Leeds United – GFH Face Losing Battle

Personally, I can’t wait for the transfer window to close. The last 25 days has been the most frustrating period of time since, well, the takeover. Unfortunately, there are some recurring themes that have appeared throughout both.

When GFH took over they couldn’t have expected the amount of blame, and at times abuse, that would get thrown their way within the first few months of being here. Sure, they are the owners now and they have to accept responsibility for whatever goes on at the club, but to be slating them for an apparant lack of ambition one month into their tenure is ridiculous.

I understand how frustrating it is watching transfer windows come and go, how could I not, I’m just a fan like the rest of you, and throughout the last eight years that frustration has been completely justified every single time. Bates showed no ambition, he was here for the money, forever keeping his fingers crossed that Leeds’ lucky stars might all align one day and the club might pull off a complete fluke by getting promoted back to the Premier League. His lucky fluke never happened, his plan backfired. We’ve been told he left the club with a supposed £19 million debt, but what is the true cost of the Bates era?

Most of the fans are ruined. It absolutely kills me to say it, but they are. I dont mean in regards to wanting the best for Leeds, nor am I suggesting that as a fan of a club they are somehow inferior to others, but they’ve been burned too many times by Bates to trust anyone else. This, I dont blame them for, it has been absolute torture for us all.

Unfortunately, while I can defend their way of thinking, I cannot defend their assumption that GFH are the same.

Every single day I log on to Twitter or the messageboards and they are awash with ridiculous conspiracies that well and truly belong in the past. I’m going to use yesterdays news of Becchios transfer request as my example here.

As we all know, Luciano has handed in a transfer request, with the official site stating financial reasons as the reason for doing so. Bear in mind here, he’s been with us for five years now, he’s 29, has a family, and probably wants a new challenge after giving his all to the club.

Almost instantenously people errupted with all their collective anger aimed at GFH. Once again their financial stability came into question, their ambition got mocked and their integrity was being ripped apart shred by shred.

Not for the first time, people missed the bigger picture. If they’d looked closely enough they’d have noticed how the official site also mentioned that we’d tried to negotiate a new contract with a player that already ears more than anyone else at the club.

A lack of ambition? or a lack of desire to lead Leeds back into financial instability?

Football fans have short memories, but I cannot understand the anger over GFH not bowing down to Becchios demands, considering the whole reason we’re still trying to find our way out of the maze that is the Football League is because we once tried to live beyond our means.

I know it’s easy to assume that yesterdays statement was just the club reeling out the old ‘he wants too much money’ line because we’ve heard it so many times before, but that was under Bates. Just for one minute consider whether GFH might actually just be being open and honest with the fans about the situation, Becchio wants this much, we cant afford that much without leaving ourselves in a precarious position, and he’s requested a transfer.

I honestly dont think GFH realised quite the size of the task they took on when they bought our club, but I have no doubt in my mind that whatever decisions they make will be in the best interests of the club. I’ve said this a million times before but GFH do not pick the transfer targets, if a player is old or an ex Portsmouth reject it is not their fault. The same applies to players we try to sign on loan, if that player is only available on loan, and Neil Warnock wants that player, then GFH aren’t to blame for any lack of ambition.

As for Alan Tate’s comments about ‘the financial situation’ up here, I can’t help but feel like this is just a case of sour grapes. I for one am glad we are no longer wasting money on players that aren’t up to it anymore, meaning that we aren’t panic buying defenders like Tate just to fill the gaps.

Regardless, GFH must honestly feel like they cant win. On Wednesday the Yorkshire Evening post revealed that the club had made an enquiry with St. Etienne regarding Max Gradel. Phil Hay has since confirmed that this information didn’t come from the club and that he has had it confirmed by three different people. Despite this, some fans still think that the link is simply a smokescreen for a failed transfer window.

Once again, just forget everything from the last eight years, and imagine that the story could actually be true. If this was truly a PR stunt, why would GFH risk losing face over a player they know is held in the highest regard by the very fans they are trying to bring back to the club? These conspiracy theories all sound good at the time, but if you think logically about them for more than a minute you realize that they really dont make any sense.

In short, GFH have my every sympathy. The transfer window has 6 days left, and I’m still more than happy to give them what’s left of it to bring in the quality needed for a push on the top six. I know it’s frustrating and as I said earlier, I can’t blame anyone for having their doubts, but considering we’ve just gone through eight years of hell, let’s give GFH at least the next six days to prove that they really are the saviours they claimed to be.

If by this time next week nothing has changed then questions will need to be answered, but until then it makes no sense at all to implode.

Bates’ era ended last year whether you believe the conspiracies or not, it’s time for us all to move on from the damage he caused. I’m confident that by this time next week the only reason we’ll be looking back is to see just how different things are.

Having faith has always been central to everything we stand for as a club, for just one more week, keep it.

Twitter – @giddy_goose