friesWhen you cut to the core of why fans are frustrated by the protracted takeover of Leeds United, it’s not because they believe Massimo Cellino is saviour in waiting, a man who will invest heavily to guide us to the promised land. Not for most fans, anyway. We’ve heard all the promises before and until actions follow the comments, it’s not worth getting our hopes up.

No, the reason fans are so desperate for the takeover (any takeover) to be completed is because the financial situation at Elland Road is a precarious one, the club are haemorrhaging vast amounts of money every month and few believe the current owners have the means (or the will) to keep us afloat.

David Haigh’s move to address concerns about the club’s financial well-being yesterday was utterly tragic. The Managing Director of Leeds United tried to explain to the Yorkshire Post how his £2m loan to the club demonstrated the healthy situation the club is in, which is like trying to explain to the fire service that the blazing inferno in front of them is ‘under control’ because you’ve just poured petrol on it.

In fairness, Haigh was trying to use the £2m loan he’s provided the club with as evidence of his own belief in our future, but that doesn’t explain how we’ll make future wage payments and why he’s putting his faith in owners he no longer works directly for (GFH) who haven’t paid the club’s wagebill themselves in months.

At this point, I don’t know whether I should be more concerned by GFH’s absence (where is our chairman these days?) or David Haigh’s faith in them?

Haigh’s interview with the YP did serve to shed some light on his past however. In an explanation as to how he learnt the value of money, Haigh claims to have worked for McDonald’s as a manager at 16 years of age. Now I’m not familiar with McDonald’s operations and they do appear to have an incredibly young workforce, but no company on earth gives that amount of responsibility to a school-leaver, do they?

I work in a retail management position myself (I actually train, develop and often hire managers these days) and find it difficult to believe McDonald’s don’t have similar policies to our own. Some of the courses we require our managers take (especially the Health & Safety ones) are 18+. Maybe that’s a company specific policy, but there’s also a progression factor to becoming manager. You don’t just hire someone at 16 and make them manager, they’d be promoted to a Senior CSA, followed by Supervisor and Assistant Manager first. That’s just common sense.

And if Haigh was the manager of a fast food restaurant, why the hell does it take so long to get served at Elland Road?

But I digress, whether our Managing Director’s CV features a few white lies and whether he really was the greatest burger-flipper McDonald’s have ever seen is a matter for another day, Leeds United have more pressing concerns, chief among them being March’s wagebill.

I’m not going to excuse the performances of our players and manager these last couple of months, if they weren’t footballers they’d have been justifiably fired for poor performance weeks ago, but concerns about their own future must be weighing on their minds.

On the one hand we have David Haigh claiming the club have money despite them needing loans to pay for things, then we have Cellino saying he’s no longer willing to bankroll the club until his takeover is confirmed and these concerns are then compounded by the total absence of those supposedly in charge.

Forgive me if your words sound hollow Mr Haigh, but as reassuring statements go, yours is akin to McDermott telling us our defence will be fixed by the reintroduction of Roque Junior.

25 Responses

  1. Dfooster

    The sooner the football league decide to either finish us or let us get back to where we belong the better for everyone.

  2. henrymouni

    Reminds me of Krasner!

    Remember ‘the Kras’?

    “We will NOT be relegated”.

    “Outgoing Leeds chairman Gerald Krasner said: “This deal ensures the medium to long term survival of the club and I believe Mr Bates’ proposals are totally for the benefit of the club.

    “We are content that under Mr Bates, Leeds United will continue to consolidate and move forward.” …….


    ” “I’m delighted to be stepping up to the mantle at such a fantastic football club. I see Leeds as a great club that has fallen on hard times.

    “We have a lot of hard work ahead to get the club back where it belongs in the Premiership, and with the help of our fans we will do everything we can.”

    Bates bought his stake under the guise of a Geneva-based company known as The Forward Sports Fund.

    He revealed that part of his plan is to buy back Leeds’ Elland Road stadium and Thorp Arch training ground in due course.”

    • mrbigwheels

      At last Henry…… ‘The Plan’.
      Well done for finding it for us all to see.

  3. MAB

    I think my cousin was made ‘manager’ at a McDonald’s before he went to uni, so must have been 17/18. I’m guessing it’s a pretty loose definition of manager though. It’s desperate times when we’re pinning our hopes of survival on a convicted fraudster. Haigh’s money does suggest he has some confidence in getting it back though, I rarely lend 2 million to people who I think are likely not to pay it back.

    • mrbigwheels

      Cellino will be thinking the same about getting his back too if he’s rejected.
      C and DH will no doubt be the biggest combined creditors… if and when.

  4. mrbigwheels

    Maccy-der….. Maccy-dum….. Maccydoo da facc all.

    Total waffle from the MD. These guys are doing nothing more than an exercise in constructive financial posturing for future ownership… imo.
    Think Haigh just shot himself in the foot.

  5. Matthew

    There’s something really fishy about this GFH stuff, I just hope we don’t end up fucked and in League 1 again.

