Middle Eastern Group Agree Deal to Buy Leeds United

By Community | September 27, 2012

Bahrain’s Gulf Finance House has confirmed media reports it has agreed a deal to takeover English football club Leeds United.

“GFH would like to confirm that GFH Capital Limited, a 100 percent subsidiary of Gulf House, has signed an exclusive agreement to lead and arrage the acquisition of Leeds City Holdings, the parent company of LUFC (Leeds United Football Club),” the Bahrain-based firm said in filing to the Dubai bourse.

While GFH did not confirm who they were working on behalf of, club officials said at the weekend negotiations are ongoing with a Middle East-based consortium and an outcome likely in the next two weeks.

Leeds United owner Ken Bates said talks to sell the club were “progressing slowly” with a final agreement still to be reached, UK regional newspaper Yorkshire Evening Post reported.

The Leeds chairman said in programme notes published earlier this month that negotiations with a Middle Eastern consortium were continuing but claimed the “appropriate documents have not been finalised between the lawyers”.

Neil Warnock, the club manager, added on Thursday that he hoped there would be “good news” in the next couple of weeks.

In comments published by UK news channel ITN, he said: “Everyone is working hard behind the scenes to change all that now. Hopefully, we will have some good news in the next 10 days, couple of weeks.”

Fans have become increasingly frustrated as the deal remains unsigned almost four months after talks with the group from the Middle East first began.

A demonstration against United’s owner was staged by supporters on Tuesday night prior to the defeat to Hull City.

The identity of United’s would-be buyers has never been confirmed although previous reports suggest that a member of Bahrain’s ruling family, Sheikh Abdulrahman bin Mubarak Al-Khalifa, is one of the individuals behind the approach.

Last month, it was reported that the proposed takeover of Leeds had collapsed.

In a statement posted on its official website, Leeds United said: “Leeds United announces that the exclusivity period granted to a potential investor as mentioned in the statement of 26 June has ended.

“The club remain happy to continue discussions, but not on an exclusive basis, so as not to prevent other options passing.”

The English Championship football club previously said on June 26 that an unnamed group of investors had been granted due diligence.

It added that the club would continue to be receptive to approaches from potential new partners.