|Is Bates coming to gloat....or float?|
Fri 17th Aug 2012 21:51
Apparently us morons, sickpots and empty vessels will be in good company tomorrow afternoon for the curtain raiser against Wolves.
Leeds present owner/chairman Kenneth William Bates will be in attendance tomorrow for our Championship opener with Wolves (ko 12:45) and the question is, will he be gloating or floating?
The summer has been dominated by takeover talk with a Middle Eastern based consortium reportedly in the driving seat to acquire Bates's majority share. However the silence became deafening and nine days ago it was reported that talks had broken down.
Leeds released a statement saying an "exclusivity period" granted to the mystery investors had ended, but talks were still ongoing. Rumour spread that Bates had alledgedly upped-the-ante at the last minute and there was even wild suggestions that the whole thing was just a myth to generate season ticket sales.
Bates apparently arrived in Leeds earlier this week, the suggestion being that a final deal was being thrashed through. It could be speculated that the good news regarding Ross McCormack's contract agreement and Warnock not scheduling further contract talks with El Hadji Diouf until next week may indicate that a deal is immenient to enable us to pay Rosco what he is worth and Warnock may get a cash boost to bring in someone better than Diouf?
Phil Hay of the YEP has certainly been busy tweeting about an imminent deal today and you can follow him at @PhilHayYEP.
Other evidence? Warnock's jokey comment on Thursday that we could still be talking takeover come "Christmas", "March" or the "End of the season"? Didn't Bates part company with Warnock's former number two Kevin Blackwell for speaking candidly about the financial situation at Leeds in 2007?
Last Saturday, I was amazed to see Chief Executive Shaun Harvey happily pose for photographs alongside LUST chairman Gary Cooper at a public meeting to discuss stewarding at ER. Given Bates public views towards LUST, such a concept seemed nearly as unlikely as the Queen shaking Martin McGuinness's hand!
Is Bates ready to retire and sell up? Will we be waving goodbye to him tomorrow?
The problem is, you never really, really know what is really happening behind the scenes. Can we expect a bizarre pre-match on pitch ceremony where he hands the keys over to a group of swarthy gentlemen in Keffiyehs or will his programme notes be littered with the usual barbed references towards "aggressive agents", local members of the Jewish business community or 'Shiekh Rub a Dub"....
Not forgetting us mere, humble morons of course!
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