Is GFH Capital Ken Bates’s Perfect Successor? TimPM September 29, 2012 Leeds United 62 Comments Investment banks, slowly slurping the lifeblood from a club. To many fans, an investment group purchasing their club would be a nightmare, but this is perhaps too simple. To Leeds, the proposed marriage to GFH Capital might just be a happy one. Investment banks want something back, and that’s why many fans are rightly wary. A few millions draining annually from a club, especially in the Championship, can cripple an otherwise competitive side. Leeds’ poorly timed capital projects highlighted this. But there’s no evidence that GFH Capital will behave in this way – in fact their press release suggests an early stage of significant investment in the side, getting Leeds to the promised land of the Premier League. It’s easily said, not so easily done. Leicester, Bristol City, Nottingham Forest – several clubs have found this. But Leeds is a club too big for the Championship, of that make no mistake. In terms of reputation, every pundit you’ll meet says Leeds are a Premier League side – even Sir Alex Ferguson himself has said on more than one occasion that he misses the club from the EPL – and financially too we’re big enough to avoid relegation scraps upon our return. Leeds’ average attendence in the last season before disillusionment really took hold would put us around 13th in the Premier League this season, despite high ticket prices and 2nd tier football. Our average attendence even now is larger than the capacity of some Premier League stadiums. Meanwhile our turnover seems regularly to outstrip or at least compete with that of demoted teams on Premier League parachute payments, and is easily one of the highest in the Championship. There is scope for massive growth from Leeds United over the next few years, and that makes it an enticing prospect for investment groups. But financial clout doesn’t guarantee success. Eddie Gray has become a stuck record on the failure of Leicester’s promotion push. Leicester are the perfect example of the wrong way to spend money. First and foremost, they employed a clown in Sven Goran Erikson, a man tailed by a media circus, and with no experience whatsoever of getting out of this physical, 46-match-season league. Then they overpaid a number of up-and-coming players. I’m not alone in concluding that Sven didn’t take to the Championship very successfully, while players went to Leicester sometimes seemingly more interested in the paycheque than in performances on the pitch. Leeds has already proved it possesses a manager capable of turning money into success. Building a promotion team over half a decade at Sheffield’s second club, walking into a circus with a revolving door at manager-level at QPR, and turning them into league champions. This is Neil Warnock – the man who would gain the record for the greatest number of English promotions if Leeds went up on his watch. Say whatever you like about the style of football his teams play – it’s successful. Just look at QPR’s unstoppable march in 2010-11, just look at our utter domination of Premier League high-fliers Everton. Warnock has spent a few hundred thousand here and there, grabbing the phenomenal Rodolph Austin, and talented youngsters like Jason Pearce and Lee Peltier. Not only that, he’s somehow turned a bad-boy with psychological issues playing with demoted Doncaster last season, into the experienced star he should be. He’s also seemed to completely transform talented but very rough diamonds like Tom Lees and Aidy White into mouth-watering prospects for the future, along with his experienced backroom team. Make no mistake, Neil Warnock and his staff are the men to guide Leeds to the Premier League. But how do we come up with the cash? Ken Bates won’t spend his own money on the club – who can blame him, honestly? – and despite genuine interest from wealthy individuals over the past five years, actually forging a deal seems very different to generating interest. Step up GFH Capital, whose recent press release suggests that they understand they must speculate at Leeds before they can accumulate in the Premier League. Arguments that GFH Capital are somehow incapable of running Leeds United are worrying. GFH was caught badly in the recession, making losses in excess of £200m for two years, and is still coming out of its own problems. The deal could also result in yet more hidden ownership, with the funds for a GFHC deal almost certainly coming from a private individual. Yet the company also boasts of its role deals including the “establishment and development” of the First Energy Bank in Bahrain, a $2billion bank specialising in the energy sector. Leeds then, would hardly seem the biggest deal GFHC