Anyone that reads this site regularly will know how big a u-turn it is for us to be calling for Alan Smith’s return. For the entirety of The Scratching Shed’s three and a half year existence, calls for a Smith return have been abundant during every transfer window and there has never been one instance where a writer on here backed those calls.

I’m sure there are varying reasons for our collective stance, but for me, the reasoning has always been simple – I just don’t rate him as highly as those in the pro-Smith camp.

Bringing Alan Smith back to Elland Road would require a huge investment on Leeds United’s part, irrespective of whether it’s a permanent transfer or a loan deal. When you consider him to be quite an average, albeit hardworking and somewhat inspirational signing for the Whites then it follows that the funds could be better spent.

For me, signing Alan Smith when players like Keith Andrews were available for similar money was always a no-brainer. It’s Andrews every time.

Recent events have changed that however. Whilst I still believe players of a higher quality are available for a similar outlay, I don’t believe Leeds United can attract them any more.

When your homegrown, Leeds United-supporting club captain jumps ship and heads for Norwich City citing our rapidly decreasing odds of promotion as his reasoning, you better believe that’s had a huge impact on our potential recruitment drive.

Players on the outside looking in will now see Leeds United in an entirely different light. This is no longer a big club that’s fallen on hard times, this is a big club happy with Championship mediocrity. The necessary investment required not only in the transfer market, but by keeping the prize assets in place is sorely lacking.

The few quality players we have at present will more than likely follow in Jonny Howson’s footsteps and the club will continue to patch things up with loan signings and freebies. A club confident in their own promotion aspirations Leeds United certainly are not.

Where once Leeds United could phone the best Championship players knowing they’d be straight in the car to attend an interview, I doubt Simon Grayson even bothers any more. The response would be embarrassing for both parties.

The reality is, we’re no longer competing with the best sides in this division for players. We’re competing with Barnsley.

However, there is always one thing you can call on when everyone else is laughing at your misery – emotional attachment.

Has there ever been a better time for Alan Smith to make an heroic return? He’s not the best of the best, but he’s better than the pool of dross we’re currently left scrapping over. And it’s the perfect Hollywood ending to his long-drawn out love affair with Leeds United.

Picture the scene… Home town boy steps out for his beloved Leeds United and as Leeds United improve, he’s quickly squaring up against the world’s best. His ascent from the ranks of schoolboy to the heights of European football seemed almost instantaneous. A great future lies ahead for player and club alike.

Then the twist. Just when everything is going so well, a few bad games and Leeds’ financial gamble comes back to haunt them as they finish outside the Champions League places. Things spiral out of control, culminating in relegation and Alan Smith’s tears (movie poster).

The darkest hour should have been those tears, but this movie has the additional kick in the balls (depth) necessary for Oscar success. Alan Smith signs for Leeds’ bitter rivals Manchester United. The fall from grace is unprecedented.

Years later, Alan Smith is still haunted by his break-up with Leeds United. Still longing for his one true love. Left to helplessly watch on from afar as Leeds United flirt with Billy Paynter’s and Paul Rachubka’s, the heartbreak is just too much for him to take.

But then, the climatic ending every good film needs. Alan Smith sweeps in, ends the suffering and his inspired performances help Leeds United back to the promised land. Roll credits.

Ok, the last bit could use a little more detail but I don’t write the script. Only Alan Smith can do that, and so far, I’d definitely watch that movie.

Come home Smudger. It’s time.

  • Gryff

    We’ve come full circle from 2005. We thought Bates saved us from idiotic running of the club. Since then we’ve found our promotion-potential team relegated to the third division, consigned there through failure after failure, and then promoted back to where we thought we had been in 2005 – only to find our best players sold off.

    If there’s someone iconic enough to break the spell, it’s Smith. Whether or not we need him (and I think we do anyway), we need him.

    • TSS

      @Gryff “Whether or not we need him (and I think we do anyway), we need him.” It’s that kind of solid reasoning that makes me value your opinion so much mate. lol

      • leedslad ss180

        @TSS@Gryff oh dear…… u really r scraping the barrel now….. r u seriously suggesting bringing judas back will give the club some kind of lift???? I think it will open up a rift the size of the Aire Valley between the younger and older element of r fan base…… We never forget our own….. and we forgot the slavering shite years ago…….

        • TSS

          @leedslad ss180@Gryff The “Judas” thing is a nonsense that some fans would undoubtedly cling to. He was coerced out of the club, to Manchester United by the board who led him to believe it was the only way Leeds United would survive. Even I’d play for Scum if that was the situation, and every single person that calls him Judas would too if they wanted to do what was right for the club.

          See Peter Lorimer’s comments on this since for the real story. Petty grudges will get us nowhere.

