Leeds United fans demanding answers fast on what happens next
and live on Freeview channel 276
The statement put out by the club in the wake of the relegation from the Premiership stated that financially the Whites were healthy and preparing already for a strong challenge for a quick return to the top flight.
But there are so many things to sort out that it is already making many doubt that United will be up with the frontrunners in the Championship next season and another long wait for a return could be on the cards.
While there is no doubt they are in a better position than they were the last twice they dropped out of the top division – when they were bankrupt and effectively bailing out while trying to put a team together – there is much uncertainty around that needs dealing with quickly and effectively.
First of all there is the question of ownership and whether Andrea Radrizzani will sell out or stay around another year to get a much bigger payout from the San Francisco 49ers team who already have a deal on the table for 2024.
The next question is whether the 49ers are still interested after relegation?
These decisions need to be made public quickly because there are then the equally big questions over who will take over as head coach and director of football – should it still be a position the club is looking to fill.
After getting it so wrong on the successors following Marcelo Bielsa’s departure the Whites simply cannot afford to make another wrong decision on the head coach and whoever comes in has a huge job on his hands.
The dreadful way Leeds finished the 2022-23 season suggested they would also struggle in the Championship with a team that has problems in every department, particularly in defence and goal scoring.
While there are plenty of talented youngsters who could and should be given a go in the Championship, there is also some substantial recruitment needed to solve the problems that have been thrown up in the last 18 months.
There will also be the not so easy decisions on which players to keep and which to let go. Some of these decisions will be taken out of the club’s hands with some likely to make it clear they do not want to play in the Championship on likely reduced wages to what they have become accustomed to and others having their head turned by offers from top flight clubs at home and abroad.
Keeping hold of the likes of Tyler Adams, Luis Sinisterra, Jack Harrison and Willy Gnonto will be tough, but maybe smart deals could be done to let all of these or some go out on loan for a season with an intention to bring them back should Leeds get promoted.
Others may have to be sacrificed because of their high wages which may be impossible to maintain with Championship status.
All these things need to be decided swiftly or United face the prospect of being left behind and they are already behind the exiting Championship clubs in terms of recruitment.
It said: “At the start of the season, Andrea Radrizzani brazenly dismissed the risk of a survival battle for Leeds United, claiming relegation was ‘impossible’. Well Andrea, it all feels very possible right now.
“The responsibility for our relegation lies with the people in charge. In another long, frustrating, and depressing season, the club has either made the wrong decisions or taken too long to make the right ones, leading to poor and forced choices.
“We won't list the failures and shortcomings here – it's plain to see what has gone wrong. It feels like a lifetime ago since the standards of Marcelo Bielsa turned this club into something Leeds United fans could be proud of, and we are now, quite literally, back in the same place we were five years ago.
“The fans can once again say that we have upheld our part of the bargain. We have suffered watching poor football and worse results but have consistently supported the players and stuck with the team until the bitter end.
“Despite this, there has often been a level of contempt shown for fans. We have seen the (ex) director of football goading fans, the owner making outlandish statements in the media (and directly to fans on Twitter), and day-to-day supporter services and match day experience significantly decline.
“As we prepare for life back in the Championship what can we expect? Who will own the club come August? How soon can we expect to see key staff appointments made?"
Sam Allardyce is believed to have impressed the board with the way he has gone about things in short spell as head coach and he is on the shortlist to take over on a permanent basis, but he has not gone so far as to say he wants the job yet and knows it will be a tough job for whoever lands in the hot seat next.
He said: “There is a lot of work to be done here next season, even in the Championship.
“Goals need to be scored and you need goal scorers to score them.
"The squad is a little on the young side and lacks experience. As a squad they haven’t been good enough. You can’t keep making unforced errors.
"Which way does the club want to go?
“We need to sit down and discuss the whole infrastructure of the club. Recruitment is the number one factor for any manager. You can’t improve a player by 10 per cent, it’s going to be two to three per cent.
“If I do anything more it will be here and these discussions will happen across the next few days. We have to sit down for a couple of days and thrash it out to make sure both sides can be comfortable. The last thing I want is to walk in and things not go in the direction we agreed.”