Are The Good Times Heading Back To Leeds United?

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Football is a funny game, in 1997 Leeds United finished 3rd in the English Premier League and were in the Semi-Final of the UEFA Cup. They were paired with Turkish champions Galatasaray and faced the exciting prospect of their first semi-final in Europe for 25 years and a trip to Istanbul.

Leeds lost the game and could only draw the second-leg at home. The following season they broke a club transfer record fee and signed Rio Ferdinand and made it to the Champions League semi-final, a second successive European semi-final, this time losing out to Valencia. Leeds United were regarded by many as one of the best teams in Europe.

All the European success had taken its toll on Leeds United, as the club took out loans to buy players for big fees and bigger wages, the loans were taken out in the hope of future European qualification and the TV money that comes with that, however the following season they narrowly missed out on Champions League qualification.

After that. the bright light surrounding the Yorkshire club began to fade quickly; forced to sell players to try and balance the books. they quickly began to fall down the league and subsequent relegation’s saw them go from Champions League semi-finalists to the third tier of English football.

Its been the sort of rise and fall that you might expect to see in a gangster film.

Newcastle United faced something similar, but they bounced straight back from the Championship to the Premier League, even threatening to break the top 4 at one point, but it’s worth noting Newcastle kept many of their higher quality players.

With Leeds currently 18th in the Championship. a Newcastle style comeback doesn’t seem likely and fans of the Elland Road road club will be hoping not to replicate Portsmouth. The South coast club went into financial melt down following an FA Cup win, and saw themselves slip down to the Championship and then League One.

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