Sunday, August 26, 2012 at 9:57PM
With the end of the transfer window less than a week away, Leeds United Supporters' Trust are very concerned by the lack of progress towards concluding the takeover of Leeds United.
The appearance of representatives from GFH Capital at Elland Road last weekend led to optimism that the drawn out process of negotiations would soon be over. The past week, however, has brought no further updates, and Neil Warnock is now publicly suggesting that he will have no money to strengthen the team over the next few days.
Despite his difficulties in building a competitive squad, Warnock has managed Leeds to two wins so far, and he and his players have enjoyed the vociferous backing of our fans as they battle to mount the promotion challenge we expected this season.
Manager, players and fans are all pulling together to make this season a success, but these efforts could be in vain if they are not matched by effort in the boardroom. L.U.S.T. have enjoyed better relations with the club this summer after Shaun Harvey attended our policing event, and we believe the bidders are willing to work with us to achieve the aims of our Vision Statement. Ken Bates, however, has continued his policy of dismissing the genuine concerns of supporters through his programme notes.
Over the last week L.U.S.T. have been inundated with requests for information, but we have felt that, with representatives of the buyers meeting publicly with Bates, a low-key period was the best approach in order to allow a deal time to be concluded. With time and financial constraints limiting Warnock's opportunities to prepare the team, we feel now is the right to time to bring that silence to an end.
The position as we understand it is as described in this weekend's articles by Phil Hay in the Yorkshire Evening Post and TimPM on The Scratching Shed, and as alluded to by Neil Warnock in his interviews. The lack of transfer funds is indicative of a poor cash flow situation at Elland Road, which could leave the club in a precarious position if investment is not found. The takeover deal is now split into three independent parts, with negotiations between the club, the buyers, and Ken Bates. During the negotiation process, the buyers have made payments into the club; due diligence was completed several weeks ago, and the buyers remain patient and determined to see the takeover through. We understand that a deal for the takeover for the club is all but complete, and only separate negotiations with Ken Bates are delaying the deal now.
This week's spontaneous 'Pen4Ken' protest showed that many Leeds fans want the takeover deal to be signed as soon as possible, so that the club can concentrate all its efforts on building for the future. We expect there will be many more demonstrations of this kind if a deal is not completed, and L.U.S.T. will always be supportive of fans who wish to make their voices heard in peaceable and original ways.
We ask that Ken Bates, the club, and the buyers take serious notice of the wishes of the fans, and conclude the takeover as soon as possible. L.U.S.T.’s Vision Statement calls for change at Leeds United, and for three months now we have been on the brink of perhaps the most significant change Elland Road has seen for years. The future of Leeds United is more important than the personal interests of Ken Bates, and all parties involved in the negotiations need to pull out all the stops to make sure that the present opportunity is not squandered, and that the future of Leeds United is a positive one.
Supporters can also join more than 7,500 other Leeds fans and have their voice heard as members of the Leeds United Supporters’ Trust by filling in the form atwww.lufctrust.org. Membership is free. Keep checking for updates on www.lufctrust.org, and our Facebook and Twitter pages.