Leeds United: Wikis


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Leeds United
Full name Leeds United Association Football Club
Nickname(s) The Whites, United, The Peacocks
Founded 1919
Ground Elland Road
(Capacity: 39,460[1])
Chairman Ken Bates
Manager Simon Grayson
League League One
2008–09 League One, 4th (play-off semi-finalists)
Home colours
Away colours
Current season

Leeds United Association Football Club (pronounced /ˈliːdz jʊˈnaɪtɨd/), commonly referred to as Leeds or Leeds United, are an English professional association football club based in Leeds, West Yorkshire. They currently play in Football League One, the third tier of the English football league system. The club's home is the Elland Road stadium in Beeston, where they have played since their foundation in 1919.

The club's most common nicknames are "The Whites" and "The Peacocks". The latter stems from the former name of the Elland Road, The Old Peacock Ground, which was in turn named after The Old Peacock pub opposite Elland Road's South Stand.[2] Although the club name bears the "AFC" suffix,[3] the current badge displays "LUFC". However, previous badges have included the official suffix in its entirety.[4]

The club have competed at the top level of English football for the majority of their existence, following the disbanding of predecessor Leeds City. Under the management of Don Revie during the 1960s and 1970s, Leeds won two First Division titles, the FA Cup, the League Cup and the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup twice. After Revie's departure to manage the England team, Leeds were relegated to the Second Division in 1982, not returning to the top flight until 1990, when they were managed by Howard Wilkinson. Leeds were league champions two seasons later, in 1992. During the 1990s and early 2000s Leeds competed for places in Europe, reaching the semi-finals of the UEFA Cup and the UEFA Champions League in consecutive seasons. However, after severe financial difficulties and a mass sale of players, Leeds were relegated from the Premier League and subsequently from The Championship three years later.



Pre-Leeds United

Leeds United's predecessor team Leeds City FC was formed in 1904, but was forcibly disbanded by The Football League in 1919 in response to allegations of illegal payments to players during the First World War. A new club, Leeds United, was formed and the club received an invitation to enter the Midland League from the league secretary, Mr. J Nicholson. Leeds United were voted into the Midland League on 31 October 1919, taking the place vacated by Leeds City Reserves. Yorkshire Amateurs, who occupied Elland Road, offered to make way for the new team under the management of former player Dick Ray.

The chairman of Huddersfield Town, Mr. Hilton Crowther loaned Leeds United £35,000, to be repaid when Leeds United won promotion to Division One. He brought Barnsley's manager Arthur Fairclough to Leeds and on 26 February 1920, Dick Ray stepped down to become Fairclough's assistant.

1920–1960: Football League

On 31 May 1920, Leeds United were elected to the Football League.

Over the following few years, Leeds consolidated their position in the Second Division and in 1924 won the title and with it promotion to the First Division. However, they failed to establish themselves and were relegated in 1926–27. After being relegated Fairclough resigned which paved the way for Ray to return as manager. In the years up until the start of World War II Leeds were twice relegated, both times being instantly re-promoted the following season.

On 5 March 1935 Ray resigned and he was replaced by Billy Hampson, who remained in charge for 12 years. In the 1946–47 season after the war, Leeds were relegated again with the worst league record in their history. After this season, Hampson resigned (he stayed with Leeds as their chief scout albeit for only 8 months) and was replaced in April 1947 by Willis Edwards.

In 1948 Sam Bolton replaced Ernest Pullan as the chairman of Leeds United. Edwards was moved to assistant trainer in April 1948 after just one year as manager. He was replaced by Major Frank Buckley.

They remained in the Second Division until 1955–56, when Leeds once again won promotion to the First Division, inspired by Welsh legend John Charles. However, Charles was hungry for success at the highest level, and manager Raich Carter was unable to convince him that Leeds could satisfy his ambitions. Charles was sold to Juventus for a then world record of £65,000; the loss of such a key player led to Leeds' decline, and the team was relegated to the Second Division in 1959–60.

1961–1975: The glory years

In March 1961 the club appointed Don Revie as manager. His stewardship began in adverse circumstances; the club was in financial difficulty[5] and in 1961–62 only a win in the final game of the season saved the club from relegation to Division Three. Revie turned the team around, winning promotion to the First Division in 1963–64. Between 1965 and 1974, Revie's Leeds never finished outside of the top four, won two League Championships (1968–69 and 1973–74), the FA Cup (1972), the League Cup (1968) and two Inter-Cities Fairs Cups (1968 and 1971).

Set against the success was an unenvied record of second places; during the same period Leeds were runners up in the League five times, losing finalists in the FA Cup three times, runners up in the Fairs Cup once, and losing finalists in the European Cup Winners Cup. Leeds over this period were regarded as one of the finest teams in the world, and the Revie side is regarded to this day to have been one of the best sides to ever play football.

Revie's last season at Elland Road was in 1974, and he left Leeds to take up the role of managing the English national team. Brian Clough was appointed as Revie's successor. This was a surprise appointment, as Clough had been an outspoken critic of Revie and the team's tactics.[6] The team performed poorly under Clough, and after only 44 days[7] he was dismissed and replaced by former England captain Jimmy Armfield. Armfield took Revie's ageing team to the final of the 1974–75 European Cup, where they were defeated by Bayern Munich.[8]

1975–1988: Legends fail as managers

Assisted by coach Don Howe, Armfield rebuilt Revie's team, and though it no longer dominated English football, it remained in the top ten for subsequent seasons. However, the board was impatient for success and dismissed Armfield, replacing him with Jock Stein, who also lasted just 44 days before leaving to manage Scotland. The board turned to Jimmy Adamson but he was unable to stop the decline. In 1980 Adamson resigned and was replaced by former Leeds and England star Allan Clarke. Despite spending freely on players, he was unable to stem the tide and the club was relegated at the end of 1981–82. Clarke was replaced by former team-mate Eddie Gray.

