GFH Capital have today outlined their future plans for Leeds United in a press release, reiterating that they have been granted an exclusivity deal to “lead and arrange the acquisition of Leeds City Holdings including Leeds United FC from current owners.”

It is worth highlighting this, because of the continued uncertainty among fans, to outline that GFH Capital are planning on purchasing the company that owns Leeds United (Leeds City Holdings), and that in purchasing this company they will own 100% of the club. These appear to be negotiations to obtain sole ownership of the club.

The press release reads:

[GFH Capital’s] intentions, if successful in its acquisition, is to move the club back to the Premier League as quickly as possible and help to build a sustainable future for the club, both on and off the field. This is expected to not only benefit the club and the surrounding community, but also the entire city of Leeds.

The Scratching Shed understands that GFH Capital intend to “invest heavily” in the football club, Elland Road, and the “surrounding community”. We understand that, should GFH Capital successfully purchase the club, their aim is to take Leeds to the Premier League by the end of next season.

GFH Capital’s CEO Hisham Alrayes explained:

Like many around the world, people from Bahrain and across the Gulf are passionate about the game of football and notably, English clubs – their successes and hardships are a daily talking point. In so many instances this is what bridges the gap between borders and different cultures. We are excited by our intentions for Leeds United and remain fully focused on the specifics of this deal, hoping to conclude a positive outcome as soon as possible.

The press release should also reassure fans of the company’s abilities, having suffered repeated attacks on its capabilities from one journalist recently:

Our parent company GFH has successfully steered through tough economic times and we find ourselves in a position of strength and in an enviable market position to lead on fantastic deals such as this.

Meanwhile, Leeds supporter and Chief Executive of GFH Capital, David Haigh, praised Leeds:

As a club, Leeds United has it all – passionate loyal fans, a great heritage and masses of potential to return to the Premier League with the right, sustainable investment. From a business perspective, ownership of an English football club, notably Leeds United, is a great opportunity if the right strategies are in place to benefit from the significant revenues available from renewed broadcasting rights.

From a personal perspective, I have followed Leeds United since childhood and having been back to Elland Road with my business colleague, Salem Patel and our CEO Hisham Alrayes for the last few home games, it makes us even more determined to acquire the club Leeds United and to see the club prosper. The existing infrastructure of the club and the result of the work of Ken Bates means that Leeds United is ready off the field to compete in the premier league.

Salem Patel, Chief Investment Officer at GFH Capital, concludes:

From very early on in our approach to this deal, we knew Leeds United FC has pedigree but also offers huge potential in terms of the football, the club and the surrounding area. We are keen on waking this sleeping giant, building on and forging a sustainable long term future for the club – both on and off the pitch. We also hope to take back ownership of Elland Road eventually and continue to work closely with Neil Warnock and the team, we intend to show the fans – some of the most passionate in the game – just how we can ‘March On Together’ to give Leeds United the success it so richly deserves.

  • Im still too pessimistic, this is what the last 4 months regarding the takeover has drove me to.

  • Olly

    Sounds fecking ace Come onnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn let’s get this place rocking!!!
    Beckfords just signed for twating town!knob ed

  • Stephen Benge

    Let`s get the deal wrapped up and some great signings in and push for promotion NOW! we have waited too long for this! MOT , LEEDS LEEDS LEEDS

  • henrymouni

    Sounds good!
    Team first, then buy back the ground and Thorpe arch.
    As long as this is not a dream, I am cockahoop!
    Make it soon!

  • rolo493

    Get in!!

  • Jettatura

    OK, this is ALL fantastic news and GHF are saying ALL the right things but does it strike anyone else as odd that this news comes out at almost exactly the same time we find out Beckford’s joining up with Grayson again? Or am I reading too much into things?

    Plus, none of what are saying actually makes Ken sign over the club!
    Don’t get me wrong this statement, if it all pans out, is great but I won’t celebrate until Ken / The OS tell us it’s done and Ken’s history!
    I do like the fact though that they’re at pains to put Duncan Castles in his place!

    • henrymouni

      I don’t think NW wants Beckford.
      He has a bid in for another striker.

