Belfast Telegraph

Alan Green: Why Premiership needs a Leed role

I am not a ‘supporter’ of Leeds United but Arsene Wenger is far from alone in hoping that the Yorkshire club will soon be back in the Premier League.

I, too, feel that way and Elland Road last Wednesday night was a special place to be.

Even after Nasri gave Arsenal an early lead, the atmosphere at the ground was exhilarating. Leeds fans have a fervour matched only rarely elsewhere in England. It is ‘wasted’ outside the top flight and I think there’s ample evidence that those supporters finally have a team, off as well as on the pitch, worthy of the highest division.

Ken Bates may not be the most popular figure in English football but, six years after he arrived in Yorkshire, he’s brought stability where there was once only financial turmoil. He deserves praise not scorn.

And Simon Grayson has, quietly without bombast, fashioned a really good side. He managed promotion up from League One and I’ve no doubts he’ll manage the next crucial step equally well. Of course, he’ll need players but bet on him finding them and Bates financing them.

Leeds will be back soon.

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