Simon Says… Three Reasons Why Not To Listen Dje January 23, 2012 Leeds United 75 Comments This article is a guest contribution written by Dje. If you’d like to have an article considered for publication here on The Scratching Shed, please use the online form. Prior to our welcome, albeit fortuitous, win at home to Ipswich, Simon Grayson made a promise to Leeds United fans: that there’ll be no more key player sales following Jonny Howson’s imminent sale to Norwich City. Unfortunately such matters are almost entirely beyond Grayson’s call on three accounts. First of all: disharmony amongst the players. An unhappy player is not one easy to keep at a club, regardless of how much you might not want them to leave. Even during Saturday’s game, The National, an albeit unlikely revelatory source, being a United Arab Emirates-based newsfeed, revealed that Robert Snodgrass has now ended any contract discussions to further his stay at Elland Road. The reasons given were one of Grayson’s making, the other of a policy led by Shaun Harvey & Ken Bates. Apparently Snodgrass is not chuffed that he wasn’t made team captain, an honour given to – and fluffed today – by keeper Andy Lonergen. I think many others will also be surprised that Snodgrass wasn’t made team captain. OK, he does not always have the greatest of impact, being marked out of the game on occasions, but there is no doubting his commitment to the club. That and the fact that he is the one remaining outstanding talents that we hold, why Grayson would want to unsettle the last jewel by selecting Lonergen as captain is beyond me. The second alleged reason why Snodgrass has ended contract negotiations is in sympathy with most Leeds fans after Howson’s sale to Norwich was revealed earlier this week: a sense of betrayal by the club that we have underinvested and failed to bring in the quality of players expected and promised. This leads to the second factor why the fate of the squad is predominantly beyond Grayson’s making: the financial directive at Elland Road which is led by that irascible pair, Ken Bates and Shaun Harvey. For many months The Scratching Shed has led the line to point out how dominant these two figures are in leading our transfer activity (or a lack of one). Bates has his own building project at Elland Road to keep his hands, and our invested cash, busy. Harvey has been left with the internal financial governorship of LUFC transfers. This is the guy who has so single-handedly failed to secure our best players – Johnson, Kilkenny, and more recently Howson and White – on contract durations that keep them at the club as key players, or assets for eventual sale. Running down their contracts, allowing them to leave on a free or nominal amounts (£750,000 in the case of Howson according to The National’s article) seems to be Harvey’s cream. Make no mistake, if Snodgrass has declared his unwillingness to discuss his contract being extended that can only be read as a desire to be elsewhere, and presumably at a Premiership club or a Championship one with real ambitions of going up. This is not to question Snodgrass’s desire to keep playing for Leeds. He won’t do an O’Brien on us. Once more he was on hand and willing, to get our underperforming team out of gaol and back on track this afternoon. But his alleged move to end contract talks will work perfectly with Harvey and Bates’ rubric to cash-in on him either during the remaining days of this transfer window or, and more likely, in the summer. The combined force of Harvey and Bates as the ringmasters of the size and lightly paid composition of our squad was shown in the Ipswich programme notes. The delightful Ken revealed to the non-‘moron’ Leeds fans, those who he feels marginally accountable too, that we are currently over-spending on wages to the tune of 23%. Our player budget was £9.5m for the year, but is currently running at £11,722,000 per annum. Bates failed to suggest if this imbalance was down to the falling attendance levels at Elland Road (just shy of 23,000 today), possibly as this would offer an empowerment and encouragement to ‘the vociferous few’ who are refusing to attend (especially our home matches) and/or renew their season tickets. Alternatively Bates was simply leading up to a future denouement of dissenting Leeds fans as the culprits for a financial imbalance and justification for future player sales. How dare we not pay Premiership prices for League One-standard football! How dare we not attend! You see, Bates’ desire to flash the figures to the fans can be read in two disparate ways. First let’s revel in the spin. Bates added in his programme notes that the imbalance of the two quoted amounts (‘a bad business practice’ as he called it) acts as ‘a demonstration of how far we have backed the manager’. How sweet that Bates is risking losing money to finance Grayson’s squad. But then that is the second way it can be read from Bates: THIS is Grayson’s squad, not only too expensive, but underperforming expensive players ~ blame him not me! This is a classic move to distance himself from any personal responsibility for turning the club into a ‘selling club’, and under-performing on the field. It is the third reason why Grayson is not in the position to dictate the fate of the Leeds squad ~ because he is being set-up by Bates as the scapegoat if the fans so desire one. One who Bates and the omnipresent Shaun Harvey will claim has been over-resourced financially (despite it being Harvey who does the negotiations), who has brought in inadequate players (despite it is Harvey who does the negotiations) and under-performed in the league (despite having a squad of players unsettled by the Bates-Harvey financial directive of if-in-doubt-sell-and-find-spurious-reasoning-for-it). With his hands bound, it is a pointless exercise to believe a word Grayson says regarding transfers. It is not that he is being deliberately deceitful; merely that he has almost no control over the destiny of what he is saying. Good luck Simon. Guest contribution written