Comment and Opinion
Leeds United's prospective owner Massimo Cellino waiting for appeal verdict
Sky Sports News' Bryn Law takes stock of the situation at Leeds United - and attempts to explain exactly what is going on at Elland Road...
Last Updated: 08/04/14 8:55pm
Pretty much all the clubs I cover in the Yorkshire region have found themselves on the edge of the abyss at one time or another.
Leeds have often been in the headlines, from the Ridsdale crash to the current situation and I've spent days on end at the feet of the Billy Bremner statue reporting on yet another cash flow crisis.
But this one is testing even the limited financial knowledge I've acquired over the years - so it might be worth taking a few moments to work out just where we're at ahead of the announcement of a decision in the ongoing ownership appeal.
This much I know, I think. Massimo Cellino's the appellant. He wants to overturn a Football League decision to stop him running the club, as he failed its Directors and Owners test. The complication here though is that, as I understand it, he already owns the club. He's purchased a 75% shareholding.
The previous owners, GFH, agreed a deal with him but the sale agreement provided the opportunity for Cellino to sell on his 75% immediately - possibly in the event he failed the D&O test - but only on the understanding that he agreed to fund the club until such time as everything was sorted out.
He possibly hadn't realised the process would drag on so long, hence his reluctance to keep funding something he's bought but can't take home with him. Whatever the delays, with the agreement in place, GFH Capital must feel they have divested themselves of all obligations to Leeds United, no matter what the outcome of the appeal.
So, it would appear Massimo Cellino owns a club he may not be allowed to own!
If his appeal is unsuccessful, Cellino is likely to seek a swift sale to ensure he does not have any more responsibility for a loss making football club which already owes him several million pounds.
This is where the Leeds Together consortium might see their chance. GFH Capital initially refused to offer them a place at the table, apparently in the belief that there was little substance to their bid.
However, Leeds Together, headed by Mike Farnan, say their consortium has been strengthened by the addition of 'high net worth individuals' in the time the Football League has been deliberating the original deal.
Their hope now is that they can convince Massimo Cellino of their financial credibility in the event that his appeal fails. If he succeeds, he may still be tempted to talk, knowing Leeds Together boast local ties that may help allay some fans' concerns as well as those of the game's governing bodies.
The good news for fans worried about the club's current inability to pay its wages or any of its other bills is that administration appears to be an outcome that serves nobody's purpose, too much invested so too much to lose.
There are no doubt still more twists and turns to come in the craziest financial crisis I've covered. I dream of the day when reporting on Leeds United is all about big games rather than takeover delays and due diligence, in the meantime, you'll find me standing by Billy's statue.