Posted by sean on January 5, 2015 at 8:48 pm in Leeds United with No Comments


I’m currently watching the AFC Wimbledon/Liverpool FA Cup game. As I blog, the score is 1-1 and the match has been thoroughly entertaining. I have been to Wimbledon’s Kingsmeadow stadium a couple of times, both with Bath City. It is a fantastic setup down there and the London-based club are very well run. This is a remarkable achievement, considering the club was formed just 12 years ago, by its own supporters, after the original Wimbledon FC was moved to Milton Keanes. Since their formation in 2002, The Dons have climbed from the bottom of non-league, into The Football League.

My own club, Leeds United, have had their own share of misery – most notably in 2007 when Ken Bates placed the club into administration. The club could have gone bust and ceased to exist. They didn’t fold. Instead were relegated to League One, for the first time in the club’s history, and docked 15 points. After 3 seasons in the third tier of English football, Leeds were eventually promoted back to The Championship, but even now, the club is in a perilous position and in a real danger of going down to League One again.

Watching Wimbledon’s success has made me wonder, what would have happened had Leeds folded in 2007 and been kicked out of the Football League? Imagine if the fans had started a new club – AFC Leeds United. Where would we be now? Leeds United potentially have one of the largest group of fans in Europe. If those passionate supporters had bought into a new phoenix club for Leeds, their energy, passion and finances could have made something very special.

Would AFC Leeds United be back in The Football League now, had they formed in 2007, or would they be stuck in non-league, playing local derbies against Harrogate Town? We will never know. One thing is for sure, had the current, cancer-ridden Leeds United dissolved seven years ago, whatever club replaced them wouldn’t have been run by Ken Bates, GFH or Massimo Cellino – three of the post-2007 owners, who are yet to return the once great club to its glory days. Personally, I would have taken the fan ownership, phoenix club gamble.

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