Tag Archives: toronto

Former Spurs starlet John Bostock joins Toronto on loan

Former Spurs starlet Bostock seeks to revive his career with MLS side Toronto

PUBLISHED:

19:06 GMT, 8 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

19:06 GMT, 8 March 2013

Tottenham midfielder John Bostock has joined Canadian side Toronto FC on loan until the end of June.

The former Crystal Palace starlet has been at White Hart Lane for five years but has failed to break into the first team.

Out to impress: John Bostock will have a stint in the MLS

Out to impress: John Bostock will have a stint in the MLS

The 21-year-old has spent time out on loan at Brentford, Hull City, Sheffield Wednesday and Swindon Town.

Bostock will now head out again to gain further experience and he will this time go to Major League Soccer, where he will link up with former Spurs team-mate Ryan Nelsen at Toronto.

Nelsen was recently appointed as the club’s head coach and will be delighted to have increased his midfield options until June with the addition of Bostock.

The Footballers" Football Column – Rohan Ricketts: Globetrotter how he moved from England to Ecuador via India

ROHAN RICKETTS: Cows in the road and Twitter row meant my Indian adventure ended early… but I went back in time to live the dream in South America

PUBLISHED:

08:20 GMT, 18 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

14:06 GMT, 18 February 2013

Rohan Ricketts

Rohan Ricketts started his football career playing for Arsenal and was part of the hugely successful side that won the FA Youth Cup in 2000 and 2001. But a year later he made the move that only four players before him had and crossed the north London divide to join Tottenham. After 30 appearances for the White Hart Lane club, Ricketts began his football journey playing for Wolves, Coventry, QPR, Barnsley before he opted to move abroad and to join MLS side Toronto FC. Since then he has played in Hungary, Moldova, Germany, Ireland and India. He is now playing in South America, in Ecuador. Before you read his first Footballers' Football Column, watch his video.

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I’ve often been called a ‘journeyman’ in my football career and in late 2012 I made my biggest journey to date when I signed for Dempo SC in Goa, India. It doesn’t sound like the most obvious move to make but, as they say, football is a funny old game.

Last summer I was really keen to return to the UK, after a stint at Shamrock Rovers in Ireland so I returned to London to see what I could find.

But it is such a tough market and there were so many players looking for a club. There’s a fine balance between holding your nerve and waiting to find a club or signing somewhere to ensure financial security for your family.

Getting to know the locals: Ricketts enjoyed his short spell in India, despite his issues on the pitch

Getting to know the locals: Ricketts enjoyed his short spell in India, despite his issues on the pitch

There were many players who were still looking for a club even after the season started. It’s easy to assume that players are being choosy about which club they sign for and ruling out lower league clubs but for me that wasn’t the case.

I love playing football, it’s what I was born to do. I may have been nearing 30 but I had no plans to give it up just yet.

After much deliberation with my family and friends, I made the decision to sign for Dempo SC. India isn’t really known for its football, I knew it would be different to Europe but the challenge of living in another country and helping them to build up the reputation of football really appealed to me.

I did it before when I signed for Toronto FC in MLS and I found it really rewarding to help educate a new generation about the sport.

First move abroad: Ricketts moved to MLS and joined Toronto

First move abroad: Ricketts moved to MLS and joined Toronto

I was told how serious Dempo SC were about growing football in India and I was excited to join them so I signed until May 2013.

It
certainly was a world away from London. It gets so hot there that we
were doing all our training sessions and practice matches early in the
morning before it got too unbearable.

It was fascinating to live in such a different culture, I was late for training on a couple of occasions due to cows in the road which was certainly something I had not experienced before and was I confronted with severe poverty in certain areas, which was difficult to see.

On the pitch, it was great to taste victory on the first day of the season after such a long break away, but it really was a different game to the one I am used to. It was the tactics that were lacking, rather than the players' skill level, so I was confident we would improve as the team gelled.

Rohan Ricketts

Mobbed: Ricketts helped Shamrock Rovers win the Irish League

Luck of the Irish: Ricketts enjoyed his spell with Shamrock Rovers and helped them win the Irish league

Unfortunately I didn’t get the chance to see if that would be the case. I had joined the team under the impression that they wanted me to play as I do and that they wanted to develop a passing style.

