A week in which absolutely nothing concrete happened to send the rumour mill into frenzy. When embracing a new darkest hour, a new lowest ebb, Leeds fans can always rely on a new set of takeover whispers to provide salvation…
Monday 21st May
With his summer holiday rapidly approaching, Neil Warnock meets up with United’s CEO, Shaun Harvey at Thorp Arch to discuss the (lack of) progress being made on the transfer front. Having made the grave error of stating that he hoped and expected to have 3 or 4 players in before his departure, Warnock, doubtless awash with a mixture of emotions that most likely embrace notions of anger/despair/being a hopelessly naive tit, allegedly articulates his inner demons with some gusto. One particularly credible source revealing on WACCOE:
In some ways you have to feel sorry for Harvey, a man who just appears to be so helpless that he could probably be accredited charitable status. His seemingly never-ending list of hard luck stories about the men he’s chased after, only to be disappointed, reminds me of one of those tragic, rotund aunties; you know the ones; they always turn up at weddings in an unflattering floral dress, accompanied by a long suffering ‘close friend’ who they use a support mechanism for that inevitable moment when they break down over the realisation, that while they’re witnessing another blissful union, they remain alone, depressed and helping themselves to another Scotch egg.
I wonder if Shaun ever finds himself storming off the dance floor as Freda Payne’s ‘Band of Gold’ resonates out, tears rolling down his cheeks as he makes a bee-line for the toilet cubicle, where he can be alone, lost in his own thoughts, torturing himself over the moment that Jonny Howson closed the door after that final round of contract talks, never to look back?…
Tragically for Shaun, it’s happening all over again, but this time with Snoddy. Like Jonny before him, Snoddy loves playing for Leeds, he loves captaining Leeds, but like so many of these pesky prima donnas of the modern era, actually figures pissing away his talent in a relegation dog fight wouldn’t be a lot of fun. In an interview our captain throws down the gauntlet, challenging the board, stating that:
“If things change in terms of bringing players in and getting Premier League class and kicking on, then it’s a no brainer. You sign the contract and move on”
Well, it ties in with everything Bates has claimed the club are working towards, so no problems there then, surely?…
Back now to our credible source. The LUST chairman, not satisfied that his work is done having brightened the afternoon of Leeds fans with his revelations over Harvey’s dressing down, decides to drops an altogether more ground shaking nugget of information…
With that begins a new frenzy of takeover speculation; yes, nothing was explicitly stated but this info was coming from a rather better placed source than the “mate who’s an Ipswich Town season ticket holder and has no reason to lie” staple of WACCOE rumour mongers. When another well placed TSB luminary went further to state that he knew that an offer was “definitely” on the table, so the latest, and potentially most epic WACCOE takeover thread of all, took to life.
Despite repeated pleas and a crescendo of private messages, BillyisGod has kept all subsequent comments cryptic, discreet and yet altogether positive, establishing himself as perhaps the biggest cock tease for the male LUFC fanbase since Kylie first donned those gold hot pants – now who’d have seen that comparison coming?
Tuesday 22nd May
Full on revolution is now in the air as fresh comments emerge from the lips of our beloved, new wave iconoclast, this time diplomacy is emphatically and resoundingly drop kicked out of Thorp Arch, landing somewhere on the outskirts of Whitby; finally, our captain singles out Bates. Talking to ‘The Scotsman’ Snoddy reveals:
“The chairman is trying to put a bit of pressure on me. He’s telling me what plans he has got for the club. But they told me the same type of plans the season before and it didn’t work out, so it’s hard to buy into these things again…
…To lead Leeds United back to the Premier League would be a dream come true. The full place would be absolutely buzzing. But who knows whether he (Warnock) has one or two years left at Leeds?…So it’s alright for him to say he could get me a move, but if he leaves, then the people above him are not going to worry about what he said”
Anyone get the feeling he doesn’t trust Bates?
True to form, in the face of such a story, the club desperately peddle a good news item on the website, pitching the headline ‘Defender poised to agree new deal’. On reading the story it emerges that Neil Warnock has confirmed that “We’re talking to Tom Lees about his contract”… talking eh? Well that’s put everyone’s mind at rest.
United also reveal another 3 friendly games as part of the pre-season build-up; The Whites confirm they will actually kick off their campaign with a Friday evening trip to take on Farsley Celtic at Throstle Nest – Warnock has three days less than we thought to cobble a starting XI together.
The revelation by the YEP that never-ending the Joel Ward transfer saga is down to the club’s inability to afford the upfront payment of a £400,000 transfer fee sparks even more frenzied speculation in some quarters, the rationale being that this represents a freezing of assets ahead of an imminent takeover.
A second revelation in the YEP, that the club is entering yet ANOTHER legal battle – this time over policing costs – offers an alternative explanation for the scarcity of money at Elland Road.
Wednesday 23rd May
Another day, another ground shaking revelation!
Yorkshire Radio reveal that their very raison d’être, the Wednesday interview with Mr Chairman will be taking a break for the summer. Ben Fry is understood to be distraught and spending time under the watchful gaze of his close family.
No reason is given why our esteemed chairman – currently on the brink of losing another court case, facing questions regarding falling income, lack of investment and inconsistent accounting from the outside, and a failure to honour promises, retain and recruit players from his captain and manager – has chosen to keep a low profile.
