GFH Capital’s Deputy CEO, David Haigh, will become the Chairman of Leeds United Football Club should the company successfully complete their long-awaited takeover.

The news comes via a statement from the Leeds United Supporters’ Trust (LUST) who have spoken with representatives of GFH Capital.

LUST contacted GFH seeking clarification on a range of concerns raised by certain members of the press, most notably, Duncan Castles of Middle Eastern newspaper The National.

While LUST failed to get any clarification on GFH’s financial capabilities, the would-be owners insisted they have the funds to make a success of Leeds United Football Club and have no intentions to “flip” (quickly buy and sell) the business for a profit.

GFH also understand that low attendances are a result of supporter dissatisfaction and that bringing the crowds back is a priority. They also wished to make clear that repurchasing Elland Road is considered to be “key aim”.

The timescale for completion of the takeover remains as inconspicuous as ever, but GFH have reiterated their earlier statement that the companies lawyers are not holding up the deal, contrary to the claims of Ken Bates. They also repeated that the takeover is a full purchase of the club and that Ken Bates won’t remain on in any capacity.

For their part, LUST say they’re mostly satisfied with the assurances they’ve received, though they do hasten to add that our potential new owners will be judged by their actions, not their words, and that clarification on GFH’s financial position remains a concern.

  • Is this LUST re positioning themselves somewhat ?

    I am a bit worried that GFH don’t appear top have a pot to piss in let alone take us forward.

  • Ron

    All positive. Well done LUST for gaining access and shedding some light on a few matters. At least Haigh is a Leeds fan. That’s one up on the current Chairman.

    • Irving08

      Ron, Surely we have learned something from the Ridsdale era ! Do you really want a Chairman who just tells fans what they want to hear ? Bates can be accused of many things, but thankfully these do not include currying favour !

      • Ron

        It’s never easy coming in behind a few Chairmen who have polarized the fan base, but I for one need to give Haigh a chance before turning on him. I know these wounds are fresh, but we are the tits on this Pamela Anderson club and must be perky for the new owners. I long for 35,000 crowds every week and I feel the 2nd half of this season the league won’t know what’s hit them.

  • merseywhites

    Dont really have any faith in what comes out of LUST , the idea in principal of LUST is a good one, but as a whole the leadership in the group seems to be amateurish to say the least… The fans have waited long enough to be given the reality by the potential new owners , and its about time they make statements themselves, But in the event they keep everyone in the dark, its only natural that rumors start circulating again

    • TSS

      Your faith in LUST is irrelevant, the statement is issued based on what GFH’s reps have told them.

      • I did like the apparent challenge to GFH that “they will be judged by Leeds fans on actions, not words”.

    • whitedog

      In what way do you think the leadership is amateurish? The way they had talks with the original consortium? The way they held a meeting re stewarding that Shaun Harvey attended? A leadership so amateurish yet the head of LCC has praised them? The one that tv and radio turn to for interviews? The same that has had the green light from the FL, the police and all the other relevant bodies in order to proceed – and the one who has built up a group of over 8000 members? They aren’t professionals in any case, you do realise? Just fans working their buts off, in their own time to try and make a difference. It looks like the LUST Vision Statement (did you read it?) will be taken on board by the new owners. Not bad for a bunch of amateurs.

  • Bluesman

    Good article TSS. At least it keeps everyone up to date and away from all the speculation. I think that we are just going to have to be patient. It looks as though Bates days are numbered and that the new owners ambitions are in line with the supporters for a change. I just hope that Warnock gets a proper chance to have some cash and a proper run at promotion this year because he has done a fantastic job. I take my hat off to him for his hard work, ability, loyalty to the fans and honesty throughout. Come on NW, come on you mighty whites!!!

  • lufcleb

    Lets hope they have proper funds, otherwise, LU will vanish if anything ever happens to GFH.. Its all related

    • TSS

      Vanish is a tad extreme, at worst, we’d be sold off during an administration period.

      • Irving08

        Oh, we can all relax then !

  • TimPM

    As I see it, this pins GFH Capital to a few things – which I’m sure they’re happy to be pinned to. We’ve had “sources close to” up to now, and the interpretation of press releases. But here we have LUST have proper talks with the company, and now say:

    “that investment and success on the pitch are top of their agenda.”
    This is important for me personally. I’ve always said the club is big enough to make it to the Premier League with wise management (we have it now IMO) and the proper allocation of funds. Now there’s no excuse for more East Stand style projects in the Championship.

