Former Leeds United chief wants Gulf owners 'out the way'

Ken Bates, who sold Leeds to GFH Capital in 2012, voices concerns over plight of Championship football club
(Getty Images - Photo for illustrative purpose only)
By Staff writer
Thu 27 Mar 2014 02:33 PM

Former Leeds United owner Ken Bates has hit out at the club's Gulf-based owners, and suggested they do not have the funds to pay the club's wage bill.

GFH Capital, who Bates sold the Championship club to in December 2012, is currently looking to find a solution after its proposed sale to Italian businessman Massimo Cellino was blocked by the Football League earlier this week.

The Italian was disqualified from buying a 75 percent stake in the Championship club after being found guilty of tax evasion in his home country last week.

Speaking on Radio Yorkshire, Bates said: "They (GFH) claim to be a multi-million-pound bank, so why did my wife have to lend them £1 million this time last year to pay wages? And why are they scrabbling around today to pay the wages tomorrow. It's hand-to-mouth all the time."

He added: "I'd like to see GFH out the way. Somebody, anybody, who takes it over must be better than them."

Bates' comments about wages follow those of team manager Brian McDermott, who in the wake of the 4-1 loss to Bournemouth, suggested his players were worried about being paid this week.

GFH Capital confirmed on Monday that it is still in talks with the Football League and Eleonora Sport in a bid "to find a solution that is suitable to all parties".

The Cellino family, headed by Massimo, is a well known Italian sports family, who have owned Serie A side Cagliari since 1992.

Cellino told the BBC that he is appealing the decision of the Football League, adding that more investment in the club was required immediately, saying Leeds United needed "help, blood and money" in "hours, not days".

GFH bought the club from former Chelsea owner Ken Bates but had planned to cut their stake to only 10 percent by selling out to British investors led by Leeds managing director David Haigh.

But Haigh, who joined the club after the GFH takeover, said in February that his partners had failed to put up the money they had pledged.

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