by Dje CraigSweaton Good luck SG is about right! TSS Excellent piece Dje. Several nails hit firmly on the head there I think… NickJedrzejewsk Good article, really well thought out. I don’t by into The National’s story, like you say, where it is based makes it an odd place to be getting an exclusive on that sort of info. And also the article didn’t have any sort of quote, or anything that could attribute what the story to any source. NickJedrzejewsk Good article, really well thought out. I don’t by into The National’s story, like you say, where it is based makes it an odd place to be getting an exclusive on that sort of info. And also the article didn’t have any sort of quote, or anything that could attribute the story to any source. NoveltyBobble contract negotiations were put on hold in the summer thus rendering most of the above as missinformed drivel. The internet, especially the online forum aspect of the internet is jam packed full of such rubbish. Of course Simon Grayson, Ken bates are liars at all costs in some posters eyes. Some would rather place belief in complete strangers that post on the internet tan our team manager. TSS @NoveltyBobble As eloquently written as that rant was, I think you’re more misinformed than those you choose to attack. A quick skim over past contract discussions shows you exactly what the problem is. Do you honestly believe there can ever be so much smoke without fire? Whilst not one to put much faith in rumours myself – much like Dje – when things build to this level and you’ve been unable to keep hold of several key players, living in denial is an option most of us don’t consider. Killa, BJ, Howson, Beckford and regardless of the rumours validity, the fact Robert Snodgrass has rejected a contract offer by SG’s own admission means he should be included too. All this only fuels the fire and adds weight to the theory that our contract offers are derisory, as does KB’s revelation of our wage/transfer budget. The simply fact we’ve lost five quality players as a direct result of our inability to secure contracts with them. Regardless of their individual reasoning, do you honestly think SG didn’t want to keep those players? Dje @NoveltyBobble Nope, I never claimed Grayson is a liar. He’s caught between a rock and hard place. If he says anything against transfer problems being other than departing players faults then he it pushes himself one might step nearer a sacking (and I believe he is too close for comfort for it already). I think he is trying to do a difficult job under very difficult circumstances and wished he was not to be held accountable for our transfer policy – even though Bates seems keen – from his programme notes at least – to hold him entirely accountable for our transfer activity. You can believe everything Simon says if you want to, but he isn’t talking openly to the fans, he’s trying to do politic-speak and isn’t too good at it. I believe Ken is a liar but if you want we can meet on the bridge with him being a canny misinformer. As for Harvey, the man seems so unaccountable to Leeds United fans that what does it matter what we call him? As to believing complete strangers on the internet rather than our team manager, the guy who wrote The National article, his career pretty much thrives or dies by his reputation for being informed. I think Castles overstates his case, for the value of the story scoop, but it isn’t based on utter bollocks; there is something there, just as in all accounts there was something not right in Snodgrass’s body language when he said his farewells to Elland Road on Saturday. It looked more than just a cheers for coming lads. But then it’s been an emotional week… One thing is for sure though, there is no chance of Snodgrass wanting to extend his contract before he knows what league we are in come the summer – and we know how good we are at securing contracts with our players once they are under 12 months left on their contracts! CasWhite Dje, I’m at a loss. Either SG is a liar and the article you have used for the basis of your story is correct. Or he’s not a liar and the article is rubbish. It can’t be both even if he’s trying to be diplomatic. So do you think he’s the only manager in a difficult position. Even Mancini with the millions he’s spent is in a difficult position if he doesn’t succeed. We all want a successful Leeds but no matter what happens I’ll support the team and be around next season. Dje @CasWhite As to my reply just above, I believe that is Grayson answering a question on behalf of someone else (Harvey) and not accompli to the eventual outcome of when and if Snodgrass leaves (barring of course being the man at the helm to lead us to the Premiership and offer the best chance of keeping Snodgrass at Leeds). I wouldn’t necessarily call that lying on Grayson’s behalf, largely as it is unclear whether he is FULLY in the picture of the contract offers that go on between Harvey and player’s agents. Hard as that might be to believe, but on all accounts Grayson gives a transfer list to Bates and Harvey and lets them get on with it, at which point you do have to wonder how much imput he has on player’s contracts beyond saying which players he wants to keep and others he is prepared to release (as was the case with a lot of our youth team). That said, The National’s article is offered as an interest way to illuminate how Grayson has been cornered on a lot of the club’s transfer activity. It seems plausable as Howson has just left and that is likely to affect other players and how they view their position in the club, and because it comes from a reasonably regarded journalist who is putting his name on the line over the story. But wouldn’t be the first story to end up wrong either. To diplomatic an answer? lol! CraigSweaton @Dje@NoveltyBobble The one thing i believe you’re wrong about is how close is SG to the sack. Which other manager is going to put up with a club selling all his best players from under him without suitable replacements? Not to mention letting solid