Whites play the waiting game
With Ken Bates persona non grata, Leeds fans are sitting tight and keeping their fingers crossed that a proposed buyout from a Middle Eastern consortium comes to fruition...
Barnsley ｜ Birmingham ｜ Blackburn ｜ Blackpool
Bolton ｜ Brighton ｜ Bristol City ｜ Burnley
Cardiff ｜ Charlton ｜ Crystal Palace ｜ Derby
Huddersfield ｜ Hull ｜ Ipswich ｜ Leeds
Leicester ｜ Middlesbrough ｜ Millwall ｜ Nott'm Forest
Peterborough ｜ Sheff Wed ｜ Watford ｜ Wolves
Leeds fans don't like Ken Bates, to put it mildly, and Ken Bates doesn't care - about the fans, or the team, truth be told. But none of that will matter anymore if a prospective buyout is completed in the coming weeks. A Middle Eastern consortium has been granted a 'period of exclusivity' to conduct due diligence and a takeover is being considered a formality. Until then, it's difficult to speculate what the season holds for the Whites. Save to say, any fresh cash injection would be good news.
When Neil Warnock took charge at QPR three years ago, he was a forgotten man ready to benefit from a favourable budget and lowered expectations. As things stand at Elland Road, he has much less to spend, yet the Whites are being talked about as promotion candidates purely due to his presence. It looks like a hiding to nothing but a record-breaking eighth promotion could be on the cards with a competitive budget. The beauty of Warnock is his ability to throw a winning team together quickly.
Heaven forbid what the atmosphere will be like if the takeover falls through. The team has been stripped of its best assets, while their rhinocerous-skinned 70-year-old chairman has been busy satisfying his property-building fixation on the East Stand redevelopment. Dissenting voices have been treated with contempt, while supporters' trust officials have been banned, along with the BBC. The above two-star rating is purely a middle-ground estimation of where the mood is and where it might be.
There's no better yardstick than the contrasting fortunes of Leeds and Norwich. The two teams were promoted from League One alongside each other two years ago but now the Canaries are making waves in the Premier League with Jonny Howson, Bradley Johnson and, now, Robert Snodgrass in their ranks. Those three departures are symbolic of how the first-team situation has deteriorated under Bates: Johnson's contract was allowed to run out, Howson was then sold for profit, leaving Snodgrass at the end of his tether and wanting away.
Jason Pearce (Portsmouth), Adam Drury (Norwich), Paul Green (Derby), Paddy Kenny (QPR), David Norris (Portsmouth), Luke Varney (Portsmouth), Andy Gray (Barnsley), Jamie Ashdown (Portsmouth), Rodolph Austin (SK Brann).
Robert Snodgrass (Norwich), Andy Lonergan (Bolton), Adam Clayton (Huddersfield), Alex Bruce (Hull), Andy O'Brien (Vancouver), Lloyd Sam (released), Maik Taylor (Millwall), Mikael Forssell (released), Lloyd Sam (released), Danny Webber (released).
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