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Fri 21 Dec 2012 12:53 PM

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New Dubai owners eye 'bright future' for Leeds

GFH Capital execs formally unveiled as new owners of English football club on Friday

New Dubai owners eye 'bright future' for Leeds
GFH capital executive David Haigh and colleague Salem Patel. (Photo: Leeds United)

Dubai-based GFH Capital Limited was formally unveiled as the new owner of English football club Leeds United on Friday morning.

GFH capital executive David Haigh joined the Leeds United board of directors earlier this month and he has now been joined by GFH Capital executives Salem Patel and Hisham Alrayes.

The fine points of the deal were completed on Thursday evening, and the new owners are calling on the backing of the fans to mark a new chapter in the club's history.

"We are delighted, but also honoured and proud to be the new owners of Leeds United Football Club," said David Haigh in comments published on the club's official website.

"We have had over 4,000 e-mails of support from fans and we have been overwhelmed by the reaction."

Haigh added: "We don't really want to put a timescale to our investment, but we hope to be able to make this club as successful as we can in the shortest time possible."

Patel said: "We're looking forward to a bright future. This is a fresh start for the football club, and we welcome fans both old and new to Elland Road."

With the January transfer window only 10 days away, United manager Neil Warnock has spoken of adding to his squad, and the new owners have given the boss their full support.

"We've been speaking to Neil and we will try our best to meet whatever needs he has and to be fair to us we have already invested in the team," said Patel.

"We've been speaking to him on and off since the summer to be honest. We very much assisted him with his plans in the summer and we hope to continue to do so.

"He is our man and he was one of the reasons why we decided to buy this club in the first place. The guy is a legend in English football and it was a requirement in the contract."

Patel added: "It will take investment but we wouldn't have bought a club like this if we
were not willing to make that investment. We are not going to be spending crazy
money but make the investment sustainable and make the club successful."

Ken Bates will stay on as chairman until the end of the season.

GFH Capital, a subsidiary of Bahrain-based investment bank Gulf Finance House, in November confirmed its takeover of Leeds United following months of negotiations.

The football club, which last won the English championship in 1992, entered into a one-month transitional period after which GFH Capital became 100 percent owners.

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