Show me the money!

Seems like an age since Leeds were last linked with a possible takeover, but fear not, the takeover rumour mill is back in business ready to destroy our hopes once again.

The rumour goes that Chris Akers – who some may remember as chairman of the Caspian group who took over Leeds United in 1996 – is leading a consortium of Australian businessmen hoping to gain control of Leeds United from everyone’s favourite businessman, Ken Bates.

An easy link to the club given Chris Akers previous involvement, but many of us were expecting some interest once we returned to the Championship so I suppose anything is possible?

After completing the takeover of the club in 1996, Chris Akers was replaced by the fish-loving supremo, Peter Ridsdale who later guided Leeds United into total oblivion via a short stop in the European Champions League. One can only hope he has a more suitable chairman lined up this time!

  • Dje

    Even more unlikely than the other Australian bid rumour that started to circulate around New Year.

    If anyone was going to take over the club they would have been all set to do so and enacted the second we got promoted. We were well on course to promotion at New Year so it is hardly a case that we have caught potential buyers on the back-foot.

    To buy and invest in the team/management would have been required in June/early July – when a blitzkrieg assault for the pending Championship campaign could have been put into action, not a week or two before the new campaign by which time Grayson has picked up six players and seen many potential transfer targets go elsewhere. Unless this is the type of ‘new owners’ who have no intention on investing in the team? In which, case better the devil we know.

  • Dje

    Additionally, if Bates knew a potnetial purchaser was interested – and presumably meeting his (over)evaluation of the club – then why would he have just awarded his manager a new three year contract. Possibly it could have been agreed with the new owners that they wanted Grayson too – but it’d be in everyones interest to let the new ownership pen a deal with Grayson when they arrive.

    • TSS

      @Dje I’m with you mate. It all seems like more nonsense, but good to have the takeover rumour mill back in action. Gives us all something to talk about!

      • Eamon

        I’m not with you at all TSS, what’s the point of reporting on such nonsense? These takeover rumours make my blood boil; whatever about a Hooper or Lita rumour being fun to speculate on, I actually agree with Bates dismissing speculative takeover talk as absolute bollocks.

        This choice of topic undermines your regularly excellent content. I’m disappointed!

        • Jon

          I shouldn’t be too harsh here – this simply reflects the complete dirth of anything real to talk about – seems like even Betfair have run out of

        • Craig

          @Eamon

          If reporting on nonsense was banned there’d be no tabloid journalism, no TalkSport, a minimal Radio5 Live… I’m beginning to come over all John Lennon….

          • Craig

            “Imagine there’s no nonsense.
            It’s easy if you try.
            Nothing to lie or bribe for
            Not even any Sky…

        • TSS

          @Eamon It’s a case of ‘you never know.’ 95% of football news is rumour and speculation. There’d be one story a month on here otherwise.

          • Craig

            And imagine the length of each page if that were to happen – it almost reached 400 during the few days you took in Spain TSS!

          • TheReaper08

            @TSS Now you appear to be justifying rumour and specualtion where as yesterday Betfair were the object of your wrath.

            By the way I would like to point out you are correct, without rumour and speculation I think we would all be very bored. That said a lesser man might be throwing the word hypocrite at quite a few people right now, especially considering the amount of posts/enthusiasm that’s shown towards the various rumours.

            Who’s more of a fool, the fool or the fool that follow’s him……

  • Dje

    @TSS

    I’ve always liked the sound of the way Barcelona and Real Madrid elect their chairman. I’m sure we’d end up with just-another-wolf-in-sheep’s-clothing but it’d be worth it just to see Ken Bates have to endure a Michael Portillo moment of defeat on the election stage.

    • Craig

      @Dje

      It would certainly need a big change in the culture of football in the UK that’s for sure!

  • Chris Briffa

    These rumours are just a load of hogwash. I actually like Ken Bates and though he may have many defects (don’t we all) he is at least a footballing man with years of experience in the game.
    He’s sensible with the club’s finances and will not have us spending millions on players. In other words we have to wear the cloth we can afford.

