First of all, let’s get one thing straight; I’m not anti-Beckford. Infact, regular readers of TSS will know I’ve been one of his biggest advocates. His record speaks for itself and the contribution the lad has made to Leeds over the last three years shouldn’t be undermined even if he does leave.

The fact of the matter is though; Beckford is just one of eleven. As a team we’ve performed well this season, as a team we lead the division and as a team, I think we’ll get promoted with or without Beckford, assuming Simon Grayson is given the necessary funds while the transfer window is open.

At League One level, Jermaine Beckford is an exceptional striker and I do believe he could do a job at a higher level. In the Championship he’d definitely provide goals. Whether or not he could do the same in the Premier League is questionable, but let’s not get into another debate about where his natural level is because quite frankly, no one is ever going to agree and it’s becoming tedious.

The thing is though, Beckford is not irreplaceable. There are plenty of strikers out there capable of scoring one in two. As the League One scorers charts currently show, even in this division there’s one striker with more goals to his name than Beckford (Lambert), one with the same amount (Holt) and another just one goal behind him in a much weaker team (Barnard). That’s three strikers that match/exceed him on stats in just one division, so Beckford is hardly a one off. 

What’s made this such a major issue is that the fans of Leeds United expect blind loyalty from anyone wearing the shirt. That all white strip means a lot to us and we expect it to mean the same to those wearing it. Unfortunately, that’s very rarely going to be the case. A football player, like a builder, a landlord or a lawyer is just a job and much like the builders, landlords and lawyers, the players will move when offered a better opportunity elsewhere. It’s that simple, and each and every one of us would do the same.

Take away the fans emotions from football and you’re left with a business like any other. If football is the oil business, then Leeds United would be Esso. Jermaine Beckford meanwhile would be one of the sandwiches you find in their petrol stations. Much like the sandwich, Beckford’s value depends on a date and his best before is the end of this transfer window. After that, should we keep him I have no doubts he’ll bag another 15 goals this season, but Leeds United would lose £1.5-2,000,000 and our most important striker.

But promotion is worth more than any £2,000,000 I hear you cry? I can’t argue with that, it’s a good point, but he still should be sold while he has a value and can make the business that is Leeds United football club money.

The main reason I stress he should be sold is because if he is, we arguably have £2,000,000 to play with. There are things to deduct from that figure such as the Wealdstone cut, but that’s beside the point. Whether Beckford leaves now or in the summer, he has to be replaced. If we can sell Beckford now and get a replacement in for £x,000,000 then you can deduct whatever we made from Beckford from that sum and the overall cost is not as much. Leave it ‘til the summer when he’s worth nothing to Leeds United and that £x,000,000 still has to be forked out, but none of it’s recouped from anything. We lose Beckford, we lose the money he was worth and we still have to replace him.

It all comes down to whether you want Leeds United to be run like a business, or dictated by fans emotions. The latter is how Peter Ridsdale ran it, whilst the former seems to have done us well so far. I know which I prefer.

  • Grumpy Older Man

    I’m humbled, truely humbled…

    • TSS

      I can be rational!

  • Woodpeggers

    An intelligent, rational post. However, the other flip side is that the Geordies have come in with their manager shouting his mouth off in the press and expected to pick Beckford up for under market value (due to his contract ending in 6 months) and it’s obvious Ken Bates and Grayson are attempting to start a bidding war, inviting the likes of Wolves to the table, but I get the impression they will not sell him. Of course Beckford wants to go to the Cartoon Army, but Ken Bates is never dictated to and I think they will realise that it’s all very well replaceing Beckford, but it’s very unlikely we’d get a player in now, such as Lambert, or even Hooper since their clubs won’t want to let such players go, as much as we don’t want Beckford to go. The bottom line is we don’t know what has gone on behind the scenes, but Beckford’s heart is not with Leeds and soon his head won’t be either and that will be reflected on the pitch. On that basis I’d be tempted to cash in whilst we can. Not an easy choice either way!

    • timm

      It’s a tough one & i think that people on both sides of the argument have valid points. I do think some fans just think that there’ll be a gaping hole up front though & that just won’t happen. Grayson will have everything in hand regarding a replacement. Now that we have 2 left backs of quality in Hughes & White (not forgetting Ben Parker) he could slot Gradel behind the front two & give Bradley J a go as an out & out striker, his finishing has been clinical all season, he’s strong & he has real pace & can handle himself. i’m certain he could bag enough goals to get us promoted & then we can look at it again in the summer. Great piece as usual to get us all thinking.

