Hollywood actor Russell Crowe has caused quite the stir on social media after asking his Twitter followers whether or not he should stage a takeover of Leeds United.
BBC Sport carries incredible reports suggesting that the Gladiator star is interested in assuming control from shamed president Massimo Cellino, who has sold his personal stake in both the club and Eleonora Sport Limited - the company that own the Elland Road club - after being found guilty of tax evasion last year and falling short of the required pass mark for the Football League’s ‘fit and proper persons’ test.
The 50-year-old Crowe, who has been a supporter of Leeds since the days when Don Revie’s all-conquering side dominated English football, has done little to quell speculation suggesting he might be in-line to take his interest to an official capacity. The New Zealand-born actor reached out to some 1.67 million fans on Twitter to stoke the flame of speculation, and received a very positive response from the fans.
Crowe initially tweeted:
And, whilst any thoughts of possibly becoming one of the most famous clubs in England’s new president had the potential to be derailed by radio-silence, Leeds Fan LLP - a group supporting fan ownership of the club - posted a tweet that led to Crowe detailing his views on how the role has to be approached.
That led to:
Of course with Leeds currently struggling in the Championship - they sit 14th having kicked off this campaign woefully - it was never going to be plain sailing, and speaking to the BBC the head of Leeds United’s supporters’ trust described the Crowe rumours has simply another round in the circus that the club has become.
"If he is serious, let him come forward," said Keats.
"But whether he has the time and resources has yet to be determined.
"His net worth probably does not merit him buying it outright. But in football you need to have a good friend, so whether he buys it himself or uses the friendships he's got.
"There are people in Yorkshire who have money so whether he comes as part of consortium is up to him."
That said Crowe does have experience in sport. He’s the co-owner of Australian National Rugby League side the South Sydney Rabbitohs, who have enjoyed a massive upturn in fortunes since his involvement, and on top of that he boasts an estimated net worth of £48 million. Whilst that might not be enough for him to buy outright alone, it’s certainly the sort of money that could allow him to be a member of a consortium.
One positive Crowe would certainly bring, from the outside looking in anyway, is stability. Since Cellino’s arrival the club have had a string of managers, and the chances of them making it back to the Premier League have suffered as a result. If, as Crowe claims, his intentions are to give the outfit a voice that backs success on the field, Leeds could certainly do worse.
Leeds fans, what do you think? Is Crowe a viable candidate or not? Let us known in the comments section below...