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the square ball week

the square ball week


Tom Lees on the catwalk courtesy of

It was clear to every Leeds fan all through last season: there was only one way that real change was going to be brought about, and that way was a takeover. Some doubted it could ever happen; some thought that even if it did happen, it would have no real effect. As rumours grew stronger, we all wondered when takeover news would break, when we’d see something to fantastic to wow us all. Well, that day has come. The takeover has officially been completed, and we can publicly announce that Tom Lees’ face is now in new ownership. Everything will be different from now on. There’s nothing so infectious as a smile!

Maybe Tom just really really likes the new away kit – or he really likes Jason Pearce. For a change we’ll send you to our friends at Leeds United Brazil for the pictures, or you can see the catwalk version courtesy of Howson Is Now; then there’s this behind the scenes footage of a simply thrilled Leesy at the photoshoot. We quite like the shirt, although we’re not sure where that shade of blue – sorry, “azzurro steel” – has come from. It’s a bit-but-not-quite like the old Lazio shirts we wore when we were good, but it’s not really a ‘Leeds blue’ either: whether that be 1950s style, or 92/93, er, ‘style’ (we don’t care: that shirt’s a classic). The shorts, though… can anyone explain the shorts to us? Are you supposed to turn them round to keep your knees clean or something? While we drown in swag, spare a thought for Millwall – only one, though, they can’t handle much more than that – who as The Scratching Shed point out, will be wearing our old training kit next season.

We suppose the negotiations for the takeover of the club are marginally more significant than the new shorts, so here is an update: there is no update. There was an update from Leeds United last week, but despite the constant internet speculation (and we mean constant – get some sleep, people!) there has been no actual new news. Fear and Loathing is now up to week nine of his summer of torture, taking us through the release of LUFC’s official comment and serving up a cuddly metaphor to make us all go, aww. The Scratching Shed bemoaned another day of takeover frustration, then decided to hang it all and put out a to-do list for our new owners anyway – whoever they are. At Spoughts, Eric Winehouse is also turning to the future and hoping for an impact on the pitch. Flaming Hairdryer is convinced that whoever owns us next season, it won’t be Ken Bates – do you think he really owns a knapsack? – and Right In The Gary Kellys are already thinking about Ken’s legacy; or otherwise.

Although it does seem like the takeover is taking a thousand-billion-zillion years, it is only just over a week since LUFC announced that due diligence had begun. As was pointed out on Waccoe, here is an example of a due diligence process that took twenty-eight days. Waaah! The only thing to do, really, is follow the advice from Leeds United Supporters’ Trust and be patient. News will come when it comes. We realise that not a single one of you will take heed, so instead, here’s a tip off. We’ve heard a whisper that letters spelling out the name of Leeds’ new owners are hidden in this Evening Post interview with LUST chairman Gary Cooper. All you’ve got to do is crack the code. Honest.

If it wasn’t for the takeover, we’d probably all be talking about transfers, but they have felt more like an afterthought at the moment. That is, until yet another of our good first team players got sold this morning. We called Adam Clayton’s sale at Leeds On Line on Wednesday, and now it’s confirmed: he’s gone to rejoin Simon Grayson at Huddersfield for one of those undisclosed fees. It’s hard to know what to make of Clayton’s sale; on the one hand, he’s only really impressed for half a season in his time at Leeds, and it seemed like money was an issue; on the other, he’s a talented young player, and without him we’re a bit worried that next season our midfield will look too much like this. The info in our update suggested that Clayton out would also mean Paddy Kenny in, while Ross McCormack remains trapped in his own hokey-kokey nightmare; so perhaps this move will kick the blocks out from under the real transfer business. It better had: selling Clayton would be easier to take if we were currently buying good players at the rate of, say, Huddersfield bloody Town.

TSS have recognised that the impasse can’t go on much longer, with a crucial period coming up for getting players in (and out – and yes, we still mean you, Paul Rachubka). Their round up mentions Clayton, Lonergan, Kenny, Cox, Peltier, Chambers, Keogh (Richard, not Andy), Gerrard (Anthony, not Steven), Varney (Luke, not Reg), and Campbell (DJ, not a real DJ). Right in the Gary Kellys concentrate a bit more on the non-turntablist, adding that he’s no Jermaine Beckford, either. Warnock himself isn’t giving much away. Although if he feels like giving Rachubka away…

Lastly, while you keep your fingers crossed for the takeover to happen, please consider keeping your fingers crossed for us at The Square Ball too. We’re off to that London on Saturday for the Football Supporters’ Federation Writers Awards, where for the second time we’re in the running for fanzine of the year. We actually won the bloody thing last year, something we weren’t expecting at all; so excited were we, that we got tremendously drunk and co-editor Dan dropped our trophy. Our glass trophy. At least we got a picture of it before that great clumsy lummox smashed it on the floor like a twat. This year we’re nominated alongside fanzines from Sunderland, Arsenal, Brighton, Newcastle, and Manchester – yes, that part of Manchester – so it’ll be a stiff task to retain the title. We’ll let you know how we get on – and how much drunkenness and broken glass is involved – next week.