Holloway unsurprised Leeds not back in Premier League yet
IAN Holloway says he isn’t surprised Leeds United have so far failed to win promotion back to the Premier League.
Holloway’s high-flying Crystal Palace host the Yorkshire side at Selhurst Park on Saturday, with both clubs still in contention for promotion.
The Eagles have a real chance of an automatic spot whereas Leeds, six points off sixth place, know the play-offs provide the only realistic route to regaining the Premier League status lost nine years ago following the well-documented financial meltdown at Elland Road.
Things went from bad to worse in 2007 when Leeds began a three-year spell in League One, but having been back in the Championship since 2010, Holloway was this morning asked if he was surprised a club of their size hadn’t made it back to the top flight yet.
He replied: “You don’t really get a chance to think about anybody else’s club, but now you’ve asked me I’m not surprised.
“It is what happened to them in the first place.
“They over invested, over invested, over invested and it caught up with them in the end.
“No matter how many fans you’ve got, if you don’t run your finances correctly then you are not a big club because you will have debts.
“If the debts get too big then something has got to give.
“Normally it is the standard of your players because you can’t pay the wages, so that is exactly what has happened to them.
“It is just a marker for everybody.
“You can’t guarantee no matter how many people you are supported by, no matter what gate you can guarantee – and Leeds is fantastic, they guarantee gates of massive amounts of people – but if you don’t run the club correctly, and you don’t look at the finances, and you don’t make sure you are going to run correctly, then this can happen.
“Never has there ever been anybody drop so far and so quickly from being one of the biggest clubs in our league at the time.”
Leeds are currently managed by former Crystal Palace boss Neil Warnock, who has already hinted this could be his last season as a gaffer.
But Holloway is full of admiration for what his opposite number has achieved in the game and is urging Warnock to reconsider.
The Eagles chief said: “He gives you energy and gives you belief in yourself.
“Everybody picks out the obvious – Mr Mourinho and Alex Ferguson – but Neil Warnock has been an inspiration to me because no matter what the state of the club, no matter what the size of the budget, no matter what club he has got hold of he has been successful.
“He’s made those players play better than the money they are getting and I think he has done it everywhere over a long, long period of time and I think that makes him very, very special.
“Some have not had the level of money that Neil has had to deal with, the size of the club that Neil has had to deal with, they’ve just gone in to God knows what.”
Holloway added: “What would Neil do if he was given Real Madrid’s players?
“You don’t know, do you.
“But what would Mourinho do if he was given Plymouth’s players all those years ago?
“You don’t know but what I do know is he (Warnock) has done it several times and got promoted and that’s fantastic.
“I want him to continue and keep going because the game is a better place with him in it.”
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