Adam Pearson - Starring in TOMA 2 - This time it's local! - Matthew Lewis
The trials and tribulations of Leeds United are the gift that just keeps giving. Just when we thought we could get through a week where action on the pitch may be all he has to talk about, Sunday night's revelation that another takeover is on the cards gives Stephen Clark plenty to discuss.
Here I was yesterday afternoon wondering what exactly I was going to talk about this week! After a performance at Wolves that was OK and a week where the club had managed to keep itself to itself, Sunday night saw Leeds United once again thrust itself into the public eye.
It was this innocuous little tweet from Adam Pope of BBC Radio Leeds which sent the Twittersphere into meltdown and once again saw our little club which everyone tells us isn't famous anymore trending across the UK.
Within minutes Twitter was ablaze with all sorts of theories, mostly of the conspiracy variety. What does seem clear is that GFH are not the rich sugar daddies we were hoping they would be, and that there aim along was to buy the club and flip it at the earliest opportunity. However I'm not sure anyone thought that this would happen within eight weeks of their own takeover being completed.
There are those out there who believe that GFH's are actually a front for Ken Bates and that he still has control of the clubs purse-strings and is still the true owner of the club. In my opinion this doesn't seem likely with Messrs Patel and Haigh having introduced practices in the club that were anathema to Uncle Ken. Half Season Tickets, Social Media and discounted tickets for less attractive matches were subjects Bates railed against on a regular basis, so for them to be introduced while still on his watch seems unlikely.
For me the most believable theory is that this Yorkshire based consortium were likely to have had some involvement all along. However with our beloved chairman not known for the ease with which he conducts his business, GFH have been brought in to get the wheels in motion. They have undertaken the horrendous task of sifting through the tangled web of offshore business, the multiple layers of loss making offshoots and sorting out the financial mess that building a club rather than a team has left Leeds United in.
Ken Bates always claimed that there was no one in Yorkshire with the money to invest in Leeds United and whilst that may be the case for an individual, there has been plenty of interest over the years from people who may have been willing to put in a little but were certainly not willing to let Bates control what was done with it.
Hopefully now those like minded individuals have got together and using GFH as brokers have put themselves in a position, possibly alongside some Middle Eastern investors to do a deal to get Bates out and try to put Leeds back where they belong.
One thing GFH have proved themselves adept at is PR. Is it possible that Adam Pearson's comments last week were a little dip of the toe in the water to gauge the reaction of Leeds supporters to his likely involvement? Pearson told Yorkshire Business Insider magazine: "I will definitely get back into football. I would like to go in with a consortium with a club that has huge potential.The one that stands out is Leeds."
Leeds fans are unlikely to read that publication, but the fact that they were reported on the BBC Sport website certainly grabbed our attention. Let's not forget that allowing the BBC back into the club was also an act of the new owners and what better way to cement a cosy new relationship than to give them a nice new tit-bit to report.
When the reaction seemed mostly positive, things appear to have moved quickly. Is the initial rejection of the deal nothing more than a smokescreen to allow GFH to appear to be driving a hard bargain, when to all intents and purposes it is a done deal?
This of course is all speculation coming from the mind of just one fan but in my tiny little brain it all makes sense. And wouldn't it be lovely for us thick Yorkshiremen to have put one over the canny business man that Mr Bates claimed to have been. Just to top it all off, let's hope the deal is announced at the Fans Forum next week, the sort of thing that would never have happened under Ken's regime. The club will be given back to the fans and we can begin to plan for the future. What a dream that would be.
If the takeover does go through, the new owners may have a quick decision to make on the management of the first team, and it wouldn't be my column without a little dig at Colin.
A couple of things came out of the Wolves game on Saturday. For the most part it was a decent performance, the team tried to get the ball down and play but it was still very laboured. The biggest shock was the absence of Ross Barkley and that can only mean that the chat between Warnock and David Moyes about extending the young midfielders loan didn't go too well. There can be no other reason for leaving him out of the side, as he has been far and away the most creative player in the middle of the park. If he isn't staying then it makes little sense to start him so David Norris and Paul Green were given opportunities and whilst Norris was his usual busy self, Green was a little disappointing with his passing at times atrocious.
Secondly it's time for Jamie Ashdown to be given a go as first choice keeper. Paddy Kenny has gone backwards in recent weeks and although he made a couple of decent saves, his kicking is awful and his antics which led to Wolves late equaliser were laughable. A mistake like that from someone who is not Colin's lovechild would have seen them slated but not a word was said about it post match, the manager again diverting attention away by moaning about not getting a sub on.
For me it's make or break this week for Mr Warnock. Defeat at Boro on Tuesday coupled with defeat at Man City on Sunday and the season is well and truly over. He has said that there has been no discussions over a new contract and revealed in his press conference before the Wolves game that he wasn't happy living 300 miles away from his family. Maybe the first act of the new owners will be to relieve him of that problem by sending him packing back to Cornwall.