With no money to spend on team building,[9] Gray concentrated on youth development, but was unable to guide them to promotion from the Second Division. The board again became impatient and sacked him in 1985, replacing him with another former Revie star, Billy Bremner.

Bremner carried on where Gray had left off, but found it just as difficult to achieve promotion, though he did bring the club close; Leeds got to the 1987 play-off final but were defeated by Charlton Athletic after extra time, a result which prevented Leeds from winning promotion and ensured that Charlton avoided relegation. Leeds also endured a near miss in the FA Cup, losing to Coventry City[10] in the semi-finals.

1988–1995: The second golden era

In October 1988, with the team 21st in the Second Division, Bremner was fired to make way for Howard Wilkinson, who oversaw promotion back to the First Division in 1989–90. Under Wilkinson the club finished 4th in 1990–91 and then won the title in 1991–92. However, the 1992–93 season was a poor one, with Leeds exiting the Champions League in the early stages, and eventually finishing 17th in the League, narrowly avoiding relegation. Wilkinson's Leeds were unable to provide any consistent challenge for honours, and his position was not helped by a poor display in the 1996 League Cup final which Leeds lost to Aston Villa. Leeds could only finish 13th in 1995–96, and after a 4–0 home defeat to Manchester United early in 1996–97, Wilkinson had his contract terminated.

One of the legacy's of Wilkinson and youth coach Paul Hart was that they helped develop Leeds United's youth academy, and as a result, the academy has produced waves of talented footballers for Leeds over the years.

1996–2001: Living the dream

Leeds appointed George Graham as Wilkinson's replacement. The appointment was controversial[11] as Graham had previously received a one year ban from The Football Association for receiving illegal payments from a Football Agent. Graham made some astute purchases such as Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and Michael Bridges and also helped blood in some youngsters from Leeds' successful youth cup winning side, and by the end of the season Leeds had qualified for the following season's UEFA Cup.

In October 1998 Graham moved on to become manager of Tottenham Hotspur, and Leeds opted to replace him with assistant manager David O'Leary. Star striker Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink left Leeds for Atletico Madrid after a new contract couldn't be agreed with chairman Peter Ridsdale. O'Leary introduced promising youngsters, and signed Mark Viduka as Hasselbaink's replacement and also french midfielder Olivier Dacourt who broke Leeds' transfer record at the time.

O'Leary was assisted by Leeds legend Eddie Gray and Leeds secured 3rd place in the league, sending the club into the UEFA Champions League. Leeds' image was tarnished when players Jonathan Woodgate and Lee Bowyer were involved in an incident which left an Asian student in hospital with severe injuries. The resulting court case took nearly two years to resolve; Bowyer was cleared, and Woodgate convicted of affray and sentenced to community service.

In the UEFA Cup during that season, Leeds reached their first European semi-final in 25 years and were paired against Turkish champions Galatasaray in Istanbul. Leeds lost the game, but the result was overshadowed by the death of two Leeds fans, Christopher Loftus and Kevin Speight, who were stabbed to death before the game.[12][13] Leeds were only able to draw the return leg at Elland Road, thus going out of the competition. A minute's silence[14] is held every year at the match closest to the anniversary of the incident to remember Christopher Loftus and Kevin Speight.

The following season, Leeds broke their transfer record by signing West Ham and England International defender Rio Ferdinand for £18 million. Ferdinand was then named Leeds captain, replacing Lucas Radebe. Leeds reached the semi-final of the Champions League, eliminated by Valencia. Leeds were regarded as one of the best teams in Europe.

2001–2004: Financial implosion

O'Leary's Leeds never finished outside of the top five, but following their defeat in the UEFA Champions League 2001 semi-final against Valencia their fortunes began to change. Under chairman Peter Ridsdale, Leeds had taken out large loans against the prospect of the share of the TV rights and sponsorship revenues that come with UEFA Champions League qualification and any subsequent progress in the competition. Leeds signed Robbie Fowler and Seth Johnson for large fees and big wages.[citation needed] However, Leeds narrowly failed to qualify for the Champions League losing out to 4th place to Newcastle United, and as a consequence did not receive enough income to repay the loans. The first indication that the club was in financial trouble was the sale of Rio Ferdinand to Manchester United for approximately £30 million. Ridsdale and O'Leary publicly fell out over the sale, and O'Leary was sacked and replaced by former England manager Terry Venables.

Leeds performed badly under Venables, and other players were sold to repay the loans, including Jonathan Woodgate, who Ridsdale had promised Venables would not be sold. Other star players such as Lee Bowyer, Nigel Martyn, Robbie Fowler, Robbie Keane and Harry Kewell were also sold over time, with Kewell's departure under rather acrimonious circumstances.

Tensions mounted between Ridsdale and Venables. Although some players had left, the team was still underachieving given the quality of players remaining. Venables chose to leave out the likes of Olivier Dacourt and David Batty, who had been two of Leeds' star players in the years prior. After a string of poor results and Leeds in the bottom half of the table, and with relations between chairman and manager still strained, Venables was eventually sacked and replaced by Peter Reid. During this time Ridsdale had resigned from the Leeds board, and was replaced by existing non-executive director Professor John McKenzie. By this time Leeds were in danger of relegation, but Reid saved Leeds from the drop in the penultimate game of the season.

Reid was given a permanent contract at Leeds the following summer. Due to player sales, lack of funds, and the failure to land targets Paulo Di Canio, Patrick Berger and Kleberson, he brought in 8 players on loan. This policy was not a success, with players such as Roque Junior failing to live up to their reputations. An unsuccessful start to the 2003–04 season saw Peter Reid dismissed. Leeds were in turmoil with talk of dressing room unrest and poor performances on the pitch. Head coach Eddie Gray took over as caretaker manager until the end of the season.

