BILL Shankly once said that football is more important than life and death.
Shanks, a great friend and rival of legendary Leeds United manager Don Revie, was of course speaking at least partly in jest when he came out with that famous line.
But there is no doubting the vital role that the beautiful game – and in particular the fortunes of United – has to play in the city of Leeds.
And that is why today the Yorkshire Evening Post is unashamedly pinning its colours to the club’s mast as the Whites bid to return to the top flight of English football for the first time since 2004.
The feelgood factor across the city has been hard to miss in recent weeks and months as a United side brilliantly led by manager Garry Monk has more than punched its weight in the upper reaches of the Championship.
But success on the field doesn’t just put smiles on the faces of the fans, it is positive news for the Leeds economy.
Having a Premier League club once again would raise the city’s profile, with football even bigger business today than it was 13 years ago.
More visiting supporters would also mean more spending in Leeds’s shops, bars, restaurants and hotels.
It’s a win-win situation, as long as Monk’s men get it right on the pitch – and we know they will give everything to achieve their goal.