Blackwell must wait as Parkin pulls out

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The Independent Online

Steve Parkin's proposed takeover of Leeds has collapsed, paving the way for the club finally to appoint Kevin Blackwell as manager today.

Steve Parkin's proposed takeover of Leeds has collapsed, paving the way for the club finally to appoint Kevin Blackwell as manager today.

Parkin has spent the last few weeks negotiating with the Leeds board in the hope of securing a £25m buy-out of the financially troubled club. But despite Parkin's accountants and advisors spending the past 11 days going through the club's financial records, he has been forced to pull out of any deal, with the suggestion that he has been unable to raise the funds.

Due to Parkin's long-standing interest, and the possibility that he was closing in on a deal, the board postponed the appointment of Blackwell yesterday in almost farcical circumstances.

Parkin was known to be interested in the Crystal Palace manager, Iain Dowie, taking over, forcing the chairman, Gerald Krasner, to backtrack. Blackwell was called into a meeting yesterday with the director Simon Morris and informed that he would have to wait a few days until the situation was resolved.

Blackwell, 45, who spent last season as the head coach under Peter Reid and Eddie Gray, is likely to accept the two-year deal he was originally offered.

His first task will be to oversee the departure of Alan Smith to Manchester United for £7m, which United will confirm in their own statement to the Stock Exchange this morning.

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