clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

After Leeds United's "day of chaos", will Red Bull takeover rumors return?

Brace yourself, Leeds is looking ripe for wild spin on the rumor mill. Again.

Clint Hughes/Getty Images

The Yorkshire Evening Post called it "a day of chaos at Elland Road": Leeds United's Chairman and de facto owner Massimo Cellino sacked head coach Uwe Rosler, appointed Steve Evans as to run the first team, and was then banned by the Football League from continued day-to-day involvement in the club's affairs. The ban follows Cellino's conviction by an Italian court for tax evasion after he was found guilty of failing to pay appropriate tax on an imported Range Rover.

Cellino will appeal the ban, which is scheduled to run until June 2016, but the Yorkshire Evening Post notes he has three additional legal matters pending in Italy. And this is the second time in less than 12 months that Cellino has been banned by the Football League for breaches of its Owners and Directors Test. He was exiled from his club from January to May of this year.

During that time, Leeds United was the subject of repeated and persistent takeover rumors, many involving Papa Red Bull. Or Russell Crowe.

Assuming Cellino is unsuccessful in appealing his ban, we can expect rumors of a Leeds United takeover or sale (possibly emanating from Cellino himself, who appeared to fuel at least one round of rumors during his last suspension) to appear sooner rather than later. And continue until whatever point it is Cellino returns or finally, unequivocally, cuts ties with the club.

Red Bull, it should be said, consistently denied any and all rumors of interest in Leeds - and has done so since at least 2013. Yes, the Papa-wants-Leeds rumor has been haunting Elland Road longer than Cellino (who took over the club in 2014).

Whether there is room in Red Bull's RalfBall master plan for another club is another question entirely - though the rumor started after the RalfBall project began (Ralf Rangnick joined Red Bull in 2012). Leeds does have an excellent academy and one of the bigger fan bases in the English game. It is an attractive target for any investor seeking an undervalued club with obvious potential to reach the Premier League and stay there, if properly managed.

That sound you hear is Red Bull Global Soccer chief Oliver Mintzlaff sighing. Leeds United is in turmoil again. The phone will shortly be ringing in Austria.