Last updated : 23 January 2003 By Editor
The Guardian:
'An angry Terry Venables has warned the Leeds board against selling
Jonathan Woodgate to Newcastle.

"I am beside myself with anger," said Venables this morning. "I will be
seriously unhappy if he goes, but I will do everything within my power, and
more, to keep him."

Newcastle boss Sir Bobby Robson has confirmed there has been
"communication" with Leeds regarding Woodgate, although there has been no
official bid for the England international centre-back, who is 23 today.

Supporters have already voiced their anger at the proposed move, with a
national radio phone-in this morning besieged with calls from disgusted fans,
one of whom has vowed to hand back his season ticket and start supporting
hard-up York if a deal for Woodgate is agreed.

Leeds goalkeeper Nigel Martyn has stated he will be "disappointed" if
Woodgate is sold, especially after the club only sold Ferdinand to Manchester
United for £30million in July.

"It will be a loss to us because he is a great player, and it will be disappointing
after losing Rio as well because they are two of the better centre halves," said
Martyn following last night's goalless reserve team draw with Middlesbrough.

There have already been protests at Leeds matches this season and over the
past 24 hours it has become apparent that the chairman Peter Ridsdale will
face renewed calls for his resignation. "He has aimed for the moon," says
John Boocock, chairman of Leeds United Supporters' Trust, "and missed by a
million miles."

"You wouldn't run a corner shop like this," says Rob Bagchi, a supporter,
shareholder and co-author of The Unforgiven, a book on Don Revie's time at
the club. "How can we expect to compete against the likes of Manchester
United and Arsenal when Ridsdale is selling all our best players?"

Boocok continued "You could say Ridsdale was aiming as high as he could
when he was spending the club's money with David O'Leary, but how naive
can you be? It's one thing gambling financially but you also need vision and,
most importantly, to keep your hands on the controls. The net result of his
incompetence is that we are in deep financial trouble. The club's figureheads
do not seem to be in control and in Woodgate we are selling the crown jewels.
You wonder who will be next. Harry Kewell? Mark Viduka?"'

Great stuff, and this is what we've got to look forward to with City in a couple
of years time.