On Tuesday night football was a mere sideshow at Elland Road, as a familiar cloud of complete uncertainty hung over everyone involved with Leeds United.
A few weeks ago it all looked rosy. Leeds travelled to play Blackpool as a side sitting pretty in the Championship play off places, with a takeover of the club by Sports Capital appearing to be a mere formality. Fast forward to the present and the club languishes in 12th place, eight points adrift of the play offs.
Whilst their situation on the pitch is worrying enough, the issue of the takeover is most alarming. GFH capital are the current owners of the club, and were expected to sell their shares to the Sports Capital group in early January. As the transfer deadline rapidly draws to a close the ownership of Leeds United looks no closer to being resolved.
Massimo Cellino, the controversial owner of Cagliari, has been linked with a deal to sign the Yorkshire club. According to the Yorkshire Evening Post Cellino was due to attend the Ipswich game on Tuesday night, yet mysteriously failed to appear.
Sports Capital member Andrew Flowers has this week publicly criticised Cellino. “We must ask the question whether the prospective preferred bidder understands anything about the culture of Leeds United, its fans, its heritage or British football.”
News of Cellino's interest is unlikely to attract enthusiasm from the Leeds supporters. The Italian has prior convictions of fraud, and is currently facing charges of embezzlement in his native country.
After embarrassing defeats at the hands of Rochdale in the FA Cup and Sheffield Wednesday in the league, Leeds supporters are experiencing yet another unprecedented low. Investment and stability are required if the club are to challenge for promotion to the Premier League.
Manager Brian McDermott has stated to reporters: "The only way you can do well here is to have stability at the top".
His frustration is understandable. The situation has distracted his players, and has also made it difficult for him to recruit further in this crucial transfer window.
McDermott and everyone involved at Leeds United will be hoping that this period of uncertainty will not result in yet another season going to waste.
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