If you throw sweets into the midst of a crowd of small children, you have a frenzy like you’d thrown a carcass of a goat into a pool of piranhas.
There’s much thrashing about to be had and energy spent as everyone fights and grabs for more than their share. Replace ‘sweets’ with ‘takeover rumours’ and ‘small children’ with ‘Leeds United fans’ and you have a similar frenzy.
It honestly doesn’t take much, not much at all to get Leeds fans that excited. There merest hint of a like from a marked ‘interested party’ has sections of the Leeds support virtually frothing at the mouth in excitement. Others get similar feelings at the silence coming out of the club. Noise or silence, it is all said to point one way – over there, towards a takeover of the club.
Long thought of as the name behind the rumours, Andrea Radrizzani is the one making all the headlines today after he was spotted in the crowd taking in Leeds United’s 2-0 home loss to league leaders Newcastle United (below).
Radrizzani, the bespectacled gentleman with the white mobile phone aloft, has long been linked wit hthe club and rumours have been bubbling away just under the surface for months now. He’d been at the pre-season game with Atalanta and was seen at the opening game of the season, a 3-0 loss against QPR at Loftus Road.
The Yorkshire Evening Post’s (YEP) Phil Hay, in an article today, mentions the protracted nature of negotiations with Radrizzani, noting that an impasse had been reached between the Italian and Leeds owner Massimo Cellino back in September. When the YEP pressed Radrizzani, in a previous article, after interest arose back in August, the Italian businessman was unequivocal in his reply stating simply: “I don’t have any update to provide related to Leeds. “At the moment there is nothing concrete and (only a) simple conversation to understand the club better.”
Radrizzani resigned as a director of MP & Silva last month, but still retained interest in the company as a shareholder. When the YEP contacted MP & Silva at the time, they issued a statement saying: “Regarding Leeds United Football Club we are aware of rumours made in the media. However we cannot confirm that this (Radrizzani’s interest in buying the club) is the case and we will not make any comments on market rumours.”
Now Radrizzani turns up at Elland Road to watch Leeds United’s biggest game of the season, and with business associate Andre Tegner. Coincidence, or is there more to this tale than at first seems clear? There are other links, more concrete ones, between Radrizzani and fellow Italian Tegner with both of them listed as directors for Aser Sports Limited. In fact, Radrizzani registered with Companies House to become a ‘Person with Significant Control’ of the company on April 6, 2016.
The thing is, Cellino has always denied that he is looking to sell Leeds United; that denial coming through the Italian’s legal representatives. The truth of the matter is that, after months of rumours and at least three matches taken in my Radrizzani, there is no sale. Is there a discrepancy between what price Cellino has set for the club and the value that Radrizzani feels is worth paying for Leeds?
If there is something in the takeover water at Elland Road, it seems certain that for the moment it is staying distinctly out of sight, if not out of earshot. In any case, turning away from that there are more important matters at hand – like a response needed against a point-shy Rotherham this coming weekend.