Leeds United has been relegated from the Premier League after losing 4-1 to Tottenham. The team has had a season filled with mistakes on and off the pitch, including a club record fee squandered on a player who barely played and conceding nearly 80 goals in the Premier League season. Owner Andrea Radrizzani is being blamed for the team’s poor performance and supporters want him gone. 49ers Enterprises, which owns 44% of the club, wants a full takeover. Manager Sam Allardyce has not ruled out staying, but a decision on who will be in charge of the boardroom next season needs to be made first.
Leeds United Show No Fight as Premier League Relegation is Sealed by Tottenham Thrashing
LEEDS, England — “Leeds are falling apart again” sang the Tottenham fans in their corner of Elland Road. The Leeds United supporters at the other end of the stadium thought briefly about coming up with their own put down but instead joined in. Their team were falling apart and they couldn’t deny it.
In a game Leeds needed to win to stand any chance of staying up, they lost 4-1 with barely a flicker of fight.
The next time Leeds are here, they will be playing in the Championship, swapping fixtures with Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal for games against Plymouth Argyle and Rotherham United, and they only have themselves to blame.
After circling the drain a year ago and only surviving with a win over Brentford on the final day, this season has been one littered with mistakes on and off the pitch.
How was Jesse Marsch allowed to continue as manager until February? How was a club record fee squandered on Georginio Rutter in the January transfer window only for the striker to barely play? How do you manage to concede nearly 80 goals in a Premier League season? And how do you move from Marcelo Bielsa to Sam Allardyce — via Marsch and Javi Gracia — in little over a year?
Most of those questions are to be answered by owner Andrea Radrizzani, who has taken the club back to the division he found them in six years ago.
Supporters want him gone, and 49ers Enterprises, which owns 44% of the club, wants a full takeover, but the issue of who will be in charge of the boardroom next season is still up in the air. Allardyce said afterward that “it’s the first thing that needs to be sorted” this summer. Only then, he said, can a decision be made on who the manager will be and what the squad might look like. Allardyce hasn’t ruled out staying, although a record of four games, three defeats and 11 goals conceded hasn’t done him any favours.
In his postmatch news conference, Allardyce apologised to the fans but also pointed the finger of blame at his players, insisting that the biggest difference between Leeds and Tottenham was “unforced errors.” It was 90 minutes of self-inflicted damage. Even before the game, Allardyce wrote in his programme notes that Leeds have been “punished for the errors we have made” and it was no different against Spurs.
Inside the first 30 seconds, Leeds were behind. Tottenham’s Son Heung-min was given far too much space on the edge of the area and his shot took a deflection off Kalvin Phillips to beat goalkeeper Illan Meslier. It was a bad start but it was far from a disastrous one. There was still plenty of time to turn it around, but Leeds never looked like they believed they could.
They were 2-0 down after 22 minutes when Steven Bergwijn finished off a slick move involving Son and Harry Kane. It was a goal that summed up Leeds’ season — a team that can be thrilling going forward but are too often exposed at the back.
They pulled one back just before half-time when Raphinha scored his 10th goal of the season, but it was a brief moment of hope. Kane scored twice in the second half to take his tally for the season to 33 and secure Tottenham’s place in the Europa League.
Leeds, meanwhile, will be in the Championship next season. It’s where they were when Radrizzani took over in 2017, but it’s not where they wanted to be in 2023. They have a big summer ahead and a lot of questions to answer, but the first one is the most important: who will be in charge?