        • leedslad ss180

          @TSS@Gryff I’d like a link to read lorimers comments but i can’t see many selling their soul to the devil to save the church they worship in….. Have u never heard of the phoenix??????

  • pnxb1019

    I have to agree TSS . I have always been 100% against Smith coming back (Unfortunately I have never been able to give 110% like footballers do) but you are right. It is official Leeds United are now at their lowest ebb. Losing a homegrown player like Howson (forget the arguments over his ability) declares to the football world that we are shite and going asolutely nowhere anytime soon . We might as well bring Smith back , he might as well be on our treatment table as toons…

  • CraigSweaton

    I’d love to see him back. Unfortunately I can see it having a Stephen King type twist….He steps out proudly onto the sacred turf to the adulation of the ER faithful, and as he kicks off from the centre spot…… his legs break!

    I’m afraid given his injury history that that’s more likely ;)

  • TSS

    You weren’t. You are now. It’s like a broken clock mate…

  • Dje

    The situation is right. At the start of the season when he was seen as a possible addition, it all felt a bit flat. Smith coming in to make up the numbers and take up the wage bill was a disservice to Leeds United and Alan Smith. Post-Howson and the public humiliation Bates has opened up our expectations to – of fans and players alike – the situation, and the timing, is now right.

    [I’m wondering who Hollywood will cast as Smith, Grayson and Bates in the film version in ten years time]

    • TSS

      @Dje I’ll be Howson. People on Twitter said I sound just like him after the TalkSport interview so makes sense.

    • CraigSweaton

      @Dje I ‘m not sure who’ll play Smith but Sean Bean can be SG, and evil Santa could be Bates! lol

  • rroberton

    Townsend, Clayton, Smith, Delph, Snodgrass

    Would be an impressive Championship midfield line up.

    Just need someone up front who can finish with confidence, Jordan Rhodes (That would change everyone’s mood)

    • Mark32

      @rroberton Not a prayer of us signing Jordan Rhodes. You honestly think Bates will make an outlay of £3 million. We did not sign Hooper when we had the chance for a £1 million – now Celtic are rejecting offers of £5million from ambitious Southampton

  • Mark32

    The issue is Alan Smith has hardly played a competitve match in the last two years. The problem is not effort and determination but quality and fitness. We require either proven quality which we know Bates will not pay for or young and hungry payer who have potential quality. Effort, Grit and Determination Smith has in abundance but not the necessary quality even in our very average central midfield (bar Clayton who now we must give a long term contract to now)

    • Dje

      @Mark32 Apparently he is one of the fittest at Newcastle – spending longer than the others at the gym etc. As to quality, I agree he would not be match ready, but until very recently he was on the bench for high flying Newcastle, so we should take some comfort that Pardew (who I don;t like, but hat’s off with what he’s done for Newcastle this season) considers him match ready.

  • onlyoneunited

    oh no not again..why do we always look back?

    Those days have gone, they are not coming back with Smith.

    Bates and his limp rag of a manager need to go before we get promotion

    • CraigSweaton

      @onlyoneunited I don’t see why you think SG should go? He’s done a respectable job considering his very limited resources.

    • TSS

      @onlyoneunited Bates isn’t leaving though. That’s why we don’t have many more routes to examine. It’s a desperation signing, but I’d give it better odds of success than our current transfer policy.

  • Dje

    I have no doubt at all that Bates would LOVE to be referred to as ‘Sexy Beast’.

    • CraigSweaton

      @Dje More like “Sixty Fleas” mate

  • leeds lad leeds

    why would we sign a player lacking match fitness and someone ho has the not so amazing ability to get booked? I was going to say as well as Barnsley we’re competing with the likes of Ipswich, yet they seem to out do us every time

    • CraigSweaton

      @leeds lad leeds You could be talking about Michael Brown there pal!

    • TSS

      @leeds lad leeds Because we’re Leeds United. Have you unfamiliar with our transfer policy. A gamble though Smith may be, he can’t be any worse than the dross we usually sign.

    • TSS

      @leeds lad leeds Because we’re Leeds United. Are you unfamiliar with our transfer policy. A gamble though Smith may be, he can’t be any worse than the dross we usually sign.

  • TSS

    @TSS Brilliant. 1-0


    Unfortunately Leeds is more like a depressing episode of Eastenders rather than a Hollywood movie (Vinny Jones to play Smith by the way).

    Disagree with you TSS; we can still attract better players than Barnsley but only if we pay proper wages. That unfortunately doesn’t fit with Bates’ retirement fund business plan.

    Smith is not the answer for me. Montgomery or Klingan would be better cheaper options. I’d still love us to go after Darren Pratley. Besides, midfield is not my biggest concern; I’d rather we spent the £2m on a couple of quality defenders.

