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Leeds United News from The Sporting Life    Yorkshire Evening Post


April 30: Leeds MD David Richmond said that it would be impossible for Eddie Gray to continue as manager - if Leeds stay up that is. He said: "Eddie will remain at Leeds United in an important capacity, but if we stay in the Premiership it is impossible for him to be the manager because it is not possible to get a coaching badge in one season. It takes longer than that." Of course if we go down, then that's irrelevant, although the board are understood to still covet the services of former Leeds skipper and inspiration Gordon Strachan, now free after stepping down from his job at Southampton.

April 30: Leeds have said that there has been no request from Newcastle to recall Steve Caldwell, even though they are facing a bit of a defensive crisis with Jon Woodgate's thigh injury removing their best centreback. Of course, it might be in our interest to send Caldwell back since they face Man City at the weekend and we're not exactly short of centrebacks ourselves. Leeds secretary Ian Silvester said: "Even if Newcastle were to approach us for Stephen's release it is most unlikely that we would agree. There is no clause in the loan agreement allowing him to return before the end of the season without the agreement of all three parties - both clubs and Stephen. I don't think he would want to go back there at this stage anyway." Meanwhile Dom Matteo looks set to return from the injury that restricted him to a single half against Pompey and Mark Viduka returns from his one-match ban. For Bolton, Emerson Thome is a new doubt for Sam Allardyce in addition to long-term absentees Florent Laville and Ricardo Gardner.

April 30: Leeds' allocation for the Chelsea game on the last day of the season has been cut to just 1,500 tickets at the behest of the local council. Chelsea were willing to give Leeds the full away allocation of 3,000 but Hammersmith and Fulham council stepped in and changed their safety certificate so there will now be just half that number available. With away season ticket holders taking about 500, the Supporters Club half the remainder that leaves just 500 tickets for people who applied as part of the general sale, and I know some folks who applied the day the fixtures came out last summer who have failed to get tickets for the game. But still many Leeds fans are planning on travelling down, with trains and coaches booked already. It has been possible to watch the game in bars in the Chelsea Village complex, paying a tenner to get in in the past so many will no doubt try that tack, but the police - and Chelsea themselves - might not want such a huge crowd of the travelling Whites in one place so close to the ground. Expect great fun, many ticket checks and a reprise of 1984's visit to Stamford Bridge where Chelsea - already promoted - hammered Leeds 5-0 and the Leeds fans dismantled the scoreboard and generally went on the rampage. Though I'm sure that Mr Abramovich's Russian connections will be on hand to dissuade us if we try...

April 30: Leeds MD David Richmond said that the club's decision to appoint an agent to attempt to sell some of the club's best players was not unusual after Alan Smith hit out at the apparent effort to palm him off to any club that came up with the cash without consulting him first. Richmond said: "This isn't just about Alan Smith. We're accepting nothing at this stage, all we are doing is looking at the market. There is nothing unusual at all about what we are doing. A lot of clubs do the same at this stage of the season. But because it's Leeds United it's being blown up into something sensational." And he added: "All we are doing is trying to make sure we are prepared for next season. We would be foolish if we didn't do that. We are not going to be desperate sellers."

April 30: Caretaker boss Eddie Gray says that his side can create history by grabbing the remaining 9 points on offer and staying up - despite the club's apparently terminal current position. Speaking to LUTV he said: "There is a chance they can create history of a sort, there's nine points to play for and while they are there you have always got a chance. We have been saying that all season but you have to be able to do it on the field." And he pointed out that the players did not want to be marked down as failures, but also want to do what they can to repay the fans who have given amazing support all season. He said: "The players realise that this is a club many people hold dear to their hearts, it generates big support and they will keep the players going and as long as we show them we are having a go they will get behind us. We have to give it a go because we can't let them down on that point."

April 29: Shameless plug time. Today is my birthday - where's my present?

April 29: Alan Smith has lashed out at the board's attempt to offload him without even speaking to him first. He's well aware that the club won't be able to afford his wages - and that his England prospects will take a knock - if Leeds go down so his departure would be inevitable, but he doesn't want to be flogged via the equivalent of a car boot sale. He said: "Everyone knows I love this club, but it seems they have appointed an agent to sell me somewhere I might not want to go. If I have to leave it will be to a club of my choice, not theirs." A bid of just short of £6 million from a Premier League club is understood to be on the table already, with Birmingham, Villa, Boro and Man U all said to be interested, and Valencia also keen to take him over to Spain despite the manner of his departure from the Mestalla last time round.

April 29: Next season's new home kit from Diadora is launched today - although it's not formally released until June 5. You can order it in advance through the official website from next week, and they've got a "sneak peek" of the kit on the site- highlighting the early 70's "curly writing" LUFC logo.

April 28: Season ticket prices for next season will be frozen at this year's level, according to the programme from Sunday's game. It looks like that will mean an extra 4 games in the price - but it still leaves the price at Premier League levels when it looks likely it will be Nationwide League games. It's all very well persuading folks to part with £35 for the likes of ManU, Arsenal and Liverpool and then saying "Hey, the season ticket guarantees you a seat for the big games AND saves you money," but I can't see them getting away with much more than £25 a pop maximum for Forest/Sunderland/Sheff U/West Ham, and £20 for Gillingham, Palace and so on if they want to see the stadium more than 75% full.

April 28: David O'Leary says that he acted like "a bit of an ****hole" in his final season at Elland Road (jabba adds: I'm no prude, but I don't want to fire off more profanity filters than absolutely necessary, hence the asterisks). O'Leary said: "I thought I had changed a bit and had too much to say. I was put up by the club to say too many things and now I think I just want to be myself again. I was told to do this and that at Leeds and became too opinionated about things that had no relevance to myself. I had changed and I suppose the court case changed me a bit. There was a siege mentality. Now I just want to be the person I was during my first three years at Leeds." He also hit out again at the way his reputation was attacked by the club following his dismissal: "I have no complaints if someone wants a change, but just do it right. Just say 'thanks but we are sacking you', pay me off and wish me all the best. But to try and blacken you as well isn't right. It was dirty." He remains particularly unhappy at the suggestion that the players no longer wanted to play for him - that he had lost the dressing room. He adds: "The smearing came as low as people saying that when I left Leeds we were on a bad run. We won seven of my last 10 games in charge and only lost one; people forget that."

April 28: Michael Duberry says that the club's plight this season "burns and hurts". He said: "It's all about pride. We're right down there and some of the results this year and the beatings we've had, it all hurts deeply. You look at the table and to see Leeds down there really hurts. Over half this squad is used to being near the top of the table and playing in Europe. When you go from up there to down here it's a different world." Poor old Doobs - hurt so much that he was caught by the Sky cameras having a good laugh with a Pompey defender when we were 0-2 down on Sunday.

April 28: A board meeting is set for next Tuesday to set their worst-case scenario plan into operation should Leeds lose at Bolton and if Man City have (typically) done the unexpected and beaten Newcastle on Saturday. Chairman Gerald Krasner made it clear there would be no panic but action needed to be taken sooner rather than later. He said: "We are not going to discuss the financial side of things. But we will stick to our plans and if we are relegated then we will sit down as a board on Tuesday and go through the second strategy and deal with it. We obviously cannot do anything until the end of the season with regard to the players. All I would say is, if there are clubs interested then they should declare their interest." Leeds have appointed an agent to flush out early moves for the key players in the hope of pushing the price up rather than being forced into a fire sale. MD David Richmond indicated that early moves were essential if the club go down, in order to have a decent chance of picking up new players for the promotion battle ahead. He said: "We will not be selling players for knockdown prices, but it is very important that we are prepared, particularly if the worst comes to the worst and we are relegated. We would be negligent if we didn't prepare fully. We're not actively looking to sell at this stage, but we are looking to see what is what."

April 28: Leeds City Council leader Keith Wakefield has indicated that they would follow public opinion and support the erection of a statue to honour John Charles. He said: "The overwhelming message we got back was that people wanted a sculpture. We considered naming a school after John or renaming South Leeds Stadium, but in the end there was little doubt which was the most popular option." Now all they need to do is figure out where to put it - near the ground or in the city centre - and raise the cash. It is anticipated that it will cost a bit less than £100,000 with local trusts, businesses and the club itself being asked to finance it.

April 28: Former Leeds star striker - and slightly less stellar manager - Allan Clarke today said that Leeds could spend years out of the top flight if they go down this season. He said: "I think it could get worse before it gets better. If they do go down then there will have to be a big rebuilding job, by that I mean the club is going to have to produce its own players again. You are not talking two or three years, you are talking five years to bring youngsters on and there are going to be hard times ahead." And he added: "I just hope that all the Leeds fans, who are the best in the country for the way they have supported these players, but have still been let down by these players, stick with us." Clarke pointed to the perceived lack of commitment from some of the current squad, saying: "I just hope that when these young lads do come through they are prepared to die for that famous white shirt like the players who put this club on the world map. We would have died for this club and I just hope that any future player who comes to Leeds United has the same attitude we gave."

April 28: Ian Harte played for the first hour of the Republic's friendly in Poland tonight. The game ended goalless, and Harte seems to have come through unharmed, even though he appeared to pick up a knock early in the first half. Alan Maybury came on as a replacement for Harte, picking up a booking for a late challenge almost immediately. Teddy Lucic was also in action, having a solid enough game for Sweden in their 2-2 draw in Portugal.

April 27: Alan Smith came out and pleaded with the fans for understanding if he is forced to quit the club in the summer. He said: "I hope everyone understands if I have to leave. While I am here I will always give 100%. Everyone knows that. Your support for me has been brilliant and that makes it hard. I would love to score goals for Leeds in the years ahead but it is a difficult time." Smithy might not get much of a say in the matter: it seems that David Richmond has moved into top gear with his transfers-and-contracts hat on and has instructed agent Philip Morrison to reprise the job he did for Sunderland when they faced the drop last season. Morrison has until the end of the season to sort out the sales of Mark Viduka, Paul Robinson and Alan Smith - and possibly anyone else that he can find a buyer for - as the board starts to accept the reality of Division 1 football by cutting the highest earners.

