Hollywood star Russell Crowe has not ruled out buying Leeds, saying “let’s just see how it goes”.
Last month the 50-year-old Gladiator and Noah actor ramped up speculation that he may be interested in bidding for the club he has followed since he was a child when he asked his 1.6 million Twitter followers whether or not he should do it.
United fan Samwild90 wrote to Crowe saying: “Please buy Leeds. In need of help!” and Crowe retweeted the message, adding the comment “Anybody else think this is a good idea?”
Now, in an interview for ITV’s Good Morning Britain to be aired next week, he said: “Since I was a little kid, Leeds has been my club.
“I love the club and I want nothing but success for the club, so I have a simple fan perspective.
“But I don’t want to put any pressure on the current administration, I never sort of said that to put a rocket up their backside but I think it worked anyway. But that wasn’t intentional and it’s not for sale at this point in time.”
But pressed by presenter Ben Shephard on whether he would buy the club if it was for sale, Crowe said: “Well let’s just see how it goes.
“The one thing that I’d have to really examine is the work-life balance because that would be a lot of effort and it wouldn’t be.....you do not go in and turn these things round in six months. You don’t get success on the field just by spending money.”
He added: “It’s a culture thing you know. But (club president) Massimo Cellino, he seems like a guy who, the first set of ideas that he has applied, they’re good, they’re solid.
“You can see that there is some movement forward but I’m like the rest of the grassroots of Leeds fans mate. Come on!”
Crowe made the comments during an interview with Shephard ahead of the release of his new movie The Water Diviner. It will air on ITV’s Good Morning Britain next Wednesday.
Earlier on Thursday, another Crowe interview did little else to dampen speculation and admitted he was growing “impatient” regarding the club’s progress.
Speaking on Simon Mayo’s BBC Five Live show on Thursday, Crowe did not deny or confirm the speculation of potential investment but did say that he wanted “nothing but success” for Leeds and was “getting a little impatient”.
“I love the club,” he said. “I want nothing but success for the club. But like many other Leeds fans – and probably in fact 99.9 per cent – I’m getting a little impatient, you know?”
“Some of your listeners may not know that I own a rugby league team in Australia which, again, is my childhood team and they were a champion team when I was younger.
“Then they’d fallen in to a state of disarray and they were perennial losers. So, nine years ago, I put my cheque book where my mouth is and bought the club.”
The Rabbitohs won the NRL Championship for the first time in 43 years in October and recently beat Super League side St Helens to become world champions.
“Step-by-step, by changing the culture, changing the merchandise, changing the player roster, changing the coaching staff, changing the administrative staff and changing our connection to our community – we have risen from being perennial losers to being competitive, to being dominant – and now we’re champions,” Crowe added.
“I have learnt a lot in nine years – it would give me nothing but pleasure to see that white army marching on together, getting back in the Premiership and being where they should be.”
Italian Cellino, who bought Leeds from Bahrain investment firm Gulf Finance House Capital in December 2013, is currently disqualified from running the club.
Cellino was disqualified by the Football League in January following his conviction in Italy for tax evasion and had his ban extended until May 3 earlier this month for withholding information about his conviction.
Cellino is currently appealing against the League’s punishment under the Football Association’s Rule K, which could result in an independent arbitration tribunal.