Football as a sport is certainly no stranger to weird and wonderful rumours, and the latest murmurings of a potential takeover for Leeds United from famous actor Russell Crowe fall into that category.
Just imagine it; the star of Gladiator, as well as countless other well-known films, takes his place in the director’s box for a Championship game on a cold Tuesday night – he would probably draw more attention than the match itself.
Now imagine you’re a Leeds United player, or the manager Neil Redfearn, and Crowe strolls into the dressing room to give you a rocket after a poor performance – it would all seem rather unsettling, wouldn't it?
Whether it will ever happen or not remains up for debate. Concrete links from Crowe to the club seem to extend only as far as a Tweet in which the New Zealander appeared to jokingly committed to buying the Yorkshire club when asked to do so by a fan.
Other than that, Crowe supposedly supports the Whites and this, added with the fact that he co-owns at Rugby League club in Australia, looks to have been enough for some to believe that it is only a matter of time. Oh, and also that he gave an interview to BBC radio 5live in which he neither confirmed nor denied any intentions, but he did say that he wants Leeds in the Premier League again – done deal, surely?!
A Leeds United supporters group have already given a public backing to the outlandish idea; have they not learned from the mistakes of other clubs in the past, and indeed their own?
Having an owner who is media friendly and prone to the headlines, in general, is never a good idea. Let’s take a look a current chief Massimo Cellino (or he is chief any more? – Nobody knows). There they have an undoubtedly rich owner, who genuinely appears to have the club’s interest at heart. Sounds great doesn’t it?
Of course, the reality is that it isn’t great at all. The outspoken owner is currently embroiled in a tax scandal and his position at the club, as already noted, is unknown. Part of you wonders how different it would be if he stuck to quietly supporting the club behind the scenes.
Now look at other clubs; QPR, led by Tony Fernandes – who loves to tweet – have become a laughing stock. The owner’s comments of appointing a “dream” manager never matierialised and a coach with no experience, Chris Ramsey, is struggling to steer clear of the Championship.
Cardiff City have suffered with having an outspoken owner, as have Nottingham Forest to an extent. I struggle to think of too many examples where it works.
Look at the best run clubs; Manchester City, Chelsea and even Liverpool and Arsenal, the financial figures may be significantly higher, but you never hear these owners giving interviews or see them in the news. It has to be the best way.
Crowe may be a brilliant businessman, but his famous acting career would certainly not save Leeds United from the horror show that they are currently in.
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