  • Craig

    Well, there’s a first. I’m not sure anyone on here has ever admitted to ‘liking’ Ken before!

  • Craig

    I also think we’d need to see far greater transparency before we could call Ken ‘sensible with the club’s finances’. Too many suspicions that he’s set things up to drain resources into offshore accounts in the names of people no one knows.

  • Dje

    @Craig

    Exactly! It’s a thin line between lack of ambition and financial prudence – but how are we to know if we are never privy to clubs (actual) finances?

    “None of our business” he might well say – in which case “justify the ticket price hikes, Batesy!”

    • Craig

      @Dje

      I’ve just watched The Damned United I recorded on Sunday. I know there is dispute about accuracy but can anyone imagine anyone standing up to Ken like Clough did to the Derby chairman? 44 days would seem like a long tenure…

  • Craig

    Does anyone know when the new squad numbers are to be unveiled? How soon before the start of the season does this event normally happen?

    With 6 of the first 11 numbers still unassigned this will be a strong hint as to whether there are more signings still in the wings.

  • Chris Briffa

    The fact remains that Leeds United Football Club exists today because Ken Bates came in and salvaged the club. It’s about time we all stop griping and moaning for the imaginary billionaire over the horizon. It just won’t happen.
    Today we have a sound football club with modest finances which I assure you are in far better shape than those of many Premiership clubs.

    • Craig

      @Chris Briffa

      Not too much to argue over there Chris, but Ken did manage to sort it so that he was guaranteed to regain chairmanship/ownership of the club having written off/legally (just) dodged the debts.

  • Tim Campbell

    When all is said and done Leeds United Football Club would be a far better investment for any investor than many of the clubs that are being talked of in the press that are in the process of being bought over

  • Jon

    I suggested an “In Bates we Trust” poll a while back – is now the time to set one up TSS?

    • TSS

      @Jon

      I would, but I find it hard to remain impartial when we come to Bates. The supporters forget too much, too quickly. Like him threatening to let the club go under if he didn’t get his way. Some saviour…

      • les irwin

        bates would have wound the club up had he not won the take over he didnt save the club he ripped of creditors of millions of pounds .

      • TheReaper08

        @TSS You don’t find it hard I think the actual word you are looking for is impossible.

  • Gez W

    “The fact remains that Leeds United Football Club exists today because Ken Bates came in and salvaged the club”.

    Actually Chris, it was Ken Bates that took LUFC into administration and then used every loophole and, in my opinion, con trick to buy it back at a significantly reduced price to that of the best offer – from Redbus. If you were at the Adminstrators meeting in July 2007 you would have probably voted, lost most of the small business owners present, for the Redbus proposal, which also included detailed plans for squad investment of £30 million.

    Does Ken run Leeds better than Ridsdale? Of course. Does he compare to genuinely supportive owners like Dave Whelan and Jack Walker. Forget it. You won’t see John Ryan at Doncaster Rovers using club funds to pay his own solicitors bills. No, he puts his hand in his own pocket to buy players like Billy Sharp.

    Ken may not be the worst thing to happen to Leeds United, but if you for one minute think it is anything other than a commercial enterprise to him, his own personal pension and cash cow you are sadly mistaken. He has no regard for the supporters of our fine club other than as the “punters” he regularly refers to us as.

    • les irwin

      bates has no intrest in lufc or us the supporters thats a fact he is costing us millions of pounds in legal fees and lost revenues for sponsors there is no good feeling about our last promotion and moving forward this season due to lack of investment

    • TheReaper08

      @Gez W Everyone always refers to the administration but what always get’s forgotten time and time again is when the previous clowns got fed up having sold off Thorp Arch & Elland Road and we were teetering on the abyss the first time absolutely no one was interested in taking the club on.

    • Colin

      @Gez W
      Ah yes The Redbus bid – in association with Simon Morris – he made £70m by the time he was 30. Last year bankrupt and still has to face a charge of conspiracy to blackmail.
      In 2007 – he promised to put in £25m into Leeds and invest £400m in making Elland Road an entertainment complex and put a 50,000 seater stadium in place. Bullshit. In 2009, he was bankrupt.

