By Steve Barras
At long last it seems the old miser that is Ken Bates is finally on his way out of Elland Road. The club announced today (Tuesday 26th June) that they have granted an exclusivity period to enable a potential investor to carry out the appropriate due diligence. According to some sources the ‘Due Diligence’ was completed two weeks ago and that an announcement on the new ‘Investor’ will be made sooner rather than later. In fact BBC Radio Leeds has implied that an announcement will be made within the next 48 hours.
Onto the alleged ‘Investment’. Phil Hay who writes for the Yorkshire Evening Post tweeted that he had been in contact with a Sports Lawyer, the lawyer states that at face value the latest statement seems to point to a full takeover of the club rather than investment, it is also worth pointing out that newly crowned Premier League Champions, Manchester City announced on their website prior to Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan’s takeover that they were in talks regarding possible investment in the club.
Our investment’s origin is far from certain but recent speculation seems to be pointing to the Far East but the North American rumours refuse to go away.
As soon as the announcement was made my head was instantly filled with images of the world’s greatest footballers playing for Leeds United, Messi was there, Xavi, Iniesta, Fabregas, Schweinsteiger, Puyol, Alves and Villa to name but a few. Now, I don’t believe for one second that any of these players will actually sign for Leeds but it is hard to imagine the superstars of the future and why can’t we be a part of that future? With the right ‘Investment’ Leeds United could be the new Barcelona. Never say never.
“However, our discussions with them have left us very comfortable that they have the financial resources to support the club and that they will have no issues in satisfying the requirements of the Football League’s Owners and Directors Test.” This to me is a very positive step forward, I don’t pretend to be an expert when it comes to the Football League’s tests for Owners and Directors but I believe that to take part in one then you would have to be buying at least 30% of a club. The Leeds United Supporter’s Trust (LUST) have always, from the very beginning, said that all parties that they have had contact with do NOT want to work with Bates, they want to own the club outright. Plus it seems that our new ‘Investor’ has cash to burn, that is, if you listen to gossip. I prefer to wait and hope with fingers crossed that the proposed Billionaire from Toronto/Kuwait/Saudi Arabia/Skegness comes to fruition and makes us once again a force to be reckoned with.
The fallen giant of English football will once again raise its head and claim its rightful place at the head of the high table.
By Keith Ingham
On Tuesday and Wednesday Leeds United announced the signings of two players. Adam Drury, a 33 year old left back from Norwich and in Colin's words 'one of the best in the Championship' then a day later Paul Green from Derby who made a substitute appearance in Euro 2012 v Spain for Ireland. Both have come on free transfers and will join on July 1st.
It remains to be seen if the proposed takeover/ investment is forthcoming but I imagine the signings after a tedious month of rumours is seen by fans as a step in the right direction. The only problem I see is that Robert Snodgrass may not see these as players who will make us a force to be reckoned with come August.
I myself believe Colin is very good at attracting the kind of players who will make the squad as strong as he can and I still expect a 'wow' signing before he takes them down to Cornwall for the start of pre-season training.
Whether Bates is still there is still a matter of conjecture as reports of ill health may force his hand on releasing his grip on our club. Watch this space.
By Andy Gregory
After waiting for weeks for some sort of transfer activity, two signings have been announced in just two days.
Paul Green has agreed to join the club when his contract with Derby County expires at the end of the month, despite them being eager to retain his services. The midfielder has signed a two year contract, and becomes Neil Warnock's third signing of the summer as he looks to build a squad capable of a promotion challenge.
This Republic of Ireland international will add some much needed depth and experience to our wafer thin midfield, especially with the likely departure of Adam Clayton.
Warnock already seems capable of attracting better quality player than Larry could, if Green, Pearce and Drury are anything to go by, we will have a much stronger squad come August. Drury has spoken of how Warnock's vision for The Whites excited him and sold the move to him, and let's face it.. Unless Mr Bates does sell up, we need to rely on that enthusiasm to keep bringing the players in.
However, if any of these investment/ takeover rumours do amount to anything that could all change. It would be nice to see what Warnock could do with a bit of spending money in the pot. Until then though, I think we can be happy with the last few days and the players that have been brought in.
Hopefully there will be an announcement very soon regarding the whole investment saga, there are so many rumours flying about my head is starting to hurt. I'm looking forward to it being either ruled out or confirmed so that we can move on and focus on next season.
It will hopefully be the latter, we're certainly due some good news...
By Andy Gregory
It has been announced today that Leeds will sign experienced left back Adam Drury from Norwich when his contract expires at the start of next month.
The defender has made 362 appearances for the club during an 11 year spell at Carrow Road. He will add some much needed experience and quality to our defence as Warnock continues to reshape the club.
It's nice to finally see another player join the club following Jason Pearce's arrival back in May. Hopefully now things will start moving along a bit faster now Warnock is back from his jolly's.
All we need now is for Bates to either sell up or loosen the purse strings so we can continue to build for the new season.
By Andy Gregory
The fixtures for the new season have been announced. The 2012/13 campaign kicks off on the Saturday 18th August with a home game against newly relagated Wolverhampton Wanderers followed by Blackpool away just 3 days later on the Tuesday 21st.
We also have some new local derby's to look forward to this season, with Sheffield Wednesday away on Saturday 20th October and the home game on Saturday 13th April. Then there Simon Grayson's Hudderfield Town who we play away on the first of December, with our former manager returning to Elland Road for the first time on Saturday 16th March.
The season finishes with games against Birmingham away (20.4.13), Brighton home (27.4.13) and the final game of the season is Watford away on Saturday 4th May.
All we need now is an end to all the speculation regarding the investment/ takeover at Elland Road, hopefully with the outcome that we all want so that Warnock can build a decent team and we can look forward to a good season.
Click here to see 2012/ 13 fixtures