Are Leeds United ready for the Premiership?

by admin

Friday, November 26th, 2010

When you’re sat in fifth position in the Championship, it’s easy to begin fantasising about the Premier League. Indeed, many claim that by Christmas the league has sorted itself out. Those at the top will stay at the top, with high team spirit ready for the final push in April; those at the bottom will scramble around in despair in effort to avoid relegation.

Leeds are currently at the top, and it’s fair to say they probably still will be come spring time. So the question must be asked: are they ready for the Premiership?

It’s a difficult question to answer, as the heart certainly differs from the head. The glory of promotion – especially through the playoffs – to the halcyon seas of the Premiership is just too tempting a bait for the heart. As a Leeds fan myself, of course I want to see glory with my club, but at what cost?

We’ve seen it all before, with Watford, Derby, Sheffield United and Reading all popping up for a season or two, show their face, take a photo at Old Trafford, and effortlessly slide back down to the Championship. This cannot happen to Leeds.

Getting promoted this season could be catastrophic. Take Hull for an example: managed to get through the playoffs but realised the squad wasn’t nearly strong enough for the Premiership. The solution: spend money and gamble staying in the top flight.

The gamble didn’t pay off, and now Hull are riddled with huge debts, a large wage bill and an ailing squad. Leeds may well do the same, as relegation won’t even be seen as a possibility if they get promoted. Leeds will spend big to keep their heads above water, and if that fails… well, I need not remind anyone what a complete farce that turned out to be last time.

The heart yearns for promotion, but the head looks over to South Yorkshire, where both Sheffield clubs are stuck in financial problems. United recently announced annual losses of £19m, while Wednesday are going toe-to-toe with the HMRC in court, and could be out of business in weeks.

It’s taken seven years to turn round the marauding relegation juggernaut Leeds once was. Simon Grayson has done a fantastic job to bottle the momentum of last May’s promotion from League 1 and apply it in the minefield that is the Championship. An early surge to the Premiership could be beneficial, but it could also be deadly.

One beacon of hope is Ian Holloway’s Blackpool; a team seemingly run on perpetual motion, not influenced by money, trophies, potential riches. Even if they get relegated this season they may make a profit out of it all. Could Leeds suppress their wallet if they got promoted? Probably not. Sadly, the incessant need to stay at the top will be too much for Leeds United.

So it’s down to chance. If they spend big and cross their fingers tightly, they may just be able to cling on up there.

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  • Deeda LUFC

    “Leeds will spend big to keep their heads above water”

    Not with Ken Bates in charge we won’t mate.

    One thing is that Premiership football will bring the fair weather fans back meaning 40,000 sell outs for every home game, something the likes of Hull could only dream of. Plus plenty of tv exposure should swell the coffers. At the same time Bates WILL still penny pinch so at worst we’ll go down with a few million in the bank, whether Grayson (or whoever is boss then) would get to see any of it is another matter.

  • Deeda LUFC

    Something else to bear in mind is that a Premiership Leeds United would be like a flame to a moth for any would be takeover merchants…

  • Chris

    If I’m honest, and without wanting to sound over confident (because the league is very close and a couple of defeats could see us in the bottom half), I don’t see any harm at all in getting promoted this season. Bates isn’t a fool. He may be unpopular but he is a shrewd businessman and he’ll know the risks with spending big. I imagine he’d spend within our capabilities and if it doesn’t pay off and we get relegated then we’ll have the parachute payment and all the money earned from the premiership sponsorships to launch another, hopefully more successful assault. Having said that, there is a long way to go in this season and a mid table finish would still be more than acceptable.

  • badras

    i hope leeds go up i dont care if they are not ready im sure leeds will get plenty of money for going up . i dont think leeds will spend too much money to stay up as we would probably just bring in a few free transfers and players that dont cost the world . if we go back dow we will recieve money to go back up .as long as we dont spent lots of money to stay up we will do just fine. i think we can do it this season . there is people that say they don’t want leeds to go up because there not ready ,idiots ,what if we don’t go up when we had the chance and then never get that chance again

  • http://newsnow kev

    I think it’s time for Leeds United to be back in the premier league ,i don’t understand the fans that want another year in the championship,the financial mealt down that came before was partly due to trying to compete in the champions league,we were always a good solid premier league club before that and i have no doubt that we can be that again lets go for it, Marching On Together !!!

