Leeds United chairman Ken Bates says the club will eventually return to the Premiership but he`s not willing to put the club at risk in doing so.
Speaking on Sky Sports News, Bates said, ‘We will be there. ‘It is a dream of every club, but we will do it on a different basis this time. David O’Leary (former Leeds manager) was allowed to spend money like water, which ultimately caused the club’s collapse. If we get back into Europe, perhaps I should say when we get back into Europe, we will do it on a proper basis. It will be step by step, brick by brick. That is how we are building Leeds. If it means it takes another two or three years then so be it.’
Bates rescued the club from the brink of extinction after former chairman Peter Ridsdale tried to ‘live the dream` and manager David O`Leary tried to help him by spending cash like it was going out of business.
Leeds ran up debts of over £100 million and sank quicker than the titanic as players left or were forced to leave to try and save the club.
They eventually lost their Premiership place in 2004, just three years after appearing in the Champions League semi final.
Bates first became involved with Leeds in 2005 and despite reaching the Championship play off final in May; they lost 3-0 to Watford.
The following season and with Leeds still in serious financial trouble, Ken Bates put the club into administration with just one game of the season remaining with relegation to League One almost a certainty.
Despite incurring another fifteen-point penalty before a ball was kicked in League One at the start of the 2007/08 season, Bates managed to save the long term future of the club on the eve of the season and the rebuilding of Leeds United began.
Leeds almost turned around the penalty of the fifteen points penalty when they reached the end of season play offs, only to lose in the final 1-0 to Doncaster.
After a poor run of results in November and December 2008, Bates appointed Simon Grayson as the new Leeds manager
The club were now running on a better financial footing and in their second season in League One they once again suffered the heartache of a play off defeat when they lost in the semi finals to Millwall.
Grayson finally got Leeds promoted in their third season in League One, he also enjoyed the famous win over Manchester United in the FA Cup as well as holding Tottenham Hotspur to a draw at White Hart Lane in the fourth round.
With Leeds back in the Championship, Bates sanctioned the signing of ten new players, seven of those on a free transfer and three for undisclosed fees.
Leeds are currently second in the Championship and looking on course for a push in the second half of the season to return to the Premiership for the first time in seven years.
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