However the coach soon made it clear that he was expecting me to adapt to the way they played. It didn’t help that he was trying to play me as a striker rather than an attacking central midfielder.

I had some discussions with him about this in the early days and he did start to play me in the
right position.

Young stars: Rohan Ricketts was part of the Arsenal Youth team that included Steve Sidwell, Moritz Volz, Jermaine Pennant and Jay Bothroyd

Young stars: Rohan Ricketts was part of the Arsenal Youth team that included Steve Sidwell, Moritz Volz, Jermaine Pennant and Jay Bothroyd

Ricketts playing for Spurs

Rohan Ricketts

Crossing the divide: Ricketts moved to Spurs after starting his career in the Arsenal youth team

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I mentioned everything that was happening on my Twitter account, something the coach was not happy about. When the Indian press asked him about the things I was saying he denied it and said that I had misunderstood.

I knew that I hadn’t, although I do recognise that talking about it in 140 characters on Twitter was perhaps not the best forum. I was just frustrated because I wanted the team to do well.

As a result of my comments I was put on the bench for the next four games, in both the Goa and
I League.

The team did not do as well as we had been doing and it was really hard to sit and watch, but I remained professional and trained hard. It was a big plus to have moral support from a lot of the key members of the squad. This is something that can be rare being a player in a foreign country.

Eventually after keeping my focus and positive spirit, I was re-instated in the starting XI against Salgoacar FC. The game was tough but we ended up winning 2-1, and I scored my first I League goal and then set up the winnner.

After the game the coaches and players were in a good mood and we had gone two points clear at the top of the table. I had hoped that was the turning point for me but unfortunately things didn’t improve with the head coach.

It was a really uncomfortable situation with him and again I spoke out about the difficulties I was having on Twitter. After my first tweets I had spoken with the President of the club, who is a great guy, and he was supportive but obviously I understood that he needed to run the club successfully and for that he needs a united team.

I wasn’t trying to unsettle things with my later tweets but I couldn’t stay silent.

After further discussions with the President it became clear that my position at the club was untenable.

I can’t talk about everything that happened there but suffice to say that I have the utmost respect for the President and my team mates at Dempo SC along with the many fans who I met while I was there. I wish them every success this season.

Fortunately for me, when I knew that I was leaving Dempo, I was able to sign very quickly for a new club – 10 hours back in time at Deportivo Quevedo in Ecuador.

Playing in South America has always been a dream of mine so when my agent told me about this opportunity, I jumped at the chance.

A new excuse for being late: Ricketts was later for training due to cows in the road (file picture)

A new excuse for being late: Ricketts was later for training due to cows in the road (file picture)

Fans' favourite: Ricketts is surrounded by fans as he leaves training

Fans' favourite: Ricketts is surrounded by fans as he leaves training

I have been here for a month now and am settling in well. My team-mates have been very welcoming and I have joined in pre-season, which is refreshing after my last couple of moves where I have joined mid-way through and struggled to get to the same fitness level.

We played our first game of the season at the end of January against the Champions and biggest club in Ecuador Barcelona SC. Before the game I could feel the hype surrounding the game and for me it felt like I was involved in a Premier League fixture back home against Manchester United.

Fans all over our city, Quevedo, were stopping me daily to let me know how big the game was for them.

Talk about pressure on your first game.

This pressure was not new to me but I could still feel the anticipation and excitement all around. I'm grateful to be part of such moments. This is no doubt the stuff of dreams for others but for me it is reality.

I knew I was starting in the game a week before, so I did not have the annoying waiting game surrounding team selection.

On the move: Ricketts left India to move to Deportivo Quevedo in Ecuador

On the move: Ricketts left India to move to Deportivo Quevedo in Ecuador

Once the game day arrived and we got to the stadium and the energy around the ground was almost tangible. Salsa music was playing and the people were chanting an hour ahead of
kick-off.

I just tried to remain cool as I did not want to lose energy. Good thing I did because the game turned out to be a real scrap due to the bad weather which turned the pitch into a mud bath.

I was hoping to get on the ball and play our passing game, but it was not to be for either side.

