Where's our billionaire oil tycoon? TSS October 6, 2009 Leeds United 15 Comments Leeds United fans have looked on in envy as the likes of Chelsea, Manchester City and even Notts County have been bought out by rich businessmen with the intention of investing hundreds of millions to take the club to prominence. Watching on from afar, many of us have wondered why these billionaire investors continually overlook our own club. Leeds is a one-club city with a population of 770,000 people. The club itself has a massive fanbase, a Premier League stadium and top-class facilities. It should be the ideal candidate for the next wealthy investor. So why does it remain in the hands of Ken Bates and Forward Sports Fund? Paul Hayward from the Observer sent the debate national when he asked why no one had yet come in for Leeds United after the League Cup match against Liverpool, and Paul Hay from the Yorkshire Evening Post has since attempted to answer the question himself. Hay argues that the reason no one has yet to come in for Leeds is that they are unable to maximise their potential whilst the team is stuck in League One. He also notes that the financial complications of the club, such as the excessive asking price people were quoted when we were in administration and the fact we still don’t own Elland Road and Thorp Arch are likely off-putting. However much I like Phil Hay – and for the record, I think he’s a great writer who does the club a great service by always representing us in a favourable light – I disagree with him completely about the financial complications being an issue. If a billionaire tycoon wanted to buy Leeds United, a few measly million wouldn’t put him off. I do agree that whilst we’re stuck in League One, the clubs potential can’t be maximised and for any potential investor, this is likely to be off-putting as they probably want to see the team battling it out with Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea as soon as possible, but then this didn’t stop the takeover of Notts County. Before the takeover of Notts County, I’d always argued that the reason Leeds United hadn’t yet been the target of a billionaire was the position we’re currently in. Billionaire’s are impatient and used to getting what they want immediately. To get a team capable of battling for honours in the top flight and capable of achieving Champions League qualification, it’d take at least five years in my opinion. When you can takeover Manchester City and do it in a fraction of the time, why bother? Leeds United itself and the current ownership could be a problem too. For a start, the owners are represented by Ken Bates, who caused Roman Abramovich a lot of problems after he sold Chelsea. Roman’s history was constantly scrawled across the tabloids as his business dealings came to light. Every billionaire will have been ruthless to get what they want and they’ll all have skeletons in their closet. Taking over Leeds United will no doubt get people searching. Finally, there’s the ever-illusive board. If no one can actually locate the owners of the club, then how would you go about buying it? I suppose this would be done via Ken Bates, who claims not to know who the owners of Forward Sports Fund are, but then it’s not like he’s never lied before. So for me, it’s the complicated ownership combined with the impatience of the uber-rich. Maybe I’m wrong, and I’m sure there’s alternative views, but I do think someone will come in for Leeds United sooner or later. Maybe once we’ve been promoted and stabilised in the Championship, we’ll start to look like a more attractive investment (or accessory as is so often the case).