Analysis of The Past 11 Months at Leeds United Football Club


Well, where to start. Leeds United have gone through a tumultuous few months at the club, to say the least. In order to get a full grasp on things, let’s start in January.

Prior to current owner Massimo Cellino officially taking control of the club in April, Leeds United have been owned by a Middle East-based private equity group “GFH Capital,” who finalized a 100% takeover of the club from prior owner Ken Bates in November 2012. However, through the two years in which GFH was in control of the club, it seemed each day a new story of a consortium or minority group involved with GFH was coming on board and would be involved in some way at the club.

Then came “Sport Capital,” in January, a company Leeds United managing director David Haigh (who had been involved with GFH before joining the club upon the original takeover) was involved with. They were interested in acquiring a 75% state in the club from GFH. Yet, before we could even make it through a month, Sport Capital’s takeover fell apart due to a lack of finances.

In comes Cellino, the former president of Serie A club Cagliari. But, the hurdles weren’t over with just yet. After the club announced an exchange of contracts between the two parties on February 7, the Board of the Football League unanimously voted that Cellino did not meet their Owners and Director’s Test, putting yet another takeover of the club on hold. A formal appeal from Cellino followed.

Alas, on April 5, Cellino’s appeal was successful and the takeover was made official on April 10.

David Hockaday, whose only experience as a manager was with the Forest Green Rovers of the Conference Premier, was appointed manager on a two-year contract on June 19.

That didn’t last. He was gone in just 70 days. Academy manager Neil Redfearn was appointed caretaker on August 28 and all he did was get three wins in a draw during his stint in charge. So naturally, change was needed.

Next in line was Darko Milanic as he arrived from SK Sturm Graz in Austria on a two-year contract, with Redfearn stepping into a role as academy manager and head of coaching.

Just 32 days and six games without a win later, Milanic was gone. Redfearn has now been given the managerial reigns on a permanent basis with an initial 12-month deal.

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