    • leeds lad leeds


      Just need to offload the the waste of space in squad, the amount of wages that would free up, but the only thing is, who would want them? no one in the championship in their right mind would go for them and their wage demands would be too high for the lower leagues

    • TSS

      @EYLEEDS Monty and Clingan already on decent wages as I understand it. Think that’s been the issue previously.

  • Charlie Big Potatoes

    Right now at our lowest ebb the stage is set for you to unite us again through this reign of terror. We need a talisman…we need a hero!

    It’s time to forget the sordid adulteress past, we both did wrong, we both said and did things we regret, it’s time to forgive because we’re nothing without each other
    …it’s time to come home Smudger, where you belong!

    (I can’t believe I’m actually saying this!)

    • Captaincrash

      @Charlie Big Potatoes Put perfectly.


    Unfortunately, it is a sad sad time for Leeds, especially as we can’t keep home grown talent. But the key to this problem is the lack of funding from a mega tight chairman and the lack of influence from a very inexperienced manager. Don’t get me wrong, I am thankful for Bates for saving us, and Grayson done a good job to get us out of League 1, but he’s no Premier League manager and Bates is no Premier League Chairman. It can’t be argued that Leeds are still one of the biggest clubs in the English Football League and undoubtedly have one of the best Youth Academy system in the English Football League, but the truth in the matter if we want to keep the key players we have e.g. Snoddy,Lees,Clayton,White etc we need a more experienced manager (Warnock) who can convince them we are going places. Then on top of that we need a huge investment in players, somewhere in the region of at least £10m. My predictions is, if we don’t do this then by the Summer we will lose all our key players and turn into another Barnsley……a Mediocre mid-table Championship side. That would be the saddest decade ever in football…….From semi-final Champions League football and competing for the Premier League to mid-table Championship football. But keep believing we can turn this around because WE CAN MOT.

    • leeds lad leeds

      @LUFCLAD26neil warnock?!?!?! so that would be 2 people who absoloutley hate us instaed of the 1 (KB)

      • Gryff

        @leeds lad leeds@LUFCLAD26 Well it worked when we got in Wise!

        • TSS

          @Gryff@leeds lad leeds@LUFCLAD26 Not really. It worked when we had Poyet you mean.

        • LUFCLAD26

          @Gryff@leeds lad leeds Well it didn’t work when we had wise because he left

        • Gryff

          @LUFCLAD26@leeds lad leeds It worked WHEN we had Wise; and we all expected him to leave because he hated the club and we all called him a cockney bastard/wanker/strongerexpletives…

      • LUFCLAD26

        @leeds lad leeds yes he is an arch-rival due to him being from Sheffield, but he’s experienced and has the best promotion record than any other manager in the English Football League. How many of us Leeds fans would hate him if we got promoted? From now until the end of the season we have 2 choices…….either we get an experienced manager like warnock (lets face it there’s no other experienced managers out there available and would come to us) or risk losing our best players. I hate to say it, but we won’t get promoted with Grayson and certainly not this season

  • Tyler75

    I can’t believe I’m saying this, but it might actually be time – less for his footballing ability but more as an inspirational rallying point for the management, team and not least the fans – by God we need something. Also let’s not forget that a couple of seasons ago Smith was a central component in the midfield that got Newcastle promoted.

  • mattbb1

    for shame TSS – youre an old sentimental at heart arent you! in movie analogies i see this as more like Lassie come home, as the `damaged’ canine hobbles home from WW1 and savages some poor young child? that metaphorical child being the naive hopes of leeds fans that he will actually do a job for us… in fact it being smith no metaphor needed, he probably would savage some poor unsuspecting England U21 midfielder.

  • Captaincrash

    Really could lift the place and Christ we need some lifting!

  • mattbb1

    i think Delph will probably fill the void left by Howson, so if it ends up a seasons loan then theres no need for Smith is there? I’m boycotting home games for the rest of this season at least, but were i to thrun my hopes to any of our squad, Roy of the Rovers style, it’d have to be to Tom Lees – cue Bolton Signing hom for £500K & a family pack of Pukka Pies.

  • jaykon

    Howson left because he is too good for leeds and he wants to use his chance to play in Pl. Its okay. Smith wants to use his chance to play anywhere and there is no better place as his hometown. Do it., smudger!

  • West Stand Rebel

    This comes around about every 6 weeks. It will never happen as he is on premiership wages. Move on and concentrate on important things like a proper orchestrated campaign against Bates. This may mean biting the bullet and not going to games. You and others have the forum so get on with it. The BBC I am sure will support you as well as most of the press. They hate him as much as he hates them.Time to focus!!!!

