Gary Cooper spoke to Calendar News about the takeover today, on behalf of the Leeds United Supporters Trust. Here’s an abridged written version for those that don’t have access to the video, which can currently be accessed here by U.K. readers:
As we understand it, the club and the buyers are now speaking again. Talks have resumed, and we are hoping – we believe – that a deal can still be done.
We speak to an intermediary from the consortium. We speak to him on a regular basis.
I think the buyers have always been very keen to push this deal through. … They have been increasing the pressure on the club and those involved over the past few weeks to push this through and complete the deal. I think the deal stalled a couple of weeks ago.
Given the information that we got yesterday morning, that the buyers believed that the deal was dead, the club had cast their last dice, and there was nothing left to be said, the course of events yesterday afternoon was quite frenetic. Information was coming backwards and forwards suggesting the deal could perhaps still be salvaged, and the club’s statement verified this later in the afternoon.
We’re very pleased [that talks are ongoing]. That’s very positive.
The deal, as we believe it, has been on the table now for 2-3 months. Due Diligence was finished I think some time ago. It would have been preferential for us as fans to be talking about the marque signings that we know Neil Warnock would have liked to have been made.
We’re on the eve of the kickoff of our competitive season. And while Mr Warnock’s had the chance to bring in 10 new players to the squad, and probably improve the squad, and we’ll be very supportive of them, I don’t think he’s had the chance to bring in the quality that he would’ve liked to have done, and I’m sure he would like two or three more players to add to that. But under the current owners we don’t have the money.
What about Ken Bates? His position has got to be untenable, surely?
… You would think that. Look, I’ve never been foolish enough to try and second guess Mr. Bates. He is his own man and he’ll make his own decisions and do his own thing. But the club statements all the way through the summer have kept reiterrating that they’re going to do the best thing for Leeds United.
If that’s the case, and given what’s happened in the last 48 hours, I would ask a question of Mr Bates, and that’s: If you’re going to do the best thing for Leeds United, do you seriously believe that remaining as owner of the club, as chairman of the club, with limited funds and no chance to bring in the players Neil Warnock wants to bring in, do you truly believe that not finalising this deal, not bringing this deal to a conclusion, is the right thing for Leeds United? I’m not sure that’s the case. So if I had the opportunity, I’d love to ask him in person.
There is no-one, more than me, that wants to get back to talking about football on the forums, in the social media, in the pubs, in the ground. Nobody wants to do that more than me. These last six months have been a real experience. Sadly, not a lot of that experience has been talking about performances, and I want to get back to that – we all do.
Leeds United fans, we share an ambition, a history, we’re really proud of it. We’d really like to get back to talking about that and some success on the pitch.