Reality continues to be stranger than fiction at Elland Road as another story worthy of a Footballers’ Wives script leads to a Police investigation.

Covert surveillance equipment has been found in the Elland Road boardroom and toilets used by club officials, it was discovered following a security sweep arranged by new owner Massimo Cellino.

The Police were called to Elland Road yesterday to investigate misappropriation of funds after it emerged the surveillance equipment had been purchased using club money. 

The news was immediately followed by the resignation of Leeds United’s Managing Director, David Haigh, leading most people to conclude the two events must be connected.

A statement released by David Haigh following his resignation reads;

Owing to various statements made by and on behalf of the new majority owners of Leeds United FC, I am left with no alternative than to resign as Managing Director of the club.

This is a matter of particular regret to me since I was the person who first introduced Eleonora Sport to the club’s owners. I also gave them my full and constant support in the Football League’s lengthy approval process.

I am not yet, due to confidentiality obligations, in a position fully to respond to various statements which have been made about me over recent months. As soon as I am I will address the various issues – obviously a great deal has happened these past two years.

As is well known by those in or close to the club, my unstinting support of Leeds United throughout my time at the club has extended to loaning the club money to ensure that tax, players and staff were paid and to underpin its continuing viability – Loans which to this day remain in the club.

I also searched endlessly for suitable investors, whilst at the same time not taking any payment that was due. In addition to all this I had to deal with and manage what can only be described as the crazy situation of very limited support from those who should have supported the club and the management, whilst at the same time having little or no decision making ability. On occasions this resulted in my paying club running expenses on my personal cards and last minute dashes to wire personal money to the club to pay the HMRC.

Notwithstanding, I did everything which was in my very limited power to take the club forward, to engage with the fans and the community and to keep the promises which were made to its great fans.

I very much hope that the new owners will do the same and will deliver on the many promises and contractual commitments they have made to Leeds United, the players, the manager, the staff and fans and will run the club in the manner of the fit and proper owners they have been judged to be.

I have arranged for Sport Capital to convert some of the loans made to the club into shares and once complete, those shares will be given to the fans, so it truly will be the fans’ club.

Leeds is a fantastic club in a fantastic city and I wish Elenora Sports, Brian McDermott, The players, staff and fans all the very best for the future.

haigh

Future campaign poster for the Tories?

Haigh has come in for considerable criticism in recent months following the collapse of his own takeover attempts and rumours of a plot to put the club into administration to secure a takeover on-the-cheap should Massimo Cellino’s bid fail.

What most supporters viewed as “scheming” to land a role in whichever party gained control of Leeds United, Haigh would surely dismiss as the Managing Director of a football club attempting to secure new investment. However, his role in 4 months of debilitating chaos at the club left a sour taste in the mouths of many Leeds United fans.

Massimo Cellino had an unintentionally public fall-out with Haigh too, after a supporter recorded a phone conversation in which Cellino said Haigh had attempted to blackmail him, calling him “dangerous, a f***ing devil”.

Whatever the true story of the last few months at Elland Road is, all those involved appear to have been in way over their heads and have proven themselves totally unfit to run a football club. While David Haigh’s decision to convert some of the money owed to Sport Capital into shares he’ll then pass on to fans is a nice gesture, and he should be given some credit for using his own personal wealth to pay the bills, I don’t think that’ll ever excuse his role in the most chaotic series of events this club has ever seen.

Furthermore, if David Haigh was involved in the installation of covert surveillance equipment at Elland Road, I find it difficult to believe he was motivated by anything other than revenge and/or self-interest. It all paints a picture of some incredibly shady characters who’ll stop at nothing to get what they want, however disastrous their actions are for the club, and it begs the question; what use is The Football League Owners’ & Directors’ test if these are the kind of people who pass while a man whose first move was to pay an outstanding tax bill is deemed unworthy?

  • King Billy

    Good Riddance to the useless sack of shit.

  • Irving08

    How will Mr Haigh ‘pass on’ his monetised shares to fans, I wonder ? Is this a wise move ? Will this cause friction and faction ?

    • Matthew

      I genuinely have no idea but I would imagine via LUFC Trust maybe? I can imagine if Gary Cooper is approached by Haigh he’ll let people know anyway.

      • Irving08

        Hmm LUST will have to charge hefty membership fees to get the money to buy Haigh out. Or will he just give the money to the Trust ? In any even LUST represents a tiny portion of Leeds fans – which is what I meant by faction. And will Cellino want fans to have formal say in the running of the club ? Personally I don’t want to have to that kind of involvement in the club, but equally I don’t want others speaking for me.