  • Rodge

    Smith It won’t happen while Bates is running the club FACT
    Howson left through lack of investment in the squad
    We are going no ware under this dictatorship

  • Dje

    Better atmosphere I presume. That and the money doesn’t line Bates’ pocket.

    I think you have more faith in those players Irving than the players actually do. They’d look at each other and, Delph aside, be thinking ‘you guys are the same ones who were here with me when we were misfiring over the last two months – hardly a new face amongst you’.

    All the talk this week at Thorp Arch, the txts and phone calls on an evening between players will have been about how much Howson is going to be on at Norwich, how impressed he is with Lambert and the rest of the squad there, how excited he’ll be watching Chelsea take on his new club come tomorrow lunch time, and how he hopes to be back and fit and ready to go by February 26th when Manchester United come calling.

    That is only natural, as is the self-reflection that will go on amongst the Leeds squad, as they look at their own ambitions and the extent they are likely to be fulfilled or met with their current club. Aint good.

  • number1inyorkshire

    Please tss wake me up and take me from this night mare i have fallen into a parallel universe of despair .

    ALRIGHT i,m over it

    we do not need alan smudger smith back at E R why do we??

    there is nothing to say that he is better than what we have, if the bank is to be broken go get a player who is younger who will be able to mix it in the premier league, should we get there ,within his contract lifetime 3-4 years .

    bates will not pay money for SMITH ,he will not break the bank for smith ,Newcastle will want to sell him not loan him or at least let him leave for free so someone picks up his wages ,if he leaves for nowt ,with no transfer fee it will up his wages 60k a week will become 80k will bates pay that, no, not ever

    there are players as good as smith we could buy with the money go and get ANDREWS or someone .

    I know you are all gonna say he is better than what we have ,he is a leeds lad ,blah di blah di f ing blah.

    he is no better than what we have and there are players better who we could attract with half his wages

    And then there is that picture you show to sway people to your thinking which is just as annoying as the sweeties near the tills to wind the kiddies up STOP THIS PLEASE

    • number1inyorkshire

      said this before are you sure you are not a BARNSLEY FAN tss can we move on to the next letter C for coventry for example lol

      • TSS

        @number1inyorkshire Oh, and Barnsley are still the most pitiful team I can think of. They’re the yardstick by which all gloom and doom is measured at TSS HQ

    • TSS

      @number1inyorkshire I can see your argument, but I think we need to make a statement at the minute and his signing is the best possible way I can think of. Signing an unheard of youngster doesn’t catch people’s attention.

      • number1inyorkshire

        @TSS there are arguments for and against ,but making a statement is what leeds have done in signing Delph ,under normal circumstances all the people of leeds would be overjoyed at him coming back ,as you said its a tainted homecoming, because its a show signing alright he will add something but in real terms its to try stop us moaning.

        better for me would have been to try get Beckford on loan and pay some of his wages or some quality from prem and pay their wages .

        I know what you mean about catching peoples attention but is there noone else really

        • Paul S Wales

          @number1inyorkshire@TSS After Beckford scored a hatrick last time out I think we can forget that, Cox on the other hand (although he did too from memory).

        • number1inyorkshire

          @Paul S Wales@TSS a good hatrick too, god how we miss his goals

          take him over smith any day of any week

        • number1inyorkshire

          @TSS well he wouldnt have signed had not been asked ,he wouldn,t have been asked had howson been fit, been playing and been a leeds player .

          it will i guess turn out to be a rest of season loan .but as much as i welcome him ,he is not ours loans should be banned i hate them ..

      • Paul S Wales

        @TSS@number1inyorkshire Perhaps an unknown wouldn’t catch the attention, but if his performances were good enough they would. A younger hungry player over Smith any day. Are you going to the match tomorrow TSS out of interest?

        • TSS

          @Paul S Wales@number1inyorkshire I am mate, back in Leeds now. Not in any rush to head down to ER in all honesty, severely lacking in enthusiasm today – can see us getting hammered.

    • Dje

      @number1inyorkshire Nonsense. 80k a week, what are you on about? Why would we EVER pay more than he is already on and still not playing for Newcastle?! Smith’s contract runs out in four months, so there will be no fee at all. Newcastle are desperate to get him off their wage bill. Will he even make their cut of 25 players for the second half of the season? I doubt it as Pardew – who likes Smith – has told him he is not in his plans and will plays kids and get January recruits to replace him. If no club has offered him a loan deal by 31st January then I promise you Newcastle will pay Smith off early. Why? Becuase that way they will save 25-30% of the remaining four months of wages on a player they know they will never use. That is business, it happens in football all the time – the same way we were subsidising Mills, Fowler and Seth Johnson’s wages years after they had left Leeds. Madness, but there we go.

      As to his quality?

      First, Pardew rated him enough to come of the subs bench in what is a dynamic Newcastle team this season.

