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Last Updated: Sunday, 29 April 2007, 10:01 GMT 11:01 UK
Ridsdale saddened by Leeds plight
Peter Ridsdale
Ridsdale stepped down as Leeds chairman in March 2003
Former Leeds chairman Peter Ridsdale has told BBC Five Live's Sportsweek programme he is saddened by the club's plight but insists he is not to blame.

Leeds will be relegated to League One unless they score a hatful of goals to beat Derby on 6 May and Hull City lose.

Ridsdale left Leeds in April 2003, with the club more than 100m in debt.

He said: "It is 12 months since they were in the play-off final yet people say decisions made years ago caused this situation, which is not the case."

Ridsdale, who is now chairman of Cardiff City, infamously declared "United had lived the dream" before he left the club.

Leeds dropped out of Premiership in 2004 but almost returned last season when they lost to Watford in the Championship play-off final.

Now they are staring relegation to League One in the face and Ridsdale says they must stop pinning the blame on his regime.

"Until people there concentrate on the future I don't think they have got a chance of coming back," he added.

I take full responsibility for everything that has happened because we are big people but unfortunately we haven't done what we came here to do

Leeds manager Dennis Wise

"They have got to regroup now. They are a very big club off the field but what matters in football is what happens on the field - and too many people are feeling sorry for themselves.

"I have no insight into their financial affairs now.

"What I do know is that when I left Leeds four years ago they had Paul Robinson, Harry Kewell, Mark Viduka and Alan Smith, among others.

"That team should never have been relegated, never mind finding themselves in the plight they are now."

The Football Association are to launch an investigation into Leeds' 1-1 draw with Ipswich on Saturday, which was halted for 30 minutes because of a pitch invasion with less than a minute of the match remaining.

Ipswich striker Alan Lee's late equaliser at Elland Road, together with Hull's win at Cardiff, as good as sealed Leeds' fate.

Dennis Wise's side are three points behind the Tigers and also need to make up a goal difference deficit of nine goals.

Wise, who has been Leeds manager since October, accepted the club are all but down.

"It's a sad day. It's a sad day for me, a sad day for the players, a sad day for the fans and a sad day for everyone involved in this football club," he said.

"It's an impossible task now, I think, but everyone knows that. Nine goals difference, so it's more or less done.

Gus Poyet and Dennis Wise
Wise and Poyet have been in charge since October

"But we've done everything we could possibly do. I take full responsibility for everything that has happened because we're big people but unfortunately we haven't done what we came here to do.

"We're sad, we're disappointed. "I could say a lot of things but I'm not going to sit here and make excuses.

"As a group, as a manager, it has not been good enough."

But Wise was adamant he and his assistant Gus Poyet will still be in charge next season.

"We'll have them from the start. There are a lot of things we'll do and we'll do it properly," the former Chelsea midfielder explained.

"We'll make sure these players we have are fit and strong enough and mentally strong enough to get us up.

"I'll be sitting down with the chairman Ken Bates to discuss everything and we'll take it from there.

Just about every club in the country is looking for investment or is for sale if the price is right but it is a difficult one to move if you have got debt like they have got and no assets

Adam Pearson on rumours Leeds are for sale

"I didn't come here just for five months. I came to be here for a lot longer than that.

"This is a terrible time for us but one thing is for sure, we'll be giving it as much as possible to get them straight back up."

Hull owner and chairman Adam Pearson says he is surprised by Leeds' fate under Bates.

Pearson, a former Leeds director, who still lives in the city, said: "I thought that after last season they would kick on.

"With a club with their resources it is always a surprise to see them at the bottom but Manchester City, Sheffield Wednesday and Nottingham Forest have all been there so it can happen to anyone."

606: DEBATE
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There have been reports that Bates is considering putting the club up for sale but Pearson feels it would be difficult for him to find a buyer.

"I don't know it to be a fact but there are rumours," added Pearson.

"Just about every club in the country is looking for investment or is for sale, if the price is right, but it is a difficult one to move if you have got debt like they have got and no assets - no ground or training ground.

"I think they have to rebuild from within. Put in some money and start again."

SEE ALSO
FA to probe Leeds pitch invasion
29 Apr 07 |  Leeds United
Leeds 1-1 Ipswich
28 Apr 07 |  Championship
Ridsdale backed in Leeds fall-out
21 Aug 06 |  Cardiff City
Ridsdale handed Leeds 'life ban'
20 Aug 06 |  Cardiff City
Ridsdale cleared in Leeds inquiry
04 Jan 06 |  Leeds United
Ridsdale 'not to blame'
08 Apr 04 |  Leeds United
Leeds' guilty men
01 May 04 |  Leeds United
Ridsdale severs Leeds ties
17 Apr 03 |  Leeds United
Ridsdale quits Leeds role
31 Mar 03 |  Leeds United


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