have been involved in. Despite auditors expressing concern over GFH Capital, it has made profit this year – £20m or so already, I believe – and although there are increasingly worrying doubts expressed everywhere, they don’t look like small-time cowboys to my unrtained eye. The auditors expressed concern that debt could only be paid on time if assets were shifted (there is, of course, no guarantee of this), but GFHC have since restructured some of their debt. While they made heavy losses during the global downturn, they have been in profit for 18 months and will almost certainly be using another individual’s wealth in this investment. None have been more critical of GFH Capital’s ability to successfully lead Leeds back to the Premier League than Duncan Castles, writing for Abu Dhabi-based “The National”. Ken Bates referred to one of the claims made by Castles in his programme notes last weekend, calling them “total rubbish”. Despite the very welcome statement from GFH Capital on Friday, concrete evidence is inevitably difficult to establish on this takeover saga. Yet it seems likely that GFH Capital was the group that left Leeds United in June: very comfortable that they have the financial resources to support the club and that they will have no issues in satisfying the requirements of the Football League’s Owners and Directors Test, unlike many of the previous approaches we have had to endure. The club have not suggested any change to the party involved in advanced bidding, and if Chairman Bates thinks GFH Capital are sound, that should count for something. Many will know I’m not Mr Bates’ biggest fan, and GFH Capital talk is indeed a cheap way to garner favour with fans. But the noises surrounding Mr Bates over the past four to five months have consistently suggested that his legacy is a key factor in the sale of the club. Make no mistake, Leeds have hit real difficulties this spring, but a younger Bates might just have been contrary enough to have relished the added challenge of an increasingly alienated customer-base and what appeared from the outside short-medium term financial over-extension. As it is, Bates seems to be looking at selling on to an entity willing to continue his strategy for the club. That strategy is an Arsenal-style sustainable strategy that some might argue simply isn’t possible, or makes things unnecessarily difficult, for a club like Leeds – a club that might justifiably expect Premier League football – but that nevertheless has merits once a club is in the Premier League. This “Arsenal” approach has its detractors. We argued last spring that the new financial fair play rules could be exploited through lucrative sponsorship deals from businesses loosely connected to the owners of any given club, we also suggested that setting Leeds’ stall out as a renewable club years before the actual rules took hold might be jumping the gun to our detriment. Nevertheless, the worst that can be levelled at Arsenal is that it has slightly more potential than is realised. Its league positions, going back in time, were: 3rd, 4th, 3rd, 4th, 3rd, 4th, 4th. Arsenal is the embodiment of a mildly successful, stable, football club playing attractive football at the highest level. There’s a lot worse to try to emulate. Indeed, Arsenal aren’t a one-off. Newcastle’s disastrous demotion in 2009 was a shock on a par with Leeds’ demotion in 2004. Protests against chairman Mike Ashley spread, but the club marched straight back to the Premier League. Since then, Newcastle have invested in a good manager, and based their plans on him. Alan Pardew rewarded them with a string of inspired signings, and you’d have to have lived in a cave the last year not to have noticed where this sensible spending ended. GFH Capital could well be the perfect successors for Ken Bates, following his long-term strategy, and establishing Leeds as a sustainable Premier League club. Fans might be concerned about how much could be taken from the club year-by-year, but we can’t see that far to the future. Nevertheless, the prospect of the company failing, and plunging the club into uncertainty will weigh heavily with fans. The YEP have followed Duncan Castles in expressing caution over this deal. It is too early to judge these prospective buyers, but I see their press release yesterday as positive, and personally I’d cautiously welcome them to the club if their bid was successful. But there are a lot of questions to answer; in my opinion it’s vital for the good of the club that we’re able to have healthy debate. What do you think? Have your say below. trueyorxman When Bates has gone crowds will flock back including myself. GFH is a message to Bates…Go F**king Home! Richard Carter Good balanced article and