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Leeds United News from The Sporting Life    Yorkshire Evening Post

May 31: Good news today: Alan Smith and Stephen McPhail have both signed contracts committing themselves to the club for a further five years.

May 29: Andy Wright and Paul Shepherd are understood to be looking for a move from Elland Road. Although their contracts could continue, neither is likely to get a run in the first team, and a couple of clubs may be interested.

May 29: A good day for two ex-Leeds players: Rod Wallace scores the winner for Rangers against Celtic in the Scottish Cup Final, and Jamie Forrester was on the winning side as Scunthorpe won the Third Division play-off at Wembley.

May 28: Paul Robinson has been picked for the next England U-21 game, and David Batty and Jonathon Woodgate both get a call-up for the full international team to play Sweden next week.

May 27: Although the world has apparently come to a standstill as we pay homage to those all-conquering never-whinging and generally perfect wonderboys from Old Trafford, other things have been going on in the world today. Kieron Dyer has slapped in a transfer request one week after saying he'd stay with Ipswich. David Wetherall is being chased by Blackburn - who apparently value an experienced centreback at £1.5 million. And Lee Sharpe's unwillingness to take a pay cut to ten grand a week might put the mockers on his move to Bradford. That's a pay cut note: we were paying him FIFTEEN!!

May 25: Ian Harte will miss a friendly and two Euro 2000 qualifiers next month as he struggles to get over a nagging knee injury.

May 25: Leeds MD Jeremy Fenn resigned today. Peter Ridsdale said he respected the reasons for his departure and praised his work at the club. Boardroom intrigue? Better offers elsewhere? Watch this space... It might free the purse strings a bit, since it is widely reported that it was Fenn who was frustrating DOL's ambitions to make a couple of big-money signings.

May 25: Details of Leeds' pre-season games are emerging, and it looks like there's no place for the traditional visit to the Republic of Ireland. There are 3 games lined up in Sweden and Finland on July 14,17,19, followed by a visit to Parkhead for a 'friendly' with Celtic. Another traditionally friendly relationship is renewed with a visit to St. Andrews to play Birmingham on July 31. There's a free slot on July 28 - maybe that will be a game against Shelbourne as tradition demands.

May 25: Leeds' first major new signing was confirmed today as Erik Bakke passed a medical. He joins us for £1.75 million from Sogndal of Norway on a 5-year deal.

May 25: Ian Harte and Paul Robinson have apparently signed new 4-year deals with the club.

May 22: The Purple Door (lap-dancing club) incident has drawn to a close with a bit of internal discipline and rapped knuckles. No names were officially disclosed by the club, and they let it be known that the behaviour alleged was somewhat overstated compared to what actually happened (shades of the Roy Keane incident no doubt), but the players have been told in no uncertain terms that it is not to happen again.

May 22: Next week looks like being a busy one for Peter Ridsdale and the lawyers. Ian Harte, Jonathon Woodgate, Harry Kewell, Alan Smith and probably the cleaning lady will be looking for improved terms and extended contracts. The stream of gripes attributed to JFH - mainly written by the same one or two journalists who seem to be particularly close to Slimeball Graham - seems to have dried up somewhat. That probably means one of two things: either GG no longer wants him or doesn't have the money, or maybe JFH and Leeds are finally sitting down and talking sensible terms. As someone pointed out on the Leeds list, 25K a week is a hell of a lot of money, but it "only" amounts to 1.25 million a year - which is what a run-of-the-mill squad player costs to buy (sorry Clyde - no offence intended). So with the same money we can pay Jimmy what he wants, or we can buy a player who will score less than a quarter of Jimmy's goals. Hmmmm...that's a tough one.

May 21: The season hasn't even been over for a week and already the transfer speculation is mounting. Apart from Kieron Dyer, we're also apparently interested in Jamie Redknapp, Pierre van Hooijdonk (please not him), Neil Lennon, Danny Mills and Chris Sutton. Sutton would be an interesting buy, since it would increase the competition for places up front with JFH and Alan Smith, and with Gary Kelly's future in doubt Mills would be a reasonable choice. We've also apparently started talks with Norwegian midfielder Erik Bakke - and with the inflated prices demanded for players in England at present it makes a lot of sense to be looking abroad.

May 20: It seems that JFH won't even get a share of the Golden Boot after all. The organisers (Carling) thought long and hard about how they could wangle it so it went to Michael Owen, and came up with goals per game as the decider. Better luck next year Jimmy!

May 20: Nigel Martyn has dropped out of the England squad for the next European Championship qualifier. He's trying to rest his back, which has been troubling him all season and was part of the reason for Paul Robinson appearing in the final game against Coventry.

May 20: Last night's result at Portman Road saw Leeds old boy Bob Taylor bag a pair for Bolton and eliminating Ipswich from the play-offs, thus making it more likely that Kieron Dyer - who got two good goals himself - will leave in the summer, with Leeds being a likely destination.

May 18: JFH will probably need an op soon to remove some fluid on his knee. Provided he gets it out of the way soon it should have no real danger of screwing up the start of next season.