first team players walk because they want better wages than league 1 players once they win promotion. Simon Grayson is a saint in the eyes of Bates! TSS @CraigSweaton@Dje@NoveltyBobble Fans are revolting against Bates at the minute, SG is the easiest scapegoat – make him the common enemy. It’ll either be that or the “dissidents” but he’ll be wary of blaming them for everything since they’re on the verge of withdrawing funds. henrymouni Excellent Dje! If we miss out on promotion (and why would we not?) it is reasonable to assume we may well lose Robert S, Tom Lees, Adam Clayton & Aidy White. Some if not all. The lower end Premier League clubs are looking for bargains, and where better than us!! I am holding my breath as this transfer window evaporates. Simon has (again) promised 2 or 3, but he/they have let us down before! Robert should be captain , as he leads by example, and is prepared to talk/shout at the boys if necessary! keepthefaith Kilkenny one of our best players do me a favour ! TSS @keepthefaith Whether he was or not, he was part of a successful squad and SG considered him first team quality. I don’t agree personally, but those two facts alone suggest SG would want to keep him. That’s all that matters. SniffersCupFinalHeader The board and management continue to insult our intelligence by thinking that we won’t even remember the abject drivel that is trotted out every summer and transfer window. Firstly, we have identified our targets (now lets sit on our hands until one of our divisional rivals snaps them up). Next, we are told agents and players are being too greedy, they should be prepared to crawl over broken glass to play for us, but don’t worry nearer the end of the window, they will lower their demands. The window closes just as we have reluctantly sold one or more of our better players for an undisclosed fee (on the basis we took what we could get as theres no point keeping a player/players who doesn’t want to be here). Meanwhile, Grayson is frustrated at all his hard work of spending the entire month on the phone for precisely nothing. Sound familiar? henrymouni @keepthefaith I think he would be now! morleywhite According to various rumour sites and also his own wikipedia leeds sre about to sign Estonia right back Enar Jaager who ever he is.aparantly if true we hav beaten glasgow rangers to his signature. Dosnt excite me if true hes not got a great cv club wise altho hes go`t 85 caps for the mighty Estonia.anybody heard of him? also old man Richie wellens is strongly linked according to ssn which dosnt excite me either lol. TSS @morleywhite They’re not the hugely inspirational signings I was hoping for either, although a Leicester fan was trying to convince me that Wellens is a solid addition earlier. morleywhite Now on Jaagers wiki it says Michael southwells on his way to leeds 47.5 mil. quite clearly bullshit then lol. Lewis Mcgugans up for grabs apparantly.he would be great addition and replacment for Jonny,Forest lookin to cash in,wouldnt mind there right back chris gunter aswel,apparantly forest are skint and looking to ship some players out for cash altho that maybe asking to much for bates to bring any cash out. Paullufc1 Hahahah Kilkenny one of the best players, funny. We go on about these players when we think they’re leaving like new Messiahs who’s loyalty can’t be called in to question then claim this squad isn’t good enough for sh**. We claim to support the team then 2 mins in to the game start chanting Bates out. These delusional conspiracy theries about Simon Grayson lying to us all the time, when, what about? We have a common enemy it seems in Bates, but do you really think he cares what we think of him, who, if we can force him out, is going to want to buy Leeds United? Who? CasWhite The only things I have viewed from this is we are not actually a selling club as players usually leave on free transfers. We could have sold Beckford for a couple of million, before waving goodbye on a promotion day. Is it not true Norwich bid in the summer for Snodgrass? Although I understand frustration of the fans, me included, I’m glad Kilkenny didn’t get a lucrative contract. If Bristol want to pay him over £10k a week good on them. Johnson I would have loved to keep, but once your agent tells you he’ll get you a move to the premiership it’s difficult to compete. Chareose @CasWhite did you actually read the article ? Are you a real leeds fan ? Your defence of bates transfer dealings is pretty desperate thats why I question it……it seems illogical CasWhite Sorry Chareose, where did I defend the policy. Oh yes I agreed to get rid of Kilkenny. All I stated was if we were a selling club we’d have sold the players listed for money. Or is that too logical. Yes, I’ve been a suport (are you a fan) for many years and season ticket holder for 20 of them. So I think I can have a view. I actually feel we could easily spend more on players now we are in the Championship. Not sure I would give the money to SG due to what has gone in the past, but that’s another story. Dje @CasWhite +++Haven’t you ever wondered why apparently we don’t talk about players contracts and the money they may or may not be on until the second they leave and then all the bullshit is shat our saying that Howson wanted £25k a week, Beckford wanted 16k a week, Johnson wanted 20k a week. I just can’t fathom how you believe the official Leeds United mouthpiece for justifying it’s own shortcomings at the feet of players who always seem pretty reluctant to leave. Which takes us back to Kilkenny, one of our key players or not, a lightweight in the middle of the field or not, yet he’s the only one who has shown any balls to confront the Bates propaganda as he did after scoring for Bristol City earlier this season. Dje @CasWhite We are a selling club. Since our last match last season we sold our first keeper, Schmeichal, our star winger Gradel, and our star midfielder, Howson. There’s still a week left of the transfer window so we shall see if this is to be added to. You will say we