After breaking long-term deals with Enterprise Insurance and Macron, both agreed by Ken Bates and believed to have been financially weighted towards upfront payments subsequent regimes have suffered from, Massimo Cellino today revealed he’d repurchased catering rights for Elland Road, drawing a line under another lingering issue from the Bates era.

For the unaware, the club’s catering rights were sold to Compass a couple of years back for an upfront fee. While Leeds were still receiving a cut of the sales, it was obviously less than they would have done had they managed the operation themselves.

In itself, having Compass deal with the catering isn’t a particularly bad idea, they’re a company with vast experience catering for events on the scale of an Elland Road matchday, but the structure of the deal meant those who’ve followed Bates suffered from reduced matchday income having never benefited from the original fee. If I was the cynical sort, and I absolutely am, I’d say Bates knew the writing was on the wall and cashed-in as best he could before selling. Maybe he didn’t walk away with a padded envelope stuffed with cash from Compass, but the upfront fees no doubt helped the accounts he showed GFH look a bit healthier.

Having the rights back is good news then, though the feel-good factor was tempered slightly by Massimo Cellino choosing to use the opportunity to address that enormous elephant ready to bulldoze through Elland Road’s changing rooms.

“The Elland Road Stadium is another important asset that is high on the list of priorities for me to bring back into club ownership.”

He’s right, of course. I agree wholeheartedly that Elland Road is an important asset that should be high on the list of priorities – as does every other Leeds United supporter I know. The trouble is, we also agreed with it a year and half ago when Massimo Cellino first promised to buy the ground back within a few days of taking over, a statement that must surely haunt him at this point.

After all this time, it now sours any review of Cellino’s ownership of the club. It’s not that I don’t want to hear positive noises coming from the powers-that-be, but I’m a ‘once-bitten, twice shy’ kinda guy and this simply reminds me of a promise that wasn’t delivered; a promise that, in my opinion at least, was the biggest factor in fans accepting Cellino in the first place.

Perhaps I’m being a little harsh and it’s because he’s failed to deliver on that promise that he felt it needed to be addressed. But without announcing any progress has been made or the deal will be completed soon (or even once X and Y has been achieved), I feel mentioning it was something of a misstep and he’s better off keeping quiet on the Elland Road issue until he can announce the stadium is back in club hands.

More good news soon followed however with the announcement that a large car-leasing firm would be sponsoring the South Stand, which may prove an important deal since the club are undoubtedly losing a few quid by having no main sponsors on the shirt this season.

On the whole, a sense of calm professionalism seems to have taken over Elland Road. Leeds appear to be doing a good job of cleaning house and getting the commercial side of things in order, no doubt aided by Adam Pearson’s experience working as part of what looks to be a well-oiled behind the scenes team Cellino has assembled. And nothing mental has happened in weeks!

Of course, what we’re all really waiting for is transfer news, but commercial activities help fund the football side of things so maybe this will lead to that left-winger I’ve been crying about for about 5 years now. I live in hope.

On and on…

  • Gil Fisher

    Tom Adeymi….that gives us:

    Wood-Erwin
    LM?-Mowatt-Cook-Adeymi-Byrum
    Cooper-Bamba-Wooton
    Silvestri

    not bad?

    • Nick Mesut Wilson

      I feel Adeyemi is more likely to be a depth option. Murphy injury clearly highlighted the lack of depth in centre midfield, particularly for a team playing with 3 CM’s. The links with Barton, Sidwell etc lead me to believe we’ve been after a ‘marquee’ type player to play there and I don’t think we’d go from that type of player to Adeyemi as the next option. Plus Adeyemi is more of a box to box type player and we are apparently after a holding midfielder

    • Dr Zen

      Would do well to stay up if we fielded that side.

  • Ropey Wyla

    Shopping list should read, pacey left and right wingers, experienced centre midfielder, Elland Road.

    • TSS

      Was discussing this the other day and IF it was a choice between ER and more players, I’d take ER personally. I go back and forth on it to be fair because I agree with the argument we can afford to buy ER once promoted, but we’ve been out of the Prem a decade at this stage, who’s to say it won’t take another decade? No one ever thought it’d take this long.

  • Michael Kuryk

    kappa are the main sponsor.

    • TSS

      Kappa are the kit supplier, we don’t have a main sponsor because we’re in a legal dispute with Enterprise Insurance