After 16 years away from English soccer’s top division, an era marred by sporting and financial shortcomings, Leeds United have finally claimed a spot in the Premier League. The club’s Italian owner Andrea Radrizzani, who took over the club in 2017, announcing the 100% buyout of Leeds United, will also be toasting promotion which is worth an estimated £170 million ($305.39 million).
“It’s unbelievable and it’s still not properly sunk in. Our club, our fans and our players have sacrificed so much – we’ve been in the doldrums for 16 years.”, said captain Liam Cooper.
“To be part of this team and to lead this team to promotion back to where we know we’ve always belonged is unbelievable.”
(captain, leeds united)
Leeds United History
While they eventually regained their place in the Championship in 2010 they never really challenged for a move back in the Premier League until the appointment of Argentinian Marcelo Bielsa who took charge in 2018.
Marcelo Bielsa has had a lucrative career at Bilbao, Marseille, Argentinian national team etc and has made his name as one of the best “tactical managers” in world football and hence his move to Leeds came at a hefty price as most of his staff earned combined salaries of more than £3m.
Since relegation in 2004, Leeds have had 15 managers and 5 owners. They’ve been to the brink of running into administration, spent three seasons in League One (England’s third division), suffered FA Cup humiliation against a team from a village called Histon in 2008 and became the “chokers” in the eyes of rival clubs, being termed as “Damned United.”
Leeds United Squad
The team that earned promotion to the PL impressed throughout the 2019/20 season eventually topping the league by 10 points, seems to be a highly talented squad with a good young group of players like Kalvin Phillips and Ben White, who was on loan from Brighton and Hove Albion.
The manager recently signed Valencia midfielder Rodrigo for £26 million. Captain Liam Liam Cooper may be forced to settle for the bench with summer signing Robin Koch and potential signing Luiz Felipe.
— Leeds United (@LUFC) August 29, 2020
Leeds United Fixtures
Leeds mark their return to the Premier League with a visit to defending champions Liverpool at Anfield on September 12.
Leeds welcome fellow newly promoted side Fulham to Elland Road for the first home game of the season.
A Yorkshire derby away at Bramall Lane with Sheffield United comes in game three, before Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City visit Elland Road. The club’s rivalry with Manchester United will be renewed with an away trip to Old Trafford, scheduled for Saturday 19th December.
The Whites will have to make a solid start to their return to the Premier League if they have to put in an impressive showing against the big guns and improve their consistency levels whilst making additions to the squad to perform in the world’s most elite league.