April 27: Eddie Gray reckons that the club will bounce straight back if we end up being relegated - though I'm not sure I share his optimism. He said: "We will keep working away until it is impossible to survive. It is sad that we find ourselves in such unfortunate circumstances, but football is a funny game and you never can tell. When I came to this club in 1963 we were in the old Second Division but we always pushed forward. We have a great fan base so the club will bounce back whatever happens." Certainly if we stay up, I can't see next season being much different to this one, but that's not to say (a) I'd welcome relegation or (b) that we'd have much of a hope of promotion without some fairly hefty surgery to the squad. And that takes money...

April 27: Bolton have advised fans that there will be no train services between Bolton and Preston on Sunday - so that means the normal station stop for fans arriving at the Reebok will NOT be in operation. There will be extra buses leaving Bolton interchange at 1255 and from Chorley at 1240. Sounds like it's another parking nightmare for the rest of us.

April 27: Jason Wilcox could be the man to provide Eddie Gray with a midfield option for Sunday's trip to Bolton. He's finally back and fit from a knee injury with just three games to prove to potential new clubs that his contract will be worth picking up when it runs out in the summer. He said: "All I can do is get fit and put myself in a situation where I'm available and it's Eddie's call then. I just want to play as many games as I can now whether it's reserves or wherever, but it would be great to play in the first team again before the end of the season." Eddie Gray said: "He's doing very well to say that he had a long term injury, he's come back well and he's a fit lad anyway. He always trains well and it won't take him long." But Gray was not giving any firm indication as to whether Wilcox's experience - rather than the pace and real match fitness which appear to have long since deserted him - will be used to help the first team survive or will be confined to the remaining reserve fixture in a fortnight.

April 26: Eddie Gray says that his team must win all three games if there is to be any hope of avoiding the drop. He said: "For us to stay up I think we have to win the three matches - and that has not happened in sequence this season. It is going to be extremely difficult. I felt this was a fixture we had to win. You have to be realistic in football and we know how difficult it will be now." Winning at Bolton and at home to Charlton would be achievable in any normal season - but now it's very hard to see how we'll do it. As for a win at Stamford Bridge, I know that their poor form must give us some hope but it's the hope rather than the despair that's the hardest thing to cope with at the moment. Gray went on: "We gave away a couple of sloppy goals and lacked the quality to break Portsmouth down. But where there are points to play for we have to continue to work hard in the hope of getting results. We have not performed well enough, it's quite simple but the boys worked hard to the end of the game."

April 26: James Milner says that Leeds is where his heart is - but he's realistic that he might not be with the club next season. He's played his heart out and run himself into the ground this season and with Alan Smith was just about the only player on the pitch yesterday to keep his head up for the whole game. He said: "My heart is with Leeds. I've wanted to play for this club all my life. I want to stay as long as I can. I've just been concentrating on trying with the others to get us out of this mess." But he added: "When you hear the other clubs are showing interest, it's flattering. It builds confidence as well, knowing that you must be doing something right... Once the season's finished, the rest will take care of itself."

April 26: Geoffrey Richmond was today the subject of bankruptcy proceedings at Leeds Crown Court with debts of around £3.3 million following the collapse of a business. He applied for an adjournment in order to attempt to recover some of the money, but the judge turned him down. This is the man whose advice apparently saved Leeds a million and was on the point of becoming managing director. Maybe he was just unlucky - we seem to be a bit of a magnet for bad luck over the last few years: maybe it's time to recall Don Revie's gypsy.

April 26: Steve Caldwell said that yesterday's result was "disastrous" for Leeds and that the team needed to put the result behind them as they try to get the points they need to stay up. He said: "It's going to be hard but we still have games and we still feel we can get the points so we can get out of this mess. There's no time to mope because if we do that we are definitely going to be relegated." And he went on: "It was pretty quiet in the dressing room, but I am sure the man that Eddie is he will pick us up and get us ready for Bolton." If he's lucky he might not have to go through that: Jon Woodgate's torn thigh muscle looks likely to have knocked him out of the rest of Newcastle's games this season and could even put his participation in Euro 2004 in doubt, so Bobby Robson is considering whether he needs to recall Caldwell from his loan at Leeds in order to provide the Magpies with adequate cover at the back.

April 25: Harry Kewell admitted that he had been less than fully successful in his first season at Anfield. In common with just about everyone else who has walked away from Elland Road in the last year or so, Kewell's patchy form has been mirrored by the rest of his Anfield team-mates as they struggle to secure the final Champions League spot for next season. Kewell said: "I'm the first person to hold up my hands and say I'm not playing well. I wasn't happy with my form a few months ago and I'm still not happy now." He complained that he has had an injury - but isn't using it as an excuse for his poor form. He added: "I know the supporters aren't happy at the moment. They can see what's happening, but they know what I'm capable of and I just want to give them the chance to see it."

April 25: I've no longer got words to describe what I've seen on the pitch. Michael Duberry's total failure to pick up Yakubu's run made some of Roque Junior's defending look professional. The lack of creativity shown by the midfield prior to the arrival of Barmby was hardly surprising given that we had two centrebacks there - at least they looked like they were trying even if they were out-run and out-played by a well-organised Pompey side. The reaction of the players to the second goal told its own tale - and although it's not yet a mathematical certainty that we'll go down it's hard to see us gaining the minimum 4 points we need to stay up. Still, you never know - the FA might dock City and Leicester a few points after Saturday's brawl and for the first time in the club's history we'd benefit from the authorities' decisions!

April 25: Okay, it's finished on a bit of a low, but we did produce a couple of decent performances earlier in April, so get your votes in now for the April Player of the Month vote.

April 24: I'm over in Dublin after the Pompey game - so don't expect any news updates or post-match stats until Monday. Let's hope I'll be using the black stuff to celebrate rather than drown my sorrows.

April 24: Alan Smith today said that the team needed the crowd right behind them if they were to get the points we need to stay up. He said: "[The crowd are] always going to be there - they always have been. Right from the second division to the Champions League, this club has had great support. You can't appreciate them enough. They'll be as disappointed as we are by what's gone on this season. If we played like they support us, we'd by flying. There's four more games and they'll be there in numbers - they can sing us to survival." And despite the enormity of what Leeds need to do, Smith still thinks that he and his fellow players can do enough: "We've got some big games coming up, starting with Portsmouth. We've got to win that one without a doubt. We've had other games this season where people have said that, but we're capable of beating Portsmouth. We have four games left and we'll need to win at least three. I think we're capable of doing that."

April 23: Reports today suggested that the latest approach to take over the club had caused a split in the boardroom, with David Richmond and Gerald Krasner in favour of the approach but Simon Morris and Melvyn Levy against. Haulage company owner Steve Parkin is a long-term fan of the club and a member of the "Gold Club" hospitality suite and isn understood to have been in talks with the board for some time, but despite the imminent need for more cash, his bid has not been accepted. Football finance expert Bill Gerrard said: "I said when the Krasner deal was done that the figures did not stack up. Now it seems Krasner is putting the club up for sale. I expected it to end in tears, but not this quick. I really feel for my fellow fans who thought it had all been sorted." Peter Lorimer tried to offer a positive view of things, saying: "[The board] are good people and don't forget they rescued the club when there was no one else who was prepared to do so. The chairman has always said other people could come in. That seems a positive for the club."

April 23: Eddie Gray is considering how best to deal with the absence of Mark Viduka from Sunday's line-up. He was clearly unhappy to have lost him to such a pointless red card, but now needs to think how he can rejig his threadbare squad to do enough to snatch the three points against Pompey. Gray said: "Losing Mark was a blow, he knows himself that it was a silly sending off. Mark is a key player for us and I think any team would miss a player like him, not just us, but with the position we are in we cannot afford to let it affect us." James Milner or Simon Johnson - or even Jermaine Pennant - could switch to partner Alan Smith up front, or Gray may opt to play Smith as a lone striker with a five-man midfield. Gray said: "Simon Johnson is one who has done well for the reserves this season. He's been scoring freely and has been sharp in training but he is not the only option. There's James as well, even though he has been playing on the wing he is comfortable upfront and he may even prefer to play there."

April 23: Stories early today suggested that Mark Viduka was in dispute with the club over a bizarre clause in his huge pay deal. Apparently £20,000 in image rights and "scouting fees" has been withheld - but since the deal has yet to unearth any talent from Down Under that's hardly surprising. Trevor Birch apparently agreed to the payment, but Gerald Krasner has yet to agree to the terms. But Eddie Gray denied there was any rift with the striker. He said: "I am disappointed about some of the stories about Mark Viduka falling out with the club over money and going on strike. Mark has been terrific for us and it is unfortunate that he is suspended for this game which is a big blow because he is a big player for us. I don't know where all the rubbish like that came from and the players are rightly disappointed with the comments."

April 23: It seems as though Danny Mills will be coming back to Elland Road after all - provided we manage to stay up. Boro chief exec Keith Lamb said: "What happens at Leeds over the next few games will decide whether they want to keep Danny. We will see if a deal can be struck which will be acceptable to everyone. Nothing happened in January because my offer was not acceptable to Leeds United - and there was no real pressure to strike a deal as Danny was ours for the rest of the season anyway." Danny Mills knows he won't face the same problem with Eddie Gray that he did with Peter Reid and would be keen to return to Leeds if it meant Premier League football, but he knows that - for his England hopes as well as his pay packet - he might have to agree to remain at Boro if Leeds go down.

