Rock Bottom For The Whites

Last updated : 02 November 2003 By Kevin Markey
And with Mark Viduka the latest in a long line of players looking to jump ship, it's not going to get much better.

Viduka was reported to have turned up late for a team meeting yesterday morning, and was left out of the squad for the visit of Arsenal.

Peter Reid quoting only "disciplinary reasons" for his absence.

Celtic will probably remember Viduka getting upset during the infamous defeat against Inverness Caledonian Thistle, when John Barnes was manager and Kenny Dalglish headman at Parkhead.

He did not stay much longer, even with the appointment of Martin O'Neill as new manager.

Yes, 'when the going gets tough, go and get stuffed' seems appropriate for the big Aussie right now.

Just in case you needed reminding these are the players that have left Elland Road and never been replaced properly, resulting in this dark day in our history.

Rio Ferdinand (Signed November 2000, £18m; sold July 2002, £30m) The sale of England defender Ferdinand to Manchester United was on the cards before Terry Venables took over. Neither then manager Venables nor then chairman Peter Ridsdale wanted to sell Ferdinand but debts forced their hand.

Robbie Keane (Signed May 2001, £12m; sold August 2002, £7m) Securing his services cost Leeds £12m, but just 15 months later they were prepared to cash in to ease the financial problems caused by failure to qualify for the Champions League. Tottenham got him for just £7m.

Lee Bowyer (Signed July 1996, £2.8m; sold January 2003, £100,000) With just a season left on his contract and the player seemingly unwilling to sign a new one, Leeds did their best to sell Bowyer last summer. A £9m fee was agreed with Liverpool, but the move broke down after Reds boss Gerard Houllier expressed doubt about the players' commitment. They had to settle for a nominal fee soon after from West Ham and Bowyer then moved to Newcastle on a free at the end of the season.

Olivier Dacourt (Signed May 2000, £7.2m; sold June 2003, £3.5m)
The Frenchman's relationship with Terry Venables was less than harmonious with the player clearly keen to leave Elland Road. He joined Roma initially on loan before making the move permanent in the summer.

Robbie Fowler (Signed November 2001, £11m, sold January 2003, £6m)
The former Liverpool striker was hampered by injury during his brief spell at Elland Road but his goal poaching was still top draw. When Manchester City came in for him the board felt they could not turn down the £6m on offer, especially considering the depressed state of the transfer market.

Jonathan Woodgate (Trainee, sold January 2003, £9m)
Described as Leeds' crown jewel, Woodgate was seen as the pivotal figure around which the team would be built after Ferdinand's departure. However, his controversial sale to Newcastle proved too much for many fans, who began protesting for the resignation of the board and chairman Peter Ridsdale in particular.

Harry Kewell (Signed December 1995, Trainee; sold July 2003, £5m) Kewell made it clear he wanted out after the end of the season, he'd been reportedly arranging a deal 6 months before he actually left, and the £2m pay-off he and his agent received meant Leeds effectively only received £3m from Liverpool when he moved to Anfield.

Terry Venables Brought in as manager by Peter Ridsdale after David O'Leary left in the Summer of 2002.

The TV pundit struggled to get results on the pitch, and fell out with the board off it as more players were sold off. Eventually left on 21 March, although the one-off costs associated with paying him off and implementing other redundancies cost the club £7.2m in the 12 months to June 30.