On Friday thousands gathered on Elland Road as Leeds was back in English football when West Brom lost its way to Huddersfield Town.
Tens of people came together on Elland Street on Friday as Leeds returned to the top spot in English football when West Brom lost to Huddersfield City.
Unlike American games, in international football, if a team has less performance in a season – not only will they face the embarrassment of a bad year, they will be relegated to the lower league.
Take the New York Knicks for example. They are a one-story property and have suffered terrible franchise decisions for the past two decades. Had there been NBA eliminations, the Knicks would have played less competition from the league.
With it comes less revenue, fewer resources and a more challenging path to put it back in the best league.
That’s the story of Leeds United. Founded over 100 years ago, one of the biggest clubs across the UK has not played on the first flight of English football since 2004.
Last weekend, they realized their long-awaited return.
Who is Leeds United?
In the history of top English football, the biggest clubs were Liverpool, Manchester United, Arsenal, Everton and then Leeds United. Clubs such as Chelsea, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur have been key players since the early 2000s.
The West Yorkshire club has won three English league titles, one FA Cup, one league trophy, and has qualified for Europe dozens of times. The club came to the European Cup Final in 1975 and lost to Munich Bayern.
They reached the Champions League semi-finals in 2001. It was the last time Leeds offered any good thanks for some of the paralyzed financial results.
Debt kills Leeds United
After that 2001 season. Leeds borrowed heftily from the UEFA Champions League qualification concerning the share of TV rights and the revenue sponsored and then to the tournament progress.
However, Leeds failed to qualify for the Champions League for two consecutive seasons. As a result, they did not earn enough to repay their debts. They were forced to sell their best players to earn revenue.
Naturally, the pitch’s performance suffered and Leeds were pushed to the end of the 2003-2004 season.
This is not the first time Leeds has been ejected from the first flight of English football, but it will be very devastating.
In addition to the players, they were forced to sell their training facility and ownership of their stadium Elland Road. They constantly signed with the players and started to build their team anew.
But in 2007 it got worse to worse. For the first time in club history, Leeds was relegated to the third division of English football. They spent 3 seasons in English League One (Division 3).
The Andrea Radrizzani and Marcelo Bielsa
Two names embedded in the Leeds United History Book are Andrea Radrizzani and Marcelo Bielsa. The former investor who bought half the club in 2017 from former majority owner Massimo Cellino. Cellino was on the way to Leeds for much defeat.
He has hired and fired about 10 coaches since 2014-2017, has been accused of tax evasion in Italy and 2015 dropped a contract to sell the club. Radrizzanni bought half the club in January 2017, the rest in May of the same year.
Radrizzanni was instrumental in restructuring the club and in good structured condition. He repurchased the stadium and appointed Marcelo Bielsa to manage the club. Bielsa became the highest-paid manager in club history and placed great expectations on his shoulders.
The Argentine tactic, which beliefs in a very unique possession-based style, raises the question of its ability to implement its philosophy in the UK and the second division.
In his first year under Marcelo Bielsa, Leeds competed for a title and promotion. They were in the top 2 for almost the entire season. Then they had a terrible run in the final 5 games. They finally lost in the promotion playoffs in 2019.
Leeds United came back with a vengeance under the 2019-2020 Bielsa. They led the entire season on the table. On July 17, Leeds United took a place in the Premier League after having to wait for a global epidemic, season cancellation and tough games to return.
One day later, after Brentford lost to Stoke City, Leeds won the League (top two promoted automatically).
Celebration as Leeds is back in the English football
For all Leeds United fans and members, it was a weekend celebration they will never forget. Finally, their beloved club returned to the place they had always owned. “March Together” had never been sung louder than the weekend before.
On Friday, thousands of people met on Elland Road when Leeds returned on top-flight when West Brom lost to Huddersfield City. Head coach Marcelo Bielsa, whose street will be named after him, was thrilled.
Leeds is back on the first flight of English football. However, the players, coaches and fans all know, this is the beginning of a great journey.