Russell Crowe, the actor of the 2000 blockbuster Gladiator, has hinted that he is contemplating purchasing Championship club Leeds United.
The 50-year-old, who owns the South Sydney Rabbitohs rugby league team, is a longtime Leeds supporter who tweeted his support after the club defeated Middlesbrough 1-0 on Saturday. On Wednesday, he sparked even more controversy when he responded to a tweet from a fan asking whether he would consider purchasing Leeds United.
Crowe, who was nominated for Best Actor Oscars for The Insider (1999) and A Beautiful Mind (2001), said on Twitter, “Anybody else think this is a good idea?” in response to a Leeds fan’s request that he purchase the club he has followed since its golden days under Don Revie in the 1970s.
Leeds Fans LLP, a working party of fans attempting to get a seat on the Elland Road board, was one of several to respond to his post, the most of which were favorable. LLP approached him for advise on fans taking over a club since he had prior experience as a co-owner of the recently crowned world club champions South Sydney Rabbitohs, the Australian rugby league team that was bottom of the pack when he and an Australian investor purchased 75% of the club in 2006.
Crowe was quickly contacted by the organization, and he responded with some advise spread over three texts. Crowe’s interest has been known to LLP for some time, and a spokesman said, “Russell’s a big Leeds supporter, he has a background in fan ownership, and we’d love for him to work with us on fan ownership at Leeds United.”
Crowe’s interest has been known to LLP for some time.
Eleonora Sport Limited owns the Elland Road club, but suspended president Massimo Cellino has sold his personal interest in both the business and Leeds, and said yesterday that he would not return to his position when his suspension expires on April 10.
“At first I suggested that my intention was to resume in April the office of President of Leeds United Football Club after expiration of the disqualification term,” he said in a statement posted on the club’s website.
“I will not do so and I had actually decided not to do so in January already, soon after the confirmation by the Football League of its verdict…
“All of the above leads me to reconfirm the decision already reached in January so that I may be free of defending myself as any normal citizen, and I will not hesitate to do so before any authority because of my honesty, my commitment and due care to the club for which I have already invested one year of hard work.”
Crowe responded to LLP’s comments by mentioning his ownership of the Rabbitohs. “Look at a show called South Side Story you’ll see how we handled this at South Sydney. It’s up on YouTube, 6 episodes,” he wrote of the team he guided from the bottom of the Australian league to the NRL championship in 2014.
Crowe, whose relatives Martin and Jeff Crowe both led the New Zealand cricket team, believes “there has to be one voice that sets the tone.”
“Every thought and every decision has to be about success on the field.”