Saturday, August 11, 2007

We made it

We made it to the start of the season although at the time of writing we are currently 1-0 to Tranmere. It has been a horrendous summer culminating in the Football Leagues decision to dock us 15 points. That decision was appealed but the Football League stood by their original decision and seem determined to screw Leeds over good and proper.

I cannot for the life of me see what rule has been broken let alone what rule has been broken that would lead to us being docked 15 points having already been docked 10 points last season we appear to have incurred a 25 point penalty. And to think that West Ham did not even lose 1 point and are still in the Premiership.

If there was a problem in leaving administration other than through a CVA then the League rules should say that. But they don't they say "except in exceptional circumstances" Obviously there were exceptional circumstances in that the Administrators determined that a CVA was not the best route. We do not have any say in this as I understand it they are just administering the insolvency laws of this country so why have we been docked 15 points? Where in the rules does it say that we have committed an offence let alone that we should be docked 15 points for it? Frankly it stinks!

Before the 15 point deduction I thought we would probably have a long hard fight against relegation given our inability to sign new players, the loss of existing players and the lack of a proper pre season with a full squad. The deduction of 15 points merely confirms this and increases the likelihood that we will be relegated again.

Still at least we have at last been able to sign some players including a goalkeeper. Casper Ankergren, Leon Constantine, Curtis Weston, Matt Heath, David Prutton, Rui Marques, Alan Thompson, Torre Andre Flo and Andy Hughes have all signed or rejoined having been on loan last season.

Of course there is still the question of the court case being taken by Her Majesty's Revenues and Customs which is scheduled for 3rd September. Presumably this could see us back in administration again with a further 10 point deduction.

Perhaps the saddest summary of all that has gone on over the last five years was published in todays Guardian entitled "Fans fight against the dying of the light as Leeds face up to life at a new low". It was all summed up in the following short extract from that article.

Elland Road is empty but for a handful of fans at the ticket office. Tony Doran is Leeds from top to bottom - Bremner shirt, Leeds tattoo on arm and shoulder, Leeds wallet, Leeds glasses case, Leeds earring. He wants to know what's happening with his season ticket. "I paid by credit card and the card's not gone through yet." At the club pub, Billy's Bar, and the souvenir shop only cash is accepted. The credit card companies are refusing to accept credit from Leeds.

What's the feeling like in the city? "Not good," he says. "We've never
been this low before. We'll be lucky to get 15,000 next season."

Doran is with his niece. I ask her if she has noticed a change in him.
"Yeah. He's not had a smile on his face for a year."

As the photographer takes his picture, a security man emerges and asks
what we are doing here. I'm talking to fans, I say. He makes a call to the
press officer, and says I have to leave.

"Can I speak to the press officer?"

"No, he won't talk to you. You have to leave. This is private property."

I feel angry, as Doran does. He has spent tens of thousands of pounds on his club over the years, and he would like to have his photograph taken inside Elland Road, but the club won't allow it. "Disgusting. They treat us like scum," he says.

That is what we end up with at the end of all this. Fans who feel they have been treated with disdain by the club, the chairman, the Football League and the administrators. Gates that are falling as the club tries to charge Premiership prices for Championship relegation football. A club that cannot tell them what has happened to their season ticket money and whether or not they will have a ticket for games this season. A club shop that will not take credit cards because nobody wants to deal with them. A club where the Press Officer will not even talk to a journalist who actually wrote a very sympathetic article and a club where a life long fan was turned away from providing the photo for the self same article!

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