reasonable conclusions. Investment is clearly required, and recognised by bates. So good on him for seeking out and hopefully securing it. MOT pigpen Good article; there is nothing inherantly wrong in running a football as a business that makes profit for its owner/s. What I have never understood is Bates’ lack of investment in the playing side to get the team into the PL and then benefit from all the pennies that ensue from being in the top flight. Anyways sorry for stating the bleeding obvious; just want someone to give Warnock some money…………he knows how to use it!! EYLEEDS I’m more than happy for Leeds to be run in a prudent business manner. Financial fair play is coming fast and we will benefit from that due to our revenue creating potential. Bates is simply a bad business man and has held the club back by his failure to understand that success on the pitch is far more important than property development if a football club is going to grow. Also his insistence in taking money out of the club through rent (allegedly) has stopped team improvement and the club would be worth far more now if we were in the Prem. I don’t care who the new owners are as long as they have some proper business acumen. leedsalltheway Leeds fans are never satisfied are they.We get all exited then someone throws a spanner in the works and out comes the doubters yet again.Lets all get behind the team dream of better days ahead cos we are not Brazil WE ARE LEEDS UNITED ……. Will23 You need to review your definition of doubt as you confuse it with curiosity and a questioning outlook on life. Inchy And you need to lighten up, sir. EYLEEDS I think “doubting” Bates’ business credentials is quite reasonable based on history. Are you satisfied with our current ownership? Don’t fall for the Bates propaganda that to want change means that you don’t back the team. Irving08 This is just about as good a case as can be made for GHF Capital, along the way, giving a balanced assessment of Bates. The two things go together of course. Thanks Tim, for giving us more food for thought. djedjedje I still reckon new club owners should audition to club fans as way of a form of X Factor, the Apprentice, or Dragon’s Den. For well over 99% of those who attend and support Leeds, who makes money (or not) out of Leeds United is of little importance as long as the club is seen to be progressing on the pitch and in the development of the stadium. I don’t see anything moderately attractive in GFH or GFHC beyond the obvious: they aint Bates and they might invest a little bit of money in the squad. Those two criteria are hardly hard to fulfill so I’d like to see some more Johnny-Come-Chairman audition for ownership of my club before I give any blessing and waste my money on our collective gamble (as football seems to be these days). What would be welcome in almost anyone but these GFH-guys is a modicum of face. After four months of hiding behind first Bates, then ‘confidently agreements’, then the savage whims of the Bahrain stock exchange, it turns out that GFHC aren’t even the backers afterall, but are rather a nameless, faceless, possibly non-existent private backer(s). How brave of them. It bodes well for future relationships with us fans when things get tetchy in future seasons (as things naturally do from time to time in football clubs). Would it be too much to know the name and face of the person I’m expected to throw thousands of hard-earned pounds at in coming seasons? …I just think we deserve better. Chareose GFH seem to claim they are the backers, as mentioned previously they have been advised to buy assets thats will provide long term income…. djedjedje Hmm, lol – because football clubs are famous for that!! That’s why so many football clubs are owned by investment banks such as…. So where is the money coming from to back them? It’s not Haigh or Patel’s. With such massive losses, GFHC clearly don;t have £50m odd to invest. Of course it’ll be debt-purchase, but who would lend to a company which has made so many spectacular losses in all but the last year? Because if it goes terribly terribly wrong, then lets face it, those lenders are the ones who’ll be the reluctant owners of Leeds United. TimPM Phil Hay disagrees re: “obviously” debt funded. —————— Irving08 It looks like it will be exactly the same set-up we had before Bates’ says he bought the club in 2010, viz, GFHC will act like a fund manager. It could actually be worse, since the fund manager now will want a big slice of the action too. My initial lukewarmness is now turning to cool. I could be wrong of course ! Will23 Can you provide a link to that claim as I have not seen that on any of their statements but may have missed it. Ta. Chareose