October 2003 Archive
2nd, Oct, 2003
Dere must b'some
way ourra 'ere?
I wunder if Roque's gorra bruvva I could sign?
Charade Ends: Reid Stays
In an announcement to the Stock Exchange this morning the Leeds United Board confirmed that the beleaguered Peter Reid would remain in charge.
The statement from Leeds United PLC read:
"Obviously everybody connected with Leeds United is concerned about the club's position in the Premier League table and the board has spent some considerable time considering all aspects of the situation.
"Our conclusion is that Peter Reid should remain as the team manager to lead the team's recovery performance."
And so, with those restrained words, Leeds United's Board ended the speculation surrounding the future of Peter Reid. But the speculation was always a bit of a non-starter wasn't it? Really, I mean. Who would we get to replace him? Who would want to put their head on the block, I mean, take charge of first team affairs - same thing, it just sounds better. Did Reid deserve the push after 16 games? How many managers can stay in the Premiership with a budget of.. nowt, not a sausage, nada, zippo, bugger all. If we sacked the third manager in fifteen months surely the City would want the incompetent Board that appointed them in the first place would have to resign? Fat chance of that happening. Leighton, the Leeds powerbroker and vice-chairman of the plc board, has a Teflon coating.
After the Board meeting last night, The Good Professor talked to representatives of the supporters and was met with a surprising message for a club that just got stuffed 4-0, twice in a fortnight. The fans wanted him to stay! The Good Professor is on record about the excellent relationship he has with Reidy and doubtless preferred him to stay rather than to have to fire him, The players, the main culprits for our dire league position back him, though they also backed Venables, so they are no judge of managers; besides who cares what they think? They're obscenely highly paid, so they can bloody well get their finger out and start earning their money even if the Board puts an Albanian scarcrow in charge!
Justice was done today, even if it was just a chrade by The Good Professor to show the idiot debtmongers in the City that everyone, bar them, wanted Reid to continue. It's time the Board stood up to the moneymen. Looks like one of them has a spine after all!
Young James Milner scored for Swindon, last night, in his last appearance on loan to Andy King's team. He has played well and won praise from both his manager and the Swindon fans throughout his loan spell. It is strongly rumoured that Reid will find a place for Milner on the bench in this weekend's game against Blackburn Rovers.
I don't fecking believe it! Up to our necks in shit again!
Oh No! Not Again! I Don't Believe It!
Enter agitated Victor Meldrew mode: "I don't bloody believe it!"
In January we got rid of convicted criminal J. Woodgate, Esq., and generally violent bad egg, Lee Bower and all the attendant bad publicity that had blighted the reputation of Leeds United and the lives of its fans for over two years and contributed to the dismissal of once-popular manager David O'Leary. Earlier today we had the amusing sight of Rio Ferdinard, former spinster of this parish, twisting on the end of the media's gibbet as the press hounds snapped at his ankles. Even the Scum's Directors added to our amusement as they revealed their true colours and threatened to witrhdraw Scum players from the England squad after the omission of Rio "I forgot my drug test" Ferdinand. Anyone now doubt they see themselves as bigger than the rest of British football put together? Even Sky jumped ship today selling their 9.9% stake in the Scum to cash in on the artificially high share price caused by rumours of saddo millionaires trying to launch take-over bids for Manchester "We're really based in Salford but are ashamed to admit it" United. We also had reports that finally put to bed the press rumours that Peter Reid had decided to walk out on Leeds after his diabolic treatment by the PLC Board. So all things considered, today was a very rare good day in the recent dogs' mess that has been the life of a Leeds United supporter. So why the Victor Meldrew? Because of these headlines that greeted me late this evening:
Police arrest two Leeds players - Daily Telegraph
Leeds player arrested in new sexual assault investigation - Pink Football
Leeds 'co-operate with police sex assault probe' - Ananova
Leeds to cooperate on 'sexual assault' - Guardian
Leeds United player arrested - BBCi
You simply couldn't invent it could you? What is the matter with footballers today? Are they obsessed with football and their dangly bits? They seem to do little else if the grubby little headlines are to be believed these days.