April 22: So Geoffrey Richmond is out the door, but the controversy remains. The press today carried reports that it was Melvyn Levi and Simon Morris who had forced Richmond out after his attempts to raise his own profile and push himself into a position of control despite not having any money invested in the club. Following up on that today, it seems that Gerald Krasner has turned down a bid for the club from a group led by local businessman Steve Parkin - although some reports say that the bid has been accepted in principle at least. Krasner indicated that more investment would be welcome - but not on the terms offered. The situation is getting increasingly desperate, as it seems that the consortium agreed to pay Jack Petchey £1.5 million in interest every two months if his loan is not repaid by June. With no real money coming in from the 20-year season-ticket scheme, and little prospect of securing the required funding from a sale and leaseback of the ground, the new consortium could find themselves struggling to keep the club going despite the vast improvement that they have managed to bring to the overall financial situation. Krasner said: "We have always said we would do anything in the interests of Leeds United. If Mr Abramovich mark II came along we would be foolish not to sit down and talk. But we have a strategy we are working on. Stage one of that strategy was to save the club and now we are on to stage two of that strategy."

April 22: Paul Robinson spoke for many people today when he said that the decision to switch the kick-off of this weekend's game was crazy. Speaking on the official website, he said: "There are some crazy kick-off times I don't know who dreamt that one up. It all seems a bit silly, especially for Portsmouth supporters travelling up. As players we will be alright because we get looked after but you can't help but feel a bit for their supporters. When you have to make a five or six hour journey, an 11:30 kick-off is just ludicrous." Too right - and I know a few Pompey fans who are rightly miffed after booking travel well in advance, just as many Leeds fans were left out of pocket last weekend when the Arsenal game was shifted forward to the Friday night after many folks had already bought train tickets for the Saturday. But if we go down, then expect a lot more of the same: police concerns plus TV interest will almost certainly lead to early, late or anything other than Saturday 3pm starts for our games.

April 21: Eddie Gray has said he would rather boil his own head in tar rather than see David Batty come back into the side (or something along those lines anyway). Despite a midfield injury crisis which has seen the caretaker boss find it necessary to field two centrebacks as makeshift midfielders (while leaving two international midfielders on the bench), Gray is adamant that he will not go back on his decision to push David Batty out of the squad. Gray said: "David won't be coming back. He's gone and that's it. That won't happen. I made a decision on David and that's that. It's quite simple. The midfield is not a major concern for me. We've got Lucas Radebe and Dominic Matteo and I think we'll be fine." If that's what Gray really thinks then the board should remove him from the job before Sunday. The lack of creativity in midfield against Everton cost us two vital points - not for the first time this season - and the lack of protection afforded the back four has cost us a huge number of goals and points, and we cannot afford such a complacent attitude if we are to hang on to the remotest hope of survival.

April 21: One-time French loanee Cyril Chapuis didn't make much of an impression at Leeds - but he's making the wrong sort of impact at Strasbourg after moving back across the channel when Leeds cut short his loan. He's been thrown into the reserves after missing a training session with Racing and could miss the rest of the season.

April 21: Geoffrey Richmond has severed all of his ties with Leeds United - to the relief of many fans who viewed his stewardship of Bradford as an ill omen for what was happening at Elland Road. After advising the consortium on the takeover, he stayed on as a consultant and was named as the man to talk to about contracts and transfers just last week, but a club statement today said that he would be leaving "with immediate effect", citing "personal and health reasons". His son David will assume the role of managing director, taking on his father's responsibilities for player deals. Strong rumours suggest that there was slightly more to it than the reasons given, with his high media profile counting against him - including an interview last week in which he stated his desire to take control at Elland Road - and with rumours of a boardroom split on the best way forward for the club following the low take-up of the 20-year season ticket scheme leaving the consortium struggling to find the money to pay off Jack Petchey in the summer. Watch the skies - there's more on this to come I'm sure.

April 21: Caretaker boss Eddie Gray has admitted that the pressure of struggling to survive in the top flight was beginning to take its toll on him. But after all of his experience, he accepts it's just part of the game, and he adds: "The main concern for everybody at the moment is making sure we survive and it's vital that we do. This is a big club, the only one in this city and the fans are passionate about it and that's why it's important we stay up."

April 21: Sunderland went down 3-0 at Palace tonight, which means that - without kicking a ball - Nigel Worthington's Norwich City side can no longer finish outside of the top two and will be playing Premier League football next season. Congratulations to Nigel - and to Darren Huckerby whose goals have been instrumental in their winning campaign - and let's hope we'll see them at Elland Road next season.

April 21: Steve Caldwell joins his brother Gary in Berti Vogts' Scotland squad for next week's friendly with Denmark. Caldwell was in the squad for their last friendly but stayed on the bench after being part of the side hammered by Wales.

April 20: Alan Smith has told his team-mates to put Friday's hammering by Arsenal out of their thoughts and concentrate on the remaining games. He said: "We have to get that result out of our system straightaway. It's gone now and there's no point dwelling on it. The important thing is to pick ourselves up for the last four games. We've got to hold our hands up and say we were beaten by a world-class side. When Arsenal play like that I don't think anyone could live with them." And despite the fact that the side leaked five goals, Smithy said that nobody was blaming the defence: "It's a team game and it's vital that we stick together for the games coming up."

April 20: Club captain Dominic Matteo has been passed fit for Sunday's crucial clash with Pompey at Elland Road. Matteo has been carrying a foot injury but has come through and will start on Sunday - although whether he plays in midfield or defence must be open to question as Eddie Gray strives to plug the holes in The Whites' sieve-like back line. With only three clean sheets all season - the win at Charlton and the goalless draws at home to Villa and Saints - this is one of the poorest seasons ever experienced by Leeds' defence.

April 20: Nick Barmby says that he's still keen to make an impact at Elland Road despite the limited chances he has been offered this season. Picking up thirty grand a week, that works out at more than 100K per appearance over two seasons - but in today's Express he said that he thought he still had a few years of top flight football in him, and that he would be staying with Leeds. He said: "My aim is to get back in the first team and keep playing at the highest possible level for as long as possible... I am just as good today as I was two years ago. I never lose faith. I have proved I can do it at the highest level and you never lose your ability, maybe just your legs." And he went on: "I am very positive about what I can and can't do and I know I have got the next four or five years ahead of me and I see my future at Leeds United." Barmby says that he's still giving 100% in training, and was happy that he was doing everything he could, even if he wasn't making it into the first team squad.

April 20: Galatasaray were today linked with a surprise move for Mark Viduka as speculation around Leeds' players mounts with relegation looking more and more likely. Boro, Milan and Roma have all been connected with the big striker, although all will have a problem matching his current wages. However Leeds director David Richmond later refuted all suggestions of an imminent sale: "We categorically deny any interest from Galatasaray in Mark Viduka our any of our players".

April 20: Michael Bridges will look to take advantage of Craig Bellamy's misfortune and use the remaining games of the season to win a permanent deal at St James Park. Bellamy pulled up with a hamstring injury in Sunday's game against Villa, leaving Bridges with an excellent opportunity to prove to Bobby Robson that he is over his own injury problems and is worthy of a contract when he becomes a free agent in the summer. Bridges said: "I've maybe got an opportunity to play now against Marseille [UEFA Cup semi-final] because of Craig's injury, but I don't pick the team and we don't yet know how serious it is I've not played that much since I came here and I picked up an injury at a bad time, but this is a chance for me to prove I deserve a contract in the summer... Everybody knows that I'm desperate to stay here and there is perhaps an opportunity to prove that I have a part to play here."

April 20: Ian Harte's excellent free kick in the the last friendly match has seen the left-back retain his place in the Ireland squad for the friendly in Poland next week.

April 19: Leeds Ladies went down 0-1 to top-of-the-table Charlton in the last game of their league campaign this season. They conceded an early goal when Addicks skipper Casey Stoney struck from a corner, but with Fulham beating Doncaster Belles 3-2 that leaves Leeds in fourth spot. Charlton may be on top, but both Arsenal and Fulham have games in hand and could take the crown if they win their outstanding fixtures.

April 19: Caretaker manager Eddie Gray has told his players to put Friday's hammering by Arsenal out of their heads and concentrate on the four remaining games. He said: "I've told my players to put the Arsenal match behind them as we don't play teams like them every week. We can't dwell on it. We have to keep working as hard as we can and the Portsmouth match will be vital." Except that Pompey's recent run of form takes things out of our hands somewhat, and I can see a large number of headphones being in use over the next few weeks as we try to find out what Man City are doing while we're watching Leeds.

April 19: Leeds United were represented by Gerald Krasner, Peter Lorimer and Eddie Gray at today's packed-out memorial service for John Charles at the Brangwyn Hall in his home town of Swansea. Numerous other football stars were present to pay their respects, including stars of the past and present from Wales and Juve. Swansea council were faced with an unprecedented demand for tickets from friends and fans alike and had to compile a waiting list for those who missed out. A council spokesman said: "The huge demand for seats reflects the esteem in which John Charles continues to be held. John Charles's widow, Glenda has been fully consulted on the service which will celebrate the life and career of Wales's greatest footballer." After the service, Glenda said: "I know now I really did make the right decision to bring him home. He loved Wales and I'm sure that I have done the right thing." Some pictures from the service are on the BBC's website.

April 18: The U-17 Academy side have been knocked out of the play-offs at the first stage. They went down 1-3 at home to Spurs on Saturday in the quarter-final match.

April 18: Despite the fact that Nigel Martyn has already made it clear that he feels he has no future as an England player, it seems that Sven is still trying to persuade him otherwise. With Chris Kirkland now out for the season, and David James, Paul Robinson and Ian Walker all involved in relegation battles and not exactly setting the world alight, Martyn's form for Everton has persuaded Eriksson to have another go at persuading the former Leeds keeper to join the squad for Portugal. But Nige is thought unlikely to want to spend a month away from his wife and family if all that the England coach can offer is a place on the bench.

April 18: Today's News of the World says that Alan Smith's surprising secret admirer is singer Dido. They quote a "friend" saying: "Dido's always had a bit of a thing for Alan. Word got back to him and it all took off from there." Apparently Smithy recently split up from his previous girlfriend, but this is just a bit of fun at the moment.

