By Rob Atkinson
There appears to be some cloak-and-dagger stuff going on down at Elland Road. Somewhat against the spirit of transparency and openness that was trumpeted at the time of the GFHC takeover of the club, dealings are going on behind the scenes and little detail is available about the personalities concerned, save that - in a nod to the rabid dislike of the support for outgoing Chairman Ken Bates - it's certainly NOT the next President of the club, who will continue to hold zero shares.
GFHC have now sold 13.3% of the LUFC Holdings Company, reducing their stake
to 86.7%. Further potential "strategic investors" are being assessed with a view to the sale of further chunks of the company. It is still not clear whether GFHC intend to retain a controlling stake, but the aim of attracting outside money into the club is clear.
Supporters will, of course, be keenly interested in such machinations, which are likely to have a decisive effect on the ability of Leeds United to operate in the transfer market this summer. Another issue which was due to be decided today is that of the location of the Leeds "Super Casino", which the club hope will form the centrepiece of a redeveloped West Stand, to be constructed around the swanky new gambling venue. This in itself could form significant new revenue streams for a club which has long been looking at diversifying its operations and getting more use out of a stadium which stands largely idle other than on 20+ match-days per year.
With all these financial matters seemingly up in the air, Leeds fans will be hoping against hope that the situation clarifies itself in good time for major surgery on the squad as preparations continue for a realistic promotion challenge next time around. While uncertainty continues over the composition of the board, and who owns what, fans have that uncomfortable feeling of being marginalised - of having no knowledge of or input to the running of the club. For a group of people expected to stump up large amounts of money each match-day, and no guarantee of enjoying themselves, or even being spared actual suffering, this seems a casual way to be treated by an institution that figures so large in their lives.
Perhaps in the coming days and weeks, maybe in the wake of the casino decision, the facts about what's going on at Leeds United will after all be shared as far as possible with the people who shell out their hard-earned. That seems only fair, if we really are to be Marching On Together.
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