    Also I’m not that bothered about ER repurchase not being a massive repurchase? Someone a few days ago said their long-term plan to buy back Elland Road, rather than promise to immediately buy it, proves they “don’t have a pot to piss in”. ER costs upwards of £14m to repurchase. The summer after we missed promotion, our first team budget was initially only £9m-ish, it’s an expensive facility to repurchase.

    “we retain some concerns over the lack of information about their sources
    of funding, and will seek clarification of this as a priority should
    their bid be successful.”
    The only big worry I have, personally?

  • Dan

    I agree with Paul that it appears some repositioning is going on here. I am happy if this statement has been made after initial discussions with GFH….
    I question what bull have I been fed up to this point and would GFH really break the news of the new chairman in this way? I am not convinced

    • TSS

      Through an organisation that represents thousands of their future customers and has been quoted by every major news organisation in the country? They’d be top of my contact list.

      You also have to consider that GFH emailed us their recent press release (we were the first to publish it) – they seem very keen to engage with the fans.

      • Irving08

        Who’d be the owner of a football club with a clientele that wants to be both part owner (‘fan’) and ‘customer’ at the same time – and often does not know which is which ?

        • TimPM

          We are stakeholders, Irving, and provide the greatest part of the company’s income. There is no changing that fact, and many seem willing to become chairmen.

    • TimPM

      The Sun suggested this was the case when they promised the takeover was 72hrs away… It’s not a breaking idea (in re: chairman).

  • rob

    who gives a toss about LUST they irritate me more than Bates does! their self importance is precious! cant they just disapear please!

    • whitedog

      Ever met any of them? Thought not. Fans working in their own time on behalf of fans like you. What did you do to make a difference? Anything?

  • Where have you lot been? We knew weeks ago that David Haigh was going to be in charge. The lust statement is all taken from news reports and twitter.

    • Marko

      did you or the newspapers know that GFH only showed up 6 weeks ago, and they aren’t the ones that have been in negotiations all summer? I sure as hell didn’t. That changes a lot, and means bates probably is the one holding up the deal and his most recent statement shows impatience at their desire to make sure all stones are turned.

      • Marko

        not holding up the deal, sorry. I meant, bates is probably the reason it’s taken so long, he probably scuffed up the first deal.

      • john

        Clearly not true, if GFH were new to the table the whole due diligence would have had to start again.

    • TSS

      It’s all been speculation based on speculation, this is the first time anyone from GFH has confirmed David Haigh will be chairman.

  • kev .p

    the crowds are down because of disatifaction with the fully mental prices for championship games.

  • MattBB2

    will mr haigh be growing a beard in what i hope becomes an elland road tradition?

  • Col

    Listen, I’d rather have ANYBODY as chairman than scumbag Bates. Fingers crossed he’ll die soon.

  • mrbigwheels

    ”The news comes via a statement from the LUST”. I don’t think there is anything in its statement that hasn’t been put before us in recent weeks. I respect the statement made previously by GFHC via TSS and take that with a level of purpose and official clarity, but question the non official intentions of GFHC being announced by the LUST this evening. I must conclude that the LUST need a large input of professional advice and representation to go forward in any pursuit or attempt to unify the supporters and any future owners of this club to achieve the desired objectives of both parties. This present approach is very messy, confusing and unprofessional… and needs an immediate attention… rather than seeking it…

  • john wilson

    UTake a look at what the 4 owners in 6 months of Portsmouth said before they took over. Not too dissimilar from GFH. Good to know that. GFH share LUST’s vision – so that’s alright then. No doubt GFH would also say they believed in Father Christmas, Flying.pigs and Fairies if that’s what.they.thought you hear What LUST should have said. is that this is a very dodgy. takeover by a company who are very definitely.not in it because they have an interest in football and who are hiding behind ‘confidentiality to disguise the fact they won’t be using their. own resources .to buy the Club.

  • There’s a lot of people moaning about GFH and them not having any money.

    Okay then, answer this:

    Why would Ken entertain a buyout of Leeds United if they had no money?
    Is he going to give them LUFC for free? Of course not.
    They obviously do have money because that is what it will take to oust Ken and takeover the club.

    This is the squeeze to get the bastard out. We need a fresh start. We all know there is more money coming into this club than any other Championship club, and it’s all going out of the door to Bates.

    We’ve seen our best players sold for cash and the cash disappeared. It certainly wasn’t invested in the squad. We make money but we don’t have any.

