A-Radz brings an unusual calm to Elland Road TSS July 27, 2017 Leeds United 4 Comments Leeds fans have become so accustomed to operating like a circus, this summer has seemed bizarre in its relative calm. The almost obligatory change of management happened early, with Garry Monk running off to spend Middlesbrough’s millions and while his replacement was a relative unknown here in England, he’s no David Hockaday. We’ve lost key players, with Charlie Taylor leaving the club and Kyle Bartley returning to Swansea, but the usual panic that goes hand-in-hand with valuable players leaving the club hasn’t really transpired. While there’s been plenty of calls for Bartley to be re-signed at any cost, fans have accepted the unlikeliness of it and, by and large, trusted in the new ownership to provide suitable replacement. Pre-season has been a farce in recent years, with Leeds famously playing themselves after a team they’d arranged to play in Italy pulled out a couple of years back. Then there was the 16-0 drubbing of Italian pub side, FC Gherdeina, which was embarrassing in its absolute pointlessness. There’s been hiccups this summer too, with a game cancelled by the local town’s authorities after an incident with organised hooligans on a previous visit. Nothing Leeds could have done to prevent the last-minute cancellation, but the club apologised to travelling fans and quickly arranged a behind-closed-doors friendly to ensure the squad didn’t miss out on valuable preparation. Our oft-shambolic organisation of tours and fixtures aside, pre-season has also been notable in Leeds’ failure to do business early, thereby wasting precious team bonding opportunities and turning the first half dozen league fixtures into a painful ‘getting to know you’ exercise. This season however, Leeds got a lot of transfer deals done quickly and while we’re still waiting on a couple of defenders, it’s much easier to get 1 or 2 players up to speed than three quarters of the squad. Perhaps the most contentious issue thus far has been ticket pricing. With Leeds already operating on Premier League pricing, any increase was bound to go down like a lead balloon, making the backlash from supporters a predictable one. Unlike previous regimes however, Leeds answered the concerns swiftly, promising discounts for members and bundle deals throughout the season, while also pointing out that season tickets represent a saving of around 40% post-increase. And perhaps that’s key. There’s been a genuine willingness with all those working at the club to engage with fans. Criticisms, like ticket pricing or the terrible state of our online infrastructure (a club store that makes you queue, LUTV dropping out when 10 people try to use it consecutively) are accepted and addressed. Couple that with big money, forward-thinking statements like the repurchase of Elland Road and immediate locking down of the key players we could retain and a little faith develops in the ownership. That’s quite remarkable of the fans when you consider all this club has been through. After Ridsdale, Krasner, Bates, GFH and Cellino, it’s much easier for us (the fans) to distrust an owner. Our default position is hyper-cynical; jaded by years of lies and broken promises. But such is our desire to see this club do well, we’re always willing to give the next guy a chance. Maybe we’ve finally landed an owner worthy of the opportunity.