Dubai-based investment bank finalises buyout of UK Championship football club
GFH Capital, a subsidiary of Bahrain-based investment bank Gulf Finance House, has confirmed its takeover of British football club Leeds United for an undisclosed sum following months of negotiations.
The football club, which last won the English championship in 1992, will enter into a one-month transitional period and following Football League approval GFH Capital will become 100 percent owners, the club said in a statement on its website.
“After a long process of negotiations, spanning Leeds, London, Monaco, Dubai and Bahrain, it gives us great pride today, to have completed the deal for Leeds United,” said David Haigh, deputy CEO of GFH Capital.
“We have today injected further funds into the club and now we look to the future and start the exciting journey to take Leeds United FC back into a prime position in English football once again,” he added.
Ken Bates will remain chairman during the transition period after which he will take over as president while Haigh will join the board with immediate effect, said the club.
GFH Capital executives Hisham Alrayes and Salem Patel will join the board in December while manager Neil Warnock will remain in his current position.
GHF Capital said it planned to purchase the club in September but protracted negations between the two sides sparked frustration from fans.
Seventh-placed Leeds declared a pre-tax profit after player trading of GBP£859,000 (US$1.3m) in 2010/11 on revenues of GBP£32.7m.
Haigh has previously vowed to bring the club back to the Premier League. “We believe Leeds is in a fantastically unique position for all sorts of factors,” he told The Daily Telegraph in October.
“We think Leeds has a fantastic existing management and administration on and off the pitch and that, with the right investment, we can build a sustainable future in that.
“It is about getting the focus back on the football and ensuring Premier League promotion with engaged, happy fans. We are long-term investors: there is no two or three-year exit plan.”