billy bremner  statue at Elland Road (Large)Spend enough time worrying about the repercussions of The Football League rejecting Massimo Cellino’s takeover attempt and you’ll struggle to get any sleep tonight, fearful that the club you love won’t be here in the morning.

There’s no escaping how grim the situation is, every major news outlet in the country is running stories around-the-clock on how Leeds United – their favourite whipping-boys when it comes to football finance – is about to, erm… “do a Leeds…”

For those outside the bubble suffocating us faithful Leeds United supporters, the whole thing must be incredibly tedious. Not a week goes by without some mention of the club’s latest attempt to self-destruct dominating their sports news. We’ll survive of course, but only so we can be cast in the lead role of another footballing tragedy next week.

And while that fact alone demonstrates how deserving of a break from perpetually skirting the edges of doom Leeds United fans undoubtedly are, it also raises the question of why we all bother to panic so much?

Imminent doom is the club’s default setting, surely we’re used to it by now?

So constantly depressing is the club’s existence, I don’t know how anyone finds the energy to work themselves into a frenzy when another sign of the apocalypse is revealed to us. It’s The Boy Who Cried Wolf played out in the real world, I’m so exhausted by bad news, I’ve numbed to it completely.

We’ll survive. Leeds United always survives.

In the meantime, let’s consider the realistic possibilities. None of which signal the end of Leeds United Football Club.

#1 – Firstly, we shouldn’t rule out the possibility of The Football League passing Massimo Cellino despite his court case yesterday. It’s highly unlikely, but stranger things have happened.

#2 – Mike Farnan et al. The only known alternative to Massimo Cellino, believed to still be interested in taking over the club and ready to make a move if The Football League reject the Italian. The word consortium is usually a byword for catastrophe in football and there’s serious questions to be asked about the level of funding they can provide. On the plus side, they’re willing bidders with experience in football. It could be worse.

#3 – Unknown bidder. Cellino’s takeover attempt has attracted a lot of media attention so there’s every chance a new party will emerge from the wreckage.

#4 – Administration. This is highly unlikely. GFH currently have a business they’re looking to cut their losses on and sell for circa £25m. If Cellino’s bid does fall through, they’ll have to find a new buyer while keeping the club afloat. This means they’ll have to cover the £1m+ operating losses Leeds United generates each month (losses Cellino has been paying), but it simply makes more sense for them to put in a couple of extra million while they find a buyer than allowing the club to go into admin where they’ll lose any chance of a return on investment.

The worst case scenario for Leeds United is administration. The club would incur a points deduction (which would be applied next season in all likelihood since we’re close to cut-off date now), but a lot of our debts would be cleared and GFH would be out of the picture. It’s not an ideal situation, but it wouldn’t be the end of Leeds United either.

Best case scenario is entirely subjective. If we take the possibility of an unknown third-party out of the equation, you’re left with two possibilities – Cellino or Farnan.

In less time than it took Russia to takeover Crimea, a lot of people have shifted allegiances from Cellino being the anti-Christ to our saviour-in-waiting, which only serves to demonstrate how uncertain we all are of everything.

We all have our opinions. It’s only natural that we switch allegiances as new information comes to light and we become better-informed on the respective bids, but we’re still basing a lot of what we “know” on guesswork and hope.

All we really know for sure is that we have (at least) two parties keen to takeover Leeds United, both of whom believe they have a plan which will take us back to the Premier League, increasing the value of their investment considerably. We all want the same thing, albeit for entirely different reasons.

The situation may be grim, but this is Leeds United, the situation is always grim.

All we can do is hope for an ownership change in the next couple of weeks and wait to see what a new regime with new ideas has to offer, and if that makes you feel as if you’re living a Groundhog Day existence, it’s probably because we are. But that’s football. Until we reach our ultimate goal, there’s nothing else we can do but rinse, repeat and try again.

Sooner or later, someone with the means to properly execute a winning plan will take over this club and we can move on to enjoying the perpetual doom of being an also-ran Premier League team instead.

On and on…

40 Responses


    What is to stop Cellino forming a new company to take over bid naming his sons as directors?
    How could the FL stop this?

    • TSS

      They tightened the rules to prevent this – where the money comes from matters now so he’d have to pass either way.

      • LUFC_MAC

        What if the sons formed the company with their own money?

