Russell Crowe: 'should I buy Leeds Utd?'
Troubled Championship club Leeds could do with Russell Crowe's cash – but doubts remain
He's best known for being a Hollywood hardman, garlanded with awards for roles in films such as Gladiator, Cinderella Man and Robin Hood, but might Russell Crowe soon be the new owner of Leeds United FC?
The Oscar-winning actor has mooted the idea of buying the struggling Championship club – they lie 14th in the table – taking to Twitter to ask his 1.68 million followers: "Anybody else think this is a good idea?"
Crowe has been a Leeds fan since his childhood, adopting the West Yorkshire side as his own during their glory days in the early 1970s under Don Revie. Growing up in Sydney, 50-year-old Crowe cheered on the team while watching Match of the Day, and his love for the club remains undimmed.
His fondness for sport is well-documented. The cousin of former New Zealand cricket captain
Martin Crowe, the star is a co-owner of Australian rugby league club South Sydney Rabbitohs. But investing in Leeds would present far more of a challenge to the actor, given the club's recent troubled history.
The current owner of Leeds is Massimo Cellino, whose Eleonora Sport Limited company bought the club in April last year. But the Italian tycoon was disqualified in January from involvement with Leeds until 10 April after failing the Football League's "fit and proper person test".
BBC Sport reports that Cellino – who was found guilty of tax evasion in an Italian court last year – has "announced he will not return to the club when his Football League ban ends".
That news prompted Crowe's tweet and, although he has received what the BBC describes as an "overwhelmingly positive" reaction from fans, the Leeds United Supporters' Trust was more circumspect.
Responding to Crowe's declaration that what the club needs is "one voice that sets the tone…every thought and every decision has to be about success on the field", the trust's chairman, Paul Keat, told BBC Radio 5 live: "If he is serious, let him come forward. But whether he has the time and resources has yet to be determined."
Keat suggested that Crowe might not have the financial means to buy the club outright but that he could get involved "as part of a consortium". But regardless of whether he backs up his words with his wealth, Crowe was invited by Keat to come and watch a match at Elland Road. "He is more than welcome," he said. "I will even buy him a pint."