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01st Jun 2020

Doing A Leeds: From Champions League to Championship in three years

Wayne Farry

Few teams have experienced such a fall from grace

In 2001 Leeds United were one of the most impressive teams in the Premier League. David O’Leary’s exciting team combined skilful and hungry youngsters with proven experience and quality.

They would find themselves just 90 minutes from a Champions League final, having emerged through two group stages featuring teams like Barcelona, AC Milan and Besiktas, and defeated reigning La Liga champions Deportivo La Coruna in the quarter-finals.

While many fans would have hoped that their semi-final appearance was the beginning of a bright new future for the club, it would in fact be the beginning of an incredibly dark period, one which would see the club’s very existence threatened.

Less than three years after their defeat to Valencia, an almost unrecognisable Leeds side would be playing in the Championship. This is the story of one of the greatest collapses in recent football history.