ROHAN RICKETTS

Follow Rohan on Twitter: @RohanRicketts

It was all about winning the second ball and playing on the counter attack. We adapted really well to the conditions and took the lead early on but the referee seemed to have his own agenda, in the second half when he gave Barcelona as penalty which was never a penalty and then didn't give us a penalty for a blatant handball in their box.

I won't go too much into the incident as I may get myself in trouble, but the game ended 1-1. A good point for us against the champions and a good team performance.

I was relatively pleased with my performance but I know the conditions limited my chances of being more active in dangerous areas.

I'm adapting quickly and learning the lingo, which will only speed up the settling in process and help me get the most out of my latest football adventure.

QPR keen on West Brom defender Jonas Olsson

Redknapp want 5m Olsson to help save QPR from the drop

By
Lee Bryan

PUBLISHED:

08:15 GMT, 10 January 2013

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UPDATED:

08:32 GMT, 10 January 2013

QPR boss Harry Redknapp has made a 5million bid for West Brom defender Jonas Olsson, according to reports.

Redknapp priority in this transfer window is to strengthen his defence to try and help his side in their battle against relegation and is keen on Olsson, whose outstanding form this season has also seen him watched by Arsenal.

The 29-year-old has a 4m buy-out clause in his contract in the summer and QPR believe they can get him this month.

Top target: Jonas Olsson is the man Harry Redkapp wants to sign

Top target: Jonas Olsson is the man Harry Redkapp wants to sign

According to The Daily Mirror Olsson is keen on a move to London and Redknapp is keen for him to replace Ryan Nelsen, who is off to the MLS to manage Toronto.

Redknapp is also considering a move for Tottenham defender William Gallas.

Looking to strengthen: Harry Redknapp wants to add to his defence

Looking to strengthen: Harry Redknapp wants to add to his defence

The QPR boss is an admirer of the French defender after managing him at White Hart Lane.

But persuading Olsson to join relegation-threatened Rangers from Europe-chasing Albion is his main priority.

NBA: James Harden inspires Houston Rockets to beat Detroit Pistons

50m Rocket man Harden starts NBA season with a bang as Houston beat Detroit

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UPDATED:

10:26 GMT, 1 November 2012

Houston Rockets opened their NBA season with a stirring 105-96 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday thanks to James Harden's 37 points and 12 assists.

Houston acquired Harden on Saturday in a trade with Oklahoma City and agreed a five-year, 50million contract extension with him.

Detroit led 83-72 early in the fourth before Carlos Delfino's four three-pointers and Harden shifted the momentum to Houston.

A pretty penny: Houston Rockets signed James Harden (right) on an eye-watering 50m contract

A pretty penny: Houston Rockets signed James Harden (right) on an eye-watering 50m contract

Star man: Harden (left) goes to the basket past Detroit Pistons guard Brandon Knight

Rocket man: Harden (13) drives past Detroit Pistons centre Greg Monroe

Star man: Harden drives to the basket on his way to a big haul of 37 points against Detroit Pistons

Brandon Knight led Detroit's scoring with 15 points.

At Toronto, George Hill scored the winning basket with two seconds left to complete the Indiana Pacers' rally for a season-opening 90-88 win over the Raptors.

David West scored 14 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter, and Paul George had 14 points and 15 rebounds for the Pacers, who trailed 84-74 with just under six minutes left. Roy Hibbert added 14 points for Indiana.

Kyle Lowry shone for Toronto with 21 points, and Jonas Valanciunas had 12 points and 10 rebounds in his NBA debut. Andrea Bargnani had 16 points, and Jose Calderon added 15 for the Raptors.

Decisive: Indiana Pacers' George Hill (right) scored the winning basket against the Toronto Raptors

Decisive: Indiana Pacers' George Hill (right) scored the winning basket against the Toronto Raptors

Three-pointer: San Antonio's Tony Parker

Three-pointer: San Antonio's Tony Parker

San Antonio's Tim Duncan scored 24 points and Tony Parker hit a huge three-pointer as the Spurs opened the season with a 99-95 victory over the New Orleans Hornets in the debut for top draft pick Anthony Davis. Davis scored 21 points and grabbed seven rebounds.