      • leedsusa

        But not a big name

        • Tyler75

          Probably Cameron Jerome

        • henrymouni

          Maybe!
          NW said he had two lists.
          1. The players we can afford to loan with no money to spend.
          2. The players he really wants.
          If the takeover is close, he will be opting for list 2.
          List 2 would be loanees, with a possible option to buy in January.

    • marshymarsh

      , I’ve been staying away for the last 2-3 months and now i can see the finish line. Gutted i carn’t get to the away games but Barnsley is my next port of call. I can not think of anything more better than a Leeds fan being Chairman. So David Haigh, you get my vote! Now it’s time to really MOT. See you all for the Barnsley game.

      • Freddy

        “I can not think of anything more better than a Leeds fan being Chairman”

        Like Ridsdale you mean? (Sorry someone was always gonna say it)

  • dskimcbski

    This is exactly what we all wanted to hear. Must admit I’ll be looking forward to the Press Conference, whenever it may be. MOT :)

  • Ben Packham

    Yeeeeeeehhhhaaaaaaaaa mot

  • Freddy

    Nice to see them issue this statement to a fans site like TSS. To me it shows they understand Ken Bates and his cronies havent engaged with fans properly and that GFH want to change that. Great start IMO.

  • Olly

    Think we need to start filling the ground up again and show these new guys what a proper crowds like

  • Jettatura

    Why aren’t they buying back ER as part of the deal? Do they acquire TA?… Does Ken Bates retain ANY involvement?… I’ve got a thousand questions!

    • TimPM

      You would assume they get neither… TA is a concern as I’m not sure we have to right to buy it anymore? But ER still has a preferential buyback clause that was put in when it was sold. We can repurchase it no matter what, so long as we do it before a specific deadline (can’t remember what exactly that deadline is)

      • Jettatura

        Sorry, it sounds like I’m being too negative. GFH are making ‘the right noises’ but I want more answers. Don’t get me wrong, I’m thrilled we’re nearly rid of Bates but don’t forget he made a lot of good noises when he came in and look at how that worked out! Just saying.

        • TimPM

          All Leeds fans should’ve learnt to be sceptical of everything by now!

      • Tim, as I recall, the buyback clause has expired. Plus ER changed hands I think to an off shore tax haven based company (That’s Ken). That’s why Ken has built on it. They can get it back but might want Ken to deal with the property side of things? Ken owns Elland Road 100%. IMHO.

        • TimPM

          “Leeds continue to benefit from a 25-year purchase option written into
          the £12m sale-and-lease-back agreement signed by the previous board,” That was 2007, that would give us a repurchase option until 2029…

          That was January 2007 when Bates promised Leeds would soon repurchase the ground once the wage-bill had been lessened… I can’t find any media after administration but given we didn’t go into liquidation, and nobody seems to have mentioned the repurchase thing has ceased to exist, I guess it still does exist?

          • Maybe I’m thinking of Thorp Arch?

          • TimPM

            Probably – he missed that one just after selling Delph

    • djedjedje

      Because they don’t have that kind of cash? I can’t think of any other financial reason why you would be willing to pay such a massive surcharge.

  • Adolf Hitler

    These are very positive comments made in the almost certainty that a deal will be completed and that the new chairman can start to rebuild this great club. I hope people don’t start hoping for massive money signings straight away. My personal wish is that these people are excellent businessmen and have the with-it-all to build a strong and safe position in the premier league for Leeds United. Leeds will become great once again under their careful stewardship and Ken Bates will be forgotten, forever!

  • Ron

    It’s been a tough few years and I can understand some people remaining sceptical until the end, BUT this story gave me wood and these negotiations are clearly heading in the right direction. Any thoughts on who the striker is that Warnock has bid for?

  • saltburnwhite

    I would suggest that this deal has been concluded and signed tonight or today & may well be announced tomorrow as there was a very strict confidentiality agreement in place ..nobody involved has been allowed to utter a word ….until now ????
    What u reckon TSS is tomorrow the day the titanic finally rises ?

    • TimPM

      I wouldn’t hold your breath! I know LUST wind up some, but Gary Cooper has been pretty accurate with all he’s said so far, and he insists on never putting a timeline on things so I think it’d be wise if we followed his lead.

