For many, Leeds United is a club that needs little introduction. For the uninitiated, it is the sole professional representative of the second most populous UK city outside of London. The club's rises to and subsequent falls from grace have been well documented over the years, but here's a rundown for those in a curious mood:
The club was formed in 1919 and plays its games at Elland Road, which was the home of United's predecessor, Leeds City. City were expelled from the Football League due to illegal payments to players during the First World War.
Pre-WWII, Leeds played a bit-part role in the scenery of English football, with promotion as Champions from the Second Division in 1924 the club's only real highlight. It was in the second half of the 20th Century when the club made a name for itself.
In a 13 year spell under player-turned-manager Don Revie between 1961 and 1974, Leeds won the First Division twice ('68, 74), the Inter-Cities Fairs cup (preceding the UEFA Cup) twice ('69, '71), the FA Cup in '72 and the League Cup in '68. The club also earned an unfortunate reputation for finishing as runners-up, with 7 cup final losses and 5 2nd place finishes in the league.
A side featuring Billy Bremner, Eddie Gray, Peter Lorimer, Norman Hunter and Jack Charlton signed off their better years with a controversial European Cup Final defeat in 1975, a result defiantly disregarded on the terraces to this day.
The club spent the late 70s and much of the 80s back in the wilderness, with the club relegated back to the Second Division in 1982. An ambitious taskmaster, not much unlike Bielsa in some regards, by the name of Howard Wilkinson took the reins in 1988 and guided the club back to the First Division in 1990. This was followed up by a title win in 1992, the last First Division season before the inception of the Premier League. Wilkinson assembled a fine side through the late 80s and early 90s, with an iconic midfield four featuring Gordon Strachan, Gary McAllister, David Batty and Gary Speed.
Throughout the 90s, Leeds were amongst the first generation of Premier League clubs to attract global attention with stars such as Lucas Radebe, Tony Yeboah and (whisper it very quetly in these parts) Harry Kewell.
In the late 90s and early noughties, David O'Leary built a young side which had been tipped to regularly compete (and did that for a while) with the likes of Manchester United and Arsenal, with the likes of Alan Smith, Lee Bowyer, Jonathan Woodgate and Mark Viduka driving the side through many a European adventure, peaking at a Champions League semi final against Valencia in 2001.
The club's spending on talent such as Olivier Dacourt, Robbie Fowler and Rio Ferdinand went out of control however, and the club imploded financially. Every transfer window seemed to be a fire sale for Leeds, and the club were relegated in 2004, with neither a penny nor a player to their name.
Leeds United lasted three years in the Championship- although they did reach the Playoff Final in 2006- before they plummeted to the third tier of English football for the first time. The club's financial worries just simply would not go away in that time.
Leeds almost went into liquidation in summer 2007 before being bought out by the same man who put them in administration, Ken Bates. Despite the ill feeling this generated between fans and board, this would be the lowest the club would slump to.
Not even a 15-point deduction at the beginning of the 2007/08 season could stop Leeds from making the best of a bad situation, and the club were desperately unlucky to miss out on promotion after losing a Playoff Final at Wembley. One more Playoff heartbreak would follow before Leeds' League One nightmare came to a close in 2010, with Jermaine Beckford sealing automatic promotion on the final day.
The club's first season back in the Championship brought a false dawn and a respectable 7th placed finish. General mismanagement (at least not financial this time) frayed relations between the fans and the board with the club registering bottom half finishes five years in a row between 2012 and 2016. A playoff push fell in the final few weeks of the 2016/17 season, leaving Leeds in 7th.
Under new ownership, Leeds eventually staggered to a 13th-placed finish in 2017/18 despite a promising start, with neither Thomas Christiansen or Paul Heckingbottom able to meet expectations set by the previous season.
Marcelo Bielsa took charge in the summer of 2018 and the rest, as they say, is history.
Leeds United play their matches at Elland Road, in Beeston slightly to the West of Leeds City Centre. The club has played every home match here since its inception in 1919 and records trace the ground back to the late 1870s when it hosted local Rugby League.
Leeds City were formed in 1904, and became the first football club to play professional football at Elland Road. When Leeds City were expelled from the Football League, Leeds United were established and so professional football at Elland Road continued.
At this time, the pitch had an East-West orientation and during the 1920s. This was rotated to the North-South orientation seen today. As the club achieved little in the first half of the century, little changed about the ground. The ground was comprised of a 'scratching shed' at the South end and a main seated Stand to the West, with cinder embankments forming the other sides.
Following a fire in 1956, the West Stand had to be rebuilt. Fortunately, this fire was not during a game, so there were no casualties. Unfortunately, the club had to sell one of the world's highest regarded stars at the time, as John Charles moved to Juventus to pay for the rebuild.
The embankment to the North and scratching shed to the South were both replaced by the stands seen today during the 60s and 70s during the Revie era. The terraced embankment which stood on the East side was replaced by the large stand in 1993 as seen in the modern ground.
The current make-up of Elland Road consists of the main stand to the West (the John Charles Stand), which houses the away fans towards the south end and still has wooden seats; the Kop to the North, which is traditionally the end which Leeds prefer to shoot at in the second half and was the backdrop for the title win in 1992; the South Stand which used to house away fans and has now been taken over by a recent fan movement to essentially recreate the atmosphere in the Kop; the Cheese Wedge in the South-East corner -other corners are also enclosed but this was worth mentioning- named as such due to the yellow seats, as this used to house the away fans and the club's traditional away colour is yellow; and the large two-tiered East Stand, with executive boxes across the middle, visible for some distance from the ground.
Elland Road has been described as an 'old school' ground, completely untouched by modern football with a fierce atmosphere created at both ends. Many players and managers have spoken of the intimidating atmosphere, including legendary Manchester United boss Alex (no 'sir' in these parts) Ferguson.