The Leeds United Supporters Trust have announced that the potential takeover of Leeds United has collapsed. This comes after weeks of unexplained holdups in which sources from the potential buyers suggested the holdup was with Mr Bates, and that they didn’t understand exactly what that hold-up was. It appears the buyers have told the BBC that they will complete the takeover if “original terms” are met, but that Ken Bates has moved the goalposts at the last minute.
L.U.S.T. announced the collapse first in an email to members:
The Leeds United Supporters Trust can confirm that the deal to buy the club has now collapsed.
We will be making a more detailed statement later on today once we have had the chance to establish more
What do we know about this now failed takeover as fact?
- There have been bids on the table (obviously)
- One bid reached such an advanced stage, it was granted a period of exlusivity.
The rest is unconfirmed. We can guess pretty accurately that this bidder offered proof of funds, and so their ability to purchase the club should not have been a problem. There have been several bids per year since 2007 for the club, and Bates has made no secret that negotiations occur after proof of funds. We can also guess fairly accurately that there are multiple interested parties left. One of the groups that L.U.S.T. appeared to bring to the table were confirmed not to be the group in talks a few days ago by members of L.U.S.T.’s board, and so it is not unrealistic to guess there is still interest.
L.U.S.T. told us yesterday:
Our contact with the buyers told us over the weekend the hold up is firmly with Ken Bates and that they have been trying for some time to push the deal through, they remain confident it will happen.
We don’t know, however, whether the potential bidders were telling the Trust the truth.
It is utterly unbelievably abysmal from Leeds United that the Supporters Trust have been the ones to tell fans about the takeover first, and to tell us of its breakdown first. Indeed, Leeds’ two announcements only came after pleading from the Supporters Trust for the football club to keep its largest income source – the fans – updated. Fans might not have a financial stake in the takeover, but they are nevertheless stakeholders and Bates and his woefully pathetic media machine has made itself look completely incompetent. I’m sure Bates will tell us “morons” condescendingly that we have no right to know what goes on at our football club, but as a collective we’ve put in over £50million to the club since Bates pushed Leeds United into administration. We deserve respect.
Where does this leave us? With £3m received for Robert Snodgrass, and not a small sum of money owed to Leeds by West Yorkshire Police, it is possible that Ken Bates has decided to have one final throw of the dice. He’s an idiot if this is the case, but you wouldn’t put it past him. Cash flow issues might not be so urgent now that Leeds have got some money from WYP and cut some of the costs from matchdays. Nevertheless, it would be foolish to believe this is the last we have heard of the WYP case. WYP do not have to allow us to play in front of crowds at all. If they refuse to allow us, we would have to play behind closed doors. Gates income is the single largest income for Leeds and so Bates’ latest move in court is a very risky one.
Meanwhile, we’re left with a squad that appears to number 15 plus 2 that Warnock wants to loan out and 2 that he wants to sell, according to the squad numbers, and the latest news that The Robbie Rogers & Danny Pugh have been transfer listed. This is a ludicrously small squad and you don’t have to be Nostradamus to foretell of the utter farce this season could turn into if funds are not found for Neil Warnock to add another 3-4 players of good quality, at least. Young players are all well and good, but Leeds United ceased covering youth and reserve matches on LUTV (supposedly) because of how uncompetitive these matches are. If this is the case, how can we rely on youth as Warnock appears to have hinted at? Warnock’s latest interview sounded markedly deflated.
Let’s just hope for some good news in the coming weeks. It looks like some of the doomsayers (of which I wasn’t one) deserve an apology from people brow-beating them every time they asked for caution as we got carried away at the prospect of a suitable owner allowing this enormous club to use its resources to climb back to the Premier League.
What will this mean for matchdays? We’ve had a few fans over the past couple of days suddenly announcing that people chanting negatively are incapable of supporting the team – which is nonsense. How will fans react in our opening match against Wolves, which will be hosted live on national TV by Sky Sports?
Ah, who needs all these words. Simon from Kaiser Chiefs probably summed it up best in three:
#BatesOut is back
— Simon Kaiser (@curlywand) August 9, 2012