      KPMG picked who they thought was the best offer. Redbus/Morris were no angels. In my opinion, all the offers on the table were from dodgy bastards.

      • timm

        I’ve hardly been on here recently but it’s obvious nothing’s changed! Good old Simon Morris & his plan to build a housing estate on the site of our ground without securing us a site for a new stadium. & good old Revie Jr & his Arab mate who didn’t have a pot to piss in, but just like RedBus got some nice free exposure at the expense of our club. I agree that we could do with a couple more signings, but im sure Grayson & Bates are doing all they can to bring players in.

        • TheReaper08

          @timm Why haven’t you been on for a while mate, just busy or something else ?

          Agree with you about the publicity seekers you list, none of them worth a jot.

          • timm

            Just busy really Reaper, also no real subjects to get stuck into. I get fed up of the same old names on here spouting off about getting rid of Bates all the time. TSS could run a story about the team bus on here & someone would come on & say we’d have a better one if it wasn’t for Bates! Nice shiny new format but same old nonsense. When i see something in quotation marks from a suitable investor i’ll be as keen as the next man for Bates to step aside, but last time i looked, they weren’t exactly queing up. Let’s just hope that last night’s result at Bury prompts them to strengthen further.

  • les irwin

    if i remember rightly bates has stated he doesnt own any shares in LUFC its FSF share holders, i just dont get bates any more what does he get out of it (slight detour now ) @the moment if it does go the shape of the pear he will be public enemy No1 for not spending money (back to bates).he takes nowt out ,no shares,etc etc etc can we at least buy him some decent teeth ,the fact is the nearer we get to prem the more likely we are to at least get some intrest in a takeover but surely bates has no say in that .i dont care wether bates goes or not im pissed he has spent no money .iam fed up that we still after all this time dont know who the owners are .that is surely gonna end badly for someone dont know how but i have a feeling

    • Craig

      …spent no money YET!

  • Chris Briffa

    Seems like I’ve kicked up a hornet’s nest bu saying I support Ken Bates.

    Well I do believe he is the best thing that has happened to the club since 2000. I would rather have a sound club with litte or no creditors with modest results than a high flying debt ridden successful club with bankruptcy looming . . . ask Pompey fans !!

    • Craig

      Even better than Simon Grayson + Jermaine Beckford (or his goals at least?).

  • Dje

    Anyone else notice Grayson mentioning that his squad was so thin in Slovakia that he had to play a handful of players the full 90 minutes – rare for such an early pre-season match.

    Admittedly I feel somewhat vindicated after bemoaning why we didn’t take some more of the kids out there, and Michalik and even Sheehan might have been worth a Ryanair fare and cheap twin room in the B&B.

    But it is worrying how thin our squad looks to be. I think we have been lucky in last few seasons for lack of injuries pilling up on us – the exception being the left-back position that seems to come with curse. But if we lost Kilkenny and Howson to two mid-term injuries, say, in a friendly tonight against Bury, or Snodgrass whilst we are there – who is the cover?

    Ironically there is a part of me that wonders if Howson and Somma or Paynter happened to pick up a bit of a nasty injury tonight then maybe Bates might begrudgingly write the cheque for Hooper and MacArthur tomorrow morning? One step backwards for two step forwards, perhaps? Nah, one forward will do.

    • Matt BB

      @dje virtually no kids on tour either.. have we finally gven up on our academy. thats one thing that really concerns me. the first we hear these days about a prospect is that theyre off to everton or man city.. pathetic. lets see our kids playing in the carling cup this year.

      • Dje

        @Mattbb

        One of our young lads, Darville, is playing for York City’s preseason matches I noticed. A good idea I reckon – with a chance for Grayson to see him in action without him flustering our starting XI for the Championship.

        I noticed that Darville is a defender and their second game up is against Scunthorpe this weekend. Let’s hope he doesn’t scupper our Hooper saga prematurely!

        • Matt BB

          i think he’s on the way out. at least thats the impression i got?

