Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the bookshop, Peter Ridsdale has seen fit to grace us with a belated explanation of what went wrong at Leeds under his Chairmanship. Hey, I wonder if he'll take responsibility like a man and admit, "You know what? Probably didn't do that great a job. Maybe spending Leeds tens of millions of pounds into the red wasn't such a great idea, and, as Chairman, that was my responsibility." Hah. So what exactly do we get from our illustrious former Chairman?
Well, he does admit that "I wanted to say to all the Leeds fans that I'm sorry – genuinely sorry for the mistakes we made." He also - thank God - admits that "If you are chairman, the buck stops with you. I have to say that, along with a board of directors, it was my fault." All well and good. But then come the excuses. He allegedly complains that transfer decisions were made by manager David O'Leary without much input from him, and that other major spending was entered into over his objections. Blame me, he seems to be saying, but blame the rest of them more. This is utter nonesense, and I really have to agree with Martin Samuel in The Times:
If Ridsdale is to be believed – and there is no suggestion of corruption around his behaviour, merely extreme foolishness – executives at Leeds would appear to have spent much of their time rolling their eyes and offering amused shrugs of resignation as the bills rolled in and the money ran out, while Doris from the canteen independently shouted up ten kilos of beluga caviar and stuck them with the tab. It does not wash. Until managers buy players with money from their own pockets, there will always be an executive somewhere along the line who agrees the fee and writes the cheque. Now his would be a story worth hearing: so where is this man in Ridsdale’s revelations? Keeping a very low profile, it would seem.
The really sad part is that Ridsdale's comments don't vindicate him: they just make him look even more incompetent than he did before.