luciano-becchio-4Leeds United’s top goalscorer and highest earning player Luciano Becchio has today submitted a transfer request.

The 29-year-old Argentinian striker has been at the centre of continuous transfer speculation since mid-December, with Neil Warnock revealing earlier this month that he’d “had his head turned”.

A statement on Leeds United’s official site revealed the club has already rejected two bids while trying to agree a new deal with the striker.

As the blame games commence, it’s worth considering that Luciano Becchio’s next contract is likely to be his last and most profitable. Had Leeds United been in a position where promotion looked likely, I’m sure he’d have waited until the end of the season in the hope of being able to agree a Premier League pay hike. Unfortunately, the chances of Leeds United achieving promotion this season are slim to none.

From the owners perspective, Luciano is already the highest paid player at the club and they’ve offered to increase his salary. But there’s only so much you can offer players as a second tier club. If other interested clubs are offering substantially more, Leeds can’t be expected to match that. Not with attendances of 18,000 and promotion out of the question.

In this instance, I don’t think anyone’s at fault. Luciano Becchio has been a great servant to the club and should leave with our best wishes. GFH meanwhile have offered to increase the Argentinian’s salary and he’s decided to leave regardless. This isn’t the same as it was under Ken Bates, he would have sold Becchio when the first offer arrived before channelling the funds into another pointless vanity project.

That’s not to say GFH shouldn’t be judged by this saga. The real acid test for our new owners isn’t whether they can hold onto key players or not, we have to be realistic in that respect, we’re a second tier club, every time we find someone a little bit special it’s going to be a uphill struggle to retain them. Instead, our verdict on GFH should be based on what happens to the funds from the sale of these players.

If said funds are reinvested into the team, then that’s good enough for me. It would represent a seismic shift in policy from what we endured under Ken Bates.

It’s interesting that the Becchio news coincides with the Yorkshire Evening Post’s report on a possible return for Max Gradel. Maybe it’s coincidence, maybe it’s a PR stunt, or maybe, just maybe, Max Gradel is the player Neil Warnock is planning to spend money from Luciano’s sale on? Max Gradel has already admitted he’d like to return to Leeds and there can be few signings the fans would be happier with.

139 Responses

  1. Same Old_LUFC

    …and we all know what’s coming, I said it at the start of the window. Becchio will go at last minute, we won’t be able to get anyone in, we’ll desperately find some emergency loan(s) as per….. then we’ll all be asking where the money went from the sale of Becchio. …..Same old, same old.

    • TSS

      If your definition of “last minute” extends to 7 days remaining, then yeah, fair enough.

      When does “last minute” start out of curiosity – 8 days, 9 days, 20 days?

      • henrymouni

        With Leeds the last minute is the same as the first minute.
        Nothing doing.
        History tells us this.
        It won’t bring the fans back!!

        Luciano – take us with you!!! Please.

      • Soluble Tablet

        He hasn’t gone yet. I suspect that (as predicted above) he’ll be sold next week, close to the deadline. And then the 32 year old ‘free agent’ will join us as his replacement. I forget his name.

      • Ron

        Haha. Spot on. The GFH scouting team is apparently very strong in the Qatari leagues………what a f*cking joke.

  2. djedjedje

    So Palace can hang on to Murray and Zaha (at least the last time I checked), and Blackpool can hang on to Ince, but we can’t hang on to Becchio? A bit defeatist in my mind. And it doesn’t bode well for us keeping Byram or Lees.

    I wonder what sums have been offered? £1m? £2m? I doubt it’s more if we are turning it down. Remember, Rhodes only went to another Championship team for £6m, so a benchmark of solid strikers at this level has been set.

    Interesting too that the LUFC site mentioned two bids from foreign teams? I wonder which, and in which leagues?


    As for Gradel. It’s a non-story, IMHO. If he returns it is a gob in the eye of football decorum. There’s no way a player who is excelling in the leading French league, and possibly on course to playing in Europe next season, and a player currently linking up with the likes of Drogba in the African Nations Cup is going to take a wage cut to come and play in the English second tier for a team that has barely a single old ‘crown jewel’ left, and in most likely is about to sell that jewel to the highest bidder.

      • djedjedje

        Lol – that’ll teach me for being too lazy to open up a new browser window!

    • TimPM

      Yeah, but Jordan Rhodes is 24, Becchio’s 29… that’s a lot of footballing time extra in Rhodes’ pocket.

  3. Kenny

    The guys 29 coming to the end of his career Leeds obviously can’t match his ambition has been hounded out by the Dinosaurs Warnock and Jones since window opened and must be fed up of being blamed for not getting onthe end of nonexsisting crosses then hears twatnock saying he wants to leave nice one good luck Becchio hope u find a club that appreciates you Becchio forever in Leeds fans hearts

  4. Nidge

    Don’t blame the guy we as a club are going nowhere and just look at the type of players we are looking at crap it looks like we have a new ken bates running the club it’s a joke remember we are Leeds utd

  5. Matthew

    Personally I think the club should hang onto him till a replacement can be found, he’s under contract till June 2014, we have plenty of time to sell if he doesn’t want to stay here.
    If he absolutely without a doubt has to go, as long as he isn’t sold to Norwich or a team that will end up in the Championship next season, I’ll be alright with it.
    But please, for the love of fuck. Don’t sell him if there’s no one there to replace lol. Ken Bates has done that to us all the time now. Lost Snoddy, Howson, Gradel etc and no replacements.

    • djedjedje

      How about Huddersfield using up some of their £6m income for the Rhodes sale to help finance the reunification of Becchio and Beckford under Grayson?

      That’d be a kick in the teeth, huh!

  6. Old Goat

    Why in Gods name do you always bang on about Gradel.

    He was a selfish little runt who always shot even when a pass was the better option – made JFH look like a star distributor of the ball. Also spent too much playing time with an early booking against him and his disciplinary record was generally poor. He also had his head turned and went off to seek his destiny as a star player in France. Once they’ve jumped ship once they’ll do it again. Leave him to rot.

