Tag Archives: Lucas Radebe

Major Leeds Investment – But it May Be Jam Tomorrow for “Under-capitalised” United – by Rob Atkinson


Haigh: investment negotiator extraordinary

After the initial flurry of excitement this morning – when first Twitter went into one of its periodic #LUFC meltdowns after David Haigh promised “great news” today and then the reliable Phil Hay confirmed it was a major investment that was being talked about – things have developed further.  First, Leeds United themselves confirmed that they had granted a period of exclusivity to an English consortium who would be making a significant investment, to be in place in time for the January window.  This in itself hardly came as a surprise to those of us who had thought Lucas Radebe’s earlier expression of interest would get things moving.  But the Leeds United statement made it expressly clear that the consortium does not involve ex-players (no Lucas) or ex-owners (no Smurf).  Phil Hay then tweeted that the United board are keen to have Lucas Radebe involved with the club, in an ambassadorial role.  Good move, though apparently it’s news to The Chief. Phew.  Busy morning.

Now though, we have an interesting expert opinion from sports lawyer Richard Cramer of Front Row Legal.  He feels that today’s news is clearly positive, but will not necessarily translate into giving United the freedom of the transfer market as early as January. Leeds United, thinks Mr Cramer, seem to be under-capitalised and need money to keep going. This view might well be supported by David Haigh’s own recent injection of a “seven figure sum” in the last week.  On the face of it, that would seem to be a superfluous move if Haigh had reason to expect that major investment would be coming into the club.  But if, as Cramer says, Leeds are still relatively strapped for cash to meet running costs – then maybe Haigh’s million or so was intended to bridge the gap between now and the completion of the consortium’s injection of further capital.

This is not to say that a bucket of cold water has to be poured all over this morning’s excited speculation about “daring to dream”.  While we may not be looking at blowing the rest of the league out of the water in this coming transfer window, it is still probably the case that Brian McDermott will have options in January, and will be able to flex a little financial muscle.

Mr Cramer feels that it is when the Financial Fair Play rules kick in and start to bite that Leeds will truly come into their own.  At that point, clubs will perforce be looking to shed players and reduce expenditure in order to comply with the regulations.  It will be a time when the “naturally big clubs” – including Leeds, naturally, because there are none bigger outside the Premier League – will have a distinct advantage because of their superior income streams.  So Leeds would benefit from operating in a buyers’ market; the cream would rise naturally to the top.

Whether and to what degree this somewhat more favourable scenario would still be warped by the parachute payments of relegated Premier League clubs remains to be seen. I’ve said before that, in any event, I’m not all that convinced about the motivations behind Financial Fair Play – but let’s face it, if in the short term it helped get Leeds back up to the top flight, I’d drop principled reservations of that nature like a hot brick – as I suspect others would also.

It’s going to be an interesting several weeks between now and the end of the January 2014 transfer window.  Will the identity of those involved in this English consortium be revealed?  Will Lucas hop aboard as Ambassador-in-Chief?  Will we be able to chuck our weight around in the transfer market?  My request has already gone up the chimney to Santa – delayed presents this year, please.  Tom Ince from Blackpool and Kevin Doyle from Wolves.  That would do nicely I think, though there will be many, many opinions and we won’t know the thoughts of the only man who counts until Mr McDermott has completed any deals he manages to get done.

Today’s news though is an overall positive, even if it isn’t going to be such a massive boost in the short term.  “Jam tomorrow” is still better than “Pie in the sky, by and by”. The signs are good for the continued revival of our club over the next couple of years or so, with a realistic chance of being back where we all know we belong, back at the top, somewhere in that time frame.  Now that is a dream worth daring to dream.

Radebe’s Confirmed Leeds Utd Bid Shows Immaculate Timing – by Rob Atkinson


The Chief – sign him up

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.

Radebe Backs New Consortium Leeds Bid? – by Rob Atkinson

As rumours go, it’s got a lot going for it. Highly attractive, incredibly exciting and with that soupçon of believability about it. Could Lucas Radebe, the beloved Chief of Elland Road really be heading back to the club as part of a UK group with takeover ambitions?

It’s difficult to imagine anyone who could be more welcome back at the centre of things at Leeds United than Lucas Radebe. He’d be a natural target for any serious consortium looking for a fan-friendly figurehead whose whole-hearted acceptance by supporters would be guaranteed. The rumour runs that this consortium have already had talks with fans group LUST, that they see a pivotal role at the club for Radebe, that they aim to guide United back into Europe – even that (and this is where the timescale seems unfeasibly short) they intend to back Brian McDermott’s recruitment plans in January. Surely things can’t move as fast as that? Or could this be the major investment, described as “close” by Salah Nooruddin last month?

McDermott apparently is seen as integral to the group’s plans, and they’re making the kind of ambitious noises that will have any Leeds fan sitting up, panting eagerly and begging. Lucas might be their ace in the hole, but it would have to follow that there are also substantial resources behind any such bid.

Of course at the moment it’s just a rumour – it’s not even been officially denied yet, and hasn’t stirred more than a ripple on Twitter. But it is a particularly attractive rumour, entirely because of the link with that man Radebe who so many that love the club would give their eye teeth to see return home in glory.

Could it happen? Given the timescale being talked about, we’d be liable to hear more pretty soon if this really is a goer. Watch this space – and fingers crossed.