THROWBACK THURSDAY: Leeds United enter new financial crisis

Kevin Blackwell, Leeds United manager
Kevin Blackwell, Leeds United manager

This week’s Throwback Thursday takes us back to December 3, 2004 and the kind of headlines that could well be just as apt on the same day 11 years later.

Leeds United fans have seen their side endure a tough few years with relegations, controversial owners and a huge turnover of managers.

On this day in 2004, manager Kevin Blackwell was refusing to contemplate the potential prospect of administration which again appeared to be hanging over the club.

A payment of £1.2million was owed to the Inland Revenue by December 15, while it was also understood a further £800,000 was required to pay off a VAT bill.

There were fears Leeds were struggling to find the required funds, sparking suggestions the club would be plunged into administration before Christmas, incurring with it an automatic ten-point penalty which would drop United into the relegation zone of the then-named Coca-Cola Championship.

Blackwell, who had seen Leeds come within days of the administrators being called in the previous season, said: “We cannot allow ourselves to think about it.

“We have to focus on what we do. We saw what it did to morale last season - it sapped us and we were relegated.

“I don’t know what’s going on with the board. I know things aren’t too clever, but we just have to get on with the football.

“We at Leeds are very proud people. This is a massive club, with massive potential and we have to get back into the Premier League.

“But we are down on our luck at the moment, although we are not going to sit and moan about it.

“We are going to fight to make sure we get this club back to where it belongs.”

Having sold both their training ground and their Elland Road stadium in the autumn, investment was badly needed and in the end, the club was sold to Ken Bates for £10 million in January 2005, effectively saving United from the feared administration.

United eventually finished in 14th place in the league, losing out in the play-off final to Watford the following season and then being relegated in 2007 having on that occasion failed to stave off administration and finishing bottom of the league.