LEEDS UNITED: THEIR STORY IN THE 90S

LEEDS UNITED: THEIR STORY IN THE 90S

What had started tremendously well and with a high hope that finally Leeds United will be back in the Premier League had ended in a sad note as Leeds United had lost to Derby County in the playoff and the ambition to be back in the Premier League had vanished this season. Next season the ambition will continue and Leeds United needs to do it again in the championship. But Leeds United will and should not be in the Championship if a string of financial disaster does not occur in the late ’90s.

Derby player happy to progress to the final and Leeds United needs to restart again next season for the promotion

The second club after Manchester United that had reached the European Cup Final, a team that divided opinion among the football fans, a team that is wearing all white inspiration from the great Real Madrid team in the ’50s and they are the last team to win the English First Division before the creation of Premier League. This is nonother than Leeds United the former 3 times League Champion and the 1975 European Cup finalist. Before the emerge of Liverpool as the dominant force in England, Leeds United is the only English team after Manchester United to make their mark in European tournament during this time.

After the Division 1 league title win in 1992 under the manager Howard Wilkinson, Leeds United does not have any success and at the some they need to watch their arch-rival Manchester United become the new dominant force in England. However, in 1997, Leeds dramatic success to failure had started as Peter Ridsdale become the Leeds chairman. Before Roman Abramovich come into the picture and Sheikh Mansour come to the spotlight with Manchester City, Leeds is the team that will spend so lavishly on the player in the hope the success in England and in Europe will be theirs at last.

The chairman of Leeds United

During this time, Leeds United had become a top 5 team in English. In the European competition, they had reached the 2000 UEFA Cup semi-final as their impressive run had been ended with a defeat to Galatasaray. However, the following in 2000/2001 season UCL, Leeds United had made their mark and Peter Ridsdale investment seems justified. First, they had put up a great performance by progressing from the group stage that had AC Milan and Barcelona in the group. Before the start of the second group knockout stage in 2004, the UCL second round is a group stage and Leeds again managed to progress from their group that had the defending champion Real Madrid. In the quarter-final, they had swipe aside the fancied Deportivo La Coruna from Spain in Elland Road with a 3-0 score line and effectively knocked them out but their run had ended in the semi-final when they had been knockout by the eventual finalist Valencia. This is best run of Leeds United in the UCL since the final in 1975 competition. Little does not everyone know, the string of financial disaster will start from here.

With the impressive run, their fan hopes that Leeds United will be able to make this as a steppingstone for them to be the dominant force however it had come to a crushing blow. Peter Ridsdale had taken a massive amount of loan in the hope that Leeds United will progress to UCL regularly however since this does not happen, Leeds United had been in severe debt. Player was sold against the fans and the manager wish, the manager was sacked regularly leading to instability in Leeds United.

With the management is trying hard to resolve their financial issue off the field, on field Leeds United performance had suffered so badly. Once they had become a regular contender for a top 5 team, now they are fighting for the relegation and in 2003 they had successfully rescued themselves from relegation after beating Arsenal in the crucial survival games. However, in the following year, they had been relegated to the Championship after 15 successive years in the top division. The last time when they had relegated in 1982, it takes them 9 years to be promoted back to the First Division.

However, this time it will take longer as more off-field turmoil is beginning to fold. With more serious financial issue and the inability to pay off the high debt, Leeds United had gone to financial administration in 2007 while they are still in Championship. Due to this, Leeds United had been deducted 10 points and as a result of this, they had been relegated to the 2nd division for the first time in their history. Another huge blow for the passionate supporters.

After been relegated to Division 2, Leeds United had managed to be in the playoff for the Championship however they had failed and finally in 2010 they had been promoted to the Championship. However, until now, they are still unable to be promoted back to the Premier League. When Marcelo Bielsa had been appointed in 2018, fans have high hope for the manager that had been claimed by Pep Guardiola as the best manager in the world. However, they had not been able to be promoted to the Premier League after an impressive run of form in the early stages as they had lost their playoff game against Derby County.

Leeds Manager Marcelo Bielsa

Marcelo Bielsa had given Leeds hope but the real story of Leeds United is they should not be in the Championship in the first place. The demise of Leeds United from a UCL semi-finalist to be relegated and again relegated to the second division and promoted back to Championship and struggling to be back in the Premier League is a lesson to all football club.  A high ambition for any football club will lead to a disaster if they are unable to manage the financial situation well.  Leeds United is the story of high ambition but disastrous financial mismanagement that had to lead the club and fans suffer for a long time. Leeds United rapid decline had led to a phrase  Doing a Leeds adding more insult to injury to their fans.

But all suffer will not be forever and one day Leeds United will be back in Premier League and being back where he belongs. They should not be relegated in the first place however thing will sooner change to better for their club and the fans.

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