Lucas Radebe’s confirmation that he is indeed involved with a consortium looking to buy into Leeds United could hardly have been better timed. There are frequently distant rumblings around the club to the effect that some or other interested party will be making a move to invest imminently – usually though, such rumours disperse like mist in the morning as soon as any hard details – or wads of cash – are required.
Radebe, though, is a different matter. A genuine Leeds hero, with undeniable credentials in terms of his affection for the club and also his determination to act in its best interests. Whispers circulating last week which hinted at the Chief’s potential involvement brought an overwhelmingly positive response from the Leeds support. It was made entirely clear via multiple media portals that Lucas would be welcomed back with open arms. If Leeds United were a republic, Radebe would be not so much elected as anointed President – he’s that popular. It’s amazing what a reputation for turning down a move to Man U in favour of staying at Elland Road can do for a Leeds Legend’s credibility. Poor Alan Smith, a victim of the obverse side of that particular coin, would smile ruefully and agree.
The confirmation via Radebe’s own website that he’s actively interested in getting involved at board level has come at a time when the team are starting to look something like – ideally placed on the shoulders of the play-off pack and with every chance of consolidating that position by the turn of the year. And then the next transfer window opens. Leeds fans will be aware that these are traditionally times when Leeds make vague promises which then turn into excuses, all building up to a climax of bleak disappointment on deadline day itself. But since the name “Radebe” has been whispered abroad, there has been a definite statement from the club; Brian McDermott will have funds in January. Obviously, that positive position could still dwindle away as per the usual Leeds United policy of soft sawder – and yet with the fans’ hero looming in the background, it’s entirely possible that GFH will feel under pressure to deliver this time around.
The fact is also that they’ve been acknowledging the imminence of some significant investment for a while now. The possibilities have been vague up to now – mentions of Red Bull and the like. But the possibility of Radebe coming on board will now be at the top of most Leeds fans’ wish lists, and that’s a factor that GFH will ignore or dismiss at their peril.
Leeds United are doing OK. But January is the last chance to make a real statement of intent that might affect this current season – and the fans will be looking for as much as possible in the way of positive developments, on or off the field. Radebe in the boardroom mix and a couple of quality January additions on the park would make for a very Happy New Year for the demanding supporters at Elland Road.