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Wednesday, 5 February, 2003, 10:49 GMT
Leeds fans plan protest
Leeds fans display their discontent
Leeds fans stage a muted protest at Elland Road
Leeds fans are planning to protest against chairman Peter Ridsdale when West Ham visit Elland Road on Saturday.

Supporters of the Premiership outfit appeared resigned to their fate after an expected mass demonstration failed to materialise at the 2-1 FA Cup win over Gillingham at Elland Road.

Calls from boss Terry Venables to back the team were answered and only about 100 fans gathered after the final whistle to demand the resignation of chairman Peter Ridsdale.

But the low-key reaction to the sale of Jonathan Woodgate to Newcastle for 9m last week could be followed by a more vitriolic protest when Leeds play West Ham this weekend.

What is done is done and they have got to try and look forward

Terry Venables

There will be added spice to the encounter when former Leeds midfielder Lee Bowyer returns to Elland Road in Hammers colours.

Leeds supporters' groups are set to meet on Wednesday evening to discuss plans for a large-scale demonstration at Elland Road on Saturday.

There is a growing clamour for Ridsdale to quit after the sale of several star players to balance the books.

Leeds fans also believe they have been kept in the dark over the club's business affairs.

"We've got a couple of things up our sleeves for West Ham," said John Boocock of the Leeds United Supporters' Trust.

During the Cup game the only protests were a number of banners, one demanding Ridsdale 'stop killing LUFC '.

Leeds chairman Peter Ridsdale
Fans want Ridsdale to quit as chairman

Another more humourous placard declared 'Players for sale, buy one, get one free'.

But Gillingham supporters were more keen to stir up proceedings with chants of 'there's only one Peter Ridsdale'.

Venables admitted he was delighted with the way the fans concentrated their energy into supporting the team.

"They were fantastic. They were expected to act in a certain way but they did not and backed the team," said Venables.

"What is done is done and they have got to try and look forward."

Leeds will always have a special place in Lee Bowyer's heart - and rightly so

West Ham boss Glenn Roeder
Bowyer's former Leeds colleague Woodgate is set to miss out on a return to Elland Road with Newcastle on 22 February.

It is understood a clause in his contract bans him from playing for the Magpies against Leeds this season.

Leeds United in crisis

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