Not In The Brochure?

Last updated : 15 November 2003 By Kevin Markey
Quoted on the LMA’s website, Barnwell said: “Peter was brought in to salvage what was left of the wreckage, knowing that there was very little money there, but what he found out was far worse than he had been told: as they say, it was not like the brochure.”

This is how Giles Smith of The Times described how the brochure would be like for the Leeds job;

“IMAGINE a place where time stands still. Imagine a place where the bustle and grind of the nine-to-five world cannot reach you. Imagine a place where you can relax among friends as the sun sinks gently into the ocean, never to rise again. Imagine a place called Leeds United.

“Here at Leeds, we’ve been catering for managers since 1919. When it comes to knowing what a manager is looking for in a job, we like to think our experience counts. It’s in the little touches, be it the monogrammed, 100 per cent polyester training trousers that come free for all our guests, or the complimentary basket of Lucozade that awaits you in your accommodation on arrival. And whether it’s activity you are looking for or just the chance to put your feet up and do nothing, you won’t be disappointed at Leeds.

“Nestling in the highly popular and yet utterly unspoilt holiday destination of Yorkshire, and gently warmed by the waves of disapproval coming off 40,000 or so loyal fans, our Elland Road resort has been thoroughly reconditioned over recent years and now offers all the advantages a manager would expect from one of the world’s leading leisure facilities, including a fully equipped gym, an office with a speakerphone and a limitless supply of chewing gum. What’s more, a major programme of investment in players has just been completed, making Leeds competitive with some of the great European managerial destinations, such as Madrid and Turin. (NB. Some players may have been sold or imprisoned since this brochure went to press. Contact your tour operator or local police station for clarification.)

“All our exclusive managerial cabanas offer en suite lavatories and, from the windows, a dazzling prospect of major honours. Silverware is just a gentle stroll away. Days at Leeds slip by in a dreamy haze, obedient to a schedule that only you control. After all, you’re the boss! Whether retrieving Jody Morris from custody, enjoying a long, refreshing meat pie with one of the friendly and accommodating locals and agreeing that things haven’t really been the same since Howard Wilkinson left, or simply chilling out with Mark Viduka at the training ground, you’ll know you are savouring a piece of paradise. The paradise that is Leeds.

“But don’t just take our word for it: hear what other satisfied holidaymakers are telling us, over and over again.

I’ve never gone home from a vacation so relaxed and with so much money
— T. Venables, London

Super club, super ground, super £3.7 million redundancy package. I may come back
— D. O’Leary, Birmingham

We keep returning, year after year after year. You can’t get rid of us!
— The Grays, Leeds

“At Leeds, our range of stays is designed specifically to meet your needs, whatever the demands of your career long term. Our Champions League Or Bust peak-season activity package, for example, is for the manager with energy to burn. Looking for a less hectic stay? Then select our Relegation And Afterwards leisure retreat, tailored for someone with that little bit more time to spare. On the other hand, if it’s a quick getaway you are after, choose our special 22 games only mini-break, which comes with a unique £825,000 compensation payment, flight inclusive.

“Yes, that’s right: a compensation payment is standard on all our holidays at termination, including mini-breaks. Not only are we paying you to come, we’re paying you to go! Didn’t imagine a place like this existed in the world? Think Leeds and you’re already there.

“Wages shown include return flights. Standard baggage limits apply. Places at Leeds are limited, so early application is recommended to avoid disappointment. Fill out the attached form or, for further inquiries, ring the club and ask to speak to whoever is the chairman at the moment.”