With Neil Warnock wielding the axe this week, and Peter Lorimer reportedly continuing to blast Simon Grayson’s tenure at events, it was perhaps inevitable that we’d look to the past, and the blame game would come back with a vengeance.

As part one of the latest round of blame-game, Simon Grayson has spoken publicly about his time at Leeds during BBC’s Late Kickoff:

A few things have come out since I left the football club that I wasn’t too pleased with because I’ve kept my silence and my dignity.

[….]

I think finishing 7th the previous year we over-achieved. We got ourselves by, just missing out on the play-offs, but then that summer came along and we wanted to invest in players that would take us to the next level, and we didn’t manage to do that, we didn’t get the players that I would’ve liked to have got to really have a go for it and then results dictate eventually what happened, but we weren’t in a bad position when we left.

[….]

Every manager would [like more money] and I think if you get to a certain position you would like to think that you can go on and take the club to the next level. You look at Southampton and Reading, two teams who are probably going to go up, and they have spent money in the summer with the likes of Jack Cork who went to Southampton and Gorkss who went to Reading, and these were the players who we were trying to sign in the summer but they went elsewhere. There are big expectancy levels at Leeds and sometimes the expectancy levels aren’t matched elsewhere.

Grayson might wish he hadn’t said:

We’ve got a group here who we feel can get promoted but it’s all about succeeding in that.

And following the announcement on Monday that Ben Parker and Mika Väyrynen had been released, Ken Bates said on Wednesday:

[Ben Parker]’s a lovely fella, we just wish him all the best. We really do. Although we’ve finished with him, he’s going to carry on training with us until the end of the season to make sure he’s fit for next season.

He continued:

Vay-ry-en… I can never get his name right, I don’t know why we signed him. Nice guy but a complete was of money. Made two starts and cost us half a million quid in fees and salary. I just don’t know why he was signed. And I’m sorry for him but even more sorry for us. It’s better that he goes and seeks the rest of his career somewhere else.

Bates’ comments didn’t go down well with Väyrynen (i’m told it’s pronounced vie-rye-nun) who was none too pleased, tweeting:

Obviously money can’t buy class!!!Comments from an old man who don’t even no my name.I wanted to play but wasn’t used.My bad!!!!

Thanks for your support,you guys have been great n deserve big things. #LUFCfans

Like Simon Grayson, Ken Bates must be wishing he had never said:

I think we might have unearthed another hidden jewel. He’s 28-29, played 31 times or thereabouts for Finland and he’s a tough midfielder which is something we have been lacking.

Similarly Shaun Harvey must be feeling a bit silly for saying this:

Some very good players are available on free transfers. Forssell and Vayrynen for example – international footballers without a club. Sometimes I think people would be happy for us to spend £1million on a sack of potatoes just to see us spend £1million.

One thing’s for sure: the blame-game hasn’t done either side any favours at all.

Perhaps we should end on a positive note. Two, in fact.

1) Simon Grayson identified last summer:

The money was there to go and sign players, whether it was loan deals or permanent deals we were trying to sign players to make us better and increase the competition.We know we are still a few bodies short but saying that we still have good players here, some of which were enquired about but we managed to keep hold of them, something which is obviously good news.

One of the key things for Grayson was holding onto key players. You might think that Snodgrass was one who was enquired about  given his recent comments. This season Neil Warnock has managed to find what would seem a cushy contract for skipper Snodgrass. In that article Grayson also bemoaned the way players’ moves depended on other players arriving at their club and how he was gazumped on the proposed Puncheon deal. Warnock divulged after the Blackpool game that one player has all but signed and is expected to be announced in the first week of May, with others following soon after.

Whatever we think of past mistakes, and whoever we blame for them, the future is looking bright if these are the quality players that Warnock’s been promising.

2) As Ken Bates mentioned in his radio address, Don Revie’s statue will be unveiled soon:

just to remind everybody of the great event on May 5 when the Don Revie statue will be unveiled at 11am. He’s going to stand opposite the new entrance to the East Stand so he’ll be looking across and keeping his eye on who goes in and who goes out. It’ll be a great day. It’s been well organised. There’s functions in the Pavilion and elsewhere. Billy’s Bar will be open and so will Howard’s. So May 5th, if you’re not going anywhere in particular, forget about your shopping or your… 11 o’clock, May 5th, Lowfields Road outside the East Stand is the place to be.

I am amazed it hasn’t been done before. And I think it’s a tribute to the fans that they’ve done it. The club hasn’t done it. This is a fans tribute to a great man and I understand from Duncan Revie that he’ll be there with a party of family and friends. So they’re coming up for it. This is going to be a great occasion.

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