Billy Paynter is expected to complete a transfer to Doncaster Rovers on Monday, bringing to an end his torrid spell at Leeds.

Following the sale of Jermaine Beckford, Paynter arrived at Elland Road in 2010 and the pressure to succeed was high. The Liverpool-born striker was handed the number 9 shirt by then manager Simon Grayson who was expecting big things from the only player who had out-scored Beckford the season previous in League One.

Unfortunately, things never worked out for Paynter and he quickly became a target for ridicule amongst the Elland Road faithful who dubbed him “Barndoor” Billy due to his wayward shooting and subsequently poor goal return.

In many ways, Billy Paynter represents everything that went wrong with Simon Grayson’s Leeds United. When The Whites lost key players, very little money – often none at all – was made available for their replacements, leaving Simon Grayson forced to fill the gaps with free transfers and loanees. The result was invariably a drop in quality.

When Paynter’s transfer is completed on Monday, Neil Warnock will have successfully removed two high-earning players from the Elland Road wage bill in less than a week, which should hopefully free up funds for the “icing on the cake” signings the manager has been promising.

  • Tare

    My view is that new owners are already in place so this payroll issue is just food for thought. Remember guys last year when there was no activity at all so something has happened this summer and can’t wait the news about it. Tare

  • Matthew

    If this happens, thank the lord.

    Only Paul Rachubka left out of the trio of shite. He’l probably stay, get no games with us, be loaned out to a league 1 side, only find once his contract is up with us he has no club.

    I’m calling it, we’l be Paul Rachubkas last club. As he’s a shite goalkeeper with no skill. Who can’t catch a ball.

    • TSS

      Very unfair on Chubs, he was a solid enough back-up keeper but it didn’t work out. He had an on-pitch meltdown that was incredibly painful viewing, I personally felt very sorry for the bloke.

      • Matthew

        Come on, he bottled it under the pressure and became absolutely dire.

        Easily the worst keeper at the club in years, and he was sucky in his loan spells.

        • TSS

          Like I said, he had a meltdown, but he isn’t a bad keeper by any stretch of the imagination. Some people can’t handle that kind of pressure, it’s not their fault and it’s incredibly harsh to ridicule them for it. If he’d come out and put no effort in fair enough, but that was probably the worst day of his career, poor lad was distraught.

          • Matthew

            But it’d be easily to excuse his shocking goalkeeping on his confidence, maybe in some ways that led to it. But in actuality, us having an absolutely dire defense left him(A very poor goalkeeper at that) completely exposed.

            Schmeichel, and other decent shot stoppers can keep us in a game, even with a poor defense, Rachubka, not so much.

            I remember from the Blackpool game our defending was an absolute shambles, but come on, why can’t he catch a ball?

            Back on the Billy Paynter topic. Think you’d agree he was completely out of his depth with us. Ross McCormack took a little while to adjust, Becchio pretty much adjusted straight away, it makes the difference between a decent striker and a poor one.

            And like Paynter, Rachubka was out of his depth too, with our poor defense, and his goalkeeping skills which were severely lacking.

            Sorry, I know its harsh to criticise him like this. I’ve never seen a goalkeeper so poor in many years at this club.

          • TimPM

            Matthew, as TSS said: because he had a mental breakdown.

            Was he that poor in pre-season games that didn’t count? No. Was he that bad playing in front of Blackpool’s small crowds for seasons? No. He just couldn’t handle Elland Road.

          • Matthew

            So not being able to handle Elland Road is an excuse for being crap? He was crap in goal every game he was covering from Lonergan.

            Would of rather seen Cairns take his place, certainly a better prospect.

          • Matthew

            Also was very poor whilst on loan to league 1 sides.

            Says it all.

          • TSS

            The point is, he isn’t crap – the ability is there. Not being able to handle the pressure isn’t his fault, some people buckle under it. Why should they be berated for it? There’s absolutely nothing they can do about it.

