Back in November when it was first announced the GFH-C, the current owners of Leeds United were entering into a period of exclusivity with a prospective buyer, suddenly, life seems rosey. McDermott had the team playing well, and new owners, just before Christmas, could be the tonic needed. A few decent players in the transfer window and maybe Leeds could push on for promotion back the Premier League. Words like hope, future, exciting and investment could be heard around the terraces of Elland Road.
Roll forward two months and those words have now changed to chaos, desperate, ridicule and despair. What we have learnt is that a Consortium is bidding to buy Leeds. Headed by current Chairman, David Haigh, the only other party that has revealed themselves is Andrew Flowers, the man behind Leeds shirt sponsor, Pinnacle Insurance. For weeks Haigh has been promising good news 'very soon' on his Twitter timeline but the fans have grown increasingly impatient at the number of false dawns. Hope started to turn to resentment at the consortiums apparent inability to complete the deal. GFH-C meanwhile were busy announcing the sale and then doing very little.
It has been alleged that the Consortium have already ploughed £6m into Leeds to meet ongoing running costs. Previous owner, Ken Bates had forward sold the season ticket money to help pay of the new executive boxes that no-one wants, leaving the new owners with a cash-flow problem. It shouldn't be assumed that GFH-C couldn't raise the cash needed - it is reasonable to expect they already knew of this before buying the club, but perhaps using the consortium money, ahead of takeover, was the quickest, and cheapest way of doing things.
Until now, Gino D'acampo was the most annoying Italian I have come across but in recent weeks, Massimo Cellino, owner of Cagliari started to be associated with Leeds United. This is a guy who changes football managers more often than underwear and is facing a number of charges by the Italian Authority. Leeds fans quickly make the association of Ken Bates, only this guy seems worse, but it created more confusion as to who was actually looking to buy Leeds.
Last night, Andrew Flowers broke his silence is what would appear to be, utter frustration that the deal has yet to be concluded, and put the blame firmly at the door of GFH-C. It would seem GFH-C called in the italian, either as an advisor, a rival bidder, or maybe just to heap pressure on the consortium.
The sticking point - a change in the deal. The Flowers/Haigh consortium completed due diligence (a proper look at all the the books, contracts and financial dealings of the club) and found something not previously understood. This is believed to have changed either the offer that was on the table, or the terms of the deal, and GFH-C have yet to accept the revised bid. Bad old GFH-C!
But on the other hand, maybe GFH-C genuinely believe the offer is not good enough. The Consortium had previously agreed a deal, and have now amended that offer. If the deal is not good enough, GFH-C have every right to hold out for more.
Unless we knew what the sticking point was, we cannot make a fair and reasonable judgement on who is to blame.
What is clear is that all parties want to get a deal done. GFH-C want out, Consortium want in, the Italian probably wants to sack someone, so there is still hope. Probably too late to benefit from the transfer window. The statement from Flowers, whilst well intended, and useful for the fans, is only likely to widen the gap between the two parties - it's forcing the issue somewhat, but could force it the way we don't want.
Into the hands of a mad Italian!
What do you think - Join in the discussion on our Leeds United Message Board.