| 16.2°C Dublin

Leeds fans rejoice after 'long overdue' return to top flight

Close

Leeds fans celebrate the club’s promotion outside Elland Road despite pleas by officials not to. Photo: PA

Leeds fans celebrate the club’s promotion outside Elland Road despite pleas by officials not to. Photo: PA

Leeds fans celebrate the club’s promotion outside Elland Road despite pleas by officials not to. Photo: PA

Leeds United celebrated their "long-awaited and very long overdue" return to the Premier League last night after West Bromwich Albion's failure to beat Huddersfield confirmed promotion for the West Yorkshire club.

After a 16-year absence, Leeds fans can once again look forward to top-tier football next season with their club assured of a top-two finish with two games remaining.

The full-time whistle at the John Smith's Stadium was greeted by far more than just victorious Huddersfield supporters, with Leeds' official social media account immediately posting to Twitter 'WE ARE BACK!! @PremierLeague'.

Former Leeds goalkeeper Paul Robinson told Sky Sports: "It's been long-awaited and very long overdue.

"When I played that last game in 2004, 16 years ago, you never envisaged that Leeds United would be out of the top flight for so long, and even dropping to the third tier of English football.

"From what Marcelo Bielsa inherited two-and-a-half years ago - a team that finished 14th in the Championship - to now automatic promotion to the Premiership, it's absolutely fantastic.

"A Premiership with Leeds United in it is a much more attractive fixture than many others."

Despite owner Andrea Radrizzani's pleas earlier this week in an open letter for supporters to stay at home to celebrate any possible promotion, there was immediately flocks of fans gathering outside Elland Road celebrating their team's success under manager Bielsa.

Social media, meanwhile, was awash with celebratory messages from players past and present.

Former midfielder Vinnie Jones tweeted: "Congratulation to @LUFC, a long 16 years but now back where they belong! Well done all the players and coaching staff, Leeds will be bouncing tonight! I'm getting up there!"

The Halfway Line Newsletter

Get the lowdown on the Irish football scene with our soccer correspondent Daniel McDonnell and expert team of writers with our free weekly newsletter.

This field is required

Former Ireland and Leeds defender Ian Harte tweeted: "Omg @LUFC are back in the promised land. Premier League here we go. Congratulations to everyone involved #MOT".

Robinson also paid tribute to the job done by Bielsa. "The biggest thing Leeds did at the end of last season was keep the manager," he added.

"We've heard plaudits from many managers, Pep Guardiola to name one, that name him as a mentor or guru.

"He's an oddball, he's a scientist, he's a professor of the game. We've seen that with 'Spygate' and everything else that comes with him, but it just all adds to the Leeds United history. Love them or loathe them, they're back in the Premiership."

Leeds' players will play their first match since being promoted against Derby tomorrow at Pride Park.

© Daily Telegraph, London

Telegraph Media Group Limited [2022]


Most Watched





Privacy