sold Schmeichal for a profit, yes we did, and after a great deal of floundering and an outcry that we weren’t happy with the unknown and untried Rachubka, we finally replaced him with Lonergen. And Gradel? And Howson? Still waiting on both accounts, but that is another story. As to is the £2m for Beckford form Newcastle. Really? You don;t reckon that is the LUFC machine mouthing it up just as they have done with Howson to Norwich? £750,000 upfront from Newcastle for a player they still felt they were taking a huge gamble on (just ask Everton), andthey might toke it up to £2m if he does well for them. At which point £750,000 for a one-man goal team trying to get out of League One has its own logic for not selling. I love how folk has focused on Kilkenny as being a ‘key player’ (or rather wasn’t). Personally I’d have preferred if we had replaced him at the start of our first Championship campaign and shown more ambition. But we didn’t and he was a first team regular, so sorry but he was – for better or worse – a key player. As to offering him a new deal I would have preferred us to have replaced him with a better midfielder, but if you were to tell me that we would replace him with the wonders of Brown and Vavyaren then I would have asked to save the wages on those two thank you very much and offered Kilkenny a contract extension. £10k at Bristol? I doubt it, but then again in this league, for a team with ambition, you’d be expected to pay around that for a regular central midfielder. Only we don’t offer any of our better players – Johnson, Beckford, Howson, Snodgrass if you believe the journalist quoted in the article – anywhere near that amount. You have to put the money on the table in this league to keep quality players. We don’t do it and off they go.+++ Dje And your source for this? Let me guess, Simon says… This, even though Grayson contradicted himself today when saying no new contract had been declined, but then saying simultaneously that when they turned a bid down for Snodgrass from Norwich, Snodgrass was offered a new contract and Grayson explained that this is in general the football courtesy for a player who has rejected another club’s contract – again, suggesting that Leeds accepted the offer but Snodgrass turned the move down (so another non sequitur from Leeds United there). That contract has sat on the table since, as you say, only for – if you believe The National source – Snodgrass has informed Leeds that he now has no desire to sign it owing to i.) not being made captain after Howson went ii.) lack of ambition at the club in their recruitment and promotion drive. The first point seems a bit over the top to turn down a contract (but you never know), the second point, selling your team captain makes perfect sense. The fact that you claim the contract was left on the table to sign if we got to the Premiership lends itself to Snodgrass now believing that he wont with Leeds and therefore it is pointless to even discuss a new contract. So, what is your point? Dje @CasWhite A charity? lol Tyler75 You could be right and we could well make the play-offs; the championship is incredibly average this season and the fact that we are currently only a point off the play-offs is ample proof of that. If we do make the play-offs I’m sure ER will be full with huge vocal support getting behind the lads as we always do but that wouldn’t detract one iota from the fact that Bates is a liar and using the club for his personal gain. If we did get promoted, with what we know about Ken from the last 7 yrs, do you seriously believe he would divert the resources necessary to making us more than just one season cannon fodder ? LeedsForLife TSS: Whatever his failings, he’s not that stupid. His financial interest would be best served by far by us being and staying in the Premiership on a profitable basis. LeedsForLife Tyler75: Whatever his failings, he’s not that stupid. His financial interest would be best served by far by us being and staying in the Premiership on a profitable basis Tyler75 I think that’s the core issue i.e. staying in the Premiership on a ‘proifitable basis’ has been beyond most clubs; West Ham and Portsmouth to name just 2 from recent seasons and Blackburn are the poster boys for potential financial catastrophe. Norwich and Swansea may well break the mould but the jury will be out unless they survive beyond this season. Parachute payments will be much more attractive to the Bates ‘business model’. TimPM @Tyler75 Let’s be frank though. Bradley Johnson, Jonny Howson, Neil Kilkenny, Robbie Snodgrass, McCormack on the left side, Becchio up-front, Lonergan in goal. There’s no way that team’s going down from the Prem. Johnson didn’t want megabucks, Howson did, but once we were in the Prem it wouldn’t have been. Kilkenny didn’t ask for massive amounts either. All Snoddy’s asked for is ambition. Add to that it turns out we had Clayton as a black-horse for the centre-mid position in case of an injury. That’s the whole thing. Plenty of fans see Bates choosing now to spend £7mil on the East stand after refusing to invest in the players that had nearly got us into the auto-promotion spot in our first year back in the Championship. I just don’t see how he can not understand the fans’ frustations with that. TSS From what I understand of that, the club have absolutely no chance of winning the tribunal. He had personal issues, is entitled to personal time and beyond that it’s Grayson’s word against his. I have plenty of experience with this kind of thing and Leeds United’s case seems weak to me. number1inyorkshire @TSS Do we know what his personal issues were for sure , of course he has the right to his personal time off that is genuine employment law .I am though a sure as can be without knowing the facts ,grayson would have let him have time out for that sort of stuff .why would grayson say that if it wasn’t true .i like o’brien but i am with grayson on this 1 TSS @number1inyorkshire Broke up with his fiancée I think? I don’t really pay much attention to