10 July 2007 :: by
Over 24 hours after the self-imposed 'hurry-up' deadline announced by KPMG, the administrators of Leeds United, no announcement has been made as to the new owners of the Whites. It seems that KPMG are having difficulty deciding who has won the bidding war - which does seem appropriate given their below-par performance so far with their administration of the club.
It is understood that three bids have been received. Obviously, Ken Bates is in there as he has publicly stated that he'll re-bid eight pence in the pound, unconditionally this time. Would Ken Bates really tell everyone his bid before he submits it? Surely not? Anyway he's threatened to sue all and sundry if his offer isn't accepted (for a second time) and so maybe he feels secure in offering that amount seeing as no one else has been allowed to see the books! So that brings us to the other two brave souls who are now clearly trying to buy a pig in a poke...
Bates' most serious opposition would seem to come from what former Leeds Chairman Gerald Krasner called the 'super bid' of Simon Franks and Simon Morris who appear to have joined forces to overwhelm the Bates' offer.
The biggest speculation is over the identity of the mysterious third party - many believe it is Adam Pearson, former owner of Hull City and a former director Leeds United - from the time before Ridsdale and his bumbling acolytes destroyed the club. He has made healthy profit on his sale of the Tigers, although he did deny any interest in buying Leeds just a couple of weeks ago.
Speculation is also rife over another unknown potential bidder who went as far as hiring well-known firm Grant Thornton to place a bid for Leeds but who pulled out. How on earth the administrators can claim to be maximizing returns for the creditors when they place unbelievable restrictions on bidders is beyond the comprehension of casual observers of this farce. It is evident that at least one potential source of extra funds for the creditors, the club and the Exchequer has been driven away by the inexplicable decisions of the administrators to provide ridiculously short time-scales and restricted financial information to interested parties.
And so the wait for the Leeds fans goes on, secure in the knowledge that if Bates wins the HMRC will take us to court; if anyone but Bates wins, Bates will take us to court and whoever wins we could see a further court case over the conduct of the administration by KPMG from frustrated losing bidders and out-of-pocket creditors.
Oh, and the season kicks off a month tomorrow!
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