      But if GFH Capital can tie up this deal, they’re certainly making the right noises in my opinion :-)

      • saltburnwhite

        yes but dont you think its funny that we havnt heard a jot from GFH until yesterday and now tonight the actual board members have ALL broken silence and spoken , all of this against a very public backdrop of this confidentiality clause , which suggest that they are now free to speak , they would only be free to speak once the deal is concluded wouldnt they?

    • Mike

      The statement on Thursday was definitely issued by pressure from the stock market. This seems to be a whole different kind of statement though. Fingers crossed for something very soon.

  • Jettatura

    All of this throws up too many questions for me. Why are we targeting promotion to the PL by NEXT season? Shouldn’t they be concluding the deal and thinking about this ‘major investment’ NOW so we can do it this year?

    Why why why doesn’t this much-touted figure of around £50M include ER? They’ll have the option to buy that back at a later stage? Or as they say ‘eventually’ – so in reality, they’re looking to buy us for anywhere up to £65M!

    This is a bank, bear in mind, so they’ll need to start showing returns on all this investment. How will they do that until they can get hold of the PL TV revenues? By mortgaging more future ST sales? Selling more players? How? We need to know. We’re pretty sure the funds aren’t coming from their cash reserves. We need more detail on this issue.

    They’re buying Leeds City Holdings – is that the top-level entity in the business pyramid food-chain that Bates has set up? I thought that was Outro? Or is it FSF? Once again, we need more detail on this in due course.

    I actually don’t think any of GFH’s words will push Ken to sign. Ironically, it may be the FA and the charge that’s hanging over his head!

    Despite all this though, I DO think we’re in the end days of the Bates regime – so that’s good!

    There need to be other changes though. Harvey / Williams / Lorimer all have to go for me. Yorkshire Radio has to be dismantled and the LUFC commentary returned to its proper place – Radio Leeds!

    I could go on… but I won’t… I’m encouraged BUT I’m NOT celebrating just yet!

    • TimPM

      Wouldn’t it be a little unfair on the players and staff to expect immediate promotion?
      They’re planning on promotion “by the end of” next season, that includes this one!

      As far as the current ownership structure goes “a company owns a company that owns a company that owns a company” or something like that! But Leeds City Holdings would provide the football club, Yorkshire Radio, The Pavilion, etc. – everything short of ER/TA.

      As far as the timing goes, they’ve been receiving some inaccurate and loaded analysis by certain journalists, and so this will provide them with a very welcome boost of enthusiasm I would have thought?

      I do agree with you about not celebrating yet… Here’s hoping though :-)

      • djedjedje

        But what are they getting for c.£50m? A squad worth about £7m tops. A cash-flow that at current attendance levels doesn’t break even. A chance, with 23 other Championship clubs, to hit the riches in the Premiership. And no season ticket revenue for the next two seasons.

        Without Elland Road and Thorp Arch is doesn’t make sense to pay that sort of money. And if they were paying Bates what it is worth – about £25m then I’m sure he wouldn’t accept.

        We have to remember that for every extra £million of over-inflated value whoever buys the club actually pays to Bates, that is an extra £million less they can spend on improving the squad or buying back our assets.

        • TimPM

          Come on that’s completely disingenuous. Leeds isn’t just one of 23 clubs at this level, as Castles himself calls us: we’re ‘the last great franchise’ to buy.
          Nor is it two years of season ticket income we have to go without. One year where 2.5m from the season ticket income is promised.
          We don’t know what the current cashflow provides once Bates is gone, we have one of the largest turnovers in the division though and a larger one ignoring TV income than more than one PL team.
          I agree, we have to be cynical, and we don’t know what actual substance they have to offer, but there’s cynicism then there’s complete inaccuracy.
          ——————

          • djedjedje

            All the turnover in the world, and all the sleeping giantism means nowt unless you can maximize that potential. You can only do that by getting promoted or vastly increasing out attendance levels or match day prices (as there’s no room to cut costs!). Time and again investing in a squad is no guarantee of promotion. As such, we remain one of 24 teams competing for three promotion spots and there is no escaping that. Until they start handing out starting point bonuses for bigger teams it remains – as it should be – a level playing field. We cannot be doing with new ownership that is literally banking on us needing to get promoted to make a profit. I’m not saying these guys are doing that, but all the PR reads as there’s money in the Premiership and we want it. Don’t all football clubs?!