      Secondly, he was a key part of the winning midfield that eased through the Championship two seasons age. The Smith you talk about is a Premiership level Smith that you are questioning. A reminder, we are a mid-table Championship team.

      Thirdly, as TSS says, is Andrews really going to come to Leeds when he has just seen an equal quality player as himself leave Leeds for Norwich? Might as well stay at Blackburn and take his and their chances of staying in the Premiership for next season as we are no way looking likely to be favourites to go up this season.

      Finally, you talk of getting good young players instead of old ones. Would that be good young players like Howson then? Of Clayton? Or McCormack, Lees, White, Snodgrass … all those ones that are being wagered upon that they will leave in the next ten days or so to lower end Premiership teams? To make the most of buying youth you have to be willing to defend it and not cash in and sell it when the first cheque book comes out. Bates does not believe in holding on to good players, it is as simple as that. In which case an old hand like Smith comes into his own.

      As with the nature of TSS’s article, it is how this season has been turned on its head and undermined that has led to the realization that Smith would not be the worst deal we’re going to do, not some misty-eye romanticism. Let’s stick with the nitty-gritty and MOT.

      • number1inyorkshire

        @Dje i said that if he signed for free it would up his wages i was only using 80k a week as a figure but often where there is no fee it ups the wages,as he is on 60k per week 80k is higher

        .i think newcastle will be desperate to get him of the wage bill you are right ,i think i said the same ,so what do you suggest we do, on loan til end of season how much of his 60k shall we pay half ,3 quarters i know lets go halves 30 k a week , we could have kept johnson and howson for that ,

        why has noone else come in for him he is free after all maybe his wages are a tad high and he will not lower them

        pardew rates him highly enough to come of the bench cool ,but not to start him and likes him but not enough to keep him in his 25

        The young players you are right right we should keep them and 60 k in smiths wages could give all the ones you name new deals on more money to do just that

        2 seasons ago he was a good player for newcastle granted a lot happens in 2 years in football ,what 90 appearances for them in 4.5 years, 0, zero goals

        Alan smith is a premier league player but only because he plays for a premier league club he has been free to leave since june and hasn’t why ??

        he doesn’t seem to be doing much premier league footballing

        of the players you mention i would hazard a guess that the most likely 1 to leave would be mccormack, i think the rest will still be here til end of season.

        after that is another matter .

        although it was never said leeds went for smith in the summer you know it i know it ,why didn’t he come then .money money money

        IT wouldn’t be the worst signing you are right but its along way from being the best .

        this is my opinion ,not universally popular i agree but there are other who agree with it

        its a funny old game as they say

        E R tomorrow for the next installment

        • Dje

          @number1inyorkshire The plan, I imagine, and the extent same reason why no other club has made a move for him is no one makes a move in the transfer window as you’d have to offer him enough compensation to lose his 60k a week for the next four months when potentially you could offer him considerably less wages on February 1st. Why? Because after January 31st Newcastle cannot sell him as the transfer window is closed. So, what do they do – sit and not use him for four months at a cost of £60k x 18 weeks = £1,080,000 OR, you cut a deal with Smith and say, “we’ll pay you 70% of what you have remaining on your contract and you are free to find a new team and sign and collect wages from them – good luck”. 75% of those wages is £810,000, so Newcastle saves themselves £270,000 for paying a player they have no plan on playing (as they have no intention of renewing his contract). Smith takes the offer as he knows the loss of £270,000 over 18 weeks means he needs to land a new club contract worth at least £15,000.

          The alternative is to go the loan route. We were rumoured to be sniffing about this option last October time. Newcastle liked it and were prepared to offer him to us to us and pay half his wages. We could not and should not pay half his wages. So Smith was given the option of taking a £15k hit per week to play for Leeds, possibly for a full season. It’s easy to say yes he should have done so when it is not you are I throwing aside £15k a week. But bare in mind the winners in that were Newcastle by saving £30k a week, and Leeds for having a so-say £60k a week Premiership player with them for a quarter of that value. So the only loser was going to be Smith. Knowing that you are the only losing out of a tryst would you go along with it?

          Four months on and as I’ve spelt out, Newcastle are losing time to sell him or to cut their losses, the ball game has changed and Newcastle know that whichever way it goes they are going to make a loss.

        • Dje

          @number1inyorkshire Only players playing at the top of their game get more wages for landing on a free at a new club. The whole world and especially Smith knows that he is vastly offer paid. Just ask any Geordie and they’ll tell you how much he is costing them through no fault of his own (just had a good agent four years ago!). On an aside, I tend to think a player is worth double his current wage for each very good year they have, half their wage for their bad year(s). So if Smith was on put on £60,000 per week four years ago, I’d read that as end of first year should have been down to £30,000 per week, second year, back upto £60,000 a week, then two bad years takes him down to 30k and finally arrives £15k per week. That’s a little more than I think he is worth, but I guess he has experience, passion, and, I believe, intelligence to offer.