Gerald Krasner, an insolvency specialist, led a consortium of local businessmen which took over Leeds and under his chairmanship oversaw the sale of the clubs' assets, including senior and emerging youth players of any value. Gray was largely blameless for the performance of the team during the 2003–04 season as the majority of the squad was sold out from underneath him and despite his best efforts, Leeds were relegated after 14 years in the top flight.

Following relegation, Gray's reign as caretaker manager was ended, and the then assistant manager Kevin Blackwell was appointed manager, his first managerial job in football. A mass exodus ensued as most of the remaining players were sold or released on free transfers to further reduce the high wage bill. Star players such as Mark Viduka, Dominic Matteo, Paul Robinson, Alan Smith and James Milner were all sold for relatively reduced fees. Blackwell was forced to rebuild almost the entire squad through free transfers. Leeds were eventually forced to sell both their training ground, for £4.2 million,[15] and their stadium[16] in the autumn of 2004.

2004–2007: Play-off misery and relegation

The board finally sold the club to Ken Bates for £10 million.[17] Blackwell stabilized the team by signing players on free transfers and low wages and Leeds finished the 2004–05 season mid-table in the Championship. At the end of that season Leeds legend Lucas Radebe retired after a series of injuries and promising young player Aaron Lennon joined Tottenham Hotspur.

In the 2005–06 season Leeds finished in the top 6 and made the play-off final. Leeds were massive favourites for the game, but after being in the top 3 for most of the season and pushing Sheffield United for second place, Leeds' form drastically dipped in the last quarter of the season. Following an impressive performance away to Preston in the playoff semi final, many believed Leeds were back in form, but they lost 3–0 to Watford in the final. Striker Rob Hulse was sold in the pre season to Sheffield United and was replaced by loan striker Geoff Horsfield.

The 2006–07 season started badly with Leeds conceding many late goals in matches, and in September 2006 Blackwell's contract as manager of Leeds United was terminated. Leeds hired John Carver as caretaker manager but his spell was a disaster with Leeds on the receiving end of some drubbings. Carver was relieved of his duties and Dennis Wise was eventually installed as his replacement after a month without a permanent manager. Matt Kilgallon, one of Leeds' star players, left in January to join Sheffield United. Wise was unable to lift the team out of the relegation zone for much of the season, despite bringing a number of experienced loan players and free transfers on short term deals into the squad. With relegation virtually assured, Leeds entered a Company Voluntary Arrangement (administration) on 4 May 2007, thus incurring a league imposed 10 point deduction which officially relegated the club to the third tier of English football.[18][19]

The relegation was the lowest point in Leeds' history as Leeds United had never played any lower than the second tier of English football, the summer saw a large amount of players leave such as David Healy and Robbie Blake, long serving Leeds player Gary Kelly retired after the relegation. Kelly had been at the club since the days of Howard Wilkinson, and was always a reminder of past glories. Leeds, like they had after Premiership relegation three years previously, were forced to build a squad almost totally from scratch; with the future of the club uncertain Leeds could not sign any players until a few days before the opening game of the season against Tranmere Rovers.

2007–present: Third tier for the first time

The CVA was due to end on 3 July 2007, which would have allowed Bates to regain full control of the club. However HM Revenue & Customs challenged the CVA, a decision which could ultimately have resulted in the liquidation of the club.[20] Under league rules, if the club were still in administration at the start of the next season, Leeds would have been prevented from starting their campaign by the Football League.[21][22] Following the challenge by HMRC, the club was put up for sale by KPMG,[23] and once again Ken Bates' bid was accepted.[24] The league eventually sanctioned this under the "exceptional circumstances rule" but imposed a 15 point deduction due to the club not following football league rules on clubs entering administration.[25] On 31 August 2007 HMRC decided not to pursue their legal challenge any further.[26] Wise and his assistant Gus Poyet guided Leeds to a play-off place at the start of 2008, despite the 15-point deduction, which seemed to galvanise the Leeds players and fans and helped Leeds maintain an unbeaten start in the first quarter of the season. Assistant Manager Gus Poyet left to join Tottenham, and he was replaced by Dave Bassett. Wise controversially quit as manager on 28 January to take up a position in Kevin Keegan's new set-up at Newcastle United.[27]

The following day former club captain Gary McAllister was appointed as manager of the club with Steve Staunton brought in as his assistant.[28] In spite of this mid-season managerial change and a spell of poor form before Wise departed, plus the well-publicised 15-point deduction, Leeds went on to secure a play-off place with one game to spare. McAllister's loan signing Dougie Freedman had been instrumental in helping Leeds into the playoffs. They were however beaten 1–0 in the final by Doncaster Rovers in their first appearance at the new Wembley Stadium. This was regarded as a disaster as Leeds were favourites for the match but vastly underperformed, with many of the star players failing to play to their usual standards.

McAllister made a few changes to the Leeds side and signed Andy Robinson, Luciano Becchio and Robert Snodgrass during the summer period. Leeds started the next season in fine form, playing attractive passing football and the emergence of Fabian Delph, Leeds however started to become fragile in defence, and leaked several late goals and the form drastically dropped. On 21 December 2008, McAllister was sacked after losing 3–1 to MK Dons and a run of poor results (5 defeats in a row), including the club's first defeat to non-league opponents, Histon, in the 2nd round of the F.A. Cup. Histon's goalscorer was working as a postman by day at the time.

