Tag Archives: GFH

Leeds United: An Open Letter to GFH Capital 2

To whom it may concern,

You may remember me from my last letter, where I said you were doing alright, but you could be doing a lot better. You (you being GFH Capital or whichever PR company you’ve hired this week) have done some other things since, and they’ve mainly been alright, with a handful less than alright, and a couple that are better than alright. A summation of your time in charge of Leeds in one word: alright.

On that note, let me put forward what I think you should do next: sell the club. No ifs, no buts, no selling tiny cuts. Today’s sale of 10% to IIB is hopefully not the beginning of a continual sale of tiny percentages to a great swathe of purchasers, because it will create a club that, in the future, grinds to a halt as people without the knowledge play at being football club owners. As much as it seems a way to bring funds in, it will ultimately result in a club being run in a shambolic fashion. Too many cooks and all that.

On the other hand, everyone and their mother seems to be aware of this supposed takeover by Parkin and Pearson, with Phil Hay noting that that is seemingly not off the table after today’s announcement. Rather than selling segments off piecemeal, just give the whole megazord to the adults who have kindly come over to the kid’s table and put down the food you’ve been waiting for. It’ll save a lot of problems later.

The reality is that you’ve got a lot of good ideas, and these ideas are all an improvement on what went on during the previous regime. No one in their right mind would call for a return to the days of yore, where a tyrannical dictator sat on the throne, refusing to speak to anybody who couldn’t produce 47 individual charters that decreed them worthy of his presence. The reality is, however, that ideas are not money. Hell, I’d love ideas to be money, who wouldn’t? But they aren’t, and having the best intentions in the world doesn’t mean you can carry them out. We’d rather, as a group of fans, not see more mystery men buy pieces of the club in order to fund your ideas – by all accounts there are people out there who have both ideas and money. By all accounts they’ve been swimming around the good ship Leeds United for years, and it’s time to let them come aboard.

A few months back, shortly after I wrote the first letter to you lot, I sat with El-Hadji Diouf for about half an hour, and he said something very clever that I’ve been wanting to share for a while. He said that when he came, he could hear people singing “you Chelsea bastard, get out of our club”. Diouf was under no doubts about what the future of Leeds United needed. “For eight years, Leeds fans have been waiting for a Messiah”. I have thought about what he said often, and agree wholeheartedly that it is true. This Messiah is not necessarily a sheik or a billionaire, but merely one with the club at heart and the power to take us back where we belong. History is littered with false prophets GFH, and we’re on the cusp of a celebration of a man who claimed to be a messiah, whichever way you fall on your belief in that. You are not the coming of the Messiah we have waited years for, it is time to take the opportunity to leave.


Amitai Winehouse


P.S. Sell the club.

Follow Amitai Winehouse on Twitter (@awinehouse1).

Leeds United: Time to go, Neil. Has the United manager’s tenure reached a premature conclusion?

By Jack Bennett.

It was only around a year ago that the city of Leeds had mustered some new-found positivity on hearing the news that veteran manager and promotion specialist, Neil Warnock, would be Leeds United’s new manager. There was a sense of genuine optimism that had previously been lacking, due to a combination of on and off-field factors that had left the white faithful disillusioned and disjointed. Despite an uncertain league position and the play-off spots slipping from grasp, some fans even put speculative bets on promotion. It seemed that things were finally looking up, after ten years of turmoil.

Fast-forward twelve months, and the club is seemingly in no better condition than it was when Warnock took over. With forty-one points from twenty-nine games, the Whites are looking unlikely to muster a late play-off push, and another season has once again slipped by, one that will be regarded as yet another missed opportunity. Despite the 63-year-old’s claim that he is ‘doing a good job’, the Leeds fans have been angered and frustrated by his poor tactics and team selections, ignorance, and even nonchalance at the club’s disappointing league position. Having brought in a multitude of players – many of them from his previous clubs – at the start of the season, the manager can have no complaints about a playing squad he has assembled.

Although Leeds reached the League Cup fifth round, where they were beaten comfortably by a strong Chelsea side, and beat Tottenham Hotspur last week to reach the FA Cup fifth round, the club’s lifeblood – its fans – have been loud in their criticism and disapproval of Warnock’s tenure, clearly and understandably angry at the way their club is being run and managed. Another season of disappointment has been a bitter pill to swallow for the fans, whose happiness at the takeover news in November quickly being ousted by continuing poor results on the field and a swathe of unproven signings in January.

In essence, Leeds have reached a crossroads. By sacking Warnock and bringing in a young manager with fresh hunger for success, the club would be able to plan ahead for next season, refresh the squad, and make a concerted effort for promotion. The flip side is, of course, to continue with Warnock in charge – although he may well choose to leave in May – and seemingly go round in circles further, with outdated tactics and a penchant for signing former players, many of whom are past their use-by date.

This is a time of great change for Leeds United, and I only hope that GFH-C make the right decision in taking this great club forward, rather than leaving it to stagnate.

Leeds United: Ken Bates not responsible for programme notes today, has Ken’s power at the club reached rock bottom?

In what is quite a surprising twist, Ken Bates was not responsible for today’s programme notes, instead deferring to the GFH Capital team of Hisham Al-Reyes, David Haigh and Salem Patel.

Bates, famed for his vitriolic notes which tend to criticise a giant range of characters (calling Leeds fans names from ‘sickpots’ to ‘morons’), has apparently given up the duty for at least a week. This will come as a surprise, given Bates’s penchant for remaining in the public eye, and the fact that, given no word otherwise has emanated from the club, he remains chairman of Leeds.

If Bates has surrendered his power (and we cannot assume he has, given that it is only one week) to publish his thoughts in the programme, it suggests an internal power struggle has occurred, because Bates would likely not have given this up without a fight. It also points to the fact that GFH Capital won this fight, and have realised the potential damage given Bates a platform would cause to their attempts to reinvigorate the fans.

For those who have doubted GFH Capital’s control over the club, given what we feel is a figurehead position to satiate a weakened ego, this could be taken as a sign that things have changed slightly. It would be wise to watch the programme notes for the Bristol City game, to see if Ken Bates resurfaces.

Of slight interest from the programme notes is that GFH Capital are planning an event to meet the new ownership.

Follow Amitai Winehouse on Twitter (@awinehouse1).