Neil Warnock’s comments following Leeds United’s FA Cup exit to Manchester City couldn’t fail to tug on the heartstrings of even the most angered Whites supporter as a dejected figure expressed his sadness at chants from the crowd.

The Leeds United manager said he felt the criticism was undeserved, pointing to the turbulent nature of his time in charge at Elland Road, a spell which has been largely overshadowed by the takeover of GFH Capital.

Neil WarnockI don’t deserve [the abuse] after the year I have had, but I am unlucky to have been at three clubs with three takeovers.

“I understand their feelings and the noise they make shows what sort of club it is.

“If we go up, the owners know I won’t be here and the further away we get (from promotion) the club will be looking to see what they’re going to do and, if I can, I will help them.

“I’m living away from home for one last year at promotion. I’m sure the club will be sensible and in a couple of years they will be back in the big time.

“It’s their prerogative (if they want to sack me), if they think it will help, I’m not against it. Whatever is best for Leeds United.

“But with what’s gone on over the last 12 months I think I deserve a medal.”

Whether Warnock could or should have done better is largely irrelevant now, the situation is what it is and there’s nothing we can do to change what’s already happened.

The problem with Warnock’s current situation is that if the season is beyond rescue (and it is), then there’s little point in him being here. Leeds United fans aren’t unrealistic, very few would fail to give credit to Warnock for the hurdles he’s had to overcome. Most of the frustration doesn’t stem from a disappointing season of transition, it’s knowing that Warnock is a temporary figure, the ultimate symbol of short-termism, a manager who – by his own admission – is unlikely to be here this time next season.

Respect and appreciation is due for the turbulence Neil Warnock has guided Leeds United through, but with the takeover now complete and our season effectively over, the only question mark currently hanging over Elland Road is Warnock himself. Once the ballast steadying Leeds United’s old and wavering ship, Warnock now represents one of the final remaining relics from that bygone era. Surplus to requirements on our recently arrived GFH vessel.

There’s no room for sentiment in football. While it may seem a little cut-throat to make Warnock walk the proverbial plank, it’s the only way Leeds United can start building towards our long-term future. The remainder of the 2012/13 season should be utilised as a final transitional period, a time to relieve the club of any remaining baggage from the Ken Bates era as we start building towards a bright and sustainable future.

Neil Warnock said he’ll do what’s best for Leeds United, and I genuinely believe he meant that. He recognises that his days are numbered and the club needs a plan which extends beyond the end of May. Whether he deserves a medal or not is something history can decide – managers are seldom appreciated until long after they depart – but the one thing Warnock does deserve is an opportunity for a dignified exit. A rarely seen and respectable changing of the guard, perhaps a final Elland Road game where he can pass the torch on to the next manager giving fans an opportunity to thank Warnock for the hard work he’s done.

40 Responses

  1. Lionel Jones

    Brought in with the promise of funds from Bates he was forced to scour the bottom of the barrel during the summer.
    He’s done a good job in steadying the ship but time to go. GFH should pay him off – Adkins in as bright you g replacement

    • Craig Sweaton

      We’ll be lucky to get a decent replacement with the way Warnock has been treated, financially speaking.
      I wish he’d have walked in the summer if only to have kept his reputation intact.
      Good luck Neil.

      • kev raunds

        Basically we are screwed,no decent manager will touch us,need funds and more openness from whoever is supposed to be in charge,any idea who that is???

  2. Ron

    This was Warnock’s way of saying GFH haven’t helped him. It is unfortunate for all involved that our supposed white knights are actually broke and now want to find new investors, prolonging the ordeal. GFH’s takeover is akin to an estate agent buying your house and then looking for a new buyer as they believe they bought it well. I’d love to see Pearson and wealthy Arab (for once) come in and wipe these lightweights away. Warnock is gone. Move on.

  3. Lufc1979ish

    I’m sure a lot of things have gone on behind the scenes that have made warnocks job very difficult at times, but you can’t excuse him for his tactics. I know we don’t have a great squad but its not one of the worst in the championship either, so there’s no need for the team to be playing the kind of Sunday league football we have been doing under warnock. I feel he’s hiding his shortcomings of the modern game behind the lack of investment rather than trying to get the maximum out of the players we have.

  4. les

    Why do people think Adkins would want to manage a team with no financial backing? NW only came in for the short-term, so the next manager will be saddled with his signings and no money to re-build. Its all very messy.

    • spellz

      +1 I agree, it certainly is not a situation anyone would want to walk in to, but if he is as strong as people are assuming, surely he would see this as a massive opportunity like anybody should that this has been a team of absolute doom for anyone who has been involved with us for the past 10 years and the first person that comes in here and at least makes the players play some quality football will get support from some of the best fans in England, and a couple of quality players added in the summer as gfh apparently promised with the right man and the fans on his side surely should see a promotion push, especially if Elland road becomes packed it will be a fortress in the championship.