  6. Mick444

    Yes I read Haig ‘s mutterings and it gave little confidence. With Cellino indicating he will no longer fund the club until he is the owner and the FL dragging their heels in regard to his application to do so it is little wonder we are all dreading the worst case scenario – ie bankruptcy and 10 points deduction.
    I think we are at the stage where we just want to know what is happening – if it Cellino then get on with it – if it’s bankruptcy then get on with it. I, like many others, find it quite obscene that new owners appear all the time at other clubs with little or no attention given – alas not when it comes to Leeds United. My biggest gripe is that if the role of the bloody FL is to ensure prospective owners are capable of financing the club they want to purchase where the hell were they when Bates and then GFH were permitted to take ownership. Neither Bates nor GFH have indicated they had any resources to invest in the future of Leeds United but seemed to pass the FL “means test” without any of the crap Cellino has had to endure.
    There have been countless blogs on the curse of Leeds United and there is no doubt we supporters could provide a list of injustices that goes back some 50 years that I doubt any other club could ever match. It amazes me that a club that has undergone more crap times than good still manages to provide such worldwide debate but has been incapable of attracting a benefactor that would without doubt receive unbelievable gratitude and support for simply doing the right thing by its vast supporter base.
    It appears Mr Cellino is our last hope and if the FL do act I’m any way to stop the club from getting out of the Risdale, Bates, GFH financial abyss then they should be held fully accountable. Anyone know a barrister wanting to make a name for himself – well here is your chance.
    We live in hope!

  7. Irving08

    Lies or bullshit ? (Liars unlike bullshitters are not indifferent to truth.).

  8. Shropshire Leeds.

    What I can’t believe is that with all the media noise surrounding this mess of a take over why there are no other parties looking to buy the club. Surely we must still be a fairly attractive proposition to any one looking to buy an English club – or is there something else in the back ground that we mere fans don’t know about ?

    • Matthew

      The people with actual money aren’t interested in clubs outside of the Premier League. We’re too big of a club/an expense for someone with only tens of millions to their name to run properly. While Cellino has money, those with billions would only look at Premier League sides.

    • Stein

      GFH have already accepted Cellino’s bid. They can’t start negotiating with anyone else until he pulls out or is denied by the FL. At least not publicly.

      Besides, Farnan’s consortium haven’t officially pulled out.

  9. mrbigwheels

    So…DH states ‘no chance’ of the Club going into administration. This is categorical.

    What does he know that would secure that?. He certainly can’t predict the outcome of the FL decision or the what the Italian Judge will decide either on Cellinos trial next week. There must be a plan B in the event our prospective owner does walk away.

    Any views?. A pact waiting in the wings is mine.

    • TSS

      Well, Farnan et al have been uncharacteristically quiet so it’s entirely possible a Plan B has already been put into place, though that would go against the usual trend at Elland Road and suggest the work of someone who possesses a degree of competence.

      Either way, I’m sure David Haigh has slept with the right people (so to speak) and will land comfortably on his feet. The man is bulletproof.

      • mrbigwheels

        A slightly retro Superman in the mix, eh?. ”We are Leeds”…

      • TSS

        Nah, he’s more like Slimer from Ghostbusters. A) Because he’s a slimy SOB and B) the bullets just pass straight through him.

    • henrymouni

      Dream on Mr B!
      You and your plans!!!
      His aim is to stop any panic that could ensue, if he stated we were broke.
      He wants to be a Tory politician don’t forget.
      He should do very well!!!

  10. spellz

    I never thought I would hear myself say this but here goes……..get Cellino in now if he is prepared in some way to start balancing the books then so be it, in all honesty reading about his history I was the first to object to his takeover, it is just at the point now where it’s like dejavu and we are back in Bates Era with constant money issues hanging over the club and all the attention on the fatcats of the board with little attention to the football that needs to improve dramatically once again we enter the realms of utter instability that paralyses our club all the way through.

    At the end of the day even if the italian picks his own team he surely cannot do any worse than Brian at the moment (sorry McD cheap dig)

    • mrbigwheels

      I wish Cellino would start picking the team. True colours for him and bright smiles for Brian…… ‘wasn’t me guv’.

      • Matthew

        I just want him to send Kebe back to Palace. Fuck what McDermott wants with regards to Kebe, if Cellino gets the club before the end of the season, the man needs to tell Kebe to fuck off. With his performances he deserves it.

  11. Zomoniac

    Not that I would ever defend Haigh, but I worked at McD’s in 2000 for about a year when I turned 16; there were 6 staff ranks, the top 4 of which all contained the word ‘manager’ (manager, assistant manager, shift manager and floor manager). I was floor manager after 8 months there and in training for shift manager when I left a few months after that, so whilst I don’t believe he would be ‘the manager’, it’s certainly not inconceivable he could have been ‘a manager’ at 16 since I did it myself.

    But yes, semantics aside, I don’t really believe a word he says. None of it makes any logical sense, and he’s banking on the fans not being able to draw logical conclusions as he wraps the issues up in nice soundbites (which, going by some fan reaction on Twitter, does actually seem to be the case a lot of the time).


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