Leeds United takeover: Update as of 6th Feb.
On Tuesday night, GFH capital all but confirmed the collapse the Andrew Flowers takeover attempt with their response to a winding up petition with a statement that can basically only be described as a teenage tantrum. In a bizarre twist the original statement was edited afterwards and an entire paragraph was removed, presumably on the advice of a lawyer. GFH condemned the actions of Flowers to issue a winding up order. The whole situation was bizarre and made the club owners look absolutely amateur hour, even more so than normal.
Coming into Wednesday morning, we all knew something was going to come following the statement released by GFH the night before, especially with the whole attitude of it. Sure enough, there were rumours of a press conference by Flowers. However, a statement was released to confirm that Flowers had pulled out of the race, the statement in full read;
“I entered discussions in good faith to buy this club for the simple reason that I am a lifelong supportericon1.png and sincerely believed that I could make a real contribution towards the goal of promotion to the Premier Leagueicon1.png and at the same time provide the stability and sound financial governance the club desperately needs.
However, the emergence of Mr Cellino’s bid, and the nature of the transaction, seems to have crystallised the attitudes of both GFH and the Leeds United board, enabling them to dispose of the club with no consideration for its ultimateicon1.png security and wellbeing.
In effect, it is a ‘fire sale’ transaction which is not in the interests of Leeds United, its playersicon1.png, staff or loyal supporters.
Both myself and my company, Enterprise Insurance, have been enormous financial supporters of the club for the last few years and while we may understand the commercial expediency which leads the owners to accept the superficially attractive Cellino offer, we remain firmly convinced this deal will not give the club the stability or investor commitment it badly needs.
Despite our serious misgivings, we wish the team, the manager and fansicon1.png well for the future and I remain a very enthusiastic Leeds supporter.
I have no other comment to make at this time about outstanding financial and legal issues between us and the current owners.”
I think this statement now puts Cellino well and truly into the driving seat, and it appears as if the takeover will go through sooner rather than later. Unless Mike Farnan can pull a rabbit out of the hat, as we stand, we are currently expecting a statement to come out from Farnan and his consortium.
The ‘Together Leeds’ consortium released a statement. It read ” We have watched events of the last week with considerable interest. We remain committed to delivering a fully-funded, sustainable, long-term plan, to rebuild Leeds United FC and restore it to its rightful place in English football. We have assembled a team of highly regarded individuals and advisor’s who have substantial reputations in football and are ready to move quickly to resolve all outstanding issues. We have reached out to GFH with every intention of demonstrating that this is a bid backed by credible Leeds, Yorkshire and footballing people that offers them an acceptable solution and the club and its supporters a dynamic future. The commitment and determination shown by Andrew Flowers has made us more determined not to walk away. Together our group can and will deliver a vision that has at its heart the club we all cherish. In the best interests of Leeds United, our offer of constructive dialogue will remain open. We now await GFH’s response and will look forward to finding a constructive, embracing solution to ensure that the distractions of this prolonged uncertainty can be put behind the club and the focus return to football.
It’s not over yet ladies and Gentlemen…