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.