From the Viewsroom

Leeds United is back, and how

B Baskar | Updated on September 10, 2020 Published on September 10, 2020

This Yorkshire club is sure to light up this EPL season

When Leeds United takes on champions Liverpool on Saturday’s lung opener of the 2020-21 English Premier League season, it’ll surely bring back a lot of fond memories for both its fans and the neutrals. Leeds is retuning to English football’s top flight after 16 years.

It crashed out of the Premier League in 2004 after reaching the Champion’s League semis barely three years before that. The fall was so precipitous and it went down to the third tier of English football in 2007. But the club has found some stability after Italian businessman Andrea Radrizzani bought the club in 2017. The game-changer, however, was the appointment of the maverick coach Marcelo Bielsa, whose tactical nous and hard training drills ensured promotion this year.

Leeds United is one of the major English clubs with a huge legacy and a dedicated fan following. Its most successful spell came in the late 1960s and early ‘70s when it won two league titles and reached the finals of the European Cup in 1975 under the legendary coach Don Revie and captain Billy Bremner. It was also the first club to win the title when the English Premier League was started in the 1991-92 season. The club was riding high in the late 1990s and early noughties, when it reached the Champion’s League semi-finals in 2001 with a talented bunch of players that included Harry Kewell, Jonathan Woodgate, Rio Ferdinand, Alan Smith and Lee Bowyer. But its profligate ways in the transfer market led to huge debt and bankruptcy and then came the dreaded relegation in 2004.

Caution on spending will be the byword for the club in its first season. Owner Radrizzani said in a recent interview that the club wants to just stay in the top flight for the next two seasons and then try and break in to the top half. Come Saturday, Bielsa will match his wits with Liverpool’s Juergen Klopp, Manchester City’s Pep Guardiola and Tottenham’s Jose Mourinho. For football fans it can’t get more ‘mouth watering’ than this.

Senior Deputy Editor

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Published on September 10, 2020
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