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      John Cave.

      The Trust is devastated to hear of the passing of John Cave, not only an ex Chair but also a gentleman and willing listener. RIP JJ.

      Mr John Cave, a lifelong Leeds United supporter, an ex Chair of the Leeds United Supporters Trust and season ticket holder of many years sadly passed away this week aged 71.

      John, JJ to his friends, was widely respected across the supporter’s spectrum, bringing as he did in his retirement a calm, reasoned and articulate perspective to bear on all those issues that have been part and parcel of the Leeds United supporting experience over recent years.

      John’s memories, as articulated by articles written for football related websites, go all the way back to the 1950’s and the John Charles era. Through ups and downs John stood loyally by the club never once wavering in his stead-fast belief that Leeds United were, could be again, should be again and will be again one of the greatest clubs on the planet.

      During his time as a Trust board member and as chair he made been part of the community, both locally to the club and the wider Leeds United supporter family, a top priority. John was principled but pragmatic in approach, his style affable and approachable.

      Below are just a few of the tributes paid to him already:

      “Very sad my good friend John Cave has passed. Poorly for a while but we had hoped. Rest in peace mate. He worked tirelessly for many years to improve things for the supporters of Leeds United and the club. And he was always great company.”

      “Had lots of help from John Cave with various things over the years, but only met him once. What sweet lufc memories he has. RIP John”.

      “A gentleman and determined champion of the fans, John Cave knew exactly what Leeds could (and should) be. He will be missed.”

      “Desperately sad to hear about the death of John Cave. A devoted supporter who always wanted the best for lufc.” – Phil Hay.

      “Really sad to hear about the passing of John Cave. What a great guy and utterly dedicated lufc fan. He was always informed & helpful.” – Adam Pope.

      “John Cave was a fair minded, good hearted & thoroughly decent man. It came through in his articles about our club. Rest in peace”.

      “The thing about getting older is you become a little wiser, a little less patient, a little more cynical but you appreciate the time you have a little more too. I had a little time with a man who imparted his wisdom to me, who reminded me that patience truly is a virtue and that cynicism was often justified, a man who I grew to respect and whose advice and guidance played a massive role in the challenges I faced as chairman of LUST, a role he knew better than most was demanding in more ways than are ever really understood. For John Cave time has no more meaning, for those of us whose lives he touched our time will hold fond memories of a great man. Leeds United has lost a loyal servant and genuinely decent and well respected son, time has taken its toll on the hearts of many once more, but in time few will be left remembering him with nothing less than love, respect and a smile. MARCHING ON TOGETHER. RIP John, Elland Roads loss is heavens gain.” - Gary Cooper.

      We could go on for ever with the tributes that are coming in. The Leeds United Supporters Trust, on behalf of Leeds United supporters worldwide offer our condolences to his family and friends.


      On The Pitch Matters - A Familar Feeling

      Board member Stephen Clark gives us his personal perspective on ten league games into 15-16.

      It's only October but there were times as I sat watching Leeds pass the ball aimlessly from one flank to the other in the 2-0 defeat to Birmingham City last Saturday that I thought to myself "the season is already over."

      In reality it is far from over but the loss highlighted that Leeds United look as far away from mounting a promotion challenge as ever. Believe me when I say that I want to sound more positive, but events since that win at Derby at the end of August have sent me spiralling back into the dark place that supporting the Whites has been in recent years.

      That relatively stable summer with Adam Pearson at the helm seems such a long time ago, and it surely can be no coincidence that a team that looked full of life and vigour in the opening couple of games at Elland Road is now playing with a very visible level of fear.

      From the moment that Pearson’s departure was announced in the immediate aftermath of a disappointing home defeat to Ipswich Town, the club has returned to the surreal world of Cellinoland, where players are publicly criticised, managers publicly debated and miniature movie stars are publicly displayed.

      The dreaded vote of confidence that was given to Uwe Rosler will have not done anything but make the Head Coach look over his shoulder, given the owners previous pronouncements of how much he loves a coach before wielding the axe a short time later. Possibly the spectre of interference in team selection has caused a lack of focus in recent weeks, with Giuseppe Bellusci’s recall for the Middlesbrough game as mind blowing as his performance at the Riverside.

