After almost a month of uncharacteristic radio silence, Leeds’ official website has today announced that it has granted a period of exclusivity for a potential “investor” (read buyer) to carry out due diligence:

Further to our previous statement of the 29th May, Leeds United can confirm they have granted an exclusivity period to enable a potential investor to carry out the appropriate due diligence.

It is anticipated this will be a fairly straightforward process.

A confidentiality clause prevents the club from making any further comment. However, our discussions with them have left us very comfortable that they have the financial resources to support the club and that they will have no issues in satisfying the requirements of the Football League’s Owners and Directors Test, unlike many of the previous approaches we have had to endure.

This comes a week after the Leeds United Supporters Trust called for fans to be kept up to date without “putting a spanner in the works”. The announcement confirms that the club are legally not allowed to speak on the matter, and the last sentence of the statement points to the rumours of several bids being true. Unsubstantiated rumours had it that one group pulled out of negotiations last Friday following a gulf in valuations.

The statement would suggest a deal has been agreed in principle, and a deal edging closer will please fans, and I’m sure all parties involved, but not least Neil Warnock who will hope to be able to make a splash as the transfer market heats up in the coming month. Warnock divulged his desire to sign most of his targets before Leeds’ pre-season tour to the Westcountry next month, and has received glowing reports from players at the club including captain Robert Snodgrass, and highly rated full-back Adam Drury.

It’s not clear whether the group who seems to have won the race is one of the three parties who spoke to LUST and agreed to their supporters’ vision, or another group, but sources suggest that this will be a buyout rather than minor-shareholding investment. Talk of the Owners and Directors Test also backs this up.

On Twitter, The Supporters Trust said it was “aware of and cautiously welcomes the latest statement by the club.” Speaking on BBC Radio Leeds, Trust chairman Gary Cooper said he was:

very pleased pleased that the club have made a statement. At the public meeting we had last Week it was very clear that the supporters were pushing very hard for the club to make some kind of statement and let them know what is going on. I’m very pleased the club have come out and said this, and thank you very much to Leeds United for letting us know.

I think it’s absolutely brilliant news.

I can say that the information that we have received is that this is a takeover. I think we’re pretty confident on that. The statement from the club does leave it pretty open-ended, but from the sources we’ve spoken to it would seem this is the takeover we expected to take place.

I think things might be a little more advanced than the statement suggests, and there might be good news sooner rather than later, but due diligence is a very complicated process.

I would urge the supporters of Leeds United to allow the potential buyers the opportunity to do this without the frenzy of knowing who they are at present. Let’s get the process underway, let’s get it done and I’m pretty certain we’ll all come out the other side very happy.

I would urge the new buyers to support Neil Warnock and to secure that long-term future of the club that the statement asked for.

Fans have waited very patiently,the fans have been brilliant, they have waited very patiently for something really positive to come from what’s been a few years now of difficult times, lower gates, lowest position in the league, record defeats at home, best players being sold. But there’s been some positives from the current owners, we’ve had the East stand improvements and we seem to be financially in a decent position, so now seems the right time for someone to come in and take it on to that extra step.

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