Champions League From Champions League Semi-Finals to League One: Leeds United’s Rise, Fall & Return
I’Ve left all of my sources in the description below, as well as some great articles from back in 2004. If you want a more in depth, look at what hamstrung Leeds for a decade and a half, but this will hopefully serve as a great launching point for you to understand just what it means for Leeds to return to the top flight. First up a quick look at the history and glory of Leeds before we take an extended look at the dark, dark ages and finish up on a positive note once again, Music after starting out in the second division of English football. For the 1920 season, Leeds United bounced back and forth from the second to the first division, plenty of times throughout their history, but despite that, they’ve had a few notable errors at the club, such as the Don Revie era, which saw the legendary player turned manager win. Two first division, trophies a League Cup and FA Cup, and two inter cities Fairs cups among some others by the way the inter cities Fairs Cup.
Wirdy name was a European tournament that was governed by FIFA until it was taken over by UEFA restructured a bit and rebranded as the UEFA Cup. It was an early precursor to the current. A Europa League in some respects Leeds were the first English team to win it and also the last team to ever win it before the rebrand following the Revie era. Leeds made it to the 1975 European Cup final, where they lost to Bayern Munich in a controversial manner.
There seemed to be an obvious handball from friends Beckenbauer that wasn’t given and then der Kaiser knocked a Leeds attacker to the ground in the area. Minutes later. Neither incident was deemed worthy of a penalty by the referee and Bayern went on to win to now fast forward. 15 years, a relegation to the second division and a promotion back up and Leeds United are back to be a thorn in the side of their rivals. Manchester United, the culmination of which, being their English first division, triumph in the 1991 92 season, where they finished four points clear of the rivals, thanks in part to the exploits of future Hyun itd signing Eric Cantona. That was the last First Division league title for Leeds and the last First Division title before it was rebranded, as the Premier League, at the close of the 9899 season, Leeds United were top primarly competitor finishing in fifth, despite their manager, Graham leaving the club to take Charge of Spurs his assistant, David O’Leary, took over as a caretaker manager while Leeds looked to find a replacement.
They didn’t know it at the time, but the next great Leeds manager had already taken the mantle as O’Leary never finished outside of the top five. While he was in charge of the whites and promoted plenty of youth products to the first team, many of which went on to be England internationals, these were truly a competitive, really excited. Unfortunately, given the way the club was run and the risks their chairman had taken finishing outside of the top three was fatal for the club for a club like Leeds finishing in the top five and regular European competition should have been something to build upon.
It should have been enough of a foundation or a platform to build upon it. Never should have broken them, but we’ll discuss that in the next section, as their chairman made finishing in fourth and fifth, a bad thing somehow hard to comprehend under O’Leary Leeds United’s top league performance came in the 99 2000 season when they finished third and also made It all the way to the semi finals of the UEFA Cup in the following season: the 2000 2001 season, while they finished outside of the Champions League qualification spots and fourth, they also made it all the way to the semi finals of the Champions League. An incredible achievement, no doubt, and a year later they finished one spot lower in fifth. This was to be a Leary’s final season with the club and marks a good point to pivot, towards explaining the dark ages and how they went from Champions League finals, hopefuls to nearly ceasing to exist thanks to their chairman, Peter Ridsdale Music.
Without going into the dizzying details of just how Leeds United ended up in a financial crisis, I’ve linked to an article from The Guardian back in 2004, that gets into the Nitty Gritty if you’re interested here are the basics. To give you a – or I mean perhaps the basics plus added details, because I have a hard time just giving a vague description of things. I have a tough time being concise chairman Peter Rozelle saw the potential and leaves United not just to become a power in England, but in Europe as well.
To some extent he was right, given the affer mention to European runs that Leeds had coupled with their strong academy. I was turning out what would be future England internationals, as I said, and the large supporter base there’s great foundations to build upon at Leeds demand for tickets has always been high, given that Leeds is of one club city couple this with the prospect of playing in The Champions League and the dollar signs were truly in the eyes of the potential Loney’s Leeds was a team on ah looking to dominate England and establish themselves as a power within the European football pyramid, meaning Loney’s were easy to come by when they were sold on The idea of you know in some cases nearly doubling their returns, but Brazil was lending money with the belief that Leeds would continue to shoot up like a rocket. There was no consideration for having an offseason or failing to qualify for the Champions League once again.
In essence, they planned only for success. They planned only for an upping of the ante as far as results go regular Champions League football with Leeds as a superpower. These plans included the borrowing of 60 million pounds at the beginning of the 2001 Oh 2 season. In order to help facilitate acquisitions to build up their squad, this 60 million loan was on top of the other debt that Leeds had racked up, as they had an interesting way of brokering transfer deals for players, of course, borrowing money to do so.
This was sort of unprecedented at the time they borrowed more than any other club in England, and they didn’t invest that money that they borrowed in things such as their stadium or their academy, or their training complexes. They only invested it in short term solutions such as acquiring players, so how much debt were they dealing with here from Brian Cathcart’s article in The Guardian from 2004? Since the launch of the acquisition policy, the end of season net debt record in the company’s books had risen as follows: 9 million pounds and 99 21 million pounds in 2000, ‘ million pounds in 2001, and that last figure was from June before the 60 million pound Loan showed up in the books, debt costs, money and the more you have, the more costs. Much of their debt had interest rates attached to them and they were taken out with the belief that Champions League football and all of the revenue that would bring from broadcast deals and additional turnstile profits would help to pay off these debts.
