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Sat 8 Feb 2014 02:21 AM

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Gulf owners exchange contracts on Leeds Utd sale

GFH Capital announces that it will retain 25% stake while selling 75% to Italy's Cellino family

Gulf owners exchange contracts on Leeds Utd sale
(Getty Images - Photo for illustrative purpose only)

The Gulf owners of English football club Leeds United have announced that contracts have been exchanged for the sale of a 75 percent stake.

In a statement, Bahrain-based businessman Salah Nooruddin, chairman of Leeds United, said Dubai owners GFH Capital would retain a 25 percent interest in the Championship club.

"I am delighted to announce that we have exchanged contracts for the sale of 75 percent of the club to Eleonora Sport Ltd, subject to Football League approval," he said.

"I will remain the club chairman and David Haigh will be the club CEO. The Board has always had as its principal aim the creation of a long term ownership structure through partnership with sound and strategic investors to build on the foundations we have laid for sustainable success for this great club," he added.

He said the Cellion family, which owns Eleonara Sport td, "offered both the long term investment and the footballing knowledge necessary to take their place as majority owners of Leeds United FC".

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

Hisham Alrayes, managing director of GFH Capital, said: "It has taken us some time to get the right deal in place with people who truly shared our commitment to, and faith in, the future of Leeds United.

"We are delighted to have reached agreement with Massimo Cellino and Eleonora Sport Ltd who share our determination to move the club forward."

He added that GFH Capital and its investors would continue to show its commitment to Leeds United through the minority 25 percent shareholding.

GFH bought the club from former Chelsea owner Ken Bates in December 2012 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 last week that his partners had failed to put up the money they had pledged.

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