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The root of Gary Hetheringtons poor decision making is that he has put the redevelopment of Headingley Carnegie stadium at the expense of the quality on the pitch. As a fan, I must express that I 'do not give a damn' what state the stadium is in. I would happily watch the best Leeds Rhinos teams in the dirtiest most broken down of stands, and Iím sure that this is the case with others. After all itís never done me any harm when Iíve watched Leeds Rhinoís v Bradford Bulls at Odslum Top over the years.
What weíre seeing in Super League is an 'antique stadium clear out' that parallels the Leeds great slum clearance of the early 1960s. Weíre getting rid of good, strong and stern buildings. Only to then replace them with namby pamby nonsense. I donít give a damn if I watch Leeds at Old Trafford or The Willows, as long as itís a good Leeds side that Iíve come to watch. But at the moment I wouldnít even pay to watch Leeds at the best stadium in the world.
Without wanting to come across as one of the four Yorkshire men, Iíve never heard anyone ever kick up a serious fuss about the state of the stadiums in Superleague apart from the RFL. Everyone looks back at places like Knowsley Road, Central Park and the Boulevard with fondness because these stadiums held so many memories. Iím sure we were so much happier back in the days when what happened on the pitch mattered more than what happened off it.
I remember watching Leeds Rhinos at Headingley when we had four proper stands and not just the three that we have now. Going further back, I remember when Leeds Rhinos were at Wembley in 1999 and I watched that game in the living room on a ten inch TV screen. In the last couple of years weíve had the luxury of a wide screen TV but Iíve still to come across a day as enjoyable as the one in 1999.
And you try and tell the young people of today that ..... they won't believe you...and they will want cake with it.