personal scandals. TSS @number1inyorkshire I was speaking purely as someone who has had far too much experience with employment tribunals. You just don’t fuck with personal time, not that quickly at least – you’ll always lose. number1inyorkshire @TSS i agree i am not picking on the principal i employ staff who stay with me year on year because i am good with them as aresult they are good with me CasWhite At least I don’t beleive my own hype. Right so I assume Gradel didn’t want to move back to France, but we said sorry son we need the cash off you go?? The Kasper deal was a mixed message. We initially looked to talk to his agent, but when this was declined we sold him. There again before his injury Lonergan was the better keeper. Howson’s already been covered. So are we are selling club. If you look at the fact we have sold players yes. Name me a none selling club??? We have sold players all through our history. Even the midfield of Speed, Batty and McAllister was sold!! Dje just because you write something I’m sorry some people will have different view. I assume your still in the Risdale camp on transfer financing!!! LeedsForLife Interesting article, Dje. For all that I oppose a lot of anti-Bates ranting, because I think a lot of it is based on hatred rather than reason and a lot of it is highly unreasonable, I too am very unhappy about the way contracts are managed and, although I support keeping wages tightly controlled, I think they have been set too low to keep players happy and committed to the club, or to attract good enough incomers, since we entered the Championship. I’d like to add to your argument by pointing out that Bates’s stated budget figure of £9.5m was necessarily arbitrary. Some estimates were made regarding incomings, outgoings, profits, etc but there had to be a wide margin of accuracy – they were guesses and wishes. Perhaps £15m would have been as valid a budget figure? For Bates to imply (as I think he is doing) that Grayson’s over-spent by going over the budget seems no more justifiable than Bates admitting he under-budgeted in the first place. I suspect one or two of us might feel there was more under-budgeting than over-spending and that, however much we’ve spent, we’ve still actually under-spent. Box I would probably make our most reliable and experienced defender captain ie lons and not a winger stuck out wide. Snoddy has 18 months on his contract, if we get promoted he will stay if we don’t he will go, so what’s the point in offering him a new contract which he will turn down for this very reason? LeedsForLife st holder: And maybe that wasn’t the best way to manage the negotiations. Gryff @LeedsForLife You’re thinking of taking the “Bates Bull” and ramming it through another set of negotiations? Any play asks for more than some magic beans, end of negotiation. Any agent does his job and *tries* to extort money at the 11th hour, end of negotiation. I’m not wholly unsympathetic to his approach, especially with Poleon. But there’s more to negotiations that getting your rod out, waving it and going “I’M THE MASTER OF THIS HERE MANOR” which appears to be exactly Bates & the Board’s strategy. I’ve heard (though unverifiably, granted) that Snodgrass and Howson wanted Premiership football, wanted the club to invest and for them to stay at this club which very much suited them. The tradein for not doing this (at least in terms of Howson) seemed to be a nigh-on Premiership wage in the Championship. There was no way we could keep them, but they were too valuable to let go. Telling them to play for their contract was about all there was left to do, short of kicking them out and squeezing in a rant about them in between the horrible people of Leeds, the horrible people of the country, and whatever else has made Ken’s head sore over the past week. It is, after all, a business. Warnock’s interview at the Beeb simply reinforces this. It’s not what Ken wants, it’s not what the manager wants, it’s not what the fans want either. But it is what it is and no amount of swimming against the tide will change that. MikeLeeds Aidy White for Captain then Dje @CasWhite Nah, not believing my own hype, CasWhite. My two-part reply to you came out in the wrong order so might have read as more aggressive/defensive than it was meant. Apologies for that. To be honest my reply to people here has almost nothing to do with the points of the article. My argument was that Simon Grayson is cornered on matters of transfers and therefore it isn’t really he who we should be listening to regarding incoming and out-going transfers (and this is different from claling him a liar, which I am not). This is not to say he has no say in any of the transfers, only he doesn’t set the wages or offers the contracts, and really picks up the pieces once Harvey, presumably working on the financial directive of Bates, has had his way of failing to sign the original players Grayson was after, and failing to extend the contracts of players already with us and in Grayson’s starting XI. For all Kilkenny’s weaknesses, if we are going to offer him a contract at all then shouldn’t it have been of a greater value than the one he was on in League One when now playing in the Championship? Apparently not according to Harvey if the rumours are to be believed. I’m more than happy for folk to disagree, and I’ve only replied when people have taken up tangents that I didn’t put much prominence too in what I wrote. Nothing wrong with those tangents, only as they have been directed at me I feel it is only right to offer an answer (just not saying I’m right). So all the talk of Kilkenny being a key player or not, whether or not we are a selling club, whether Snodgrass wants out and why (I wrote the article two days before Grayson’s denial today) or even if report in The National is true, are secondary issues to that of how Grayson is not the one we should be asking about transfers, it’s Harvey (and when was the last time ever heard him account for himself, his dealings, or the vast sum of money he gets