Preston North End, Leeds United and Andy Lonergan have finally agreed terms to make the highly-rated goalkeeper Simon Grayson’s third addition of the summer.

Lonergan ticks none of Ken Bates and Simon Grayson’s usual boxes in that he was neither free, over 30 and or an unknown player Leeds United fans have to Google.

Leeds United were believed to have been close to a deal with Lonergan earlier in the summer only for it to fall through due to wage demands. Grayson revealed that the former Preston man was always his first choice and that he was delighted to be announcing his arrival.

“Contrary to the speculation we weren’t chasing a lot of goalkeepers, Andy was always my number one choice, and I’m delighted we could bring him here.”

The deal represents good business for Leeds United not only because they’ve got the signature of a highly-rated goalkeeper who was attracting interest from Everton, but also because the rumoured fee was believed to be just £200,000. That means the sale and replacement of Kasper Schmeichel has netted the club somewhere in the region of £800,000.

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68 Responses

  1. Ed Tierney

    if these rumours about the money are true, this looks like good business this summer. People shouldn't get too impatient with signings although I am a little concerned that if Lonergan is going to be our "number one" then he might find that it would've been better to join earlier in the summer. This way, he can get to know his defenders from the beginning of pre season and gel with them ready for the beginning of the actual season.
    Still, a good signing all the same! MOT

    • Hotshotlorimer

      £xcept that it hasn't netted the club £800,000. It's netted KB £800,000. Perhaps it can contribute to investment into the 'upgrading' of the stadium we don't even own, just as any tenant would. Unless…

      • Gryff723

        I'm as cynical as the next Leeds fan but there's only so many ways KB could take money out of the club. Upgrading Elland Road isn't one of them unless he lives to about 100 because we have a lease with a guaranteed buy-back agreement.

      • ellamforengland

        There is a differance between renting a house and having a leasehold on your business premises. No one in their right mind is going to do a loft conversion in a rented house, it only benifits the landlord, someday you're just going to walk away. Where as if you've just rented what was a greasy old kabab shop and you want to make it into a trendy Japanese tea house (or something) you gut the place and renovate at your expence. The dosh is not wasted as people are flocking to have a posh cuppa and rich Arabs are queuing up to buy you out (probably to open up a Kabab shop). So no probs the master spending a little bit just as long as he spends most on quality tea, sorry, players.

    • MRM

      PNE fan sites, at least where I've read, are saying that the initial talks stalled because his daughter became ill.

      So if Lonergan's not the player who wanted Premiership wages, then came back with his tail between his legs when he couldn't get better elsewhere, only to be told to EFF OFF, who is??????

  2. COL

    I was reading blogs on a Preston website. Apparently, Lonergan played well for a couple of seasons but suffered very poor form season and has been on the recieving end of plenty of abuse from PNE supporters.
    Anyway, he's finally a Leeds player so lets hope he proves to be a decent signing.

  3. MRM


    Yet more, it's gone in KB's pocket rubbish

    KB has stated the money from Kasper has gone to player funds.

    That doesn't mean it has to be there for transfer fees, but can be used as wages to bring in/keep other players.

    • Polo flow

      Exactly the point, MRM. Cash from player sales is going into a pot. It doesn't mean that it will all go on buying other players, some might be used when agreeing a new contract for existing players. It's all part of the plan to ensure we stay out of debt

  4. Andy Nattan (@Mr603)

    Good bit of business. Lonergan's young (for a keeper), hungry and promising enough that Everton were really interested. Schmeichel absolutely lost the defence and the plot after his injury, and wanted to screw us over to get a shot of a free move to the Prem.

  5. Mark

    Not convinced that Lonergan is any better than Kasper however I agree an £800,000 profit is good business for the club as long as the profit is ploughed back into the team on further player additions, hopefully it will be. A LB and CM wouldnt go amiss alongside a RB and another CB (unless Ken wants a few more lego bricks for his east stand makeover).
    Not concerned what PNE supporters think of Lonergan, he's a Leeds player now and deserves our support. Just hope Grayson gives him a chance and improves the back four that will play in front of him for the next 46 games, if not I dont expect the lad will make that much difference to our defensive record.

