After the shock of Massimo Cellino and Leeds Fans Utd reaching an ‘agreement in principle’ during a scheduled meeting on Friday, the fans’ collective has warned of a “hostile reaction” should others decide to enter the bidding for the club.
The head of the fan collective has reiterated his confidence that the group will be granted a ‘period of exclusivity’, thus preserving them from any bidding war from other buyers interested in buying Leeds United. LFU chief executive Dylan Thwaites stressed the group would be looking for exclusivity and spoke also of Massimo Cellino’s desire to consider offers only “from the fans” as news mounts of possible interest from other parties, the name of ex-Southampton executive director Nicola Cortese being bandied around.
However, despite the Yorkshire Evening Post saying that, “Cellino is planning to meet another potential bidder in London today following a separate approach over the weekend,” LFU remain upbeat with Thwaites saying that,
“At our meeting on Friday Massimo was absolutely clear that he was only selling to fans. Indeed, when we asked if we could involve any of the other third parties we have been working with, he was adamant that he would only sell to Leeds fans. This clearly gives us an exclusive position. Of course, as professionals we need this signing and we expect to have that shortly.” Dylan Thwaites – Yorkshire Evening Post: November 2, 2015
With an ‘exclusivity period’, Thwaites and LFU would look to kick on and bring in some more substantial financial backers to help fund a deal that will no doubt run into 10s of £millions and they quote Massimo Cellino’s straightforward, no-nonsense way of dealing with things as a positive for what they intend to accomplish. Asked about the potential interest from other parties, Thwaites said,
“It’s Leeds United, there are always rumours. Massimo is in London having a few days with his family. It’s entirely reasonable for him to see old friends and talk about Leeds United. But I think it would be crazy for anyone to seek to steal this deal from the Leeds fans. The level of hostility generated would be a death blow to any sensible bid plan.” Dylan Thwaites – Yorkshire Evening Post: November 2, 2015
Whilst it would undoubtedly by a coup, and a welcome one, for Leeds United to be controlled by a fan initiative, is this the only viable alternative to ownership of Leeds United or should other thoughts be entertained and other avenues negotiated?