Harry Set For Some Stick

Last updated : 23 October 2003 By Kevin Markey
John Boocock, co-chairman of the Leeds United Supporters Trust, and Simon Jose of the Leeds United Independent Fans Association, state that his move and consequent transfer fee won't be quickly forgotten.

Leeds chairman John McKenzie was forced to sell the player for a ridiculous fee of £3m with £2m going to his agent for 'services rendered'.

"He will get stick because the fans feel he's a mercenary," said Boocock in the Yorkshire Post. "He's probably public enemy No 1 for us and I'm sure the Leeds fans will have plenty to say about Harry Kewell.

"We feel he went for the money and so there are likely to be plenty of chants and taunts of 'greedy so and so'. The manner of his going left a very bad taste in the mouths of the fans and they will make their feelings quite clear on Saturday. He seems to have forgotten that he would not have a career if we had not picked him up as a kid and brought him to our academy.

"But even before he left, he was never really that popular with the fans. He never really connected with us and he never really wanted to know."

Simon Jose also added: "You can say whatever you like about the way John McKenzie handled the transfer, but in the end we were left with the feeling that Kewell had taken us all for a ride.

"He will definitely get grief from the fans and deservedly so.

"We gave him massive support, even though he's quite a lazy player, and yet this was how he repaid us. "

Considering Kewell was reported to be negotiating a move away from Elland Road a full six months or so before it actually happened, it's no surprise that most Leeds fans feel that way.

"Some of our fans might give Harry a bit of stick on Saturday but that happens in football and I am sure Harry will be professional enough to accept it," Peter Reid said, also in the Yorkshire Post. "This is a game of football and let's hope it is a good game of football.

"It was disappointing to see him go but I can understand his reasons and it is all history now," he added.

"He is a huge talent, a top-class player and on his day, attacking-wise, he is as good as anybody in the game. He seems to have settled well at Liverpool and he has scored quite a few goals and I hope he has a quiet day against us on Saturday although I suspect he will be relishing the chance to face us.

"People can always pick faults but sometimes you just have to give credit where it is due and say he is one of the best in the business. He had the likes of Arsenal, Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool chasing for his signature. You are not going to tell me that Sir Alex Ferguson or Gerard Houllier are mugs to want him."