Finally football is back to distract the masses from the all-consuming TOMA fever that’s been common in every little corner of the planet that is forever Leeds. That’s not to say that all takeover talk has ceased; TOMA is after all, the thread that NEVER sleeps; the impending arrival of the 50,000th post and 3,500,000th stand testament to that – you notice I didn’t use the word ‘imminent’ then? I thought it insensitive to do so in the current climate where its repeated use is driving us all to despair… oh, but wait; I have mentioned now in making a point that I won’t mention it! Oh, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, FUCK!!!
As per usual, despite the conjecture, little in the way of new, ground breaking information has emerged from the depths of that ever growing malaise of intelligent second guessing, tantalising hints from more learned individuals and the remaining 99% of bollocks contained with. That said, as always, there are highlights to be had if you delve deeply enough; this week’s being a three-page long diversion discussing the emotional impact of dog’s death…
Anyway, back to the football, as the more I think about TOMA, the more I doubt myself and the more I torture my mind with visions that Bates has come up with yet another elaborate ruse to keep hold of the seat of power in LS11…
Monday 16th July
Adam Drury eases the PR burden shouldered by Jason Pearce and Tom Lees by trotting out a few token clichés about the toughness of pre-season training, remarkably finding that there’s a ‘feelgood factor’ around Thorp Arch where the “great set of lads” he’s getting to know are “absolutely buzzing” about the new season in prospect – delivered like a true pro Adam, delivered like a true pro…
While uncertainty continues to surround the club, it’s reassuring to know that the official site is trying its upmost to relieve the tension with the odd humorous story; today they report an update regarding the Torquay game, stating that new arrangements have been put in place for visiting supporters. The changes have been made as a result of the decision to release 500 extra tickets to Leeds fans after the original allocation of 1500 tickets sold out “incredibly quickly”.
The piece starts…
“Torquay are expecting over 2000 Leeds fans for the pre-season game at Plainmoor on Friday, July 27th and ticketing arrangements have been adjusted to meet the requirements of both Torquay and Leeds supporters”
Yes, I think we can all rest assured that no Leeds supporters exist who will have bought tickets in the Torquay end, or will turn up on the evening trying to do so… The fools, the naïve fools!
Tuesday 17th July
The club confirm the departure of Andy Lonergan to Bolton Wanderers. Lonners hopes to challenge for the number 1 shirt at the Reebok Stadium and make it his own; we can only hope that for the sake of our promotion prospects, he succeeds. Neil Warnock confirms that the move leaves Paul Rachubka as the only experienced back-up at the club…and is even quicker to confirm that he’ll be looking to get in alternative experienced back-up.
Huddersfield Town up the ante in the race for Lee Peltier by offering Leicester a deal thought to be potentially worth £650,000, the sort of fee unheard of in these parts since the days that Kevin Nicholls roamed the land.
A far bigger story concerns a fresh bid from Norwich City to lure Robert Snodgrass to Carrow Road; the offer is quickly dismissed but a second offer would seem inevitable. The biggest question concerns whether Paul Lambert will also enter the race, now he’s at Aston Villa; the prospect of a two-way battle is an intriguing one. It has all the hallmarks of a child custody case, rather like ‘Kramer vs Kramer’, for those familiar with the 80s Oscar winning film. On one side, there’s the motherly Paul Lambert, he’s always been there for his beloved Leeds players, always keeping an eye on them and making them feel special, and now he wants to be the sole guardian of little Snoddy. On the other side stands Chris Hughton, the stereotypical absent father, who suddenly, after spending his days relentlessly pursuing career progression, has devoted a bit of time to ‘Wee Bob’ (in my mind, he’s given him a pet name) and found himself smitten; he’s even taught him to make what is just the best French toast…and now he can’t face life without him either.
In the film, the mother wins, but then realises in the end, that the child’s home is now with his dad – make of that, what you will…
Wednesday 18th July
The club proudly announce that UAP TradeLocks are to be the new sponsors of the South Stand. Amidst all the corporate spiel in the official announcement, it is revealed that:
“UAP TradeLocks is a UK based company with an unsurpassable reputation for product quality and innovation. The company prides itself on providing quality products at quality prices”
Credit to Shaun Harvey for sealing the deal – I’ve no idea where he began to find any common ground during negotiations.
