Long banished are the days of David ‘Diamond Dave’ Hockaday having Leeds United fans shimmy down a rope and sit in a fast-flowing Italian river for a post-match cool down.
Thankfully those ‘dinosaur days’ are consigned to the annals of Leeds United’s past, recent past yes, but past all the same. That really is all that should matter, last season has ended – so let’s do away with that. Anything before that shouldn’t be considered either – old new and all that.
In a way, stood here now at the opening of the opening of the summer transfer window as we find ourselves, it should all be about looking forward and positivity. There’s too much gloom and doom in the Leeds United back story.
Leeds United fans, still over a month to go to kick-off – excited much? How many points will the Whites get from their opening two months and 11 games?
With that in mind, here’s a look at five things that Leeds United have done right so far this season – and starting with a big one.
1. Elland Road buy back. If there is any bigger signal of intent that new owner Andrea Radrizzani was anything but serious, then I do not know what it could be. The buy back of Elland Road from its investment group ‘owners’ was the biggest way that Radrizzani could show fans that he means business. Three years before him, former owner Massimo Cellino came marching in saying he was ready to nip in to town and buy the ground back.
Nothing came of that, but something came of Radrizzani’s quieter intentions to buy back Elland Road and place in firmly back in club ownership for the first time since 2004. But it’s more than that, it means much more than that. For Leeds fans, like all other football fans I guess, having a ground that they can finally call their home again is special. Whites fans call Elland Road simply ‘Church’, and now it is finally back in the hands of those to whom it belongs. Finally, after thirteen long years, the worshippers finally have their own place back in which to worship.
2. Better fan engagement. Buying back Elland Road was a statement, a big statement but it didn’t just give Leeds fans their house back. It fulfilled much, much more than that. The buy-back is a bigger picture addition to something else that is developing; the better fan engagement that is creeping through Leeds United.
A new supporter trust is making waves to bring fan and club closer together, with proposed initiatives such as the ‘Elland Road mural’ helping to expand a message of togetherness. The club have brought Leeds Ladies, who are under a new management structure, back to the official fold as Leeds United Ladies. On a more fundamental level, there is a much slicker, more media savvy team engaging fans across social media – and that goes for news of LUTV being available free of charge to fans outside of the UK and Ireland.
Click the ‘Next’ arrow to see the final three things that the club have gotten right so far.