WOW !.. It's been quite a newsworthy long weekend in West Yorkshire, and a bit of a farce.
It started when a Manchester based lawyer called Chris Farnell, who used to play for Blackburn Rovers, called Brian McDermott, the Leeds United manager to tell him that he was fired. Farnell had been hired by The King of Corn, Massimo Cellino, a Sardinian businessman who has owned Cagliari in Serie A on that island since 1992, but has moved them around even as far as Trieste, 500 km away because of the delapidated state of their 1990 World Cup Stadium, and has fired lots of managers, more than one a year.
He wanted to bring in an inexperienced Italian friend in his place, who had been banned from taking a seat in the dug out in the previous game v Ipswich Town. The current owners of Leeds United, who are skint, GFH Gulf Finance House, reversed the order and told Brian that he had his job back. Meanwhile, we all enjoyed Yorkshire Pudding Day on Sunday.
On Monday Farnell was in the board room at Elland Road but was escorted outside by a burly bouncer and by Directors David Haigh and Salem Patel. He has a web site www.globalsoccerandsportsconsultancy.com and has a photo of David Beckham in his England kit showing prominently. firstname.lastname@example.org with a Manchester number 0161 408 3635 if you want a chat and to invite him over for roast beef & Yorkshire pudding !!!....or just a roasting !!
The players responded by spanking nearby Huddersfield Town, "Yorkshires Club", 5-1 in front of over 30,000 at Elland Road with captain Ross McCormack scoring a hat trick.
It was later revealed that Cellino, who made his fortune in agriculture, loaned GFH £1.5 million, to help pay the players wages. On Monday morning 23 year old Andrea Tabanelli was transferred from Cagliari and showed up at the clubs training ground Thorpe Arch, outside Wetherby.
Although the Sardinian has supposedly purchased 75% of the club from GFH the Bahrain based owners, he has to meet the Football Leagues 'fit and proper' guidelines. United are operating at a loss, despite their large attendances, and will evidently lose £11 million this year alone. Director Salem Patel, who looks as if he could do with a good helping of Yorkshire Pudding, says " Like most other football clubs, our club runs at a loss".
On Tuesday an amalgamation of individuals from Sport Capital and Together Leeds, met GFH in London to try and match the Italian's bid. Meanwhile shirt sponsor Enterprise Insurance has withdrawn support for the club, although their seasons money has already been paid and spent. Enterprise has issued a winding up order against Leeds United in the High Court over supposed unpaid bills- seen as a delaying tactic.
Andrew Flowers, managing director of Enterprise Insurance, and former Manchester United International managing director Mike Farnan are behind the new combined bid.
The tragic saga continues while the players prepare for their next match at Yeovil on Saturday, which will be shown live on TV.