April 18: A fax has gone out to every league club in England confirming Geoffrey Richmond as the man in charge when it comes to handling all contracts and transfers at Leeds. With Trevor Birch out of the picture there is nobody around with Richmond's footballing experience, as chairman Gerald Krasner states: "Geoffrey has 15 years' experience and expertise in football and that is invaluable to us. People forget what he did for Bradford, he was the man who took them into the Premiership. They only remember the troubles he had in the last two years there." But some papers today carried a story saying that some external investors had been in touch with the chairman with a view to buying out the current consortium barely a month after they had taken over themselves. Maybe this is a hint of the Leighton/Sheikh consortia coming back into view: there's no way that the bondholders would have accepted a well-financed group coming in and cutting the same sort of deal on the debt that Krasner and co managed - but now those problems are out of the way it's possible that somebody with a bit more financial clout might find Leeds a more attractive prospect.

April 17: Danny Granville headed a close-range equaliser for Palace against 9-man Wigan this afternoon, squaring the game at 1-1. Elsewhere a win for Blackburn against Leicester and a woeful performance by ManU to lose 1-0 at Pompey looks to have taken our fate out of our hands. It looks like it's down to us or City for the drop - and even if we beat Pompey on Sunday week they could still escape and we could still go down. Not the best weekend in Leeds football history.

April 17: Jermaine Pennant's loan spell with Leeds has been extended up to the end of the season. It's likely he'll return to Highbury in the summer, and although Arsene Wenger has made positive noises about his progress, it's hard to see how he would fit into their (almost) all-conquering line-up.

April 17: Alan Smith said that Leeds had actually gone into last night's hammering at Highbury feeling confident! He said: "We felt we had nothing to lose, but in the end we did and it cost us five goals. What can I say? They are world class players and it was a world class performance. We've got to hold our hands up and say we were beaten by a better team." Maybe next time it would be better to approach their ground completely s***-scared from the off - might work out better in the long run and that way we can save our confidence and hope for games we can actually win.

April 16: Caretaker boss Eddie Gray says that Arsenal need to be on their guard against on-form hitman Mark Viduka. With 6 goals in 8 matches to his credit - and the winning strike in last season's equivalent game - Viduka is bang in form. Gray said: "Mark has quite a good goalscoring record against Arsenal. He is capable of scoring goals and they will look upon that in the same way we look upon Thierry Henry." But Gray said that his side also needed to watch out for the pace of the PFA-nominated striker. He said: "There is not really a better individual player around than Henry. He is a tremendous footballer and has a great goalscoring record. We have got to be wary of him breaking at us quickly because he has done it to us a few times in the past." And despite the long odds on offer, Gray has not ruled out the seemingly impossible hope of a Leeds win. He said: "A win is not out of the question. If I thought that I wouldn't even bother putting the boys on the coach. If we play to our capabilities, I think we could win the match."

April 16: Arsene Wenger said that his team would be approaching tonight's game with a totally different attitude to the one which saw them finally concede their title hopes last season. He said: "Things have changed since we lost to Leeds last year. When we met them we had nearly conceded in our heads that the championship was lost and now the championship is there to win. They are in the same situation, that they need to fight to survive. On the day were on a low. It was just after the Bolton game when we had drawn 2-2 when we virtually lost the championship." And Wenger added that keeping Leeds' front two quiet was key to the result: "Last year, against Leeds, Viduka and Harry Kewell had outstanding games On the day they were the matchwinners. Viduka killed the game off with an outstanding goal and it will be important to keep him and Alan Smith quiet because they will go for a direct game, so Sol Campbell and Kolo Toure will have a major influence on the game."

April 16: Peter Lorimer and Eddie Gray will be on the sofa with Chris Kamara on Sunday morning on Sky Sports Goals on Sunday programme. That's the one that covers what's gone on in the Nationwide - will be interesting to see what manager and director have to say after tonight's hammering.

April 16: Championship-winner Tony Dorigo says that Leeds will need to make a monumental effort to get clear of the drop zone in the few remaining games. He said: "Results last Monday went against us and we're now two points away, three with the goal difference. If we don't get anything at Arsenal tonight it will be a bigger mountain, but we've still got Portsmouth, Bolton and Charlton and three wins will do it." Speaking about tonight's game against Arsenal, he said: "The biggest thing is guaranteeing a performance. Whatever it brings it brings, but that performance is vital. There's no point in attacking them and getting tanked four or five. That is not what we need right now." And he finishes on a slightly downbeat note: "We're now on knife edge and although I still think it's possible, it's getting harder and harder."

April 16: In the end we were lucky to escape with just a 5-0 defeat tonight. Despite fielding four centrebacks - plus Matt Kilgallon on the bench, in case one of the four got injured no doubt - we gave a great impression of a team that had never heard of the word "tackle" and just didn't have the first clue about how to deal with players of pace and vision. Thierry Henry was on fire and you can't take anything away from his finishing and running, but we made it easy for Arsenal by playing a poorly-organised offside trap, leaving huge gaps between the defenders and worrying so much about getting turned and burned that we gave all of their front players at least a yard too much space. The Leeds support was terrific as ever - behind the team from start to finish and - apart from about 10 minutes late in the second half - completely unchallenged by the home fans. At the end just about all of the Leeds team came down to the Clock End to offer extended thanks to the fans for their backing. Realistically this doesn't change anything about our chances of survival: we didn't expect to get any points from this game, and our goal difference was already so far gone that another five goals conceded won't be significant if we finish level on points with any of our competitors. But what it does do is give a big boost to the likes of Pompey and Blackburn ahead of tomorrow's games. Time to start cheering on ManU I'm afraid.

April 16: Caretaker boss Eddie Gray says that Arsenal will be worthy champions when they finally lift the trophy after they destroyed Leeds at Highbury tonight. He said: "I am disappointed, but they were far superior in every department. They're a top-class side and when you catch them like that you'll struggle. It was slack defending for the second goal but they looked like they could score at will. Henry is phenomenal. The players are disappointed but there is admiration for Arsenal's display." And he went on: "They play with great flair and they're very pleasing to the eye. Not so much for me today but I enjoy watching them play. It's just disappointing that the result's come at this time and we've just got to pick ourselves up."

April 15: Newcastle chairman Freddy Shepherd says that yet another failure to qualify for the Champions League would not leave the Magpies in a similar situation to Leeds. He said: "Some other clubs would love to be where we are. We have turned a disaster into a profit with progress in the Uefa Cup but the Champions League is the place to be and we've got to make sure we are there this season." Newcastle have recruited heavily and have a pretty big squad - and you can presume that nobody is exactly poor at St James Park - and Bobby Robson could still face some difficult decisions if they finish outside the top four.

April 15: With just six games to go and a 7-point plus 1-game lead on their nearest rivals, you'd think that Arsene Wenger would be happy to see his team just cruise to the title - but he insists that there is still "a long way to go" before they can claim the silverware. He said: "It is far from being done. We have six games to go and they are tricky. But the spirit and desire is there." And he's trying to deflect attention from their chance of getting through the entire season unbeaten: "That is only a secondary target. The aim is to finish as high as we can. All I can say is that the unbeaten run helps. It has helped us keep going." Leeds were the last team to win in the league at Highbury when Mark Viduka's 88th minute goal clinched safety last season - handing the title to ManU in the process: let's hope for a repeat of at least part of that match this time around.

April 15: Leeds' World Cup-winning loan misfit Roque Junior could be on the move again at the end of the season. He's currently helping Siena at the wrong end of Serie A - and will be facing his Milan team-mates at the weekend - but rumours are circulating about where he will end up next season, with Benfica currently touted as a likely destination. But his agent quashed suggestions that he wanted to go anywhere other than back to the San Siro this summer (are you watching Andrea D'Amico and Jonathan Barnett?). Alessandro Lucci said that there had been no contact between the clubs, adding: "[Benfica] wanted to sign him in January but Roque had already given his word to Siena by then. My client will remain where he is until June, then he will be back at Milan where he still has one year left on his contract."

April 15: Nigel Martyn today ruled himself out of a return to the international stage - despite the fact that he's clearly the best fit English keeper around at the moment. His switch to Everton at the end of August was most timely with Richard Wright struggling for fitness all season, and many of his performances have been as impressive as the one he turned in on Tuesday night. But he says that his international days are at an end: "In a major championship, if you knew you had a chance of playing then that is something you would have to go for but I think the FA have got right behind David James and made him number one and they are supporting him and that is how it should be as it gives him confidence." However he did recommend that Sven take Alan Smith to Portugal in the summer. He said: "Smith has always led the line well. He has always been a great competitor and a great striker. I would take him to Portugal. I think he gives us something a little bit different than some of the things we have got." And Martyn pointed to Smith's improved disciplinary record (although arguably the major change here has been for the refs to finally treat Smithy as just another player rather than one who has only to blink at the wrong time to pick up a card). Martyn said: "He is still playing very competitively but maybe he has stopped the silly things happening now."

April 15: Eirik Bakke has ruled himself out of any possible return to the first team this season - and he is targetting pre-season training as a realistic date to come back from his knee and thigh problems. Speaking to the Norwegian press, he said: "The goal is to train well at home during the summer. I will make use of the facilities that there are in Sogndal and train with the team. I hope to be completely ready for the pre-season campaign with Leeds in July." And he added: "It will be hard avoiding relegation. I think we need to win three games to save ourselves. We've got Bolton, Chelsea and Arsenal away, so it will not be easy. The hope is that we win our two home games."

April 15: Leeds Ladies face a difficult end to the season when Charlton visit Wheatley Park on Sunday afternoon. Leeds are in fourth spot, a point ahead of Doncaster with both teams having one game to play - but it will be a tough one for Leeds as Charlton have already won the League Cup this season. It's free admission - plus a free poster - for the under-16s, so get on down there on Sunday for the 2pm kick-off and cheer the Whites on.

