Leeds Takeover: What’s the Big Delay With FL Approval? – by Rob Atkinson


Still no news as I write of the ratification of Leeds United’s latest takeover, or TOMA – as it’s fondly known by the weary and hard-bitten cynics among United’s online support.  The delay is annoying to say the least; it could be described as incredibly irritating, or as adding insult to the injury of three successive defeats.  One might even be tempted to ask if the inevitable involvement of Shaun Harvey, ex CEO at Elland Road and now filling a similar role at the Football League, is helping or hindering matters.  Presumably, his is the rubber-stamp we are waiting for, and you might think that Harvey’s inside knowledge of Leeds United would smooth the path of progress.  Yet, if anything, the opposite seems to be the case.  Charlton Athletic have just had a delay and trouble-free approval of their takeover – we at Leeds continue to wait in an echoing silence.  What’s the problem?  Is someone simply taking the mick?

Some might be mollified by assurances from within the club that this irritating hold-up will not affect United’s transfer business within the current window.  Indeed, we are now told that we can expect two Premier League signings before the Wendies game next weekend.  Or, hang on, make that “at least one”.  The news changes by the hour, but the silence on the Big Issue rumbles on.

This needs sorting.  Whoever it is that has failed to get their finger out, they need to now give their head a shake and get a move on.  The dragging-out of this process is disrespectful to fans who have had more than enough to put up with over the last decade or so.  At the moment, the best place for a Leeds fan to look for anything cheery is Man U and their trials and tribulations, which do make for light-hearted reading and viewing as the media descend into a cloud of angst.  But, this comic relief aside, we want our own situation sorted out – and sharpish.

It’s difficult to imagine what purpose can be served by this delay.  It’s pointless to speculate as to whether or not Harvey and anyone else involved are even bothered by the feelings and misgivings of mere fans.  But whatever silly game of paper-shuffling they’re playing, it’s time to retrieve their heads from their fundaments and get on with it.  It was never funny, and now it’s just becoming silly.

Stop messing about with our club, and do your jobs.

35 responses to “Leeds Takeover: What’s the Big Delay With FL Approval? – by Rob Atkinson

  1. Rob, it is likely Harvey (odious toad that he is) is debarred from being involved due to Leeds being his old employers (standard conflict of interest criteria) therefore it suggests one of two things a) “team Haigh” are being remiss with their information or b) no formal approval has been requested because the consortium isn’t ready. Either way it don’t bode well and show a “business as usual” approach to transparency of ownership.


  2. wetherby white

    Like you Rob I find the delay frustrating but pathetically predictable. The fact that Sean Harvey may have anything to do with rubberstamping this deal fills me with dread. When Simon Grayson recently spilled the beans on the appalling activities of Bayes, Harvey and Williams in their time of “running” the club – then nothing would surprise me..They did their best to wreck the club then and I am sure they(Harvey) will continue to do so whenever the opportunity arises.


  3. GreatWhiteNorth

    I doubt anyone in an official capacity will answer that Rob. Like so many things in football (and life in general these days) its veiled in a shroud of secrecy. It does lead me to another question I’d love to see explained.
    I write this from Canada where we support our hockey with as much passion as you do football. Any reputable site with stats on our team will include player salaries. We know how much money each and every player makes. Why is this info on football players not available? Perhaps a topic for a future blog.
    Anyway, love your stuff, keep up the good work!


  4. As someone who watches from a distance and in no way claims to be as knowledgeable and qualified than most here, I can’t help but notice the link between Harvey and Bates. Is it beyond reason to wonder if Harvey wants access to info’ Bates may have been withholding, even from him in his days at ER? Could it be Harvey now has the authority to delve into the records to find what, if anything, may have been going on which was not above board, perhaps? I’m not suggesting there was. I just can’t see why Charlton’s T/O went through so easily and all-things-Leeds are delayed.

    Hope I’m wrong here, but I get the feeling this will drag-on until the window closes.

    Anyway, just my thoughts.


  5. Just maybe either the money isn’t there or someone has pulled out? After all, the members of this consortium as is usual with Leeds is all smoke and mirrors. In any event you can be sure we will be dealing once again this January in the bargain basement looking for ‘hand me downs’. BMcD talks about players who will make a real difference and be leaders. Well I’m afraid we haven’t seen any of that so far with the summer imports apart from Zaliukas and it that particular case I believe it was Redfearn who insisted we take him on.


  6. sniffershorts

    mmmn wondered when you would bring up this thorny subject or when again it would raise its spine… yes all a bit quiet again, all very vague …. yet again we were all shouting from the roof tops for an impending takeover… just wait for HF and his big gob to pick up on this … its inevitable, as he is a vulture and loves to pick at the old bones and carcase of our beloved club. trouble is we are impatient and just want to know either way red light or green light. some update from the club is surely due. investment is needed now as you say, get it sorted. I too read two prem players coming in, but only waffle about Stewart … who is the mystery second man… if they are blowing smoke up our backsides again, it will hard to ever believe another word from these ,nkejgnwkerhloijhojehgo;tiy I can just hear my friends when I tell em we are back ….. I can hear the yea yea whatever ringing in my ears…. again the players seemed to lift their game when the club spilled the beans…. are they as discontent as us the humble fan. to much tumble weed as per usual !!!!!!!!!!!!!