    As for Becchio, it’s sad. Presumably there is now a firm bid in for him – probably not from the U.K. If it’s major money, fair enough. However contractually he is with us till summer 2014 is he not, by which time he’ll be the wrong side of thirty. If he’s spent the last season and a half as a fringe player on the Leeds bench and no longer in the top scorers he’s not going to set the free agent market alight.

    • TSS

      Selfish little runt? His assist stats would beg to differ. And he returned to France to be closer to his family. How selfish of him, I know.

    • Matthew

      Gradel was one of the best wingers in the league, depending on who you spoke too it was either him or Snoddy, I prefered Snoddy but Gradel was equally as awesome.
      He had the skill, he had the pace, he had an eye for the ball, he was a danger man and scored the goals. We’ve missed him since he left in a huge way, he was a game changer.

  7. Tyler75

    Agree that this is now a big test for GFH. Primarily, how much we get for him and whether all the funds are re-invested. I’m sorry to see Becchio go and good luck to him, but if for example we get in a fast winger, CMS (and maybe Boyd) and, without the temptation to launch the ball to Becchio, end up playing better football via midfield then its potentially win, win. Jury is definitely out.

    • Ron

      Very much the test for GFH. Let’s see what they get for him before we launch any flaming arrows, however, selling your top scorer has rarely been a great idea or rarely does it ever inspire other squad players that we want to go up. However, selling Andy Carroll was the best bit of business I have ever witnessed, so let’s see what we get for him. £100 says the figure will not be disclosed (classic Bates).

      • TSS

        Have you not noticed how few transfers are disclosed nowadays? It’s not just Leeds, every club seems to do it.

      • Ron

        Indeed. The dumbing down of the fans. I think if fans put money into clubs via tickets and merchandise, then the least a club can do is come clean on any transfers they do. I must say this departure is not a shock after Warnock identified his form due to his “head being turned”, but I don’t like the fact we have 7 days to find another point man or at least assemble a midfield that can get the best out of McCormack, Diouf and Somma. Another January with more money out, less reinvested.

      • Matthew

        Seems only when a transfer is £10 million or over, or a club record do exact fees get mentioned.

      • spellz

        If there is any truth to these reports then more uncertainty will be cast over our clubs future.

      • Pete Sasqwax

        If there is any truth in those rumours, we’re f***ed!

  8. adam

    i agree,best wishes to luciano.5 years is great service to any club,he deserves to play in a top league somewhere

  9. Ron

    On the wages we’ll save with Becchio departing, if GFH and Warnock can’t subsidise a Premier league loan addition to replace him, this will tell us all we need to know about the new owners. We all got excited by the promise of wealthy Arabs when Bahrain was mentioned, but thus far, nothing has changed (except a tad more communication from the club). No grudges here toward Luciano and he should be remembered as a great servant during arguably our lowest ebb. C’mon GFH – if you want promotion (as spouted), cough up!

  10. djedjedje

    The worry is what this may indicate about our current transfer policy.

    If Warnock is talking about the need to bring in attacking options, by which I’ve been presuming he means wide men such as Thomas, then wouldn’t it make more sense to keep Becchio until the end of the season? That way the new wide men may provide the crosses to let Becchio score and charge our way to the playoffs {stop laughing] and possible promotion. At which point Becchio can be offered good money to stay, and/or sold on. Yes his value might go down a tad because he’d only have a year left on his contract, not 18 months – but presumably the extra goals he’d score, and the fact that he led Leeds to the playoffs/promotion would be recompense.

    Also, Warnock is only here until the end of the season. Say Becchio has lost faith in Warnock, then staying to the end of the season would allow him the opportunity to hedge his bets a little and see who we get in as our next manager – who may even impress Becchio enough to want to stay.

    So why are we so compliant to accept the transfer request and are ready to sell? Possibly Becchio is threatening to do a strop and whilst will continue to play if he doesn’t get an immediate move will not be the Becchio we’ve come to appreciate and rely upon. I think that is unlikely. Becchio isn’t that pampered type of player. And if Beckford continued to play for us even though he made it clear he wanted to move on, then why wouldn’t Becchio? Nor is he a player only using Leeds as a quick conduit to another lcub – he’s been here too long.

    So I can only presume that we are cashing in – albeit reluctantly – because GFH hasn’t the the money available to pay for the transfer fees and/or wages to pay for the types of wide, attacking players we need. Without it there is no chance of supply Becchio with the better support play, and consequently no point in battling to keep hold of Becchio for the next four months just to see if he can fire us to the playoffs/promotion.

    The question is then, how much and how far will the Becchio transfer fee go to rebuilding our squad?

    • TSS

      Christ Dje, don’t fuel the conspiracy nut jobs, you know what they’re like.

      We’re selling Becchio because Becchio wants to leave – it’s that simple. He’s already the highest paid player, has been offered more money and still wants to leave. If that wasn’t true, his agent (or Becchio himself) would be screaming from the rooftops already.

      • djedjedje

        Ha ~ it’s not a conspiracy really. GFH have always said they wont be spending crazy money and Warnock has hinted that money is not best spent in the January window. I imagine buying two Thomas-esque (or hopefully better) players and financing their wages for say a two and half year contract would incur a fair few million quid. That’s not then a criticism of GFH – more an indication of the type of financial set-up we are in pre- and possibly post-sale of Becchio. Like all fans, I’ve always just wanted a clearer sign of what kind of financial commitment GFH can bring to the club. They refuse to tell us, presumably they have yet to have shown us, so I see this as a possible indication.

        As to Becchio wanting out now or the summer, I standby that I believe he is not the sulking type and that four months of drudgery would not harm him too much.

      • TSS

        Yeah, it’s all about being realistic. Too many fans seemed to expect tens of millions to be spent as new owners threw stupid sums of money at the club in a desperate bid for promotion. They were always going to be left disappointed.

        I think funds are limited, GFH will live within the means of the club. But that’s not a bad thing, Leeds United has the potential to make a lot of money and be extremely competitive, it just takes time. How money is reinvested when players are sold is key to that.

        Part of me doesn’t want them to fund Warnock (even with the Becchio funds), I think he’d spend it on experienced grafters and it’s a short-term approach that would be counter-productive. A new manager isn’t going to want a team of hoofball specialists, no successful team plays like that any more.