And then some over. A few years Leeds had spent tons of borrowed money on some of England’s highest wages and on the transfers of players such as Robbie, Keane Robbie, Fowler, Seth, Johnson Mark Viduka, Olivier de coeur, Dominick, Matteo and, of course, Rio. Ferdinand Ferdinand was the most expensive of the locks to help reinforce their 2001 Champions League campaign, which, as you’ll remember, saw them, make it all the way to the semi finals of the competition.
However, in that same season, they failed to qualify for the following edition of the Champions League, as they finished in third, thus missing out on the money that comes with the Champions League, only the top three made it into the Champions League back then, one season out Of the Champions League shouldn’t be fatal for a club, but with the debt that was racking up and the structure of Leeds’s loans, two seasons would be fatal for them. Thus, their fifth place finish in the a 102 season left them on the brink of collapse. Leeds needed to cash in on their most valuable assets, and so the likes of Rio Ferdinand Robbie, Keane Lee Boyer, Jonathan Woodgate and Robbie Fowler were all shifted, most of which, besides Ferdinand of course, were sold for less than they were purchased for that doesn’t help with Your debt, if you buy a guy for 11 million and sell him for 7 million you’ve, still lost 4 million with all these players on the move.
Leeds then finished in 15th during the o2o3 season, with Leeds already in financial ruin and now week, sporting wise rid still left Leeds in March of oh 3, leaving as they faced bankruptcy with a debt of 120 7.5 million pounds in the words of the incumbent, Leeds United Chairman John McKenzie quote, I inherited a nightmare. Just over a year later, they were sold to a consortium and relegated to the championship after finishing 19th in the Premier League and had to sell their own stadium Elland Road, as well as the club’s training, complex or arch, in an attempt to offset some of the Debt from 2004 to 2018, Leeds United had five different owners and went through 15 different managers spending three seasons in Ligue 1 as well, but I feel like we’re dwelling on the bat for too long here, we’re bringing up bad memories for Leeds fans, so let’s move On to happier times Music in January of 2017 Italian businessman, Andrea records on, I bought a 50 stake in Leeds United and just four months later, he upped his stake becoming the sole owner and the new chairman of Leeds United in May of 2017.
Later he would sell a 10 stake to the owners of the San Francisco 49ers, the NFL team, and apparently they want to buy more of a share. Rodgers, Annie endeared himself to the club by repurchasing Ellen Road two months later, thus clearing Leeds of their 1.7 million pound annual rental of the stadium and his first full season.
As chairman of Leeds it didn’t go exactly to plan. As the newly appointed Thomas Christiansen only lasted until February of 2018 and his replacement Paul hacking bottom was sacked on June 1st of the same year, but all of that is understandable. When considering that, two weeks after hacking bottoms dismissal, the club announced that Marcelo Bielsa will be taking the reins at Leeds. Here we had a chairman that was willing to take action and to get results at the time. Some journalists called this appointment, a gamble, an assertion. Perhaps only based on B elses temperament, rather than his ability, as a manager, as he famously walked out on Marseille, after being locked in loggerheads with the club’s board. In regards to various issues, then he was the head coach of Lazio for just two days: 48 hours, as he realized that he would be given very little in funding for the transfer window at Lille. More issues, as Bielsa told many senior players that they would be leaving and Bielsa himself was told to leave after just 13 matches in charge. His headstrong attitude could have been an issue at Leeds, but his ability, as a coach couldn’t, really be questioned.
According to the times, he became the first Leeds United manager to win his first three matches, since Jimmy Armfield did so back in 1974, Armfield being the coach that led them to the 1975 European Cup final, with B else’s fast, attacking style that put the onus on Scoring over defensive solidity, at least at first Leeds played extremely well under the Argentinian.
Staying in first place for 18 of the 46 championship match days, ultimately finishing in third, after losing three of their final four matches of the season and then losing the promotion. A semi final to darby, county and frank lampard disappointing, but the improvement was night and day from their 13th placed finish from the season before prior to his arrival, leads were struggling in the championship, only twice finishing in the top 10, since their 2010 promotion. Each time was a seventh place finish by the way other than that their average position in the championship was about 13th mid table obscurity in England’s. Second, division hard to associate that with a club like Leeds and so following the disappointment of failing to achieve promotion via the playoffs Bielsa, ensured that he would get it right in his second season in charge. And did he ever. The biggest improvements came on the defensive side of things conceding far far less than the season prior and yet maintaining their ability to score, thus clinching first with a match to spare promotion at last, and I think it goes without saying how much this means to the People of Leeds a 1 Club City you’ll, remember as they have gone through 15 different managers and five different owners facing the potential of their club being liquidated thanks to financial mismanagement and disaster, a rollercoaster ride that took them from being the champions of England to the Semi finals of the Champions League in 2001 to the third division of English football after 16 years, Leeds United, are back in the Premier League, bringing with them a more than competent manager and board a stadium of their own.
Once again, that draws 35000 spectators regularly and a new sheen to their matches with Manchester, United and Sheffield United it’s.