    • MRM

      The back 4 is already improved on last year, with Kisnorbo being back.

      • Chareose

        thx for your input Mr Harvey, its good to know that Leeds united employes read the forums

  6. tim campbell

    Right thats the goalkeeping situation covered, I'm still a bit concerned with the left back position; Aidy White has pace but we need someone whose defensive qualities are better suited to that position – i would expect to see eric lichaj back at the club, hopefully on a permanent deal – the £800k left over should just about cover it

  7. paulg

    The "defensive problems" have always been a bit of a mystery to me ….. never quite understood WHY we were so bad, when most of the (many) players who have played in the back four over the last couple of seasons have, individually, been decent enough experienced pros – even if they weren't world-beaters.

    I do wonder how much was down to an inexperienced keeper behind 'em, and the lack of an experienced defensive midfielder in front of 'em – I lost count of the number of times we conceded last year after one of the midfielders lost the ball, fannying about on the halfway line …..

    So I'll be interested to see how much difference Lonergan and Brown (or AN Other) make in shoring things up …….

  8. Matthew

    By the way we need to forget about getting a good Striker, it wont happen in 2 weeks, priority now is def.

  9. TSS

    Preston turned their offer down in January. Rumoured to have been around a million too.

      • TSS

        No choice once relegated, value drops instantly – we've seen that first hand ourselves.

        There was also a clause in his contract that said he could leave for that fee if HE wanted to. Preston had gone to great lengths to keep him at Deepdale, making him by far the highest paid member of their squad, and I assume he was relatively happy there to turn down the clubs who have come in for him previously.

        There's also a first team football factor to take into account. He's guaranteed games at Leeds – not so at Man City and the like.

        Also heard him and Phil Brown didn't hit it off (hardly surprising), so that may have made the decision easier for him.

  10. lufcforever

    Agree about it being a good signing, like others have said preston conceded so many cos the team was garbage. a goalkeeper cant stop everything on his own, he needs a decent defence in front of him and with paddy leading that i am confident apart from us needing a decent left back as in my opinion white and bessone arent up to it and neither is parker, as well as being injury prone. Still need another cm who has experience as would expect us to start against the saints with paynter up top with nunez in behind. Clayton doesnt look like a 46 game a season man like killa and johnson were

  11. Gryff723

    Our problem defence consisted of:
    Bessone (crap)
    McCartney (didn't want to be here)
    Neill Collins (shipped out in Jan window)
    Naylor (shipped out at end of season)
    Bruce (looks better with O'B next to him)
    Paul Connolly.

    Connolly was reasonably solid. We've sold/released all the rest and got rid of Kasper whose favourite part of football seemed to be hurling abuse at the defence. Higgs the ever-injured has also been released.

    Replaced them with a Premiership defender in Andy O'B, a keeper who was attracting Premiership interest, and a proven Championship-level keeper. For those who say every penny enters KB's pocket, just think about how much more those three would have been to procure and employ than Collins the journeyman, Higgs ex of Cheltenham, and Kasper ex of the lower leagues (though granted he was only a decent wage).

    • TSS

      Bang on mate, the defence has improved massively. We're a stronger team this season in my opinion. Won't stop the fans moaning though.

  12. Mersey Whites

    This is a massive step up from Kasper, and I mean massive.

    I cannot remember Kasper coming for more than one cross or corner, all season.

    And the only time he left his 6 yard box Cardiff scored.

    Welcome Andy Lornagen,, you cant do any worse

  13. COL

    Just noticed that Lonergan has signed a THREE year deal.
    At last Ken Bates has finally realised that signing a player on a 2 year contract isn't very wise. About time too!
    PS. All you people who believe Ken Bates' propaganda that Kasper was a poor goalkeeper are mis-guided.
    I know he made the odd mistake but ALL keepers make mistakes. I choose to remember all the world-class saves he made. His save against Derby on the opening day of last season was amazing! I am certain that he will have a top season for Leicester City.

