The rebirth of Leeds United

Leeds United promoted to the Premier League as champions after 16 years.

Their return to the top flight was secured on Friday when West Brom lost to Huddersfield Town.

The Whites took the Championship title when Brentford lost 1-0 to Stoke.

Former Argentina Boss Marcelo Bielsa took over the reins at Leeds in the summer of 2018 and inherited a squad that finished 13th the previous season.

Bielsa’s bold approach of attacking, high press football awoke the sleeping giant that is Leeds and steered the club back to the Premier League.

Speaking in admiration of Bielsa Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola said: “For English football, it will be incredible for him to be in the Premier League next season and learn about him.”

Leeds United were once regarded as the powerhouse of English football.

Leeds are a club that boast history, heritage and Elland Road’s average attendances exceeding 35,000 will be a welcome addition to the League.

Leeds will hope to reiterate their halcyon days of the 60s and early 70s.

In their glory years under manager Don Revie Leeds enjoyed great success winning the League for the first time in 1969 and again in 1974.

That Leeds side also triumphed in the FA Cup winning it in 1972 alongside two Inter – Cities Fairs Cups and a League Cup.

Leeds have not appeared in an FA Cup Final since underdogs Sunderland stunned them in a 1-0 defeat in 1973.

Under Revie Leeds changed their old blue and yellow kit to an all-white strip to mirror the greatest club side Real Madrid and their nickname ‘The Whites’ was born.

Don Revie revolutionised the image of the club changing their crest to the iconic ‘smiley’ badge.

In the 1973-74 season Leeds changed kit supplier to Admiral an English sportswear company asserting their position as a modernised club.

Admiral’s Leeds kit made them the first English side to wear numbers on their shorts, tassels on their socks and they donned iconic Stylo Matchmaker football boots.

The Whites slow decline came when Revie went to manage England culminating in their European Cup Final defeat to Bayern Munich in Paris under controversial circumstances due to them having goals disallowed.

Controversy surrounded Brian Clough’s appointment in 1974 at Leeds because of his critique of the Revie – Leeds regime and he only lasted 44 days.

Leeds United’s downfall reached its peak when they were relegated to the Second Division in 1982 just 8 years after winning the First Division title for the second time.

Leeds enjoyed a brief throwback to glory when Howard Wilkinson led them to their last promotion in 1990 and won the First Division two years later.

A 14 year stay in the top flight ended in heartbreak when they were relegated in 2004.

The successful legacy of Leeds will add to the large attraction of the Premier League.

Former manager Howard Wilkinson said: “It means more to the Premier League than maybe it does to Leeds.

“It is good to see a club like Leeds United, a one club city and excellent support, it is good to see them back into a theatre which they could grace if they get things right going forward.”

Leeds a modern metropolis will surely rally behind their team upon their return to the Premier League.

featured image credit Sky Sports