x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Dubai-based finance group complete takeover bid for Leeds United

The protracted takeover of the English Championship side by Gulf Finance House subsidiary GFH Capital has finally been completed, subject to Football League approval.

A young Leeds United fan shows his support for the club.
A young Leeds United fan shows his support for the club.

Former English Premier League side Leeds United's takeover by a Dubai-based investment bank will go ahead after the deal was completed today.

GFC Capital's protracted takeover of the Championship side was confirmed this afternoon.

Leeds' chairman Ken Bates will remain in his role with the club until the end of the season, to oversee the transition to the new owners, with GFH Capital executive David Haigh joining the club's board with immediate effect and two further executives joining in December.

Bates will become club president after this term, with a replacement chairman being appointed by the new owners.

"I can confirm we have now completed all the negotiations with GFH Capital," Bates told the club's website.

"We have completed the first part of the purchase and they will be taking over 100 per cent of the club. Meanwhile, there is a transitional period while they get to know more about the club.

"I will continue as chairman until the end of the season when I will take over as president and I look forward to sitting back and taking more time off.

"Neil Warnock will continue as manager with more support than the present owners have been able to give and we look forward to a smooth transition.

Leeds currently sit 18th in English football's second tier, eight points from the promotion play-off spots and a far cry from the early 2000s when the side reached the semi-finals of the Champions League.

Questions had been raised over the funding model GFH Capital, a subsidiary of Gulf Finance House, had planned, while last month the company faced scrutiny over whether the purchase would be compatible with Sharia principles.

However the club confirmed it had entered a one-month transitional period today which, subject to approval by the English Football League, would see GFH Capital becoming 100% shareholders.

"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," said Haigh, who confirmed the new owners had provided a cash injection into the club.

"From a Leeds family myself and a supporter of The Whites since childhood, I know that football is at the very heart of the people of Leeds and the wider community. "

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