    • Matthew

      Maybe you dont understand, Kasper had poor command of his area and defense and made too many silly mistakes. Do you even watch games at ER or away or are you an armchair supporter? You clearly dont understand.

      • TSS

        Bit harsh, but largely agree with you.

        Kasper was an excellent shot-stopper; one of those players who looks good on an edited YouTube clip compilation. But he had no organisational or communication skills and was severely lacking in other departments too. No doubt he'll improve, but do we really want to be the club who irons out the creases of potentially good players, or the club who signs capable ones in the first place? Lonergan represents the latter.


    I reckon we have pretty much replaced one keeper with one of similar ability. The difference is that we are up on the deal financially and have a player on a long term contract.

    Overall fairly good business as long as the surplus transfer fee is used to strengthen other positions. Bates has recently said that all money and wages saved from players leaving goes back into Grayson’s players budget. I believe that is true, but suspect that the budget size is still restricting Larry’s transfer plans.

    It’s not really inspired me, but Grayson may yet be good to his word that our squad will be stronger come the start of the season then compared to the one in May.

  15. Jmo

    We could just do with a RB LB and another midfielder. Ideally we could do with a Striker on loan too… My choices would be Lihaj from Villa. Dickinson from Stoke and I would love to see Olofinjana from Hull playing for us.. (he was on loan @ Cardiff last season). He would offer the much needed presence in MF. Striker wise I would look at a premier league wonderkid that doesn’t feature in their parent clubs. I thought Swansea did well last season with Sinclair and Borini from Chelsea.. That’s my input for the day… :@) MOT

  16. Captaincrash

    As it happens (now then, now then) I have always rated Lonergan highly. Once decison to flog Kasper made then this is as good as we could have hoped for and perhaps more. Still need that midfield presence.

  17. kev

    i think it's a good signing and has alot more experience than kasper had,every goal keeper these days should be a good shot stopper,it's the command of the defence and the reading of the game thats important and kasper was lacking abit,i also think this season will be quite different from last,i think we'll be alot more solid, concede less but i also think we won't score as many

    • derbyshirewhite

      At the risk of sounding a miserable focker I'm guessing you didn't see this solid new defence being ripped apart after 8 minutes by ace striker David Prutton on Saturday?

      • kev

        point taken derbyshirewhite,i'm getting carried away !!

  18. Tyler75

    Its pre-season mate – Stoke with Woodgate in defence lost at Aldershot on saturday !

    Lonegran is a good signing, less disruptive and more experienced than Kasper. Stockdale on loan with a 24 hour recall would have been a mistake.

  19. COL

    Reply to Mathew.
    Yes, I attend games at Elland Road. I am one of the few who bought a 20 year season ticket & I go to approximately 15+ away games per season.
    You’re entitled to your opinion, as am I. The way Kasper was publicly slated by Grayson and Bates was a disgrace. Bates just saw the cash signs & humiliated Kasper in order to force him out.
    I am certain that Leicester have signed a top quality keeper.
    Eitherway, Kasper is history so I obviously Lonergan goes on to have a long and successful career as Leeds’ no.1.

    • Matthew

      Sorry but what? I don’t believe you, as you can’t see what 99 percent of fans, newspapers, football analysts see. Not wanting to repeat myself but anyone who actually goes to games would say what you did.

  20. Bowden

    I think this is a good signing for us, both for the team and the business that is Leeds United.

    I can understand some of the cynicism and mistrust, i've felt it, but I put my faith in our club as always; Marching On Together! I don't think matters are helped by the lack of communication between the club and the fans, media, anyone.. And things like our official website still not having Michael Brown in the list of squad players, not to mention Lonergan, doesn't fill you with confidence that our club is being run by people who as passionate about it as we are.

    Anyroad up, rant over, We Are Leeds!

