Leeds United are finally back in the top flight after securing promotion from the Championship to the Premier League after 16 years and 15 managers worth of pain,
The Pride of Yorkshire, the club of Don Revie, Billy Bremner, Jack Charlton, Allan Clarke, Peter Lorimer, Howard Wilkinson, David Batty, Gary Speed and Lucas Radebe have returned to the Premier League after West Brom’s failure to win at Huddersfield on Friday night.
To the list of club legends can be added Marcelo Bielsa and the unassuming Argentinian has become an honorary Yorkshireman because of his achievement in leading Leeds back to the Promised Land.
Owner Andrea Radrizzani took a massive gamble when he enticed Bielsa to Elland Road in June 2018 to make him the best-paid manager in the club’s history.
For all his fine football and success with Argentina and Chile, Bielsa was tagged as a nearly man because of his failure to win anything in Europe.
Last season’s collapse when Leeds lost to spygate rivals Derby in the play-off semi-finals after topping the Championship for most of the season backed up this criticism.
Despite having to sell top scorer Kemar Roofe and teen talent Jack Clarke to balance the books following this failure, Leeds shrugged off this disappointment to be even stronger this season.
They have been in the top two for most of the season and have powered towards the finishing line, winning their last four games.
So much for Bielsa’s sides fading at the last.
At times it did seem that Leeds were damned as they suffered relegation to League One, administration and saw every home-grown talent from James Milner to Clarke sold off.
Yet they fans remained loyal and their support has been the one constant during all the years of turmoil.