Old Big Gob is caught between a rock and a hard place. He wants the take over to happen because then money MIGHT be available to invest in new players; but the earlier the new owners come in, the more likely it is that he will be replaced in January. If Leeds are sitting in mid table by the time the window opens - and Leeds are currently in eleventh and going backwards - the new owners will almost certainly get trigger happy.
The fans are already getting impatient. Sample the comments left on the YEP website and you find the finger of blame pointing less at Master Bates and more at Midshipman Warnock. So one flat cap writes: "Look, let's call the beast by its proper name eh? We were absolutely shiite today, bloody awful and we didn't deserve a single thing from the game today. We are fast looking as though we've run out of gas. Last 4 games we've been awful. I'm starting to wonder if Neil's lost his interest"; (sic)
whilst a whippet owner adds: "Oh dear! What a sad excuse. Admittedly, Warnock has had little, or no, money to spend but he's rebuilt the team and, so far, it's no better than Grayson's outfits. He's reckoned to be a motivator of players but, over the past four games, they appear to have lacked any form of motivation whatsoever. He also, increasingly, appears to be tactically inept"; (sic)
and a Yorkshire Pudding opines: "I'm sorry Neil but how have you improved the squad? Are we stronger in any department? If GFH have invested £2m and you have income from the sale of Snodgrass and Clayton, why do we seem no better than last season? These sales and buys were your decisions. Goalkeeper was not a problem but this seems to be where you have spent most of your money. You have the bonus of Byram but have let Poleon go out on loan when we are desperate for a striker. Austin and EHD seem improvements on last year's squad but the rest of your buys seems little better that what they have replaced. You will leave us at the end of the season with an aging squad. I am no fan of Grayson but is Warnock an improvement. Perhaps we need to start planning now for next season?" (sic)
These fans, despite their spelling issues, are right of course. Warnock has refashioned the squad in his own image and the squad is utterly and completely mediocre. It's true that Bates has been tight with the purse strings, but have Hull City spent big this summer or Miserablebrough or Palace? Bates has backed Warnock in the same way most Championship chairmen have backed their managers, telling him to build his squad out of the flotsam and jetsam jettisoned by the bigger clubs in the game - clubs like Norwich, QPR, Doncaster and Portsmouth in the case of Leeds seemingly.
All summer I warned that if you pick up players from teams that struggled last season in the Championship then the end result would be, at best, a mediocre team. But Leeds fans insisted differently, claiming the likes of Green and Varney would suddenly become world beaters once they pulled on the famous all white kit. Well it is time to think again. This team is what it is, a collection of journeymen who are journeying nowhere in particular, ambling along the country lanes of mid table obscurity.
And meanwhile, the club is rudderless. Bates just wants his money. Warnock wants even more players but can't even meet wage demands, never mind transfer fees. And GFH /GFC are trusting to the will of Allah whilst employing solicitors to check out every dot on every i and every cross on every t before committing their hypothetical money.
It's all a recipe for disaster. The optimists insist that a few wins will see Leeds back in the mix, but they have yet to break into the top six and two points from the last nine, against very average sides, do not suggest that Warnock's team are benefiting from "gelling". In fact the reverse is happening. The early burst of adrenaline has passed and now these average joes are marking time in the Championship, picking up a wage for what they do second best, winning the odd game, drawing the odd game, losing the odd game. Which explains the position in the table.
But that league position is hardly likely to satisfy owners who claim their business model is based on milking the Premiership cow. Warnock must be sweating buckets, with last January fresh in his memory. How he must wish that Forest had come knocking in the summer, with new owners in place willing to show the colour of their money when the transfer window was actually open!