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Woodgategate - Bucky

Thank you all for your responses to my short, but heartfelt, article, which Jon was kind enough to air for me, regarding our finances. I think that the fact so many of you agree with me is actually detrimental for my blood pressure - it just makes me angrier!!

I feel a burning need to take further issue with Peter Ridsdale's amazing bouts of amnesia once season ticket sale time comes around each year. It's incredible that the same amnesia seemed to effect Messrs Silver and Fotherby.

During the summer, Mr Ridsdale informed us:

1) We needed to reduce numbers (fair enough) but we were not selling the crown jewels.
2) We needed to raise £15m - any surplus was Terry Venables to spend.
3) We were well down the road with the plans to move to a new stadium.
4) We were buying him, him, him and him.
5) Leeds United is not a selling club.
6) We are aiming for the Champions League...or better.

Surely Ridsdale knew about our predicament when he was telling us this. That leads me to the disappointing conclusion that I, and thousands of other prospective season ticket buyers, was/were blatantly lied to My season ticket was sold to me very much under false pretences. If you are a season ticket holder, you should ask yourself this - Am I therefore within my right to claim a refund, or at least a rebate?

If someone sold you a kitchen and, two weeks later, came and took back the chrome taps, youd expect some money back, wouldn't you? I wonder how interested the Office of Fair Trading would be in a copy of this?

The same lies came back to haunt us during the recent spell of Fowler/Woodgate speculation. All of a sudden, rumours circulated that we were buying Kleberson, Stan Lazaridis, Malcolm Christie and three or four others. All a smokescreen? Of course it was. I'd have bet my mortgage back in November that this transfer window was only going to see players moving one way only. If I felt like laughing, I'd dub the whole situation Woodgategate.

And you can bet your bottom dollar that the same lies will circulate in the summer. Oh yes, well be signing Cruyff, Pele, Maradona and Eusebio. Only thing is, this time, Uncle Peter, no one will believe you. And that loan secured on season ticket sales will look very shaky indeed.

I've been a season ticket holder for twenty years now. I've followed that team home, away, to Europe and through thick and thin (and there was lots of thin, I can assure you). I don't think I'll renew next season, as I'm sick of being lied to by a man who calls himself a fellow fan. If I'm not going to renew (and I'd put myself in that highest echelon of loyal supporters) then the young kids and fair weather fans - and let's face it, we've got a few - aren't going to renew either. Don't fall for the fibs, that's what I say.

And what of our managerial situation? I feel so desperately sorry for Terry Venables. He has had to put up with an obscene amount of crap since he took up tenure at Elland Road, a lot of it unjustified. At last, the fans are starting to see to just what extent El Tel has been shafted by the plc board. He must feel totally violated.

The thing about Venables that is to be admired wholly is how much he has kept his dignity throughout. He hasn't hidden behind all this (a shame the same can't be said for Copperfield Ridsdale) and never moaned once (remember O'Leary?). But how much can a man take?

I'd refute any suggestions that if he walked now he'd be leaving a sinking ship. If that were the case, he'd have gone when Rio left, as it was then that our bows were holed severely.

I hope he doesn't go on one hand, because I'm of the firm belief that he can make a now mediocre squad play above themselves and at least restore some respect - the battling performance at Stamford Bridge, in the middle of one of the worst weeks in the club's history, proves that.

On the other hand, I hope he does. He'll maintain his dignity I'm sure. But part of me hopes he'll dish the dirt - it's the only way the fans might find out the truth.

And if he does go, who'll bet against me that the board re-appoint Eddie Gray as boss, firstly in a ridiculous attempt to restore PR amongst the fans and secondly as he's already on the payroll.

Can you imagine the scene - Eddie, you're going to become manager of the club you love........only there's no money for you and you have to sell all your young, up and coming stars.

Who says theres no such thing as deja vu?

Keep your heads up Leeds fans.

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