GFHDear Shaun,

As a long-serving employee of a tyrannical dictator whose ethics and financial competence made a mockery of the Football League Owners’ & Directors’ test, you must surely recognise the insanity of allowing you the power to determine what constitutes a fit and proper owner?

The three administrations of football clubs you’ve personally been involved in should disqualify you from a position on the Football League board, but when you factor in your involvement in the rigged administration process which allowed Ken Bates to hold Leeds United to ransom and retain control of the club, the whole thing seems destined for a Parliamentary select committee.

I understand that you’re between a rock and a hard place with the media breathing down your neck, constantly highlighting Massimo Cellino’s history while demanding the Owners’ & Directors’ test be properly enforced, but you and the rest of The Football League have no one else to blame. Systematic incompetence led to this situation.

The test itself was nothing but a distraction introduced to relieve political pressure. Since the test has been in place, The Football League has largely ignored it’s requirements, allowing owners to simply tick a few boxes so the League can argue they properly consider each takeover attempt. It was only a matter of time before a situation like the one at Birmingham City arose and the effectiveness of this pointless box-ticking exercise was brought into question.

While The Football League’s attempts to tighten up the testing process are necessary if the test is to be of any use whatsoever, it appears you hesitated to make a decision on Massimo Cellino, dragging the whole process out for weeks because you had no valid reasons to fail him and feared the media backlash. Then came the court case in Italy which has left you all flustered, unsure whether the conviction should apply, whether you’ll be challenged from a legal standpoint if you do fail him and giving the media plenty of ammunition to ridicule your organisation no matter what the outcome.

The whole situation has been a farce. You yourself, as CEO of Leeds United, played a pivotal role in our own takeover, would we have received the same treatment as Cellino if you were in this position then and Ken Bates still owned Leeds United? No one expected you to check the information provided, far less consider the financial means of the potential owner and the club’s activities these last few months.

It’s the inconsistency of it all which beggars belief. It seems The Football League only act when the media pressures you to do so and even then, you’re too scared to make a decision because you fear one option will lead to a legal challenge and the second will have the press tearing you to pieces. You’re too cowardly to face the outcome.

But while you try to find a way to cover your own backs, I hope someone at The Football League stops to consider how paralysing this has been for Leeds United. So far, the only thing the Owners’ & Directors’ test has protected Leeds United from is the chance to move forwards. 

I find it almost criminal that someone with your background in football has been given the power to determine the future of Leeds United Football Club, but this is the situation we’re in. No one has been fooled by the continued stalling of The Football League, the test has been too inconsistently applied for anyone to believe you’re acting in the best interests of the club, this has been nothing but a face-saving exercise for The Football League. The future of Leeds United has never been your concern.

If the media hadn’t exerted pressure on The Football League, Massimo Cellino would have ticked a few boxes and passed the test weeks ago. Whatever decision you make, no one is going to think The Football League is any less incompetent, your own inconsistencies and ludicrous hiring policies will see to that. So instead of delaying further and leaving Leeds United to suffer from the uncertainty of it all, please put your back-covering policies to one side for a minute and make a god-damn decision.

GFH Capital