There used to be a sign hanging outside Leeds Station which bore the legend: "Leeds, the Promised Land delivered." With the city's football team languishing in a league so minor most fans can't be bothered to recall its name, Clavane's book explains why that sign was put up - and how it came to be taken down. According to their critics, both Revie's Dirty Leeds and Ridsdale's Greedy Leeds got their just desserts. They flew close too the sun, plummeted to the ground and then vanished. "Doing a Leeds" is now shorthand for chasing the dream and suffering the consequences. It used to mean coming from nowhere to shock and terrorise the respectable. Clavane sees the club's 50-year journey, from Revie's arrival in 1959 to League One obscurity in 2009, as a powerful lens through which to examine the rise and fall of an ambitious, upwardly-mobile society. They are hardly the first club to rise and fall so spectacularly. What's different about Leeds is that they have become a modern parable for greed; a cautionary tale of how the enterprising and over-ambitious overreach themselves and bring themselves low. Clavane tells a different story. The story of a marginalised northern tribe's brave - if doomed - attempt to enter the promised land, to barge into the ranks of the elite. The journey has ended, the dream is over and it's not just a football team that has disappeared from the face of the earth.
- Publication Date:
- 01 / 09 / 2009