            True, a slight of head had overlooked that £2.5m is not our complete season tickets sales but I estimate it is around 50% (10,000 X av. season ticket of £528 = £5.28m), and not to be sniffed at. It was for two years (but does that included this current season? I dunno). The way I see it is they want to buy a team that currently needs to sell players to break even – and with no real player assets remaining to sell – and they are taking on a club which doesn’t own its ground but are obliged to pay out £2.5m for at least another season on improvements on the landlords behalf. That does not sound like a good deal to me. What is just as worrying is if, as we all suspect, Bates owns the ground already. We could very easily end up in a hostile situation where Bates can literally destroy the club that he swore he would do and sell the land as some nonsense development scheme and not lose a penny. That’s a very dangerous position to put the club in and I don’t think it is worth the risk. Whoever buys the club needs to buy the whole club, and should be rich enough to do so if they really want to appease and cheer up Leeds fans.

            As to GFH accounts. I’m not being a Castles-(h)-ite on their ability to buy us I was simply going on the YEP’s feature on who GFH are and what their business acumen has been in the last decade or so. I wasn’t very impressed, and there’s no sympathy for their difficulties in tough economic times garb. Dubai is one big speculation that seems entirely unsustainable: that they got burnt shows recklessness not due diligence. Let’s hope they have learnt lessens.

          • mrbigwheels

            A very comprehensive overview. So GFH to be financially successful at Leeds are reliant on a vastly improved turnover based on getting in the Prem + more bums on seats in a rented ground that Bates would possibly own and control?….. Not exactly a sure fire winner if their present business acumen (as you say), is not improved. I’m not rushing out to buy into this. Thanks for highlighting the deeper picture.

          • djedjedje

            I think, as ever with Leeds United, we all need more information than this press release provides. It would have at least been nice to see something new and progressive rather than more pot of gold chasers (will they make Risdale be the new chairman?! lol). I’d have liked to have seen some “we aim to work close with the fans and build bridges with LUST” or “we aim to fill Elland Road once again by offering a range of price tickets to accommodate all of the club’s fanbase”. Sometimes you have to give a little back in order to reap the rewards.

          • henrymouni

            I don’t think they dare say things like that dje, lest it upsets KB.
            You know quickly he gets angry!

          • djedjedje

            Lol – true.

  • Jettatura

    Still GUTTED we’ve missed out on Beckford!

    • chris-s-c

      Never was a leeds player

  • Kalich

    Sorry boys this still feels like a windup after everything , 1 . Make it Official 2. Put the money where their mouth is . But agree with some of the lads that all of the sudden GFH starts piping up , perhaps the deal is indeed done , so no reason to stay hushed

  • My interpretation is that there has been a clamour for public knowledge on what’s going on and GFH Capital are now forcing the issue. They want the club. Perhaps, more importantly their big words are an attempt to push Ken out. Good. They want the club. They seem to want Leeds United to do well and they want complete ownership. That means that Ken is gone. This is extremely positive. Owners who want to buy Leeds and do well for Leeds.

    Ken has only been here to feather his own nest. He makes money out of Leeds United FC. These guys seem to be serious and want the club to get to the Premier League. That is something Ken never has. he was only interested in his financial return.

    Ken wanted to put no money in (he hasn’t despite being a multi millionaire). These guys want to put money in today to make more tomorrow and build the Leeds brand.

    Well done. You get what you put in. Ken never did.

  • djedjedje

    Is it just me or do they sound a bit flustered? They hardly need to appeal to Leeds fans when we are so desperate to be rid of Bates. Are there other hawks in the wings? [I hope so]

    And were does it say ‘heavy investment’? All I can see is, “sustainable investment”. I’m sure Bates reckons he was doing that already!

    Of course it is good news to be rid of Bates but if they don’t have the money to buy Elland Road then do they have the money for “heavy investment?” I know the added £60m per season in the Premiership is worth a gamble as owners of Leeds for a season or two, but where is the mid to long term plan?

    And, do these guys have any experience of running a football club? [Or, if you believe their accounts, even turning a profit?]

