GFH Board member Hisram al-Rayes has stated that Neil Warnock will be provided with funding to improve his first team squad, if the never-ending takeover saga reaches a successful conclusion.
Speaking to CNBC Arabia, al-Rayes said;
“We have a separate budget from the purchase total to buy better players to achieve promotion to the Premier League”
Those words should be music to the ears of most Leeds United fans, but the more pessimistic supporters can be forgiven for not counting their chickens.
Ever since promotion from League One, Ken Bates has been promising Leeds United fans a “transfer warchest” prior to every transfer window. So commonplace is this promise, it’s generally shrugged off as little more than a white lie. much like telling your kids that Santa Claus won’t be coming if they continue to misbehave.
Funnily enough, behavioral control is generally the reason Ken Bates uses it too. Whenever fans are dissenting due to the continued lack of investment in the first team squad, it takes nothing more than a subtle hint at transfer funds being made available for the next transfer window to calm everyone down. Many an uprising has been quashed with such suggestions.
In fact, the trick has been repeated so many times, so closely resembling the words of previously broken promises, I’ve started to question whether Yorkshire Radio – the Ken Bates-owned radio station used to air such messages – is simply recycling old interviews.
Fortunately though, should we reach a stage where al-Rayes’ promise can be tested, Ken Bates won’t be part of the equation any more and that should be enough to lower the level of cynicism Leeds United fans apply to every statement the club currently makes.
Of course, a new ownership structure will itself be put under intense scrutiny from the thousands of fans who have walked away and GFH will need to try and win them back. While most of those supporters would be happy to see a new ownership that communicates better with the fanbase, Leeds United has been through a lot in the last decade and throughout every turmoil, promises have been broken. That’s why al-Rayes’ comments may have been a bad idea.
I appreciate the difficult position GFH are currently in and all things considered, it’s nice to see them trying to provide fans with reasons to be cheerful. But the friendly, cheerful response they receive today will quickly backfire. The longer this saga goes on, the angrier Leeds United fans get and the more GFH publicise themselves and continue to promise Leeds United fans a better future they aren’t yet in a position to deliver, the more they make themselves targets for blame.
It’s not that Leeds United fans don’t understand the delay lies with Ken Bates, it just doesn’t matter, GFH will be seen as just another name on the depressingly long list of people who promised Leeds United fans the world and failed to deliver. It’s the hope that kills us.