      • TSS

        They have no money separate from Cellino’s, it’s a family business he runs. The FL aren’t going to believe he has no involvement at all when it’s his money being spent on the club, moreover, Cellino isn’t going to stand on the sidelines while his inexperienced sons who he planned to put in entry-level positions run the show. They have no real experience.

      • Irving08

        He might. What the FL believe may not be a clincher. After all legal truth and truth are quite different things.

  2. henrymouni

    We are Leeds and we have a fantastic fan base of loyal fans.
    Clubs like Burnley and others make fun of our situation but they will always be small NO MATTER WHAT they do.
    Any investor should look at Leeds as a real sleeping giant!
    Burnley are second in the League but could only muster 14,000 fans for Saturday’s game.
    There is no future in that.
    The season is done, and the take-over saga rumbles on.
    It is hard to be interested in anything just now TSS.

    • Thommohawk

      But Burnley have had more success than Leeds in recent years and they have a terrific playing squad – yet Burnley are a tiny club. Leeds United on the other hand are a massive club with a shit playing squad really outside of Ross McCormack to be honest – How does that work ?

      • spellz

        Still does not take away the fact that was one hell of a squad to remember.

      • Fed up of Canada

        Aren’t you sick and tired of living in the past. We are a mediocre club hoping to get a chance in the premiership; Not a team trying to get back were it believes it “belongs” or “deserves” to be. Wake up; it’s 2014, not 1974!

      • spellz

        What are you talking about? someone reminisces on a great squad we had and I agree that makes me live in the past if I used your logic we would tear up the Don Revie stand and remove the Bremner statue from outside the ground in fact why not change our name from Leeds United and lose every essence of who we are, why don’t you wake up eh? on the right side of the bed this time.

      • henrymouni

        It is simple really.
        We are a massive club with a shit squad, apart from Ross.
        Burnley have a good squad and an excellent manager, and I hope you get promoted – you deserve it.
        You are a small club, and will always be a yo-yo club.
        We are a big club going nowhere, just now.
        It is just the way things are.
        No offence meant Thommo’

      • Thommohawk

        Lol I know the feeling, best Leeds side I ever saw was the CL semi final O’Leary era Viduka, Smith, Bowyer, Woody, Kewell etc….Money’s gone mad in football since while we’ve not had any for over a decade.

      • Matthew

        I respect the fact Burnley have got where they have done without spending a lot of money in the process. I’m just hoping they keep winning to keep QPR out of that 2nd place spot as I know QPR don’t have a chance in hell in the playoffs.

      • spellz

        I personally would like Q.P.R up instead of Burnley as next season I feel Q.P.R will be a lot stronger once they gel as a unit and I cannot see Burnley replicating the season they have had especially for the reason that if they do not get promoted they will probably lose some of the players that have served them so well this season, so less competition for us I suppose.

      • Matthew

        I actually think the opposite, considering QPRs debt and out of control spending the longer they’re out of the Premier League the more likely they are to stay out of the Premier League. They will have to let some of their better players go, they can’t sustain what they’re doing. I’m reasonably happy to see Leicester and Burnley go up and of the current playoff sides Wigan or Derby. Our time will come, even if its a year from now or many years from now. I have faith.

      • spellz

        I hear your points, I would still rather Burnley in the league next season though for sure, they will lose key players, Ings and Vokes for one will have bids from a bigger club next season if they do not go up, Q.P.R are always going to be a tougher team to compete with than Burnley but yes lets believe anyway and keep the faith that we will be title contenders next season, we all need to have a dream eh :)

        M.O.T as always.

      • Matthew

        In terms of ability I would consider Burnley a better side than QPR this season. I don’t see QPR ever getting an auto spot. Though they have mashed together a bunch of mercenary players, I personally think they’re weaker than the team they had when they last won promotion from this league.

      • spellz

        You cannot deny that Burnley are a better side than Q.P.R this season, as the league speaks for itself (although Q.P.R are not far off) but I am talking of next season where Burnley if they do not go up will not repeat the heroics of this season and Rangers will definitely be a force as they have previously brought success and have enough value in their squad already to be title contenders (for the 2014/15 season)

  3. Thommohawk

    I don’t care who takes over as long as they have the funds to not only run this football club but also to give the significant investment it’s going to take by default to MAYBE clinch promotion….

