Leeds United's freefall from championship contenders and Champions League semi-finalists in 2000 to relegation battlers in 2004 is one of the most spectacular stories in Premiership history. Theirs is a story of financial mismanagement on a grand scale, brought about by a naive belief that their living dream would go on forever. Under the chairmanship of Peter Ridsdale and management of David O'Leary they thought big, spent big and won nothing, leading the club to the brink of administration. Against this background of financial uncertainty, Leeds United have had a roller coaster four years on and off the pitch. The trials of Jonathan Woodgate, Lee Bowyer and Michael Duberry following a late-night affray in Leeds city centre were a daily distraction for a club holding such lofty ambitions. Yet they continued to play well until Christmas 2001 when O'Leary went into print with his outrageous tome, Leeds United on Trial, following which he was sacked and replaced by Terry Venables. After a short and turbulent period as manager, Venables was then replaced by Peter Reid. A poor run of results saw Reid sacked and he soon became the third manager in quick succession to be owed a substanti
Phil Rostron has enjoyed a successful career in journalism and television. He spent 18 years in Fleet Street and was sports editor of the Yorkshire Evening Post.