By Andy Sambidge
Reports suggest talks to buy English football club have reached 'make or break' stage
Middle East investors are reportedly prepared to walk away from a deal to buy English football club Leeds United unless it can be completed by the end of this week.
The proposed purchase of the Championship club by a consortium said to be led by Dubai-based private equity firm GFH Capital has reached a “make or break” stage after three months of talks, media reports in the UK said on Wednesday.
The Yorkshire Evening Post said further discussions are planned in the next 48 hours, adding that GFH Capital remained tight-lipped on the matter.
The paper quoted a source at Leeds United as saying the offer from the Middle East was “still there”, but that the prospective new owners were losing patience.
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.