April 15: Eddie Gray had some praise for young James Milner - one of the few bright spots in a rather depressing season. He said: "James is only 18 and it is a difficult season for him, especially with him being a local boy. He feels for the club but I have no doubts in my mind he will be a top-class player... James is the type of player who can play out wide, he can play up front, he can play off the front man and it will be interesting to see when James matures a little bit exactly where he will finish up playing." And Gray is looking to Jermaine Pennant to help Leeds get something out of the game against his team-mates at Highbury. He said: "Jermaine will relish going back to his own club and hopefully putting one over on them." He's hoping Leeds can repeat the result of the last two seasons and come away with a win - but knows it will be a tough match. Gray said: "We know what a great side they are but we have got to go there in the right frame of mind and concentrate for the whole 90 minutes." And he added: "We have got tough games away at Arsenal, Chelsea and Bolton but you have got to look at those games and pick something up."

April 14: Lucas Radebe could be pressed into action in midfield again for Leeds when they visit Highbury on Friday night. Seth Johnson will be out until around Christmas after his cruciate op, Eirik Bakke looks set to miss the rest of the season with his thigh problem and Stephen McPhail's rib injury means he's also a doubt. Eddie Gray said: "The question over Lucas is whether his knees will stand up to it. He's a great competitor. We just need to put him in the ice tub for the two or three days before we go to Highbury. Arsenal will be a tough match but we have to go there and try to pick up some points. We went there last year and won. That's how I look at it." Freddie Ljungberg and Ashley Cole are big doubts for the Gunners game at Highbury on Friday night. Ljungberg has had an op on a broken hand, and Cole sprained his ankle against Newcastle - so with two of the biggest diving cheats in the country out of the way, it looks like we'll have to find something else to complain about if Arsenal manage to sneak a point away from us. Quite a few tickets still available though - what with the late switch to a Friday night, a large number of folks are no longer able to make it (and indeed have wasted money on train tickets for the Saturday) so if you've got a Strikers Card why not give the Ticket Office a call and come and watch Arsenal lose their unbeaten league record :-)

April 14: After pulling off a man-of-the-match performance at Elland Road last night, Nigel Martyn says that he'll do what he can to help his old team out when Everton take on Wolves and - more relevantly - Blackburn and Man City on the run-in. He said: "There are no deals, I'm afraid. You just go out and play honestly and try to win every game, but I would love to help Leeds by keeping a few clean sheets against some of their rivals. I still live in Leeds and I was a bit sad after last night's game because they really needed to win, but hopefully they can turn things round in the remaining matches. If they play like they did against us they'll have a good chance and will win the majority of games they have left."

April 14: Danny Mills says he'd be happy to come back to Leeds in the summer - even if the club is relegated. It looks like his loan move to Boro now won't turn into a permanent switch after he has failed to agree terms with the Riverside outfit, and he said: "We had ups and downs at Elland Road - both good and bad, especially in Europe." And he went on: "I am still a Leeds player and if I have to go back there, whether it be in the Premiership or not, I am happy to go back and play for Leeds. If it transpires that is not the case, we all know they may have to sell players and if I am one of them, then so be it. But at the moment I am due to go back to Leeds on May 16 and become a Leeds United player again."

April 14: Ahhh...it's that time of year already. The time when big-mouthed agents with no grasp of financial reality start blabbing away about how their wonderful player is going to be on the move and how Leeds should be offering to mortgage the club's future in order to retain his services. And first out of the traps this year is Matthew Kilgallon's representative, Jonathan Barnett of the Stellar Group. Barnett said: "Given the new contract offer that Leeds have made to Matthew, one can only conclude that he does not figure very highly in their future plans. It was not what Matthew nor I were expecting and has left us very disappointed." So just what did they offer him Mr Barnett? A 100% increase on his current basic plus the chance to earn twice as much again if he actually plays for the first team rather than the reserves and more still if the club does well? Speaking as someone who's not had a pay rise in 4 years, I wonder if you'd like to come and explain to my employers why that situation has left me feeling a bit "disappointed" - but I suggest you book a large van to take back the volumes of financial data they'll give you which will explain why it just ain't gonna happen for me or Matthew.

April 14: There will be a memorial service for John Charles in his native Swansea next Monday. His widow Glenda said: "John was a fiercely proud Welshman and I wanted his final resting place to be at home in Swansea. I'm sure the service will be a fitting tribute and will offer many people the chance to attend and remember him."

April 13: Everton boss David Moyes today said that he thought Leeds could be on the point of escaping from the drop zone. He has been impressed with what he's seen from Leeds - particularly from the front two. He said: "A few weeks ago, it looked a tall order but they have got themselves in a position to really make a fight of it... They have got two terrific centre forwards in Alan Smith and Mark Viduka, and they are the two who make a big, big difference to their side. We know that if we are going to win we will have to defend well because the two lads up front for them are a real handful and quality players."

April 13: Seth Johnson was heading back to the operating theatre today to get his knee sorted out after he was carried off against Blackburn. It seems that his "good" knee - not the one that has kept him out of action for much of his Leeds career - has suffered cruciate damage and he probably won't be fit until well into next season. Eirik Bakke is also absent from tonight's game, with serious concerns that his thigh strain may continue to keep him out for the rest of the season.

April 13: Leeds chairman Gerald Krasner has dropped a hint that Eddie Gray could be allowed to stay at the helm if he gains the required UEFA qualification for next season. Krasner said: "He's got to decide certain things regarding his qualifications. He doesn't have the official badge at this time and I don't think we will get an extension into next season. Eddie is doing more than a decent job as manager of Leeds and has always been part of the club. We will sit down at the end of the season and have a chat." Of course, if Leeds go down it's academic since Division 1 managers don't need the badge!

April 13: Was this the final nail in the coffin? Despite the fact that we had two centrebacks in midfield (and, incidentally, two international midfielders on the bench) we were over-run in the middle of the park for much of the first half and had the woodwork to thank that we were only a goal down at half time. But after the break, there was much more purpose to the Leeds attack and it needed a number of great saves from Nigel Martyn to keep Everton in contention after James Milner's well-taken equaliser. But somehow the bounces all went against us, Nige was always positioned exactly where we were kicking the ball and the ref gave us less than nowt as per usual (three Everton players went unpunished when they kicked the ball at least as far away as Mark Viduka did to earn a booking and one-game ban last week, only 3 minutes of added time despite 3 subs being used, at least three times with trainers on the pitch, numerous cases of timewasting by Everton - even in stoppage time itself - but still Durkin's watch was set to favour the visitors). We really needed to do something to shake things up and snatch all three points in that last 15 minutes, but there was no reaction from the Leeds bench and the game petered out in a draw that leaves us in serious trouble. I can't see us getting anything from Arsenal or Chelsea. A win against Pompey is essential, and maybe we can get 2-4 points from the games against Charlton and Bolton. But that still leaves us with less than 40 points and a terrible goal difference - and that could be the thing that finally ends our stay in the top flight.

April 13: Eddie Gray thinks his side can still stay up despite dropping two vital points tonight. He said: "It leaves us in a difficult position but we can still win matches if we play like that. We deserved three points. Rooney scored a very good goal but after that we hemmed Everton in and had enough opportunities to win the game." And he went on: "We knew the situation we were in after the results over the Easter period, but it was important we never lost the game. We have a tough game at Arsenal now, but we've won there in the last two seasons so that shows what we can do." He finished: "We're only two points off safety so there is still everything to play for."

April 12: Club captain Dominic Matteo says that the team will be trying to continue to turn around the poor home form that has been on show for most of the season in Tuesday's game against Everton. He said: "We're not playing the best of stuff, but at least the effort is there and we are having a go. Teams have been coming here and it's been too easy for them this season, but I'm glad they are now getting a tough game, and those yet to come are going to find it harder than it has been this season." He went on: "That's the one thing that has disappointed me - teams have been seeing us as an easy touch, and that hurts me and a lot of the other lads. It affects your pride because just two years ago teams who came here, and we didn't play well, we would beat - and I'd like to get back to that."

April 12: Former Leeds star Nigel Martyn is looking forward to making his first return to Elland Road with Everton tomorrow night. He said: "I had a fantastic six years there. The last year wasn't as nice but before that they were good times. We went from a team who were probably struggling in the Premiership to qualification for Europe every year." And he talked up his former club's survival prospects: "With the squad they've got they've got every chance of getting out of it. It's going to be a very tough game for us. Going forward they're a very strong team so we've got to cope with that." And he also had a few good words for the Leeds fans: "Hopefully I'll get a good reception. They were tremendous at Goodison actually, they were singing my name for about 20 minutes, which was very touching. I was here trying to win over a new set of supporters and the old set were giving me a good reference. That was nice and hopefully I'll get that sort of reception again." Sure we will Nige - particularly if you "accidentally" spill one over the line with a minute to go for old times' sake :-)

April 12: Jody Morris got himself on the scoresheet for the first time for Rotherham in today's 0-2 win at Stoke. He missed an absolute sitter on 20 minutes.but made up for it when he fired home a minute later. Rotherham boss Ronnie Moore said: "Jody is getting stronger with every game and he has everything we have needed. He gets the ball and keeps it, something we really struggled to do until he arrived." Elsewhere Andy Gray scored twice for Sheffield United as the Blades came from behind to beat relegated Wimbledon 2-1 at Bramall Lane, and Tony Hackworth netted Scarborough's equaliser from the edge of the box as they too came back from a goal down to beat Accrington Stanley 2-1. Today's Premier League results didn't really go for us - although Wolves' failure to secure a win moves them another step closer to the drop. Pompey's 3-1 home win over Brum was somewhat helped by the visitors having Maik Taylor dismissed in the first half for handling the ball outside the box, and tonight's match between Fulham and Blackburn was characterised by some comedy defending and cracking finishing on both sides. but after dragging Rovers back into the relegation fight on Saturday it was a bit depressing to see them run out 3-4 winners tonight. While we're facing Everton tomorrow night, Leicester line up against Man U: a win for us and defeat for them would go a long way to cutting them out of the race for safety and leaving a straight race between Leeds, Pompey, Blackburn and Man City to avoid the final place in the drop zone.

