Good Morning. It's Thursday 5th December, and here are the latest headlines from Elland Road...
The Writing is on the wall for Nketiah
According to the Daily Mail, Eddie Nketiah is set to return to Arsenal in January as they plot to determine where the 20 year old will spend the second half of the season. The England U21 hitman,who has a 1 in 1 ratio for his Country has a wealth of admirers. In fact, there would not be a single club in the Championship that wouldn't give their right arm to bring someone with Eddie's pedigree to their club.
Arsenal had already communicated their disappointment to Leeds earlier in the season, yet their warning fell on deaf ears as he was constantly overlooked. Now, the Gunners feel he would be better served elsewhere for the second half of the season. Nketiah has played 276 minutes across all competitions, scoring five goals in return, yet has not started a single league game this term.
Whilst Nketiah's abdominal injury came at a bad time, I can't help but think that he has been treated very badly by Bielsa. Freddie Ljungberg, Arsenal's interim manager, also hinted at the Gunners' displeasure with England under-21 striker's situation.
I need to be careful [what I say] but I think Eddie is a great player. If he goes on loan we want him to play football and get minutes otherwise they can maybe be here. I feel a bit sorry for him because he is a great player and the future of this club. When he has had his chance he scores goals and that's what he is about.
What impact will it have if Leeds lose Clarke and Nketiah?
A separate North London source are claiming that Jack Clarke will be moving to the City Ground in January. Whilst both rumours have been circulating for some time, there now seems to be far more likely that Leeds will lose 30m pounds worth of talent in January that they won't be able to replace very easily!
We all know how difficult it is to pick up talent in the January transfer window, yet in all likelihood two of Leeds promotion rivals could pick up the bargains of the season. We've seen what both players can do, yet have not been given the opportunity to show it! What impact will it have if Leeds lose Clarke and Nketiah? How difficult will they be to replace?
Sheffield Wednesday to counter-sue the EFL regarding FFP charges
Sheffield Wednesday are counter suing the EFL for bringing charges against them for misconduct following the sale and subsequent buy back of their ground. The charges relate to the process of how and when the stadium was sold and the inclusion of the profits in the 2017/18 accounts. If found guilty, the Wendies could face a 21 point deduction.
A statement for the South Yorkshire club read:
Sheffield Wednesday Football Club has today filed its response to the charges brought against it by the English Football League for alleged misconduct concerning the sale and leaseback of Hillsborough stadium and the inclusion of the profit on that sale in the Club’s 2017/18 accounts.
The Club has informed the EFL that the charges are themselves unlawful and, without prejudice to that fact, are all denied by the Club and the other Respondents.
The Club has reserved all of its rights against the EFL and will take all such actions as are necessary to protect its rights and integrity, and those of its current and former officers, including in relation to inaccurate reporting. The Club has also notified the EFL that it stands ready to bring a claim against the EFL to obtain compensation for its conduct.
The Club maintains that it consulted with the relevant executive officers of the EFL in connection with the stadium transaction and that it acted in good faith. The Club has in its possession numerous emails, letters and other documents in which the EFL gave authorisation to the transaction, and on which authorisation the Club understood it could rely.
That authorisation gave rise in law to a legitimate expectation that the transaction would be accepted by the EFL, which is binding on the EFL. The EFL is acting in breach of that binding legitimate expectation by retrospectively treating as misconduct that which it had itself previously authorised, and this makes the charges themselves "unlawful.
The Club is accordingly bringing its own claim against the EFL to establish that it is acting unlawfully, as well as standing ready, if necessary, to vigorously defend the charges.
The Club will make no further comment at this time.
Whilst its mildly amusing that a football club is suing its governing body for suing them, it does at least show that they won't be walked over. I can't help but feel that with all the trials and tribulations that have occurred at Elland Road, if Leeds had done the same, perhaps the FA / EFL would think twice before doing it again.