        I really do feel it’s imperative they replace Warnock ASAP.

      • djedjedje

        I entirely agree about not giving the money to Warnock. [I really am hoping he’ll do everyone a favour and walk after this]

        The bit which confused me in the press realease was the bit about the Financial Fair Play:

        “The club have sought to agree the terms of a new contract with the player, who is already the highest earner, but the requested terms were beyond a level that we could support, particularly in view of the regulations relating to Financial Fair Play that will be effective in coming seasons.”

        Is that just a bit of corporate fluff, the type GFH find sexy, is just psychologically soothing because it has the words ‘fair play’ in it, or is it more telling? Yes our attendance is down, but our turnover is good. If Leicester and Cardiff and Forest can pay silly wages – which I am not saying we should be matching – aren’t they also worried about breaking the Financial Fair Play covenant? Besides, I thought it only impacted on teams in Europe … of which we really need not worry ourselves for a couple of seasons!!

      • Benny

        Well done TSS great common sense reporting on what is a very emotive subject.

        Read the loony forums & all this will be NW’s fault as usual.

        Clearly, Becchio is going but, as long as GFH reinvest the funds then we can all but support the decision & move on.

      • Mikelufc

        Benny boy if you think gfh will reinvest the funds then you are an idiot! before you reply just wait and see, THEY HAVE NO FUCKING MONEY! they are here to milk the cash cow which is now starving to death due to lack of sustenance.

      • Mikelufc

        I reckon our venerable leader has gone nuts or joined bastard bates band as the singer.

      • Irving08

        Probably both things are true, viz, we have to sell to buy and Becchio wants an unaffordable wage (35K a week according to MBW). Personally I would prefer to make him stay than see Warnock waste more money.

  11. fringo

    “This isn’t the same as it was under Ken Bates, he would have sold
    Becchio when the first offer arrived before channelling the funds into
    another pointless vanity project.”

    Really? So he didn’t offer to make Snodgrass the highest paid player, blah blah blah? This is exactly the same MO as Ken Bates.

    Are you still convinced Bates sold up?! It’s blindingly obvious he didn’t.

    Read more:

    • TSS

      Ahh, the conspiracy theories. They never get old, do they? You know that Eric Cantona was sleeping with Chapman’s missus? True story. Honest.

      • fringo

        It’s not a conspiracy theory. Conspiracy theory is just a pejorative term used too often to deride an opinion not your own. It’s patently obvious Bates has not sold.

      • TSS

        Yes, he went through six months of nonsense, registered the new owners with the league and Company House, disappeared off the face of the earth – strange for someone who thinks the world needs to hear his nonsense – started offering reduced ticket prices, signed up players and hired two more likeable people to front the club because Bates just hates negative PR.

        Sure, if you say so.

        Conspiracy theory is a term used accurately to describe the nonsensical and unsubstantiated myths our supporters conjure up.

      • fringo

        Yes he did go through 6 months of a farce of a take-over. Reduced ticket price, against Peterborough and some other team. Really! Signed up player? So did Bates. Likeable people? A PR front.

        Look! If it walks like a duck and it quacks like a duck….it’s a duck. You cannot demonstrate that anyone has bought Leeds United because the owners are hiding behind a shelf company in Ugland House in the Cayman Islands. They are anonymous. Seriously! You believe the serial liar Ken Bates ahead of the evidence staring you in the face. He has form lieing about owning LUFC. Only 2 years ago he lied on oath denying ownership in a court in the Channel Isles. There’s no helping some people if they choose to believe this TO.

      • Soluble Tablet

        Actually, he probably has sold the club but his influence (as chairman) lingers on. I’m not a conspiracy theorist but the handling of this Becchio business does seem remarkably reminiscent of the KB style of management. Anyway, I am hoping that he does us all a big favour and takes more of a back seat after this dreadful season is over.

        The Gradel story seems completely implausible to me and I’m surprised at TSS giving it any credence. I would love to be proven wrong but I doubt it’s going to happen.

      • Stu

        Agree – wouldn’t be surprised at all if Bates still has his finger in the LUFC pie. And you’re right this is a similar MO to the way other players have been shot out of the club, slag them off in public and suggest you can’t meet their greedy demands. Remember Schmeichel?

  12. Madcaddie

    I really wish GFH would get shut of Warnock & get perhaps Nigel Adkins in, tell him to do what he can this season but assure him of significant funds at the end of the season no matter what league we are in. Warnock can’t cut it these days, his style of play is out dated and he is defo looking more to his retirement than getting promotion with Leeds. I definitely feel this is why Becchio wants to go and i don’t blame him to be fair cos he just does not figure in Warnocks team of “Michael Browns”

      • djedjedje

        Lol! To be honest, my bigger fear is the return of O’Leary. He spends a lot time out in Dubai playing golf. I’m really hoping he’s never bumped into Haigh on the links out there and got talking about a return to Leeds United over a couple of G&Ts. Not for me, anyway.

      • Drogheda White

        oh dear, never thought of O’ Leary, in the name of all thats right please dont let that happen!!

      • TSS

        I’d have Larry back. He did better than Warnock has and he spent less money.

      • djedjedje

        True. But I think Grayson’s now got a reputation that’s ‘great for League One, lousy for Championship’. A tad unfair, but it sticks.

        Besides, Grayson is yet to show that he can turn a team around to promotion pushers once it’s hit a really bad run? He failed with us here in the Championship last season, has failed here with Huddersfield this season, and most think we struggled over the line in League One, where other team’s results luckily went in our favour. But this is Grayson’s problem to address, not ours…

      • TSS

        Yeah, but at least the football was entertaining. All out attack, we don’t need a defence.

      • TimPM

        Yeah, but if we can make a swap of Becchio’s funds for Max… surely that is going to increase the entertainment value. Gradel’s a dynamo, Becchio’s a battering ram…

        Max Gradel, Ross McCormack, this Everton lad for the time being, and any other lad to complete the wings is surely one of the best “pretty football” lineups we’ll have named for a while?

