DALLAS (February 10, 2004) --- Leeds United have advised The Dallas Cup and the English F.A. Premier League that after careful consideration over the last few weeks they have reluctantly decided to withdraw from the Super Group section of the 2004 Dallas Cup.
Leeds United Club Secretary, Ian Silvester, explained During this Season Leeds United have experienced many difficulties which have seen several of our first team players transferred to other Clubs. In addition, we have suffered a run of injuries which, combined with the transfers, has seen young players from our Youth teams who had been pencilled in for the Dallas Cup promoted to regular Reserve and First team football, and they will be needed for those duties over the Easter period.
As a result, Leeds United feel that it would not be fair to The Dallas Cup or to the F.A. Premier League, whose nomination we were, to send a team to Dallas that would be younger and below the strength that we had expected to have available when we accepted the invitation in June last year.
Leeds United have fond memories of the Dallas Cup from their participation in 1996 and 1997, and know the importance to everyone of strong English representation. We wish Blackburn Rovers, who as last Seasons F.A. Premier Academy League Under 19 Champions, will take our place all success in the Tournament.
F.A. Premier League Director of Youth Dave Richardson said While I am very sorry to hear of Leeds decision, I do recognise their difficulties and appreciate their consideration of the standards that The Dallas Cup expect and the importance to the Premier League that our representatives are able to do justice to the League and to English football.
I am sure that Blackburn Rovers will be very suitable replacements, and it is encouraging to note that this Season both of Blackburns senior Youth teams, Under 19 and Under 17, have very creditable records in the F.A. Premier Academy Leagues.