Leeds United and Marcelo Bielsa praised for 'truly tremendous' season by Leeds Council leader

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Marcelo Bielsa and his Leeds United side have been thanked for a "truly tremendous" first season back in the Premier League by the leader of Leeds City Council.

It comes after the Whites ended the season on a high after beating West Brom 3-1 at Elland Road.

James Lewis, who took over leadership of the council from Judith Blake at the start of the year, said: “We would like to offer our congratulations to Marcelo, the team, club chairman Andrea and everyone involved at Leeds United for a truly tremendous first season back in the Premier League.

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“In what has continued to be an extremely difficult time due to coronavirus, the performances of Leeds United have proved to be a real tonic and morale boost not for just supporters, but for the city as a whole.

Leeds United embrace at Elland Road on the final day of the season.Leeds United embrace at Elland Road on the final day of the season.
Leeds United embrace at Elland Road on the final day of the season.

"It’s been fantastic to see Leeds once again competing so well in the Premier League and the club receiving such plaudits from fans across the world for their exciting style of play and fearless approach.

“The profile of the club, which is already huge, is growing every day, and we are looking forward to reaping the significant economic benefit that we have missed out on this season when we have over 37,000 fans being in the city for each home match day.

Coun Lewis added: “Of course the most disappointing aspect is that it was not possible for Leeds fans to pack out Elland Road and away ends at stadiums across the country due to the restrictions that had to be put in place due to coronavirus.

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"Fingers crossed next season this will be very different, and as a season ticket holder myself, I cannot wait to experience the brilliant Elland Road atmosphere once again.”

Leeds City Council leader James Lewis.Leeds City Council leader James Lewis.
Leeds City Council leader James Lewis.

The Leeds United Supporters' Trust echoed his comments.

A spokesperson said: "Having spent 16 years dreaming about the moment we would finally return to the Premier League living up to those built up expectations was an almost impossible task for Marcelo Bielsa and this Leeds United side.

"For that reason, its lucky we have a manager who has a habit of doing the impossible.

"The only way it could have been made better would be to have witnessed it in person.

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They added: "It has been years since the club and city of Leeds have felt so connected, with celebrations of footballing heroes new and old popping up around the city in artwork.

"And there’s so much more to look forward to, our sophomore season back in the top flight is set to be just even better than the first as fans return to stadiums."

Avid fan and memorabilia collector Ben Hunter said: "This season has exceeded all my expectations and never felt prouder to be Leeds.

On and off the field the club continues to inspire.

"Seeing and hearing the fans finally back at Elland Road was quite emotional too, can’t wait to get 40,000 inside that place - it’s going to be crazy."