David Prutton: Leeds United must make most the 49ers' investment '“ then it'll be a good thing

IF SAN FRANCISCO 49ers buying ten per cent of Leeds United means potential for money for the club to spend then it's a good move.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 28th May 2018, 6:03 am
Updated Monday, 28th May 2018, 3:06 pm
Leeds United head coach, Paul Heckingbottom. PIC: Tony Johnson
Leeds United head coach, Paul Heckingbottom. PIC: Tony Johnson

What we see nowadays across the spectrum of football ownership and the running of a football club is that it is not just about one person or one company that does it.

And if this opens up avenues to different revenue streams to bring in money which can help the squad and better the squad then I think it can really only be seen as a good thing – as long as it is something that can be maintained and isn’t in any danger of falling flat on its face.

Leeds, as we know, have had experience of that before and it leaves you high and dry. But from the outset this sounds pretty decent.

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Promoted Fulham's Tom Cairney. PIC: Nigel French/PA Wire

The technology that you see in the NFL is really quite advanced and I think what also helps is the nature of that game which is very compartmentalised. You can break games down into split seconds and work to that.

There is an element to it that football is slightly more fluid which is why I think we love it and enjoy it and why the excitement is there but the NFL has always struck me as a very professional league.

There is a lot of money and investment pumped into it and the money that goes into it is spent on a lot of self recruitment and team improvements.

If there’s anything that Leeds can gain from that then that’s a good thing. I wouldn’t say that as a sport I am American Football’s biggest fan. I have watched odds and sods and taken it on over the years. It’s not something that has been too much on my radar.

Promoted Fulham's Britt Assombalonga. PIC: Martin Rickett/PA Wire

But having seen different sports and having spoken to different people in different sports having been in it myself, then I think we were always open minded enough to know that football doesn’t know everything and that things can be improved as and when.

You take that on board and you look at with Paul Heckingbottom in charge and he is very open minded. If he was afforded the opportunity to discuss anything then that would be taken.

With more talk about Paul’s job as head coach this week, his future needs to be known definitely either way.

Either he’s going to be the manager at the start of the season and we are going to back him to the hilt or if that’s not the case then you make a change.

But as I have said many a time, I think he deserves the chance to lead the team for a full season and get a good pre-season under his belt. I think it does help players and it makes players certain.

It might have an impact on the players that he wants to bring in as they might not be sure if the manager that buys them is going to be here. The definitive side of saying ‘this is our leader’ and ‘this is who we are getting behind’ needs to be said but that would fly in the face of how Leeds United have been for quite a long period of time.

The manager is the manager for the time being and not for the foreseeable future. It’s so vague that it doesn’t help anybody.

There is talk of San Francisco 49ers bringing £10m to Leeds United’s transfer kitty this summer though how much money you spend is not a given thing.

Middlesbrough spent 50 million quid last summer and they are not getting out of the league and they had money from the Premier League to spend that way.

I think if you are talking about ten million quid, that gets you two decent standard Championship players or it probably gets you one decent Champion standard centre forward.

But then Britt Assombalonga was £14m or £15m so it’s not an exact science. Look at Fulham’s Tom Cairney who is highly coveted by teams in the Premier League. The value for him started at £15m but then apparently he has a price tag of £40m slapped on him.

If it is £10m then it should be spent wisely, whether that’s a case of going big on two or even big on one. That’s what Leeds fans want to see.

They don’t want to see several little pockets of money spent on a punt because, as we have seen since Victor Orta has been there, with the majority of signings the jury is still out and the majority of signings did not have a lot of money spent on them.

Leeds are known to be looking at Hull City’s Abel Hernandez as one of their main striker targets and if he stays injury free he is a very competent Championship striker. That’s the thing that he has struggled with in recent times – staying fit – which can just be the nature of being a footballer.

Sometimes you have seasons where you play a lot of games, sometimes you have disrupted seasons. From the point of view of what he has done and where he has been and the pressure that he has played under, I think he would be a good signing for Leeds.

But any signing is about part background research and what you see with the naked eye and also part a punt in terms of hoping that this one will work out.

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