  21. Paul Wilde

    There is a God!! Leeds Utd have signed a player.About time.Made my evening

  22. COL

    Doesn’t matter if you believe me or not. Do you go to games yourself? Most people who defend Bates, don’t actually attend games. Maybe you fall into that category?
    Bates will love mugs like yourself who are gullible enough to believe that Kasper was sold for footballing reasons. Kasper was sold purely for financial reasons.
    Gradel will no doubt be sold next. Bates will no doubt try tell us that’s for footballing reasons as well.

    • TSS

      Col, if you click the reply button under the individual message it'll put the post below the one you're replying to.

      I'm sure you both attend your fair share of games, but it's clear you see things differently.

      I go home and away, but honestly feel Kasper Schmeichel was a massively overrated keeper, carried by his father's name. This has nothing to do with Bates' propaganda either, no one hates that muppet more than me I assure you.

      Kasper, for me, was an excellent shot-stopper who severely lacked in all other departments. The abuse he hurled at the defence every time he conceded was not in the slightest bit productive and if he instead channelled some of that energy into organising them better in the first place, we'd have probably conceded far less.

      I think you'll see Lonergan is a far better all-round keeper whose experience will only improve our side. Kasper may well become a world-beater, but he's a long way off that at the moment and I for one didn't want to see Leeds United used as his training ground while he irons out all the creases from his game.

      • Tyler75

        Add to that the persistent stories about his aloofness and arrogance and it seems that we have also replaced a disruptive influence with a more stable one – all the better for squad/team morale – onwards (and hopefully) upwards !

      • COL

        Fair enough coments but I still maintain that Kasper was sold just to swell Bates' bank account by another £1million.
        I have to confess, I know absolutely nothing about Andy Lonergan, except he played a big part in PNE's relegation.
        That said, I sincerley hope he proves to be a great signing.

      • lufcnutt

        Top comment,couldnt agree more with you fella…..kasper will go on to be a top keeper one day and im shore.he will be in the prem before us as well,wich sucks but sven has something POOR old simon aint….cash…and lots of it by the sounds of it…

        We will fight on and we will welcome the signing of Lonergan with open arms…good luck to him….

      • Alufc

        I’m very happy with this, I hope it turns out to be an inspired piece of business proving wrong everyone slating Grayson and showing why he’s the professional football manager.

        As for Bates, I’m not a fan. Elland Roads current redevelopment is certainly not a priority. However, how hard hard is it to skim footballing profits as big as 800k into a personal bank account and wouldn’t it make more financial sense to get us promoted? He’d make a lot more money that way! TSS maybe you’re in the best position to look into this it would make quite a good article: “The Idiots Guide To Using A Football Club As A Personal Piggy Bank”

      • Alufc

        I’m very happy with this, I hope it turns out to be an inspired piece of business proving wrong everyone slating Grayson and showing why he’s the professional football manager.

        As for Bates, I’m not a fan. Elland Roads current redevelopment is certainly not a priority. It’s very hard to trust his words and he’s
        f-ing ancient so most likely exponentially losing his mind slash control of his bowels. However, how hard hard is it to skim footballing profits as big as 800k into a personal bank account and wouldn’t it make more financial sense to get us promoted? He’d make a lot more money that way! TSS maybe you’re in the best position to look into this it would make quite a good article: “The Idiots Guide To Using A Football Club As A Personal Piggy Bank”

    • Matthew


      When did this come down to being pro or anti Bates? I'm talking about pure football here.

      Schmeichel had poor control over his area, and defense, he wasn't what we needed, and is pretty much over rated because of his name.

      My point to you was me not understanding how someone who apparently also goes to games is calling him a great Goalkeeper. He isn't.

      His faults are so glaringly obvious, anyone with any knowledge of the game can see them, I know he has fans, you being one of them, but that doesn't make him a great goalkeeper.

      Please don't use the Bates arguement to try and backup a point, although the jury is out on you actually visiting games, if like us, you're paying attention during a match. He kinda sucks.

