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Leeds United News from The Sporting Life    Yorkshire Evening Post


August 31: BSkyB have purchased a 9.8% stake in Leeds Sporting for nearly £14 million. Peter Ridsdale has said that the money will all be available for transfers. Rivaldo, here we come...

August 31: Leeds have withdrawn 4 of the 5 players down to represent England in the forthcoming U-21 game. Paul Robinson, Michael Bridges, Lee Bowyer and Alan Smith are all "injured", but Ian Harte has been called up into the main squad for the Republic of Ireland.

August 31: The reserves went down 1-3 at home to Liverpool this evening. Leeds' squad consisted of many youngsters, but Liverpool fielded a fairly strong side.

August 31: David Robertson is on a week's trial at Barnsley with a view to a permanent move.

August 29: It's Sunday so we need a story department: Leeds are said to have renewed their bid for Emile Heskey, and are also linked with James Beattie - but at what price? Meanwhile David Platt is looking to bring some midfield solidity to Forest, and has his eyes on bringing Alfi Haaland back to the City Ground. Maybe we could swap him for Carlton Palmer.....

August 28: Contrasting fortunes for two ex-Leeds strikers today: Clyde Wijnhard scores a hat-trick for Huddersfield, and JFH is on the wrong end of a 1-4 defeat for Atletico. Looks like there might be some justice in the world.

August 28: Well, Mike Reed was a total homer, and although we were outplayed in the first half we battled back well and came through with a superbly struck free-kick from Ian Harte 7 minutes from the end. Chants of the day "Wash and go! Wash and go! Wash and go!" and "Fell over! Fell over!" to Spurs' least stable Frenchman. And having just seen MOTD, I think I can fairly reasonably call Mauricio Taricco a cheat. Having stamped three times on Alan Smith (an offence that, like so many others committed by Spurs, went unseen by the linesman and Reed) he proceeded to go down as if he'd received a blow from Mike Tyson rather than a glancing nudge from Alan Smith's head in his stomach.

August 27: In advance of the game against Judas Graham, and with the money-grabbing JFH now gone, Lucas Radebe went on record with something that should be tattooed on the eyeballs of Graham, Hasselbaink and the low-life journalists and agents that are intent on wringing every last penny out of the game with no regard for the future: "There is absolutely no chance of my moving to Old Trafford. I have committed my long-term future to Leeds United, the club that I love, and nothing will stand in the way of my completing the four-year contract I have just signed. I want to play for as long as I can and I want that to be in the colours of Leeds United. It is very flattering when you attract the attention of other big clubs, but any kind of move simply is not on."

August 27: Alan Smith and Lee Bowyer have both reported ankle injuries and might miss tomorrow's game. Michael Bridges is almost certain to start up front, despite Mondays' disappointing performance, against a Spurs defence that should be without Sol Campbell.

August 27: David Hopkin was included in Scotland's squad for their Euro 2000 qualifier next week.

August 27: UEFA, under instructions from NATO has arranged for Leeds to play Partizan Belgrade and finish off the job its precision bombing started. The ties have been switched so Leeds will now play the first leg at home in the hope that flights to Belgrade will resume before the second leg. We've met them before in Europe in 1967, when we went on to win the Inter-City Fairs Cup.

August 26: Leeds should go into Saturday's game against Spurs with no injuries to worry them (apart from a few battered egos after Monday's cock-up). So no excuses in advance - we'll just have to blame the ref if we get a less than perfect result.

August 26: Nigel Martyn, David Batty and Jonathon Woodgate are all in the England squad for next week's games against Luxembourg and Poland.

August 25: Gary Kelly has been recalled to the Republic of Ireland squad despite not getting a game for Leeds so far this season.

August 25: Gordon Strachan, Brian Flynn and several other old players will be appearing at the Carling Masters 6-a-side tournament at the MEN on September 1.

August 25: Mark Viduka is said to have told an Australian newspaper that he's likely to sign for Leeds, and Rune Lange was seen in the company of Alfi Haaland at Elland Road. Who's next?

August 25: Bruno Ribeiro could be on his way - temporarily at least. Norwich are believed to be interested in taking him on loan.

August 24: David Robertson has been told he can leave on a free transfer. It's unlikely he'll see anything other than reserve team football at present, so it's only fair on him...

August 24: Alan Smith, Danny Mills, Lee Bowyer, Michael Bridges and Alan Smith are all named in the England U-21 squad today.

August 23: "The worst performance in my time here" said DOL and you'd be forced to agree with him. Leeds just weren't clever enough to win the game, and Camara's goal was a cracker. They deserved it, we didn't, and some serious sorting is needed before Saturday.

August 22: Random transfer speculation this weekend links us with both Viduka and Larsson of Celtic, and suggests that ManU may turn their attention to Lucas Radebe if their quest to sign Sol Campbell fails.

August 21: Abysmal performances from the linesman and the referee nearly caused an upset at Elland Road today. Leeds had plenty of chances but didn't take nearly enough of them. The game turned when Alex Rae was sent off for a second bookable offence for what seemed like one of the less violent offences of the afternoon. Leeds scored twice through Lee Bowyer and Danny Mills, Harry Kewell missed a penalty and David Batty made up for last Saturday's dangerous lapse by making it 3 bookings in 4 games.

