The ongoing saga of Leeds United (or should that be Leeds United 2007?) has edged one step closer to a conclusion today. Finally issued their ‘golden share’ from the football league, they are now able to enter the transfer market again, and offer deals to their players on the verge of being out of contract, however, for the price of selling their souls, there is a sting in the tail.
Leeds United, as it stands, will be starting 2007/2008 with a fifteen point penalty, yes, that’s right, -15 points. This is a huge obstacle to overcome – and given that they are already about as attractive to players as leprosy, this will make it all the more difficult for the Yorkshire club to attract players on board to help them out of their plight.
So the preseason favourites (believe it or not!) I think will find it very difficult to avoid relegation this season - a thin squad that they’ll supplement with journeymen and average players will struggle in this league on a level playing field, but factor in their negative start in points terms, they’re screwed. They are appealing (the decision – of course they’re not appealing in the other sense!), but I hope the Football League stand firm.
Of course, the Leeds fans have been dealt an incredibly shabby hand by their owners and the administrators, and whilst I’ve no fondness them at all, I do have an inkling of sympathy for them. Nobody deserves to go through that when they aren’t responsible for it – and to still be stuck with a alleged crook like Ken Bates at the end of it all, that’s real rough justice.