31 Jan 2020 10:14 am, by YorkshireSquare
This transfer deadline day Leeds fans can get tucked up into bed early safe in the knowledge all of our main transfer targets have been secured ahead of the window closing. The deals may not have been done as ‘early’ as Angus Kinnear would have had us believe but with Jean-Kévin Augustin, Elia Caprile and Ian Poveda all singed up we have strengthened for the promotion push.
But six years ago during the January 2014 window things were a bit different, and not in a good way. It all started off with Leeds rejecting a bid for captain Ross McCormack from Cardiff City. McCormack then went on Sky Sports News to pledge his future to the club and said; "I am really happy at Leeds and look forward to staying at the club. I'm club captain and I look forward to continue playing at the club under Brian McDermott for the rest of the season." The news then broke that manager Brian McDermott had been sacked by Massimo Cellino, who was at the ground in discussions with GFH to complete his takeover. McCormack took to Sky Sports again, this time ranting…
The club have decided to sack him unfortunately. Yeah he's gone, he called me up earlier and told me he was gone. It's hard times at the club. To be honest I'm absolutely gutted. I had a really close relationship with the manager, as you know he made me the club captain recently, and I said about a couple of hours ago, I was looking forward to continuing to work with Leeds United and Brian McDermott. Obviously things have changed a lot quicker than people imagine. I'm very happy and content at the club, but I think part of that was Brian McDermott and obviously if I had known earlier on that this was going to happen, I would have a right decision to make.
Frustrated at lack of official information coming out of the club fans gathered at Elland Road stopping Massimo Cellino leaving the ground without speaking with the fans. Supporters blocked the exits when he tried to leave via taxi, the poor Stanningley Cars driver driving between different exists as supporters followed. Cellino eventually left the ground escorted by the police. Club sponsors Enterprise Insurance and Flamingo Land also took to Sky Sports to say that they were investigating terminating their sponsorship deals following the treatment of McDermott.
With the debacle of January fresh in their minds Leeds fans were yet again frustrated by their club in the transfer window of summer 2014. With fans following social media intently for any news of signings they were trolled by their own club. With 10 minutes to go Leeds United informed their followers: "Don't to go to bed just yet... there is still work to be done", naturally building excitement for some very despondent fans following the dire start to the season. In the end the only 'work to be done' was to sell two promising strikers Matt Smith and Dom Poleon before signing off and leaving fans gobsmacked.
Last January after chasing Daniel James all window the deal has collapsed in the final moments. James had completed a medical at Thorp Arch and with the contract all but signed was at Elland Road waiting to be announced as a Leeds United player. But Swansea stopped responding to communications and with 11pm passing the transfer window closed, the transfer was off. Negotiations for James had been protracted with Swansea facing severe financial difficulties but wanting to keep hold of the young prospect, it always looked like going to the wire. With team mates Tom Carroll moving to Aston Villa and Jefferson Montero moving to West Brom it became a deal Swansea didn't have to do anymore. In the end Swansea were right to hold out with James securing a £15m move to Manchester United in the summer.
But here we are, January 2020, with our deals completed ahead of time as those around us lose their heads in the closing hours of deadline day. We have a sane owner, a superb backroom staff and one of the most influential and inspirational managers in football. Elland Road is full and buzzing again and there is a real optimism around the club. The Bates, GFH and Cellino years were hard but we are in a good place now and in a really strong position to achieve promotion this season.