  • Matt BB

    well i have to admit that any rumours involving bates leaving fill me with hope, but lets paraphrase our not so glorious leader. until we see the colour of their money its all pixie dust and make believe

  • colin

    I agree wholeheartedley with Craig………..What cannot be denied throughout all the ups and downs,trials and tribulations of the politics surrounding the Bates sagas,LUFC is now becoming a force to be reckoned with.LUFC is the pheonix that has risen from the ashes and the embers are starting to burn and the fire in the belly is back.Lets give credit where credit is due and not knock executives of this great club and get behind everyone and help keep the bandwagon rolling.

    • Matt BB

      bates mismanagement planted us into admin and into league one. we cant blame his predecessors for that entirely. we def all need ti remember that. he also threatened to wind us up unless the administrator accepted his bid ok lets support the team but keep a close eye on ken and his pals.

  • Dje

    Just reading that apparently Celtic are willing to pay £2.5m for Hooper but Scunthorpe are holding out for £3.5m (have they just moved the goalposts? I thought it was £2.5m they wanted for him last week). Middlesbrough are still sniffing for £2.5m too.

    It also looks like Scunthorpe are beginning to sweat too – as Celtic could come in and sign him up on a contract come Christmas and not even have to Scunthorpe any compensation if he heads north of the border – alla Joe Ledley.

    Are Scunthorpe going to cave in the next week or two and cash-in? If so, have we a chance in hell of equaling Celtic’s £2.5m offer? And even if he prefers to stay in England rather than play in Scotland, can we match Middlesbrough’s offer?!

    My money is sadly on Newcastle stealing the deal – possibly for the ironical amount they are rumoured to have offered us for Beckford at Christmas time.

    • timm

      It’s probably 3.5 million for Celtic & 2.5 million for everyone else on account of Celtic being a bunch of bigoted twats.

      • Dje

        @timm

        lol – love the partisanism.

  • Tim Wilsom

    I’m gettin attached Uncle Ken

  • richard

    Rumours give me a migraine.

  • les irwin

    i know before we go any further it was only a pre season friendly
    but does 4-0 at bury mean anything
    now personally i would of preferred to win what about you lot
    didnt look that bad a side and remember it was pre season for bury
    now spend some money mr grayson /bates ??????????

  • Bury White

    How can I walk through Bury again……we were woeful

  • Mark R

    4 – 0 ?? 4 – 0 ? 4 bloody Nil ?? at Bury ??
    Hellfire.
    Pre-season or not …….4-0 at Bury ?
    Hellfire.
    There should be pride in the shirt everytime it’s worn.
    Not impressed.

  • Bury White

    we played our best midfield and most of the defence we’ll start with so we were not messing around
    Casper – no real saves poor distribution
    Frede – poor distribution and positioning
    All midfield – not in the game didn’t get forward to support forwards playing to many long balls – we never won a header all night
    Hit woodwork twice and their keeper made one good save

  • les irwin

    thats the great thing about tss opinions its great we all have em
    lets see how many change now, about how we should of spent some dosh im of the opinion our frees are ok but you need to balance that with QUALITY now thats what COSTS
    MARK R YOU SUMMED IT UP THAT MADE ME CHUCKLE

  • Dje

    No, there’s no talkshopping over a 4-0 defeat to Bury. I could understand conceding goals, after all we’ve a new defense and keeper – needing time to gel and all. They had a few trialists too, eager to impress.

    But you’d expect us to score at least. We didn’t play any kids up front, it was first team regulars. Nor did we turn it into an England friendly and chnage the whole XI at half-time. We used five subs – not many more than a regular game and so you’d expect us to at least maintain our shape and progressive play.

    Starting to worry now.

  • TheReaper08

    Is it possible that our lower league signings and Championship cast offs aren’t going to be good enough ? Or was it just a lazy fitness run out and nothing to be worried about.

    • les irwin

      reaper you me and 1or 2 others have said that all along if i remember as frees go ours are ok but quality will cost
      that wasnt a bad side we put out based on what we have there lies the problem WHAT WE HAVE !! ive always been worried not that we will go down but that we will not compete regularly week in and out either way 4-0 at bury is not good

    • Dje

      @The Reaper

      If it was intended as a lazy fitness runout then you’d expect a professional to change tune when they went two down and drop the pre-season slacker mode for a ‘here-to-win’ / ‘impress the gaffer’ attitude.