      • henrymouni

        ‘IF’ Tim.
        We don’t have the money to buy Max.
        If they sell Luciano the money will get sucked into the system.
        Bates may have sold the club but he is STILL the Chairman, and is still surrounding by the same bum lickers he has had in tow for 8 years.
        GFH had more to say before they bought the club.
        There is no gagging order now, but you would think there was.
        Nothing has changed.
        At least the fans are voting with their feet now.
        We have had enough.
        Whatever happens, happens and until GFH come clean we are in the dark – AGAIN!!

      • Matthew

        I would accept him back tommorow if Warnock was sacked, give him a short term contract till the end of the season then ask him how he feels and if he wants to stay longer and extend it. Give him some money at least lol.

        Not a bad manager, not great defensively but with money that could change. One big difference between him and Warnock is that he genuinely loves the club, and has the right mindset.

      • wyla

        That is either a ridiculous statement of utter lunacy or a hilarious joke, i like your blog so i’m going to take it as a joke even if you try to qualify it with laughable stats like grayson’s win ratio was 50% etc etc, the real point is Larry can’t manage players or get results which is why even the worlds smallest club have sacked him. As for the money thing, grayson purchased an entire team of flops who we had to pay to get rid of, warnock has purchased a team full of free’s or nearly free’s and practically emulated Grayson’s best season at the first time of asking despite the most protracted takeover in the history of football. Grayson is a nice guy and, as such, comes last!

      • leedsinsider

        He has gone to Bolton – he was in the boardroom signing the forms before Christmas

    • John

      Nigel Adkins is the man to take Leeds forward, he is a young, talented manager. If GFh allow him to be taken by another club, they will regret it

  13. djedjedje

    Anyone seen or heard of Warnock’s response to Becchio’s desire to leave? It’ll be interesting to see if he still reckons the job of playoffs is remotely possible after this. Indeed, it could offer him the perfect excuse to jack it in, resign and retire. …So sort of silver-lining then.

    • Stu

      Warnock’s in on the sale! Why on earth would he otherwise criticise the club’s top scorer and the man who has single handedly won games for LUFC this season (Middlesbrough, Bolton, etc etc). Becchio doesn’t fit his style of play and he needs the cash to bring in more of his sub-standard Warnock-type players.

  14. Stu

    Afraid to say I think you’ve swallowed the club line on this TSS and no doubt many others will too.

    Does Becchio really want to leave or has his hand been forced? It wasn’t only a few weeks ago wasn’t it that he was saying how happy he was at Leeds? Is he really after more money?

    I think the club has got what it wanted here. Attempts to unsettle Becchio began with Mick Jones’ bizarre comments which appeared to be a blatant attempt to tout him around to other clubs. Then Warnock got in on the act talking about his head being turned by agents, etc. As if that wasn’t bad enough he had the gall to criticise the guy for the dross served up at Barnsley. Nothing about the non-existent supply to him from our hopeless midfield or the constant long balls up to him from the back. And let’s not forget Becchio has got what, 17 goals this season?

    My verdict on this is that GFH have little or no money to spend on transfers. Therefore it’s been decided to cash in on our most saleable asset so Warnock can bring in new players. I’m betting our next forward will be about 6ft 5, probably a Stoke reserve or someone similar and someone who we can whack aimless long balls up to all day – not Becchio’s game as we all know.

    As for today’s Gradel link – in Victor Meldrew’s words ‘I don’t believe it!’ Seems like what we journalists call a ‘PR puff’ – an attempt to soften the blow ahead of the bad news about Becchio. Probably little truth in it, but it looks good in the paper.

    • djedjedje

      Personally I think too much is being read into Mick Jones’s comments. I just think the guy is just completely media unsavvy and shouldn’t have been let anywhere near a microphone by the club. Sort of a harmless fool accidently doing harm.

  15. leedsinsider

    As I already told you 3 weeks ago – he signed for Bolton Wanderers just before Christmas

  16. Guest

    Nigel Adkins is the man to take Leeds forward, he is a young, talented manager. If GFh allow him to be taken by another club, they will regret it

  17. oldschoolbaby

    I largely agree with TSS but I still can`t imagine NW being too fussed about losing a 29 year old when there are a number of 32 year olds available.

    Wouldn`t be averse to the return of Gradel but we are too fixed on former players. What happened to the scouting team who recommended the likes of Snoddy and Johnson

  18. Marvareemo

    I just hope we get what he’s worth and in enough time to get a replacement. Call me a cynic but you can just see it now, we’ll sell him then the window will slam shut, giving no time to get anyone else in, much to Bates’ satisfaction!! The old boy is definitely still pulling the strings!!

  19. chris

    Get CMS and Boyd in. Think with GFH and Bates frying pan and fire come to mind. How often has this same old story been rolled out at January. Once again Leeds fans get let down. Hardly surprising attendances are falling. People get fed up being hit with the same stick. Feal sorry for Grayson and Warnock. To be working with your hands tied behind your back all the time must be as depressing as following them. Fed up with this club i love constantly having to do there business in the charity shops, buying what everyone else is happy to see the back of. Maybe one day we will do our buying at Primark ffs !!!!

  20. markman

    a fair article.dont think anyone at leeds could change things.the players have the power in these situations.
    put yourself in his shoes,now 29 one and a half years left on contract and one big money move left in career.i am sure for the money he was asking we could get someone better.
    he blew hot and cold but still managed a good goal return in a muddled time over his four and a half years at the club.take anything over £3 million cash.wish him well.

  21. kev raunds

    tells you all you need to know about gfh,let best players go,obviusly no ambition,probably no money.

  22. supalux

    All we need now is a bid from Norwich and its game,set and match. They are after a striker arnt they?

  23. henrymouni

    Time to worry?

    Alan Tate today:-

    Speaking on Talksport, Tate said, “My contract was not technically over until Sunday, but for different reasons I have returned to Swansea.

    “I was enjoying my time up there, things went well but with the money situation up there, I couldn`t stay longer.”

