Having come through one of the most challenging times any club could face, Leeds United are back in the big time. The club endured financial meltdown in the early 2000s, was relegated twice, and spent more time in the bottom half of the Championship than they did chasing promotion. It weas not until the arrival of the likes of Victor Orta that the clubs position has changed. Today, it stands as a respected Premier League club playing some of the most entrancing football in Europe.
However, the club has also found its voice again on matters of league importance. At present, there is a continuous pressure on the Premier League to change its ways. The move for an independent fan-led review has been met with controversy across the league. While many of the smaller clubs are keen for this to happen, others have spoken out against the idea.
One person who has come out in opposition of the moves is the Leeds chief exec, Angus Kinnear. Despite playing a big role in helping to modernise the club since his arrival, Kinnear had no interest in a fan-led review of the Premier League and how it operates.
While many will disagree with his terms and his reasoning, at least the chief exec has offered his own view on the matter. Many other clubs have stood silent or, worse, have used anonymous ‘club source’ press leaks to try and fight back. Kinnear, to his credit, has put his name to his own opinion on the matter.
What did Angus Kinnear say about the fan-led independent review?
Put simply, the Leeds supremo was in no mood to back the plans. The fan-led review is seen by many as a positive, but others see it as a vindictive response to the European Super League furore. While Leeds were keen to stand against this ESL formation, they have been less comfortable with talk of fan-led reviews that could change how the league operates.
In a response, Kinnear said in his programme notes for the game against Crystal Palace: “Forgetting that independent regulation has not proven to be a panacea for any industry (take Ofwat presiding over three billion litres of leaked water every year and thousands of hours of illegal raw sewage disposal in our nation’s waterways as a case in point), it is hard to see the value an independent regulator would have added to the perceived issues,
“We should remember the European Super League was so repugnant in its conception and so seditious in its execution the game and its supporters regulated it out of existence without the need for a third party.”
Kinnear finished his point by adding: “When it comes to the takeover of Newcastle [United], it is inconceivable a retired civil servant in the pocket of Westminster would have made the call that, while it is morally acceptable to trade billions of pounds worth of arms to an oppressive regime, it is morally unacceptable for them to own 11 teenage millionaires who kick around an inflated pig’s bladder.”
Strong words, and many will disagree – but it is a clear opinion and a stance from the club on the matter. While some would love to see the game ‘returned’ to the fans, Kinnear might be right that a review in this nature might not be the best vehicle top promote and eventually create change.