  23. Gryff723

    Ben Parker upfront would beat Paynter. We'd have him fall over injured at certain intervals to deflect the ball slightly.

    Leave the keepers clueless that would.

  24. Andy Flynn

    Listen all – this is business – and good business at that.

    Kasper is a top keeper, but the fact is he didn’t want to commit to Leeds United long-term, could leave on a free next summer and he was our highest paid player.

    Bates and Grayson clearly sat down, reviewed the budget and agreed that we could take a quick profit, increase the kitty and use the savings to invest in two decent keepers rather than one. Higgs did a job, but he is certainly not in the same league as either of our new keepers or Kasper.

    To all those moaning about how he was treated, I’ll say it again:

    We, Leeds United, have every right to accept an offer for our players. They don’t have to leave if they have a contract, but we, Leeds United, have every right not to play them if they choose to stay and replace them with other players. I am not saying Ken Bates always expresses this well, but he just laid down the facts to Kasper that he was being replaced and it was in his interests to leave otherwise he would rot in the reserves and his stock would fall. .

    Kasper got a move to the club that has laid down the gauntlet and is spending the money so it’s a good move for him too.

    The late signing does frustrate me from a planning and preparation point of view, but doesn’t surprise me – Ken got Kasper off the books quickly and left Lonergen on Preston’s books for a few extra weeks.

    Wouldn’t surprise me if this was calculated plan – having a small squad over summer improves cash flow – who wants to be paying for resources you’re not using!

    Sorry for the business speak, but it’s reality of the game today. It wouldn’t surprise me if we bring more in this week for the same reason!

    • Martin

      Andy, that was really clever, but how about commanding between Lonergan and the back four, if they never play together??

  25. rickyjw

    Very happy with this signing. I thought that at first losing Kasper was a mistake but now I believe that it was a good choice and Andy is an excellent replacement as he has experience in this league, brilliant shot stopper and unlike Kasper, good command of his area and defence.

    Still think we need to improve in other areas. Heard we had jloyd samual on trial as a LB and he has experience in the OL so if we were to get him, I believe he’d be a good addition to the squad. Also heard we were after lichaj who had a decent season last season. And finally, I think Sammy clinigan would be a great signing who could play behind Howson and brown.

    And does anyone know what wages Andy is on.

  26. Colin

    Let's see how Kasper does at Leicester and let's see how Lonergan does at Leeds.

    I don't remember anyone rating Lonergan this time last season when we bought Kasper.

    A week ago, all I heard was posters raving about what a good job Rachubka was doing.

    Now it's balls to Rachubka, Lonergan is our Number 1 GK.

    Complete bullshit. We should have kept Kasper Schmeichel.

    • Matthew

      Pretty much everyone was slagging Rachubka off, everywhere calling him a number 2, a poor keeper, etc. I saw this on pretty much every Leeds forum/comment website.

      If he's the hero, it proves we have fickle fans at times. Blamed by the lack of investment in the squad, thus the kneejerk reaction to another freebie goalkeeper.

  27. Gryff723

    Mainly because Rachubka was doing a solid job against L1/lower Champship opposition while Lonergan was part of a deal that saw him spend 3 months at Everton last season, after a summer where WBA had a £1.5mil approach for him rejected.

    Why's he left? Well we of all people should know:
    "The modest fee which PNE have received for him – just over 12 months ago they turned down a £1.5m bid from WBA – reflects the need to remove him from the wage bill in the wake of the drop to League One."
    (Lancashire Evening Press)

