Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large

Dubai-based company complete takeover of Leeds United with 'no debt'

Ken Bates to remain as chairman until the end of the season, after GFH Capital announce taking control of Championship club.

Executives of the Dubai-based equity company GFH Capital said yesterday that they would not spend "crazy money" to restore the former English champions Leeds United to the Premier League after completing a takeover reportedly worth £52 million (Dh310.2m).

GFH Capital has bought the club from the majority shareholder Ken Bates, the former owner of Chelsea and a familiar figure in English football for three decades. Bates, 81, will remain club chairman until the end of the season.

Well-supported Championship clubs such as Leeds are drawing interest from foreign investors who have an eye on promotion to the lucrative Premier League.

"Leeds United is a great football club," said Salem Patel, a GFH Capital executive. "It's got history, it's got pedigree, it's got a fantastic base on which we can build. We looked at a number of clubs but for us Leeds United was the most attractive."

"We're not going to be spending crazy money like some football club owners have. What we want to do is to make the investment sustainable and make the club successful." He added that their business model was not predicated on the club being in the Premier League. David Haigh, a GFH Capital executive and Leeds fan who has acted as the front man for the bid, defended the takeover and the credentials of the company. "We've bought this club with cash, there is no debt," he said.

Leeds have not been in the Premier League since 2004 and last won a top-flight title in 1992.

Back to the top

More articles


Editor's Picks

 Faisal Al Ketbi, standing, has been the poster boy for the upcoming Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship. Courtesy of Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship

Faisal Al Ketbi is in spotlight for world jiu-jitsu championships at Abu Dhabi

Faisal Al Ketbi is the poster boy for UAE jiu-jitsu, with his picture prominent in the billboards and advertisements for this week’s Abu Dhabi World Jiu-Jitsu Championship.

 Broadcast crews have been working to adjust UAE's cricket stadiums, such as Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi, for the IPL, such as installing the cables for cameras. The opening match between Mumbai Indians vs Kolkata Knight Riders is April 16, 2014 at at Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi. Pawan Singh / The National

IPL turns UAE into cricket’s world stage

The Indian Premier League’s UAE schedule will be a television production emanating in the Middle East, choreographed from Singapore and involving a Belgian who happily admits to being a cricket novice.

 Lalit Modi during the 2010 Indian Premier League T20 Final between Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings played at DY Patil Stadium on April 25, 2010 in Navi Mumbai, India. Ritam Banerjee / Getty Images

IPL’s best moments: April 25, 2010 - Modi’s final farewell

Lalit Modi, the league’s first commissioner, knew his days were numbered when he made a closing speech ahead of the 2010 tournament finale.

 Abdelaziz Haikal, left, avoids getting tackled, but his Al Ahli side were forced to a goalless draw at home to Al Hilal, from Saudi Arabia. Al Ittihad

Al Ahli miss huge opportunity to progress in ACL

Dubai side forced to a goalless draw at home to Al Hilal. Ahmed Rizvi reports.

 Godolphin is hoping to get a clear picture of  Ihtimal at Newmarket. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National

Godolphin to get a good look at Ihtimal’s form at Newmarket

The true abilities of Godolphin’s Ihtimal will be brought more into focus on Wednesday after a trio of fillies turn out at the headquarters of British racing for trainer Charlie Appleby.

Events

To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National