Lineker: Desperate Situation At Leeds

Last updated : 15 November 2003 By Kevin Markey

Lineker writes; 'The jealousies and self-interest of a few individuals in the game have meant that saving football clubs is now a far more difficult business than it was a year ago when we at Leicester City managed to put together a consortium to save the club.

'The restrictions - not to mention the punishments - that now face clubs who go into administration has made it far less inviting for new investors and as a result much more difficult to save a club than ought to be the case. With debts of £78 million Leeds, if relegated, face a long haul back to the top flight, if indeed they are still around at all.

'One would imagine that a club of Leeds's stature and support would not be short of new backers, but they will be greatly deterred by the FA's new draconian measures for clubs who get themselves into serious financial difficulty.

'Football clubs are a vital ingredient in any community and it is essential that they are saved at almost any cost. If potential investors are told that a club will be automatically relegated or docked 20 points or fined some massive sum they will be far less inclined to part with their money for what may already be a risky venture.

'Peter Reid may have lost his job but he was just the sacrificial lamb because it is clearly not a managerial issue at Leeds. It will be a brave man who takes on the challenge and risks his reputation. It's a desperate situation: no confidence at the club, players on loan, others looking to get away. And there's obviously been a bit of poison put down in the dressing room'.

Read more of his column in tomorrow's Telegraph.