        • number1inyorkshire

          @Dje are you an accountant or worse a tax collector .look i know what you mean ,seems to me they want him out with out them paying him anything .

          I don’t think though that smith will see it that way, he will want his cake and eat it so his 800k+ and 40 k per week you have to say also based on that why is noone else in for him .

          only players at the top of their game get more wages for landing for free at their new club ,that made me laugh does that include one MR WILLIAM PAYNTER

          i also like your good year bad year wage rates that has to be the future ,half of our lot must be dropping money off at thorp arch every week lol

        • Dje

          @number1inyorkshire Nope, sorry no accountant or tax collector.

          Yes, absolutely Newcastle were trying to get rid of him without paying him off. But that was impossible, at best it was a case of paying the least. That is why they were open to let him leave for free, although they knew to do this they’d need to subsidise his wages. After the final transfer window on a player who is in their last year of their contract and everything changes. That’s why we ‘cashed in on Howson’, after January 31st we’d be gambling on him signing a new contract (which we should have taken) or loosing him for free in the summer.

          As my example showed, Smith does not lose – unless he takes a new wage of less than £15k a week. That said, even if he accepted a contract of £10k a week he’d only lose 90k over the next four months, but be benefitted with regular football and a new, possibly long contract. Either way, his football career restarts – if it restarts – only at a new club.

          Why aren’t other clubs making a move? As said before, wait til 1st February. Possibly West Ham might offer a cheeky loan deal, but I still think they’d prefer to see him paid off by Newcastle and then them offer half the wages they’d have had to if they had took him on loan. The only logic of settling a deal for Smith right now is that you need him immediately for the next eleven remaining days of the transfer window. That’s expensive for quite a small return.

          The telling point will be when Smith is released from Newcastle. You’ll say he’ll go for the biggest wage packet offered and f**k Leeds. I say he’ll come to Leeds if we offer him a fair deal of what he is worth (and again, he knows he is not worth a fraction of £60k a week) and the fans are calling out for him. As he said, one last challenge in his football career ~ and we offer one of the biggest challenges in English football right now!

        • Dje

          @number1inyorkshire Sadly it does with Paynter. As we have shown he was at the top of his game WHEN we bought him, and it has been downhill ever since!

    • number1inyorkshire

      no love for me not wanting smithy back ,cant even like my own comments LOL

  • number1inyorkshire


  • TSS

    It’s the last resort people (myself included) have come to. Bates won’t change and while the money keeps pouring in, we’re stuck with him. He’ll justify every moment of madness by pointing to all the season tickets and their show of faith in him.

    The only reason he put Chelsea up for sale was because of financial troubles and it’s the only reason he’ll leave Leeds. You’re all kidding yourself if you think he’ll go in the Prem where even more cash is to be made. I don’t want to see Leeds struggle more than the next fan, but it’s hardly flourishing at present and I just can’t take any more of Bates’ nonsense.

  • Dje

    I hope Grayson can keep it together too, Irving. I’ve not been Grayson’s biggest supporter over the last two seasons, but clearly with Bates at the helm and letting the best players go for free or on the premature cheap, what matter does it make who is the coach. Better the devil you know…

    My bigger worry than under-performing is our bigger players will hand in transfer request and start a domino effect (Bates is hardly going to try and see their point of view and by sympathetic is he!).

    My history of Leeds starts with the mid 80s – hardly a better period! – so I think I’ll shield my knowledge of what other bobbins came immediately before that (ta for the warning)!

  • White Stuff

    Bring Smithy back! Yes we need a right back and possibly a centre back, but for me more than ever we need a leader. Yes not the best footballer, but as a captain, right now I couldn’t think of anyone better. He is a motivater and bloody hell we need that right now!!!

  • GilFisher

    The narative of the return of the prodigal son is too romantic to resist. I will not long for it, but I would embrace it.

  • Loiner

    Barnsley have done the double on us this season – i’d be a bit more careful choosing a club to compare with! If we can’t offer Howson a decent contract how do you propose we offer Smith a decent contract when he’s on about 50k at Newcastle and we would have to stump up at least 20% of that. That’s 20K.

    • number1inyorkshire

      @Loiner I don’t think the geordies will let him leave on loan ,he can for nowt but if he goes i recon it will be signing .so then you are left with all his wages .he is they say on 60 k per week, how much would you drop to cos at leeds he will need to loose 45k of that if bates keeps to his wage structure ..

