Then Saturday Comes… the half decent football blog

April 12, 2009, 9:06 pm
Filed under: Mat Reville's Football Blog
LONELY: Ken Bates in his old age

LONELY: Ken Bates in his old age


Ah yes, the biggest Leicester City home match of the season is upon us: LCFC vs Leeds United.

Quite rightly, Sky have stepped in to broadcast what is one of the few games that has been played in four progressively less prominent competitions throughout the 21st century.  Starting off in the heady days of the Premiership, through to the League Cup, followed by Championship and now here in lowly League One.

Keep an eye out for 2010-11 in League Two.

There should really be a camaraderie between the two teams, both floundering at lower levels than their spoilt fans are used to due to inept management off the field.  We have a shared history of foolish managers and overexcited chairmen.  We both dropped out of the Premiership having to still pay huge wages just as the ITV Digital deal went bust, and have fantastically struggled financially just like teams like Southampton, Coventry and Ipswich.

Just look at this lovely image I have pain-staking created for you showing our collective demise.  As much as neutrals (hopefully) remember this fixture best for the 4-0 thrashing in 2003, let’s not overlook the 0-6 mauling Leeds gave us in 2001.  A fine defence of our proud League Cup tradition, I hope you agree!


And now we both find ourselves in League One, unaccustomed to being seen as ‘glamour games’.  However, rather than embracing our similarities as a pair of down and outs trying to get back on our feet, two repetitive and boring arguments have dragged on.

1. Flag-Gate

2. My dad’s bigger than your dad-Gate

1. Flag-Gate

The first issue is the reason why Leeds United fans despise Leicester so much, and is not actually that well known to fans of the Foxes.  After two Leeds fans were murdered in Istanbul, one of their next games was at Filbert Street.  At home games, a handful of Leicester fans carried Turkey flags to pay homage to club legend Muzzy Izzet.  Similar to how you see Jamaica flags at Stoke games for Ricardo Fuller, it was just a little gesture to spur on our best player.

However, quite understandably Leeds fans thought the fans were taunting them with the flag, seemingly celebrating the murders of their fans.  A big no-no, as you can imagine.  Now with hindsight those fans should have thought about carrying such flags to the ground, but it’s not quite as obvious as not bringing a Nazi flag to an Israel game is it?

Anyway, since that day, Leeds have seen Leicester as almost the British representatives of those Turkish murderers, and it sometimes gets a little messy.  It probably will tomorrow, when apparently Leeds fans are planning to ‘get their vengeance’ during a minute’s silence for a Leicester fan who died in the stands last week.

As if this doesn’t make both our teams look foolish enough, it’s all being broadcast live on television.  What a lovely treat for all the watching Christians on Easter Monday!   If you’re watching with your family tomorrow keep an eye out for me, I’ll be the one pottering around confused as Leeds fans strangle chizzits with Union Jacks.


The second argument is undoubtedly the most boring topic of conversation in football: massive club syndrome.

Essentially, every club outside the top 4 suffer from this malaise.  Every team seems to think they are currently playing below their station; that their peak was the rightful place of both teams.  Of course there are some teams better known for this phenomenon (Wolves, Manchester City, Newcastle United and Tottenham Hostpur in particular).  However, Easter Monday’s match sees two of the most pathetic ‘big clubbers’ locking horns.

All through the season the debate has raged among knuckle-draggers: who is the ‘biggest side’ in League One.  Despite the fact the phrase means nothing, it seems to be a title thousands battle it out for.  Leicester fans bark that we’re bigger because we won two major cups since Leeds last won anything, while their supporters holler back that they have won the league and have a bigger ground etc.

The fact is that both of these claims are absolutely redundant.  Would you see Ted Heath and Michael Portillo arguing who is the ‘bigger politician’?  How likely is it that a Dutch person and a Spaniard would fall out over who had the ‘bigger Empire’?  The chances are no to both, because the majority of sane people realise that ‘big’ness is a temporary thing that is constantly changing.

Gary Lineker wades in to win the argument contested between fools

STAR CAUSE: Gary wades in to win the argument contested between fools

And a lot of the time arguments surround on people who forged their careers decades before the fan was even born: who is better – Jonny Giles or Arthur Rowley?  Lineker or Lorimer?  Bremner or Birchenall?

And the truth is, if you support a club because they are better than another one decades ago, you are a glory hunter and therefore not a real football fan.  I don’t even like talking about such things, and would far sooner debate who is better; Fryatt or Beckford, King or Delph.

(… and Kingeh is obviously better than Delph)

And finally, lets not forget that if Leicester win tomorrow and MK Dons lose, the brave foxes will be guaranteed promotion.  Of course it won’t happen, and it will go to the wire, but it’s just a nice thing to type.


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