      I’d only accept 4-0 as a freak one-off and nothing to worry about if they’d scored four unstoppable corkers and it was just one of those days when Bury would have scored four passed Barcelona.

      • TheReaper08

        @Dje I agree, the purpose of my saying lazy fitness was to give those that believe signing players that weren’t required by there respective clubs at Champ level and not signing quality an excuse for tonights dismal showing.

        We need some quality and we need it now or it’s going to be a long tough season.

    • Craig

      Anything’s possible Reaper – and we won’t really know until the start of the season proper.

    • Matt BB

      @thereaper08 buy cheap – pay for it twice as the saying goes, we will end up getting in loanees to cover the left back, and striking positions so bates’ supposed saving will be blown out of the window.

  • superhoops

    @TheReaper08 Can’t decide myself but here are a few musings

    – SG keeps going on about players wanting to come to the club. Let’s either see some evidence of this SG, or shut the f*ck up.

    – Robinson, Kandol, Sheehan —> just f*ck off, get off our wage bill, we don’t want you, you’re not good enough, you’re wasting our wage bill, our time, our worrying, just please f*ck off, leave. Ditto Lubo, thanks, but we need to push on.

    – The team has no spine. EVERYONE can see that we need another central midfielder, another central defender, a proven goalscorer. Our central midfield is actually worse now than it was last season, as at least we had Micky Doyle who added grit. Now it’s Howson and the frequently unfit Kilkenny. We can’t seriously think they are going to compete? At the back we’ve got Collins, but who else? Bromby and Naylor are past it, Kisnorbo’s crocked. Lubo not even up to it in League 1, what’s going on? These 2 positions are paramount, but we need a goalscorer as well. Luciano is too slow and not really a goalscorer, Billy P is unproven, Grella and Somma have 1 senior league goal for Leeds between them.

    SORT IT OUT or we’re going straight back to League 1.

    • TheReaper08

      @superhoops Oh for a ball winning leader of a central midfielder, plus I am with you on the striker/centre back problem.

  • Colin

    I’m not too worried about the result really – I seem to remember Newcastle got pummeled in pre-season last time round and they did alright.

    Bury were probably told to push it and really go for it. For us, it’s just a fitness exercise.

    I’ve got LUTV and I listened to the game for about 10 mins at the end of the first half – i turned off because it was soooo boring. Seemed to me that Leeds had no intention of pushing it in this game.

    Maybe it was an experimental exercise? Fair enough, I guess you have to try them. Personally I’m not going to lose any sleep over this result.

    • Craig

      It is fascinating to read the match report on the LUFC website and then compare it with reports from others who watched/listened to the match.

      Was anyone at the match who can comment?

  • Chareose

    or maybe we are all deluding ourselves into thinking that because we are Leeds we have a good team…. The fact we struggled to get promoted suggests otherwise. Apart from Snodgrass and Kisnorbo I think we are pretty weak personally. His new signings are sturdy but not exciting….

    Lets hope we can stave off relegation and hope for a new owner whos willing to invest in the club:o)

  • Mark R

    1739 of our loyal fans made the trip to Bury yesterday to witness that debacle ? A disgrace.

    If the match was being played behind closed doors and a real test for the whole squad – that’s another matter.
    Once you play in a stadium & sell tickets, and fans travel – then it’s a professional football match.

    They should all get their tkt money and travel refunded by the club.

    If you wear the shirt, you perform to the best of your ability, and a professional turns in a professional performance.
    The attitude appears to have been poor.

    I thought we were meant to be improving through pre-season and building towards the Derby game ?

    Hopefully Colin’s right and the omen is that Newcastle lost 6-0 at Orient last season.