http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/football-league/questions-about-finance-hang-over-planned-bahraini-purchase-of-leeds-8190962.html bottom of this story is one of many articles stating GFH are not acting on anyone elses behalf…… however the Star is now claiming that there bid to take over leeds has been hijacked so it could be months before someone buys Leeds United and I wouldnt be surprised If bates is looking for someone who wouldbe willing to let him stay on as chairman….. Will23 After further reading, GFH Capital (GFHC), is the private equity arm which is a subsidiary of the financially struggling investment bank, insolvent(?) Gulf Finance House (GFH). To clarify, it is GFH the bank who lost £200m, not GFHC. So, whilst the new owner would be GFHC and they would buy the shares in the club, are they then seeking to raise that same value of capital (say £50-£100m) from private investors, ie to use other people’s money to help finance and develop their acquisition of LUFC? Or are GFHC spending £50m or more of their *own* cash (or debt), with profits returned to the bank? Effectively, LUFC is a subsidiary itself of GFH, the bank, via GFHC. All income and capital gains are for the benefit of the GFH group. Subsequent funding of our club would therefore be very much dependent on cash available within GFHC or GFH. The solvency question of GFH then becomes an issue. Or, are GFHC spending £50m to buy LUFC shares, and then funding that cash/debt based acquisition cost by obtaining funds from anonymous private investors? Effectively, LUFC is being part of an investment portfolio offered to private clients with GFHC the legal owner of the shares, but just a middleman acting on behalf of private investors, but with the right to manage LUFC as they see fit for those investors? The relevant question is: Are GHFC acting for the bank or acting for private investors? Anyone care to comment? Let’s ignore the fluffy wishy washy good intentions expressed in press statements and get to the heart of the matter. As I said elsewhere, what else would they say!? We should be asking for transparency if the deal is eventually concluded so that we know for sure *whom* are to benefit from their are buying our club…for the benefit of the bank, or the benefit of private clients? If it is for the benefit of the bank, then the solvency issue is a risk. If is for the benefit of private investors, with no cash from GFH itself, then again that is another risk. TimPM That’s the question, aint it! The ITKers seem to have suggested there’s a wealthy consortium behind then. Phil Hay says an expert he talked to believes they must have private backing. —————— Will23 Smoke and mirrors, I fear Tim. Smoke and mirrors. I do not like their attempts of emotional manipulation with comments from these guys about “marching on together”, “big club” blah blah and all that attempt to try and woo the fans into backing the deal. That is not the way to do business. It may work for some fans but not this one. Reason over emotions. Give me the facts! I found it ironic that Bates said he liked Yorkshire folk as they called a spade a spade and that was something he could relate to. Needless to say, the barrow-boy simply abused all and sundry who disagreed with him which is the antithesis of calling a spade a spade, i.e. honesty. Let’s see if GHFC and their self-proclaimed Leeds fan calls things as they are or is just another manipulator of people’s emotions. I never trust that type of person in life whenever I come across them and not about to start now. Hot empty air proves nowt! But, on the other hand, we may get Allah on our side, though they can think again if they want to build a club mosque! Allan Hudson Elland Road has always been my Temple Irving08 Can’t resist it – we’re a broad church. The Northumbrian White I fully agree with comments stating ‘back the team and the manager’. I also agree with those posts who comment about new investors or owners being transparent. Potential owners or investors of our club should be and need to be vetted about their financial resources and these should be in sound order. A business plan of how they intend to move the club forward, finance of player transfers so we can continually compete and progress in all competitions. How they intend to balance the clubs books. Be open and honest with the fans, no flannel or manipulation of fans to get us on their side. I don’t want a takeover to take more money out than it invests. Tell me who you are potential owner and convince me your intentions for Leeds United FC are all good!! Matthew The simple reality is we don’t know enough yet to have an informed view about this. We don’t know if GFH are the real buyers or a broker. And if they are a broker we