Google analytics

Thursday, 4 August 2011

The new season.........Everything and anything is possible!

So the close season shenanigans are over and this time it's for real as we start our campaign against the optimistic Saints on Saturday evening.  In an earlier post I suggested that promotion would be won or lost in the close season on the quality of the pre season training giving the players the strength to last the pace further than early January and also the quality of the recruited players in comparison to those departing the Theatre of Hope.  So how has Lord Larry performed in this most important period of the year?

With regards the training regime we will only be able to judge that come those dark days of January and February 2012 when the much needed stamina either kicks in or dwindles in the heat of battle.  Over the last three years it has been very much the latter as players seemed to struggle for match fitness once the Xmas celebrations are over.  Hopefully this season will see a welcome change where we finish the season strongly and peak just at the time the May blossom is in full bloom.  As to the recruitment this has caused much debate over the summer.  The majority of fans have been frustrated by the lack of activity in the transfer market and once again Capt Birdseye is in the firing line for not providing the investment that many believe the club needs to get out of the championship.  But is this fair?

There are certainly plenty of other clubs splashing the cash in an attempt to buy their way out of the division but that doesn't always guarantee success.  The bookies have Leicester and West Ham installed as favourites for the automatic promotion spots as both clubs have invested heavily.  But didn't the same bookies have the likes of Middlesboro and even the Codheads on short odds to go up at the same time last year?  They soon found out what an unbelievably competitive division this is and before you could say "have we spent all the parachute payment" both teams were struggling way below the play off places.  They did both both finish the season strongly but it was a case of too little too late as far as promotion was concerned.  I expect them both to be challenging hard this year though. So has Lord Larry been too prudent with his transfer budget or has Capt Birdseye just not given him enough money to spend?  Leeds United's last published accounts showed a turnover of just under £28m which yielded a loss before transfer activity of around £1m.  That would suggest that even with League One wages and crowds averaging at over 26,000 the club struggle to break even.  Based on that the figures for the year just finished with increased wages for the championship and slightly more gate revenue will not be very different.  So unless some dodgy Thai gangster appears with money to burn and prepared to prise the club from Capt Birdseye's grasp Lord Larry's wage and transfer budget will remain...............challenging. I actually believe the time has come to accept that despite the massive support and proud history of the football club we do not generate anywhere near the income needed to do what the likes of Leicester and West Ham are doing in the transfer market.  The fact is neither do they and unless they are baled out by said dubious Thai owners or Porn Kings the words "Administration" will very quickly become part of their vocabulary.

Even now I can here the cry "why spend money on stands and hotels then"  The answer is really quite simple.  If the club aspire to compete in the Premier League then the current facilities and income streams fall woefully short of what is needed to even survive in the top level of the football stratosphere.  Much as I would love to see the ground packed with proper fans and not a prawn sandwich or executive box in sight that is not going to happen.................unless we aspire to play the likes of Yeovil, Rochdale et al every week?  So in judging Lord Larry's purchase's and more to the point loans I do so in the knowledge that the funds available are not massive and the sound of cloth being cut to suit is ringing in my ears.

So is the squad better or worse than last year? Paddy, two goalies, Michael Brown, Adam Clayton and now Darren O'Dea together with various trialists have replaced Johnson, Killa, Schmeichel, Higgs, Lichaj, Watt.  The jury is out but on the basis of the game against the Toon things look a lot brighter than you would think from the doom and gloom predictions.  Max and Snoddy are flying and Jonny Howson is looking imperious in midfield.  Yes we have a worry up front but with Nunez in the back ground we should be able to have sufficient firepower to worry most Championship defences. So let's park the debate about investment in the club and accept we are where we are.  A new season is about to start and Leeds United will need every bit of support they can muster if they are to improve on last year's showing.  So let's do what we sing about every week.....................March on together regardless of what obstacles are placed in our way.  After all we are Leeds United and another rollercoaster season is about to start.  You wouldn't want to miss it would you?  Seat belts fastened here we go!
Can't wait.

No comments:

Site Counter