McAllister was replaced by Simon Grayson, who resigned from his post as manager of Blackpool FC to take the position, two days later.[29] Leeds' form improved under Grayson, who made a few loan signings to help strengthen the defence such as Richard Naylor and Sam Sodje, and they made the play-offs once again, also improving on the previous season's place by finishing 4th. However, this time they did not make the play-off final, after being beaten over the two legs of the semi-finals 2–1 on aggregate by Millwall. That summer Leeds lost one of their star players in Fabian Delph who joined Premier League side Aston Villa in a multi million pound move. Over the summer Grayson decided to strengthen the team by signing Patrick Kisnorbo, Shane Higgs, Jason Crowe, Michael Doyle and Leigh Bromby. Richard Naylor was signed on a permanent deal and was made Leeds United captain on a full time basis after having the armband whilst on loan previously.

The club opened the 2009–10 season with eight consecutive victories, thus recording the best start ever to a season by a Leeds side. Leeds lost 1–0 to Premier League team Liverpool in the League Cup. In the league, Leeds were top at the halfway point in the season with 56 points. On 26 December 2009, manager Simon Grayson celebrated a year in charge of Leeds. In his 46 league games in charge of Leeds, Leeds had accummulated 102 points, and scored 99 goals under his management. In the second round of the FA Cup, Leeds drew with Kettering Town before winning the replay 5–1. Leeds reached the Johnstone's Paint Trophy Northern Final, and face a two legged tie against Carlisle United in the hope of getting to the Final and having the chance to play at Wembley against either MK Dons or Southampton. In the third round of the FA Cup, Leeds then created an upset against old rivals Manchester United at Old Trafford on 3 January 2010, beating them 0–1. It was the first time Leeds had triumphed at the ground since 1981 and was also Alex Ferguson's first defeat in the FA Cup third round as Manchester United manager and the first time ever his side had fallen to a lower division side in the competition.[30]

Leeds were then to face Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane in the 4th round of the FA Cup. Leeds earned a 2–2 draw against Spurs with goalkeeper Casper Ankergren saving a penalty from Jermain Defoe, and Jermaine Beckford scoring twice meaning the tie would go to a replay at Elland Road on the 3 February. After the impressive run in the FA Cup, Leeds' league form suffered with the Whites going down at Exeter and Swindon surrendering a 9-point lead at the top of League One to Norwich City. Tottenham finally got the better of Leeds in the FA Cup fourth round replay with a 3–1 victory despite a spirited performance from the home side and equaliser from Luciano Becchio just before half time. This brought a memorable cup run to an end which saw Leeds ignite aspirations of a return to the Premier League after defeating and holding two top-six sides away from home. Leeds ended the blip in league form on the 30 January 2010 with a 2–0 home win over Colchester.

On 9 February, Leeds were knocked out of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy on penalties after drawing 4–4 on aggregate over two legs with Carlisle United in the Northern Area final. The defeat however leaves Leeds only to concentrate on the league and promotion from League One. The Whites league form has taken a turn for the worse since the famous cup win over Manchester United, taking just 7 points from a possible 24 in the following 8 games severely slowing Leeds' promotion push. The poor run of form included a 2–1 home defeat to Walsall on 16 February, the match was the first home league game Leeds' had lost for 26 games, which stretched over a year. This is in huge contrast to the first half of the season where the club had the best defensive record in the Football League. Despite this Leeds still occupied 2nd place and the automatic promotion spot in League One although the gap to third placed Colchester had fallen to only one point.

On 23 February, Leeds put their promotion bid back on course with a 2–0 victory over Oldham Athletic extending the margin to third place to four points in the process, and were only three points from top side Norwich having played a game less than the Canaries. However, Leeds' could only draw the following two league fixtures and had only one league win from the last five games after their 1–1 home draw with Brentford on 6 March. Thus leaving the Whites in the midst of a promotion battle in 2nd place with a two point gap to Charlton in third, while first placed Norwich took advantage of the inconsistent league form to extend their lead from Leeds to seven points. On 9 March, Leeds won their first away league match of 2010 with a convincing 4-1 victory over Tranmere Rovers giving them breathing space of five points from third place with 11 games remaining.

Colours and badge

Leeds' first home colours
Leeds' home kit before changing to all white. 1934–1950

In Leeds' first fifteen years the club kit was modelled on Huddersfield Town's blue and white striped shirts, white shorts and dark blue socks with blue and white rings on the turnovers,[31][32] because Huddersfield's chairman Hilton Crowther was attempting to merge the two clubs.[32] He eventually left Huddersfield to take over at Leeds.

In 1934 Leeds switched to blue and yellow halved shirts incorporating the city crest badge, white shorts and blue socks with yellow tops.[32] The kit was worn for the first time on 22 September 1934.[32] The club also adopted their first badge in 1934, using the city crest as Leeds City had. In 1950 Leeds switched to yellow shirts with blue sleeves and collars, white shorts and black, blue and gold hooped socks. In 1955 Leeds changed again to royal blue shirts with gold collars, white shorts, and blue and yellow hooped socks, thus echoing the original Leeds City strip.[32]

Leeds City Council coat of arms
Leeds' badge 1984–1998

In 1961 Don Revie introduced a plain white strip throughout, in the hope of emulating Spanish side Real Madrid. A perching owl was added the strip in 1964 as the clubs emblem. The design was a surprise, given Revie's superstition about the symbolism of birds. The owl came from the city crest, which itself was based on the crest of Sir John Saville, the first alderman of Leeds. In the late 1960s and early 1970s Leeds used the LUFC script found running down the centre of the current badge, however this was presented in a diagonal fashion rather than the current vertical. In 1973 came the embodiment of seventies imagery with the iconic LU smiley badge. Revie's predilection for gimmicks was years ahead of its time, and done with the explicit intention of gaining acceptance from a public outside West Yorkshire.[32]

In 1977 the smiley badge was reversed from yellow with blue smiley to blue with yellow smiley and the following year it was back to yellow but enclosed in a circle with the words Leeds United Afc surrounding it.

