Another New Era
The culture at Elland Road is rapidly changing, but has our esteemed new owner gone too far? As I write, Richard Naylor is packing his gleaming promotion medal and blood-spattered captains armband into a cardboard box and leaving Leeds for good. Nayls is the latest casualty of Cellino’s cost-cutting crusade and his departure adds to the bittersweet taste of recent Italian-flavoured events.
Heart and Soul
Richard ‘Bam-Bam’ Naylor wasn’t the most talented Leeds skipper of all time, yet he embodied the words Marching of Together with honourable gusto. From Oldham to O*d Tr****rd, the Leeds-born ginger-nut led us out of the darkness of League One and into a better, brighter future. Four years down the line and we find ourselves under the stewardship of a new leader, a man who signs one player in the blink of an eye before dismissing another just as quickly. Question is, has Massimo gone too far?
Leeds have always had a proud heritage of looking after their own and today’s departure of Naylor and ex-team mate Leigh Bromby will create plenty of umming and arring. Surely not everything is wrong with the Elland Road fabric. Leeds United Ladies, Dom Matteo, Peter Reaney and countless other friends and employees have been let go from Leeds’ immediate family and it may feel like a little of the old Leeds soul is being lost everyday.
Trust in Cellino?
Imagine for a second that Massimo’s prediction of promotion in 2015/16 comes true. Will some of his changes be seen as unnecessary? Surely our break-off from our female counterparts would be seen as a drop-in-the-ocean if the Premiership big-bucks started flowing into our accounts again. Nevertheless, this is perhaps wishful crystal-ball thinking and it could be that Massimo’s shrewdness turns Leeds into a streamlined, promotion-grabbing machine that’s ready to be filled with old friends once we’re ‘back where we belong’. Leeds Ladies have risen from the ashes before and seem determined to do so again. Dom, Reaney, et. al. will always have a place in the Leeds United collective and promotion would surely see the return of some of our old favourites. If the last ten or so years have been anything to go by, then the culture at Leeds needs a shiny new coat of frugality mixed with hard-work and positivity and Massimo could well be our man.