      If I was a young manager I would relish this challenge even if I was not a supporter of the mighty whites, we belong in the top tier somebody, anybody bring us home.

  5. Ilkleywhite

    Feel a bit sorry for him in some respects, it must be difficult to work, if promises have been broken and your best talent sold from under your feet, (and not replaced), the proposed transfers in January never happened, because Leeds couldn’t meet the expectations of the players or the clubs they were buying from, terribly frustrating for him, he is probably thinking “I don’t need this” and will come in and resign, don’t hold your breath about getting Nigel Atkins either, he is not stupid, and will know the situation at Leeds, in the words of our glorious ex leader (but still chairman) he will want to see “Proof of funds” before he comes here, think Wednesday against Blackpool will be the turning point for NW, win loose or draw, I think time will be called.

  6. Mick

    Lets face it this hasn’t worked out too well, admittedly we would have been a different proposition had we kept Snoddgrass though as we all know we have to try and balance the books. Bates has left only to be replaced by GFH who seem to have equally short arms and long pockets. I think that a change now is the best way forward coz watching Leeds at the moment is like watching porn after you have shot your load! MOT.

    • PMH

      No one player would have made a difference. Snodgrass could not have earned Leeds promotion. And he would have been a very unhappy player. Top Championship players want to be in the Premiership – always.

  7. David Lockwood

    I still support NW to do a good job until the end of the season when he leaves. This is just the latest story in a long line of tragedies at Leeds. No manager would have stood a chance. His final year before he retires and he has had a poison chalice and been mistreated. The only saving grace is the Bates has now been shown to have failed and has been saved by GFH. See Patel’s comments in the Guardian about the money that we owe!!!

  8. Craig Sweaton

    I think he’s done a great job in appalling circumstances. If you turned up to dig a hole and were promised a jcb to do it with but, you arrive to find only a spade, you’d be pissed off. What if you then had the spade (snoddy & becchio) taken away so that all that was left is a spoon?
    Would you stay and try to finish the job?

  9. igiveup

    What I’d like to happen: Adam Pearson and his sidekicks get their wish and takeover, investing £20M into the squad. Adkins, Poyet or RDM take the reins. Lampard joins as player/coach therefore encouraging other decent players to come to Leeds. With reasonable ticket prices crowds slowly creep back up towards an average of 25-30’000, which see a much needed return of an ‘atmosphere’ to ER.

    What will probably happen: No investment, Bates still behind the scenes, a ‘bright, young manager’ from League 1 takes the reins and brings a few players in from his previous team to ‘enhance’ the squad and crowds dwindle to 15000.

  10. gibbo27

    From a business prospective, GFH can not affort to hang about – if they do the crowds will plummet even further; who’s going to turn to watch a team having a death rattle. NW needs to be gone by the end of the day, or more cash flow will be lost…

  11. henrymouni

    It is down to the players now!
    They have failed NW, as have GFH and ‘Millstone’ Bates.
    Other clubs will be making a push to get into the playoffs, so it does not look promising but – you never know.
    Letting Luciano go was our last chance thrown away perhaps?
    We never looked like scoring against City.

  12. Mark Roper

    For those who have been around as long as me, you will recall that some 23 years ago we were in a similar turmoil to this. Churning managers with alarming regularity, no strategic plan, lurching from one season to another.
    Enter Howard Wilkinson with a long term vision, and Gordan Strachan with five good years left in him.
    What we desperately need now is a similar vision, stability, and the nerve to start again with a clear objective, i.e Premier League in three seasons with a squad that can sustain it.

  13. Reiver

    I don’t doubt you’ve tried your best Neil but under the financial constraints, and all that has gone one at the club, it’s been an impossible task. Go now and be with your family, no-one can deny you your happiness. I pity the next manager who takes up the poisoned chalice. Our owners, and that man behind the scenes, expect success on a shoestring budget – it isn’t going to happen.

  14. mrbigwheels

    Olive branches. You’re offering one, a good overview TSS.
    Warnock is offering one. GFHC may well do.

    The fans?, well some of them can allow respect and appreciation into their thoughts but I seriously question after the past ten years of mismanagement, short term strategies honed into almost an art form and a customer abuse policy that has turned a significant mass into cynical battle hardened warriors, whether any incoming management or investing ownership can actually raise again that LUFC flag emblazoned with ‘marching on together’ for some considerable time.

    Warnock is perhaps just someone that was the right person to be here for reasons other than the football over the past twelve months, the third party, the go between, the mediator if you like. He actually did bring us together throughout all the questions, the ridiculous longevity, the heady expectations and fed us with snippets of what may be happening behind the scenes when ‘the board’ remained constantly silent and thew in some humour to match the emptiness of the reality we are all now well aware of.

    I’ll respect and appreciate him for those skills and feel sorry for him in the fact that initially and for many, many months of this season… he never stood a chance.

