Forget any player that Victor Orta has been involved in bringing to Elland Road, no signing has been bigger than that of Marcelo Bielsa. The part that Orta played in that was huge and it has given the Whites two seasons of glowing football and the return of hope.
However, should anything massively change at Elland Road, Seb Stafford Bloor, speaking on the latest episode of BT Sport’s Football Writers Podcast, thinks that the luminary Argentinian coach could walk away from the club.
Moving from talk about Newcastle United’s protracted takeover, Bloor, along with fellow presenters Mike Calvin and Adrian Clarke, talk about a possible takeover at Elland Road funded by Qatari Sports International (QSI) and fronted by PSG chairman Nasser Al-Khelafi.
Commenting on this possibility, Bloor puts forward the following [44:36]:
“It depends what happens next. So, with Leeds and particularly with Andrea Radrizzani, because of his friendship with Nasser Al-Khelaifi, PSG chairman, there’s always been the suggestion that should Leeds reach this level, there will be some sort of takeover. There’s enough ambiguity in some of the statements he’s issued about this and interviews he’s given to give credence to that idea.”
Bloor than continues and talks about the effect that this would have in transforming Leeds United from what they are now into a different beast. He adds that: “If you substitute QSI into the situation at Elland Road some point in the future,” then you get a club awash with sudden riches. This would, of course, give Leeds the chance to drastically improve the playing squad.
Complimenting Bielsa on the fact that he’s a sensational coach, Bloor does continue by pointing out that Bielsa has a flaw – his sense of right. Commenting on this, Bloor says [47:42]:
“Bielsa – above all else – is a bit of a contrarian. He is not an orthodox thinker in terms of where he commits his future. He’s always made a big thing of making his coaching decisions based on what he’s going into in a three-dimensional sense. So, the squad, the team and the resources, yes, but also things like the city.“
The protracted Newcastle takeover that started this exchange has, in some ways, inflamed anger in many regarding ethics. Ethos and the right way of acting is paramount in Bielsa’s thinking and way of conducting himself. Linking this into any potential takeover at Elland Road, Bloor asks [48:03]:
“Now, what would be fascinating is, if a takeover came in, if a takeover happened, I don’t think Bielsa is ideologically the fit for that, because it changes what Leeds are. And I think there’s a very real possibility that – probably not this summer – but at least within a year, he walks away.”
Like God, Bielsa has shaped Leeds United in his own image when mere mortals before him had failed to do so. For many fans, the thought of him walking away would be far too much to take in. However, it isn’t stretching the imagination that much to suggest that, should he walk away, Bielsa’s moral code would play a part in that.