It was only at the beginning of the month that David Haigh revealed to the world that he was confident in finalizing the terms of his takeover. This would have given Brian McDermott the funds and most importantly the time to make the right decisions and subsequent additions to his squad. A couple of wingers arrived quite quickly albeit on loans and the excitement quickly took over all other emotions to those close to Elland Road.
But in something not to dissimilar to a Timothy Burton Classic, the white roses of optimism soon shriveled into thorn riddled clumps of uncertainty. The knots were so entwined and thick that not even those closest to the takeover table could understand what was actually going on.
So back to today the 31st of January, a date that is best known to Leeds Fans as “Jump ship and move to East Anglia day”. The optimism has now been officially drained whilst we wait and see if either the Italian or Manc win their takeover battle of Leeds United.
One thing is for sure, there will not be any arrivals coming into the club today. There could possibly be a loan or two but with nobody in control of the purse strings, a bonafide offer of a transfer fee and contract with all this uncertainty will not be happening.
Based on this there is only one name that I can see joining us today. It’s that of former striker and modern day crowd favourite Luciano Becchio. He was one of many that saw the glow of the Norwich Yellow shirt as an appealing option of playing Premiership Football. Unfortunately for Luciano his time at Carrow Road has been a complete waste of time. He has only managed half a dozen league appearances in a year and not found the net. He has made it clear that he wishes to move back to Leeds and as Norwich now have sufficient backup in the striker department I can see this move happening over any other possible deals.
Roll back 6 months and you’d be lucky to find anybody willing enough to take a squad player of ours, well times are a changing. We suddenly have some quite appealing options that could help reduce the financial burden at Elland Road. Here are my tips of four players that come tonight will all be at different clubs.
Luke certainly did his reputation at Elland Road no harm at all by refusing to play against Ipswich on Tuesday night citing the reason because he didn’t want to risk injury. Blackburn are known to be after Varney who frustratingly on his day is one of the most complete strikers you could wish for. Performances against Sheffield Wednesday and Tottenham last season backed this up. He has struggled to hold down a regular position and needs to go. If we could get around £250k for him then this would be good business.
I really like Paul Green, I am just so frustrated that he hasn’t made it into the Leeds side. He still plays at International Level for Ireland and has always shown glimpses of his potential when given the chance. The problem is the emergence of Mowatt and the signing of Murphy that have kept him out of the side. Ipswich are reported to be making a loan offer until the end of the season. I would be sad to see Green go, but this move makes sense to all involved.
I think Diouf has been a good bit of business for Leeds in his time at the club. Where he has failed at scoring the goals to lead us to promotion, he has dazzled in some big games which proves he is in the wrong league. He may not be quick but he is smart. Not once has he brought the club into disrepute nor been involved in off the field incidents. The one red card at Brighton was silly but he has remained a true professional around his personal issues at Leeds. I think West Ham will make an offer and anything around £150k would help the club.
Danny has been a success story of the highest accolade. I think they will even make a film based on his story. From stuck in the reserves for so long to thrown into the first team and holding his place on merit, Danny Pugh has shown us what can be achieved. I think this is now the opportunity for him to get his move so he can enjoy playing regular first team football he deserves.
Whilst there are strong rumors of McCormack and Byram attracting bids today I just can’t see them being sold. With Haigh still as our MD and Brian our manager, they will not let this happen. One things for sure, it’s never easy being a Leeds fan, on transfer deadline day it’s just a little bit harder!
This last fortnight has been an absolute farce at Leeds United. Last nights 1-1 draw against Ipswich aided in as much as Masking Tape does when painting skirting boards. It barely does the job just in case anybody was wondering where I was going with that analogy. We were second best in long parts of the game and were very fortunate not to be on the wrong end of a 3-1 score line.
Where this soap opera that is LUFC differs to every other clubs it is that the blame lays far away from the match day team and management. If it wasn’t for Brian McDermott’s determination, honesty, belief and integrity this would be far worse. He is single handedly keeping the team together and making do with over half the pieces that were left behind for him to play with. I can’t help but describe it like a Monopoly Set with just the crap properties left and very few hotels. If you take away the dog and top hat as well as the £100 notes, then it’s a pretty disjointed and sad affair. If Hasbro did custom board games then here is my pitch, I’ll name it Fiasco-opoly LUFC addition. If I raise enough money from it, maybe there will still be time for me to throw my hat into the circus ring better known as GFH’s takeover circus!
So where is the change required? Well it’s obvious to me that it’s in the boardroom, this place hasn’t been right since the days of Howard Wilkinson & Leslie Silver. The heartbeat away from the fans comes from here. Towards the end of last season and the arrival of the Haigh Express away from Bates Towers we all thought a light at the end of the proverbially long tunnel was visible. It now appears that the light is content with moving along at the same speed of the train, sadly for us Leeds United fans the Haigh Express has just run out of coal.
Haigh has tried his hardest with Flowers and the other one who I’ll probably end up spelling incorrectly oh and with Patel too. The issue is that they have all contributed financially to the point that they all need financial reassurances to ensure the deal with current owners GFH works for them all. This is where the problem lies, it’s too messy and this revised offer from Sports Capital to take account of this looks unappealing to GFH.
So how does GFH respond to this reduction in offer from Sports Capitol? Well it’s obvious, they have played the market. They want to see how much they can get for Leeds United. You can’t blame them, they are an investment bank. This is where supporters and investors will never hold hands and skip the golden roads together, they just don’t go together.
It was a lovely thought that Haigh would complete this and we would have a boardroom full of supporters but whom had a business head on them so vast that they could turn everything around off the field to support McDermott with what he needed to do on it. This just isn’t going to happen in this fairytale.
I am resigned to a January transfer window shutting with no additions, but I’m pretty certain we will lose one key player. As I write this piece I understand Varney is off to Blackburn and didn’t want to play for Leeds incase he injured himself! Well that’s an encouraging sign right there. Frankly Varney you can get lost and move on, it’s where the word professionalism goes out of the window.
On another polar opposite, professionalism couldn’t be more evident than with Diouf. Nice to see he played for an hour last night and hasn’t been whining about what’s going on. If we can get him back to full fitness then maybe we will have a quality addition back. It’s never easy being a Leeds Fan, the Cellino takeover awaits!!