In 1978–79 a new badge was adorned which was similar to the previous season's smiley but had the design of a peacock.

In 1984 a new club badge was introduced, lasting until 1998, making it the longest lived of the modern era. The rose and ball badge was distinctive, in the traditional blue, gold and white, incorporating the White Rose of York, together with the club's name.

Stadium and supporters

Leeds United's home ground, Elland Road

Elland Road was sold by the club in October 2004 with a 25-year sale-leaseback deal being agreed. A commercial buy-back clause was also included for when the club’s finances improve. According to a recent Board of Directors statement, Leeds United should have become debt free in the 2006–07 season. However, the club went into administration at the end of the 2006–07 season.

Initially the ground was the home of the Holbeck Rugby Club who played in the northern rugby union, the forerunner of the rugby football league.[33] One of Leeds' first nicknames, 'The Peacocks', comes from the original name of Elland Road — 'The Old Peacock ground'. It was named by the original owners of the ground, Bentley's Brewery, after their pub 'The Old Peacock' which still faces the site.[2]

When Leeds United were formed, the council allowed the new club to rent the stadium until they could afford to buy it themselves. With the exception of periods from the 1960s until 1983, and from 1997 to 2004, the council has owned the stadium.[34] It is however owned by a leasing company at present. The stadium is currently the 10th largest football stadium in England.

The most recent stand at Elland Road is the East or Family Stand, a cantilever structure completed during the 1992–93 season, and which can hold 17,000 seated spectators. It is a two tiered stand which continues around the corners, and is the largest part of the stadium. The Don Revie Stand was opened at the start of the 1994–95 season, and can hold just under 7,000 seated spectators. The roof of the West Stand holds a television commentary gantry and walkway for TV personnel. Elland Road was named in December 2009 as one of the contenders for the England 2018 World Cup bid, as a result of the bid Leeds have drawn up plans to re-develop parts of Elland Road and increase the capacity of the stadium. Ken Bates also revealed plans to take out the exectutive boxes out of the South Stand to increase the starting capacity by a further 2–3 thousand. More exectutive boxes would be built in the east stand.

Leeds' stadium Elland Road is an all-seater football stadium situated in the Beeston area of the city of Leeds, West Yorkshire, England. Elland Road has been the permanent residence of Leeds since the club's foundation in 1919 and it was previously occupied by their predecessors, Leeds City.[35] The stadium is the 12th largest football stadium in England, and the third largest ground outside the Premier League.

The supporters are renowned for singing signature song 'Marching On Together' during matches, other notable songs Leeds fans sing during games are 'We Are The Champions, Champions Of Europe' (more commonly known as WACCOE) in reference to the 1975 European Cup final when dubious refereeing decisions cost Leeds the title, and also the chance to defend the title, meaning Leeds would technically still be "Champions of Europe". Other popular chants commonly used by Leeds fans are 'Leeds, Leeds, Leeds' and 'Glory, Glory, Leeds United'.

Elland Road from the East

Alex Ferguson has said that Elland Road has one of the most intimidating atmospheres in European Football.[36] Leeds are 10th in the all time average attendance figures for the Football League and Premier League.[37] They have the third most rivalries in the English League[38] but however are the most hated club in English football as of the start of the 2008–09 season.[39]

Peter Reid commented after being relieved of his managerial duties at Elland Road that "In 30 years I've never seen support like I did at the Arsenal game [at Elland Road] a couple of weeks ago. The fans at Leeds are fantastic."[40] Reid was also joined by two other previous managers on the eve of Leeds' first appearance in the third tier. Reid said that "the support is fantastic" and "incredible", Blackwell said "fans will follow them everywhere" and O'Leary commented "There is an immense fan base and they are still with the club".[41]

Leeds United fans also have a salute which is known as the 'Leeds Salute' [42]

Yorkshire Radio, LUTV and Leeds, Leeds, Leeds

Leeds United own their own radio station Yorkshire Radio which broadcasts on DAB Digital Radio and LUTV. Leeds also own their own internet television channel called LUTV, which is available through subscription to watch online. LUTV features a daily news programme, player and staff interviews, match highlights (both first team and reserve) and exclusive commentary of all Leeds matches which can otherwise only be obtained on Minster FM and Yorkshire Radio after BBC Radio Leeds failed to negotiate a package to continue broadcasting commentary of the club's matches.

The club also publish their own magazine 'Leeds, Leeds, Leeds' which was first published in 1998. In recent years, the magazine was taken out of circulation in newsagents, supermarkets etc so was only available to official club members by mail or by purchase in the official club shop.


Leeds' biggest rivalry has been with Manchester United, due to the traditional rivalry between the counties of Lancashire and Yorkshire (often described as a "War of the Roses", though the historical Wars of the roses had little to do with geographical counties).

Other rivalries exist with local clubs such as Bradford City, Huddersfield Town, Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday, as well as a rivalry with London clubs Millwall and Chelsea. The latter starting with the fierce on-pitch battles in the 1970s.


In April 1972 the Leeds squad released a single, "Leeds United" with the b-side being "Leeds! Leeds! Leeds!" (commonly known as "Marching On Together"). It was issued to coincide with the team reaching the 1972 FA Cup Final; the vocals on the original recording were by the Leeds team. The record reached number 10 in the UK singles chart.[43] Whilst it is not officially the club anthem, "Marching On Together" is played before every home game. Unlike many football songs that are just new words set to existing music, "Leeds Leeds Leeds" is an original composition by Les Reed and Barry Mason, purposely written for Leeds United.

For many years, Strings for Yasmin by Tin Tin Out was played before kick off at Elland Road, however it was replaced in the 2008–09 season with Eye of the Tiger by Survivor and in the 2009–10 season with, Dance of the Knights, composed by Sergei Prokofiev. Nightmare by Brainbug is currently played before the start of the second half.