  28. michael horspool

    ok, i will now offer my expert opinion as a goalkeeper myself (went a whole season undefated in five-a-side top wednesday in dartford goals so i clearly know what i am on about). Kasper was short for a keeper with bad handerling and comand of area and crosses etc…however world class shot stopper and good on one on ones as shown at leeds. Lonaghan is bit different while not capable of the world class save he is more well rounded and will be more relaible if not spectaular. last seasons have rubbish center halves and no defensive mid added to problems. a center half is still needed one with pace to make up for mistakes. leeds fans dont expect the amzing stops but the all round game will be better from our new number one. trust me i was one of the many goalkeepers leeds were interested in as i was free and only commanded a small transfer fee (my team the dumbbells would of sold me for a beer burger meal deal at wetaher spoons) unfortunatly my deal broke down because although i am brave, good handerling and have the reflexes of a cat ninja SG questioned that at 5'8 and 14 stone i might not be the right man for the number 1 shirt and bates didnt want to pay my wages…typical

  29. normangunston

    I'm scrabbling round for pluses here. Taller than Kasper, that's pretty much all I can manage.

    This is one of those transfers where we have to just have faith that Grayson's spotted a diamond in the rough. Lonergan's numbers from last season are not pretty.

    • michael horspool

      nor were Kaspers. remember as a wise man once told me, a house is only as good as it foundations and to build a posh penthouse on quicksand is foolish. i have no idea what he meant but i think that translates as dont matter how good goalkeeper is if the other ten are pony. although our back five (including defensive mid) are not much better. think lonergan will be ok but not spectautular bit like neil sulivan (who still managed player of the year for us). hope the foundations will be stronger this year. as a wise old man also said to me a bear who can not catch the cod may not batter his dinner, which i think translates as Simon better get at least two defenders with some form of pace and that are not made of glass

      • normangunston

        i'm not saying Kasper was great either! My point being it's arguable whether we've improved, an argument I doubt we would've been having if we'd got Stockdale (and yes, I do prefer us owning a player, that is one other plus to the Lonergan deal).

        If pre-season reports are to be trusted, Tom Lees could make a difference at CB this year alongside AOB or Kisnorbo.

      • Tyler75

        We did not have a stable central defensive partnership at any point last season, added to a lack complete of defensive midfield cover, we shipped goals from day 1. I would argue that an experienced 'keeper capable of organising a defence (somebody like Neil Sullivan) – would have been able to partially offset this defensive weakness e.g. by not conceeding stupid goals from set pieces. This season we now have a proper, experienced, defensive midfielder on the books, an experienced 'keeper who should know how to organise a back four and a central defensive partnership built around a returning Paddy – personally I would like to see a Paddy/Lees partnership but suspect SG will probably start with Paddy & Bruce.

      • michael horspool

        good point totally agree not sure we have imporved but think the team will benifit if that makes sense. still think they should of signed me. still very doubtful about lees, if he was that good where was he last year when we played collins?

  30. Martin

    The defense has allready improving with the return of Kis. OB and Bruce will complete de CB, Conolly at the RB, And we need a LB (Lichaj, Bodor, Samuel, or maybe another better) Bessone has an awfull seasson, but he can only get better!, maybe Bromby could play in the band, and Ben Parker its fragil like thin glass. Michael Brown can help in the middle but still need another midfielder. I´m worry about Becchio and Somma injuries.
    Time will tell about the Kasper out- Lonergan in move, but looks pretty good for me at the beginning…

    • COL

      Leeds supporters are quick to say what a great signing Andy Lonergan is. Facts are, most Leeds fans know bugger-all about him.
      I think Leeds only showed an interest in him because he was available for a nominal fee. This a typical of all our signings over the last few seasons. I will reserve judgement on him until I've seen him in a Leeds shirt.

      • Matthew


        Excuse me but what? Your hardcore Kasper fanboyness is really showing through.

        Most of us do track other teams and their players. You know ones that come to our attention, Andy is a good goalkeeper with a decent command of his area, he just had a bad defense infront of him last season, was out of form somewhat that season too. He did well the seasons before.

        I for one, am happy to go to ER this season too and watch him in a number 1 shirt as I know he'l do better.

  31. mojoluafc

    All i know is he`s dropped a clanger against Bradford PA resulting in a goal.

    • Matthew

      He had a bunch of nobodys playing infront of him, no senior players, hard to judge by what essentially was a game of nameless players from the academy/reserves.


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