      • Jockeywilsons shreddies

        If Bates is still the owner then we are in serious trouble with the FL and their so called ‘ Transparancey ‘ requirement in terms of who owns football clubs. So has uncle Ken screwed us over once more, punishment – more points deductions, thrown out of league???
        Or alternative scenario, the FL have failed LUFC in its assessment of the takeover being above board and so Leeds United fans should demand mega compensation from FL for allowing such a farce to come about??
        Just trying to rationalise this never ending roller coaster that comes with the territory of being a Leeds supporter !
        Hells teeth, help me make sense of all this.

        Barney rubble LUFC always

    • Matthew

      That or the club didn’t rate him and told him that to get rid of him. Better than saying dude you suck, get out.

      He didn’t even make the team/bench for the Bristol City game.

      • Pete Sasqwax

        ^ this is my line of thought. Perhaps “didn’t rate him” is harsh; more accurate is maybe: the club didn’t feel it was worthwhile paying him to bench warm when a better combination of defenders was available all along. To pay Tate premiership wages to warm the bench, padding out a position which we didn’t need to cover any more is a misuse of resources, I would argue. I don’t dislike him but I viewed his return to Wales as a very positive step.

      • Irving08

        I tend to agree with you.Tate’s comments to me sound like a cover for the fact that he wasn’t up to scratch. Pearce already is a better defender, in my view.

      • Pete Sasqwax

        Agreed – and with Pearce in there as back up, better spend the wages on a left winger than an unnecessary centre-half

      • henrymouni

        I think he was telling the truth.
        We have been scratching for money for 8 years, and our actions suggest that we still are.
        It has been all over the media and the net, but Leeds have not disputed it!!
        I don’t think they will Irv.

      • Irving08

        I was responding to the fact of Tate commenting on a shortage of funds, not on the fact of a shortage. I was relieved to hear he’d gone !

  24. scandinavianwhite

    Conspiracy theory it might bee, but i find it very odd to spend 52mio on a club, and
    then let Ken Bates run it.. Ken Bates have never had any succes in running football clubs.
    Ok, he is going too step down after this season… or is he just doing a Putin.

  25. David Wilson

    Tate has now said that he was asked to leave the club because of the financial situation
    at Elland Rd. There is a formula that started under Bates and is continuing under GFH. Leeds sell top player, crowds go down, less money to spend so Leeds sell top player so crowds go down, so less money for players and crowds go down again etc. Do you see where this ends??? Will the last one to leave Elland rd please turn out the lights.

  26. Brighouse white

    More worrying for me is Alan Tate’s statement that he had to return to Swansea “because of the money situation at the club” Not promising!

  27. TimPM

    BTW those damning GFHC might want to think on these vague sums… We know Bates’ East Stand white elephant still has £2.5m (probably plus interest) to be repaid on next seasons’s season tickets. We know that the average attendence has dropped from Grayson’s final year (27000) to now (21000ish?), and that we’ve been in a very failing financial situation last season and before the takeover.

    So GFHC at my guess are having to make up a £6m+ shortfall and the club is not profitable yet as so many fans have (understandably) stopped turning up.

    It’s hardly fair saying they aint got a pot to piss in.

    • Matthew

      The thing is, Ken Bates has stripped the club of talent and has invested the money in anything but the team, fans are tired of the quality of football and losing our talent with no replacements so they stay away. If they want the fans back, they need to spend money, there’s no other way.

      GFH have literally inherited the fallout from the Ken Bates era, if we were a city, we’d be best described as Hiroshima after the nuke hit in WW2. If GFH can’t rebuild, they need to sell the club on to someone who can. It’s the only way we’l have any kind of future.

      Ken Bates has destroyed this club, we need owners that can lay the foundations and rebuild, it all takes money, there’s no other way.

    • henrymouni

      If they have a pot Tim, it is still under Ken’s bed.

      GFH have told us nothing but bullshit.

      They want to get closer to the fans. Well they can spend time shopping on a saturday and that should do it.

      They spent 6 months bisecting our club, and should know our exact financial situation.

      They knew how the fans felt about Robbing Bates and his Merry men.
      Yet they still kept him on!? Why?
      They have told us nothing about their future plans, and you wonder if they are just stupid or incompetent?

      • Ron

        Nothing has changed. Henry, you have got it in one. This explains why the takeover took so long, because they were simply killing time and making the fans believe it was a genuine transaction. I have worked in financial markets for 13 years and believe me, no one in Dubai or Bahrain has any ability. They are laughed at and always seek counsel in London for real deals. Haigh is a child and would be lucky to run a bath. Anyone can turn up to a few games, wrap a scarf around your neck and tweet a few things. The proof is always in the pudding and this will all unravel in time.

  28. Chareose

    C’mon TSS I though you were more savvy than this ?
    Tate has just said his loan was cut short because Leeds had no money…. Meanwhile Jones started the whole Becchio train moving with an innocuous comment then Warnocks comments and now this… It was all set up …. It isn’t rocket science. So are we selling him because we are broke or because he fell out with warnock ?
    This is all a bloody mess…. Why is bates still at Leeds ? Why are the BBC still banned ?? Why are we still selling to buy straight after a take over ? What was the point in the first place ? Why are GFH silent ?

    • TSS

      Anyone seen or heard from Bates in the last month?

      The BBC aren’t banned, they’re covering cup tie.

      There’s no suggestion we’re selling to buy, our fans have jumped to that conclusion. Becchio is highest paid player, he’s rejected a new contract. It happens. What more can the owners be expected to do? Players leave, get over it.

      Silent on what? They released a statement explaining the situation didn’t they? The first we’d have known of it under Bates is after Becchio had been sold.

      • djedjedje

        I’m pretty sure the FA cup is on ESPN, not BBC. Not sure if that makes them still banned or not?

      • djedjedje

        I have to say, I’m surprised GFH haven’t made a big point of welcoming ‘back’ the BBC to Elland Road. All the photoshoots of the new bosses, the new era, and Football First interviews, would all have gone along way of the new regime’s PR. …And free too!! Ken will love that.

      • Matthew

        Obviously just want to get on with the job of running the club and not basking in the limelight.

      • Irvng08

        TSS: There is much circumstantial evidence and some reliable information to suggest that we do have to sell to buy. Fans are entitled to suspect a set-up in view of curious public statements by the managerial team on Becchio. It is quite logical to put two and two together. Which doesn’t mean that it is right of course.