May 17: DOL has clarified the "If one of our top players goes I will follow" remarks attributed to him at the weekend. He's stressing that he understands that he can't necessarily keep every player, and that if one wanted to leave he would reluctantly let him. But he did reiterate that if such a move was forced by the board then he would be out of the door in pretty short order.

May 17: In a great surprise to everyone (not) Willem Korsten turned up at White Hart Lane in the company of everybody's favorite back-stabbing slimeball and bung-taker. It's funny how Spurs seems to attract these untrustworthy types: Venables, Graham and now Korsten obviously finding his spiritual home.

May 16: DOL chose today to give a run to many of the fringe players - Paul Robinson, Danny Granville, Bruno Ribeiro and Clyde Wijnhard - and it almost backfired. It took a very late equaliser from David Hopkin to save a point after an early goal from Clyde had given us the lead. JFH missed out on the chance to win the Golden Boot outright. That's all the football for this season - roll on August!

May 15: A story is doing the rounds that 10 members of the Leeds team turned up in one of the city's lap-dancing clubs a little the worse for wear, behaving somewhat less than desirably. All unsubstantiated rumours of course, but we'll see what comes out in the next few days.

May 15: Leeds' search for a right-sided midfielder appears to be narrowing down a bit. Kieron Dyer of Ipswich is the latest name to appear in connection with Elland Road - though he may want to stay at Portman Road if they manage to win promotion in the play-offs.

May 15: Ian Harte is the latest name to state that he wants to commit himself to Leeds for the future. His performances this season have been a huge improvement on last year, and is looking a better player with every game - but if he does sign a long-term deal it would almost certainly spell the end of Danny Granville's brief career at Elland Road.

May 14: Harry Kewell is set to sign a £20,000 per week 5-year contract with Leeds next week. Meanwhile JFH is asking for similar money: it's a hell of a lot and I'll completely duck the moral question, but a player who is in line for this year's Premiership Golden Boot has got to be worth at least half of the 40K a week that the thug Roy Keane is alleged to believe he is worth.

May 11: A late header by JFH grabs 3 points for Leeds and tips the title balance in favour of Man U. Arsenal had more chances, and - but for a fine performance by Nigel Martyn and Man of the Match Jonathon Woodgate - would have deserved to take the win. But they failed to take their chances, Jimmy snatched at his, and the game was ours.

May 10: More stories appear in the press about how DOL is having to struggle to sign new players to win cups and championships with less money than Walter Smith has to save Everton from relegation. Although players' salaries are spiralling to ridiculous heights, it really would be the proverbial ha'porth of tar that sunk the Leeds ship if we fail to give DOL the ammo he needs to pull in the best (or at least the above average) players.

May 10: Leeds have beaten Manchester United to the signature - of two 8-year-olds, Edward and Marcus Walmsley. Another two youngsters have seen the light and avoided the terror of OT by signing for Leeds for the next 5 years. Watch out Harry and Smiffy!

May 10: Drinks party in a brewery department, volume 13. The new away strip will not now be on sale until the end of the week, despite what Leeds announced a while back. Memories of the post-Championship season flood back and beg the question: Can LUFC the business do anything right?

May 09: Leeds have been linked with the young Norwegian central midfielder Erik Bakke. However, agent Rune Hauge is involved so don't be surprised to see him turning up at White Hart Lane clutching a large brown paper bag for the manager.

May 06: The new away strip has been released and if you ask me looks like Cov or Man City - it's not a Leeds kit that anyone else would recognise. I see that crappy new badge is still there too....

May 06: Robert Molenaar goes under the knife in what could be his last chance to save his playing career. He suffered a setback during his initial recovery, but could now end up following Mark Beeney into retirement in similar circumstances.

May 06: Lee Bowyer was voted player of the year by the Supporters' Club.

May 06: I know it's not exactly Leeds-related but once again we see the FA showing its bias and lack of a sense of proportion as it threatens Nigel Winterburn with trial and punishment for abusing a Spurs steward, while letting Alex Ferguson off the hook for slagging off a ref for the umpteenth time this season. Coming the week after the incidents surrounding Hugh Dallas, their response could hardly have been more ill-conceived. Not that I'm biased at all....

May 05: The 11-match unbeaten run finally came to an end tonight at Stamford Bridge. It's no disgrace to lose against a Chelsea side that many have expected to slip up and slide down the table before now, but it gives us a clue as to what we need to improve for next season.

May 04: Darren Anderton? Do me a favour! We may need a right-sided midfielder but I'd like to see us sign one that had a vague chance of completing at least 10 games a season. DOL and Peter Ridsdale have both stepped on this rumour, so expect to see him at Elland Road next week.

May 04: David Robertson played the full 90 minutes for the reserves last night as they lost 3-0 to Leicester. David Hopkin managed a half with no ill-effects, but Tony Hackworth had to come off with knee ligament problems near the end.

May 01: Congratulations to the HREF("",Leeds Rhinos) on their win at Wembley in the Challenge Cup Final.

May 01: An amazing start to the game as JFH scores inside 16 seconds, Wright is sent off after a quarter of an hour and - until they were reduced to 9 men when Hislop saw red for bringing Jimmy down - West Ham generally played the better football and looked more likely to score. One thing's for sure - ref Robert Harris will not be welcome in the East End for some time!

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