August 20: Leeds police are on full alert tomorrow for a clash between two clubs known for a less-than-friendly rivalry. The first trainload of Sunderland fans is expected into town just before the pubs open - subject to the vagaries of GNER, I'll be there by 12:30 - I hope the pubs will still be open (or standing) then.

August 20: Both Alan Smith and Michael Bridges have done some light training and are hoping to be fit for tomorrow's game. If Sunderland come and play anything like Derby did, we'll need them both to break down a defence intent on a draw.

August 20: We've been promised that the money for JFH will be in the bank today - and Atletico have asked us to make sure the clearance goes through before the Spanish transfer market cut-off. Maybe we should make them sweat a little...

August 19: Michael Bridges is still hopeful he'll be fit to face his former team-mates on Saturday - though it's unlikely he'll be risked if there's any doubt, with the Scouse game on Monday night.

August 19: Danny Hay signed on for Leeds today. The 6'4" defender will be given squad number 24. We're paying an initial £200,000 with appearance-related payments set to add another £100,000. If my stats are correct, Hay is the first Kiwi to play for us, and is the 19th nationality to represent Leeds.

August 18: Lee Bowyer is due to sign a 4-year deal tomorrow that will put him in the twenty-grand-a-week bracket. He will become the 10th player to sign a long-term contract under DOL.

August 18: Gareth Evans broke his nose in last night's 0-0 draw with Bradford Reserves at Valley Parade. With the highly-rated Robbie Blake joined by Dean Saunders in attack, it wasn't a bad performance for Leeds' second string.

August 18: Stephen McPhail and Alan Maybury are named in the Ireland U-21 squad, but there's no place for Ian Harte in the full squad - has he rubbed Mick McCarthy up the wrong way?

August 18: United News and Media are the latest name to be linked with purchasing a stake in Leeds Sporting. The share price slipped back slightly, but expectations are that the new issue will be around 30p.

August 17: Leeds' share price continues to head upwards - at this rate it will reach the issue price from a couple of years ago! Last week's admission that Leeds are talking with various media groups is behind it: Granada and BSkyB are both interested in taking a 9.9% stake - with BSkyB also eyeing up Chelsea. The money would come in handy right now....

August 17: There's still no sign of the money from JFH's transfer. Half is due this year, and unless it is received by Friday, Leeds will withhold his registration and he won't be able to play for Atletico. Peter Ridsdale isn't that worried, but wants to make sure the cash turns up - and that the other half is backed by bank guarantees. Jesus Gil - who owns Atletico - hasn't been above sharp practice in the past and we need to watch out.

August 16: There have been several harsh words for some of the chants Leeds fans directed at David Beckham (and family) at the weekend. Without wanting to condone it, I've got to point out that it's strange that those chants didn't start until after Beckham hacked Lucas Radebe from behind, and - after Radebe had pulled himself to his feet and had shaken hands with Beckham - made an obscene gesture to Radebe's back as he walked away. It seems that the petulant little git has learnt nothing from his experiences in France last year....

August 16: Alan Smith should be fit for Saturday's game against Sunderland, and Michael Bridges is also hoping to recover in time for the game.

August 16: Leeds have agreed to let Lucas Radebe fly off to South Africa this week to take part in a match to celebrate the retirement of Nelson Mandela.

August 14: DOL thought it was a fair result - "...they took their chances and we didn't take ours..." as he said. He's not too pleased about the defence's performance - "..that's why we've got 3 centre-backs - 3 big centre-backs...".

August 14: 3 minutes of madness and slack marking after Martin Hiden replaced Ian Harte, and the game is gone. 0-2 at OT is not terrible, but maybe this year we had a better chance than ever - but losing Michael Bridges early on, to add to the departure of JFH and Alan Smith's injury didn't make life any easier.

August 14: A loophole in the convoluted EU work permit regulations has been found, and Leeds look set to sign the New Zealander Danny Hay from Perth Glory.

August 13: Lee Bowyer is apparently ready to sign an extended deal: with Man U possibly looking to replace Roy Keane, we'd better make sure he signs on the dotted line before tomorrow.

August 13: Darren Huckerby could start at OT tomorrow with Alan Smith still injured and Harry Kewell also carrying an ankle knock.

August 12: David Hopkin has put pen to paper on a contract that will keep him at Leeds until 2003.

August 12: Danny Granville's injury - picked up playing for Man City at the weekend - is not as bad as was first feared (not that he'll be seeing much action for us).

August 12: Apparently we've still not got the money for Jimmy, and we are (rather emptily) threatening to select him for Saturday. With Bridges in such form and Huckerby arriving, I wonder if he'd get a game?

August 11: A Michael Bridges hat-trick gave Leeds a deserved victory against a lacklustre Southampton side at the Dell. Both sides suffered from poor refereeing decisions, but 2 games into the season it's clear that the opposition tactics are to hack Lee Bowyer until he reacts and gets booked - and he's getting no protection whatsoever from the whistleblowers. Right - time for bed...