          • Matthew

            He hasn’t displayed anything that could remotely say he has talent at Leeds United, thats how I’m judging him.

    • Bubionwhite

      Only hope you never make serious mistakes in your life Matthew … and if you do, I hope you are treated with a little more compassion and respect than you appear to want to show to Paul Rachubka. You’re right, he has been rubbish for Leeds United but we shouldn’t aim to destroy any one player for that … sell him, give him away and move on.

    • Jordan

      Talking of people cracking under the presure. im sure you have just written an article about billy?

      about how everyone ridicules him for being a bad striker. like you say, The abbility is there, i just dont think he can play at ER.

      I agree that Rachubka would be a good keeper and needs a fresh start. But you have just written an article basically taking the piss out of someone who has tryed to score goals at ER, and its not from lack of trying that he cant do it. Apparently he is good in training, just bad on the pitch. all about presure.

      Just some food for thought.

  • Decky Quinn

    I don’t for one moment think that Billy Paynter or Paul Rachubka are bad footballers. The criticism of them by many a Leeds fan has been harsh to say the least.
    Paynter for example, was seen as Beckfords replacement, a man who had just won us promotion back to the Championship, a Leeds United legend in my eyes and I for one would love to see him back in a Leeds United shirt again. Paynter was literally going to have to hit the ground running and of course he did not and just never recovered from it. I wish him all the best and I guarantee now that he will be a great addition for Doncaster. Good luck to Billy!!

    Now to Rachubka. The man has had a nightmare time and anyone who does not feel sorry for the guy has little much of a heart. He started his career at Manchester United, which is hardly the worst place to learn your trade. (I know they are c*nts but you know what I mean.) Wish him all the best as well, wherever he ends up. I just hope he gets the opportunity to show that he is a decent keeper.


  • leedslunatic

    Matthew –
    Took Ross a little while to adjust?? He scored 2 goals in his first season with us! Most of us had him written off at that stage. In my opinion, Paynter has had a bit of bad luck. Through injury/Grayson’s persistance with strikers ect… he wasn’t given a proper run.

    Any striker lacking confidence is liable to perform badly. Without gametime, how do you expect a striker to gain that confidence? I mean the guy scored 29 goals in the 09/10 season and even Simon Cox admitted he wouldn’t have scored nearly as much had Paynter not been playing along side him.
    As much as I like him… Becchio looked way out of his depth at times this season.

    I also think some of the criticism/abuse leveled at Rachubka is unwarrented. Any goalkeeper we could have realistically signed last season would have had a hard time sitting behind that back four.

    Having said that, it’s obvious neither of them have a future playing with us. So I’d like to see them sign with new clubs and free up some of our wages, but lets leave the petty stuff out of it yea?

    • Matthew

      Answering your points.

      Ross did take a little while to adjust, he was a good player but didn’t have the best of luck with our setup, this changed the following season when his confidence improved and he displayed his talent to prove what a fantastic player and asset he is.

      Billy Paynter however if you’ve ever watched a game live, has been consistantly poor and hasn’t displayed anything remotely resembling talent, he is completely out of his depth in the Championship.

      On loan at Brighton he was also a poor quality striker, so really regardless of the club, the Championship just isn’t his level.

      You can make excuses all you want for Paynter, he just isnt a Championship quality striker.

      And have you seen Rachubka play for us? He was shocking, absolutely shite. His confidence aside, he lost us games.

      Quit making excuses for crappy players, its not being petty, if you had watched either of these players play for us, you’d see where I’m coming from.

      • TimPM

        On Paynter: hence why Poyet took him on loan and Blackpool gave him a chance to train with them?

        I’m not saying he’s great, but he banged them in for fun in League One.

        • Matthew

          Poyet was an admirer of Paynter from his league 1 days, didn’t work out at Brighton as he was dire, couldn’t score, made no effect on their side and was sent back.

