Leeds prove a week a long time in football

by admin

Thursday, November 29th, 2012

In one week the potential fortunes of Leeds United have turned on their head after a change in club owners mirrored an upturn in on-pitch performances.

Ever since promotion from League One two years ago, Leeds United fans have watched their team in frustration as a conservative owner restricted squad development and instead focused all investments on improving Elland Road.

Leeds’ entire midfield was sold – mainly to Norwich – at a reported profit of over £7m. In return, manager Neil Warnock has spent just £1.7m this season and was unable to bring players in last campaign.

This deterioration of the squad has led to a dip in the club’s fortunes and, whereas other League One escapees have achieved back-to-back promotions in recent years, Leeds have stagnated in the Championship. Just last week there still seemed no end to the eight-month-long takeover rumours and the team were on a seven-game winless streak in the league.

Yet seven days later and suddenly things are looking a lot rosier at Elland Road, with many now considering Leeds genuine contenders for the playoffs come April. The new Middle Eastern owners – GFH Capital – are now in control and have promised investment in the squad: a stance they immediately fulfilled with Warnock making two loan signings before the Football League deadline.

Indeed, positivity at board level has percolated onto the pitch and, buoyed by these inclusions to the squad, Leeds beat top-of-the-league Crystal Palace 2-1 on Saturday, a side who have been heavily tipped for promotion before battling to a deserved 1-0 victory over Leicester on Tuesday night.

The new faces, Alan Tate and Jerome Thomas, have fitted in seamlessly and Leeds are now looking up at the stars rather than facing the Championship gutter.

Warnock knows more than anybody how long a Championship season is and will be hoping for more squad investment in January. He must be aware Leeds fans are getting restless swilling around in the Championship and the quicker the Yorkshire club return to the Premier League the better.

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