paid?). number1inyorkshire Grayson really isn’t contradicting himself i think what he is trying to say is that ,when in the summer they offered to talk terms with snoddgrass both parties agreed they were happy for now and would speak later on, probably between now and summer .. what he was also saying there has been no ongoing talks, so as there was no contract talks snoddgrass has not pulled out of the talks ANYONE who listens to grayson knows he can not put 2 words together . For about the 20th time we know the problem with the bates transfer kitty and we now Know the reason grayson is trying to get free players ,its so he can pay them the going rate . We are not a selling club really .however we are a club that is in the league with less money than the league above us ,its like the food chain and our better players will get picked of by the bigger ,more powerful clubs who can also offer the player more money .like we could attract league 1 players etc . its not like we are selling to lesser clubs .. seems to me the players we have sold recently have gone upwards and wanted to leave that is football it is a transient job . we speak of the fact that harvey negotiates wages etc like its not the way all clubs do course it is chief execs who do that .alright the way the budget is set out is different (see above ) i just do not know what the point to the article is sorry DJE Dje @number1inyorkshire Lol. I don’t think you are the only one, No.1. The opening lines spell out the article I think: but I’ve added a bit all the same: “Simon Grayson made a promise to Leeds United fans: that there’ll be no more key player sales following Jonny Howson’s imminent sale to Norwich City. Unfortunately such matters are almost entirely beyond Grayson’s call (so why are we listening to him on transfer matters when he is not the one in charge of a.) the budget to bring in new players (that’s Bates and Harvey) b.) players wanting to leave (ie. Gradel, Howson, and if you believe the quoted article, Snodgrass too) or keep existing players (as Harvey is the man doing the contracts that never get signed). That said, by saying don’t listen to Grayson is not the same as saying, ‘because he is lying to you’. Really those in charge of the poor transfer policy are the ones we should be holding to account: Bates (who sees himself as unaccountable) and especially Harvey (who disgruntled fans might just be able to put the pressure on). Whereas some people have read this as me attacking Grayson, it is actually meant as a warning: if we continue to gripe about transfers to the man who is not in charge of them, eventually that man will become the fallguy and the real figure who is failing the club and us (Harvey) will get away scot free. For along time I felt the best those who are protesting and wanting Bates out is to target those who are fallable: Shaun Harvey and Gwyn Williams. Most people aren’t sure what Williams actually does at LUFC, beside getting paid handsomely, so he is harder to justify Bates making him the sacrificial lamb to appease the fans. But we are almost all upset about the transfer dealings of the last two season, and most by the leaving on a free of Beckford, Johnson, alright I wont mention Kilkenny!, and for £750,000 practically Howson too. By not letting Harvey and Bates to hide behind Grayson over their self-imposed transfer constraints Harvey should be singled out and forced out the club, not Grayson. If Grayson goes at all, it should be for footballing reason alone. number1inyorkshire @Dje why diidn’y you say that lol i respect anyone on here who is willing to do what you ,colin ,matt bb etc do on here .putting your opinions down and leaving them to be scrutinised on here by us the opinionated .although not tss its his job lol .. but at least its possible unlike other sites Maybe that would open the worm tin if they did it on the official site as always D J E well done DrD We know the team is playing crap. That bates is shall we say dodgy and not putting up finance and that Grayson is possibly not the top manager we could have. But we have loyal fans that united can motivate the team. 8 points behind automatic promotion and 19 games left! Get behind the players and the team… We are due a good run. 15 more wins and bates will be able to sell a premier league team… Let us dream on before we unleash the nightmare of boycotting elland road and mass demonstration.. Get behind and support the team first please! MikeLeeds Absolutley spot on – Every Opportunity Of Going UP! As it stands get behind the team – If we go up Bates has the opportunity to sell – if we dont go up he does not have the opportubity to sell – self explanatory really MOT Gryff @DrD It’s a good team. We’ve lost Premiership talent, but we’ve good players left… Bubionwhite @DrD Good call DrD … it isn’t motivational for any player to be met with dissent or disapproval every time he runs on to the park, whatever the dissent or disapproval is about. Despite the sale of Jonny Howson, there are still plenty of good, talented players at the club who deserve all our full support I suspect we will see something of Rogers against Birmingham and I sincerely hope he’s greeted with a “proper Leeds United welcome” rather than be subjected to either silence or Bates rants … let these be done through LUST. Chareose @Bubionwhite@DrD I seriously doubt Bates would sell Leeds united even if we were in the Prem henrymouni On paper our squad, and probably 12 other squads, are capable of promotion. Our squad has been turning in poor performances for 12 months!! We do not deserve promotion! It is the players who set the scene and it is their performance that ignites the fans – not the other way round!! It is ridiculous to expect our fans, or any other fans, to cheer a diabolical performance. It is not physically possible. I agree that unrest does not help, but the unrest is because the team is under-performing – due to the fact that either the quality is not there, or they are badly managed, or they do not care enough! We