          Blackpool, well they have a strict budget, any club would take a few prospects. They sent him home quickly.

          Says it all.

          • leedslunatic

            Ross’s confidence improved because he got a run in the team. Maybe Ross’s ability is somewhat above Paynter’s, but the fact still remains that Paynter did not get a fair chance. Had he got a decent run in the team and still failed to produce then fair enough… but he didn’t.

            I struggle to see how he could manage to bang in 29 goals in League One yet simply “not cut it” in the Championship. Grayson obviously thought he could, Poyet thought he could and Holloway thought he was worth a shot. He wasn’t given a proper run to be allowed to develop any consistency. Sub appearances here and there don’t allow this.

            Rachubka had a complete meltdown. You can’t just disregard the confidence issue, because any goalkeeper lacking confidence will struggle.

            Either way, hopefully by the end of the transfer window, both will have signed on with different clubs to allow a bit of cash to be freed up.

            Just don’t see the point in slating either of them.

          • Matthew

            Because there’s a huge difference in quality of players/teams in the Championship, a good league 1 player could be crap in the Championship, and be out of his depth.

            How many times do I need to explain this?

            Being good in one league doesn’t automatically make you good in another. His goals came at the workrate of his strike partner Charlie Austin, without him he was just another average league 1 player at Swindon.

          • Matthew

            Also, are you reading what I’m saying?

            Paynter was given enough of a chance at Brighton, and Leeds.

            Fucks sake. I’m not going to respond further to idiots who arent reading what im saying.

          • Chareose

            Paynter could do a jobin the Championship and certainly in the !st division he just needs confidence but i dont think hes got the balls for Leeds United. Just one of those things……..personally if i was his advisor Id urge him to join POrtsmouth in whatever division they end up in as he could become a hero there like Beckford was for us…..

          • Matthew

            What job? Bench warmer? Can’t score, lacks pace, and has no presence in the box. Guessing you mean bench warmer???

            League 1 is his level. Wont deny he couldnt do a job there, he just isnt championship quality.

          • TimPM

            Paynter played 60 minutes or more in only 6 matches this season, and he scored 2 goals. He played more than 60 minutes 9 times last season, and scored 1 goal. He’s hardly set the division alight but how can you strike form with the odd appearance dotted about? McCormack has made the Actim top10 before at Cardiff, but out of form last season he played 6 matches more than 60 minutes and scored 2 goals – exactly the same as Paynter this season. Paynter might not be good enough for Leeds but to say there’s a massive step between League One and the Championship is nonsense. As you said a while back plenty of teams have only added a few players to make it from League One to the Premier League.

          • Matthew

            He’s played longer than that.

            Personally I would say I was correct in my assessment of the leagues, by saying there is a huge difference in quality of the players, some people can handle to step from league 1 -> championship, some can’t.

            In this league there is a scattering of decent Premier league quality players who have had to make the step down. In league 1 not so much.

            There is also quality players from lower leagues in this league. Can’t deny that, but some players just can’t make the transition from lower league football to higher, like Billy Paynter, he just isn’t Championship quality.

            He could do the job in League 1 no doubt, a lower standard of teams, the likes of Oldham, Tranmere, Yeovil, Crewe. Are a far cry from Blackpool, Cardiff, Leicester, Dull City.

            To make things clearer, he’d have an easier time against Oldham, Tranmere etc in league 1, where the quality of players is lower. Then he would against Blackpool, Cardiff, Dull City, Leicester.

            He’s been proven shit in this division at 2 clubs, us and Brighton. He never should of left Swindon, that was his level.

            Don’t really want to repeat myself about BP, thoughts about him which address stuff youve said are scattered around here lol.

  • Intheknow

    Source from Donny he’s not signing, he wants too much money

    • Dje

      I imagine we’ll be paying him off/subsidising his wages. Monday will tell, I guess.

