My tribe

Ex-Leeds chairman Fotherby: I'd sell Cantona to Man Utd all over again ...

Former Leeds United chairman Bill Fotherby says he'd happily sell Eric Cantona to Manchester United all over again.

Fotherby famously gave the green light to the deal while managing director at Elland Road.

"Our fans were bothered. They were really bothered. But I would do exactly the same again," said Fotherby.

"Eric was absolutely magnificent for them but it is not all one way, we got something similar when Gordon Strachan came to us and took us from Division Two to champions.

"Before that, Johnny Giles came from Manchester United and look what he did for Leeds. It happens.

"Sometimes people just move to a certain club at a certain time and become something they would never have been anywhere else.

"The fact it was Manchester United gave it an edge I suppose but they were the ones who made the offer for a player our manager did not want.

"Howard was an absolute perfectionist.

"He wanted his players to be disciplined and adhere to a certain team pattern. Eric just didn't fit it.

"Alex Ferguson gave him a free role and probably wasn't quite as strict with Eric as Howard would have been. Eric liked to play to the crowd. That wasn't Howard's way at all."

And Fotherby refuses to believe Howard Kendall's way was the wrong way.

"It is not a question of blaming Howard. I believed in him and won't hear a bad word against him," he said.

"He was Leeds' best manager since Don Revie - and probably still is.

"He brought in Gordon Strachan, Gary McAllister and Tony Yeboah. He won us the league. And all the time we were doing it on a shoestring, asking sponsors to chip in here and there to make up the bits we didn't have.

"For eight years, it worked.

"It all changed when the guys from Caspian came in. They were wanting to take the club onto another level.

"They, and the blokes who followed, got more than they bargained for."

About the author

Tribal Football Staff

Have your say
  • Add your favourite leagues and clubs
  • Build your own personal news stream
  • Easily share your favourite stories
  • Connect with what your friends are saying

Select your favourite
leagues and clubs
to get started.

Already part of MyTribe?