Matt Butler: Grayson bites his tongue about how unsettling life is at the Bates motel

View From The Sofa: Millwall v Leeds Sky Sports 1

You'd like to think that GFH Capital, who are in the midst of a drawn-out, on-off takeover of Leeds United, will have been glued to coverage from The Den yesterday to have another look at what they may be letting themselves in for. They will have been impressed by the work ethic of Neil Warnock's team, if nothing else.

One or two Leeds fans may also have glanced at the game, partly because matches against Millwall are frequently eventful, but also for a bit of insight because, apart from Neil Warnock's admission in Saturday's Independent that the will-they-won't- they takeover is "paralysing" Leeds, the supporters – the ones who really make or break a club, no matter what rich potential owners may think – are being kept in the dark.

With Simon Grayson, who apart from managing Leeds from 2008 to January this year, is an ex-player (albeit with only two appearances in four years) and fan of the club, in the studio as a pundit, it seemed a prime opportunity to get a bit of inside gen.

Simon Thomas, the host, and Grayson were hunkered in a corner of The Den at the opposite end to the space between the rowdier home fans and the away contingent, where Sky once placed their temporary studio. They presumably opted to move to the Cold Blow Lane End because between the North and Dockers Stands they couldn't hear themselves think over the hypnotic din of "Miiillll", which is almost incessant throughout every decently-attended Millwall game.

Thomas made nothing of the serene sunshine streaming in the window behind them, nor did he lead off on the fact that Millwall are trundling on quite nicely in the Championship. No, he went straight for the jugular and immediately set upon getting a rise out of Grayson, who, given his background, is well placed to comment knowledgeably – or, at the very least, passionately – about the ins and outs of Elland Road.

"Just how much of a distraction will the ongoing takeover be...?" Thomas asked, teasingly, emphasising the first three words. But Grayson was Boycott-like in his ability to straight bat. And, although his face flickered with emotion, his tongue was almost bleeding, he was biting it so hard, as he replied: "It will be, but you just have to get on with your job."

Darn. It would have been enlightening if Grayson had let slip a little bit of what is like to be in charge of a club in transition, not to mention feeling the heat from fans, a position he was in at Leeds until Ken Bates showed him the door.

Thomas persisted, reeling off all their injured and suspended players. "It's immense, the list of players they have out," he barked. "Pearce: suspended. Brown: suspended. Austin: injured. How hard... " But Grayson saw this salvo coming. "It is difficult, but they are only a few points off the play-off places; the Championship is a tight league."

You could tell Grayson wanted to say more pre-match and he did let himself wax lyrical on the players at Warnock's disposal at half-time, but there was something missing.

Perhaps the fact he was broadcasting to millions (thousands, anyway) made him hold back. Which kind of makes the idea of a studio expert redundant. If only they'd asked Bates – never shy of giving an opinion – to sit in and comment. Then we'd have found out what the current owner really thinks of the buyers.

Suggested Topics
Life and Style
life
Voices
The Ukip leader has consistently refused to be drawn on where he would mount an attempt to secure a parliamentary seat
voicesNigel Farage: Those who predicted we would lose momentum heading into the 2015 election are going to have to think again
News
Joan Rivers has reportedly been hospitalised after she stopped breathing during surgery
people81-year-old 'stopped breathing' during vocal chord surgery
Life and Style
Chen Mao recovers in BK Hospital, Seoul
health
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
One in six drivers cannot identify a single one of the main components found under the bonnet of an average car
motoringOne in six drivers can't carry out basic under-bonnet checks
News
news
Environment
Fungi pose the biggest threat globally and in the UK, where they threaten the country’s wheat and potato harvests
environmentCrop pests are 'grave threat to global food security'
News
i100
Voices
Pupils educated at schools like Eton (pictured) are far more likely to succeed in politics and the judiciary, the report found
voices
Arts and Entertainment
Simon Cowell is less than impressed with the Strictly/X Factor scheduling clash
tvSimon Cowell blasts BBC for breaking 'gentlemen's agreement' in scheduling war
Arts and Entertainment
Shady character: Jon Hamm as sports agent JB Bernstein in Million Dollar Arm
filmReview: Jon Hamm finally finds the right role on the big screen in Million Dollar Arm
News
Orson Welles made Citizen Kane at 25, and battled with Hollywood film studios thereafter
people
News
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie reportedly married in secret on Saturday
peopleSpokesperson for couple confirms they tied the knot on Saturday after almost a decade together
Sport
footballAnd Liverpool are happy despite drawing European champions
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone