Marching on Together News

A good day for Leeds United

01 Jul 2013 12:00pm, by Shields53

Last week I seem to recall telling everyone not to panic. There was no need to, the transfer window didn’t officially open until today and the sounds from the club, what little there were, had certainly been more positive than in previous seasons. The problem is as Leeds United fans our glass has been very much half empty over the past ten years. We have been through the turmoil of relegations and administrations and been lied to on a fairly regular basis. There are now however reasons to be cheerful.

Today was always going to be a fairly momentous day anyway being the end of Ken Bates tenure as chairman. Admittedly he now moves to the role of club president for three years but hopefully this is only an honorary position and he has little say on the goings on at the club.

He is replaced as chairman by Salah Nooruddin. Nooruddin is CEO of Envest, a Bahrain based investment company and was made vice-chairman after purchasing 3.3% of the club from GFH Capital back in May. Nooruddin told BBC Radio Leeds "David Haigh and I will continue to work with the rest of the board, the management team, Brian McDermott and his team to build the foundations on and off the pitch of a successful future for Leeds United.” His appointment as chairman could signify that the purse strings are not controlled by GFH and that there could be more financial backing available than previously thought.

We also heard today that Shaun Harvey was to step down from his role as CEO. He will remain a director of the club, though I’m sure many would rather see him go completely given his connections with the Bates regime. David Haigh, deputy chief executive of GFH, will move to the role of managing director and be responsible for the day to day running of the club. Haigh told BBC Leeds "We have an excellent manager in Brian McDermott and I am confident that by working as a team we can achieve our aims."

More good news came in the signing of midfielder Luke Murphy from Crewe Alexandra for a fee rumoured to be around the £1 million mark. The 23 year old is highly rated and Leeds saw off completion from other Championship clubs including Blackburn Rovers and Wolves to secure his signature. Murphy was Crewe captain and scooped their 2012/2013 player of the year award and was named in last year’s League One team of the season. He prefers a central midfield role and in 161 appearances for Crewe scored 21 goals.

Together with the signing of 24 year old striker Matt Smith from Oldham this latest signing shows a change in attitude at the club. No longer are we picking up journeymen but going for young players, looking to build not just for the current season but for the future. The dusting off of the Leeds United cheque book to sign a seven figure deal also shows that the new board are prepared to back the manager in his quest to build a club and a team.

I don’t want to get carried away, I’m not expecting Middle Eastern wealth to be poured into the transfer kitty but this day has to mark a significant step forward. The first time we have spent £1 million on a player since 2005. Things will still be tight I’m sure and I doubt that there is that much money to be spent on players but it does show that the board are willing to back the manger when required. And that we are willing to spend money on young players for the future. I’m sure there are pessimists out there, and you have every right to be pessimistic given the previous decade, I’d just prefer to feel a bit positive right now.

Here’s to building a club and a new future for Leeds United. A Bates free future.

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