Current squad

As of 25 January 2010.[44]

Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 Denmark GK Casper Ankergren
2 England DF Jason Crowe
3 Australia DF Patrick Kisnorbo
4 Republic of Ireland MF Michael Doyle (on loan from Coventry City)
5 Angola DF Rui Marques
6 England DF Richard Naylor (Captain)
7 Scotland FW Paul Dickov
8 Australia MF Neil Kilkenny
9 England FW Jermaine Beckford
10 Argentina FW Luciano Becchio
12 England GK Shane Higgs
13 United States FW Mike Grella
14 England MF Jonny Howson (Vice-Captain)
15 England FW Gary McSheffrey (on loan from Birmingham City)
No. Position Player
16 England MF Bradley Johnson
17 Slovakia DF Ľubomír Michalík
18 England MF Andy Robinson
19 England DF Ben Parker
20 Democratic Republic of the Congo FW Trésor Kandol
22 England MF Andy Hughes
23 Scotland MF Robert Snodgrass
25 Scotland GK Alan Martin
26 England DF Leigh Bromby
28 Côte d'Ivoire MF Max Gradel
30 England MF Will Hatfield
32 England DF Aidan White
34 England GK Ryan Jones

Out on loan

Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
11 Republic of Ireland DF Alan Sheehan (on loan at Swindon Town)
27 South Africa FW Davide Somma (on loan at Lincoln City)
No. Position Player
29 England FW Tom Elliott (on loan at Bury)
England DF Tom Lees (on loan at Accrington Stanley)
Scotland DF Andrew Milne (on loan at Darlington)

Reserve and youth team

Notable players

Backroom staff

Club officials

President The Right Honourable Earl of Harewood KBE LLD
Chairman Ken Bates
Directors Ken Bates,
Shaun Harvey,
Mark Taylor
Chief Executive Officer Shaun Harvey
Catering Director Norbert Pinchler
Head of Commercial Steve Lewis
Marketing Manager Hayley Kelly
Head of Advertising Sales Ian Smith
Ticket Services Manager Katie Holmes Lewis
Access Systems Mark Broadley
Membership/Customer Services Lorna Tinkler
Retail Manager Daniel Jeffery
Head of Media Paul Dews

Last updated: 8 Sep 2008
Source: Leeds United: The Next Chapter – Official Handbook 2008/09

Coaching and medical staff

First team

Position Staff
Manager England Simon Grayson
First Team Coaches Scotland Ian Miller
England Glynn Snodin
Goalkeeping Coach England Andrew Beasley
Head Physio England Harvey Sharman
Fitness Coach England Matt Pears
Assistant Physio England Paul Perkins
Performance Analyst England Darren Mowbray
Match Assessor England Mick Walker

Last updated: 1 Oct 2009
Source: Leeds United A.F.C. 2009/10 Season Official Handbook


Position Staff
Academy Manager,
Reserve Team Coach
England Neil Thompson
Assistant Academy Manager Wales Daral Pugh
Under 18s Coach England Neil Redfearn
Under 16s Coach England Phil Wilson
Under 14s Coach England Dennis Oates
Under 12s Coach England Chris Coates
Under 9s Coach England Alan Parkes
Under 8s Coach Scotland Arthur Graham
Goalkeeping Coach England Ian Wilcox
Assistant Goalkeeping Coach England Rudi Coleano
Head Physio England Alan Sutton
Assistant Physio England David Schrivener
Head Physio's Assistant England Alan Scorfield
Academy Scout England Terry Potter

Last updated: 27 Oct 2009
Source: Leeds United A.F.C. 2009/10 Season Official Handbook, Leeds United Academy Outfield & Goalkeeping Belfast Open Trial

Other staff

Position Staff
Head of Football Administration England Alison Royston
Technical Director Wales Gwyn Williams
Kit Man England Chris Beasley
Head of Recruitment and Development England Steve Holmes
Development and Recruitment Officer England Terry Potter
Education and Welfare Officer England Lucy Ward
Head Groundsman England Norman Southernwood

Last updated: 1 Oct 2009
Source: Leeds United A.F.C. 2009/10 Season Official Handbook

League history

Leeds United's Historical League Position

Club honours

Domestic competition

League titles

European competition

Inter-Cities Fairs Cup/UEFA Cup

Personnel honours

English Football Hall of Fame

The following have either played for or managed Leeds and have been inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame :



Scottish Football Hall of Fame

The following have either played for or managed Leeds and have been inducted into the Scottish Football Hall of Fame :



Welsh Sports Hall of Fame

The following have played for Leeds and have been inducted into the Welsh Sports Hall of Fame :


European Hall of Fame

The following have played for Leeds and have been inducted into the European Hall of Fame :



Football League 100 Legends

The following have played for Leeds and were included in the Football League 100 Legends :

FWA Player of the Year

The following have won the Football Writers' Association Footballer of the Year award whilst playing for Leeds :

PFA Players' Player of the Year

The following have won the PFA Players' Player of the Year award whilst playing for Leeds :

PFA Young Player of the Year

The following have won the PFA Young Player of the Year award whilst playing for Leeds :

PFA Team of the Year

The following have been included in the PFA Team of the Year whilst playing for Leeds :

Football League Awards

The following have won the Football League's Player of the Year whilst playing for Leeds :

The following have won the Football League's Young Player of the Year whilst playing for Leeds :

Goal of the Season

The following have won the Goal of the Season award whilst playing for Leeds :