  • Harry

    Great post, much better than the vitriolic rubbish posted on clarkeonenil

    • tim the white

      I say the tranfer money is not as important as getting promoted. We know all about JB and he will score goals, but who can say a replacement will bed in – Sam Vokes didn’t. If JB does the business tomorrow I would keep him. Also, if my favorite Tresor can sort out his personal problems we have him as well.

    • Grumpy Older Man

      Your too kind.

  • Choppers

    I am getting splinters on my behind from sitting on the fence and I arent coming down yet.

    If Beckford goes, I think we have the quality to go up. We have won games with and without Beckford in the team and a decent replacement an old fox in the box on loan or a young up and coming striker would do a similar job. Remember the service into the strikers at Leeds is excellent and Grella is coming on leaps and bounds. He also has a carrot of an outside shot at going to the World cup to really keep him focused.

    If he stays, we lose a million or so, but the goals would be enough to get us up anyway

    I think worse case scenario is, he stays with us, but signs a contract with another club, think that he has made it and starts taking the foot off the gas. Thats not going to be good for anyone involved!

  • Kernow

    Just one thing – we’re not promoted yet! Norwich, Charlton and Colchester are all winning consistently and we have yet to have a wobble (every team hits one – even if it’s a run of two or three draws). I for one don’t fancy another year in the play-offs, there’ll be some tough teams in there again including Southampton. For me it’s not about Beckford or money, disrupting the team isn’t a good idea, especially if we stop scoring as a result. Plus, if we do get promoted you can bet Grayson will be going into the transfer market – he’ll know just who isn’t up to Championship level.

    BTW, Hughes – quality?

    • Tony Currie’s Fan Club

      Sounds reasonable but you state:

      ” I think we’ll get promoted with or without Beckford, assuming Simon Grayson is given the necessary funds while the transfer window is open”

      Here’s the thing. We sold Delph for howeer many millions. We received £5m for Taiwo and Wood. We certainly didn’t spend the money on Thorp Arch. So how much of these funds has Larry been given for players? Other than on Bromby, he hasn’t spent a red cent. So IMHO it all comes down to whether we trust Bates to allow any Beckford cash (and more0 to be spent on a replacement of at least equal quality.

      Me? I just want out of this horrible division. I hope Beckford goes nowhere and continues to score the goals that will take us up. If we lose JB for nothing in the summer, there will be more than enough commercial (sponsoorship) benefits to compensate.

    • timm

      Hughes is up to the job. he may look clumsy but he’s part of a very good back four & i’d invite you to watch the scum game again to see many examples of him being calm under pressure

      • Harry

        I can’t believe anyone could criticise the performance of Hughes this season, he is not a left back but has responded superbly to being played out of position and is part of the best defence in the league. We’ve struggled when he’s been injured and the performance of Capaldi, a supposedly CCC standard, international left back highlighted what a great job he’s done. I think Parker will return when fit as he’s a naturally left sided player who offers more going forward, but Hughes has done a fantastic job and if anything should be in contention for player of the year.

        • timm

          Well said Harry, definately a contender for Player of the Year.

  • Chris

    It all makes sense but personally I would hold on to him. There are other strikers out there but they would take time to settle in or worse case fail to settle in. We just need to get out of this division and I have every faith in Grayson to get it right next season and bring in the right additions to the squad including a replacement for Beckford and after promotion I imagine we would be quiet an attractive proposition to new players. Promotion is worth far more than the £2 million we may or may not get for him.
    We all want to get out of this division, its in sight, and Beckford can provide the goals to do that.

  • MikeLufc

    Your reasoned argument fails on one critical point.Bates has no track record of giving any transfer fees to the manager, the money just disappears so what is the point?
    Lets get what ever goals he delivers.

    • Leeds through & through

      im in agreement i also believe as TSS well knows i do that we should keep beckford, i personally believe that if we keep him and go up as champions and offer him a contract in the summer he will accept and stay with us as a championship team pushing for preimer league, if the toon does go up this season and we do aswell come the summer they wont be looking to buy the likes of beckford nor will any other priemer league club so leaves less options for him but to sign with us and push for another promotion, thats just my opion i know that you dont agree TSS but im entitled to my opinion

      • TSS

        As I’ve said before, the comments are open and unmoderated because I believe people are entitled to a different opinion.

        It’s not that I don’t want Becks to stay (as I said) it’s just that I don’t want a player who doesn’t want to be here at the club, plus selling is the logical thing to do in a financial sense. Bates isn’t silly enough to risk promotion by not providing the funds to replace Beckford.

