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Saturday, 1 February, 2003, 07:41 GMT
Ridsdale hires bodyguards
Ridsdale is under fire from irate supporters
Leeds chairman Peter Ridsdale has stepped up his personal security after receiving threats from his club's fans.

United supporters have directed their anger at Ridsdale and the rest of the club's board following their decision to sell defender Jonathan Woodgate.

The England centre-half joined Newcastle in a 9m deal on Friday - the latest in a long list of departures as the debt-ridden club try to balance their books.

Fans have staged demonstrations at Elland Road but Ridsdale has been forced to hire bodyguards after some directed serious threats at him.

The club's media adviser Max Clifford told the Daily Express: "It's frightening. this is the horrible face of football and I feel for him and his family.

Fanatical

"There have been messages like, `You won't be around much longer' and the club have taken it seriously.

"He is now surrounded by full-time security. I don't care how fanatical the sport, Peter Ridsdale doesn't deserve this."

Ridsdale was in a bullish mood after Woodgate's departure, but hinted he might quit if disgruntled supporters turned too nasty.

He said: "If fans don't understand why we've done what we've done, I might take a view on whether spending time with my family is better than going through what I'm going through at the moment.

"I can live with myself because I know I've taken the right decisions. Whether the fans want me to stay is another question."

Leeds United in crisis

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