The truth is, Leeds have a massive fan base - as the only club in the fifth largest city in the country, they should have. The problem is, the longer the Leeds demise continues, the greater the probability that the fan base will shrink as those who remember the glory days die off.
Take last season, West Ham had an average gate of 31,079, whilst the average gate at Leeds was just 23,283, behind both Southampton and Derby County.
Now I know Leeds struggled but so did Leicester, and their average gate was just 200 below that of Leeds. A TRULY big club would maintain gates, irrespective of performance on the pitch. Man City were getting bigger gates in the third tier of English football than Leeds mustered in the Championship last season.
In 2001-02 in the Prem, the average attendance for Leeds was 39751, the fifth highest in the division, West Ham's average gate was 31570. So our fan base has remained loyal, despite the drop down the division, whilst the Leeds gate has dropped a frightening 41%! THAT is proof of how far the club has fallen.
Now nobody denies that the gates will swell again should Leeds ever return to the Prem, but what does that say about the quality of the support? Glory hunters perhaps? True fans stick with the club through thick and thin, the Leeds United mob have deserted in droves! Marching On Together? Yeah 60% do, but 40% will only march when Leeds are winning it seems!
So, that's why, at the moment, West Ham are the bigger club. Our paying fan base is larger and our fans are much more loyal. Plus we are in the Premiership, whilst Leeds are rooted in the Championship. Look at revenue generation for the two clubs and West Ham's will be far greater next season, inevitably because we are in the Prem. Look at money spent on transfer fees and West Ham will outspend Leeds, Arab billionaire owners or not.
Yes Leeds have won more trophies, but the past counts for nothing I'm afraid, as Portsmouth fans will tell you. Leeds have the POTENTIAL to be a huge club, but as Chelsea and Man City have proved, any club has that potential if the right owners buy the club. When we have moved to the Olympic stadium the Arabs might take a fancy to us and then we could leave Leeds miles behind. But that is all speculation and for now we have to live in the present. And, for the time being at least, as Snodgrass proved, even Norwich are a bigger club than Leeds! That must hurt I know, but facts are facts.
It's sad, I think, when fans desert a club and it is sad when a club with the history of Leeds United is trapped in what seems like perpetual decline. Yes the Arabs may save the club with their blood money, but they may not.
And if this take over doesn't turn out to be everything that Leeds fans are hoping for, the gap between West Ham and Leeds can only grow in our favour. In January 2014 the fair play rules will restrict what Leeds can spend on wages and transfers (that's when penalties apply for the first time) whereas, even if relegated, we will have the buffer of a season in the Prem and the parachute payments, enabling us to far outstrip Leeds on spending. That's why this season is make or break for Leeds. Miss out now and history will count for nothing. Leeds will have to operate on a level financial playing field with the likes of Derby, Leicester, Cardiff, Forest, Brighton and Ipswich, none of which are truly big clubs!
Please don't reply to this post with the usual insults; if you can counter the argument with an intelligent response, I will read with interest and concede if you prove your point.