April 12: Peter Lorimer added his voice to the throng of praise for the club's fans after yet another amazing show of support at Ewood Park. With over 4000 Leeds fans making the trip to Blackburn, there was a great atmosphere - even if it was a nightmare getting served in the pub. Lorimer said: "The fans were absolutely amazing again and I think fans of other teams now acknowledge what unbelievably good supporters they are. They showed last week at Birmingham, even when they lost, that they were right behind the team. When you are in a position that Leeds are in, where every point is vital, to have that support must be terrific for the players." Speaking to the official website, he added: "We sold the tickets out straight away, had to order more and it appears they just can't see enough of the team at the moment. The boys appreciate it and now we just hope they have something to cheer at the end of the season."

April 12: The club announced that they had already taken over £300,000 on the 20-year season ticket deal that the new board are promoting as a key way to bring in a large chunk of cash now in order to be able to pay off Jack Petchey and leave the club finally clear of serious long-term debt. David Richmond said: "The interest has been tremendous. Sales are coming along nicely. It is a big commitment for people to take, but we have arranged some finance packages for the fans interested. We believe it's a great value offer for supporters and we expect to sell out of the tickets before the end of the season." Well, I make that somewhat less than one hundred sold so far, and none of the credit card companies seem willing to be used to finance the purchases, thus showing great confidence in the likelihood of them being honoured in full (so maybe I'm being a bit less than generous here, but the club are still asking you to pay a booking fee after you've shelled out three or four grand on one of these tickets, so I guess I'm not alone when it comes to lack of generosity.

April 11: Get your votes in on Channel 4's England Dream Team website and get those Leeds boys voted into the England line-up. Terry Cooper versus Ashley Cole? No contest! Cheers to Bazzy for pointing this one out.

April 11: Geoffrey Richmond has come clean and said that he is keen to take over as Leeds chief exec when Trevor Birch steps down. Speaking in the Sunday Mirror, he said: "If I was asked to become chief executive I would do it. I thought I was finished in the game really. I had two years of hell. But now I'm like an alcoholic in a brewery." Hmmmm... so this would be the same G Richmond who most definitely wasn't involved with the takeover other than in a purely advisory role would it? He went on: "There are too many players and the wage bill is unsustainable. We have 58 players with a £53 million wage bill and 15 players have contracts of more than £1 million. I'm looking forward to the fact that players will go. But there will also be arrivals." How much will the directors' service contracts tip the scales at I wonder? Speaking about the likelihood of Leeds losing Alan Smith he said: "It's wrong to be resigned to Alan leaving at the end of the season. If the club were relegated, for his own understandable ambitions, Alan would want to stay in The Premier League. If we stay up we're not prepared to put up a noticeboard and say this player will leave or stay. It will depend on many factors. But one thing is clear, the wage bill will have to come down."

April 10: Blackburn boss Graeme Souness today warned his slumping Blackburn team that they were about to face their most vital game ever. He said: "This match is bigger than the League Cup final - that was go out and enjoy the day." He went on: "Considering the expectancy at the start of the season where we are now is difficult to deal with, but it is time for the players to stand up and be counted and I hope that they realise that. It is very easy to feel sorry for yourself but it is not an option... If you make a bad pass, miss an open goal, if you make a mistake, so what? It's what you do afterwards that matters." And he added: "The suggestion that some of my players are not equipped for a relegation fight is nonsense. What makes a good player is his ability to raise his game and dig deep when the going gets tough and that applies as much whether you are playing for the championship or battling against relegation."

April 10: Would you believe it - back-to-back wins at last, and no booking for Smithy so he's now safe from suspension (unless he gets himself sent off). Not a bad performance this afternoon - great start with an unmarked header for Steve Caldwell inside two minutes, a few good chances going begging for both sides, Leeds' now standard 15-minute midfield disappearance in the second half. But then a brilliant run out of defence by Jermaine Pennant was finally followed up with a decent cross which Mark Viduka hammered home to secure the points. Steve Caldwell looked to be the guilty party as the defence allowed Short a free header deep into stoppage time, but there's another three points gathered - and another team dragged back into the relegation fight. A few weeks ago it looked like it was three from Leeds, Wolves, Leicester and Pompey to go down. Right now it looks as if Wolves are doomed, but Man City and Blackburn have joined the other three sides in competition to escape the other two spots. Three wins - or maybe even two wins and two draws - from the last six games should be enough to save us now. Almost unnecessary to mention it after everything we've seen this season, but it was yet another magnificent performance from the Leeds fans: outnumbered 8-1 by the home fans, the only songs you could hear at Ewood Park from start to finish came from the Leeds end.

April 10: Caretaker boss Eddie Gray was understandably overjoyed with his side's performance against Blackburn today. He said: "This was important. This gives us an opportunity now. We've got games at home and we should make Elland Road a fortress from now on." Gray pointed to Steve Caldwell's early opener which served to keep the home fans quiet and sow a seed of doubt in the minds of Graeme Souness's players. Gray said: "That gave us a big lift and was a blow for them. It made it an uphill struggle for Blackburn after that. We managed to contain them well and then we had the opportunities in the second half to finish it. James Milner and Mark Viduka had chances, while Paul Robinson when he was called upon did his job, even though he nearly never played because he has been ill for the last couple of nights and has not trained since Tuesday. But all the boys worked extremely hard. This game has gone now though and we have to start focusing on Tuesday's home clash with Everton." Graeme Souness wasn't totally downhearted with what he saw - and indeed things could have been very different if Steve Dunn had awarded Blackburn a pretty justified penalty shortly after Leeds went in front when Duberry hauled Stead back. He said: "I don't think any of my players stopped wanting the ball, while we huffed and we puffed. Our quality at times was not up to scratch and we didn't make the goalkeeper work hard enough for the amount of ball we had, but I cannot fault my players for effort and as long as we retain that then we are in with a fighting chance."

April 10: David Wetherall got himself on the scoresheet for the first time in a couple of years today, scoring Bradford's opener against Reading as they scrambled a 2-1 win to keep their hopes of survival alive for another week. And while Steve Caldwell was scoring his first goal for Leeds at Ewood, his brother Gary also grabbed a goal - his cracking free kick opening the scoring for Hibs in their 3-0 win over Kilmarnock.

April 10: Seth Johnson looks set to recover from the injury that saw him stretchered off at Ewood Park on Saturday and will be ready to start against Everton on Tuesday night. Didier Domi - replaced by Ian Harte against Blackburn - is still suffering from a groin strain and will struggle to be ready. For the Toffees, Wayne Rooney returns from suspension (uhoh!) and big centreback David Weir is also back (remember that late goal at Goodison a couple of years back :-( ). Alan Stubbs and Kevin Campbell are also doubtful for the visitors.

April 09: Caretaker boss Eddie Gray has pointed to Alan Smith's improved behaviour on the pitch over the last few months ahead of the game at Ewood Park where one slip could see him missing the games against Pompey and Bolton. Under the totting-up process, Smith is one yellow card away from a two-game ban, but bookings received after this weekend don't count so it's vital Smith continues his recent improvement. Gray said: "It's important that we play with discipline. It's no good having players missing through suspension. I've had several chats with Alan. In the past he's been a bit rash at times but he has worked hard at curbing that side of his game. He is just as aggressive but now it is channelled into what he does well. He is probably winning more tackles than he was and he's certainly winning more headers. He is proving a real headache for defenders and we are seeing the best of him." At least it's not Neale "Leeds are evil" Barry in the middle tomorrow: Steve Dunn is lined up to ref the game. He's sent Smithy off before at Sunderland in 2001, but that was for two pretty hard-to-argue yellow cards, and over the last 4 years he's dished out 20 cards to Leeds players and 24 to the opposition in 9 games,

April 09: A whole host of players and management have been talking to the press today about the crucial trip to Ewood tomorrow. Seth Johnson is hoping to get on the scoresheet - which would make it a total of 4 goals in 3 seasons if he succeeds. Johnson said: "It would be nice to score more often but the most important thing is to get the right results, no matter who gets the goals." And Eddie Gray concurred: "It would be nice if Seth scored against Blackburn again... Having Dominic Matteo alongside him gives him the opportunity to get up and down the field more. Midfield players should do that anyway and I've told Seth that." Gray pointed out that Leeds need at least one win from the next two games to maintain the momentum and to create half a chance of escaping the drop. Meanwhile James Milner noted the good team spirit shown when Leeds had blown a 2-0 lead on Monday night: "[The Leicester] win was massive. If we hadn't have picked up a point or we had lost, then heads would have gone down. It means we're back in it now. We have picked up another three points at home and we can keep that going into the Blackburn game." Captain Dominic Matteo thinks that the club could have finally turned the corner and might at last win two games back-to-back: "People will be thinking we've now hit a turning point, and we've said that a few times this season. But we've not strung two wins together all season, so we need to do that now, starting this weekend. It's another big game and that's what we're working towards." Michael Duberry also said how desirable it was to win two in a row: "We know they'll try and beat us up tomorrow, and think we'll roll over and lie down. But we've got to stand up and be counted and say that's not going to happen. We've never built on a win this season - we've not got many as it is. But we got one on Monday and we have to get another now. We've got to build and get the momentum going towards the end of the season." And he points out that the team need more of the same spirit that won the game on Monday: "Teams going for the league have to have spirit, but we've got a bigger fight going on here. We've got to get together and we've got to go in the same direction, all of us."

April 08: The administrators appointed to handle the plc are about to commence their inquiry into the way the previous board acted - but a spokesman for Ernst and Young said that it was far from certain that their report would lead to charges being formally laid against the previous directors. Garry Wilson said: "My job first of all is to explain to the shareholders what has happened and the first thing, unfortunately, I have had to explain is that they are not going to get any money. I know the vast majority of the 24,000 shareholders are supporters and I hope they take some comfort from the fact that the football club has been saved. Clearly I do not want to pre-judge what our findings are going to be. But what we have seen at Leeds is that the gamble that was taken for Champions' League football did not pay off and that has resulted in the very heavy losses that the group have incurred."

April 08: The reserves shared a goalless draw with Everton at Belle Vue last night. The Everton keeper Steve Simonsen was by far the busiest man on the pitch, making one excellent save from U-17 international Chris Jones, but not even reserves goal-machine Simon Johnson could break the deadlock.

