Pitch Dish

Life as a Leeds Fan

This story of Leeds United is an amazing overview of just the last few years following a team that is trying its best to destroy itself. The once top-flight team keeps coming back from the dead, and somehow the fans still have faith.

I have this friend who has absolutely no interest in football but who will still, every now and then, make a point of asking me how Leeds United are getting on. For a long time I thought he was just being nice, politely indulging me the way you would a mate who was passionate about live action role-playing, or breeding lizards, or whatever. I always found his interest kind of touching, so when he asked I might, for example, tell him about how we’d just gone into administration, or how we’d just been relegated to the third division with a -15 point penalty, or how we’d lost all our best players to Norwich, or how we’d just sold our own stadium and training ground, or how we’d got knocked out of the FA Cup by a village team, or how one of our fans just ran onto the pitch and chinned the Sheffield Wednesday keeper to a chorus of chants celebrating the life of Jimmy Savile. Everyone likes to imagine that their team is somehow special, but the cool thing about being a Leeds fan is that you absolutely know this is true. We’re special in the same way a 300 lb 14-year-old who can’t do his own laces is “special”. We are, by some distance, the most dysfunctional football club in Britain, and my friend has always encouraged me to talk about it.

Only, I recently realized that the only reason he does this is because he just finds it all absolutely hilarious. He’s stopped bothering to pretend otherwise and now just thumps the table with sick glee when I explain how we took feted Everton starlet Ross Barkley on loan but then sent him back early because the club didn’t rate him, or how octogenarian ex-Leeds chairman Ken Bates used his match-day program column to construct elaborate sexual metaphors. “In an age of instant gratification, Leeds United is having a long, dawn-out affair with plenty of foreplay and slow arousal,” he once wrote of his (massively failed) project to get us back into the Premier League. Only yesterday it was announced that Benito Carbone – a man who had only two months ago been employed by Leeds in some vague “technical advisor” position – had suddenly left the club. Why had he left? Where was he going? What the fuck had been his actual job in the first place? Most Leeds fans just shrugged and went back to daydreaming about Tony Yeboah.

And it gets crazier than that. Leeds just got a new owner that has two prior criminal convictions and some irrational fears:

When goalkeeper Paddy Kenny returned for training… Cellino told him to find a new club. Only the reason he gave for wanting rid of him was that Kenny’s birthday is on the 17th of May, and Cellino has a mortal fear of the number 17, a fear that led him to replace every seat number 17 at Cagliari with seat 16b.

Cellino also has a well-documented fear of the colour purple, and on one occasion demanded all supporters wear purple to a match that was being played on the 17th of the month, explaining to fans that the two negative forces would cancel each other out.

You really should read the full article. Click the link below:

Read More: vice.com

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