Ouch. It would appear from Nice Guy Brian's carefully re-crafted words on the Official Site that he has had his conversation with Messrs Haigh and Patel and that he has been told not to expect much money to invest in the squad.
How else can you interpret his assertion that: "We want to upgrade the training ground as well. We want to build this
football club. We want to make this a great football club again. It's
not just about building a team. We need to build it from each stage from where we are to where we
need to get to, and I'm really looking forward to the challenge.The training ground is a great facility, but we just think we can
improve certain things to make it absolutely top class because we want
things to be top class at Leeds United"? To me, that sounds like a shift in priority away from the present squad and towards less expensive investment. There is also a whiff of revised timescales.
There's no mention here of chasing promotion next season, instead the notion of building "stage by stage" implies a much longer timescale. Let's get the training facilities right, then paint the Director's lounge the following season, then upgrade the public toilets the following season, then hopefully some of the kids will come through and we can start thinking of sending out a team fit to challenge for promotion.
Look at what McDermott is now saying about new signings! Instead of the bullish mantra of getting deals done early, Nice Guy Brian sounds a much more sobering, some may say sombre note, when he warns, "I've also done a list of players I think will be good for the squad.
Ideally, you'd like them in when you start pre-season, but my
experiences of transfer windows are that things move slower than you'd
like. What will be will be, and we will try and recruit the best we can."
Does that sound optimistic to you? Does that sound like a man who has been promised a transfer war-chest? Does that sound like a man who expects to attract the best, or even the second best? "The best we can" sounds like somebody shopping in second hand stores because he is unable to afford Primark prices! Meanwhile, the "what will be will be" has a horribly fatalistic ring about it.
Leeds fans will protest that I am reading too much into this, but the contrast between this "on script McDermott" quoted on the Official Site, and the off script McDermott talking from the hip to the Press couldn't be more marked. He doesn't even say that the club and chasing his targeted players, simply that he thinks they would be good for the squad.
Maybe, just maybe, Nice Guy Brian is beginning to wake up to the truth that GFH Capital are not in a position to finance a push for the Prem. A case of 'Out of the Reading frying pan and into the Leeds fire!' perhaps.