feel that we have been fed too much bull… and enough is enough. The team leads and we follow!!! We feel that the club is spending money in the wrong areas! The present team proves this to be true! NONE of the current problems were created by the fans – NONE!!! the ‘no hope’ you mention is because the team’s diabolic performances give us little hope. They are certainly not giving value for money, are they?? DO NOT BLAME THE FANS FOR THE TURMOIL WE ARE IN!! We have no power to do anything but protest!! Even then, it will probably be a waste of time. It is up to Simon and the team to save the day!!! Gryff No. Grayson was adamant he’s not selling. Bates can force him economically into a corner, but can’t force him into selling players under contract? TSS @CasWhite From what Ben Parker was saying in Pavilion, the Howson saga has a long way to run yet. TSS @CasWhite Can’t see it, think he’s too pissed off with the club to return now. He asked for parity and was sold to Norwich. That’s not easily forgiven. AV This article is based on speculation AV Lonergan could well be a great choice as Captain. An experienced leader behind a young back four could work wonders. I do not see any obvious better choices in the squad Gryff @Gryff No, and he didn’t sell Beckford. He left on a free after getting us promoted. That gives Snoddy a year and a half! I don’t disagree with anything you say on that, except that Snoddy will go soon. Grayson’s said players are under contract and they’ll fulfill them now. Steve Walwyn They cant handle the truth….. AdamLUFC95 For thw good of Leeds United Bates needs to leave quick!! WoodyUK OK I have read all the posts over the last few days and can agree with a large amount of what is posted. If I don’t agree with some of the more ‘conspiracy theory’ comments and negative doom and gloom feeling I can at least understand and sympathise with why people feel this way. Looking at the recent interviews from Grayson, Clayton and Snodgrass I get the feeling the unrest on the terraces is upsetting them and that they are still trying to stay focused on their job but that our actions are affecting them adversely. I have seen a lot of posts concerning our reliance on loan signings and admittedly in previous seasons the loan players that we have had have not been positive for the club by and large but this season Keogh, Pugh, McCarthy and O’dea have all been solid performers, Townsend has shown in a few matches what he is capable of and I truly believe the longer we keep Deph the better he will get. The other positive is that all of these players desperately wanted to come to Leeds and most wanted/want to stay – this does not shout unhappy dressing room to me. Gryff @WoodyUK I’ve been writing something along those lines that I hope to get TSS to put up as an article. I agree with you in that I think we need to distinguish between wanting Bates out and backing the manager and team. It is indeed impressive that Delph wanted to come back home and Townsend wanted to stay – especially given this was partly because of us. I’ve felt we’re a bit flat at ER all season because we’re feeling down but we need to pick ourselves up. Hate Bates – chant about him for 10-15 minutes a match. Chant all through half-time. But when the lads are out there, concentrate on the football. WoodyUK I reserve judgement on Howson’s sale until I know if money will be spent on replacement players but, as another poster suggested, personally I would have asked Howson for a 1 year extension with get out clause if we failed to get promoted and received an offer of £2m – no risk above what we have now and benefit of having Howson available till end of season. I think our keeper is decent, we have a good midfield and strikeforce (when their form is good) and I only think another strioker and one or two defenders to make us a good championship team (I realise we have to get players like Connolly, Bruce, Bromby, O’Brien and Parker off the books however if they are not going to feature for the 1st team before replacements can be obtained) WoodyUK @WoodyUK Reading Jonny’s comments following his transfer “It’s been no secret that my ambition is to play in the Premiership and that’s why we never got round to sorting the contract because we don’t know where Leeds United are going to be and I wanted to give myself a chance of playing in the Premiership,” he explained. “I can understand why the club has sold me now because it’s better to get something now than at the end of the season.” it holds true with what Grayson. No way they could guarantee premiership football next season and he was determined to play at that level as soon as he could. I don’t blame him, actually I admire him for coming out in public and telling it how it is. Of course if we had invested more in the summer maybe we would be promoted this year – but then again maybe not – maybe we’d just have saddled ourselves with players on long expensive contracts that we couldn’t afford, who knows. WoodyUK OK I have read all the posts over the last few days and can agree with a large amount of what is posted. If I don’t agree with some of the more ‘conspiracy theory’ comments and negative doom and gloom feeling I can at least understand and sympathise with why people feel this way. Looking at the recent interviews from Grayson, Clayton and Snodgrass I get the feeling the unrest on the terraces is upsetting them and that they are still trying to stay focused on their job but that our actions are affecting them adversely. I have seen a lot of posts concerning our reliance on loan signings and admittedly in previous seasons the loan players that we have had have not been positive for the club by and large but this season Keogh, Pugh, McCarthy and O’dea have all been solid performers, Townsend has shown in a few matches what he is capable of and I truly believe the longer we keep Deph the better he will get. The other positive is that all of these players desperately wanted to come to Leeds and most wanted/want to stay – this does not