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Copy from Football Unlimited of 15/03/2004.
The Yorkshire businessmen reported to be on the brink of buying out Leeds United appear to be keeping faith with the axiom in those parts that where there's muck there's brass. Or maybe they are just bidding for the salvage rights since the moment when the waves close over the team cannot be far off.
A £20m takeover will save the club from administration, but relegation is now a certainty unless Eddie Gray's side suddenly find Arsenal's form in their last 10 games. Losing their place in the Premier League would cost Leeds another £20m and more players. Alan Smith and Mark Viduka, for example, would probably be sold.
Better that than going into administration in the Nationwide and having 10 points deducted. Yet it is still a desperate state of affairs for a club who only three years ago were playing in the semi-finals of the Champions League, and Saturday's performance was as moribund as their situation.
Copy from Football Unlimited of 14/03/2004.
Fulham were showboating in the end and there could be no more crushing sign of Leeds United's dwindling survival hopes than that. The Yorkshiremen's mini-revival was all too easily halted by a Fulham team who, frankly, could afford to be incredibly wasteful in front of goal and still win at a canter. The chink of light at Elland Road looks decidedly dimmer.
A three-match unbeaten sequence had bred confidence, but this was a thump in the kidneys. 'We need a bit more than a mini-run now,' said understandably dejected Eddie Gray. 'But we cannot let this result get to us. Although we're running out of matches, I've still got belief that those players in the dressing room can get us out of trouble.' Given the fact he has barely any others to call upon, he has no option but to depend on a group who must pick themselves up in time to compete more aggressively with Manchester City next weekend.
In the first half there was little to choose between the teams, but once Fulham stepped up a gear after the break Leeds were a sorry second best. Although Mark Viduka and Alan Smith plainly possess Premiership quality and Paul Robinson has performed heroically in horrible conditions, in between Leeds looked lightweight.