Football - Deane: Leeds fans must be patient

Former Leeds and Sheffield United striker Brian Deane believes both Yorkshire clubs are paying the price for years of mismanagement and warned their fans will have to be patient before a return to the big time.

PA Sport Report

Deane, 45, currently manager of Norwegian side Sarpsborg, spent two separate spells as a player with hometown club Leeds and three different stints with the Blades during a 21-year playing career.

"When I think of Leeds, I think it once as a mighty club, I hope it returns to where it should be, but it's going to take time," he told Press Association Sport.

"There are clubs which have caught up, there have been a lot of changes and it's been hard, in terms of a model, turning it into something which is free of its debt. I think the fans have to be patient.

"I wish both clubs well. To me, both should be in the Premier League.

"Perhaps there has been mismanagement over the years and I think, in life, you can have too many hangers on and both clubs have perhaps had too many hangers on.

"You need to get a balance between a business plan and also more brains and it's not always worked that way with clubs.

"You have to have a long-term plan and I think sometimes fans have to be more patient with ambitions, otherwise you get what happened to Leeds, where they had a situation with more players than they needed, on big wages.

"Sheffield United, I will always have a soft spot for them and will always look out for them.

"I was home the other day for a couple of days and watched the game against Coventry on TV and it was quite sad really, because I don't think the club has been as low as that in 20-odd years.

"I joined them in 1989 when they were in that division, but we were doing well.

"It's sad to see such a massive club with so much potential going through the problems that it is.

"I'm sure there's a plan in place - I hope there is - to turn things around, but it's going to take time, good coaches and good managers coming in and investment as well."

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