IN yet another twist in what is a turbulent time for Leeds United – on and off the pitch – owner Massimo Cellino has withdrawn an offer for his majority share in the club to Leeds Fans Utd. Cellino has stated that he thinks the fan shareholder group is not capable of backing up their claims and intentions to buy out his majority share, despite initially stating his willingness to sell to them.
It was reported a week ago that Massimo Cellino was willing to sell his majority share of the club to Leeds Fans Utd. However on Wednesday, Cellino came out and accused Leeds Fans Utd of telling ‘fairytales’, in an interview with the Yorkshire Evening Post. To the cynical fan, it would seem that Cellino never actually intended to sell to them, and that he didn’t believe they could substantiate their claims of raising the necessary investment. Yet when Leeds Fans Utd pushed for exclusivity of the takeover – as they explained in a statement – Cellino backed out, perhaps troubled at the prospect of losing money since he had agreed to sell it to them ‘without profit’. This money-fuelled motive has become clear now with his reluctance to give the fans the majority share in their beloved club, despite professing to be a fan himself. This development opens up the door to other investors, allowing Cellino the liberty to take the highest bid should he so desire.
Furthermore Cellino is adopting the persona of a broken man, as before the Whites’ latest game he issued a statement on the club website claiming he would no longer be attending Leeds United games due to abuse directed towards him by the fans. It is almost as if he is blaming the fans for pushing him out of the club, since it doesn’t seem relevant for this information to be posted on the official site otherwise. This contributes to the theory that the pressure is getting too much for Cellino and he wants to sell to the highest bidder and get out of the club. If Cellino really cared for the fans like he claimed, he would have made more decisions which make sense for the club, and it’s hard to argue that going through five managers in his tenure has done any good for the stability of Leeds United.
Yet despite everything going on off the pitch, on Tuesday night the players pulled off an impressive home victory against bogey team Cardiff. The victory was both the first time the Whites have won at Elland Road since March, and the first time they have taken the three points against Cardiff since 1984. The result leaves Leeds United in 17th place, level on points with the two teams above them, and more importantly with a rare win which could prove a turning point for Steve Evans’ team, as they for a second consecutive win in the Yorkshire derby against 18th-place Huddersfield Town on Saturday.
Featured image: Leeds United Twitter Page