        My impression is that no-one is currenlty talking much to anyone else at Elland Road and that the situation is in fact chaotic – and that GFHC are one of the chaos-making factors in what you rightly call a ‘mess’.
        Of course, Becchio should not be sold, if only because it will force GFHC to explain themselves and their plans.

      • Grumpy

        I believe the BBC were banned by Bates from everything other than over-riding and existing ‘contractual arrangements’. I took that to mean agreements between the Beeb and the FA/Football League to broadcast certain leagu/cup games.

      • Chareose

        My god ofcourse bates is still at Er !!! He’s our bloody chairman !! And soon club president ! The communication from Leeds is horrific ! They – gf need to talk to the fans not hide behind the legs of the Leeds blogs authors! Unfortunately I’m telling it how a lot of fans see it and not many of us have met gf in person like you so we must wallow in ignorance !!! Until its explained to us morons

    • Pete Sasqwax

      The suggestion from NW is that Tate was let go because we funds which had been allocated to his wages could be better employed in other areas of the squad (i.e. he thinks Peltier/Lees with Pearce as back-up is decent enough for us at CB and I’d be inclined to agree)

  29. spellz

    Sick of this shite, 24th jan 7 days of the window left

    Warnock said we need a striker (which we do) so lets not sign anyone and just get rid of our only prolific scorer because he wants out.

    Its just typical leeds in Janurary, absent in the window I am not sure if Bates has even handed over the reigns of the club it seems like the same story to me as every year, does Mr President have some influence still or what?

  30. djedjedje

    Just mulling over some numbers concerning any Becchio replacement…

    Say we get £3m for Becchio. And we save 16 months of say £15,000 per week (c.£1m). That’s a replacement spending revenue of c.£4m.


    However, if we brought in another striker as replacement then we’d likely have to offer them at least a two and a half year contract on similar money. Say, 130 months x £15,000 per week = £1,950,000. It leaves c.£2m transfer kitty to dislodge an established striker from a club presumably not particularly willing to sell that player. It’s possible to find an adequate replacement, but it’ll be tough.

    Worse however is when you consider the upshot of trying to save the money saved from Becchio’s sale to improve two positions – a replacement striker and say a needed winger. Presumably the striker’s wage will be similar to what Becchio is already on (estimated here at £15,000 per week x 2.5 year contract), if we propose replacing like for like (not much point otherwise!). Then factor in the winger, on say a decent but slightly less £10,000 per week x 2.5 years contract. That will need £1.3m set aside for those wages. It leaves a humble £700,000 transfer kitty to dislodge an established striker and a talented winger. Good look Shaun!

    • Matthew

      The only problem really with replacing a prolific striker like Becchio is that anyone who could come close to him would want a wage of over £10k a week and would cost a fee.

      Of course you could search the lower leagues, and even then you’d have to loan him out for him to get some more experience in this division or if you need results, throw him in the deep end and hope for the best.

      Poleon is a good young prospect but needs more experience too, the expectation seems to be promotion, if GFH/Warnock write this season off, I would like to see him getting games.

      • djedjedje

        Agreed. Although there’ll be a lot of pressure to secure some signing come the summer. Probably then it’ll be a free – which might not be the end of the world as at least the wages come go further … and Warnock won’t be signing them!!

        The question is how many fans are not really care anymore by then?

    • TSS

      If we get £3m for Becchio, I’ll be stunned. I think it’ll be closer to 1/3 of that.

      Wages shouldn’t factor in, it’s an entirely separate budget. 15k has been cleared from whatever our usual week budget is, we therefore have 15k + whatever Warnock had remaining already to lure players with.

      The cash received for Becchio should be reinvested in it’s entirety. If we receive £3m, we should have whatever remains from £3m after everyone has had their cut to buy a replacement with.

      • Irving08

        Why do you suppose Warnock has any remaining money for luring (apt verb) ?

      • Matthew

        Because if GFH are telling the truth, they will give Warnock something. I’m hoping they do anyway.

        By the way, TSS, why do you have Mod by your name when you own the website? Was there no option for ‘Admin’.? Just curious more than anything.

      • TSS

        It’s just the people who can edit comments – it’s next to Tim’s as well.

      • djedjedje

        I’d be stunned too. But if I mentioned that I thought we’d only get c.£1-1.25m I thought it’d distract from my main point about player recruitment.

        I’m not sure if I am just wrong in the head here, but wouldn’t the wage budget – which I agree is a different pot of money than for transfers, albeit come from the same secret bank vault – be impacted upon by the need to replace a top earner on 16-months of contract with a top-earner on the same money for a more realistic 2.5 year contract (although probably longer)? Only GFH might have been gambling that Becchio’s theoretical £15,000 a week wage was good value because it only lasted for 16 months and therefore offered two bites at the Premiership promotion. This would suggest – speculatively – that they had no intention of offering Becchio the same money or more come the summer of 2014 (unless we’d got promoted). Only, a replacement on the same money will now make GFH commit to this high salary for one player for at least another season, which presumably will have a nominal impact on the wage strategy.

  31. Alastair Wildridge

    Ive just spent the last 20 or so minutes reading peoples opinions on the matter and it seems no

    • djedjedje

      Consider it the other way: you sell your best player at premium price in January – but then any gain by not selling them less is off-set by the dwindling crowds who are made even more apathetic by the sale, yet again, of one of your best players with no prospect of replacing them (presumably under your rubric, until the Summer).

      We’ve nine home games to play plus at least one home tie in the FA Cup. For every 1,000 less who don’t go to Elland Road the club will lose c. £40,000 on lost sales of tickets, merchandise, programmes, pies and pints per match. Times ten matches and that’s £400,000. Times a drop of say 5,000 going to watch Warnock’s shit football and that’s £2m. I don’t know how much premium you reckon we are supposed to be cashing in on selling Becchio now and not in the summer, but I’m pretty sure it wont cover the footfall away from Elland Road between now and next season.