shout unhappy dressing room to me. henrymouni @WoodyUK I agree that the terrace chanting cannot be helping but:- We have been playing badly for months, so we have to be careful not to use the protests as an excuse, to hide our real problem – Motivation!! Application!!! Concentration!!! WoodyUK I have to admit I have not been entirely supportive from the terraces for the last few months but the more I think about it (after reading Snodgrass’ comments) the more I think we are creating an atmosphere of negativity at Elland Road in which players are afraid to express themselves in case they mess up and we get on their backs. The listless support seems to be creating listless performances and visa versa. It seems a lifetime ago that the team were playing without fear and really getting at teams. The current first team is not too different to the teams that turned out in September against Brighton, Palace and Bristol City WoodyUK Unfortunately I believe the Casper money and the Gradel money are more likely to have been spent on a years wages for Forsell, Varyrnen, O’Dea and Brown and half a year salaries for Keogh and Pugh plus the permanent signing fee of Pugh. Casper and Higgs salaries are probably comparable with Rachubka, Lonergan and Taylor but I would think Forsell, Brown and Vayrynen probably command far higher salaries than Gradel, Kilkenny and Johnson (this assumption is made due to being full internationals, reputations etc rather than their usefullness to us). None have been anywhere near as good as I’d hoped and all were last gasp efforts to get numbers into our squad after appalling close season transfer activity. If you loan players from premiership clubs you should get better quality players than you are able to purchase but you have to pay them hefty salaries. Bubionwhite Ask Real Madrid and the Spanish national team … Iker Casillas is captain of both and neither look to be doing too badly. Lonergan’s also one of the more senior members of the team and won’t be affected by the responsibility … I hope following his week=end mistake Dje Lol. Lack of transparency at our club is the root of much of the resentment and anxiety, IMHO. You could well be on to something about it being time for players to allow a little more insight into what is happening behind the scenes at Elland Road. It doesn’t have to be malicious and mouthing off at Bates or Grayson or anything; just offering an insight into the nature of contract talks and when they were offered what etc. As it stands, saying he left for Premiership football is the selfless and easy-going call for Howson. It could of course be true, but it opens as many questions about why now and not the summer, when Norwich and Leeds’s league status for next season would be confirmed. To that, perhaps Howson really is too much of a nice guy! Snowjoke oldschoolbaby. You’re right about the captaincy. We rarely see a GK wearing the armband and the reasons are obvious. THE GK’s plane of vision from a fixed position at one end of the pitch must limit his understanding of what’s happening up, down and across the entire field of play. His priority should therefore be to marshall our young defenders and any other players joining them when extra numbers are needed. Such has been our defensive fragility, this role alone requires all of our GK’s concentration and foresight and no distractions. My own choice for Skipper would be Snodgrass and the case for him is equally simple. 1. He’s almost certtainly first on the teamsheet and definitely there on merit. 2. He has a cold-eyed look that suggests he’d intruduce steel into the chain of command.. 3. Okay, he’s a winger but this doesn’t seem to stop him drifting around the pitch to knock in a goal or dish out a bollocking when either is needed. 4. He has iconic status among supporters and a genuine affinity for them. So I’d expect a positive crowd reaction if he led the team out against Birmingham – a boost for team morale in troubled times. Sorry Loners, It ain’t personal. Club Captain would make more sense. TimPM @Snowjoke That said, we rarely see a team as unsettled in the long-term as Leeds has been at the back. I can see why vastly experienced Lonners with his years of experience as captain at PNE (if I remember right) has been given the armband, considering he’s often got youngsters Tom Lees, O’Dea, White & Zac Thompson in front of him! Snoddy provides obvious leadership from the midfield, with Clayts looking to get on well with him as well. We already have the leadership going forward, as captain Lonners might make sure we don’t forget about keeping organised at the back? Dje @TimPM@Snowjoke Experienced keepers, at least the good ones, tend to naturally act as a defensive captain regardless of arm bands. They should be constantly barracking the back four in front of them. It is their ability to see what is going on further upfield and influence it that worries me. Considering most keeper’s contact with their midfielders and strikers only comes when defending corners and free-kicks on the edge of the box, it isn’t ideal to be trying to express new directives and rally the team whilst simultaneously lining-up your wall or picking up opposition players for a corner. I’m sure Lonergen would not have been too put out if Snodgrass had been given the captaincy. Snowjoke TimPM and Dje. I think you’d struggle, really, to slide a fiver between us on the captaincy issue. My concern is still the GK’s limited perception of what;s going on upfield – his foreshortened view of events beyond the centre circle is a geometrical fact he can do nothing about. So far better for him to be focused 100% on any developing threat to his own goal and marshalling an early, effective response to it. Whenever the opposition is looking dangerous, it’s always reassuring to see our Keeper, a dominant presence in the goalmouth, barking out a stream of orders to others. Lonergan does all of this pretty well. But I’d be happier if he didn’t have the distraction of wider resonsibilities. Sorry to bang on.