In other games, Joakim Noah scored 23 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in the Chicago Bulls' 93-87 win over Sacramento Kings. Richard Hamilton added 19 points, while Carlos Boozer chipped in with 18 points and eight rebounds.

Spencer Hawes had 16 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Philadelphia 76ers to an 84-75 win over the Denver Nuggets, while Mo Williams and Marvin Williams each scored 21 points to lead the Utah Jazz to a 113-94 victory over the Dallas Mavericks.

Golden State's Carl Landry scored 12 of his 17 points in the in the fourth quarter as the Warriors overcame an awful post-contract night by Stephen Curry to edge past the Phoenix Suns 87-85 in the teams' season opener.

Curry, who earlier in the day agreed to a four-year, 27million extension with the Warriors, missed his first 10 shots from the field and wound up two of 14 with five points.

Superstorm sandy: New York marathon still on

New York Marathon still on as NBA and NFL stand up to Superstorm Sandy

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UPDATED:

10:52 GMT, 31 October 2012

The big hitters of American sport are refusing to be beaten by Superstorm Sandy with the NBA and NFL set to go ahead as planned over the next few days.

The New York marathon is also expected to take place on Sunday despite fears that many of the 50,000 runners will not be able to make it to the start at Staten Island.

Race against time: Runners need the Staten Island Ferry - but the terminal was forced to close

Race against time: Runners need the Staten Island Ferry – but the terminal was forced to close

It's back: The NBA returned this week and Brooklyn are set to face New York on Thursday night

It's back: The NBA returned this week and Brooklyn are set to face New York on Thursday night

The show must go on….

Fixtures on the east coast this week

NBA
31/10 – Philadelphia v Denver
1/11 – Brooklyn v New York
2/11 – New York v Miami
Boston v Milwaukee
Cleveland v Chicago
3/11 – Washington v Boston
Brooklyn v Toronto
4/11 – New York v Philadelphia

NFL
4/11 – New York Giants v Pittsburgh
Washington v Carolina
Cleveland v Baltimore

New York Marathon – Sunday, November 4

The subway is flooded and, along with most of the city's bridges and tunnels, was closed just five days before the 26.2-mile race through the five boroughs.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg warned that the underground system may not be running by the weekend but New York Road Runners president Mary Wittenberg said in a statement: 'The marathon has always been a special day for New Yorkers as a symbol of the vitality and resiliency of this city.

'We will keep all options open with regard to making any accommodations and adjustments necessary to race day and race weekend events.

'The city is rightfully focused on assessment, restoration and recovery.'

At least 22 people have been killed in New York with the total death toll hitting 50 as Sandy wrecked the Eastern Seaboard.

Hammered: Cars were left under water in the East Village as Superstorm Sandy devastated New York

Hammered: Cars were left under water in the East Village as Superstorm Sandy devastated New York

Flattened: Over 100 homes were lost as fire ripped through Breezy Point in Queens

Flattened: Over 100 homes were lost as fire ripped through Breezy Point in Queens

Ripped up: Trees came crashing down all over the Big Apple as Sandy hit the region hard

Ripped up: Trees came crashing down all over the Big Apple as Sandy hit the region hard

As the clean-up begins, the cost is expected to hit $50bn while President Obama described the storm as a 'major disaster'.

Almost 20,000 international runners hope to take part in Sunday's marathon and JFK Airport was due to reopen on Wednesday. It is unknown at this stage when LaGuardia and Newark would be back in business.

Runners who can't get to New York should have until Saturday instead of Wednesday to withdraw from the race and reserve a spot in the 2013 marathon. But they won't get a refund and will have to pay again next year.

Race organizers were expected to reschedule the elite runners' flights to get them in on time.

In basketball, the Nets play the first match at their new Brooklyn home against the Knicks on Thursday evening while the New York Giants entertain NFL rivals the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday.

Bring it on: The Giants are due to play the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday

Bring it on: The Giants are due to play the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday

Baltimore Ravens had their training disrupted as they were forced to run off a generator after losing power but the Giants, Buffalo, Cleveland, Phildelphia and New England reported no damage despite the east coast of the country taking a battering.

Next year's US PGA Championship has also been hit as Oakhill Country Club in Pittsford, New York has lost several trees.

