It’s been a day of conflicting takeover speculation for Leeds United fans and one that perfectly encapsulates the summer at large.

Ken Bates’ arrival on UK shores earlier this week led many to believe that the takeover was reaching it’s conclusion. With speculation that Ken had flown in to complete the deal in time for Leeds United’s season-opener against Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday, fans were starting to get excited again after the off again, on again drama of the week previous.

That was until Neil Warnock gave his weekly press conference at least.

Despite the obviously tongue-in-cheek manner in which Warnock said he expected to still be talking about the takeover this time next year, it was enough to bring into question the belief that we’ve reached the endgame of this long drawn out saga.

Suddenly, any hopes that Ken Bates may have left by the time we kick-off against Wolves on Saturday were shattered. From being days, maybe only hours away from an announcement, fans were once again thinking in terms of weeks and months. The likelihood of the 2-3 quality signings almost everyone insists we’re lacking arriving this transfer window dissipated as fans started to ponder the possibility of a January splurge.

But then, just as all hope was once again lost, the Yorkshire Evening Post told how two separate sources had last night told them “the deal was in the final throes of completion,” thus sending us all in a huge circle and leaving us back where the day had begun – believing that the takeover has reached it’s endgame. Just in time to repeat the whole cycle again tomorrow.

This is the problem with takeovers, trying to put an ETA on them is almost impossible. But that’s not a concept we understand as football fans, patience is a virtue that none of us possess, least of all Leeds United fans after eight long and frustrating seasons outside the Premier League.

I’ve used the deliberately vague term “endgame” twice in the 300 or so words that precede this sentence because I’m no better informed than the majority of Leeds United fans. My understanding is that the bulk of the work is done – save for the odd kink or two that may need working out – and that this is being considered the final phase by those better informed than I am. Whether that’s a day, two days, two weeks or a month, I couldn’t possibly say, and the reality is, no one else can either.

Until the process reaches a stage where Ken Bates and the buyers set-up a meeting to sign the papers, all anyone can possibly know is that we’ve reached a stage where that meeting is technically possible. Even if it is possible for them to do that tomorrow, there’s an infinite number of things that could change in the meantime – one of the parties could review the contracts and insist on an amendment, someone may have a change of heart or maybe their camel (or cat) gets sick and they’re tied up at the vets. Anything could happen.

What we do know however – and as the YEP point out in the article I linked to earlier – is that this process has been going on for almost three months now and a lot of money, time and effort has been spent by both sides. The silence and repetitively up and down nature of speculation is incredibly frustrating for all of us, but the longer this goes on, the more it’s costing both parties. I sincerely doubt either one of them is dragging their heels for the fun of it and suspect they both want to put this deal to bed as soon as possible.

In the meantime we all must make peace with our Groundhog Day existence and try to master the art of patience. Either that or we can grab the pitchforks and head for Elland Road? No?

44 Responses

  1. Colin

    Hold on a minute…we’ve just signed Frederique Piquionne. Time to get out the party poppers. I’m excited about this signing!! This is progress. A new dawn awaits!

      • Colin

        No, he’s not David. But since I get slated all the time for being a realist, I thought I’d act like 95% of the posters on here who seem to be on happy pills. It’s like being surrounded by the cast of Glee, where everything is just great, everyone is beautiful, everyone has perfect teeth and lovely hair and the world is just awesome.

      • Tim Campbell

        I do believe colin was employing the ancient art of sarcasm TSS. In all seriousness if we did have money to spend who would be available without there being a vastly inflated transfer fee involved. Warnock indeed has been placed in an unenviable position and deserves some credit for the squad he has assembled thus far

      • TSS

        Yeah, I’m having one of those days. It’s hard to extract sarcasm from text sometimes.

      • Matthew

        Incorrect, he’s a capable Championship level player who can play in the Premier league if need be.

      • TSS

        You’re basing this on what exactly? I’ve only seen him play a couple of times admittedly, but he didn’t look very good to me and he’s 33 now!

      • Matthew

        I’m mostly basing this on his performance at previous clubs, he certainly hasn’t been poor, and from seeing him play he seems like he could do the job at this level.
        While most West Ham fans for example will say he started off well and faded, his role at the club did reduce at that point, obviously a confidence thing.
        I think he’l surprise us this season, but thats just my opinion, he may end up just being dire, but give him a chance at least.

  2. Si Douthwaite

    Seems so Colin.. but excited? I’m not overly jumping for joy.. 33 and well travelled, some may say, and I’m usually one of them.. Experience is key to get out of this league, and I believe he’s got out of this league before? Funny how there’s a Pompey connection eh? lol

    I just want what ever the story is of a takeover to be signed and sealed, or not at all for a season so we can concentrate on the task at hand.. the season to get out of this league!

  3. Colin

    Right, back to realism. Hull sign a 25 year old 6ft 3″ striker for £2.6m who scores over a goal every other game and we get Piquionne….who scored 2 goals last season. He’s shit. But hey, he’s free. Happy days. Now give me some negative points. Thanks.

    • Colin

      Just as well Barnsley signed Mido early on, or we’d have probably been after that footballing disaster as well.

    • Matthew

      2 goals in 8 games for Doncaster Rovers on loan.
      A shit team sitting in the relegation zone with a crappy manager no less. His record in that regard is actually quite good.
      By the way, he’s not a bad player, he was just surplus to West Hams requirements, the fans there will even say he was good for a time, which he was. Obviously lost his desire when he became a bit part player, any Striker would.

      • Matthew

        Me? I don’t post on Leeds forums.
        I’ve just never bothered registering. Most discussions worth speaking about take place here anyway.

      • TSS

        He’s the most perpetually optimistic person I’ve ever encountered on the internet. When all signs point to an absolute disaster, he’ll still insist there’s cause for optimism.