Shirt sponsors and manufacturers

Year Kit Manufacturer Main Shirt Sponsor Secondary Sponsor
1972–73 Umbro none  
1973–81 Admiral
1981–83 Umbro RFW
1983–84 Systime
1984–85 WKG
1985–86 Lion Cabinets
1986–89 Burton
1989–91 Top Man
1991–92 Evening Post
1992–93 Admiral Admiral
1993–96 Asics Thistle Hotels
1996–00 Puma Packard Bell
2000–03 Nike Strongbow
2003–04 Whyte & MacKay
2004–05 Diadora Rhodar
2005–06 Admiral
2006–07 Bet 24 Empire Direct
2007–08 Red Kite OHS
2008–10 Macron NetFlights.com

In popular culture

  • The Damned Utd – A fictional bestselling novel by David Peace based on Brian Clough's tenure as manager of Leeds United.
  • The Damned United – A 2009 film based on the above novel.
  • The Penalty King – A 2006 film about a Leeds United fan whom goes blind after an accident and uses the Legend of Billy Bremner as inspiration to take up Football again.
  • Leeds United – A Song by Amanda Palmer.
  • Paint It White: Following Leeds Everywhere and Leeds United: The Second Coat – Bestselling books by Gary Edwards, a man who has missed only one game, including friendlies, since he started watching Leeds United in 1968.
  • English: Own Goal – A BBC Schools Drama set in and around Elland Road based around a group of children who tackle criminals forging fake shirts and tickets. [1]
  • Since the club's dramatic demise in the 2000s, the phrase "doing a Leeds" has entered English football terminology to refer to the potential pitfalls faced by any club due to over-spending or failing to qualify for the UEFA Champion's league.[46][47][48][49]

