As if Sunday’s game against Birmingham City wasn’t mad enough, with its back-n-forth 5-4 scoreline, comes news that the Whites have been mentioned in a story regarding a takeover by former Roma owner James Pallotta by Italian publication Il Secolo XIX.
Takeover talks and rumours are never far away from Leeds United and will continue to increase in volume as the Whites performances continue to propel them towards Premier League promotion this season. Before the breaking Pallotta takeover ‘news’, there have been numerous links to a takeover of Leeds United by Qatar–based Qatari Sports Investments (QSI).
QSI is an investment vehicle linked to the ruling royal family in Qatar, a nation made rich largely on the back of gas and oil reserves. What has been said about QSI and a takeover varies between an initial investment to a full-blown takeover of Andrea Radrizzani’s holding in the West Yorkshire side.
Il Secolo XIX state that Pallotta has sold Serie A side Roma to US billionaire Dan Friedkin for around $1billion, with Friedkin looking to install his son, Ryan, as the man in charge at the Italian club. This is expected to be formalised in the next couple of weeks and leaves Pallotta with a minority share at Roma and with other plans in mind.
Il Secolo XIX says that Pallotta has already made a move “through the consultant [Franco] Baldini” and this move is “to see if in England there is a second division club named, such as Leeds, to be noted.” This instruction by Pallotta of Baldini (who is the former technical director at Tottenham) is something that will spark interest and conversation amongst Leeds United fans.
Italian job on new takeover rumours – a verdict
What needs to be asked though is where does this leave Leeds United and the squad at this moment. It is a cliche that sides take every game as it comes but it is a very solid principle that clubs do stand by. All that matters to United is the upcoming game tomorrow against West Brom, a tie where three points for the Whites could open daylight between themselves and the Baggies.
Besides, Leeds United fans have heard these takeover rumours from interested party X and suitor Y before. In that sense, it is old news to them, something that they’ll read and then put to the back of their minds as they concentrate on the more pressing things – chief amongst those being winning games and getting out of the Sky Bet Championship under Marcelo Bielsa.