don’t know how visible the real buyer will be if & when the deal is completed. So obviously we can’t comment on the futures strategy. And we don’t know if Bates wil still be around after the deal! So, as ever we just need to wait around a while longer to see what emerges……… mrbigwheels Yes Matthew, we simply do not know much about anything that we can get confidently excited with and waiting around a while longer for this saga to unfold is enforced upon all of us who hold any reality. Warnock is, as I’ve said before, the total indicator to what is actually happening at this club, is truthful with it and offers the fan the real hope on the pitch. Weeks ago he stated this TO could still be happening at Christmas or even… still ongoing by the end of the season. He knows. What I suggest is…. the GFHC boys have signed a deal to find investment into the club and as yet haven’t got the private investors up to the table yet to hand over the cash. For various reasons I can’t repeat on here, I believe that the big money man is American who will buy into Leeds within the GFHC dealings………… In the meantime….. Best wishes to NW and the team this afternoon Good luck men. . Matthew Well said dude. Speaking of which, there appears to be a new Matthew on Scratchingshed. Probably best I register now. TimPM How long have you been commenting as Matthew on this site out of interest? —————— Matthew Well over a year Tim, before you joined TSS as a contributor. First I saw of another Matthew before yesterday, my IP address/registered email should show that its been me commenting on virtually every post on this website. TimPM Just wondered if you were the same Matthew who was commenting here Fake Matthews… What we need is a fake Ken to sign the deal! —————— Matthew Yeah, hopefully this takeover can be concluded as soon as possible. By the way dude, do you know if anyones doing a Bristol City writeup? Was a decent game and 3 points on the board, we’re now only 3 points off 1st with a worse goal difference but 2 wins which should be easily enough should put us in the mix come the international break. TimPM Unfortunately none of the writers went (naughty step time). If you wanted to write one up you could post it on the TSS forum and I’d stick it up? (and tag your name on obviously) —————— Matthew Ah, explains things. And sorry but I have no experience writing articles like that I was asking more out of curiousity if anything. It’s old news now anyway. Bristol City isn’t really an important team worthy of anyone doing a writeup, we won and got 3 points on the board lol. Btw noticed Disqus has tracked 266 of my comments without me having an account with them, seems they track using the email address provided. The Northumbrian White I hope your right and we do not have to be kept in the dark for much longer. If the takeover/ investment takes a bit longer then fine I can cope with that!!. As long as it’s all above board and kosher. Like your post, gives me some kind of hope as seems you have insider knowledge/contacts ?? anythinggoeshere we aren’t ever going to win the premier league or champions league, so there is no point getting delusions about these owners and having unrealistic expectations, Leeds don’t have a divine right to success. We have to be patient and hope they get us back to the premier league and keep the club stable. Personally I would prefer Bates having a role in the club in the future to make sure they don’t eff it all up Old Whitey To add to the debate, GFH made a profit of £235,000 on a turnover of £43 million, i don’t call that good business; some serious creative accounting going on here perhaps; however GFH do not have the funds to buy Leeds they will get that from investors who in turn will want to maximise their profit; now it’ll take about £100 million to get the club, ER and TA plus the players NW will want simply to get us into the PL; once there at least the same again to keep us there; so where’s the profit cow going to come from? not season tickets as Bates has already used them to pay for east stand, crowds of 30,000 plus will generate income, but £140 million to bridge the gap between TV rights and actual spend? i think not. the most likely scenario is once in the PL we will be sold on to the highest bidder. Still we won’t have to worry about Bates anymore hopefully, just the same picture of our owner(s) spending other peoples moneyand mortgaging our future. why is nothing ever simple with LUFC? leedsusa LOTS OF WORDS TimPM Yeah… Sorry about that —————— Paul Roberts As a loyal fan I made a post on this website a couple of weeks ago. Leeds Will Not be bought by an GFH or any another dish dash Arab group. They couldn’t produce the funds as I stated before. The Americans, the