        • Leeds through & through

          yes i agree that he isnt as ive said before to have gary hooper at leeds would be amazing, theres no down side to that, but id still like to keep beckford maybe give him a new deal in summer and get his commitment back. thats just what id like to see anyway

  • Henry V

    I do not think that Mr Ridsdale was dictated by fans emotions.
    It was all his own work.
    Fans have no access to a clubs finances, and are not consulted on player purchases.
    We HAVE to trust the board as they are the ONLy ones that know (supposedly) what is going on.
    I think we should keep Jermaine Beckford, and bring in another striker/goalscorer.
    We cannot take any chances this time!!!
    All that matters is now. Not next season if/when we get promoted.
    Next season will take care of itself.
    Simon knows this!!

    Henry.

    • TSS

      Everyone around Leeds United at that time was loving the money flowing. We wanted big names, we craved success and we called for it more and more. Ridsdale’s only guilty of being stupid enough to let his own support (he is a fan after all) cloud his financial judgement. The same applies to everyone on that board.

  • Savvy

    I think the last point is the key for me!!!! If we let him go all the talk is of a similar amount of money on a replacement. That for me is just not going to happen because Bates has give Grayson no money as of yet and what’s to say he will if Becks goes???? I do believe that he really needs to go just because of the disruption to the team and I am his biggest fan. Plus if he goes every good league 1 and championship striker’s value will increase by a third!!! And as we all know Bates will not pay over the odds it’s hard enough for him to pay anything.

    We are a Hugh club and that’s why this transfer is the biggest and most talked about in this window. I don’t want to be a glass half empty Leeds fan but I think it will be a loan signing as is the trend at Leeds and can anyone think of a striker that may go on loan that’s even close to Becks standard????

  • David Coleman

    Hi. You have made a very reasonable case for the sale of Beckford during the January window. As I understand it, the main elements of your argument are: (1) we would probably get promoted without Beckford if funds are made available to replace him, and (2) Beckford has to be replaced in the summer irrespective, and the net amount we receive for him in January would be offset against what we need to spend to replace him – whether that be in January or at the end of the season. So you are really saying that we would be x £m better off and the football side would not be affected – ie, your reasoning is purely financial. Firstly, I would like to say that I am not a blind Backford supporter, but my opinion is that we keep him until the end of the season even if it means getting nothing for him at the end of the season. As you have mentioned, promotion to the Championship is worth more than the money that we would receive for Beckford. And more importantly, if and when we get back to the promised land of the premiership, that money would make receipts from the sale of Beckford seem insignificant. So…. why do I disagree with you? I agree that Beckford is not irreplaceable, but there has to be a risk in going from what we have now, and going to another striker – even if that striker is proven. Simon Grayson has brought in 3 strikers during his time and none have worked out. What if the replacement just doesn’t fit into the team? Or can’t perform for a big club? Or takes some time to integrate into the team? It’s happened plenty of times before. It’s perfectly possible that we could replace Beckford, the replacement doesn’t give us what Beckford gives us during the rest of the season, and hence we have a possibility of missing out on promotion. It’s a risk that I don’t think you have considered, and a risk that I would rather not take. If we miss out on promotion, the Beckford money is actually more than wiped out. How many of our players would want to leave? What kind of players would we be able to attract to the club? And if it means that we eventually get back to the Premiership 1 year later than otherwise, how much would that cost? For me, the financial argument carries both massive footballing and financial risks – and for not that much gain actually. Furthermore, I would have to question what kind of player we could get in January. Any club selling would want over the odds money because they would know that we’re desperate and they would have to replace their striker with little time left in January. Paying over the odds again minimises the financial argument for selling Beckford. And would a hot Championship striker come to us bearing in mind that we’re in League 1 and not guaranteed to get promotion? Such strikers are looking to go up the leagues not down. To me, the only available replacements would be League 1 players. And if we go up, what will we do with this League 1 player? If we get promotion at the end of the season, we should be looking for an out of favour Premiership striker, not a League 1 striker. At the end of the season, if we are promoted, we would be able to attract such a striker – and certainly a much wider choice than in January in League 1! Finally, at the beginning of the season, the club made the decision to keep Beckford until the end of the season, even if it resulted in him walking away for free. So the club has made the financial provisions, and you have to assume that it’s a situation we can cope with. So overall, in my opinion, there are compelling reasons to keep Beckford until the end of the season – mainly to minimise the risk of not getting promotion, and the resulting financial loss, but also for the footballing reasons of who we could get if we get promoted.

