Sniffer winds the Newcastle fans up and the Geordies bite! TSS January 3, 2010 Leeds United 24 Comments "You just listen to me Becks and we'll have this baby back in no time!" Allan Clarke has added fuel to the never ending Jermaine Beckford saga by telling our leading goalscorer that Newcastle United aren’t a big enough club and he’ll never play for anyone bigger than Leeds. Quite right too. Clearly, this has annoyed a few barcodes mind. Clarke said; “Jermaine is doing a great job for Leeds, the fans love him, and he is already with the biggest club he’ll ever play for. “Let’s face it, Leeds are far bigger than Newcastle, so Jermaine should stay at Elland Road and become a real hero there.” A quick glance through the comments on the TribalFootball website is enough for you to get the jist of the Newcastle v Leeds row going on in there and what an amusing one it is too. Leeds fans agree with Clarke, Newcastle United fans don’t. (Shock!) Newcastle point to their superior attendance figures as proof they are a bigger club. Ok, that’s a given, but then you have got a much bigger stadium and more reasonable ticket prices for the League you’re in. This leads to catchment area. Leeds is indeed the third biggest city in England and definitely has a massive area, but then so does Newcastle. An almost infinite supply of feeder towns with almost no noticable clubs to rival you and Sunderland. Let’s not forget, we have both Sheffield’s who are unquestionably big clubs, Hull and of course Manchester United (Although, admittedly we all have to tolerate their fans). Then there’s a whole host of smaller clubs with sizeable fanbases around here such as Bradford and Barnsley. In comparison, you have a monopoly over your area! The fact of the matter is though. Who cares? You’re always going to get bigger attendances whilever you’re in a bigger stadium and higher league. We’d be getting plenty more in, in your position. You’ve already lost 8,000 fans since last season (although, I can accept ownership may be an issue – as it is with Leeds!) Trophies next up. Leeds have three league titles, Newcastle have four. Leeds have one FA Cup, Newcastle have six. Leeds have two UEFA Cup’s, Newcastle have one. Leeds were robbed of the European Cup by a bribed referee (1975). Newcastle have never come close. What really matters here though lads is you’ve done nothing since the 1950’s, and three of your League titles were in the days before Leeds United even existed when your biggest rival was Bristol City. Hardly a massive achievement is it? In fairness it’s been a while for Leeds too. Aside from our title winning season of 1992 under the legendary Howard Wilkinson (who then messed up and sold Cantona), Leeds haven’t done much since the 1970’s. That said, when it comes to football on the big stage, by which I mean Europe, Leeds are still the 14th most successful side in Europe in terms of matches played and won. We’re ranked there because of consistency, because over the decades we’ve qualified and competed in Europe much more than the rest of the English teams in that list – yourselves included. (You’re 87th) Healthiest looking Geordie I could find... honest! For me, that makes Leeds United the bigger team, but it’s all down to interpretation and whatever shade of tinted spectacles you happen to be wearing. For those of you in the black and white striped ones, you’ll point to a collection of trophies collected 60-100 years ago, whilst the ones looking through blue, white and yellow ones will point to Revie, Europe and consistency. It’s an impossible argument that no one can win. I know this because I grew up in a small mining town near Leeds which is literally bursting with Geordies who came Southwards to teach us how to dig holes in the ground and pull lumps of black gold out. A lot of my friends therefore support Newcastle United, so I’m well versed in such arguments and know full well that they never end, and no one ever wins. It’s totally irrelevant who is and who isn’t the better team anyway. The fact of the matter remains that Leeds and Newcastle are two massive clubs who have massively underachieved, had inept chairmen and find themselves lingering in league’s neither of them belong. Let’s focus on what really matters, which is getting back into a position where we can both challenge for honours once more. …and as for Allan Clarke? Well, he is a Leeds United legend, he’s hardly going to side with you lot!