    I’m being cynical I know – it’s in my blood now – but I’d like to see more before offering unlimited support.

    • TimPM

      The words “heavy investment” were used in the message sent to us by the PR lot along with the press release.
      As for their accounts, yes.

      ——————

      • djedjedje

        Lol, that is hardly reassuring, Tim!!

        And when did the TSS become a covert mouthpiece doing its spin for potential and still largely anonymous investors?

        • TimPM

          We’re not, but you were pedalling absolute nonsense. It’s one thing being critical – that’s a good thing – but you were saying we owe £5m on the East Stand loan and making like GFHC are incapable of funding Leeds United. Phil Hay has just tweeted that he believes a member of GFH might be personally bankrolling this, while the company itself gives the usual sales boasts on its website – but this is about the establishment of a $2billion bank. Hardly chicken feed, even if (like most similar businesses) they took a thwacking in the recession. They’ve already made a profit of about £20m this year from the last figures I’ve seen – they’re well on the way to making a similar amount of profit to our turnover.

    • JesmondWhite

      I agree with djedjedje. Bates has to go. But i worry that it’s wishful thinking to assume that GFH have the financial strength or
      expertise to turn things around. They’re saying the right things, but talk is cheap. like djedjedje, I remain cynical …..

  • Mike

    Fingers crossed. But don’t all get too carried away, GFH see this as a business opportunity, which of course means they need to make money, this will be their priority. They appear to understand that long term financial success can only be realised if the team on the pitch is competitive and more importantly in the Premier League. What concerns me is their public statements suggest they will be heavily reliant on TV money to make this thing work. Nothing about the publicly available information suggests they have access to unlimited funds, in fact quite the opposite, so unless there is a mystery source of wealth this deal is more likely to result ( financially at least ) with the club run more like Blackpool or Stoke than Man City. Still better than where we are but best to keep feet firmly on the ground for now.

  • henrymouni

    There is so much we don’t know yet.
    KB says ‘they’ have the money necessary to take Leeds forward – whatever that means.
    This is the first time they have been allowed to speak out, and assure the fans, without being able to say too much.
    I will be surprised if they are paying £50m for us.
    Their plan may include building ‘things’ at ER. They have done similar things before.
    I think their first priority is the team, not buying ER.
    I’d rather they pump millions into the team, and buy ER after we are promoted.
    They may even want to buy land somewhere else, and build a new ground and complex.
    That’s all for thefuture. For now it is ALL about the team and promotion.
    They know very well exactly how the fans feel about KB, and the way the club has been run.
    They know all about Ken, and his whole career.
    One of them is Leeds a fan, after all.
    We don’t really know who ‘they’ really are yet.
    NW knows a lot more than we do, and he is happy!

  • Mickerick

    Say what you like as a Leeds United fan of almost 50 years who now lives in South Africa,also having been involved in a major group here that was taken over with massive debt caused by the previous owners i understand what Ken Bates has had to do to create the situation that we are looking at now, he doesnt help himself with his attitude but perhaps its the nasty streak in him that gave him the “balls” to sort out the Risdale nightmare, i can also understand that if you have never been through such a situation you cannot comprehend what it would have taken for him to “put things right” i do and i hope one day this unusual man gets the credit he deserves for what he has achieved for Leeds United, yes he is going to make a ton of money like he did at Chelsea but i bet you Portsmouth would love him to go there regardless of his “problems” this news is awesome and like everybody else i cannot wait for it to go through MOT

    • Carlos

      Piss off! Hes milked leeds supporters until there was no milk left, if he thought he could get away with it for any longer he would!

      • Chareose

        Bates simply took advantage of the administration process to gain a cheap football club….ther was no “magic” involved….since then his strategic decisions have been appalling, My guinea pig would have done a better job….

        • henrymouni

          And his program notes would have been more interesting!
          And better looking too.
          You can trust a guinea pig!

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  • marccollins62

    I thought GFH exclusivity period had ended (Bates/club statement a while back) which may or not mean the confidentiality bit had ended too. This could be a worry as it could mean they can say what they want and the deal with THEM is not done and dusted that they are just trying to get the fans behind them to try and force their deal through. Hope I’m talking b*llocks and all is well and nearly sorted!