  • Dje

    It’s like getting a divource really, you’ve both wasted enough of your time, money and effort on each other, so it’s best if you both look to separate futures rather than to the past with recriminations. Put Billy on the Christmas Card list and an acknowledging nod in the street, he’s worth that.

    Something will be seriously, seriously wrong with our club if in five years time both Rachubka and Paynter are still talking points rather than merely two other names on a long list of forgotten former players ~ just as Bessone and Capaldi have completely escaped the frothing lips of schadenfreude so far on this page.

  • Irvging08

    TSS: Grayson chose to buy cheap or recruit frees and pay relatively high wages. He could have chosen to pay a bit for up-and-coming younger players and paid them lower wages. The result may have been the same… but I still see no reason why he could not have mixed it. Then there were all those largely ineffective loans on good money too. I admire your loyalty to SG, but in some areas I feel it is a little misplaced.

    • TSS

      If our wage bill supported that argument, that’d be fair enough. The simple fact is, it doesn’t – we had one of league’s lowest wage bills despite having one of highest turnovers.

      • Irving08

        You need to look at the distribution, not just the aggregate bill. Bruce, O’Brien,Paynter, McCartney and perhaps a few others were on far higher salaries than the rest. This was one of the issues that rankled with Johnson.


    I remember when I heard we had bought a striker from swindon,yes boy!!,we got charlie austin but then turned out it was barn door..lets face it,he was pants! will drive him to donny myself.Think of all the donkeys we’ve watched over the last 8yrs ,barn door wouldn’t make the bench!!

  • Lufc forever

    To be honest I think paynter is a decent player… His confidence was shot from sat on the bench at Leeds, so he isn’t going to make much of an impact with a loan at Brighton or a trial at Blackpool… A move to Doncaster will do his career good and hopefully he can rediscover the form he had at Swindon, then maybe secure another move to the championship when he is on form again… Well for his sake anyway. MOT

  • Scarlett Gray

    If Billy goes I wish him well and hope it is the dawn of a new era for him and for Leeds. Loved his goal at Deepdale xx

  • Colin

    Matthew’s comments are harsh, and I probably wouldn’t use quite such strong terms, but I think the sentiment is fair.
    The problem with Rachubka wasn’t that he never had a good game, but that he never even had a mediocre game. He was poor. However, he’s a keeper and they have no hiding place, so I have some sympathy. Not so with Paynter.
    Paynter, despite his previous performance at other clubs, was terrible for Leeds. It wasn’t the fact that he played badly, it was that he didn’t ever seem fit. He looked fat, knackered after 10 minutes and didn’t seem to even try and win headers against defenders much smaller than him. That is unacceptable in my book.
    Successful teams at all levels, don’t entertain people who can’t do the job they’re paid to do. Same in any walk of life. Leeds is no exception and we shouldn’t have had to pay our money to fund these guys’ wages.

    • Matthew

      Well said Colin.

      I’m judging these players from watching them play, and seeing how well they did at other clubs be it on loan or otherwise.

      Neither of them have displayed anything that I would call talent in this division, both are out of their depth, and for fucks sake, some people are defending these average league 1 quality players, when they simply are not good enough.

      Not speaking about Tim or TSS here, but anyone who thinks Billy Paynter is a good player is a fucking armchair fan, and have never seen him play in the Championship, he was dreadful for us, dreadful for Brighton, and doesn’t have an ounce of skill in him compared to Ross McCormack.

  • Mr Cynical

    It’s difficult to sum up Payter in a few sentences. He was poor, REALLY poor!
    His touch was shocking, but his finishing was even worse.
    He was like a poor-man’s Frank Strandli & would definately get in my all time worst Leeds United 11. He would be part of a three-pronged ‘attack’ which includes Thomas Brolin & Michael Ricketts. Scarey stuff, eh!?

    • HunsletWhites

      Hang on! That’s really unfair leaving Kandol out of your line-up.