  • Kernow
    • number1inyorkshire

      @Kernow WE ,US ,bates lorimer and harvey ,grayson, thats him done, if he deludes himself to think that he is really part of the board at leeds for any other reason but he is an ex player and again to appease the fans cos bates thinks we will listen to him because he was an explayer

      lorimer in my eyes is no longer a ledge

  • TSS

    Heard that £2,5m thing earlier, where has that come from? Sure it’s not just our loveable supporters making it up? This is January after all, the fictional tales to come thick and fact.

    • number1inyorkshire

      @TSS that was in one of the papers i think yorkie post

  • TSS

    The worst that can possibly happen is administration. We’ve been through it before and there was no shortage of interest, which is why I’m always so puzzled when people claim Bates saved us – from what exactly? Admin? It was he who led us to that reality – and only after he’d claimed his takeover would prevent it. He came in with £6m of debt (his words) and we went into admin with £35m. This is the guy I’m supposed to believe in? I’d have more faith in the fans running the show, and that would be a fucking disaster.

    I subscribe to the same irrational sense of loyalty as the rest of you, but it’s become ever more apparent as the years have gone on that Bates is relying on that. There is no other business where the customers can be abused and overcharged for an inferior product and still come back which is why Bates has had absolutely no success outside of football (and very little in it).

    I’m not enjoying it any more at Elland Road and that’s what it all boils down to for me. I simply cannot continue to fund this madness. I’ll see out the season (since it’s already paid for) then return after Bates has gone. I’ve been an ST holder throughout his reign and look where that’s got us! I can still support the lads away from home where there’s still some enjoyment to be had.

  • TSS

    Do we believe Leeds United there? Not sure what to believe any more. The story was that Newcastle (not Smith) wanted 30%. Is £15k really too much to ask for Ken? Decent Championship players earn that (and more in some cases) anyway.

    Smith is never going to offer to take a pay-cut, no player would. What’s to stop Newcastle holding him to hit regardless of the loan? I’ve used this Smith greed rumour to my own advantage before, but this is the lad that waived his cut of the transfer when he went to Scum. Not the kind of player I’d expect to try and fleece us personally.

    • Gryff

      @TSS Ah, it’s all coming out now!

      Next you’ll be admitting you secretly think Bates is our saviour….!

      • TSS

        @Gryff You can use facts to prove any argument – and I never used the greed stuff to the extent some did. I generally went with the “he’s shit” angle

  • ndg

    Piss off !! Last thing we want is Smith back he is injury prone overrated and less likely to score than Paynter or Becchio, BATES OUT !!!

  • TSS

    He’s gone then.

  • number1inyorkshire

    mc arthy is talking leeds up lets use a couple of mill to test the water at reading .

  • Gazzalew

    Reading Lorimers article. ‘We think we’ve got a good enough squad’… well league position and performances say otherwise – So think again??!?

  • number1inyorkshire

    have we no IPSWICH fans this week .would be interesting to know what they think .about our chances tomorrow .

    • TSS

      @number1inyorkshire Ryan couldn’t find any. Not sure they have fans?

      • number1inyorkshire

        @TSS just found a similar thing on a co leeds site seems he is expecting a draw or a 2-1 win if they play like last week ..

        i hope they play like when they lost was 6 or 7 ,1 was it

      • Gryff

        @TSS@number1inyorkshire Farmers market. All those sheep in one place, bound to attract East Anglians…

  • Foxy

    I completely agree with this post! Smith is a true captain and could come in a do a job! Imagine Smith sweeping with Delph and Clayton left to push on…. Dreamy

  • phi1888

    Always had a soft spot for Smithy, and would love to see him in the shirt again, if for nothing else then the screensaver. I’m afraid that this sort of romanticism is ill-fated though, when did he last play a competitive game? Surely he’s banked a wad by now? Retire gracefully back home Alan, and get the send off only Elland road will give you.

  • Gryff

    @TSS But, but, Misser Grayson said no more players leaving this January!

  • number1inyorkshire

    BATES will not like that he doesn’t like keepers ,thats why him and blackwell never got on.

    to be honest i am a bit surprised by that myself .

    having said that i don’t know who i expected though ..

  • Chareose

    wow thats a big turn around…… yes exactly what ive been saying for ages, smith and leeds united is completely different scenario to smith and any other club……leeds united is in his blood, hed be ten times better than the pub players leeds are scouting for but it would still be another loan……..a patch up, a make do. Deep down do you really want the likes of Delph and Smith to have their loyalties taken advantage of so that Bates and Grayson can get promoted on the cheap ?? Kind of like cheating in a way. I really am no longer happy with any of those running leeds united anymore. Id get rid of the whole lot, it doesnt feel like my team…. hard to explain the feeling

    • Chareose

      what im trying to say is Grayson doesnt deserve to manage Smith or Delph, Bates doesnt deserve to own the team thats playing them……. they represent a different era, when Leeds was really LEEDS UNITED again very hard to explain this feeling

      • Chareose

        sighs…. they would be coming out of loyalty and it will benefit the grasping money laundering bastard thats using us as his personal cash machine…

    • TSS

      @Chareose I don’t think he was the best we could manage before, I do now. Selling Howson changed how players view us, the best won’t want to play here any more.