      [Ironically, if we showed some ambition and bought a player for the dizzy heights of a million, then it’d only need 2,500 LUFC fans to be suitably impressed enough to return for the last 10 matches at Elland Road to have paid off that outlay for that player! But then that’s ambition for you…]

  32. Charlie Big Potatoes

    So in a dance as old as time itself…we’ve gone from buying the icing on “The Cake” to now having 7 days to replace 20 goals. Another year, another unambitious owner, another Barnsley horror show, another star player gone…another manager sacked? I dispair at being a Leeds fan, when the f#ck does this end.

  33. Murph

    I am more disappointed with the principle of GFH selling our top scorer than the reality of it. If this does come to fruition, I agree with an earlier post which said that we can only judge them in the summer when it will be a far more logical time to spend money. I also agree with the post that states how many Leeds fans seem obsessed by recruiting former players. In my view, it rarely ever works out second time around. Becchio is a decent player but he is not a game-changer and he will struggle in the Premiership in a poor team with limited service. If he goes to a decent mid-table side then he may score goals. As for Leeds, we are desperate for some pace out wide and some guile in the centre of the park. The right players will be out there somewhere and it is about time that our scouting system matched our youth system…

  34. Jonathan Maclean

    The one thing that got me was on the club official statement, they said that LB is currently the highest earner on the books…

    Wasn’t that meant to be RossCo when he re-signed with us? (Or EHD, Can’t remember which)

  35. Scaifey4

    I think this is a good test to see what GFH are made of letting him go and using the money on good players will be a step in the right direction.

  36. Jcool

    I would be sorry to see Becchio go, but to be honest, why would he want to stay! How about Robbie Fowler, he did ok in 2002 and he has a couple of years in him het, he is training down the road in Sheffield. Go get him Warnock! For God’s sake do something!

  37. Pete Sasqwax

    Of course I don’t want to see Becchio leave, but, as it is now inevitable, all the best to him and let’s get it done as soon as possible.

    Reading between the lines of what is coming out of the club/GFHC and murmurs from Tate etc. it seems as though the decreasing attendance figures have brought about the emergence of sudden concerns for financial fair play. As has been repeatedly reinforced by studies of the accounts at ER, our outlay on playing staff is far lower (as a percentage of income) than expected for a club of our stature (or, indeed, for any professional football club competing at this level). As a result, FFP should not be an issue. So why is it? Because the fans are leaving in droves and, until the football returns to the floor instead of the heavens, they/we will continue to stay away. I believe (and historical evidence will bear this out) that, to use a fantastically clichéd film quote: “if you build it, they will come.”

    Does this mean huge investment in “marquee signings”? No, not remotely. As fans – not just of our great club, but of all clubs everywhere in the world – will point out, there are few things which bring more pride and enjoyment to a supporter than seeing a home-grown talent come through the ranks and thrive at the club. Focus on youth, hunger and talent, rather than overloading the side with “experienced pros” (the names do not need mentioning here but we all know to whom I’m referring) and get a brand of exciting attacking football back. This season is done – I can accept that and I’m sure most of us have felt that for a long time (save for a little pre-Christmas optimism, fueled by a run of a few back-to-back wins). With that in mind, let us look to the future and build on the positives.

    For what it’s worth, I think that there are a lot of positives at the moment. The back four – with White at LB, Byram at RB and Lees/Peltier at centre half – looks to be the best we have at the club. Let’s stick with those for a decent run of games and we should have a firm base to work on. I’d argue that those players pick themselves, with Austin operating in front of them to give a foil. Ross Mac and EHD are guaranteed starters up front, for me, which leaves us 3 berths to fill from the remaining options. Barkley will probably be first choice CAM whilst he’s at the club – no arguments with that from me – and I’ve always liked how Green and Byram link up down the right. Tonge will come in when Barkley goes back up to Merseyside, which just leaves a gaping whole on the left hand side. Clearly, Varney is no kind of answer there and I find it impossible to believe that we have no young left sided attackers to bring in there. For what it’s worth, I like Norris, although he’s down the pecking order behind Barkley and Tonge for that spot. Hall might come good, but he looks lacking in confidence and out of his depth right now. We have good options on the bench in Somma and (if he gets the chance) Poleon, Payne etc. There are lots of reasons to be cheerful at ER right now… potentially. Bring in a good LW, some cover at CF once Becchio goes and GET THE DAMN BALL ON THE FLOOR

    As for Adkins – if I were him I’d wait for the poisoned Villa chalice, which could get passed his way as early as next week if they lose this weekend. Lambert would be a great shout for Huddersfield, although they may have had their fill of attack minded managers who are inept at defensive organisation. For what it’s worth, the next man I’d like to see at ER is Mr Poyet, although I’m happy to wait until the summer for that.

    • Irving08

      Excellent post. I do not share your confidence in Austin, but I agree with the thrust of your thinking. (Don’t laugh, but Peltier could well be the defensive midfielder you are looking for and this would enable Pearce to return to central defence. Peltier has the pace to prevent any combination of our defenders to being exposed by hard running opposition central midfielders.) Depressing to hear Warnock again on White last week – ‘he did OK’ – particularly as he was named in the Championship’s team of the week.
      On potential managers, either Lambert or Poyet would make me happy: Ricky Gervais wouldn’t. But I expect and rather hope Villa stick with Lambert so of known quantities it has to be Poyet. (I don’t want to see Wigan demoted, or I might say Martinez.)

      • Pete Sasqwax

        I agree with you on Peltier. He was CDM at Liverpool as a youth and was also played there when loaned out the championship (Hull?). At the start of the season, Pearce & Lees looked decent together so I would have no issue with them as the pairing & Pelts in front of them. The biggest problem I have with us (long ball game, aside) is that we have as much width as a strand of cotton.

