How excited are you at the prospect of commentating on Leeds again?

It was very emotional being welcomed back to Elland Road for the Brighton game. I felt the same nerves I had eight years ago when I did my first Utd commentary with Eddie Gray on the opening day of the campaign. The best way to describe how I feel is a huge sense of anticipation and honour to cover the club at what feels like a new dawn. It was always a goal of mine to see commentary rights return to the station. That has been very satisfying.

What was the relationship like between BBC Radio Leeds and LUFC before GFH took over?

At times it was extremely difficult because of the anti BBC stance adopted by previous owner Ken Bates. The problem it seemed was not a personal one with me or BBC Leeds but with the BBC as a whole in terms of some of the programmes he featured in.
Not being able to provide commentary was a blow and the way in which we had to cover the club was not ideal.
Without meaningful access to players and at times the manager it meant we had to be resourceful in reporting stories about Utd.
Last year was bizarre because we were in a situation where the club didn’t speak to us and the new owners were bound by confidentiality agreements. It was not easy reporting on a takeover on which no one was able to comment openly.
The new owners have now changed the atmosphere completely . GFH Capital have recognised there is value in the club reaching a potential combined audience of 1.25 million via BBC Radio Leeds and BBC Look North.

Will Radio Leeds be having any other Leeds related shows now that you have commentary back?

Our sports programming has changed over recent years and we now have a daily sports show between 6-7pm, which we did not have previously. The West Yorkshire Sport Daily show means we now have more sporting programming than ever before, and more than any other radio station in Yorkshire. United content will feature heavily in this, including studio guests from the club – Brian McDermott will hopefully be our guest for the hour soon. Now of course we have all the matches on our FM frequencies. Any further programming will have to be looked at in the future.

What was your favourite moment whilst commentating on Leeds in the past?

The 4-3 at Southampton and the win at Old Trafford. However I think my favourite is now Luke Murphy’s winner v Brighton. It was a surreal moment which capped a wonderful day. It was a just reward for all the hard work by all associated with the club and especially the supporters who voted with their feet by turning up.
As well as the matches working with Eddie Gray and Andy Ritchie has been brilliant.
Away from the action some of the most rewarding times were interviewing Eirik Bakke in his native Norway, Rui Marques on the struggle his family faced having to flee Angola and some memorable nights doing Leeds United Unplugged on the road in various pubs with live bands alongside Andy Ritchie and our sports editor Gareth Jones. Andy singing Teenage Kicks was memorable on his birthday!

Is there one game you’re most looking forward  to commentating on this season?

No particular match… other than the one which clinches promotion! I genuinely am excited about every game.
It’s always good to go to new stadiums so Brighton away will be great as I’ve not been there yet.
I do enjoy the derbies with Town because they have been great contests in recent times.
I’ve also missed the midweek fixtures massively.

What do you think Leeds’ expectations should be this year?

I’m trying to think of this season in terms of anticipation rather than expectation. These are positive times and there is a sense of something special happening. I think with a couple of signings Utd can finish in the play offs.

Do you think Aidy White could finally come good, and do you think Ryan Hall’s Leeds career is over before he’s even had a fair chance?

Ben Parker who did the game with me v Brighton reckons left back is Aidy’s best position. I like his attacking qualities more so prefer to see him further forward. I think this is the season when Aidy has to nail it and I believe he has the talent to do so.
As for Ryan I only saw him play three times last season I think. He did well as a sub at Hudds but against Birmingham in the FA Cup at Elland Road he struggled. However I did ask Brian McDermott about Hall’s future during pre season and he did not rule him out of his plans. I hope he has a chance to give it a lash. Hopefully his new born doesn’t keep him awake too much! I think most fans feel the squad has lacked width and pace.

What do you think the main areas for concern are in the Leeds squad?

I think centre back would be the one area I would concentrate on if I was pick one.

What were your initial thoughts on GFH, and have they changed over the summer?

Once I met with GFH Capital I was impressed with their ability, particularly David Haigh’s, to deal with Ken Bates. The energy required to see through the protracted negotiations should not be underestimated.
They have withstood a lot of criticism and have delivered on a lot of their aims.
I would like to hear more from them on air but I understand that they want the focus to be on the team and the manager.
The last month has shown their intentions are well thought out and it’s clear they want to be involved at close quarters now.
Overall I think they are winning hearts and minds. I think it will be interesting to see what role they take once more investors come on board.
I thought it showed a touch of class to walk around the ground and meet with fans.

What are your thoughts on the ideas they have tried to implement to re-engage the fans?

A better pricing policy was a sure-fire winner. I particularly like the efforts to meet with the Supporters Club and the Trust . The ideas GFH Capital to make the club more visible in the city are welcome. They understood that dispensing with the Bates regime would be the best way to bring fans back. To have 33000 at the opening game says it all really.

And finally, is there an update on the investment and do you think it could happen before the end of the transfer window?

No further news at time of writing about the investment which includes the repurchase of Elland Road. I understand that it was not designed to encourage ticket sales ahead of the Brighton game!

We would like to thank Adam for taking the time to have this interview with us.



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