Rafael Nadal out of US Open through injury

Boost for Murray as world No 2 Nadal pulls out of next month's US Open through injury

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UPDATED:

15:56 GMT, 15 August 2012

Andy Murray has been handed a boost in his bid to win a maiden Grand Slam after Rafael Nadal withdrew from next month's US Open.

Nadal has withdrawn from the US Open with the knee injury that has kept him out of action since Wimbledon.

Out: Nadal has withdrawn from next month's US Open through injury

Out: Nadal has withdrawn from next month's US Open through injury

The world No 2, who completed his set
of grand slams by winning in New York in 2010, was forced to miss the
Olympics and the Masters Series events in Toronto and Cincinnati with
the injury, and announced on Wednesday that he is still not ready to
compete.

Nadal said in a statement: 'I am very
sad to announce that I am still not ready to play and have to withdraw
from this year's US Open in NYC.

'I am sorry since I always found great
crowds and great support, but I have to continue with my recuperation
and preparation to be ready to play in the right conditions.

'I want to say hi and thanks to all the fans, in particular to the New Yorkers. I'll miss you all this year at the Open!'

Raheem Sterling wanted by QPR

Rangers' Sterling effort as Hughes eyes move to bring wonderkid back

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UPDATED:

23:50 GMT, 24 July 2012

Loan move: Sterling could be shipped out by Liverpool

Loan move: Sterling could be shipped out by Liverpool

Queens Park Rangers are plotting a move to bring wonderkid Raheem Sterling back to Loftus Road.

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers is contemplating sending the 17-year-old forward – the club's best prospect – on loan ahead of next season to get regular first-team experience.

And Rangers boss Mark Hughes wants to be at the front of the queue if Liverpool decide to let Sterling leave on a season-long loan. Liverpool are thought to be aware of QPR's interest.

The England Under 17 star left west London for Merseyside in 2010 after spending seven years at Rangers.

Since his arrival at Anfield, he has made three first-team appearances. He is currently on Liverpool's tour of North America, where he impressed against Toronto on Saturday.

Brendan Rodgers hopes Martin Skrtel won"t leave Liverpool for Manchester City

Rodgers battling to hold on to Skrtel as City, Napoli and Anzi wait in the wings for defender

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UPDATED:

21:00 GMT, 22 July 2012

Fantasy football 2012

Brendan Rodgers is determined to fight to keep Martin Skrtel at Liverpool as the impasse in his new contract negotiations are no closer to being resolved.

Liverpool made improving the terms of Slovakian defender one of their top priorities this summer but he has been courted by Manchester City, Russia’s super rich club Anzi Machakala and Napoli.

In or out Martin Skrtel is being courted by Manchester City amongst others

In or out Martin Skrtel is being courted by Manchester City amongst others

Skrtel, who has two years remaining on his current deal, played 45 minutes of Liverpool’s 1-1 draw against FC Toronto but afterwards he refused all requests for interviews, including from the club’s in-house television station.

Rodgers insists Liverpool have not received any bids for Skrtel, 27, and maintained contract talks have not broken down but it is clear there will be no immediate solution.

Battle: Brendan Rodgers hoped to hold on to the centre-back

Battle: Brendan Rodgers hoped to hold on to the centre-back

‘I’ve heard nothing from any other club,’ said Rodgers. ‘Martin has been fantastic. He seems happy and contented. He has fit into my plans and ideas. I will fight as hard as I can to keep the players that I want here and Martin is one of them.’

Contract talks: Skrtel will be offered an improved deal at Liverpool this week

Contract talks: Skrtel will be offered an improved deal at Liverpool this week

Luis Suarez has also not signed new terms but Rodgers was noticeably more upbeat when discussing the controversial Uruguayan striker.

Juventus have been monitoring him for much of the summer but Liverpool are adamant that he is not for sale.

‘I’m confident Luis is really looking forward to playing for us this season and is really looking forward to this way of football,’ said Rodgers.

‘I have spoken to him and had nothing but positivity from him.

'He is obviously at the Olympics and I wish him well, but I will wish him better when he comes back.

‘Unfortunately there is always that rumour, speculation and gossip and until the window closes that will continue.