      Hopefully the upcoming international break will see the coach have time with the players to reinforce the ideals which saw the team start the season in an encouraging manner and work on a pattern of play which will deliver the heavy metal football we were promised on his arrival.

      It is the manner of the performances at Elland Road which have been the most worrying. Given Uwe Rosler's career as a player it is strange that he, so far, seems unable to inspire a similar battling style from his players. The Whites need someone to grab the side by the scruff of the neck when they become as lethargic as they were on Saturday and shake them into action.

      The great Leeds United teams have been driven from the midfield and in Lewis Cook we appear to have the man to take on that leadership role. He may only be 18 years old, but for me he looks to be the man who could do that, if he was given the responsibility. At times he looked lost on Saturday, unsure of his role as Alex Mowatt visible lack of confidence and Luke Murphy's inability to pick a forward pass left the United midfield a shell of the unit that was so admirable last season. With the side now blessed with talent on the flanks, give Cook a central role in a midfield four and allow his talent to flourish.

      What they also need is some backing from the crowd. The atmosphere at Elland Road can change from party like to poisonous very quickly. When the team need our backing, we seem to be on their backs. It’s only a personal preference but I would rather we showed our disquiet with performances by staying quiet rather than berating them for their errors.

      The murmurs of discontent which have echoed from the stands towards some of our players this season have to be taken into consideration when we assess their performance. Is it any wonder that the performances away from home where the team are backed from the first whistle are in such marked contrast to those at Elland Road where they unfortunately are not?

      That is not to say that the team are perfect. Far from it and displays at home have been, for the most part, hugely disappointing. The modern game seems to be set up for football to be played exclusively on the break, and for a home side to counteract that they need to show a real intent to play positive football.   

      If possession is nine tenths of the law, then the other tenth has to be ambition and Leeds are apparently lacking that on the field. Leeds dominated the stats in terms of ball retention against Birmingham but only when Jordan Botaka and Mirco Antenucci were introduced off the bench did we have players who looked interested in taking a man on and driving forward.

      At home, Leeds should be going for the throat from the off. Play with two up front and attack from the off and the crowd at Elland Road will roar them on. If we continue in the same vein as on Saturday we will be Moaning on Together through another season of missed opportunities.


      Chair’s Report – A Long And Winding Road.

      The new Trust board sets off on its journey…

      I want to start by thanking all those who attended last week’s AGM, but also to apologise to Graham for the lack of accessibility to the meeting room thus denying him his chance to participate. I make a firm commitment that such an unfortunate consequence of a late room change won’t happen again.

      The AGM, of course, cured few of the Trust’s outstanding issues, but what it really did was allow a new approach to be taken to stimulate taking our co-operative fans movement forward. With the support of the board members I hope the next year is one of progress that is obvious and that we are using the 2016 AGM as a celebration of that.

      The list of people to thank for ensuring the AGM went well is far too long but a special thanks to the new Secretary, Martha Zantides, the new Treasurer, Chris Liversidge, the Elections Management Group Independent Chair, Thomas Hurst, AGM opener Cllr James Lewis and our main contributors at the open discussion, Dylan Thwaites (Leeds Fans United) and Gary Cooper (Leeds Ladies FC).

      My previous postings as Interim Chair have laid out the myriad of issues the Trust will have to work on over the next year, I won’t repeat them again now. What I want to do instead, just for a paragraph or two, is outline how I see the Trust providing the fan leadership needed. This all is predicated on the ethos and principles of the Trust, which survive and outlast any individuals involved.

      Leeds United, particularly over the last 15 years, has a unique history. No set of supporters have had to endure quite so much frustration as a series of owners have manifestly failed to return one of England’s great clubs back to the glories it once represented.

      Now it isn’t the Trust’s job to demand instant success and unrealistic ambitions. It is however our role to ask for the fans to receive what is normal and vital at other clubs: stability, honesty and respect.

