In the wake of Rio Ferdinand’s record move from West Ham to Elland Road, George recalled his time as manager of the Yorkshire club — a club he played his part in helping to turn into one of the most exciting around in the Premiership.
George revealed: “I remember up there when money was tight. They didn’t even own the ground. They’ve come a long way in a short time and good luck to them.
“The city owned the ground. When I was there we had to get permission if we wanted to train on the pitch. That’s true. If I wanted to train at Elland Road I had to get permission from the City Council.
“I used to tell the groundsman who then had to call the council to get permission to use the pitch. It was very rarely because the training pitches were so good anyway. Saturday matches were part of the agreement but occasionally I wanted to train on the pitch.
“I think we had permission to train so many times a year on the pitch and look at them now, they are buying £18m players. It’s a lovely story how far they’ve advanced in three years. I think it’s terrific and I’m quite proud I’ve played my part.”
From asking permission to train to splashing out £18m on players — few would would argue with George Graham’s assessment that Leeds United have made giant strides in recent years.