See also


  1. ^ "Club Records". www.leedsunited.com. 21 May 2007. http://www.leedsunited.com/page/Records/0,,10273,00.html. Retrieved 8 March 2009. 
  2. ^ a b "WAFLL – Elland Road History". WAFLL. http://www.wafll.com/elland-road/elland-road-history.html. Retrieved 8 May 2007. 
  3. ^ "History of the Club – the birth of Leeds United". mightyleeds.co.uk. Retrieved 26 December 2006. 
  4. ^ "Leeds United Fan Club – Club Badges". Leeds United Fan Club. LeedsUnitedFanClub.com. 2000. http://silverfox.infopop.cc/badges.htm. Retrieved 11 September 2006. 
  5. ^ "1961–62". Tony Hill. ozwhitelufc.net.au. http://www.ozwhitelufc.net.au/1957-1963.php. Retrieved 26 November 2006. 
  6. ^ "The manager with the Midas touch". Tom Lappin. scotsman.com. 21 September 2004. http://sport.scotsman.com/brianclough/The-manager-with-the-Midas.2565879.jp. Retrieved 10 October 2008. 
  7. ^ "When should you sack the manager? (Page 17)" (PDF). Chris Hope. www.jbs.cam.ac.uk. April 2002. http://www.jbs.cam.ac.uk/research/faculty/pdfs/hope_when_sack_manager.pdf. Retrieved 10 October 2008. 
  8. ^ "Welcome To Elland Road", Les Rowley & James Brown (1999), IFG Publishing, ISBN 0953633802
  9. ^ "1983–84". Tony Hill. ozwhitelufc.net.au. http://www.ozwhitelufc.net.au/1982-1988.php. Retrieved 26 November 2006. 
  10. ^ "The Big Match: FA Cup Semi-Final – Coventry V Leeds (1987)". BFI. http://ftvdb.bfi.org.uk/sift/title/626551. Retrieved 11 October 2008. 
  11. ^ "1996–97". Tony Hill. ozwhitelufc.net.au. http://www.ozwhitelufc.net.au/1996-2006.php. Retrieved 26 November 2006. 
  12. ^ "Fans killed in Turkey violence". BBC News. BBC. 6 April 2000. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/703283.stm. Retrieved 17 September 2006. 
  13. ^ "Turk 'admits' stabbing Leeds fan". BBC News. BBC. 7 April 2000. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/704680.stm. Retrieved 17 September 2006. 
  14. ^ "Silence for killed Leeds fans". BBC News. BBC. 9 April 2000. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/706936.stm. Retrieved 17 September 2006. 
  15. ^ "Leeds hopeful over new investors". BBC Sport. BBC. 24 October 2004. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/teams/l/leeds_united/3948841.stm. Retrieved 31 October 2006. 
  16. ^ "Leeds sell ground after bid fails". BBC Sport. BBC. 12 November 2004. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/teams/l/leeds_united/3995041.stm. Retrieved 31 October 2006. 
  17. ^ "Bates completes takeover of Leeds". BBC Sport. BBC. 21 January 2005. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/teams/l/leeds_united/4191871.stm. Retrieved 31 October 2006. 
  18. ^ "Leeds Utd calls in administrators". BBC Sport. BBC. 4 May 2007. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/6624731.stm. Retrieved 4 May 2007. 
  19. ^ "Relegated Leeds in administration". BBC Sport. BBC. 4 May 2007. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/l/leeds_united/6625751.stm. Retrieved 4 May 2007. 
  20. ^ "HM Revenue to challenge Leeds Utd". BBC Sport. 3 July 2007. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/6266508.stm. Retrieved 3 July 2007. 
  21. ^ "Leeds 'may not start next season'". BBC News. 6 July 2007. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/6277752.stm. Retrieved 6 July 2007. 
  22. ^ David Conn and Matt Scott (27 July 2007). "Leeds United: the unanswered questions". Guardian Unlimited. http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/blog/2007/jul/27/leedsunitedtheunansweredqu. Retrieved 10 October 2008. 
  23. ^ "Debt-ridden Leeds put up for sale". BBC News. 6 July 2007. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/6279340.stm. Retrieved 7 July 2007. 
  24. ^ "Leeds United resold to Ken Bates". BBC News. 11 July 2007. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/6292746.stm. Retrieved 11 July 2007. 
  25. ^ "Leeds hit with 15-point penalty". BBC Sport. 4 August 2007. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/l/leeds_united/6920103.stm. Retrieved 4 August 2007. 
  26. ^ Paul Robinson (31 August 2007). "Taxman pulls out of Leeds United court challenge". Yorkshire Evening Post. http://www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk/leeds-united-news/Taxman-pulls-out-of-Leeds.3163456.jp. Retrieved 31 August 2007. 
  27. ^ "Wise quits Leeds for Magpies role". BBC Sport. 28 January 2008. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/n/newcastle_united/7213096.stm. Retrieved 28 January 2008. 
  28. ^ "McAllister named new Leeds boss". BBC Sport. 29 January 2008. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/l/leeds_united/7215732.stm. Retrieved 29 January 2008. 
  29. ^ "Blackpool consider legal action over Grayson's Leeds appointment". The Guardian (guardian.co.uk). 23 December 2008. http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2008/dec/23/leeds-united-manager-simon-greyson. Retrieved 28 December 2008. 
  30. ^ "Man Utd 0–1 Leeds United". BBC Sport. 4 January 2010. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/fa_cup/8433901.stm. Retrieved 4 January 2010. 
  31. ^ "Leeds United". Dave Moor. Historical Kits. August 2006. http://www.historicalkits.co.uk/Leeds_United/Leeds_United.htm. Retrieved 13 October 2006. 
  32. ^ a b c d e f "Mighty Mighty Whites". Leeds United Fan Club. mightyleeds.co.uk. 2006. http://www.mightyleeds.co.uk/misc/kits.htm. Retrieved 25 December 2006. 
  33. ^ "Mighty Mighty Whites". Leeds United Fan Club. mightyleeds.co.uk. 2007. http://www.mightyleeds.co.uk/history/footballinyorks.htm. Retrieved 27 January 2007. 
  34. ^ "Fan’s Briefing Paper". John Boocock. Leeds Sporting PLC. 13 August 2001. http://www.users.zetnet.co.uk/jboocock/lufc/briefing.htm. Retrieved 2 July 2007. 
  35. ^ "Leeds United – Records, Achievements & Tidbits". wafll.com. http://www.wafll.com/leeds-records/. Retrieved 3 April 2008. 
  36. ^ Shaw, Phil (27 September 1997). "Football: Ferguson prepared for Elland Road examination". The Independent (findarticles.com). http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4158/is_19970927/ai_n14131572. Retrieved 26 December 2006. 
  37. ^ "All Time League Attendance Records". Niall Mackenzie. Newcastle's Unofficial Fans Collaboration. 4 September 2006. http://www.nufc.com/html/attendance-all-time.html. Retrieved 12 September 2006. 
  38. ^ "Rivalry Uncovered!" (PDF). Football Fans Census. footballfanscensus.com. 2004. http://www.footballfanscensus.com/issueresults/Club_Rivalries_Uncovered_Results.pdf. Retrieved 12 September 2006. 
  39. ^ "Survey says: We all loathe Leeds United!". The Sun. 9 August 2008. http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/sport/football/article1535214.ece. Retrieved 18 August 2008. 
  40. ^ "Reid reveals regret". BBC Sport. BBC. 11 November 2003. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/l/leeds_united/3261069.stm. Retrieved 5 May 2007. 
  41. ^ "Ex-bosses tip fans to boost Leeds". BBC Sport. BBC. 5 August 2007. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/l/leeds_united/6932029.stm. Retrieved 5 August 2007. 
  42. ^ "THE (UN)OFFICIAL STORY OF THE LEEDS SALUTE". LeedsUnited.com. 25 June 2009. http://www.leedsunited.com/page/LatestNewsDetail/0,,10273~1702971,00.html. Retrieved 5 September 2009. 
  43. ^ Guinness British Hit Singles 12th Edition. Guinness Publishing. ISBN 0-85112-092-X. 
  44. ^ "First team". Leeds United A.F.C.. http://www.leedsunited.com/page/PlayerProfileIndex/0,,10273,00.html. Retrieved 2 February 2009. 
  45. ^ "leeds fans Honours". leedsfans.org.uk. 20 July 2003. http://www.leedsfans.org.uk/leeds/history/Honours.html. Retrieved 21 January 2007. 
  46. ^ "Road to ruin". The Herald (Newsquest). 17 February 2007. Archived from the original on 23 January 2010. http://www.webcitation.org/5n0NhKWds. Retrieved 23 January 2010. "The first thing which comes to mind about Leeds United today is...their freefall, the collapse into the state they are in now because of Ridsdale's ruinous decision-making. They have become the biggest victim of all the money which has washed around English football in the Premiership era. Every other board of directors in the land is frightened of "doing a Leeds"." 
  47. ^ "Catchy Toon could be a classic". The Guardian. 23 March 2003. Archived from the original on 23 January 2010. http://www.webcitation.org/5n0N3uXGA. Retrieved 23 January 2010. "...'doing a Leeds' has entered the language of English football. There is now an understandable worry that any club trying to haul themselves up on the Champions League ladder will crash spectacularly to earth in a couple of seasons." 
  48. ^ "Everton 0 Manchester 2: Irresistible United march on". The Times. 20 February 2005. Archived from the original on 23 January 2010. http://www.webcitation.org/5n0MNJAat. Retrieved 23 January 2010. "those erstwhile fans turning on him now should ponder the fact that his £28m transfer probably saved their club from “doing a Leeds”, as financial meltdown has come to be known" 
  49. ^ "Damned to football". The Times. 25 March 2009. Archived from the original on 23 January 2010. http://www.webcitation.org/5n0Kkbsjq. Retrieved 23 January 2010. "This is the fate to which Peter Ridsdale, the chairman from 1997 until 2003, consigned the club with his profligacy and risk-taking; the phrase “doing a Leeds” is now a recognized one to describe a major club that fades away" 

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