Over the weekend, rumours began to materialise that Leeds United were in takeover talks. Initially many United followers dismissed it as made up rubbish and something they had heard time and time again. However on Sunday, various social networking sites as well as fans forums exploded with people talking about the possibility of a takeover. Further fuel was added to the fire when Phil Hay, chief football writer for the Yorkshire Evening Post tweeted: "Been told of two separate parties who are interested in #lufc, one seems to much further down the line than the other."
This morning the club released a statement which read:
"This morning the club released a statement which read:
Further to media reports on Tuesday morning, the club can confirm that talks are taking place regarding investment for the long-term future.
The Club has always publicly stated that it would welcome potential investment, but has maintained a belief whereby the quality of the investor is the most important factor in terms of the long-term development of Leeds United.
No further comment will be made at this stage."
Whilst the word 'investment' is not one that many Leeds fans had hoped to see, these talks seem to be the start of what United fans have been praying for, for some time now. Perhaps the wording of the statement is just a clever ploy from the club's chairman because he doesn't want to admit defeat and in fact talks are actually ongoing regarding a takeover? It is hard to imagine any potential investors wanting to inject serious cash into the club and allow Bates to continue at the helm. This will most likely be the sticking point and Bates won't let the tight grip he currently has on the club go without a fight, it just isn't in his nature.
Whatever the outcome, hopefully any investment would go straight to Neil Warnock to allow him to assemble the squad that he needs to ensure the Whites can compete for promotion again. With Warnock currently away on holiday, he had hoped to tie up more signings by this stage of the summer but as it stands he has only managed to capture centre back Jason Pearce from Portsmouth. Another of his Portsmouth targets, Joel Ward yesterday signed for Crystal Palace amid rumours that United could not afford to fund the £400,000 transfer fee that Portsmouth were asking for. With the manager missing out on his transfer targets and current stars such as Robert Snodgrass still mulling over his future at the club, if something doesn't change, United could be in a real mess come the start of the season.
Hopefully this could be the start of the end of Ken Bates reign at Leeds United and the club can start to move forward on the pitch rather than just off it.