May 26, 2008

Report Links MLSE With Leeds United

According to a report in The Sunday Mirror, a British newspaper, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment are looking to purchase and English soccer club, with one of their options being Leeds United. The team, which lost 1-0 in the League One Playoff Final Sunday afternoon, is playing in the third-division of the English Football League.

Leeds have been on a roller-coaster ride since 2001 when they were Champions League semifinalists. Money woes, which led to the selling of many of their high-priced talent, ended in their relegation from the English Premier League. Just a year ago the club went into bankruptcy and was almost dissolved before being salvaged by current chairman, Ken Bates.

I'm familiar with Leeds' troubles as I'm a "Whites" supporter. I really hope this report does not come to fruition, at least if MLSE becomes a controlling partner. They've done enough damage to the Leafs, I don't need them ruining my soccer club anymore.

What strikes me as odd is why MLSE would not go after an actual Premier League team. While Leeds United is a big club, it will be playing it's second year of third-division football in 2008-09. That means a very low profile on television and a minimum of two years before they'd play in the Premier League again. The odds of Leeds earning promotion over the next two years is highly unlikely.

UPDATE: Much to my earlier belief, the story is untrue as per a Leeds United release

Ballhype: hype it up!


Andrew said...

While you're right they have screwed up the Maple Leafs, they have done right by their other teams, the Raptors, and especially Toronto FC, who are doing quite well in only their second 2nd year and have the support of a city who haven't supported past football teams.

Sean said...

Andrew, yes you're correct. I guess the whole specter of MLSE running anything scares me after seeing their work with the Leafs.

Like I said, it remains to be seen what their reported involvement might be. If it's something along the lines of the Raptors/TFC, then sure. Ken Bates might be looking for just a cash injection as well.