Another quality arrival at Elland Road promises to be Rodolph Austin. In the YEP, ex-United star and team mate of Rodolph, Eirik Bakke adds to the hype, suggesting:
“He will suit Leeds perfectly. Leeds fans want players who give their all every match and he does that. He’s never injured and he is a very good player… As a player, he has pace and is a really strong tackler. He does a lot of the DIRTY work…”
Ok, stop right there Eirik! You had me at ‘dirty’ Eirik, you had me at ‘dirty’…
Thursday 19th August
The YEP report that SK Brann expect to resolve the future of future Leeds cult hero, footballer of the year and statue commemorated superman, Rodolph Austin to be resolved by the weekend. Monday week is tentatively pencilled in for a Bank Holiday in Beeston.
Back in TOMA territory, a potentially significant development is uncovered on WACCOE as Leeds United register a new company, Leeds United Vision. On further investigation it is found that just prior to the formation of Leeds United Vision, Leeds United TV was also registered with Company House. The implications of the move are unclear, though many speculate that the moves have made to smooth over the final stages of the acquisition process, potentially destroying my dreams that the Chuckle Brothers were going to take over the running of LUTV.
Friday 20th July
The latest “nailed on” takeover announcement passes with no more than a collective sigh and shrug of the shoulders, but thankfully there are numerous other titbits to feed from today. The big news is that Aidy White has had an about turn and will be signing a new 3 year deal at the club… with an improved offer for Snodgrass on the table from Norwich, the more cynical Leeds fans half expect stories of a late withdrawal from tonight’s game at Throstle Nest with a rather convenient ‘strain’ injury to follow – I don’t know what’s up with us!
A Snodgrass deprived Leeds team triumph 5-2 in a game of two teams; the first XI storming to a 3-0 half-time lead, the youth team/rejects XI sharing 4 goals in the second period.
Good news too for those who insist on having a replica shirt that’s a complete reproduction of the first team kit as a new batch of shirts arrive in the club shop, adorned with our secondary sponsor’s name. Any Leeds fans who’ve been desperate to have the word ‘iLuv’ plastered over your bottoms – time to fill your boots… just be careful that’s the only thing you have filled.
More details are also made available about Monday’s friendly with Tavistock. The clubhouse will be open from midday and will be selling drinks and pasties from then; confounding lazy stereotypes about locals being insular, burgers, hotdogs and chips will also be available from 2pm. The revelation that the clubhouse offers pool, darts and a TV sets the venue some way above Billy’s Bar, whilst the statement that it sells the cheapest beer in town can only be asking for trouble.
Saturday 21st July
Aidy White confirms his future is with Leeds by signing a new 3 year contract. Neil Warnock reveals that in the end, the ‘pull’ of Leeds United was the decisive factor in Aidy’s decision; whether the ‘push’ of Derby County played some role in making his mind up in another matter entirely.
Back to the imminent…oh bollocks, sorry, upcoming tour of Cornwall, and the club confirm that the open day for Leeds fans to come and watch a training session will take place on the Tuesday. The venue is question is Duchy College, Stoke Climsland. It is highly recommended that supporters program the address into their sat navs, otherwise they may drive along, blissfully unaware as they pass the Duchy on the left hand side – seriously, what other blog can offer you Musical Youth based puns?!
Sunday 22nd July
I have no idea if anything of significance has happened today as I’m writing this entry from the distant past (Saturday evening, with the aid of wine); it’s a necessary act as by the time I tweet the link to this I’ll be on route to Bodmin. If you catch this mid-morning, chances are I might be in the Waitrose at Hopwood Park Services, hoping to track down another bag of those beef and horseradish flavour savoury mix, party snack type thingies, if it’s around lunchtime then maybe I’ll be at the Michael Wood Services KFC…anyway, you get the general idea!
With that in mind, I should warn you that next week’s review takes a mildly radical departure towards the tried and trusted ‘tour diary’ format. I can only promise that superfluous junk food references will be kept to an absolute minimum!