General update on progress
On January 27th we became Leeds Fans LLP and in the last three weeks we have made a lot of progress behind the scenes.
Firstly, our Executive team is now established. We may add to it as we progress, but it is now up and functioning well. Dylan Thwaites will lead it, using many of the skills honed in building and selling Latitude for Â£55m. Sharon Reid heads up Marketing and brings her experience as COO for Edelman, the worldâ€™s largest PR agency. Steve Hanson, local Leeds Businessman and MD of Callidus is driving the Fundraising with his contacts across the full range of Leeds fans. Petter- Andre Johansson brings international perspective, extensive contacts and superb project skills to the role of Infrastructure Executive. And finally Brendan Meehan, former COO at Resolution, a company he helped sell to Pearl for Â£5bn, takes the role of Finance and Legal Executive. There is a page on our website with background information on all of the Executive team and their social media profiles http://www.leedsfansllp.com/executive/
It has been said many times that our Exec team is stronger than the Board of Leeds United â€“ this is undoubtedly true, but no one realises that we have ten times that depth in the astonishing talent within our shadow network. Over a hundred people are now giving free expert assistance to our small Executive team, which allows us to move rapidly and professionally.
Our focus currently is for the Finance and Legal team to create a vehicle we can use for fundraising. We already know that few structures used previously will work for Leeds United, mainly due to the quantum we wish to raise, and we hope to have identified our solution this month. The next step will see the Financial & Legal and Infrastructure teams working on how we can actually deliver this solution in as efficient a manner as possible before we launch properly. At the mass meeting in January, Dylan opened with â€œLuck is when Preparation meets Opportunityâ€. We really donâ€™t know when or what opportunity will emerge, but if we are sat with Â£5m in cash, we will have a voice at any table. You can register your interest for our initiative here: http://www.leedsfansllp.com/get-involved/
The Question and Answer page on the website is being updated as we receive new questions, so if you have any questions have a look there http://www.leedsfansllp.com/frequently-asked-questions/. If thereâ€™s anything else then get in touch on Twitter, Facebook, via the forum, or email any of the team direct (details on the Exec page). In addition, some the Exec team and members of the shadow network will be in the Peacock or the Duncan before a home game if you want to speak in person.
We have had overwhelmingly positive backing from fans so far. It doesn’t take much imagination to see that if we succeed, this football club will be changed for ever. We will be the only big English club part owned by fans. We will save Leeds United for the coming generations.
As we work through the details to find the best way forward for Leeds Fans LLP, remember that never before have Leeds fans organised so rapidly and with so much expertise â€“ so while the solutions may not be perfect, they are better than weâ€™ve ever had before. We still need more people to join those in the shadow network who are giving their time, skills and resources for free, so if you want to get involved just get in touch, and tell us what your skill sets are.
Recently on BBC Radio Leeds, Andrew Umbers, Chairman of Leeds United, described Leeds Fans LLP as, â€œspeaking for tens of thousands of Leeds fansâ€. This shows we have that balance right at the moment.