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Monday, 27 August 2012

Reality check needed on Planet Leeds.

We are now into the 879th week of the takeover saga at Leeds United and despite statements, announcements, lurid rumours, speculation and a large dose of wishful thinking the following are the only hard facts that we can be sure of:

  1. Leeds United are currently a championship club.
  2. The current management, ie Mr Kenneth William Bates, wants to sell the club.
  3. Initial negotiations with a prospective buyer, reportedly a Bahrain consortium, led to a period of due diligence which has now expired.
  4. Further negotiations with the prospective buyer have continued since the end of due diligence.
  5. Neil Warnock's transfer pot is empty.
  6. Neil Warnock's current squad of players is short on numbers and short on true quality.
  7. The only parties who know the true state of the negotiations are Cuddly Ken and his advisors (Suzanne) and the prospective buyers.
  8. Leeds United's next match is against Oxford United in the 2nd round of the League Cup.
  9. Leeds United have won two out of their three opening games in the Championship.

For all the well intentioned pressure from fans groups none of it will have any significant impact on the negotiations.  If Bates was that sensitive to fans pressure he would have got rid years ago instead he appears to revel in derogatory chants and fan's campaigns dismissing them with equal disdain and vitriol. Ken is unique in that I am not sure there is another football club owner who calls their fans dissidents or morons and then has the cheek to suggest that's what's frightened off potential buyers.  Sometimes I think he is better suited to running a country like North Korea rather than Leeds United!

I do like the "Pen4Ken" idea though originally spawned on the WACCOE website it soon went viral amongst the Leeds faithful and by now will be giving Monaco's version of Postman Pat a busy few days as sackfuls of pen laden letters arrive in the principality for Capt Birdseye's attention. So on the basis of my favourite saying "Plan for the worst and hope for the best" I will assume the takeover doesn't happen and NW will battle away with the squad he's got plus a few emergency loans for this season and we will flirt dangerously close to the top six whilst hope there is not only a takeover but the new owners do have a vault full of cash for NW's transfer pot ready for the new year.

Away from the off field activities Leeds play Oxford in the 2nd round of the strangely named Capital One League Cup on Tuesday night.  In recent years this competition has become tarnished by teams playing under strength teams until the latter stages. Given that it offers possibly the best opportunity for a team outside the "top six" of the Premier League to reach a Wembley Final I have always found this strategy a tad strange. Even Championship teams prefer to play weakened teams in order to keep their first choice stars "fresh" for the league campaign.  I could understand this at the end of a long season but after three games it just doesn't make sense?  Of course Mr Warnock won't have too much of a selection quandry for the Oxford game given the size of his squad although I expect there to be one or two changes from Saturday's team.

Can we progress to the 3rd round at the expense of the League 2 leaders? Will Monaco's postmen cope with the extra mail from Ken's pen friends? Will Diouf sign a contract for Leeds?  As ever life is never dull on Planet Leeds!

Can't wait.


@2GCrayZ said...

Good read mate, not sure about #2. I'm not convinced Uncle Ken wants to sell as much as he has to sell. Here's hoping it's all sorted soon. MOT.

Andrew Butterwick said...

Thanks for the comments. I actually think Ken's plan has always been to sell up and get the best return he can on his investment. I think he now realises that to get to the PL, and with it much bigger revenues and selling price, is going take too much of his money which is why he's now looking to a sell. Could be wrong but that's what it looks like to me.

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