      • Joe Black

        @TSS@Chareose “the best won’t want to play here any more”. Howson’s departure didn’t change that, that has been the case since it became obvious we are a club who will not match up to these players pay and contract requirements. Then they see that we have become a selling club indicating we will not match anyone’s ambitions to get into the PL..

  • Gryff

    It’s not obvious, but I hoped along the same lines Colin!

  • lu4bpl

    Ive always sed tht no matter how he plays 4 any other team smith wud be extraordinary for leeds, remember the risdale,reid era when the club cudn’t pay players wages so most of our multi million pound squad was hardly tryin smith was 1 of the only players playin and he ran his legs off for the sake of his club if we brought him back i reckon we’d see tht again

  • Steve Lufc Lister

    Have always said I would love him back, can’t see it ever happening though. MOT

  • Luke Robert Snodgrass Wroe


  • Liam Hewitt

    Not played for 12 month just what we need!!

  • Marc Bracha


  • Craig Brodie

    fuck me y not get kewell n co. back while were at it ffs

  • Dan Waters

    Things are bad enough without bringing a has been back

  • Arron Lufc McCourt

    Wudnt mind him back his presence alone could lift us

  • Glenn Johnston

    Don’t talk shite,judas twat is past it and should rot in hell MOT

  • Mark Helliwell

    Don’t want him back, nothing to do with scum just honestly do not think he is good enough.3k to 5k pay as you play deal yes take a gamble anything else is a waste.

  • Wayne Sheriff Fatman North

    the only thing i would put on him if he was on fire is butane!

  • Darin Goodrum

    Be a waste of time

  • The Scratching Shed

    That’s always been my argument Mark Helliwell, but considering the kind of player we can attract now that our captain thinks we’re shit and has left for Norwich, I think he’s worth the gamble.

  • Wayne Sheriff Fatman North

    soz i didnt mean scum as in manu i meant he is scum! Why do Leeds and the fans always look backwards to when we had success? Its like wantin a bird who’s chucked ya! Get a grip lads, lets find someone new to worship instead of always looking back!? We’ve done that enough times with managers ffs

  • The Scratching Shed

    Always been against it myself Wayne Sheriff Fatman North, I just think he’s of a higher quality (still) than the rest of our potential targets. That wasn’t the case six months ago, but there’s no reason for players to believe they can progress at Elland Road any more. That’s had a damaging effect on our search for new signings I suspect.

  • Derek Haigney

    We’ve just signed Delph on loan

  • Justin Burton

    I’d rather have Brian Deane back

  • Dean Lufc Holmes

    in off the bar, fcuk cantona, BRIAN DEANE BRIAN DEANE

  • Russ Lufc Blair

    Your all fuck nuggets smith was the first to take a pay cut and only reason smith went was to save Leeds get a fuckin grip

  • Wayne Sheriff Fatman North

    even if he was gonna bring success TSS i would still say no. The damage is done. He was a hero and he went there. Im sorry but if ‘they’ want you, you can go almost anywhere, yet he chose ‘them’ thank ufck for people like Shearer and Le Tiss. Seriously, if i was a pro footy player and they came knockin, i wouldnt even have to think about it. Im not saying i wouldnt leave, just not them. Many players have taken the westerly route along the 62 fella, Cantona, Ferdinand, Irwin but i do not give a monkeys about there transfers. Why? cos none of them are Leeds boys who didnt poop on there own doorstep!

  • Blake L Rasmussen

    Come back! We need you!

  • Phil Glenn

    We need Paul Daniels,Don’t know about anything else.

  • Dave Rowson

    Rather keep bates than have smith back !

  • Gareth Lee Holmes

    Some people talk shit, smith was forced out due to ridsdales stupid Fucking policies n getting us into massive debt. Go back to school u thick fuckers, everyone of u dumb cunts would jump at the chance of earning prob 60k a week at scum especially if it meant saving our beloved club Lufc from administration or worse. Educate yourselves please

  • lufc_chat

    Alan Smith ? No thanks. Is the guy even playing reser ve football for the Barcodes at the moment ?

    That said, I’d watch that film too TSS, but it will never get made, that Tory arse Cameron only wants public funding of blockbusters.

  • mattbb1

    with the wages he’s earnt – couldnt he buy the club from Bates..