      • Matthew

        Ah right. I just have faith this team will achieve something. We’re lacking in quality in areas, but most of Warnocks signings, including this one are actually pretty solid.

      • Andrew

        hammers fans delighted to see him go, all say he was is and always has been
        C R A P dont know which fans you talked to

  4. anon

    I have a source which has proved accurate on some aspects of the takeover saga (but not all) which said the deal was concluded this afternoon. The arabs will announce it on Monday I was told. But it’s possible that Bates will want to take the limelight and announce it tomorrow (Friday) or Saturday morning even. I live in hope but I’ll believe it when I see it confrimed!

    • TSS

      Someone called “Anon” has an anonymous source who has proved to be totally hit and miss with his (implied) inside knowledge?

    • Colin

      Anon – My source tells me that you’re talking bullshit. I will reveal my source…My source is my brain.

  5. Woody

    CW will discuss a contract with Diouf on Monday (who is desperate to join Leeds and has been for 3 months) and expects him to play some part on Saturday but signs disaster story Piquionne today – what message does that send.
    Diouf who has become popular with team mates at Leeds in only one week just as he has at every club he’s played at or Piquionne who has had dust ups with managers and team mates with a number of previous clubs. Previous African player of the year on 2 occassions or perenial failure season after season – I’m just not understanding it at all. Nor am I understanding not signing Crainie as cover for Lees and Pearce – if either of them get crocked we’re shafted.

  6. oldschoolbaby

    Just playing devil`s advocate but if I was loaded and looking to fund my retirement I`d be looking at precious metals, agricultural land, oil exploration, commodities. I wouldn`t buy a football club. I`ve always suspected Bates is independently wealthy and Leeds is his retirement hobby offering him a platform for his opinions and an opportunity for him to prove his business model is as good as he believes it is. Old age reinforcing his natural inclination to blind intransigence
    Trouble is the narcissist in him will quite enjoy a bit of success. If he starts to believe NW can take us up he may cling on that bit more doggedly
    If the takeover falls through completely reverse psychology might suggest our best chance of getting rid of him is to support the lads to a promotion push in the hope success will induce him to let go of the reins believing his strategy returned Leeds United to the PL
    Was Piquionne bought blind ? His having been one of the recent trialists would eas my concerns. Average age remains my biggest issue. Think I could pay for those eligible in the squad to go on an 18 – 30 holiday out of my crrent account and it`s nearing pay day !

  7. foxechef

    Can’t wait to read the next blog from ‘the game’s gone crazy’ regarding freddie q

  8. beckham76

    i think he is a great signing.. typical neil warnock.. grafter with touch of something… i hope it comes off.. more than happy… people on here need to look at the bigger picture not just goals scored… i want people who make a difference.. remember bechio wasnt prolific when beckford was at the club.. but we loved him cos he had a good attitiude

    • Tyler75

      Can’t say I’m over excited but he’s free, he knows his way around the Championship, his wages won’t be much and he might be able to add something extra off the bench. Warnock’s got a track record of getting the best out of misfits, outcasts, under performers and unkowns and Piquone preety much fits most of those categories. Be interesting to see what happens to players like him and Diouf if the Takeover does go through before the end of August and NW is given transfer funds.

  9. Lee B

    We’ve signed Piquionne? Where does it say that?

    NewsNow is usually alive when we make a signing, but nothing other than a WHU blog (which is probably about as reliable as the Morning Glory…)

    • mrbigwheels

      Exactly… talk about slipping ‘em in by the backdoor. SSN… if they reported that, as claimed they are have hidden the report then?…

      • TSS

        Came across the news ticker at the bottom a few hours ago. One of those “Sky Sports understands…” things. Doesn’t mean it’s true, they’re wrong quite regularly.

      • mrbigwheels

        Thanks TSS for the prompt reply. The Piquionne thing has thrown the headline totally off topic, I suppose and it is a great resume’. This takeover is like the sink taps marked h and c and to confound the user, the barsteward plumber has installed them in… the wrong way round, just for fun.
        We must, like Warnock centre on the team as it is the only fluid element and adopt patience with the takeover. Warnocks latter position is to ignore it and build with what’s available. The devil is always in the detail. Read Warnocks words again reference…” I’d like another couple of quality players ”… ” and I have to work with whatever I can in, by whatever means ”. Whether Piquionne is signed or not, or a simular type….. One of the front men is going to be sold, may I suggest, to finance a classy Snoddy replacement. Becchio is my prediction based on a wee bit of Warnocky type thinking, Bates day to day control and yes… there is quiet interest.

      • WiltsWhite

        I think ‘Sky Sports understands…’ translates as ‘We read on Twitter…’ :)

  10. Dr Zen

    15 goals in 96 games in English football. That’s the kind of goalscoring machine we need. With him up front and Diouf doing his comedy runs, beating a player and then scuffing it over the goal line, we’re going to be formidable.

  11. Peter

    I always find the lead comments by TSS intelligent, perceptive and well informed. So many thanks. I would add however that for me the dark depths of League One still gave much enjoyment, excitement and entertaining moments just as memorable as seeing Leeds United win against Barcelona in the 1970’s. The good times have always been and sometimes they get even better.
    When we won promotion to the top flight in the 60’s I was part of the commotion so I have been a supporter a long time and learnt some good lessons over the years. First off I support good football whoever is playing it and second I support my home team with an everlasting love. Born and bred in Beeston, Leeds.
    Here’s to some better good times this season.

  12. David


    I’m back in Englad after many years abroad and hoping to see some away games in the south. Are away tickets as difficult to get as they used to be? I’d appreciate any info on how best to get hold of them. Thanks


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