April 08: Blackburn will have veteran defender Craig Short missing from their side after he was forced off against Liverpool with a calf injury and has failed to recover. Meanwhile Eirik Bakke is still not ready to return for Leeds. Caretaker boss Eddie Gray said: "Eirik did not feel 100% comfortable with playing, and if he does not feel right then there's no point in playing him. He's still got a bit of a problem, and we have to make sure he is not going to experience any further problems when he does return."

April 08: Duncan McKenzie today said that Peter Ridsdale should not have to shoulder the blame for the club's current parlous state. He said: "It seems to be the easy thing to blame the former chairman Peter Ridsdale but there was a plc board behind him who are not blameless. They took a huge gamble on Champions League football and it went wrong, that is not just the chairman's fault." And McKenzie thinks that Leeds can still do enough to stay up. He said: "I watched them beat Leicester earlier in the week and they showed so much fight and spirit, you sensed they could survive despite everything that has happened." Meanwhile, Peter Lorimer was expressing sympathy for the Arsenal squad as their hope of a treble evaporated. Leeds suffered a similar fate in 1970, and Lorimer said: "There's no question that a lot of football is played in the mind and Arsenal's players will, like us back then, be beginning to feel nerves creeping in. They've played a lot of games so they'll also be getting tired which is when you can start making mistakes. Tiredness played a very big part in what went wrong with us." At one point Leeds had to play 4 games in 8 days - makes today's players look like a bunch of wimps!

April 08: Just a couple of days after the fourth anniversary of the murders of Chris Loftus and Kevin Speight in Istanbul, the Turkish authorities have still to bring those responsible to justice. A court today declared a further adjournment into a retrial for Ali Umit Demir because forensic evidence from the alleged murder weapon was not yet available. It's looking increasingly likely that the court will rule that Demir was not necessarily the man who struck the killer blows, and that could leave him free to walk out of court next month after doing time already for the attacks.

April 08: Spurs have repeated their attempt to asset-strip the club, this time making a dual bid for Paul Robinson and James Milner. But Peter Lorimer says that they've received no formal approach for the 1000. Lorimer said: "I'm sure lots of club will show interest in the likes of James and it's up to us to keep them here. James is a good young player and we fully expect clubs to come knocking. Teams are already looking towards next season and speculation is bound to be rife."

April 07: Mark Viduka today said that he'd not given up on Leeds' chances of avoiding the drop, but that the team would have to stay sharply focused on the job if they were to stay up. Speaking on LUTV on the official website, he said: "Hopefully we can beat Blackburn and then Everton. We might be on equal points with Blackburn soon with a little bit of luck. It's certainly keeping everybody on the edge of their seats. It's definitely 'Nerves of steel' time. But I'm starting to bite my nails again!"

April 07: Everton are the penultinate visitors to Belle Vue this season, and will face a very young Leeds side at Wakefield tonight. With so many players either injured, departed or being kept in cotton wool for the run-in, only Scott Carson, Aaron Lennon and Simon Johnson have any first team experience in the squad. The final home reserve game of the season will be against Boro on May 10.

April 07: The trip to Bolton has been put back by a day and will be screened on Sky's Pay-Per-View channel. Looks like the fact that we've shown a bit of life - and provided an entertaining game - on Monday has encouraged the TV bosses to pick us for another game in the hope of a repeat. At least it's a Sunday rather than a Friday night like next week's trip to Highbury.

April 07: Lucas Radebe has signed on the dotted line for his one-year contract extension. Leeds director and legendary player Peter Lorimer was very happy the veteran defender had agreed to stay on. He said: "We feel Lucas could still have a vital role to play next season. He has proved this year that he is well capable of playing at the highest level if he can keep clear of injury. The main thing is that he is a great guy to have around the place and we feel he can have a positive influence on the development of young players like Matthew Kilgallon." The deal also guarantees Radebe a testimonial, and he can expect a sell-out as the Leeds fans take the opportunity to say thank you for 10 years of great service.

April 06: Leeds chairman Gerald Krasner has hit out at Spurs suggestions that a deal to sign Paul Robinson has already been done. He had already insisted that Leeds would not be forced to sell any players at any price, and poured cold water on the suggestion that the deal Leeds had agreed with Spurs to sell Robbo in January but which fell through due to FAPL regulations had included an option for the London club to buy the keeper at the same price in the summer. Krasner said: "I don't know about any option, and it's not the sort of deal I would do anyway."

April 06: Caretaker boss Eddie Gray was very happy that his team had shown the character to come back and win the game after blowing a 2-0 lead. He said: "We decided to push forward and it was important we got a good response. They would have been delighted with a point but I was pleased with how our players responded. There are some disappointed lads in the dressing room though because they know we should have won the game easily." He refused to condemn Mark Viduka for his late bookings which will keep him out of the Pompey game - and which could see Leeds without any recognised strikers if Alan Smith picks up just one more booking at the weekend. Gray said: "He was silly and he knows that he was. But sometimes these things happen on the spur of the moment." Alan Smith was pleased that his intervention last week seems to have had the desired effect. He said: "I think I upset some of my team-mates but I got a response from them tonight. Sometimes the truth is hard to take but we showed great character tonight." Smith was backed by club captain Dom Matteo, who said: "Sometimes something needs to be said. Alan thought he needed to say it, and fair play to him. Alan wants this club to stay in the Premiership with all his heart and if he gets a reaction from the boys then it's a good thing. Maybe he said it for that reason. We had a laugh and a joke, a bit of banter, and if it stirred the dressing room up then good. But no-one had any grievance with him." And he went on: "We've got a massive game against Blackburn on Saturday and we've not strung two wins together yet this season. We need to do that this week... We are all just battling to stay in this division and if we stay up it will be fantastic."

April 06: Leeds have been allocated another 500 tickets for Ewood Park at the weekend - that makes a total of 3500 for the trip over the Pennines. Blackburn's poor home form must come to an end sometime - let's hope we don't see the usual story of long-bad-run-comes-to-an-end-when-Leeds-visit and make sure we fill the end with Leeds fans.

April 06: Lamine Sakho has been released by Leeds after the club agreed a deal with Marseille to take the injured player back before his loan deal expired after it became clear that the knock he picked up in the reserve game would keep him out for the rest of the year. Sakho made a total of 19 appearances for the club with his only first team goal coming at Boro way back in August.

April 06: Leicester's midfielder Steffen Freund toda insisted he had done nothing wrong in his celebration after Muzzy Izzet's equaliser yesterday. He appeared to blow a kiss at the Leeds crowd, provoking a bit of an over-reaction from the fans that saw two supporters ejected. Freund said: "Ask the supporters what happened. They were shouting, but I don't care about that because when we scored a goal I was happy and maybe they weren't happy... If you blow a kiss at them and they do something in return then they are wrong. I'm not guilty of anything and that's it." Errrr...no Steffen... although the fans shouldn't have reacted in that way, blowing a kiss at them is pretty clearly incitement but don't worry, the FA have let you get away with diving all over the pitch for ages, so I'm sure they'll do nowt about this as well.

April 06: Leeds captain Dominic Matteo says that he wants to stay with the club even if we're relegated this season - and says that the rest of the dressing room is thinking the same way. He said: "You can see there has been a change in the side, particularly at home. You can see the passion is there in the lads... All the players want to stay at Leeds - that's the talk I'm hearing in the dressing room."

April 05: James Milner said that he has learned an awful lot over the last two years, as he has strengthened his hold on a first team spot in the face of a continual battle against the drop. Milner said: "There's been some tough times at the club since I broke into the first team, but maybe you have to take the positives from that. I guess I've learned more in the last two years than most people will learn in five years simply because of the ups and the downs there have been at Leeds. But you have to make sure you do learn from it to make you a better player and more wiser." He added: 'Maybe because I'm so young people aren't expecting so much of me, but you still have to do your best every time you go out on the pitch and you expect a lot from yourself. You put pressure on yourself to play well, while there's pressure from the coaching staff because they've confidence in the young players, and not just me. When they show faith in you, you have to make sure you play as well as you can when you do get your chance and hopefully stay in the side."

April 05: Eddie Gray said that tonight's game would be the biggest game the club has ever faced. "It's as important as our European Cup final in 1975 and the Champions League semi-final three years ago. It's a game we must win. The players know what it means. If we don't stay in the Premiership, decisions will probably be made for them." Gray pointed to the 4-0 slump at the Walker Stadium earlier in the season as a sign of what was going wrong at the time. He said: "You could see it was the first sign of the problems that were to come. I know we're a better team than the one that fell apart that night." And Gray recalled his time as part of the 1982 squad and told his players that they should never believe they are too good to go down. "It was a lesson I learned and I've been telling my players the same. If you're not winning matches, talent doesn't count. If you go down after 38 games then the league table says you get what you deserve."

April 05: Mark Viduka says that the team must work together - not just rely on one or two players to grab the goals - if they are to get out of the drop zone. He's hoping he can repeat last season's trick of bagging most of his goals in the last quarter of the season - but says the team can't bank on that repeating. He said: "I have not got a clue what triggered all those goals last season. I don't think I do anything different from game to game. But I have to admit I seem to be the kind of striker who scores his goals in spurts - and I only hope it happens again this term." And he went on: "The whole team has to work together - that's the only way we're going to get out of this mess. Not many people know me but those who do know I'm a proud and stubborn person. That's why I'm determined not to see this club go down."

April 05: So we're 2-0 up and cruising but the midfield is looking a bit spacious as Milner and Johnson tired and Matteo finds himself drawn further back into defence. So do we bring on a fresh pair of legs? No, we let them run straight through us and score twice just to make it interesting. Great finish for Smithy at the end - well set up by Viduka, and the wave of relief that went through the ground was similar to a previous encounter with Leicester when Gordon Strachan's hotshot sealed a win for Leeds at the end of the 1989-90 promotion campaign. Of course, we couldn't have the unallayed pleasure of a win without someone to pour a bucket of cold water on our celebrations. In this case it was Mark Viduka - goal hero one minute, moron the next. Having already been booked by the officious, Leicester-loving Mike Dean, Viduka then kicked the ball away in injury time having already done his bit to slow play down by being deliberately caught offside. Dean didn't need a second invitation and Viduka was heading off down the tunnel and will now miss the most vital one of all of the remaining games - Pompey at home where a win and a decent turn on the goal difference are essential. Let's hope that this moment of madness doesn't turn out to be the final straw for our survival hopes.