  • Savvy

    Sorry Mikes point my comment relates to!!!!!

  • Harry

    I think there is a couple of points regarding the money available for a replacement:-

    1. Bates has said the decision as to whether or not to sell Beckford will be Graysons. You can guarantee that Grayson has asked the question ‘How much of any fee do I get for a replacement’ and will take this into account when making any decision.

    2. Grayson has clearly stated that Beckford will only go if his valuation is met AND when a suitable replacement has been found.

    So I suspect Grayson knows exactly how much money will be available to him if his valuation of Beckford is met.

    • TSS

      Good point Harry and I suspect you’re right. Grayson will have someone lined up, I have no doubts.

  • A great Post.

    The Beckford Saga continues, Cash or Goals – Clearly we don’t know if KB would release the Cash, We don’t know if JB would spit out his dummy and the goals would dry up, He clearly does not want to play for us.

    In some ways I like KBs stance, The club comes first and he will not be dictated to by players. I believe SG will do whats best for the TEAM, and the team is good enough, without distractions, to qet automatic promotion. The Wycombe result should bring the squad down to earth. If
    I were Beckford this is his shop window for the contract of a lifetime in the summer, at leeds or elsewhere, Like most things in life some people can’t be bothered to see it. I would cash in and move on.

    The rest of the squad is strong, Injury worries are clearing up, Grella wears the shirt well – give him a chance.

    The CCC will bring in its own rewards….

  • Keep This Shed White

    Isn’t it simple? In Beckford we have a proven goal scorer. He’s proven that with this team and in this league he delivers. Any replacement will be a risk. So who cares about the money? We are not promoted yet and still must visit Charlton, Norwich, Southampton and Huddersfield. Don’t forget, we have been ahead of the race before only to see it slip away so why are so many people so ready to take such a risk? It beats me.

    • Leeds through & through

      totall agreemeent, spot on. any1 else is a risk look at how brilliant sam vokes was said to be then comes here scores 1 goal that rate isnt good enough

  • Harry

    Grella deserves a chance, his last football for the first team was the two extra time goals against Kettering and he scored another two for the reserves in midweek. We need the 3 points against Exeter on Saturday so that might not be the best time to throw him in but I’d certainly start him against Carlisle in the JPT, and if he plays well and scores then keep him in.

  • West Stand Rebel

    TSS…I like your style you are becomimg a true journalist. What do I mean? Well you take a wonderfully controversial topic i.e. Beckford should I stay or should I go knowing that the debate will be heated. From that you will get lots of “hits” on your site and lots of discussion. Good for business ? No I’m not that cynical I like your site and your take on all things ER.
    With Gradel gone the picture changes again although I have to say he seemed like a bit part player to me. So I maintain that retaining JB is still the best and cheapest option to guarantee promotion. Showumni also joins the list of tried and failed strikers. I said earlier that SG soon moves on his mistakes which proves good goal scoring strikers are an expensive commodity and we have only one superb one.

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  • Harry

    Just one to throw into the mix.

    Currently Beckford has no contract for next season so is understandably giving his all to the cause, his options going forward are:-

    1. Get the deal he believes deserves from Leeds
    2. Earn a transfer during the transfer to a team playing at a higher level
    3. Sign a pre-contract for next season and stay at Leeds til the end of the season.

    It’s 3 that concerns me, how committed is he going to be in this case. Will he go for the 50/50 balls or take the easy option given that he has nothing to prove / gain. We all saw the article written by his former manager at Wealdstone – they had to withold part of his wages to get him to train properly – he only got his full wage if he put in enough effort during the week. We all know he can be lazy, how lazy will he be with a nice juicy pre-contract from another team in his back pocket?

    • Colin

      Not sure any club would take option 3. If you want Beckford, surely you want either Beckford now or sign him on a free when his contract expires.

      • Harry

        Not sure I understand your point Colin? If a club wants Beckford badly enough but Leeds don’t let him leave in Jan then a pre-contract would be their best option – they still get him for free in the summer but they would be guaranteed his signature rather than potentially having someone beat them to it in May.

