Marching on together, we want to see you stay.
That's the heartfelt message from the Leeds United Supporters' Trust to Whites head coach Marcelo Bielsa.
The Trust has penned an open letter to Bielsa thanking him for the impact he has had on United – and the city as a whole – since taking charge last summer.
His stylish brand of football and dignified approach to life has by common consent restored the feelgood factor to LS11, despite Leeds's agonising failure to secure promotion to the Premier League.
And, as United fans everywhere wait to see if Bielsa will sign up for another season with the Whites, the letter implores him to stay and finish the job at Elland Road.
It says: "You have our respect, our admiration and our unwavering support. We believe in your philosophy and thank you for all your efforts.
"Your football makes us dream again and we're all hoping you will continue to take us on the journey in our centenary season."
Explaining the thinking behind the letter, Trust chairman Steve White told the Yorkshire Evening Post: "After the [play-off defeat to Derby] it was easy to write the season off when we didn’t finish how we would have liked.
"We felt we needed to convey a message back to Marcelo that his impact and the progress we’ve seen has really united the club back together – both on and off the field.
"He’s not had the easiest of seasons – it’s been eventful, but he has the utmost respect from Leeds United fans worldwide and we want him around to lead us into our centenary year and beyond.”
Under the terms of the contract signed by Bielsa last summer, United currently have an option to extend his stay by another 12 months.
However, a gentleman’s agreement is also in place that means he can quit if he no longer feels willing to continue in the job.
The 63-year-old met with United director of football Victor Orta at the weekend and sources close to the Argentinian have told the YEP that he is poised to agree to a second season at Elland Road.
The letter from the Trust starts and ends in the Spanish of his homeland and includes the words 'somos nosotros contra el mundo', which means 'it's us against the world'.
Here is the Trust's letter in full:
Estimado Sr. Bielsa:
On behalf of the Leeds United Supporters’ Trust, members and fans, we felt compelled to write to you to express our feelings on the overall impact you’ve had on our club.
In the short time that you and your team have been coaching Leeds United, we have seen an inspirational turn around in the quality of football at Elland Road. It has been incredibly pleasing to see the unity within the club and the progress this has led to both on and off the field. Improvements to the training ground, a clear footballing ethos and a truly passionate backroom staff has gone a long way in giving this special club its identity back after years of previous mismanagement.
Whilst this season has unfortunately ended not as we’d hoped, it has been a brilliant season to be a part of. Additionally, the performance of the U18 and U23 teams has been remarkable and highlights what a bright future the club has ahead of it. We hope they are very proud of their achievements and long may it continue.
Leeds is again a city united, football has returned. Together we are loyal, we are determined, we are proud. The long history of our club is well established, but as historical, time-honoured successes fade, there is so much still to be written and we feel this has only just begun. This season alone has renewed our hope in the future and that a new chapter of our heritage is underway, we want you to remain the key part of it.
Even through difficult times and perceived injustices you have held an unparalleled level of dignity, acting always in the best interests of the club, this has not gone unnoticed among the fan base. Your passion and tireless dedication in improving the team has affirmed our trust in you and your staff.
You have our respect, our admiration and our unwavering support. We believe in your philosophy and thank you for all your efforts. Your football makes us dream again and we’re all hoping you will continue to take us on the journey in our centenary season.
It is our hope that the board will continue to invest in the team and allow you to make the improvements you would like to give us that extra push we need for what’s going to be a very special season in 2019/2020.
Gracias Marcelo, somos nosotros contra el mundo; Marching on Together.
Marching on Together,
Leeds United Supporters' Trust