April 04: Michael Duberry has had a whinge at Leeds boss Eddie Gray for not offering him a first team chance since he returned from injury. Doobs has turned out twice for the reserves, but has yet to even make the bench, being ranked behind Dom Matteo, Steve Caldwell and Lucas Radebe. Duberry said: "I'm not happy sitting in the reserves at all... I don't want to be playing reserve football. I'd rather be sitting with my girlfriend rubbing her belly because we're going to have a baby soon." But he added: "This is what Eddie wants me to do to prove myself, but I'm far from happy playing in the reserves. I've been fit and ready to play for the last two weeks and I'm just waiting until Eddie gives me the nod to play in the first team."

April 03: Leeds caretaker boss Eddie Gray today backed Alan Smith over the player's remarks that the team were rolling over far too easily this season. He said: "Alan has his opinions and he is never afraid to voice them. You would expect him to be passionate in those opinions about Leeds United because everybody in the game knows how he feels about his home-town club. I can understand what he has said and I can understand why he has said it. He feels frustrated about what has happened in certain games and you cannot blame him for that. We all feel the same way." But Gray reckons that the team have been putting in the effort - although they have made mistakes which shouldn't have been made. He said: "The players have not been lying down - the thing is, when things have been going wrong, some of them have suffered from a lack of confidence. They are not all Alan Smiths."

April 03: If you can be bothered to wade through the registration process, you can add your support for Alan Smith in the PFA Fans' Player of the Year Award. Voting is open until Wednesday week. There are prizes to be had if you're pulled out of the hat, so vote online here.

April 03: Eirik Bakke today told his club colleagues that they needed to stand up and be counted in the battle to stay up. He said: "It's been hard to accept how tough it's been, but then it's been a tough year for everyone. It's harder when you're sitting on the outside because you can't do anything about it, but I'll work hard and see what happens now. Hopefully, I'll be involved on Monday." And in a real hostage to fortune, he adds: "I think we are a better side than Leicester, but we have to prove it. We got beat 4-0 there earlier, but we have to go out and win this one. We have enough quality to win games and I just hope we can knock things together now. We have to pull together because we need six points."

April 03: Monday is the fourth anniversary of the murder of Christopher Loftus and Kevin Speight in Istanbul. The club will mark the date with a one-minute silence before the game against Leicester after a discussion between board members and the LUSC members on Thursday.

April 03: JFH poached his 17th goal of the season for Chelsea as they sneaked a 1-0 win at White Hart Lane today - not bad going for someone who's not been a regular starter. Darren Huckerby scored twice and made another from a free kick as Norwich came from behind no less than three times to win 3-5 at Burnley - Huckerby's second strike coming just a minute from time. Finally it's nice to see Harpal Singh back in action for Bury, scoring the consolation goal today as they went down 3-1 at Doncaster.

April 02: There's an interview with David Richmond in last night's YEP in which he sets out some of his aims, explains what his approach will be and talks a bit about his history as a Leeds fan. He says: "We have got to be self-financing. I'm sure things will happen that will be unpopular, but I think people respect what's got to be done. I honestly still don't think that people realise the serious nature of the situation before the takeover. I know this deal has saved Leeds United. The club is now safe. If it had gone into administration there was no question that it would have gone into liquidation. That would have ended this club forever." Well worth a read, even if you've already formed an unchangeable opinion about the Richmond family.

April 02: Yet more people are heading out the door at Elland Road - but at least it's not the playing staff being further depleted. Peter Reid's appointee as chief scout - Adrian Heath - has been axed, as has former YEP football writer Don Warters who had been doing media relations for the club. Apparently there have also been even more departures from the administrative side of things - it's amazing there was anybody there to be taken over!

April 02: On the official website, they're offering free whisky for a year to the winner of their latest competition. Official sponsors Whyte and Mackay are making 4 weekly prizes available over the next month, with a grand prize of a year's supply of their product. After what we've been through this season, they should be offering a free hip flask to every fan as they come through the turnstiles with free refills for those who manage to stay cheering to the end.

April 01: The Leeds United Supporters Trust are to hold talks with the club to discuss the possibility of purchasing the freehold of Elland Road. Financial experts advising LUST have suggested that a Limited Liability Partnership and/or one of the newly-proposed Real Estate Investment Trusts could be a viable method for fans to invest in the club - with some degree of security and a promise of a real if not massive return on their money. Leeds United Supporters Trust spokesman, John Boocock said: "The club need to raise cash in order to pay the club's outstanding tax bills and those who financed the rescue of the club... Given goodwill on the part of both supporters and the club's owners there is a realistic prospect of supporters taking this forward. What better landlord to have than loyal Leeds United supporters? This would protect the club, supporters and the local community from any speculation as to the future use of the ground as well as raise much needed cash for the new owners to meet their current commitments. It would also give supporters a chance to invest in their club's long term future in a positive way."

April 01: Alan Smith has made it clear that he can't afford to hang around to help Leeds climb out of Division 1 if the club is relegated this year. He said: "If we go down, it will be time to move on, for the sake of my England career but I've never once said that I would leave Leeds if we stay in the Premiership." Smith pointed to a lack of confidence and self-belief as the key issue for the club: "We can't seem to get two back-to-back wins, that's the problem. We seem to lack a bit of fight to be honest. We've had some good games - Manchester United away and Liverpool at home - where we have played good football and battled. But there have also been games where we have rolled over. No disrespect to those teams but we shouldn't be getting beat by six by Portsmouth or by four by Everton." With his wages - and transfer market value - the club would be hard-pressed not to sell him if relegation comes, no matter what the player's opinion happens to be. But Smith is looking at the bigger picture both for himself and the club. he said: "Whether or not I'm there, the club's safe and has got a future. That is the main thing for me. As long as the club is still going, I'll be happy." It's a view Eddie Gray can understand. Speaking on SkySportsNews, the caretaker boss said: "Like a lot of players, Alan wants to play at the highest level. He'll be looking to the future and to winning things in football. But we have to do our best to stay in The Premiership and Alan can help us."

April 01: Lucas Radebe will stay on at Elland Road for an extra year when his contract ends this summer - and will get his 10-year testimonial into the bargain. It had been thought that Radebe would be one of the senior players to depart at the end of their deals, but it's understood that Radebe has accepted a reduction in salary for one final season with the club he joined from Kaizer Chiefs in 1994. Leeds legend and club director Peter Lorimer said: "We've agreed a deal with Lucas. We're delighted he'll be here next year because he has been a great servant to the football club. He has had his injury problems, but a lot of that is down to the fact that he has battled so hard for this club at times when he probably shouldn't have played. That sums up the sort of man that Lucas is and we're pleased he is staying on." Speaking to the YEP today, Lorimer added: "He's been unbelievable for this club. Loyalty isn't always the same nowadays because of the masses of money in the game - but Lucas is a loyal guy. He's never wanted to leave Leeds and I think he sets a great example to younger players. He's good to have around because he's a popular bloke and, at a time when the club may have to look at bringing younger players through, his experience will be important." Radebe later said that he had not had a formal offer of a deal, but he would be very happy to stay on at Leeds - particularly if the club managed to stay up. He said: "I love the club and the people who work at the club. We've been through a lot it would have been a big disappointment for me. I would have looked to get involved in someway with Leeds, whether it's here or back home in South Africa. But what with the situation over my injury and that I think I would have called it a day, or maybe given it one more try back home." And he added: "We can survive. We're very confident, we've got the players. With all the support we will be able to pull through."

April 01: Caretaker boss Eddie Gray says that his players have a concentration problem, and that's what is causing them to drop so many points. Gray said: "It's a big thing in football and you have to do it for 90 minutes, you just can't afford to knock off for a second. That's where we have probably let ourselves down a bit this season. We are capable of scoring goals but everyone has to concentrate hard to stop them going in, that means our strikers, midfielders and not just our defenders." And like Alan Smith, he's bullish about the club's future prospects. "I'm still confident. It's vitally important that we win our home games. Leicester isn't going to be easy as they are scrapping for points. These clubs are fighting for their lives as well. But it is a great club, people in this city have a great feeling for the club. Whatever happens this season, the club will survive."

April 01: Danny Mills' agent has been forced to deny a rumour that talks with Scottish giants Rangers are underway as Alex McLeish tries to rebuild his side to prepare a serious challenge on Celtic's dominance next season. There were a few sticking points on the deal to permanently switch Mills to the Riverside, and that has alerted the interest of several other clubs. But the agent said: "We are not in talks with any club including Middlesbrough at this moment. Obviously the situation will be reviewed at the end of the season."

April 01: Rotherham boss Ronnie Moore is worried that Jody Morris will up sticks and move on as soon as he can in the summer. He's had a couple of half-decent games for the Millers since signing up with them after Leeds released him when he failed a training-ground breath test - but Moore knows he will have a tough time hanging on to the ex-Chelsea player if he performs close to his best. Moore said: "Of course I'd love to keep Jody here but to be honest, and no disrespect to us, I'm sure there'll be bigger and better teams in for him if he continues to do well. There'll be plenty who will want him, I'm sure of that. I've been really happy with what he's done since coming here."

April 01: Leeds will take a much greater interest in the marketing and distribution of the new kit to be announced in the deal with Diadora. The club will receive a minimum £15 million over the 5-year term, with more to come if the club starts performing a bit better again. New MD David Richmond said: "The aim within two years is for the retail division of the club to generate £4m a year. This deal will underpin the growth of profit in retail. It will give us control of our own branding and merchandising and, in the longer term, will cut out the middle man. It will give the supporters good value and quality."

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