Topic: 'A Prayer for Leeds United'
'We've been through it all together,
And we've had our ups and downs.
We're gonna stay with you forever.
At least until the world stops going 'round.'
Yep, that about sums it up.
But there is more. We all suspect there have been more downs then ups. No, that's not quite right. I should say, we know in our guts that we deserve to have had more ups (and fewer downs) than we've had. Some flippant fools would call it paranoia; unjustified moaning from us cloth-capped Northerners, warped and convinced the provinces, particularly our corner of West Yorkshire, are perpetually shat upon.
If we have the energy and the willing ears, we can quite easily trot out the vile injustices of Greece in '73, Paris in '75, Ray Tinkler, West Brom and Revie looking to the grey May skies with a blanket under his arm, point deductions, Bremner's punishment, Bowyer's unprecedented ban on the morning of the semi in Valencia, Wes Brown's onside but disallowed own goal which would have meant the Champions League again, and even a ref celebrating a goal with the Liverpool players against us at Anfield. Gary Edwards could write a second (lengthier) tome on where and how we were shafted. It would be difficult to script if it were fiction, especially if one were to believe FIFA's Fair Play edict and that Bayern Munich are still listed as the 1975 European Cup winners.
We all know the truth, and there is the sad and wider aspect of life imitating art. The miners' strike in '84/'85 dealt harsher and bloodier blows than anything we'd seen on the pitch, though the SPG cracking skulls on Yorkshire soil is Pandora's Box and a subject for another day. Suffice it to say, we were shat on again.
We now even accept shit from the club we all love, and grown men are forced to beg to some venomous and post-menopausal old bag at Elland Road for their right to watch the team. To what depths has the world sunk? If I were not such a gobshite, I'd be speechless.
But we live on; with the spirit of Billy and the boys in white running through brick walls for Don, on pitches resembling the Somme, proud that despite all the crap we soak up, We are Leeds and we all know exactly the identity of Spartacus.
So why not sort it out?
Barcelona have done it. Manchester United have tried to do it, and one has to admire the way they mobilise themselves, but most of all, the Green Bay Packers are a shining example of how a sense of community can overcome impossible odds, and create something magical on a comparatively massive stage. A town of 100,000 or so people co-own their team, and are a major force in a major sporting franchise. Even with their trading system, it's mind-boggling how they compete in the NFL and do so with huge success.
We have never been organised. We turn up, we travel, we sing, we weep (inside), but there's never been a strong fan voice. And we have always been shat on from above from Cussins to Silver to P.R. Pete to you-know-whom. It's in our nurtured DNA (if there is such a thing) as Leeds fans/consumers to expect this, but it is also in our stronger nature DNA as Yorkshiremen to say 'fuck off' when we need or want or have to say 'FUCK OFF.'
The insipidness of the supporters' clubs have been further enmeekened by the bullying excuse of a man whose name I shall not write.
My question is,
'Would a top-down fan movement, harnessed by intellect and wedge, ever take the reins at Elland Road in our lifetime?'
Could a nirvana of a true club (a la Barcelona) for the fans ever exist? Do we not even dream of this, because we have grown up and also grown old being lied to?
In the 60's, Don re-modelled our kit on Madrid. Perhaps, the blueprint of our future ownership should now come from Barcelona.
Sometimes things have to bottom out, before real progress can be made. Are we on the point of actually having the nuts to take what is rightfully ours and have OUR own go at 'living the dream', from within, making our own decisions, and looking after those who truly love the shirt of Leeds United? I fucking hope so more than anything else I could imagine.
I don't want to get all Martin Luther King on our Persil-white Loiner arses, but I do have a fucking dream. However, dreams need plans for them to work; like Barcelona (again) did as a city, when pulling itself out of the mire for the Olympics in '92. Their ten point city regeneration plan became a blue-print for urban renewal around the world. Leeds United would need a plan, if a consortium of like-minded Leeds United adoring individuals ever got their dream toy.
5 POINT PLAN
* We live in days of AON and Samsung tops in LS1 stores, sending cold shivers down my spine, envisaging empty top tiers and locked stands for years to come. One simple solution to this is grab the little tykes early. On a Friday before each home game, schools (who have applied but then are chosen at random) will receive from the ticket office swathes of seats for free. Kids will fill the remainder of the stadium. The club gets revenue on merchandise, a decent atmosphere (if the kids promise not to squeak or sing), and fans for the future. White shirts in Leeds again.
* Leeds fans behind both goals, no matter who is coming to town. I know the West Stand development is happening, but forever and a day, those games, which we needed to win most against the top three or four, were always the games when the South Stand was given away. No wonder our record against those clubs was always so poor. Who is making these decisions to hamper our lads on the park and to make sure Leeds fans were locked out and THAT lot let in? Enough is enough.
* An amnesty for the return of hundreds of lads, grown men and families who have voiced their opinion against our friend from SW6 / St. Kitts / Monaco / Guernsey. I am not advocating letting back in every sociopath that has ever passed through the turnstiles, though it may be worth considering. I am suggesting Leeds United is inclusive, and should allow those who want to follow them follow them. If they can have a Truth and Reconciliation in South Africa, then this football club can be for the people, the city, for we are after all United. I have banned myself from Elland Road. I desperately want to go back, but I shall not pass until things change. As Ron Greenwood said of England in '82, 'We snuck in through the back door, but we may still walk up the front steps.' No more begging letters to that fucking bitch, lads. How did this situation come about? Have your bollocks back. Come back, for you are welcome here in this stadium. It's yours. It's ours. It's Leeds United.
* No more Away Membership. Fuck that. LUFC will treat you normally and LUFC will take their full allocations at away games. Not only should Elland Road be a fortress, Leeds should be putting the wind up these glove, tights and collar wearing jessies on their own turf.
* Change the badge to the smiley for away games or the Yorkshire rose for home games, bring back socktags, and have a Leeds manager who will fine, bench or possible sell any player if he dives, cries, cheats or acts like any sort of cunt. This may sound extreme, but I have thought about this at length. Not only would this behaviour be such a contrast to today's vile shenanigans peaking with Nani's tears at the hairline fracture of his vagina, it would before long garner the respect of all referees (who would know that any Leeds player who went down had been fouled) and the admiration of football fans everywhere (well, you know what I mean).
There may well be more points; there should be more. This is just to throw a scenario on the table. I am going to shut up now, I just wanted to get all sorts of my chest, and hear what some smarter and more clued-up fuckers than I, thought.
Call me a dreamer; call me a dewy-eyed syrupy deluded fool, but it would be fucking nice , wouldn't it? It does not HAVE to be like this; that is the saddest part of it all. God knows we fucking deserve it.
We are Leeds, we are Spartacus and one day, I hope to Don and Billy that we will be Marching On Together as one, dominating English football again, for we are the greatest in the land. Na na na!!!
Last edited by Tommy Wright (Thu 12 May 2011 3:48 am)
Number 8 - "Every man jack of this Leeds side is turning it on. It's almost cruel."