only buyers with money to bring the table for cuddly ken will buy Leeds very very soon. Money in January for transfers in January agreed.I do not think this deal will take us to Man City standards. Better than we have for sure but the only winner will be KB. chareose This morning that theory is looking more and more plausable,,, Will23 Unfortunately it’s in the Daily Star so maybe they read the above guys post! Irving08 Will23: Never got back to you on the art. But couldn’t let you get away with sayi that the collections you saw were taxpayer funded. This was only true for the pieces in the Arts Council exhibition. Nearly everything in the Art Gallery is either a private gift or has been purchased by the Leeds Art Collectors’ Fund – the second oldest of its type in the country – which is a membership organisation. The Rodin you much admired was thus bought for the Gallery by the LAF. As for the Sculpture Galleries, including the Henry Moore Institute, these are wholly funded by the Henry Moore Foundation. Regarding the Art Gallery, most of the upstairs rooms were, I believe, closed when you visited.: If you were to make another visit before Barnsley or Birmingham, here you would find a very interesting new exhibition on British landscape painiting over the last two centuries (largely based on the Gallery’s holdings) exploring how English painters responded to the challenge of modernism. Unlike some of the other stuff you saw it requires very little interpretation, thanks to the excellent curation. It is whooly devoted to ‘ways of seeing’, unlike the conceptual art, which appears to be your bete noire. Nick @ Wakefield I fully agree with Paul Roberts that the deal is not going to GFH, nor do we want it to. The Arabs have been bargaining at the table for over four months and have not been able to produce any results. They haughtily sit in hallowed ER with weightiness, significance, pontifical like, but they are merely aspirants to be the new owners, they don’t truly carry the king’s scepter. Their “exclusivity” talk is a smokescreen and not legit. Here is the prophesy: my sources say an American with NFL ownership experience will invest into the club, and it will be announced in the next ten days. He is supportive of KB, NW, and SH, has authentic sports experience, strong business acumen, is a proven winner with the necessary funds required to carry Leeds back to the Premier League. Also important, he is a strong Leeds supporter. Kalich The plot always seems to thicken , if we get promoted this year it should be made into a movie . Anthony Hopkins can play Kenneth Bates . mrbigwheels I fully agree with yourself and Paul in your posts. Why we are being subjected to the smoke and mirrors is extremely disrespecting of the entire supporting fanbase and serves no purpose other than providing a spin for the seller, an attempt to raise their game, affronts the real bidder and everyone wanting nothing more than the best investment and long term activity into LUFC. May we hope the American will be revealed as soon as possible to enable realism to prevail into our football club. Matthew Everything seems pretty much perfect to me. Players will be bought, money will be invested in the football club, everything that Bates hasn’t done will be done. I can’t ask for any better Registered now lol Will23 Until GFH come clean rather than hiding behind statements about their good intentions, and “marching on together” with the fans baloney then I reserve final judgement on them. At the moment, they have not shown to the fans how the deal is to be financed, but more importantly who will be the beneficiaries of the Premier League profits they are targeting (from the TV money) which is what they are after should we ever be promoted. That motivation is not for the good of the club for simple footballing reasons; they want that TV money and see LUFC as the vehicle by which they can access it. There are not that many alternatives for investment in the UK. And then, who is to say where that profit stream would end up in their home Arab lands once it leaves the UK as dividends? What would those dividends be used to fund? Do the club fans have a conscience about that or are we simply willing to sell our souls to the highest bidder? Irving08 WW: You may recollect that we had a big debate here over the summer on the conscience issue: it bothers me, but not some others. David Conn, in his recent book on Man City and its new owners, worries about their country’s (viz their) exploitation of migrant labour. Leeds fans can’t take the moral high ground on Bates and yet be indifferent to the things that aren’t happening in their own back yard. Or can they ? TimPM You will also recall, Irving, that the only