Hopeful: Rodgers believes Luis Suarez, seen here modelling Uruguay Olympics strip, will stay on Merseyside rather than joining Juventus

Hopeful: Rodgers believes Luis Suarez, seen here modelling Uruguay Olympics strip, will stay on Merseyside rather than joining Juventus

'I’m just looking forward to getting every player back. It is important to get the whole group here and get some new signings here.’

Liverpool’s England contingent, including captain Steven Gerrard and Andy Carroll, join up with the squad in Boston on Monday, along with new signing Fabio Borini, but it is looking unlikely that they will be ready to figure in their Europa League qualifier in 10 days’ time.

‘They fly in late on Monday so their first session is Tuesday,’ said Rodgers.

‘It is a long, long season and I need to protect the players. Touch wood the conditioning is going well at the moment and I want to keep it that way.’

Brendan Rodgers must wait to see Alberto Aquilani in action

Rodgers must wait to decide on Aquilani's future as misfit midfielder struggles with injury

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UPDATED:

21:30 GMT, 14 July 2012

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has been forced to delay making a decision on Alberto Aquilani’s Anfield future.

Rodgers, who takes his players to North America on a pre-season tour on Monday, is still waiting to see Aquilani in action after the 28-year-old Italian spent last week on the treatment table.

Misfit: Alberto Aquilani has struggled since his move to Anfield in 2009

Misfit: Alberto Aquilani has struggled since his move to Anfield in 2009

Aquilani has made only nine league starts for Liverpool because of injury after being signed by Rafa Benitez. The midfielder was sent to Italy on loan and was a success at AC Milan last season.

But Rodgers is keen to assess him first-hand before deciding if he can fit into the style he wants at Anfield.

The club are hopeful Aquilani will be on the plane on Monday when Liverpool leave to play games in Toronto, Boston and Baltimore.
England’s Euro 2012 players are being given an extra week off while Luis Suarez and Craig Bellamy are on Olympic duty.

Liverpool will continue their pursuit of Fulham’s US striker Clint Dempsey this week following the arrival of 8million Italian forward Fabio Borini and the departure of Maxi Rodriguez to Argentina.

Rodgers has wasted no time telling his players how he wants them to play. Charlie Adam said: ‘If we keep the ball, the other team have to chase it. That’s what the manager is drumming into us.’

Leeds confirm talks with potential investors

Leeds takeover bid speculation increases after club confirm talks with potential investors

|

UPDATED:

15:08 GMT, 29 May 2012

Leeds have confirmed they are in talks with an unnamed group of potential investors.

Speculation has been mounting since the weekend that the club could be the subject of a possible takeover, while it is understood discussions have taken place in Leeds.

A club statement read: 'Further to media reports on Tuesday morning, the club can confirm that talks are taking place regarding investment for the long-term future.

Potential: Leeds could be taken over

Potential: Leeds could be taken over

'The club has always publicly stated that it would welcome potential investment, but has maintained a belief whereby the quality of the investor is the most important factor in terms of the long-term development of Leeds United.

'No further comment will be made at this stage.'

Canada-based Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment (MLSE), owners of NHL ice hockey franchise Toronto Maple Leafs, have been mentioned on internet fans’ forums, but it has been reported the company have denied any involvement in last week’s meetings.

Leeds United Supporters Trust also commented on the talks.

A statement on LUST’s website read: 'We are aware of firm interest from a number of parties looking to buy Leeds United… We understand that Leeds United are in talks with at least two separate groups. We also understand there is one firm bid on the table at present.

Annoyed: Robert Snodgrass blasted Ken Bates recently

Annoyed: Robert Snodgrass blasted Ken Bates recently

'In February we responded to [chairman] Ken Bates’ suggestion that we ‘put our money where our mouth is’ by asking any potential investors, who shared the aims and ambitions of our members and of our Vision Statement, to contact the Trust with a view to working together to take Mr Bates up on his offer.

'We developed a presentation so interested parties could see how working with LUST could help them and have been in contact with a number of people to explore ways of bringing about change for the better at Elland Road.

'As part of this ongoing work we have spoken to two groups who are interested in buying Leeds United. At this stage it is not possible for us to go into details about our conversations with these groups, as with a firm offer on the table we would not want to jeopardise any current negotiations.'