Over 6,000 games have been played and more than 15,000 goals scored, but what else has happened in the time Leeds were away from the big time?
28 different teams have been promoted from the Championship
Since Leeds dropped out of the top flight in May 2004, a total of 28 different teams have achieved promotion from the Championship – something that, up until now, had seemed so elusive.
Eleven of those reached the Premier League for the first time in their history, while 10 are now established top-flight clubs.
For others, things have gone the opposite way, with Sunderland, Wigan and Blackpool all dropping back down as low as League One, and Middlesbrough, Stoke, Huddersfield and Hull all spending much of this season threatening to join them.
Revenue from Premier League broadcasting rights has more than quadrupled
Premier League broadcasting revenue has always been big money, even when Leeds were last in the division.
In 2003/04, the total amount raised through TV rights was £1.2bn, with Sky Sports was the sole broadcaster of Premier League football in the UK, showing 110 games per season.
Today, that figure has boomed to £5.1bn. Sky Sports also no longer have a monopoly on coverage, with matches being broadcast on channels such as Setanta, ESPN, BT Sport, Amazon Prime and the BBC while Leeds have been in the Championship.
Chelsea, Manchester City, Leicester and Liverpool have all won their first Premier League titles
When Leeds were relegated from the Premier League in 2003/04, Leicester went down with them after finishing level on 33 points.
Manchester City, having only returned come up from the First Division two seasons ago, finished 16th under the guidance of Kevin Keegan. Liverpool came fourth after Gerard Houllier’s final season in charge.
And Chelsea, despite finishing runners-up under the new ownership of Roman Abramovich, were still by 11 points behind Arsenal’s Invincibles.
In the 16 years since, all four clubs have won their maiden Premier League titles.
Chelsea and Man City’s totals currently stand at five and four respectively, while Leicester’s miracle achievement came after joining Leeds in League One in 2008/09.
The record highest and lowest points totals have both been broken twice
Since Leeds were away, the Premier League has witnessed the two best and worst teams in its history.
Sunderland, unsurprisingly, finished bottom in 2005/06 after amassing a measly 15 points. But, thankfully for the Black Cats, Derby set a new low in 2007/08 with their infamous 11-point campaign.
At the other end of the spectrum, Chelsea and Jose Mourinho – more on him later – broke the record highest points total in 2004/05, the year after Leeds went down.
Mourinho’s side, which included stars like Frank Lampard, Arjen Robben and Didier Drogba, set a new standard by earning 94 points in his first season in charge.
That record stood for 13 years until Pep Guardiola’s Centurions broke the 100-point mark in 2017/18.
James Milner has surpassed Leeds’ total of Premier League appearances
Referred to by then-chairman Gerald Krasner as the ‘future of Leeds’ after their relegation had been confirmed, an 18-year-old Milner was sold to Newcastle before the next season had even got under way.
Leeds needed the money and the player who had made his debut at just 16 was destined for much more. And what a career he’s had.
Milner has racked up another 488 Premier League appearances with four different clubs – 20 more than Leeds managed in their 11 top-flight seasons to date.
He’s won nine major trophies, including three Premier League titles and one Champions League, and lost another five finals. Not bad for the boy done good.
Jose Mourinho has won more Premier League matches than Leeds have in their entire history
It feels weird to consider a time before Mourinho, but he had never worked in the Premier League before Leeds were relegated.
The Special One joined Chelsea in June 2004, the month after Leeds had dropped out of the top flight.
He has gone on to record 202 Premier League victories across four different stints with Chelsea, Manchester United and Tottenham – 12 more than Leeds have in their history.
Five players have amassed more Premier League points than Leeds
Petr Cech joined Mourinho at Stamford Bridge in the summer of 2004, and remained in the Premier League until 2019. During that time, he won four titles and accumulated a total of 927 points. That’s a third more than Leeds managed in their 11 years in the Premier League.
Other players to beat their total while they’ve been gone are the aforementioned Milner, Wayne Rooney – who scored his second Premier League goal against Leeds at Elland Road in 2002/03 – John Terry and Michael Carrick, both of whom have since gone on to become top-flight coaches.
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