  • Mike

    GFH were probably spying on guys playing Football Manager Handheld in the bathroom to help them make their team selections…

  • John Brown

    I think Massomo’s punishment is lenient. Speaking as a fan I want blood.

  • John Brown

    He met club expenses with his cards? What sort of a limit has he got on his credit cards, or does he just mean a tank of petrol or an plane ticket or 2?

  • jed shed

    Does Ken Bates still have an office within transmission distance of Elland Road? Bates admitted he was still having meetings with Haigh in WLR’s phone call with him. Can’t help putting 2 & 2 together.

    • John Brown

      Seems probable seeing as how Ken Bates selected the chancers who “supposedly” bought the club.

      • jed shed

        And with Shaun Harvey at the FL this stinks worse than my feet.

    • rjg

      They will more then likely be 3g cameras so you can be Any where in the world,as long as you have mobile Internet you can view the cameras,

      • LUFC 4 LIFE!!

        any where in the world , would obviously include monaco.

  • john palmer

    seems like they couldn’t get enough of watching shit on the pitch they watched it in the toilets as well

  • henrymouni

    You don’t mess with Massimo!!
    He’s only been there 2 days, and he is on the job!!
    I hope he can find out who fitted the cameras.
    We can all give it a pretty good guess!!
    What a disgrace for whoever is involved.
    His cat will flush out the rats!
    Do you feel lucky punk?

    • mrbigwheels

      Ah yes… the cat Henry. Massimo used to have one but sacked it.
      Just has a team of ‘staff’ now to seek it all out and round ‘em up.

      Not sure if this ride is going to be a western or gangster coaster…
      Perhaps a bit of both as you picture…

      • henrymouni

        Don’t underestimate Massimo’s cats Mr B.
        They have been hard at work at ER!!

  • mrbigwheels

    Why were the cameras there and to the benefit of who?… that is the question.
    Someone in authority had to sanction this in either Bates time or GFH following on.

    Haigh is perhaps unfortunate in the timing of his resignation and as the article states… there are no particular reasons to connect Haigh with this at the moment, but seeing he’s possibly been taking lessons from Ken… in how to run a football club… he may well be guilty.

    Perhaps a leftover from the Ridsdale era but suppose the cameras would be ‘big’.
    Bates was always into spys and covered his back from every angle.
    GFH as a group and their directors could benefit from a distant presence via link.
    or……
    Have wild parties been the norm following Tuesday match nights?.
    Another theory circulating is the ‘mine is bigger than yours’ betting scam soon to be revealed in Ellandrama proportions on LUTV.
    Subscription only I’m afraid at £5.99/view.
    All very exciting and can only enhance the massive reputation of this Club.

    Brought to you by Couldnotmakeitup Productions.
    More to be exposed,,, very soon.

    .

  • facelessshadow

    As previously asked does ken bates have an office within transmission distance ..well he had one over the road after he was kicked out for his so called online radio station ..so I’d take a guess and say YES (plus papa smurf was a sneaky willey old git – I met him and can say that !! ) …but it depends if our local boys in blue are so quick witted as to raid the place quickly enough to find receiving tech ..or it could be that it was a truelly in house job ..??

  • Matthew

    Lots of daft speculation here…. But one fact. Well done Massimo for finding the equipment! He’s going up in my estimation every day. Don’t mess with Massimo!

  • mrbigwheels

    Massimo…… I don’t give a shit who’s coming for me… Ha ha ha…

    ” they seek him here… they seek him there… they seek him everywhere…”

    This bloke paid the tax bill… the other barstewards ran away…

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  • Bluesman

    I have said all along that we need to be very careful about judging people when we don’t know or understand the pressures and politics of a situation. I also believe that GFH are the real twats in all of this. I judge them as greedy, unscrupulous bastards who took on more than the could chew and then Left us hung out to dry. David Haigh was left in an impossible position but he has taken us from Bates to Cellino – quiet a journey. Let’s be fair, David Haigh got Bates out, he saved BM and he has got Cellino in. All credit to him. If he was negotiating with other people as well it was to save Leeds United! If Cellino’s appeal had not gone through we needed other people in and fast! This doesn’t make DH a great MD, but it does give credit where credit is due. DH cares about Leeds United. I think we need to dhow him a bit of kindness. Good article!

  • Matthew

    Crisis over, crisis over. We’re safe, we live to fight another day. Now lets all laugh at Barnsley.

    • Scally Lad

      Let’s all laugh at Rochdale!

      • Matthew

        I’m just happy that our survival in this league is now a certainty. We can now look at whats infront of us instead of whats behind us.

  • henrymouni

    We’ve had more ‘come-backs’ than Frank Sinatra.

    If only Bates could say the same:-