difference between us was our perceptions of specific groups. You saw angels vs demons, I saw people vs people. —————— Irivng08 Please Tim, no caricatures. I am happy any time to resume the debate. TimPM We’ve already had the debate – or tried to. You decided anybody who didn’t agree with your perceptions lacked morals. —————— Irvng08 Tim, If you think that, then that is a misjudgement. My point was simply that Arab regimes like Egypt’s had simply exhausted themselves. The question is whether they can now evolve into moderate and democratic Islamic states – as Turkey is becoming – or whether they will slough off into fundamentalist regimes. There may of course be reversals, it is too early to say. So what is your point ? Will23 It is time for GFH Capital, to be transparent and to state who will be the beneficiaries of their ownership should they take over our once proud club. Is it their parent company, the bank, or will it be their private clients? Tim, is that now an acceptable question that will pass moderation? TimPM As far as I’m aware no comments are being moderated – and with David away I’m the only one able to moderate… Don’t know what you mean mate? —————— Will23 Tim, My messages kept disappearing this morning. They were not showing after posting and now I see them hear this evening. Confused. Apologies as I honestly thought you were deleting the messages or banned them from being posted. I thought you had had enough of the negative comments on GFH given your positive stance to date on their involvement. Again, apologies. TimPM Fair enough. Technology is a wonderful thing… When it works! —————— Will23 Thanks for understanding, it’s good of you. I am still baffled why my posts did not appear though as they would normally appear at the top. I never scrolled down mind you so lesson learned for me. A right daft bugger! TimPM I’ve had far worse levelled at me! Difference is you made a genuine mistake —————— Will23 Tim, obviously not. TimPM ? —————— Will23 Tim, censoring valid questions means you are a puppet. TimPM Are you feeling alright mate? —————— dan Why not encourage a supporters trust to buy the club and use the sustainable profits garnered to actually invest back into the club, rather than allow it to filter its way to the Middle East year-on-year… At the minute, Kens taking the cash, soon it’ll be the Bahraini Royal Family or whoever… Why there isn’t a group willing to run our club in a Not-For-Profit approach, I’ll never know… Our club is massive! There is the opportunity to build a sustainable club that is owned and run by all supporters, in the interest of supporters, and once in the Premier League, all revenues get re-invested rather than used as a pension for limited shareholders in this investment bank…Crazy! Paul Roberts I just had a dream that Ken Bates had died. He apparently according to the BBC had fell over his beard and sadly slipped off his boat in Monaco. Leeds United fans were given the option to buy the club for what he bought if for. Namely Fuck All, It was a deal, it was steal it was sale of the f….. century. However his ambition to take Leeds back to the PL acting as consultant had been interupted by his demise. He left everything about Leeds in his will to us, the kind old bastard. It was given by kind Ken because he knew no one loves our club more than us and not everyone knew how to make money from Football Clubs so he didn’t want a investment vehicle to screw it up . Though I am from the South, I knew that no one was more canny than a few Yorkshireman with the money and their useful business acumen, so we invited them in. We even got a proper bank involved that the new Leeds didn’t have to sell Thorpe Arch too to borrow just enougth to give us to help us return to the PL. Then in my wonderful dream many loyal and hardworking fans put a little money of what they could and with our fanbase it was some serious money in the pot. The club was ready. We wouldn’t make the same mistakes as before. No stupid signings with stupid wages, Arsenal have shown us the way. Young, hungry with Batty tackles a touch of flair on the wing and a few old heads to keep us firm. We didn’t need loan signings, people now wanted to come to Leeds and play and everyone felt part of the club again. The attendence at EL was huge and thel fans loved it. We didn’t take stupid financial risks like before and like many PL and championship clubs are doing. Its morning; Mr Bates your alive oh sh.t OK I’ll take the American buyers, next Friday please do the deal! I know they have promised £10 Million to help us get promoted in January. How did I know my source is good. You staying on. OK but only if you clear your desk after we get promoted. A gamble yes but I would throw the dice.