    • TimPM

      Their statement to the Bahrain Bourse excused going into more detail due to a confidentiality agreement.
      ——————

      • marccollins62

        Cool I’m, I think justifiably, paranoid and talking bollocks then, fingers crossed for a deal and official confirmation very soon.

        • TimPM

          Haha! Yeah, better to be too negative than get hopes dashed again.

          I might do another article stating the obvious just to make sure people have some factual reference without wading thru the news archives?

          ——————

          • marccollins62

            Sound plan. I have trolled through so many sites for so long maybe we need an idiots guide refresher :)

  • Chareose

    Based on what I have read on GFH, they have been advised to purchase Assets that will provide stable incomes……I imagine Leeds United is one of those “assets”, I cant see how a company that has been involved in sourcing multi billion pound infrastructure projects would be that bothered about getting Leeds to the Prem and then selling for say a hundred million profit….. I would say that they intend Leeds to become a healthy source of sustainable income to the GFH group……
    Some people might be worried about this but im not, with the money sloshing around the Premiership currently and Leeds United potentially being second only to Manachester United in terms of how much income it could make if it was handled with some real vision….im sure there will be cash to spare for decent player signings if its managed well and turned into a successful global brand.

    • marccollins62

      You may be right, but I’m not sure many clubs are a healthy source of sustainable income are they. Manure and Liverpool are in millions of debt, Man City & Chelsea propped up by the Billionaires. I know they must make profit but it’s often said people don’t buy football clubs to make massive profits. A quick £100 million profit would interest most companies I would have thought?

      • TimPM

        Arsenal are the key here. They’re the first big club to try their strategy, and interestingly one of the few to make it successful. They have kept one talented manager. Same as is happening with Pardew at Newcastle I think?

        ——————

        • marccollins62

          Problem with that is I don’t think NW will be a long stayer and not really proven in the Prem, so we would need to find another pronto and good uns are few and far between. Jeez I’ve become such a ferkin pessimist nowadays. Should be as happy as a proverbial pig in the sticky stuff!

          • TimPM

            Funnily enough I thought exactly the same, though it’s a bit of a myth that he was fully backed at QPR once they went up and he’d played a lot of the tough matches and kept their head above water when he left. But if he does want to return home after becoming a legend getting us promoted, we’d need a good pick..
            So the question is perhaps how good GFHC will be at football headhunting? Personally I’d be inclined to buy Poyet’s (long) contract? But I suppose that’s a while in the future yet.
            ——————

          • marccollins62

            Yep let’s just get a slightly better squad, get promoted and worry about all that after the party!

          • Chareose

            Look lets look on the brightside, hopefully no more court cases, no more slagging the fans or players off,. GFH will know leeds united needs major investment before they start to reap any dividends. So regardless leeds will be in a better place soon…..Under Bates Zero cash was being spent on players…..so i cant see how that will get any worse

          • marccollins62

            Sounds like bliss mate!

    • henrymouni

      There is a lot of money in the Prem’ but not many clubs are making money.
      Most is swallowed up with ridiculous wages and mad transfers.
      The more ‘sensible’ clubs tend to flirt with relegation.
      That isn’t to say that there is not a wise middle road to take.

  • mrbigwheels

    We do right to question the GFH statement. I don’t think it tells us much more than any prospective bidder for this Club would be expected to put forward. Several posters have put a very professional detailed reasoning as to the possible implications of their proposed ownership… to ask…. Hey Mr GFH men what are you really saying other than you haven’t got too much money, are not that succesful in profitable financial business to date, you like the potential of the large fan base, the rewards that the Prem would offer and the megabucks to add to the parent company bottom line….. Oh, and Leeds United Football Club has a ”rich history”.
    What are we all getting so excited about when there is so little detail available and no sight of depth to their long term plans?. I’m not cracking the Moet open yet.
    Yes, they do sound flustered and the reason?… Other parties are making rival bids. imo.

    • Will23

      Fully agree.

      This is not a deal to get excited about in the slightest. Just as there is no meat on the bones so it seems there is no cash in their bank. A bank without any sodding cash! Go figure!

      I can only hope some real businessmen with a proven record of profits are willing to come forward, but ideally we want a Jack Walker/Dave Whelan type figure.

