Following a year of angry demonstrations against owner Ken Bates and his seven years of poor leadership, Leeds fans were greeted with rumours at the end of the 2011-12 season that the club appeared to be up for sale, with several potential investors being linked with the club.
After much speculation, the club revealed part way into the 2012-13 season that is was in talks with a "Bahrain Investment Firm". After months of to-ing and fro-ing, anxiety amongst factions of the support over whether or not the deal would be done, a deal was finalised for GFH Capital to take over Leeds United on 21st November 2012.
Despite the dwindling of the club's fortunes by May 2013, Leeds fans looked ahead to the 2013-14 season full of optimism, with the Yorkshire club now being backed by a Middle East investment bank. The optimism was furthered on 1st July, when Crewe Alexandra's central midfielder Luke Murphy joined as the club's first seven-figure signing since Rob Hulse in 2005. The pre-season optimism hit fever pitch on the opening day of the season, as Leeds took on Brighton backed by a 33,000-strong home crowd and gained a 2-1 win, with none other than the £1m man Luke Murphy grabbing a last-minute winner.
By January 2014, Leeds were looking solid on the pitch, with fans expectant of a busy transfer window to help the club push on. Little did these fans know what was happening behind the scenes. GFH Capital, through loans to the club had put Leeds United in debt and with no money left to spend. The club was put up for sale and before long, chaos ensued at Elland Road, as eccentric then Cagliari owner and potential investor Massimo Cellino decided to pull the strings before a deal was even done. On the 31st January, manager Brian McDermott had been told he had been sacked. In a state of shock and protest, fans headed to Elland Road to attempt to trap Massimo Cellino and demand answers to the goings on at the club.
As you can tell by the video above, Brian McDermott was reinstated the day after, but stayed away from Elland Road on legal advice, where a Leeds side led by assistant manager Nigel Gibbs hammered local rivals Huddersfield Town 5-1. Following months of public explanations, Leeds fans gradually warmed to Massimo Cellino, who following a few weeks of negotiations and questionable passing of the Football League's 'fit and proper' owner's and director's test on appeal, took over the club on 8th April 2014.
With Leeds' season on the pitch having slipped through their fingers once again, it remained unclear whether or not Brian McDermott would remain in charge with some suggesting Cellino would decide to exercise a power that he is fully certain is his or whether McDermott would tell Cellino where to stick the job following his treatment. However the discussions went, Brian McDermott left the club (unstated whether he was sacked or had resigned) on 31st May 2014.
The month that followed was particularly busy in terms of transfers, with the club having signed no fewer than 15 players in the shape of goalkeepers Marco Silvestri from Chievo and Stuart Taylor from Reading; defenders Giuseppe Bellusci (Catania), Sol Bamba (Palermo on loan), Gaetano Berardi (Sampdoria), Liam Cooper (Chesterfield) and Dario Del Fabro (Cagliari on loan); midfielders Casper Sloth (Aarhus), Tommaso Bianchi (Sassuolo), Zan Benedicic (AC Milan), Adryan (Flamengo on loan), Nicky Ajose (Peterborough) and Granddi N'Goyi (Palermo on loan); and strikers Billy Sharp (Southampton), Mirco Antenucci (Ternana), Brian Montenegro (Nacional (PAR) on loan), Edgar Cani (Catania on loan) and Souleymane Doukara (Catania).
As for who will take the reins for the coming season, that's another matter with the club revealing nothing and most usual sources sworn to silence. All we do know is that with pre-season around the corner, an appointment needs to be made as soon as possible. Watch this space for more...