Everyday life being what it is for Leeds United fans, I thought I’d spare you the usual April Fools’ attempt this morning. It seemed somewhat cruel given all that’s gone on these past couple of seasons to bluff you with mega-money takeovers or, as I briefly considered, a story about The Football League’s plans to ban Leeds United fans from travelling to away games in fear that it was helping us win.

To prank this fanbase is well beyond kicking a man when he’s down, it’s unplugging the ventilator and using the cord to strangle him.

It’s not just the cruelty either, there’s also the total lack of a challenge. Troubles with The Football League (generally stemming from the ownership) and ‘dare to dream’ takeovers are just another Wednesday morning for Leeds fans.

And while we moan and curse our bad fortune with owners, the perceived “injustices” set upon us by The Football League and that goddamn Gypsy curse, we’ve never really stepped-up and tried to effect change ourselves.

Sure we’ve protested and joined together under the umbrella of LUST to get our voices across but when Leeds United historians look back on the post-relegation struggle decades from now, I fear the first question they’ll ask is this – “Why didn’t the fans invest?”

A club who can post regular attendances in the tens of thousands and has a fanbase many times larger, one of the biggest in English football, should have no problem raising a few million to buy up a sizeable chunk of the club. And while some of our previous owners, particularly Bates, and maybe even the current one, may be less than receptive to any offer of investment, the climate and ownership of this club changes frequently, we need only be ready to pounce when that happens again.

At 9:30 tomorrow morning, Leeds Fans LLP have a press briefing scheduled where they’ll (to quote my own invitation) “provide further details of how Leeds United supporters can invest into the future of the club.”

The group, who came together following a meeting of frustrated fans less than 100 days ago, hope to change the landscape at Elland Road permanently. By raising funds to buy up a percentage of the club, Leeds Fans LLP hopes to put fans in a position of minority ownership, breaking down the walls between club and fanbase, restoring some degree of power to the community and ensuring we’re not kept in the dark at critical junctures.

Swansea City is perhaps the best example of what can be achieved when people come together to rebuild a football club around and inclusive of it’s own community, they’re a club I’ve come to greatly admire because they’re built upon an ownership model (the fans own 20%) all football clubs could greatly benefit from. An ownership model I hope we’ll be starting to realise by this time tomorrow.

4 Responses

  1. oldschoolbaby

    I owned a piece of Leeds United once when it was floated on the stock exchange. It was a nice feeling whilst it lasted. Very fortunately I didn`t “invest” more than I could afford to lose. Not entirely relevant I admit but not wholly invalid as a cautionary tale.
    I too admire the Swansea type model but for any ownership transaction to take place there has to be a willing seller and a willing buyer. Our fanbase seem to spend a ridiculous amount of time pondering buying options when there, it seems to me, is no indication of a willing seller.
    What we`d all love is for GFH to hand over their stake to the fans. If GFH have any philanthropic intent I`ll eat this laptop. This is dreaming the truly impossible dream

    • Ashley

      Whilst I don’t disagree is it not worth giving it a go, if we all sit back apathetically then nothing will change, yet collectively (with a very small output individually) something may happen….or not but at least if not we have tried. A few friends chipping in, thats £20, not a big loss

      • oldschoolbaby

        Mate, Don`t get me wrong I`ll gladly stump up the £100 both for me and the next generation of my family if this can be made to happen.
        Sadly, I suspect yesterdays pantomime simply reinforces my view that Cellino doesn`t want to sell his train set. He just needs to be Fat Controller, Signalman, Driver, Porter and Guard. And he won`t take advice on the timetable. GFH will, in my view, simply hang on hoping for a PL payday. Regretfully, I`m still not seeing what is available to be bought.

  2. Writers Holiday

    with today’s farcical happenings there will be nothing to invest in…
    The Italian mafia obviously does not have the club’s true interest at heart – despite everything Cellino has said. Obviously bullshit is in his (and Salerno’s) blood.
    …and I was truly looking forward to promotion next year – its obvious they were only waiting for the club to be “safe” before starting the Cagliari crap on us!


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