Jonathan Woodgate appeared on the latest edition of The Greatest Game with Jamie Carragher where he spent some time talking about his move from Leeds United to Newcastle United back in January 2003 and the ex-Whites centre-back revealed that he never wanted his time at Elland Road to come to an end.
Woodgate was a Leeds United academy product but the former England international was sold to Newcastle United in 2003 as a result of the Yorkshire club’s financial trouble.
Interestingly, Terry Venables shared that he was opposed to the sale of Woodgate before his departure from Elland Road happened.
Now, the player himself has revealed that he too was not keen on making the move from Leeds to the Toon, saying: (24:05) “I didn’t want to go one bit, to be honest with you. I didn’t want to leave Leeds. I loved it at Leeds, they said ‘you have to go’ because of what was happening with the football club. If I didn’t go they probably would’ve gone bust.”
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TIF Thoughts on what Woodgate had to say about his departure from Leeds…
With the club’s fans, then-manager and now Woodgate himself having shared that they didn’t want this particular transfer to happen, it seems clear that this deal didn’t suit the vast majority of those concerned with it and perhaps it’s likely that it wouldn’t have happened if not for Leeds United’s dire financial situation at the time.
So, it’s certainly unfortunate for all of those parties that the Whites academy product had to be part of the exodus of players from Elland Road around this time which led to Leeds quickly sliding down the Premier League table and out of the top-flight in 2004, with Leeds only managing to make their return to the Premier League this season under Marcelo Bielsa.