Leeds 'Forced' Smith On Us
Leeds United legend Peter Lorimer revealed that Alan Smith did not choose United: he was asked by the club to go there as we were the only ones who could pay the price they wanted for him there and then. Leeds, back then, had been in desperate financial trouble so they wouldn't have accepted a deal that involves monthly installments or that sort of thing.
'The biggest asset at that time was Alan Smith. We had offers from Newcastle, Middlesbrough, Everton, and various other clubs were interested, but we also knew Manchester United were interested.
'I was asked personally by the board of that time to ring Alex Ferguson to let him know that Alan was available if he was interested and tell him how much we were looking for.
'And the reason he had to go there was that we were so pressed for money, and it was such a desperate situation, that they were the only team who could pay us the full amount there and then.
'The other teams who were interested - as with most transfers nowadays - were on partial payment terms over a longer period of time. But the club was in such dire straits we needed the money there and then. That was the reason why he went there.'
Lorimer added that he's not sure that Smith, a Leeds fan, would have chosen United but they explained the situation to him and he agreed to help his club. So it's a bit of a shame that their horrible fans gave him stick after playing against Leeds in Newcastle colours in pre-season.
Think they'll never forgive him that he got himself accepted, even loved by us. They should be proud, actually, after all the boy is Leeds through and through yet could make an impression at Manchester United and on our fans as well. But I don't think they'll adopt this point of view, somehow...