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!!
A couple of weeks ago David Haigh promised a swift conclusion to the takeover situation at Leeds. Two weeks on and the situation we find ourselves in is far from clear. Now I don’t personally blame David for this current position. I believe that he is as frustrated as the majority of Leeds United supporters are.
As the exclusivity period between Sport Capital (David Haighs consortium) and GFH has ticked by it appears that another contender has joined the party. If you believe the strong rumors in the Italian Press circulating around the internet, Massimo Cellino has beaten them to the deal. The Miami based owner of Serie A club Cagliari has apparently been in London these last 48 hours to sign the paperwork required to complete the deal.
So who is Cellino and would he be good for Leeds? Well according to football fans from Italy he is a hard nosed businessman who acts quickly when making decisions. He has gone through 36 managers in 20 years and demands success quickly. Another quite disturbing report suggests that he has already decided to replace Brian McDermott with former Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri. He has turned down the offer (if it has even been made?) however I feel this disruption is quite concerning.
I want the current good feeling at Leeds to continue. Haigh, Patel, Nooruddin and Enterprise Insurances Flowers are the guys I want running our club. Why? Well they have being bank rolling our club these last few months and have made the positive feelings happen. A previous post of mine in August highlighted this turnaround at Leeds. This uncertainty of the unknown has quite simply scared me. I also wonder if this could easily wipe out all the positive steps the club has taken since Bates left.
Now again it could be the complete polar opposite, Cellino could totally transform the club. Leeds United could be a feeder team for Cagliari should he keep them. The surge of foreign players who are more than capable at Championship Level with his own choice of boss could speed up the progress already made. Sentimental notes should be discarded as someone with the money puts himself out there to do it.
I think it’s quite easy to get carried away but something is going to happen soon. Talk of Cesar joining us from QPR suggest that an Italian owner is on the horizon. The bookies rarely get these things so wrong, to suspend betting on a player with no prior links so quickly suggest a deals that close.
So what happens now? Well I’m pinning my hopes on Sport Capital getting this completed and over the line. I just have a strange feeling a decision will be announced before the weekend. It’s never easy being a Leeds fan, that is for sure!!
Jimmy Kebe has finalized his loan move to Leeds United until the end of the season today. The move was made in time for him to feature against Sheffield Wednesday in tomorrow’s televised match at Hillsborough.
I for one am extremely satisfied with this signing. This is the one that really stands out and shows our intent on getting back into contention for promotion. Kebe has worked previously with Brian McDermott at Reading and part of me has this feeling that it could spark Hunt into action. Hunt has just returned from a lengthy injury and it’s abundantly clear he hasn’t received the service required for him to thrive at Elland Road.
Either way it’s showing the ambition of our owners and Brian. Together they are showing the Elland Road faithful that if it’s possible, they can try and make it happen.
In other news from Elland Road today, a slight curve ball that nobody can honestly say they were expecting. Leeds United announced a partnership deal with the San Francisco 49ers. This move will see both businesses meet up and share ideas and successes as Leeds look to expand there already global brand. This can be nothing short of a smart move from Haigh and co, publicity of this level will do no harm at all.
If there is one thing resolved today, I have found an American Football team to look out for and follow their progress. Life at Leeds is certainly on a thrill a minute ride.
Finally Brian McDermott mentioned on Talk Sport today that he hasn’t ruled out further signings at Leeds. Given the fact that Barnes and Wells have joined Burnley and Huddersfield today, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Becchio stories start to appear again. I for one would welcome him back with open arms, I think he could be that final piece missing. Another player is like to see at ER is Adam La Fondre, with the BMcD links it’s one deal that could happen.
I am really confident that Leeds can get back on track tomorrow at Hillsborough and put in a performance. Let’s also use the width we can now exploit, Kebe and Stewart it’s time to shine boys!! A 3-1 Win is my Prediction!
They say a day can make a huge difference in the world of football, whoever came up with that saying must have Leeds White tinted wings. As this week hit the midway point we were looking at the prospect of a daunting trip to Hillsborough with a disheartened and sometimes creative starved team. That worry can now be diluted slightly as our first new signing finally completed his long anticipated move to Elland Road.
Thursday has given us some width, we finally have wings! Well technically one wing as I write this blog but if things are to be believed with dialogue from Selhurst Park, then the second one won’t be far behind.
The long anticipated signing of Stewart was completed this lunchtime from Hull City of the Premiership. I was one of the 3,500 traveling support at The Valley in October who witnessed “the goal” that Stewart scored against us. His creative pace and drive caused us more than a few problems that day. We beat off competition from Charlton, Ipswich & Leicester to sign our new (only) out and out winger.
Stewart will have the 28 shirt and Leeds are offering a cracking deal where you can have his name and number printed on the new Home shirt for free when purchased. Let’s hope it doesn’t curse him as it did with Morris and the infamous number 9 shirt offer the club ran back last year. Stewart joins Leeds on an initial 93 day loan which will become a 3 year deal. This is because of Football League rules stipulating a player can only sign permanently if he’s played for no more than 2 different sides in a season.
Kebe is now waiting in the wings (pun intended) as we look to sign our other winger in time for the Sheffield Wednesday match this Saturday. Let’s hope this is completed in time. Things are certainly looking positive. My prediction of how Leeds United could line up once this second signing is complete is as follows:
Back to the trusty 4-4-2 with some attacking flair from both sides.
Things are certainly looking brighter at Elland Road. Let’s get back on track with 3 points tomorrow and reclaim that Play Off Place.