Late last night something a bit mental happened. It all started just before midnight, when a Kuwaiti Manchester United fan informed Leeds followers that Qadsia SC President Fawaz Al Hasawi had bought a team in the UK, whose manager was (or would be- translations were conveniently fuzzy) a certain Neil Warnock.

Twitter exploded, Leeds forums exploded. In the early ’90s a certain Luiz Felipe Scolari had managed the club, and Hasawi had definitely resigned from the club – and seemed to have definitely bought an English club.

@Qadsia_news tweeted:

المدرب هو نيل وارنوك

(Coach is Neil Warnock)

Leeds fans bombarded the account, and began interrogating every Kuwaiti in sight. Qadsia_news tweeted:

its only rumors, i will update u guys with the truth as soon

But one tweeter seemed certain:

al hasawi has bought leeds utd Annoucement will be in 2 weeks Congrats he is a great man !!

Everything seemed garbled, twitter seemed to be in meltdown, and fans began dreaming of James Milner in a Leeds shirt. But then fans began asking questions: was it definitely Leeds? Not sure, but it’s a club outside of the EPL with history. Could it be Forest? Maybe. OMG IT’S FOREST. Cue fifty Kuwaiti Twitterers taking their lead from the Leeds fans’ hysteria. It’s Nottingham Forest! Qadsia_news begin responding to other Kuwaitis in Arabic and a Google Translate shows they think it’s Forest but they don’t have the heart to tell us.

And that can only mean one thing… Neil Warnock is off to Forest! We’ve gone from competing with Man City to getting relegated while Clough’s lot poach Warnock and have a gazilionaire owner. Typical Leeds luck. Eventually the paranoia reached record levels:

You know what? We so far have a Scum fan saying he said “Warnock” in his interview, people saying he says the team isn’t in EPL but has history, and someone saying it’s a “first league” team, and someone claiming he said he’d “sign the man who brought QPR”.

Well it’s pretty clear to me. Blunts are getting a stupidly rich Kuwaiti who is going to poach Warnock and propel them into the EPL.

… Then we found a Leeds fan from Bahrain. He  translated some posts for everyone:

Translation. Since Fawaz Al Hasawi’s broke the news about a take-over of an English Club, British fans went ‘mental’, especially the Leeds United ones!

Al Qadsiya is an account of a well known football club in the Middle East. The owner of that club is very rich and a well known person. From what i read, especially in Arabic and tweets from his son, he mentioned Leeds a lot and nothing about Forest.

Then a wobble:

Guys Qadsiya just tweeted in Arabic saying that according to his sources it is not Leeds, but you never know!

They are now saying that Forest are likely, however they hope it is Leeds. I believe that they actually don’t know the answer, but know for a fact that their club chairman wants to buy an english second tier club. Gonna have a look at their local newspapers tomorrow morning and see.

Then we found a link to the original interview and our man set to work on it:

  • Hasawi bought 100% of the team he just bought.
  • Leeds and Hull were mentioned in the interview.
  • So far Hasawi has only signed an agreement.
  • It will be announced in two weeks.
  • He refuses to say who he has bought as he has an agreement saying he can’t.
  • He is trying to negotiate with Warnock.
  • Warnock believes in the potential of the team and thinks they can go up.
  • Was this team challenging for promotion last season? He smiles and says quite the opposite: they finished below, but Warnock believes that the team has potential.

That meant it could be either Leeds or Forest. By this point it was 03:30 and birds were beginning to sing outside. It was time to get some shut-eye.

Four hours later normal people were slowly waking up to discover about 30 pages on WACCOE’s “TOMA” thread, and a hysterical frenzy on their Twitter timelines. We’d been disbelieving at midnight, horror-struck by 1am, and certain that Leeds were to get a dream reward after 7 years of abysmal failure, by 3am. Then the Yorkshire Post published their morning’s stories, the Kuwait story was a mere afterthought. Things weren’t right.

By 10am it was broken by Eddie Taylor on Twitter, who knew some Kuwaiti journalists (see we’re all very connected, the Leeds fan base):

BREAKING: Fawaz al-Hasawi is buying NOTTINGHAM FOREST… he is flying to London tomorrow to confirm. #lufc #nffc

Just spoke to a Kuwaiti reporter, who works for a number of football sites including EuroSport Arabia. He is 100% certain. #lufc #nffc

Re: Hasawi: Been ringing reporters, business people, clubs, etc, all morning. Kuwaiti footy journo Sattam Al-Sahli says “Nottingham, 100%

Eventually, he concluded:

I’m going to shut up now…. Spoke to two more Kuwaiti journos. Everyone telling me different things. #lufc #nffc

 

Perhaps we should remember three things:

1) There’s no proof Asawi is buying Forest, or that he even exists (No, shush, there’s no proof!)

2) Tom Lees was talking about what a big part Warnock had to play in him re-signing, and

3) We still have three other interested groups looking to buy Leeds United.

 

And the moral of the story is, Twitter is the single greatest instigator of mass hysteria in existence.

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