  • Tare

    For the boys here, it is always easy to put judgment if needed but going gets tough one needs creative view of life here. Life is never easy but you can make it more easier just planning and executing that matter. Tare

  • Counte of monte fists

    Take away barn doors one good season at Swindon then examine his record. Over the years he has rarely hit double figures, I was aghast when Grayson signed him and nothing I’ve seen since has changed my mind. He is one of about 5 signings which summed up Simon for me. Hope he goes div 1 player at best

  • mattbb2

    a poor mans frank strandli, I like it. I read holloways signng the ultimate dinkey, EMile Heskey so clearly there wouldnt have been enough carrots to go round at Blackpool..

  • Ilkleywhite

    Guys its time for Billy and Paul to move on, Billy came here with high expectations, and it didnt work out, Paul had a mare of a game against his previous club, and was subbed by a Youth Team player says it all, there is a certain pressure when you play for Leeds United, you cannot hide here, you are either good enough or you aren’t, you pick up the money and you have to perform, and another you can add to the list is Andy Lonergan, because to conceed SEVEN goals against Forest is a disgrace, Warnock is right to break last years team up, we simply weren’t good enough, and Snoddy going to the premiership, enjoy your one season there, coz Leeds are going up, and the budgies are going down


  • superhoops

    Really good article – many fans have taken ridiculing the likes of Paynter and Rachubka far too far. I feel genuinely sorry for Chubs. After his first error vs. Coventry, he never recovered. I don’t think he’s a poor keeper but it didn’t work out in spectacular fashion.

    Same goes for Billy. He was a victim of high expectation, in both inheriting the 9 shirt from Beckford and having rode roughshod on our defence with Swindon the previous year. Plagued by injury, again it just hasn’t worked out. Good luck to both players in the future!

    • leedslunatic

      I agree. Nobody ever said either Paynter or Rachubka were outstanding players, or even that they were really good… just that they didn’t get a fair run to warrant the abuse they get.

      And it really is a joke how you can’t log on to an otherwise excellent site to post an opinion without recieving abuse.

      Anyway, as said numerous times… Hope the two of them find new clubs and best of luck to them in the future.

      • Matthew

        Both had a fair run. Stop talking shit.

        • leedslunatic

          Dude…You need to chill out.

          We’re all entitled to our opinions. Your argument isn’t gona change mine, not by levelling insults at me anyway.

          Agree to disagree?

          • mattbb2

            thats not his style

          • Matthew

            Sorry, just with what you’re saying on here, I don’t think you’ve ever seen Paynter or Rachubka play for us.

            Rachubka lost us games, infact I could name at least 3 games he cost us with his poor goalkeeping, and well you know my thoughts on Paynter.

            He had more than a chance with us, sorry you can’t see that. I’ve been more than willing to engage in a debate with you but you’re not reading what I’m saying, and have shown quite clearly you do not go to games with your comments, that or have a problem with your vision.

          • Matthew

            Also, I haven’t aimed any ‘abuse’ at you. Sorry that you’re upset that someone has called you out on speaking shit. Really, by all means complain about it, I’ve been posting on here quite a long time, and have posted quite a lot of opinions which most people on here have agreed with.

            But If I’ve in anyway offended you, I’m sorry dude.

  • Chareose

    At the time that Paynter was signed he was a top scorer from Div 1 which is where we came from, Rachubka had premier league pedegree so Hind sight is a great thing but i dont blame Grayson for either signing given the constriants placed upon him……… I just dont go for this “says everything about Grayson” bollocks….. Grayson also stole Gradel from Leicester and had the intelligence to foster Howson and White….. Yes he has not benefitted from 190 years in football management like Warnock but on the hole i thought he did a great job in impossible circumstances

    • Irving08

      Love the typo

  • NottsWhite

    Paynter represented the type of player that (at the time of his management career)SG could go in for. NW has vastly more experience and therefore contacts which allows him to lure a better class of player. Impossible to compare SG to NW however I would argue that NW had a clear plan of targets and has worked quickly to get them. SG was a bit more cautious and seemed to wait until the PL squads were announced to try to obtain the fallout, unfortunately due to lack of draw from SG and poor negotiation from Harvey et al, we never landed these players therefore SG was forced to scrape the barrel for player like forsell

  • engee46

    He was a good striker in lg1 but has not been as good in the championship,and as been put on the transfer list.Hindsight is very good,but you dont allways know what you get,I mean Beckford not Painter.