      Not some failed executive who claims to be a Leeds fan.

    • TimPM

      Most fans seem to be responding to the promise of investing significant sums into the playing side of the club. Y’know that side that’s been starved for 2-3 years?

      I can understand the other concerns though.

  • Will23

    I’ve concluded, based on what I’ve read about GFH that this deal is, seemingly like everything involving Bates, one we will come to regret.

    That KPMG qualified the GFH company accounts on the grounds that it could not meet its liabilities (per YEP) should be ringing alarm bells that this deal is potentially another disaster for our club.

    Maybe it is just a stepping stone to help Bates get out, with another buyer lined up in the background with GFH a front? GFH will be portrayed as the owners, but somewhere in the background the real owners remain anonymous. There will be again no transparency here.

    Given GFH’s evident lack of funds – a bit like Europe and the UK governments – how will GFH fund this deal (c£50m) and then how will they meet their gloriously espoused plans?

    Ah, it will a debt backed deal. This is no equity based investment by GFH of that we can be sure. It has not enough of its own cash to meet its current obligations per KPMG.

    And what assurances do WE have that GFH itself won’t go bust given its own potential insolvency? We have none.

    It is becoming increasingly difficult…and expensive…to roll over debt when it matures. The fact that GHF has no substantial capital means it will be reliant on its continued existence as a going concern on renegotiating its debt maturities. It’s like someone living on their credit card….once the limit is reduced then you are busted unless you cut your cloth to meet your income. We all know many people who live beyond their means. GFH appears no different. Grand plans are all well and good but unless you have a rational funding plan in the context of the economic environment then you are busted.

    Unfortunately, we are not being bought by a Leeds fan putting in their own millions. The club is being bought by a close to insolvent bank!

    That should scare everyone.

    Supporting this deal just because the deal could (not necessarily will) see the end of Bates troubled reign, is not a reason to support the deal. Anyone but Bates is not a good basis for deciding if you should back a buyer who looks like a potential golden goose compared to the non-investing Bates.

    So do not be smitten by empty words of press statements. What else would they say? It’s called manipulation; it’s the heart of all scams … as well as bona fide business deals. So how can you tell the difference? You can’t always until the proverbial brown stuff hits the fan some time later.

    • djedjedje

      Excellent analysis. I agree with all the warnings. I’m wondering if they are indeed a transition owner: Bates wants out quick, they want in to see if they can strike gold within two seasons and if that fails they will sell the club o before their debt interest becomes toxic. As a gamble for THEM it isn’t a bad one, but for US it is unnecessary. Especially if there are other potential owners waiting in the wings.

      • Will23

        It is probably a short term view from GFH – premiership or bust!

    • mrbigwheels

      bum, bum…………..Excellent.

  • Thomas Paine

    It is well known that GFH Capital (formerly Injazat Capital) has very little proprietary (investable) capital on their balance sheet (circa US$ 5 – 10 million) and thus, the only way they can do this deal is to raise money from ME co-investors (likely at a premium to acquisition price, which is their M.O. — see: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/27403/1/MPRA_paper_27403.pdf) in an attempt to fund the deal.

    This week, Gulf Finance House parent to GFH Capital, began marketing this investment to select investors in the ME in an attempt to raise money to fund the deal. Their pitch document contains mostly pictures of the stadium and players and offers virtually no details whatsoever on GFH Capital’s plan post-acquisition — other than that they intend to acquire “LCH, and sell it once LUFC is promoted”, and that “the asset could be worth on a conservative basis £98.69mn”. Given GFH’s horrible reputation in the ME, they have ZERO chance of raising the necessary equity and closing this deal — so rest easy Leeds fans!

  • MattK

    I’ll be their on saturday for boro game! lets get 30k+ in that ground lads and ladies!

  • gazc

    We need to get rid of Warnock and start buying quality players fit for the Premiership because at the moment all Warnock wants to do is bring in old players he has worked with over the years, this is not what the fans want, we need better and after today this club is no where near the 8th best as it was before kick off in fact its becoming a joke so the sooner GFH improve this club with better management and players the quicker LUFC will get to the Prem but if we stay as we did today (with NW) LUFC is going no where.