      The key word here is stability. The extent to which it has been in short supply at Elland Road can be seen in how Adam Pearson’s small cameo was received.

      To be blunt, that kind of period should be the norm. In fact, it would be considered a slightly dull period at those clubs where the veneer of short-termism has been banished.

      For the last few weeks the instability of old seems to be creeping up on us. We can only hope that the recent round of media calls and interviews our majority owner has engaged in is a prelude to another period of “seen but not heard”, seeing as the last one of those coincided with that rare period of stability.

      The Trust will always be an analytical organisation and one that rightly has to treat every acclamation of a bright club future with caution. Our role and my mission is to articulate the aspirations and concerns of the support, to be an alternative honest voice in a sea of hype and spin, and to promote the values and potential of the supporter ownership of football clubs. That is a big agenda even at the best of times.

      In terms of how that manifests itself over the next year, I anticipate we will want to treat each Leeds United development on its merits. So for example, if Leeds United progresses towards becoming a stable club over the next year, we will give credit where it’s due. However if it’s remains by-word for short-termism, we will, quite rightly, be vocal in our approach. The reality, one that faced previous chairs, is that a mixed bag of positive vibes and negative irritations is inevitable given what we know already.

      The Trust and the Trust movement has its own ethos and principles that shape how we act and those will be mine and all board members guiding lights. The board and I intend to show principled consistent leadership where needed. A concrete example? Please keep a look out for the Football Supporters Federation campaign about away ticket prices, “Twenty is plenty”, taking place tomorrow. I hope you can all show your support, whether manifest from Leeds United or Birmingham City fans on the day. This campaign hits the nail on the head when it says football has to remain the people’s game.

      It is my intention to keep you all informed through these reports regularly (I won’t promise weekly as it is not a full on, full time role). I will carry on in the style I used as Interim Chair, being honest and direct about how things are, internally with the Trust and in terms of the Club. No flannel, no hiding unpalatable truths, slow to claim praise, quick to accept the work needed. Whatever the next 12 months brings you won’t lack for information.



      Michael Green (Chair).


      Trust Board 15-16.

      Following the 2015-16 Annual General Meeting held on September 26th at the Leeds Civic Hall the Leeds United Supporters Trust announces the board membership is as follows:

      Michael Green - Chair.

      Martha Zantides - Secretary.

      Chris Liversidge - Treasurer.

      Stephen Clark.

      Richard Cooke.

      Ross Davidson.

      Rick Duniec.

      Danny Murphy.

      Adam Willerton.

      This information is correct as of September 27th 2015.



      Trust Annual General Meeting - last call.

      The Leeds United Supporters Trust Annual General Meeting 2015. Saturday 26th September, Room 6/7, Leeds Civic Hall. 12pm start.

      Please use the side entrance of Leeds Civic Hall on Portland Crescent and then after security check-in make your way to Room 6/7. Shareholders should claim their voting card on entry to the meeting room. Please note if you are not up to date on your annual subscription you are not a voting shareholder.

      The formal business will commence at 12pm, the agenda is:

      1. Introduction, welcome from Leeds City Council (Cllr James Lewis), and apologies for absence.

      2. Statement on minutes of the last AGM (24/09/14).

      3. Interim Chairs Report of 14-15 Trust activity.

      4. Statement on accounts, 14-15 and 13-14 plus appointment of Auditors for 15-16.

      5. Election of new board members, confirmation of board for 15-16, including Chair, Secretary and Treasurer. Thanks to departing board members and to the Election Management Group.

      6. Short outline of future Trust activities.

      7. Urgent business and any other essential statements.

      8. Date and time of 2016 Annual General Meeting.

      All supporters are invited to the Open Discussion which follows the formal AGM business. Dylan Thwaites (Leeds fans UTD), Gary Cooper (Leeds Ladies), Cllr James Lewis, the Chair of the Trust and you the support to discuss what the next year might bring for Leeds United.

      The outgoing 2014-15 Leeds United Supporters Trust Board cordially invite you to attend.