    The current team outside of Ross McCormack aren’t good enough.

    What we don’t want is for GFH to be selling to a Venkys or any other random company. The problem with Farnan is though he might have football experience does he have the money needed to to invest in the playing squad ? I doubt it.

    Cellino has the money, but he’s obviously more bent than the soviet sickle. And I seriously doubt the FL will pass him now.

  4. Wakey Chris

    There is another party – far fetched? – possibly – but think about it.
    The previous owner now has an office close to The Peacock and has the money to buy the club in one hit without any problems with the Football League – Ken Bates.
    He’s got the money, and more ,because GFH gave it to him when he sold the club to them. And since he has already “rescued” the club and owned it the FL could hardly knock him back now.
    Why has he got an office for a new radio station in Leeds when the one he had with LUFC was hardly a success?
    Why would a man in his 80’s want to bust a gut anyway unless there’s a quick buck to earn?
    Why is he in Leeds at all when he’s got a home in Monaco and loads of dosh? I know the Café de Paris is pricey but he can afford it and the weather is good most of the year.
    How come his ex CEO – Shaun Harvey – has got such a plumb job with the FL and, presumably, having a say in the outcome of the Cellino bid?
    I am not suggesting in any way that Mr Bates is anything but a shrewd businessman, or that he would do anything illegal. He has every right to buy and sell a business for profit – and good luck to him. If GFH have paid too much for the club or miscalculated their potential profit then they’ve only themselves to blame. I believe it is called Caveat Emptor in legal circles.
    For example. If Mr Bates rescues the club for, say, £15m – give or take – he then sells Byram, McCormack, Pearce, Lees and anyone else worth something. He gets rid of the almost-out-of-contract players and, bingo, he’s got most of his money back in one hit.
    Then season ticket prices go up – as before – to take us to the Prem and all in all it’s been a good earner. Tidy it up a bit or even decide it can’t be saved and has to go into admin and he’s still had a good time.
    Fantasy Island?
    Maybe – but only maybe.

  5. Lars

    As long as this is done before the end of the season i’m not too worried at this point. We’re clearly not going up and I believe we’ll be safe enough to stay up when its all said and done(we can’t possibly lose all 11 games right?) So if we’re being realistic its next season that we should have a view on.
    I’d really love to see Brian give Dawson a nice run in the senior team for starters the kid’s got potential and when there’s nothing to lose why not? I saw an article Eddie Gray wrote saying he thinks a squad should be 18-20 players plus your youth players and i couldn’t agree more, especially when you have an academy and/or youth set up like we do. Why in the world are we carrying 25-30 senior players? All that does is cost money and stunt the growth of the kids that’d otherwise be playing in the reserve squad.

  6. Dfooster

    The worst case scenario is being taken over by someone with hardly any money and we resign ourselves to being a second or third year club forever. I’m looking at you mike Farnan

  7. spellz

    Our situation is very dire atm, one thing we have going for us so we do not end up like portsmouth is who we are.
    We are Leeds United which makes us invest-able, we have the foundations in place to be a premiership team with the size of our stadium, the excellent training facilities in the shape of thorp Arch, our history in Europe and England, we are the biggest team in Yorkshire and being in the prem would definitely up the gate receipts a huge deal and not to mention the fact we are one division and a smart investment away from the Prem.
    That should surely lure a genuine business man our way, who would look to put money into us to make a nice return knowing if we go up the money generated from that alone would bring a huge return for anyone that cares enough about Leeds as a club at the same time as a fantastic business venture tbh I do not see in all these years of being shafted, someone has not come along and seen the potential our mighty club has to offer and thought I will give these fans something they genuinely deserve and that is a chance at glory once again.

    M.O.T AA

  8. Matthew

    I hate the fact we’re in this situation, we’ve done absolutely nothing to deserve it either. We get dragged down because of the actions of various owners. When we think we’ve taken one step forward we take 2 steps back and get knocked on our ass in the process.

  9. LeedsForNow

    past caring now, what will be will be, sod all we can do about anything at Leeds. Football is being run by idiots aka the football league and shysters in sharp suits while we the fans , lifeblood of the club get dragged along by it all, rant over ,i’m off.

