The Olympics proves sport in Yorkshire is thriving but where are the top Yorkshire football teams?

Image for The Olympics proves sport in Yorkshire is thriving but where are the top Yorkshire football teams?

The Olympics are coming close to an end and Great Britain have beaten their target of a higher medal haul than Beijing. Ten of those medals have come from athletes born in Yorkshire, Jessica Ennis and the Brownlee brothers to name a few. If Yorkshire were an independent nation, it would be tenth in the current standings, ahead of the likes of Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. With everything going so right for sport in Yorkshire, why has it gone so wrong for Yorkshire football teams?

The last Yorkshire based football team to grace the Premier League were Hull City under the stewardship of manager Phil Brown in the 09-10 season. They managed just 2 seasons in the top flight, narrowly avoiding relegation in their first year by a single point. What is more poignant is that the last time two Yorkshire football teams faced each other was in the 00/01 season when Leeds United and Bradford City met at Elland Road. Bradford were relegated that season and began a downward spiral through the leagues, eventually stopping in League 2. Leeds were relegated three years later and the only other Yorkshire club to reach the Premier League were Sheffield United in 06-07.

The 1990’s saw Sheffield Wednesday, Barnsley, Leeds, Sheffield United, and Bradford play in the top flight, the pinnacle being Leeds reaching the Champions League Semi-Final in the 01-02 season. The team that day, featured a host of star names, Rio Ferdinand, Harry Kewell, Mark Viduka, Paul Robinson and Jonathan Woodgate. Within three years the club were relegated and found themselves slipping into League 1 in financial ruin. All of their star names were sold on and the academy was raided for the likes of James Milner, Aaron Lennon and Scott Carson. A series of poor financial decisions had been made, paying over rated players huge wages, Seth Johnson anyone? And spending more and more on transfers, think Robbie Fowler and Robbie Keane, whilst debts were rapidly increasing, topping well over £100 million.

Now in 2012, Leeds United are about to embark on their latest attempt to regain their Premiership status. They have a new man in charge, Neil Warnock, who has previous leaving the division, with both QPR and Sheffield United and is starting to put his own stamp on the squad. Leeds have had to sell more of their star players amidst rumours of more debt, however a multi-million pound take over is supposed to be imminent and there seems to be a buzz around the club. Could this be their year?

Since their relegation in 09-10, Hull have been battling it out in the Championship, finishing 8th last term. They have recently sacked their manager Nick Barmby after he publicly criticised the board over money available for transfers and wages. The current board took over in 2010 and have pumped in around £50 million to keep the club afloat. However, the fans were left disgruntled over Barmby’s treatment and the apparent unwillingness to splash out this summer. Steve Bruce has since been appointed and has brought in a few signings without spending too much money, Abdoulaye Faye and Sone Aluko arriving on free transfers, Ben Amos coming in on loan from Manchester United and German target man Nick Proschwitz arriving for £2.6 million from SC Parderborn. Bruce has admitted he wants to make a couple more signings before the end of the transfer window but are these going to make the squad good enough to compete for promotion, or do they need to make a marquee signing to add that little bit extra whilst also appeasing the fans?

Click HERE to head to PAGE TWO

Share this article