  7. It could only happen to us. One of the most reviled (not to mention corrupt)board members ever involved in Leeds United gets hounded out, then manages to blag a job as chief executive at the football league and assume power its members. If the FL are so stupid that they could make such an appointment then i can’t see them observing any protocol. Infact it wouldn’t surprise me if he tipped his mate off and bates announces the takeover.


    • So you dont think that it was his seedy credentials that got him the FL job in the first place ??? They are all bent as xxxx otherwise what happened to Portsmouth and Leeds wouldnt allowed. Its always the fans that pick up the peaces when a club goes insolvent and the former owners do a runner


  8. Mark carter

    Fair play rob.thats the most honest take on the takeover ive read.


  9. Ronald Osborne

    I myself believe that the reason we have been slow to finalize the transfers is because of the lack of funds. The reason for the lack of funds is down to the failure to complete the takeover, which if it is down to FA approval could be the end of Leeds, they should have rubber stamped the deal by now, so in my view someone is purposely delaying the deal. We know the past history involving the FA and Leeds.

    Get it sorted soon or we will be fighting off relegation not fighting for promotion.

    One other problem is the present owners do not have any funds either which could end with Leeds back into administration and 10 – 15 point deduction.

    League 1 is the future not Premiership.



  10. Well it is Harvey who we wait for, this only the reaction of a small minded who is still intent of doing as much damage to Leeds as he can.



  11. On a lighter note chaps,west hams , hopes of signing Lambert and Buttner have gone up in smoke.


  12. sniffersshorts

    back the manager with some cash, it wont be a case of us sacking him ….. he will leave …… he will become frustrated for sure …. WHERES THE MONEY!!!!!!


  13. MaltaWhite

    I could be wrong but I’m sure that I saw somewhere online a few days ago that the FL have asked for additional paperwork. I don’t think it has anything to do with funds not been available. More likely the FL are dragging their heels just because it is Leeds. Charlton were taken over hassle free from a foreign investor but for Leeds with its ‘local’ business men there seems to be hitches. You would think more digging would be done for foreign investors who usually just want a play thing for a few years, over local investors.


  14. Yeboahs boots

    I assume that the delay with the – ahem – takeover is a lack of transparency with the ultimate investors. Nothing changes at Leeds they buy and sell the club between themselves with never any investment in the team – the bit we support! If Hague has had to “invest” 6M to cover running costs since August as he claims, then we would be losing 18M per year and I don’t believe that’s true! If it were then GFH bought a club with no ground no training complex and losing millions a year, which is utter garbage!


  15. patrick hogan

    Ronald. I agree with you about previous bad blood between Leeds and the FA. But as I understand it; it is Fl approval we are waiting for.


  16. Well if ever proof were needed that off field events can affect what happens on it then this is it ,, SORT IT OUT MORONS


  17. john palmer

    hope it’s not another iwant 4 players in,hoping to get2 in, then 1 in beforew/end, then it’s difficult to get over the line we will have to make do with what we’ve got situation


    • Now you come to mention it, that DOES sound familiar. It’s just that, on this occasion, it appears that the problem may be outside the club and not in. At least we have to hope so. I suppose that would be progress of a sort.


      • Yeboahs boots

        That’s a very naive view Rob, it’s not the club or consortiums fault because that’s what the spinning haigh has told us so? Just a thought but Tory boy might be spinning dontcha think?


      • I blogged only yesterday about the need to get behind the club. To be consistent, a gesture of faith is needed, even in an article having a good old moan. As it happens though, I do believe it’s outside forces that are the problem here. And my sweet nature does sometimes tend towards naïveté 🙂


  18. Ronald Osborne


    I know we are waiting for FL approval, just my memories of a certain Lord ” M ” cannot remember his full name but he nearly put the final nail in the coffin. There are a lot of very influential people out there that would like Leeds United to fold just because of past history.

    I do not understand the delay this time round, we are already one week into January and nothing more about the takeover, I think Brian M can only expect conclusion to transfers once the takeover completes.

    Maybe I am wrong and everything is happening behind closed doors and will complete this week, who knows.

    I do think we will fail to get promotion this season after being so hopeful until the xmas period.

    Lets hope Brian can get the ball rolling this weekend and get a long run of wins.



  19. If its Harvey, the club needs to atleast drop the hint so the fans can do something about it….


  20. Alf Tupper

    Apparently another reason for delay was the holiday season which will have only been over yesterday. There is an investment up date on the OS tonight btw – confirming what we all knew weeks ago. Maybe they read this and thought they had best do something? MoT


  21. When Bates bullied and conned his way into LUFC, he was fronting an anonymous consortium, registered in the British Virgin Islands.
    Now David Haigh tells us that HE is fronting an anonymous consortium, registered in the British Virgin Islands.
    Sorry for being sceptical, suspicious and probably paranoid but it’s not difficult to imagine Bates being a significant owner and manipulator, given that our alleged owners have very little actual money of their own. Perhaps Postman Pat knows this, and is applying the mythical “fit and proper person” test?


  22. sniffers shorts

    Either you have ESP or they read your blog ….. Unbelievable yippee funds at last


  23. sniffers shorts

    Ha very good …. Oh and the scum are one down oh dear what a shame or is it sham !!!!!!


  24. Funds availible , scum 2-1 down , Paul the troll gutted ,
    Carlsberg don’t do cold wet Tuesday nights , but if they did


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