  • Partydude

    It would be great for my beloved Leeds to go up, but I would prefer to stay in the Championship for at least next season so we can build an improved, stable squad and then get promoted. There are areas we still need to improve greatly on – defense and midfield. We need the likes of Aiden White, Tom Lees, Adam Clayton, maybe Alan Martin to have had good experience and be ready to step into the first team. And of course some clearouts…

  • Simmy

    Be careful what you wish for. The Championship will never be easier to get out of than this year. Next season will see 6 clubs with the benefit of parachute payments vying for the 3 promotion spots. This season it’s one, ‘Boro (Hull and Portsmouth are not getting the benefit of theirs).

    We should go for it this season, without question.

  • ben smith

    You cannot compare Leeds to the Hulls,middlesboroughs and blackpools of this world Leeds are a bigger club than those three put together,i am no fan of Ken bates but what he is is a shrewd businessman and will have a plan for keeping Leeds in the prem should they make it to the promised land,i personally Dont think Leeds will get promoted this year but give it 2 years we will be up there.

  • Luke B

    As far as I am concearned, you need to grab the oportunity of promotion while it is there ’cause you cannot be sure it will come around again. I don’t care if people think Bechio is not good enough or Howson might not be able to make the step up that is no reason to stay in the championship. Give the players the oportunity and they might just suprise a few people.
    Onwards and upwards!

  • richard

    Dont forget the new Sky deal which gives future relegated clubs £48m in parachute payments spread over 4 years. In my mind its not of case of whether we’re ready or not this season – more that it’s the best chance we’ll get before a the two tier Championship starts to emerge.

  • Phil92

    There is not a chance staying down will benefit the club, you cannot afford to pay or attract the quality of player to compete in the Premier League whilst you are still playing in the Championship without breaking the bank, so saying we need to stay down to build a team to compete in the Premier League is absolute nonsense. We all know promotion is worth an estimated 40 mil boost in income in your first year up and then 48 mil over four years in parachute payments should you relegate. You have to build a team to get to the PL first within your Championship budget which Grayson seems to have made a really good fist at and then in the summer when you have gone up build a team to compete in the PL using the extra revenue streams. If you are relegated the parachute payments allow you to attempt to bounce straight back up for the next four years whilst paying higher wages keeping on some of the players you recruited whilst in the PL giving you a massive boost over all over clubs in the Champ that haven’t visited the PL recently. Only if you get sentimental after promotion and start paying your Championship quality players PL wages (Hull) will you get in big trouble. The trick is to invest the cash in younger players (low twenties) which we have a decent resale value whilst offering any experienced heads you bring in deals which are short term or vastly reduced should the club relegate. This season is the weakest Championship i’ve seen in the last six or seven years i’ve been paying extra attention to the league so this year is as easier chance as we will have under Bates to get the Promotion. If we have a chance to get it we must go for it. MOT.

  • Tony

    Stop being so negative. How on earth can you compare Leeds united with Hull, Reading etc. We would get 35000 fans minimum at Elland Rd in the prem and most of our away games would be a sell out as they are now. Last time we got promoted to the first division before it was the prem we came fourth!!

  • Craig

    If we go up we owe £25m to previous investors as part of agreement, we pay if we are back in Prem within 5 years so if we dint go this year we will be more financially secure the season after…this is also one of the reasons I believe Bates will not spend this season as he doesn’t want promotion just yet


    See what ya saying but surely spending big after winning 60 million+ in the playoffs wouldnt be too much of a struggle besides even if relegated we would surely have a stronger squad then now after spending it!!!!!!! MOT

  • lowfields71

    Is the premiership really the promised land, with it’s vastly over inflated prices and plastic support. The only thing I’ve missed are the European trips with the lads. Obviously great if we get there but hey, if not were still Leeds united and we’ll still be in town and down the road every saturday afternoon.


  • EYLeeds

    The plan is that England win the bid for the 2018 world cup; Leeds as a chosen host city need to increase their capacity to 50,000; take over that is waiting goes through; Leeds spend £5m in Jan transfer window.
    There is a load of dross in the Prem and Leeds easily secure mid table status and what follows is…..?
    Don’t underestimate Bates. Obnoxious but has his exit strategy sorted.

  • charlie sammut

    If leeds get promoted I believe we will stay up without spending much money,using most of our current squad + adding few bargain free transfers.With Bates in helm we are in the right direction.Opposite to what many leeds fans belive, I believe we are in the good position we are only thanks to him.He’s a good businessman and he won’t let Leeds repeat history.Look at this year many critised him for not spending much but we got some good deals for free like Kasper etc. and we’re in a very and good position + most important Debt Free.

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