Leeds linked with new manager, more new owners
It’s another week, another raft of rumours beginning to circulate about takeovers and changes of manager – but today both fitting neatly into a Venn diagram over the same Yorkshire club.
February 26th, 2013
Newly-installed owners of Leeds United, GFH Capital, have spent the past two months fighting off three fronts of adversity: their stance on a new manager, their new fans’ ever-stretched patience and, most unexpectedly, their own entrepreneurial credentials.
Following the 4-0 drubbing at the hands of English champions Man City in the FA Cup, manager Neil Warnock admitted that the only thing currently keeping him at the club is the chance of promotion – an aim which drifts further away with each passing game following their failure to capitalise on a weak Blackburn performance in this weekend’s dour goalless draw amid a below-average run of form.
“If we do not go up I will not be here. I think the fans have known that all along,” said the 64-year old after the cup tie, whose contract expires before the start of next season. Asked whether the new owners could move to replace him even sooner – which would put him in a post-takeover barrel for the third time in his career – Warnock conceded: “It is their prerogative. If I can help them I’m not against that.”
An emailed statement to local press from GFH Capital last week asked fans to be patient while the transition period continues; one which will eventually see current chairman Ken Bates leave his position to become Club President at the end of the season. They also confirm they haven’t spoken to anyone regarding a replacement for Warnock; an eloquent turn of phrase which doesn’t rule out an on-going search. Steve McClaren – who has left FC Twente today – has already been linked with the job, as has Nigel Adkins.
Hull rugby club owner Adam Pearson, meanwhile, has been linked with a takeover bid for the Champions League semi-finalists of 2001 – but insists his focus is on his Super League “baby”. GFH are understood to have rejected a bid for 51% of the club only last week, despite their intention to seek further investment in the club.