    He won’t retire… they never do. I wish him the best, be it nearer to his family and a place that he will be taking over… rather than a place that has taken over him.

    • Irving08

      In yesterdays post, I mused on the possibility of him and us mustering sufficient dignity to see out the season. Warnock’s post-match comments were redemptive in their quality. Can the support reciprocate ? Is there enough solidarity left to draw upon ?
      Reason counts for little in situations like this. Sentiment rules. We all need some wins to get through this. ‘Forever and ever…….’.

      Great post MBW.

  15. PMH

    What do Leeds need to succeed? They need 1. Lots more money. 2. A three year plan to hire half a dozen Premiership level players. 3. A strong manager and a commitment to stick by him through thick and thin. 4. A treatment program for all Leeds fans suffering from PTSD. There is no point in blaming Championship players for playing Championship level football.

  16. ian

    Whilst I don’t disagree that Warnock should be allowed to leave with dignity and that he has had some very difficult circumstances to deal with, he has largely been the architect of his own failure.

    Draconian tactics, players played out of position, alienating and selling players like Beccio and then complaining when we can’t score goals, buying players and not playing them (Tonge, who was ever present when on loan), moaning about refs etc. etc. I could go on.

    It is certainly time for him to go, but I cant see him walking unless he’s paid up, and will GFH pay up now when he goes for nothing in June!!

    All in all another wasted season, and seemingly no long term plan or strategy in place!!


  17. spellz

    Nice Article, the only thing I have to say though is our season is not over as we have been looking from outside the playoffs with a view of maybe we can, we still need to avoid dropping down a few points and being involved in a relegation scrap and the way we are playing right now and with becchio gone it is the bitter sweet reality that we will be involved in a scrap, so shall Warnock go now or with an incoming retirement should he focus on salvaging his reputation and our season by actually making our boys play football, which from the last time I heard they are all being paid to do.

    • Musicmystroplz

      All I can say spellz promotion 4 get it have u watched us this season ? And if by some miracle we did, as we sang on Sunday we’d get hammered every week,with Neil ” we should have had a penalty / free kick,different ball /referee,different studs,grass seeds Warnock .You get my drift NW likes to blame everyone but himself and his tactics some including myself might say wot tactics.

  18. sg90

    I’m more worried about relegation than promotion this season, especially if we start wobbling at home. If he’s stays next season, then I think we’ll definitely be in a scrap, reminds of the 06/07 season when we were full of mediocre hasbeens playing awful football, obviously Blackwell is splitting image of Warnock. I know we won’t sack him, but I don’t see the point of keeping him, we obviously have no chance of going up and that’s what he was brought to do and failed. It’s his own team and he’s spent more money than Grayson, so he has no excuse. I wish we’d give some of the youth team a run out for the next few games, but obviously Warnock has no interest in that, which saddens me. We’ve always been a club that is relied on youth.

  19. Johnie

    We’ve all had enough of this rubbish from Warnock. Just go and give us something to get excited about. The way it’s looking we aren’t going to win another game all season! I’m sick of it all. No one cares anymore in the club and we are just hasbeens!

  20. shauny b

    in was never warnocks biggest fan ,but sinse he took over at leeds ive slowley warmed to him,every 1 seems to think adkins could be the knight in shining armour we all want,but if like warnock you have no money to spend on players have you top 2 players sold no mater who you are the long and short of it is your fcuked,i have huge respect for neil not many would of done whats hes done put up with the crap he has and still treat the fans with respect,he comes out tells us how it is,no other manager sayes when hes pissed of,says when he has no cash,we owe him the least we can do is get behind him until the end of the season he at least deserves that

  21. Matthew

    Forget everything else for a moment, here’s one of many reasons which any fan who watches games can’t refute, if anything this is an absolute about the club, and the team and is the most simple of observations any fan can make. And this is why Warnock absolutely most go.

    When we’re shit in the first half, 9 times out of 10, we’re shit in the 2nd too. When Warnocks tactics get found out and countered with ease by the other team, we roll over and die. We no longer control games and mearly survive games we draw/win.

    Answers below.

    • Musicmystroplz

      And even when some managers can turn things around 2nd half with a sub by shaking things up, NW never did.He got in has been journeymen from Portsmouth and his old clubs, plus loan players just to make his tea and warm the bench.Credit to NW he had the best excuses and always blamed the ref lol.He must go now with dignity .See my previous posts

  22. Tom

    I do remember we started playing properly again when neil first came in. Southampton and west ham got proper games at ER. it just hasn’t worked since then. time for a complete change at lufc, give youth a chance like o’nearlys best days, before the questionable transfers funded by gambling the entire house on us becoming part of the football elite…

  23. Colin

    If Warnock thinks he deserves a medal for what’s gone on over the last 12 months, then we should get in touch with Simon Grayson, because we owe him a trophy


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