On a lighter note, it’s good to be reassured that there are always others even worse off than ourselves. Thanks must go again to Portsmouth; not satisfied with the indignity of losing their captain to Leeds, not even content with somehow trying to outdo us on the administration front, the Fratton Park outfit reveal their intention to kick-off the new season with Billy Paynter spearheading their promotion charge.
Rumours suggest that tattooed, bell-ringing Pompey super fan, John Westwood has reserved a patch of left arse cheek real estate to adorn with Billy’s image
Thursday 25th May
The revolution is well and truly in full swing. After Snoddy addressed the masses from a secret location at the beginning of the week, Neil Warnock is inspired to follow suit. Breaking ranks from the Yorkshire Radio stronghold, our manager crosses the line and gets into bed with the “communists” at the Bloated Biased Corporation, revealing that he can understand his captain’s viewpoint:
“He knows what I think about him and I don’t blame him. I know he’s saying ‘let’s see how ambitious the club are’…When I spoke to him he said to me ’12 months ago it was Gradel, Johnson, Howson and me’ and now he’s the only one left. I understand where he’s coming from.”
As I’m sure any reader will agree, those quotes truly do represent a skewed and manipulated, agenda-driven version of the truth. Those BBC bastards…
Friday 24th May
With Neil Warnock, mournfully stood in line, waiting to get his “I went to Ibiza and all Bates has got me was a lousy Jason Pearce’ t-shirt printed, Leeds fans seemingly give up on chasing unrealistic dreams of signing players and retreat back to the comfy, welcoming womb of takeover speculation.
With previous events and stories suggesting that the Toronto Maple Leafs are the most likely bidders for the club, some tweeters in a desperate search for salvation choose to adopt rumour as absolute truth. When the whispers attain worldwide trending status, the MLSE twitter account is moved to issue a swift denial. This is the signal for many to write off the takeover story as another complete fabrication, as twitter is obviously the place where vast sporting conglomerates discuss their business…oh, and also as it appears inconceivable that it may even be another party who are in talks.
In contrast, rather than issue any denial, the club keep a dignified silence…did I really say that?! No, actually, let’s stick with the diplomacy angle; it keeps the takeover dream alive!
Elsewhere, the club are busy plugging LUTV, offering for just the cost of a subscription, the chance to see the inside story on the new pitch being seeded at Elland Road. Yes, that’s right: grass growing – it’s live, it’s exclusive and it’s only on LUTV! Get subscribing people!!
Elsewhere, there’s very encouraging news to be had from the U15’s performance in the Lennart Johansson Academy trophy, held in Sweden; according to the official site, the youngsters impressed in the youth tournament that featured a number of elite European clubs. Not only did they beat Stabeck (who?) 1-0 in their first game, but they followed that up with another single goal victory against Kapa (again, who?)… sadly our boys faced a run of games against clubs who keen Europhiles may have actually heard of and fared thus:
Sturm Graz 3 Leeds United 0
Espanyol 4 Leeds United 0
AIK Solna (think I’ve heard of them) 3 Leeds United 1
Lord only knows what an unsuccessful showing would’ve represented.
Saturday 26th May
Today’s “chuck it in there and hope it sticks” takeover party is named as the Qatar-based QSI group, the source, reassuringly a fan who’s mate has done a bit of work (plastering/gardening/decorating* – *delete as appropriate) for someone involved at a high level within the organisation – champagne on ice, everyone!
At a League One play-off final that draws in 7,000 less supporters than the 2007 Yeovil vs. Blackpool clash did, two MASSIVE clubs bore everyone to death. Eventually Huddersfield triumph and amidst a cacophony flapping rattles, fans of the Dog Botherers hastily wank themselves stupid at the prospect of another visit to ‘Bellend Road’… we can only wait and see if they can come closer to selling out their “inadequate” allocation of 2,6000 tickets this time out.
A delighted Simon Grayson chooses to ignore the fans who travelled in their dozens to watch their heroes, instead dedicating the victory to his supportive, ambitious chairman. Anybody else reading something between the lines there? Hmm…
The YEP reports that Tom Lees in on the verge of agreeing a new contract that brings his earnings into line with the more senior squad members at Elland Road. Whether these are the criminally over-paid squad members the club cannot shift or the markedly under-paid squad members that the club can’t seem to retain is not made clear.
Neil Warnock considers the new deal as fair reward for Lees, telling the paper:
“He’s got a lot to learn and he’s made individual errors, but he’s improved his all-round game and was almost the first name on my teamsheet. I can’t give him a bigger complement than that”
Well, to be fair Neil, if you keep Snoddy and bring in another 8 first teamers to join Jason Pearce and THEN you’re still saying the same, that claim might just carry a little more gravias.
Sunday 27th May
A story on ‘The National’ website claims that QPR are ready to allow Paddy Kenny, Shaun Derry and Tommy Smith join Leeds; whether a collective offer of below £400,000 is deemed acceptable for the trio is another matter entirely.
After enjoying a longer lifespan than some insects, the Joel Ward saga is finally expected to come to an end tomorrow when the Pompey player signs for Crystal Palace.
I cannot believe I find myself feeling angry about missing out on a player who before a few weeks ago I had neither heard of, nor could remember seeing play, and who in most quarters has been written off as mediocre anyway…
Summer can be a real bitch!