Club has lost its way with focus on stadium rather than the team

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An EMPHASIS on expanding Elland Road and an uncompetitive playing budget has meant Leeds United has “undoubtedly lost its way as a club,” the editor of the club’s leading fanzine said last night.

Dan Moylan, of The Square Ball, said the sacking of Simon Grayson was inevitable given the pressure placed on him by chairman Ken Bates to return the club to the Premier League and feels the manager had his hands tied by transfer policy.

He added that recent fan protests would grow in intensity if the board do not show some enthusiasm for building a great football team instead of committing money to development projects.

“There’s an argument that, no matter how much time he’d been given, Grayson would not have improved matters, simply because of the tight playing budget at the club,” Moylan said.

“The role of scouting and recruitment cannot fall solely at the feet of Simon Grayson, nor can the club’s ability to retain its best players. Looking at the playing side alone though, it’s fair to say Leeds United have been pretty uninspiring this season, having provided very few good performances.

“However, the Championship is an unpredictable division and Leeds are still on the fringes of the play-offs.

“So when you weigh up the resources at his disposal against the league position, he doesn’t appear to have done too badly.

“The main complaint from the fans is one of the club’s wider strategy of committing large sums of money to building projects but not apparently showing the same enthusiasm for building a great football team.”

Moylan said that there were pros and cons to all the front-runners to replace Grayson and that it was essential the club get the appointment right.

“All managerial appointments are important, but with the fans so unhappy, it has to be someone who can take the club forward or the unrest will certainly grow,” he said.