      • Pete Sasqwax

        the problem with Lambert is that his teams have always been defensively lacking, but have (up until now) been able to wear that as a result of their attacking prowess. I’m not saying he’s not good, but he’s of the Kevin Keegan “if they score 9, we’ll score 10″ school of thought, which is a dangerous game, over-reliant upon a wealth of striking talent. Poyet looks the real deal and, more importantly, we looked the real deal when he was coach at ER. We need to move to a more modern system, where the style of play is embedded in the culture of the club. such a system requires from-the-top-down reinforcement of a style of play which exists without dependency upon a single manager. to do this, we would need to replace Shaun Harvey with a true visionary who will instill a brand of attractive, passing football at the heart of the club, bringing in coaches (and players) who are committed to this approach. The time to do this is not January, I appreciate, but it must be done as soon as possible; once the season is done, things have to be ready immediately. The opportunity we have at the club is unprecedented for us – change must happen on and off the pitch if we are ever going to restore LUFC to the top of the Premiership, where we all feel we belong

      • Irving08

        We may have to go outside the UK – if we can’t get Poyet – for a Manager who understands the notion of a ‘club culture’. It is madness having a club’s playing style and staff determined by one man. But first – as DJE pointed out – we have to get the right CEO. Does GFHC have the ability, let alone the funds, though to seize an opportunity you rightly call ‘unprecedented’ ?

      • Pete Sasqwax

        That’s the massive question which, at this stage, remains impossible to answer. The ironic thing is: the money isn’t the most important thing. With the right CEO, revenue streams are there for the taking. Manage the club right (from an off-field perspective) and the fans will fill ER again, filling the coffers back up nicely, in spite of Bates’s efforts. I think the best bet for a first-team manager who understands the requirements for success in that role would be an overseas former international with experience of playing in England. That’s the (/my) ideal, but I’m not sure what options there are. Poyet would, as already mentioned, by no. 1 choice and there are few others in that category who spring to mind (Zola – no chance he’s going anywhere; RDM – no chance he’d come anywhere near ER & it’s possible to suggest that his formula for European success was the closest thing to Warnock-esque as I’ve ever seen from a non-Englishman!)

  38. mrbigwheels

    Thank you TSS for what I consider a truthful, balanced chronicle that if read carefully should offer an accurate base to which a sensible comment can be made. Becchio has certainly ‘spannered’ the already difficult relationship between ownership, management and support by his request. The article is welcome within the torrent of misguided but understandable comment on leeds blogs.
    A massive position for GHFC to be judged on within the normal TW expectancy anyway. One thing… Becchio hasn’t gone anywhere yet but it is sad that the doctrine of Bates regime automatically presses the mistrust and negativity buttons of so many.

    • henrymouni

      I don’t think that any bull from Bates and his cronies works anymore with us.
      We appreciate Luciano’s loyalty to Leeds, and wish him well, if he does go.
      Bates has really gone too far and can never command any respect from us.
      GHFC must speak out and let us know how they plan to proceed.
      Are they leaving everything to Bates (it seems so) until the end of the season?

      • mrbigwheels

        Your last line asks a very pertinent question Henri that I think is correct to ask within the context that Ken Bates is indeed… still our Chairman.
        A question that I have not seen anyone actually ask within the media… directly. Perhaps most are waiting out until the TW expires next week.
        Warnock today gave full emphasis to the actual length of the window, 31 days. Just 7 days to go until that expiry with very little activity on the part of Leeds. He’s certainly telling us he’s waiting for something to happen… just like us. So what is he waiting for…. the money being signed off or Becchio being sold are the only two options.
        Our expectancy would be of course GHFC just signing a few mill’ over and the 2-3 new boys , flying into the dressing room. That isn’t happening, obviously. The other option is waiting for the sale of Becchio with the money flooding in. Yes still 7 days for this to be achieved and I suppose it will. Which ever scenario, it suggests that the policy of sell to buy prevails or as many suggest….there is no positive budget/money to buy and enhance the squad. A lack of funds can only be because they are not being made available or there actually aren’t any available.
        Then there is the silence and only Warnock letting anything out of the bag, all well known traits of the previous ‘ownership’.
        To answer your question, I agree with your… in brackets… (it seems so)… when there is no particular reason for the Club, its Manager or its Supporters to be in this position.
        A week today will see a party or a riot, hope it is not the latter.

      • Irving08

        Meanwhile there has been a steady exodus over the past month, mostly by loan, of players out of the club – five by my count – which may be more than just husbanding of resources. (One of these, Charlie Taylor, seems a wasted talent and a victim of coaching malaise.).

      • Irving08

        Careless of me to impugn by implication all the coaches when the fault is Warnock’s. Taylor could have been ready by now to form a left -sided partnership with White…..

  39. Pete Sasqwax

    Am I alone in being deeply unhappy with Shaun Harvey’s continued presence at Elland Road? Surely he will be gone in the summer. I was wondering about his background and had to chuckle at what wikipedia has to say:

    “When Richmond became chairman of Bradford City, Harvey followed him where he eventually became Managing Director and steered the club into two administrations.”

    Add ours to those 2 and he’s got an impressive resumé – he has many administrations as Grayson has promotions…

    • henrymouni

      ‘Sockless’ Harvey and ‘what does he do all day’ Williams, are a waste of space and are drawing massive salaries for nowt!
      Sadly they are attached to Bates, like extra dicks!

  40. madmick

    this is lunacy whether he is coming to the end of his career or not 19 goals this season and one of the stand out players this season along with young sam we need to keep him and have funds for gradel not any other forwards would come to leeds with his goal ratio i go home and away when possible and barnsley said it all no heart apart from sam and becchio and were letting him go madness gfh prove your worth we could still make playoffs with some decent signings as we sang at barnsley were shit and were sick of it .

  41. henrymouni

    Luciano’s agent:-

    ” ‘Speaking to the Press Association Sport, Horacio Rossi said, ‘Luciano is on a spectacular run of form at the moment and for that reason Leeds came to us at the moment that Europa League clubs declared their interest in Luciano.
    ‘As the club had declared that they would not accept any offer in this transfer window, I proposed to them the idea of extending Luciano’s contract with Leeds until 2017 so that Luciano could end his career at the club.

    ‘But for a new contract, there has to be an improvement. The offer that they made to us was insufficient. We respect the club’s efforts, but it isn’t enough.

    ‘Leeds is like a home for Luciano. He feels respect and love for the club’s fans. He has the best intentions of staying. He was willing to give up a lot of money to stay at Leeds’. “


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