August 11: Darren Huckerby has signed from Coventry for £4 million - rising to £ 5.5 million depending on appearances. Not a bad buy - and this is apparently not the big signing that DOL was looking for. He's had a bit of an attitude problem, and some injury worries in the past, but he's 23, has a lot of pace and has shown some flashes of great talent in the past. So who makes way for him?

August 10: No transfer news, but Granada's earlier interest in buying a stake appears to have woken up BSkyB who are also interested. Leeds' share price closed at a high for the year - some 30% above the level of a month ago.

August 09: Alan Smith is unlikely to start in Wednesday's game at Southampton. He had an ankle injury before Saturday's game and picked up a further knock, so we'll probably just have Bridges alone up front, supported by Harry and with a strong midfield.

August 09: DOL has apparently told Peter Ridsdale exactly who he'd like to sign, and anticipates spending the money in one chunk. Oliver Bierhof is the latest name in the frame - he'd be an interesting buy: at 31 he's no spring chicken, but he does have great experience - but how would he fit in with Smith, Bridges and Kewell?

August 08: Clyde Wijnhard scored for Huddersfield yesterday as they went down 1-3 to QPR, and David Wetherall cleared a Boro shot from the line before a late goal by Dean Saunders gave Bradford a surprise win at the Riverside.

August 08: Chelsea confirmed that they'd received a £10 million bid for Tore Andre Flo - but have said he's not for sale at any price. He's filled the role of supersub at Stamford Bridge for some time (scoring a particularly good header yesterday) but how much longer will he be happy with this?

August 08: We've got money burning a hole in our pocket, so transfer speculation is rife... Noel Whelan - with 2 years to run on his contract at Coventry - would apparently like to come back to the place where his heart and family is. And we're linked with Everton's unsettled youngster, Francis Jeffers.

August 07: Not a great day out. The trains were late there and back, Derby came to hold out for a draw, Graham Barber's refereeing was as nitpicking as ever, and Bowyer and Kewell in particular had very poor games. On the positive side, Danny Mills looks to be a very good choice at right back...

August 06: Eirik Bakke is Leeds' only real injury doubt before tomorrow's game against Derby. Leeds old boy Tony Dorigo might appear for the visitors and is sure to receive a warm reception from the Elland Road fans. Derby's new Argentian striker won't be on show though - he didn't receive clearance to play in time.

August 05: "British players first, Scandinavians second" is what DOL has said he wants - so with Michael Bridges, Michael Duberry and Danny Mills on board, it's understandably time to look across the North Sea. Tore-Andre Flo might just prove a bit too costly (and seems quite happy at Chelsea), but Egil Ostenstadt has been mentioned, and Tromso's boss has revealed that Leeds bid for 22-year-old Rune Lange last month. The Norwegian season finishes in October, and he may be available then....

August 05: Derek Lilley has moved to Oxford for £50,000. The Scottish striker never quite made the grade at Elland Road - but will be remembered for his late winner against Barnsley a couple of years ago.

August 05: David Hopkin and Lee Bowyer have both signed extensions to their contracts. It is believed that the two midfielders who played a vital part in Leeds' success over the last two seasons will be paid somewhat less than £60,000 per week. Also signing on the dotted line is young midfielder Matthew Jones.

August 05: JFH was taken to court over non-payment of an £1192 council tax bill. "It's not about the money" as I'm sure he'd have told the magistrates if he'd bothered to turn up.

August 04: The reserves beat Selby 3-1 last night, with two goals from Warren Feeney and one from David Robertson. The first team played a game behind closed doors against York, running out 1-0 winners with Lee Bowyer scoring.

August 04: The pain is at an end. JFH has gone to Atletico Madrid for £12 million. He was a great bargain, and we've made a lot of money on him, but where can we find someone else at this time of the year? We've had a £9 million bid for Heskey turned down (thankfully) - let's wave the money at Chelsea and get them to part with Flo.

August 03: JFH's agent reckons a deal will be done by the weekend, and JFH states that the fans' attitude towards him will encourage his departure. Remind me - who was it who turned down the most lucrative deal in the club's history? Emile Heskey is being touted as a replacement - personally I'd prefer a player who could remain on his feet. Much was made of Leeds fans' abuse of Heskey and Leicester last year, with the implication of a degree of racism: nothing could be further from the truth - we were complaining about his diving, cheating performances in the box (which we will of course describe as legitimate penalty claims if he wears a white shirt).

August 02: Should he stay or should he go? 40000 people will make their opinions known on Saturday - and I think I know which way they'll swing. It's now possible that a truce may be called for this season, but JFH clearly has no long-term future at Leeds.

August 01: Lazio, recently thwarted in their bid to sign Anelka from Arsenal, are now mentioned as possible bidders for JFH. £12-15 million plus another player could come in Leeds' direction for this deal - let's bite their hands off!

August 01: A Leeds XI beat Doncaster 2-0 at Belle Vue today for Steve Beaglehole's testimonial with goals from Michael Bridges and Bruno Ribeiro.

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