After a lost decade, new season marks new start for United

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there is a growing sense that this season marks a fresh start for Leeds United.

Last week’s departure of Ken Bates as president means one of the most controversial figures in football is no longer connected to the club.

Now, under new owners GFH Capital, Leeds are close to securing the investment that would help them buy back Elland Road, sold off in a desperate bid to raise short-term cash back in 2004.

The move would be a major step forward for a club that has suffered a seemingly neverending series of setbacks since those dark days 10 years ago when the full extent of its financial crisis became clear.

United’s fans have endured a lost decade filled with frustration and any number of false dawns. So the new-found sense of optimism surrounding the club is hugely important for everyone who cares about Leeds and their fight to get back to football’s top table.

A lot, of course, depends on the team. The pre-season form has not exactly been impressive, but all that will be forgotten if United can put in the kind of performances that convince supporters better times are on the way – starting with Saturday’s opening game against Brighton.

But strong teams are built on strong foundations – and the money side of football has never been more important. If Leeds can once again place themselves on a firm financial footing, then anything is possible.

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