So whilst seven Premiership players allegedly gang-rape a 17 year old in a London hotel and two weeks later the press haven't even named the club let alone the players involved, it takes West Yorkshie Police a couple of hours to arrest a Leeds United footballer and tell the world that they have done so, even though he has not been charged with an offence at the time of the reports. Remind anyone of the alacrity with which the Woodgate/Bowyer story hit the news wires? Still, looking at the previous weekend's fixture list, and that the hotel room was allegedly booked by Kieron Dyer (accordng to the Daily Mail) it doesn't take a brain surgeon to guess which northern football club is shitting bricks that it may find a substantial chunk of its playing staff turning out for Wormwood Scrubs All-Stars next season. (We are happy point out that Kieron Dyer is categorically NOT the subject of any allegations in connection with the alleged gang-rape). Looks like one team is going to corner the market with convicted criminals on its current playing staff?
Unfortunately, it looks like Leeds United and its fans have also been let-down by another of its players. We can only hope that the allegations are withdrawn, otherwise we face weeks of press speculation as to the identity of the Leeds player by the creeps of Fleet Street. I don't believe it...
8th October, 2003
Jermaine Pennant Questioned
Jody Morris Arrested at Thorpe Arch
The Yorkshire Evening Post has published a story today naming the Leeds United player being detained by Police, in connection with an alleged serious sexual assault, as Jody Morris.
Morris, a close season free signing from Chelsea, was held overnight at the Chapeltown nick whilst forensic experts spent Tuesday night gathering evidence from a lay-by off the main A58 Leeds to Wetherby Road near Collingham. He remains there, but has not been charged with an offence yet as he is still being interviewed by Police who have just been granted a further 12 hours to hold him.
Police also questioned another Leeds player when Jody Morris was arrested at the Thorpe Arch training ground, however, that player was not arrested. The YEP named that other player, today, as Jermaine Pennant, an Arsenal player close to the end of his loan period with Leeds United. Player and club had hoped to extend this loan period, however, depending on his involvement in this case, if any, Arsenal may be keen to get their boy home as soon as possible.
There are no more details available at the moment in connection with the alleged sexual assault. Jody Morris is being interviewed but has not been charged and now that the natural curiosity over the identity has been satisfied, justice should be allowed to take its course without the distasteful three ring circus and appalling media behaviour that accompanied the Woodgate/Bowyer show trial in 2001. Hopefully the alleged 20-year old victim will be allowed some dignity by the press during this process.
From the point of view of fans of Leeds United one wonders how much more we have to take? If it carries on some might see administration as a blessed release from an ongoing nightmare. Football is meant to be an entertainment, a release or relief from the pressures of everyday life. For most Leeds fans it is becoming a wearisome fact of life, a curse. No sooner is one crisis dealt with than another bigger one looms into view like a drunken 20 stone Rugby player who lurches towards you, cursing loudly that he doesn't like the colour of your shirt. You know what's about to happen but there's sod all you can do about it.
Have your say on this and other Leeds United matters on our message board. Click here.
9th October, 2003
Released on Bail
Jody Morris Bailed
Late Wednesday evening, Leeds United midfielder, Jody Morris and another man were released on Police bail after more than 30 hours of questioning into an alleged serious sexual assault on a 20 year-old woman committed during Monday evening.
A statement from West Yorkshire Police said:
The two men being questioned in connection with an alleged serious sexual assault on a 20-year-old woman in Leeds have now been released on police bail pending forensic and other inquiries.
Inquiries into the incident are continuing but we do not anticipate issuing any further updates in the near future.
We would take this opportunity to remind the media about their responsibilities under the Contempt of Court Act
The second man is not thought to be a footballer or connected with Leeds United.
Leaving aside legalities that cannot be discussed under UK law most Leeds fans will want to know what about the practicalities. What is Jody Morris' position at Leeds United? Can he play? Will he want to play? Will Leeds Utd plc let him play?
Leeds United came in for criticism for allowing Lee Bowyer and Jonathan Woodgate to play whilst under threat of prosecution. Yet Bowyer played the best football of his entire Leeds career during that period. His subsequent acquittal proved the FA wrong to ban him during the period from the England team and reminded everyone of the veracity of the maxim, "innocent until proven guilty". Woodgate solved his problem by being spineless, turning to jelly and being unfit to play, the only thing he could do was collect his paypacket.
Despite the rules of law Peter Reid and the Board may be swayed more by the thought of Jody Morris' performances being effected by the abuse he will certainly receive from the away crowds. Presumably opinions will also change as details of the alleged offence come to light, either by press leaks or simply during pre-trial discovery or magistrates' commital proceedings.
This is a sensitive issue for the club. What do you think we should do? Put him on gardening leave? Suspend without pay? Dismiss immediately? Ignore the arrest until such time as formal charges are laid against him. Ignore the whole thing unless a guilty verdict is brought in by a jury? Have your say by clicking here.
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