Not many change ownerships of a football club have been as protracted as the recent takeover at Elland Road but after Alan Tate and Jerome Thomas arrived yesterday and the continued interaction on Twitter with some of the heads of the takeover Leeds fans are certainly cautiously optimistic for the future.
GFH Capital have finally taken over as the sole owners of Leeds United FC after agreeing a deal to purchase 100% of the club. Ken Bates will remain as chairman until the end of the season before a new GFH-led Chair will take the position.
In their online statement they mentioned many things but most positively was the line:
The deal sees GFH Capital Limited, which has financially supported the club since entering into an exclusivity period, injecting further funds into the club for working capital and to support Neil Warnock's intentions to strengthen the team.
Funds which are most definitely needed as under Neil Warnock there is little doubt that the club have a chance of gaining entry into the Premier League.
So what can Leeds United fans expect from the company?
Firstly this is not a foreign investor intent on a new plaything that has been seen elsewhere with the likes of Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain, Malaga and to some extent Manchester City but rather a business proposition so will view each transfer on that level.
The recent loan signings of Jerome Thomas and Alan Tate look like the type of deals that fans at Elland Road can look forward to in the future. Experienced and affordable players who will do a solid job at the club rather than unknown quantities. The company will of course look to invest in the squad as it is a necessity if they are to earn promotion to the Premier League; which would be of huge financial benefit to the club and firm.
The company have shown some sense in making chief executive David Haigh the spokesmen of the deal. A reported Leeds United fan himself and tipped to become chairman at the end of the season his accessibility and age make him an attractive proposition to Leeds United fans. At just 35-years-old he has already achieved incredible amounts in his relatively short life. The Cornishmen has already wooed some fans on Twitter with his virtual suggestion box idea and spoke warmly of the future of the club during an interview with This Is Cornwall last month:
"It is referred to as the last sleeping giant and that is the best way to describe it. It is a Premier League club that for some reason is not in the Premier League. We need to wake the sleeping giant again."
A month long transitional period now begins and while of course Leeds fans; who have been scorn by the hype machine on many occasions previously will remain dubious until things begin to go their way but on the face of it this seems as good a time as ever to be optimistic.
Here are some of the Tweets to David Haigh and fellow GFH staff member Salem Patel…
In Tenerife till Friday then Saturday at eland road should be rocking thanks to @haighdavid and co!!— hayden(@HaydenLewo) November 22, 2012
David Haigh and Salem Patel are mint, allowing us to sign 2 quality players 24 hours after taking over. Love being a Leeds fan!— joz. (@JordanRipley) November 22, 2012
image: © Chris Robertshaw