    MOT

  • les irwin

    thought 1or 2 would have changed minds this morning we need to get used to this unless we bring in some quality someone mentione dplayers on our wage bill f ing off ,remember it wa sus that gave them the contract would you tear it up without another club and get nothing ERM “no”to be fair i personally think sheehan is a good player ,apparently he likes a beer and can be a bad influence particularly on bradders .i hope us going down 4-0 to bury opens the eyes of the leeds regime but also the fans

    quality counts

  • Matt BB

    We all know that the team struggled at the end of last season and that team hasnt changed much, we also need to understand that the one area of the team that has seen some change is defence, and its always exposed when a new defence starts playing together. Saying all of that we shouldnt have been beaten that heavily, and it highlights the need for our two urgently needed signings, a midfield general and a striker.

  • paul alistair steel

    It took Eddie Gray five minutes of watching Fede Bessone to come to the grim realisation that what the Swansea fans were telling us was actually true; he might be ok going forward but he can’t actually defend. SG’s joke about needing 20 new players wasn’t too far off the mark! I agree that only Kisnorbo and Snodgrass are good enough for the Championship. The current squad is not as good as Sheffield Wednesday’s last year and we all know what happened to them!!

    • Dje

      Re: Bessone,

      I’m moaned about it before, but if Grayson should be able to coach and improve any position then its got to be the fullbacks – having been one himself; failing this then there is no hope in nurturing any striker talent!

      I’ve always been at a bit of a loss why the Swansea fans don’t rate Bessone, considering he play two-thirds of the season for them last season and was one quarter of their defense that was one of the tightest in that division.

    • Matt BB

      so is the Beckford replacement already there – Snodgrass – he was purchased as a striker, sit him behind the two battering rams of becchio and paynter. lloyd Sam and Max provide the ammunition from left and right a 4-3-3

  • Mark R

    I can understand a draw or a narrow defeat, but as Matt BB says a 4-0 heavy defeat was unexpected.
    It’s probabley the right time for a wake up call – and I’m sure it will give Grayson food for thought.

    I can’t hide that my pre season programme of easing towards 7 August, and building up to leaving posts on the new TSS site – has been disrupted by the Battering at Bury.

    Give me a large glass and leave the bottle of Dandelion and Burdock ….

  • Paul C

    I am relieved in a way at last nights result. I have seen some ridiculously optimistic predictions knocking around from fellow Leeds fans.

    I defy anybody to believe that the squad we have is a reasonable prospect for the play offs. This is going to be a tough season , we will probably have to stick with the kick and run style pioneered under SG and hope for the best. As said by others we lack a quality centre back, quality midfielder and quality striker and they cost money.

    Back to topic though..TSS , keep these ill founded takeover rumours coming , it at least gives some of us a little hope that one day we will be rid of the malignancy that is Bates’ regime…

  • Mark R

    Good to see SG’s outraged reaction to the Battering at Bury on the YEP site – and pleased to read he appears to have read the riot act to the players – their attitude was clearly not as it should’ve been.

    He’s right in his assesment of the whole thing and how it is a blow to preparations.

    Back to the drawing board on certain aspects of our game.

    He’ll pull it round but I think we’ll see some unexpected squad developments over the next few weeks.

    MOT

  • White to the core

    We were an absolute disgrace. Mid table obscurity i dont think so. We have no ball winner, no one who can pass the ball, no one who can hit a barn door and bugger all chance of owt but a relegation struggle. That tight assed money grabbing scum bag has no intention of giving grayson the cash from delph etc etc to bring in the hoopers of this world. Instead we are stuck with a bunch of goons who wouldnt look outa place on blackpool beach with saddles on their backs giving kids a 50p ride up the sands. We played from january like this in div1 now we have not addressed these problems we are only going one way! Down again! It hurts me to see such ineptitude and lack of ambition. How the hell can sir grayson say hes happy with the squad hes got and quality hes brought in. Im sorry but the fella needs a white cane. Wait til january sales and we will already dead and buried! :o((

  • les irwin

    grayson is only saying what you would expect in public that old chestnut about fans etc etc ,now i wonder what he has had to say to bates ,harvey and co
    a wake up call maybe a disgrace definately 15th /16th at best for next season to be honest that,ll do for me but all the palyoff place people are wide of the mark .thats a wake up cal;l for them

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