Fake fan questions and restructured debt TSS June 27, 2013 Leeds United 12 Comments Leeds United’s silence was broken yesterday as Vice Chairman Salah Nooruddin answered questions the club claimed were ‘from fans’. Whether the questions were supposed to be a pluralisation of what Leeds United thought the fans wanted answering, or whether they’re trying to pass them off as the questions fans genuinely asked is unclear, but the whole thing read like one of Ken Bates’ Yorkshire Radio interviews with Ben Fry – clearly scripted and controlled, free from the candid nature of genuine fans questions. It was a statement that said nothing really. Ambiguous and non-committal, exactly the kind of comments you’d expect from a club at this stage of the transfer window. I do have some sympathy for Leeds United in that respect. Anything they say at this point in time has the potential to cause widespread panic and will be used against them later. Had they done a proper Q&A with fans, one of the questions would have definitely been “Will you sell Sam Byram?” It’s a question with no acceptable answer, a trap which previous chairman Ken Bates fell into a couple of times. The only answer Leeds United fans want to hear is no, and at the time the question is answered, that may well be Leeds United’s intention. But what happens when Manchester City test their resolve and offer £8m? No Championship club can afford to reject such sums, Leeds United would have to sell and the answers they’d given previously would be held against them by some fans later. Vague answers, however frustrating, are understandable. But the manner by which Leeds United broke their silence was poorly judged and badly executed. To try and pass off what is essentially the same pre-season statement we read every year as a Q&A with fans was a serious error in judgement. It fooled no one, and that Leeds United seemed to think it would is insulting. It appears someone at Elland Road felt this approach would demonstrate the club’s willingness to communicate with fans, but it only served to highlight their failure to do so. It felt exactly like one of Ken Bates’ stunts and once again reminded us that the fans’ forum Leeds United’s owners promised still hasn’t been rescheduled. All of this follows comments made by Brian McDermott during a charity dinner at Crowne Plaza, Leeds. Reports from people in attendance vary a fair bit, but a common theme was that McDermott didn’t have the funds to secure signings he’s arranged. A summary of alleged comments is published here. Elsewhere today, The Guardian’s David Conn revealed that Leeds United have lent money from Brendale Holdings, a Dubai-based company where David Haigh serves as a director. The amount of money borrowed is unclear, but it appears to be a restructuring of GFH’s loans to the club and is secured against club shares.