Rumours of Kelly bid for Leeds amid administration speculation

Ken Bates, who today denied reports he is planning to relocate Leeds to South Leeds Stadium, has been told that entering administration may help to safeguard the club’s long-term future.

Ken Bates, who today denied reports he is planning to relocate Leeds to South Leeds Stadium, has been told that entering administration may help to safeguard the club’s long-term future.

A report in a national newspaper claimed Bates is in talks with Leeds City Council about quitting Elland Road for the 2,500-seater stadium, which houses amateur rugby league club Hunslet Hawks.

Leeds have already sold Elland Road and their Thorp Arch training ground to cover previous cash shortfalls and the club’s playing squad is short of valuable assets with a large percentage of players out of contract this summer.

However, the Leeds chairman is planning to sue over the article and said: “I want to reassure all Leeds fans that we have no intention of moving anywhere else at all and intend to stay at Elland Road, certainly as long as I am chairman.

“Another allegation made was that we would redevelop Elland Road for property, implying we would make a lot of money out of it.

“It’s no secret that we want to redevelop around the edges to give us a seven-day-a-week, 52-weeks-a-year off-field income, and that’s what we intend to do in due course.”

Barring a small miracle, Leeds’ relegation will be mathematically confirmed on Sunday when they fall into the third tier for the first time in their history.

Speculation persists that Leeds’ darkest day on the pitch could be followed by administration – and a subsequent 10-point deduction – despite Bates’ attempts to attract new investment.

Leeds defender Gary Kelly has been linked to a possible Irish takeover bid for the club.

But, according to a leading football finance expert, administration need not necessarily sound the death knell for the fallen Premiership giants.

Professor Tom Cannon, of Kingston Business School, told PA Sport: “It would be no surprise to see Leeds driven into administration, simply to call a halt to the financial demands currently on them and to restructure their debt.

“It’s all very well Peter Ridsdale saying it has been four years since he was in charge, but the truth is that it takes time to get rid of such massive debt.

“A number of clubs have gone into administration and come out of it in a healthier position.

“They have restructured their loans and persuaded people like the Inland Revenue to take 25 pence in every pound.

“One of the best examples of that restructuring is Leicester City.

“They not only drew a line under their finances, but also persuaded a number of their former players, such as Gary Lineker, to put money into the club and save it from going out of business in 2002.

“The case of Leicester illustrates what can be done, and that going into administration could provide a better platform for recovery for Leeds United.”

Former Leeds chairman Gerald Krasner expects the club to be placed in the hands of administrators early next week.

Entering administration would allow Leeds time to repay their debts and subsequently devise a plan for the club to raise money.

According to Cannon, the lack of willing investors in the club is baffling.

He added: “Leeds presents itself as a richer city than Manchester, and certainly more affluent than Liverpool and obviously Newcastle.

“So you have to ask the question: What do the locals know that we don’t know?

“What is stopping them from getting involved? They didn’t get involved before Bates took over so it can’t just be down to him being there.

“There have been a lot of attempts to raise the money, so what do people know or suspect that we don’t know or suspect?”

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