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Leeds United Football Club

  • Nickname:The Whites
  • Founded:1919
  • Manager:Dave Hockaday
  • Ground:Elland Road
  • Capacity:40296
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Bates stands by Wise

01 May 2007 - 11:30:20

Leeds United chairman Ken Bates insists Dennis Wise is the right man to revive fortunes at Elland Road.

The club's relegation to League One was all but confirmed by Saturday's 1-1 draw with Ipswich Town and Hull City's 1-0 victory at Cardiff City, but Bates has given his full backing to Wise.

The veteran former Chelsea chairman told the Yorkshire Post: "Dennis has done a much better job than many people realise. We were in a much worse position when Dennis came in than people know about.

"Some of the difficulties he inherited cannot be made public, but there were real problems in the dressing room. The playing side was in complete disarray.

"When I came to Leeds (in January, 2005), I likened the state of the club to that of Chelsea when I took over. Well, in 1988 Chelsea were relegated from Division One and I was told then it was something the club could not handle.

"But from the very day Chelsea were relegated, the thinking at the club was 'this is the start of a championship winning season'. And, you know what? Chelsea went back up as champions with a record points total.

"Now we have been relegated - and no, Hull are not going to lose 10-0 at home next weekend - then the planning starts. On Monday, we will start the first day of the 2007-08 promotion season.

"We can now have a complete clean-out and start again. It is time to look forwards, not backwards."

Only five years ago Leeds finished fifth in the Premiership and 12 months earlier had reached the Champions League semi-final.


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