  • mattbb2

    thank f**k

  • mattbb2

    Rachubkas meltdown reminded me of jim leighton. a good keeper who just lost it, and ultimatley he did get it back, but it took time – people need to be forgiving and in a results orientated business that is tough.We should never have signed Paynter, every fan knew it, and i bet in his heart of hearts so did simon grayson, but in his defence on paper grant holt was no better, slow big boned, an old fashioned centre forward, but paynter unlike holt had no pedigree, he is a 3rd and 4th division striker through and through, with low levels of fitness and no mental strength. we should have bought austin, but thats the bates world, cheap cheap cheap cheap.

  • leedslunatic

    Matthew –
    Look dude, we obviously have different opinions. I’m sure theres plenty of other people on here who disagree with me too.
    And of course I’ve read what you’ve written in your posts, I just don’t necessarily agree with you.
    Anyway, we’l leave it at that.
    Have a good one.

    • Matthew

      No worrys, lets see what happens on Monday. Exciting times.

  • They where really bad players for us, (Billy and Chubs)and they need to move. No matter the circumstances (injury, few minutes on the field, confidence crisis or wathever)We need to get rid these deadwood to land our “icing the cake” player.
    Never get excited about the signing of Paynter (clearly a L.One Striker at best) or Chubs (good for a PL backup, because he never play!)But I wish them the best in the future, of course, miles away from Elland Road…

  • TimPM


    • Matthew

      Why are you changing the comment system so much?
      Lol, reminds me, guess I should be a little nicer as there’s a no voting system now, instead of being a bit brutal with my criticism.

      • TSS

        Old one didn’t perform well on mobile devices. All the site will be redesigned over coming weeks with the focus being on compatibility across different platforms, such as smartphones and tablets. Since there are well over 30k comments to switch across, I’ve made a start on that now.

        New system also has a lot of useful features for registered users, not least of which is My Disqus, which shows you replies to previous comments across all threads making the site much easier to navigate for regular users.

        You can also edit comments, add bio, change profile pic, link to twitter account etc…

        • Matthew

          Sounds good, are you settled on this system now?

          Think you’ve used about 5 different systems since I’ve been here lol
          By the way, thanks for not banning me, think I’ve argued with like 2-3 people over the past few weeks on here, need to change that a bit.

          • TSS

            Seems like we’ve had more than we actually have. We used this years ago, then switched to Livefyre and anything in between is the standard system. To answer your question, we will be sticking with this one, so it’s worth registering (or logging in with Twitter) as there are numerous features (as outlined above) you’ll find useful.

          • Matthew

            Its a great system, also lets people know who the mods/admin area in the comments area too.
            Will do about the twitter thing, never bothered using it for commenting on websites before. Will take a look sometime.

          • mrbigwheels

            This is magic… Livefyre was ‘crashing’ with me and always errors on page showing. Will explore. Well done, we all need to be on the ball in the present climate at Leeds…………. otherwise it’s transfer list status!

          • TSS

            Livefyre was a little too ambitious I guess. The live comments thing is excellent if it works on your device, but it didn’t seem to work on the majority.

  • Good luck to him. At Leeds as a brand new signing he was injured in preseason and fitness wise was always playing catchup with the rest of the squad. His confidence took a helluva battering as a result. Billy will probably score 15 to 20 goals for Donny this coming season.