  10. Helen LUFC

    I bet most fans are desperate for the stability that Ken Bates brought to the club, now. He might have been unpopular but the stadium looks a lot better, particularly the East stand and we didn’t have the debt we have accumulated since he left. We’ve hardly gone forward with GFH, and many would say backwards. Although we sold a lot of our better players during the Bates time maybe that was a clear sign that there was a huge mess behind the scenes then, since I am sure he would have wanted us back in the Premiership with our best players still at the club. My guess is that he knew there was huge problems that kept occurring and the only way forward was to keep bringing money in via player sales, and so keeping the wage bill down. Policy table moment is bordering on crazy bringing in two new players that won’t sign long term and will cost a fortune in wages. Maybe the Bates model of thrift was better than the imminent going bust? Sounds like we have come full circle from the Ridsdale era. I remember Bill Fotherby saying we could only afford certain players on a certain budget.

    • TSS

      Trouble is, Bates caused all these problems with the pointless East Stand development you mentioned. There was absolutely no reason to redevelop the newest stand in the stadium, the boxes have had no impact on our revenues and the development costs are what is costing us so much money thanks to Bates mortgaging the season ticket sales, catering rights and allowing Warnock to go mental with the wages of journeymen like Paddy Kenny because we couldn’t afford transfer fees.

      I don’t know why people think Bates’ was a stable financial model. The £1m+ per month we’re losing was entirely his doing, it started while he was here and is the reason he had to sell the club – GFH were paying the bills before they took over, just like Cellino has been doing recently and they had to do that because we were haemorrhaging money Bates was unwilling (or unable) to pay.

      You should also consider the reasons we ended up in admin. Bates on arrival spoke of Leeds United being financially stable thanks to the previous regime, and now owing a mere £6m in debt (his words). When we entered administration, we had £35m debt, something everyone blames on Ridsdale when it was mostly Bates’ doing.

      The last ten years of stagnation come down to Bates. GFH have been awful, but they were left in a situation where the club is barely generating cash because Bates wasted it all on the East Stand and until all that’s paid off and the journeymen are off the books, the club will continue to lose money.

      All those pointless vanity projects, most of which lose/lost money (Yorkshire Radio, Pavillion, Billy’s) or cost more to build than we’ll ever recoup (East Stand) have eaten away at our finances for years, preventing us from competing in a division where our turnover dwarfs most of the competition.

      Bates was a disaster at Leeds, just like he was at Chelsea who were also on the verge of serious financial meltdown when Roman arrived because Bates had been blitzing money on pointless vanity projects that have never come close to earning enough to justify the build cost.

      • Matthew

        Absolutely spot on. Even when he’s not here, Bates still haunts us.

      • markman

        Not sure GFH have been totally awful
        They did come up with the funds for smith,murphy and a decent extension for the current skipper.all of whom are good assets for the club and worth more than what we paid for them

      • Thommohawk

        We paid too much money for Murphy I’m sorry, the guy is probably the best passer we’ve got but worth £1m ? I don’t think so.

        I like Matt Smith though he’s been a good buy though I forget how much we paid for him. He should be a player and a half for us next season.

  11. markman

    If its true the Al Thani family were looking at Cagliari,surely their advisers
    would push them in the direction of Leeds a much higher profile club

  12. oldschoolbaby

    Why are we just following the herd looking for investment when any fool can see money is destroying the game ? Why don`t we dare to be different ? I`m not talking about a socialist agenda. Just an anti – greed agenda.
    Tell players you won`t earn more than the threshold beyond which you pay tax, a figure that has meaning to the working man, ( around £10k at the moment, I think ) a week at Elland Road.
    Tell parents TA is a latter day Sparta. Regardless of whether he makes a pro footballer your son will emerge a man rather than a petulant, self absorbed tosser.
    Get rid of the shit on the shirts and give the space to a worthwhile charity
    Transport the players in a mini bus. Ban the penis envy motors from club property
    Dare the players who claim to have a social conscience ( Iniesta ? Robben ? ) to prove they are men of integrity.
    If there isn`t enough men of conviction in world football to make it work then the game is dead anyway.

    • henrymouni

      Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning to dance in the rain.

      • oldschoolbaby

        And when the rain becomes acidic ??
        I should insert a picture of a dying Scandinavian woodland here but I don`t have your skills

      • henrymouni

        Sorry osd, no trees.
        I have one of some Scandinavian Leeds fans , on their way to the ferry:-

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