  • Kelly_Holbeck

    No splinters on my bottom from fence sitting. I have never been a fan of Mr Beckford, reasons being i think he is lazy, self centred and has too high an opinion on himself. Yes, i agree i could be talking about most strikers there lol
    It is not the end of the world to lose 1 player and i think it is fantastic to finally have someone point out that there are other strikers ahead of him in the league goal tally.
    Simon Grayson wasnt the “front runner” with the book makers for the Leeds job and some people were very surprised to have him employed for the job, but oh what a job this man has done.
    Beckford plays the way he does because the coaching staff, players and fans help him realise 100% potential. If/when he does leave i think that will be the end of him We as a club obviously didnt unleash Cantonas full potential, but, another club did.
    He has asked to be transferred out of Leeds NOT because he isnt being played, has success or a well liked team member. Money is the reason why and i for one cant wait to see the back of the greedy little git.
    Sayonara son

  • TheReaper08

    TSS you hit the nail on the head when you said people have to decide how you want the business that is Leeds Utd to be run, heart or head ?

    Do we think that promotion will be achieved by keeping Beckford ? If we sell can it be achieved with a replacement or from current stock ? For what it’s worth I think it can be achieved but only with a suitable replacement. Norwich and Charlton are too close to not have a very good goalscorer in the pack, anyone fancy 3rd place and another tilt at the play offs? No, me neither.

    As for Bates and the money saga,until we know what Larry has asked for you can’t convict Bates of not splashing the cash. No manger so far has complained about not being supported in the transfer market by the chairman and that’s good enough for me. I believe (and no doubt I will get pulled apart on this) that the club are preparing with half an eye on the CCC, funds will be needed if as we all hope we get there this year.

  • Craig

    Just saw an interesting stat on the Johnstones paint bulletin. Apparently Beckford’s league shooting stats this season are 95 shots, 52 of which were on target. This contradicts his knockers who would have us believe that he isn’t able to shoot accurately.

    • TheReaper08

      None of it stacks up Craig but you will never convince the doubters or knockers my friend. They would have us believe that Beckford is the only lazy striker in the world that is lazy and has a bad first touch. That any striker in his position would get twice as many goals as he is so so wasteful. The simple fact that no other striker has come close is because they spend there entire game working to set Beckford up.

      Jermaine Beckford = 72 goals in a 116 starts with 12 sub appearances. A ratio of 0.56 goals to games which is currently unmatched in the English leagues by anyone playing more than two seasons.

      He will be missed…….

  • Dje

    A lot of ground covered in all the replies above, so I’m at risk of not adding anything new here:

    There does seem to be a consensus though that Leeds minus Beckford = probably get promoted without him, but those pesky teams, Colchester, Norwich and Charlton, seem to be unsportingly refusing to give up the chase, so there’s a risk that we might end up in the play-offs and that always equals failure for us to get promoted.

    Alternatively, the consensus seems to be Leeds plus Beckford = 15-20 more goals from him and an (almost) inevitable promotion to the Championship.

    So we run the risk of losing £1.5-2m worth of striking talent, and during the Summer we would need to stump up this amount to potentially find a new Beckford, or better, but what is the cost to the team of failing to get promoted? David Coleman touched on the potential damage this might have on our squad. Can you see Howson, Snodgrass, Becchio not finding suitors from higher division teams – or them having to face yet another season of their progressing careers lumbered in the third tier of English football? Kisnorbo, Kilkenny, Johnson, White and Grella might also be sort after. That’s quite a risk, no? It’d take more than £1.5-2m to tempt adequete replacements to step down to life in League One.

    Conversly, and here’s one for TSS and his interest in Hooper, if we keep Beckford and he goes in the Summer on a free, but Scunthorpe get relelgated to League One, might our cost of replacing Beckford with Hooper be a tad cheaper than if we tried to tempt their best resource for maintaining Championship-status away from Glanford Park during this transfer window?

    Finally, I agree with the doubters, whatever we get for Beckford, after the cut goes to Wealdstone and Rubery, there’ll be little on offer to Grayson in way of replacement – at least before the Summer. Or rather, there’ll not be enough to replace Beckford like-for-like. I see the compromise offered to our fans being £200,000 for Gradel. Gradel would be a useful addition, true, but would you trade-in a player who’s likely to score at any point in the ninety minutes – ie. potentially putting the game to bed before halftime – for one that might score but only in last 20 minutes as a substitue. Too risky for me.

  • Matt wright

    I’ve got to say this mate, this story like many others in my opinion is written with so much accuracy and enough to back yourself up that I’ve just got to say thankyou. Great site mate.

  • Mike Durkin

    Tell you what I am looking forward to the transfer window closing whatever happens! sick of hearing about JB.
    I think he will still be at ER till the season ends – its simply too great a risk to let him go. As previously pointed out if we dont go up we could well lose another 3 or 4 players that I personaly rate higher than JB.

    • Craig

      Looks like Becks is staying…