Desperate Leeds pin final hopes on Stubbs

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The Independent Football

The Leeds manager Kevin Blackwell is refusing to contemplate the threat of administration which would throw the club's season into turmoil.

The Leeds manager Kevin Blackwell is refusing to contemplate the threat of administration which would throw the club's season into turmoil.

His chairman Gerald Krasner has confirmed the club are heading towards such a dire prospect after Sebastien Sainsbury pulled out of his proposed £25m takeover on Thursday. It now seems likely administration will happen sooner rather than later and bring with it the Football League consequences of a 10-point penalty and an instant battle to avoid relegation.

Krasner is understood to be meeting the Leeds-based property developer Norman Stubbs on Monday in the hope of a seven-figure investment to keep the administrators at bay. If an agreement cannot be reached, then Krasner may be left with no other alternative but to place the club in administration.

Blackwell, though, will deal with that as and when it happens and said: "The chairman is a lot better advised on the finances of this football club and if that is what he says, then whatever will be, will be. How do we deal with that? We deal with the football, and that's all I will do until it happens. But I don't know what is going to happen. I really can't say what is in the future, and I can't dwell on it.

"At this stage it's speculation, and you can't live your life based on that. I know because I have experienced that this week from a certain person. He speculated how he was going to change the football club, and then the following day he found he had not got £5 in his pocket." Blackwell was referring to Sainsbury's comment that he wanted the Crystal Palace manager Iain Dowie to replace Blackwell should his takeover succeed.

"That upset me to a degree," Blackwell said. "But you treat anything like that lightly. He wasn't the owner of this football club. It's like me saying I've got £30m and I'm going to bring a manager in and do this and do that. You take it with a pinch of salt and get on with the football. With typical Blackwell humour, he added: "I've since swapped from Sainsburys to Tesco. I shall continue shopping at Tesco's even though it's costing me extra mileage to get there."

Blackwell will need to retain such levity should the worst happen with every point now increasingly precious, starting with today's visit of Cardiff. Following the unsavoury events which unfolded three years ago during an FA Cup tie at Ninian Park, a major police operation is being mounted.

No Cardiff fan is being allowed to travel independently, with all match tickets being handed out at a secret location 10 miles from the ground to only those supporters on official coaches.

The club have issued a statement urging fans from both clubs to be on their best behaviour, and Blackwell echoed such sentiments. "I want the Cardiff fans to walk away from Elland Road with a real impression of what Leeds United is all about, and that is the passion of the fans," Blackwell said. "I want to send them home with nothing points-wise. All the other stuff, we're bigger than that."

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