    It’s not that difficult to understand, Leeds United makes money, but that money goes elsewhere. Let someone else take control and use that money better.

    Get Bates out and get Shaun Harvey, Peter Lorimer, Thom Kirwin and Ben Fry out too. They are no longer needed.

    • anythinggoeshere

      The money is probably going towards improving Leeds Utd as a club, as GFH has said Leeds is one of the few clubs in the championship(or premier league) turning a profit. it wouldn’t be doing that if they bought a load of players and we got a massive wage bill. This is why we now have investors wanting to buy us, Bates through prudence has laid the ground work for them. You say get all these people out, but people like Peter Lorimer has loyally served leeds his entire life, I suggest people like you just shut up and stop embarrassing us fellow supporters

      • for ever and ever….

        Have you actually read Lorimers articles , exposing Lorimer for what he now is …. a Bates mouthpiece shouldn’t embarrass anyone. Personally I think it’s really sad the way that Lorimer has gone from hero to zero but he made the choice to take Bates shilling

        • Irving08

          I think that’s a bit uncharitable (and possibly libellous)……..Pete llke Eddie has been with the club since he waa kid – others like me will remember his debut as an inside forward at 15 and the awful break he suffered – his identity is deeply bound up with it and he is simply proud to serve it. Of course, this may sometimes cloud his judgement, but whose isn’t clouded from time time by the emotional bonds that tie them to the object to their love. Another thing to remember is that Peter, when he was a player, was very much his own man, famously daring to take on even Billy in argument. A little more tolerance all round would not go amiss at Leeds.

        • TimPM

          Wasn’t Lorimer appointed to the board as a fans’ representative? I could be mistaken but if so, how the hell can anyone justify his behaviour? Fans bring up concerns and he simply makes excuses or, as he said initially, Bates put his money where his mouth is so he can do whatever the hell he likes.

      • I didn’t attack Lorimer, I just said it was time for him to go. He has stood by and supported the actions of Ken Bates. A lot of those actions have been detrimental to the club and insulting to the fans. Lorimer should not have defended Bates (as he has done time after time). I feel a clean sweep is needed. The current board have overseen an administration and the club drop to it’s lowest position in our history. They are all culpable.

    • mikelufc

      Am I the only one sick and tired of all this bullshit ?
      It seems that this GFH are a two bob outfit, anyone with funds would not want the shady outfits who own ER and TA on their tails.
      If they cant afford or dont want these then they do not have the best interests of Leeds United at heart, they are seeking a cash cow and there are still sufficient foolish fans to provide it.

    • Irving08

      A Deputy CEO of a financial minnow like GHF will need all the help he can get in running an operation like ours which is now more than just a football club. He is going to need all the help he can get from certain people already at the club such as Shaun Harvey. He would therefore be ill-advised to take this bit of your advice. Frankly, the thought of his being Chairman does not inspire witn immediate confidence. I know a little about his world, and the calibre of people it employs: the executive of a Bahreini- based company is, to put it delicately, definitely not a ‘high-flier’. Were he to become our Chairman, I shall of course endeavour to keep an open mind,.

      • Personally, I would rather trust the judgement of a Deputy CEO of a finance house, than Shaun Harvey. This is the same Shaun Harvey whose experience includes being a Postman, a Managing Director at Bradford City where he guided them into 2 administrations, and CEO of Leeds United when we (you guessed it) went into administration. Trust me, David Haigh doesn’t need help from Shaun Harvey. Unless of course, he wants to take us into administration. Unfortunately for us, this postman didn’t deliver.

        • TimPM

          Some people have made their minds up about GFHC already Colin ;-)


        • Irving08

          Colin: You obviously don’t know much about finance houses ! Cast your mind back to the Ridsdale era – who were the biggest investors ? why Schroeders; of course.
          Other things being equal, someone with experience of the ‘material’ world is to be preferred over someone used only to shifting money. And believe you me, Mr Haigh probably would probably not rise much higher than senior trader at one of the top UK finance houses like Morgan Stanley – and that is being charitable.
          Saun Harvey, by the way, cannot be blamed for Geoffrey Richmond or the debts bequeated us by Bates’ predecessors. As for being a postman, at least he knows his way around Leeds ! (And what was Alan Johnson ? )

  • Pattaya Rag

    Regardless of what’s said, GFH are fronting the deal for Arab Royals or ‘names’ who probably won’t step out of the shadows until Leeds are promoted. They don’t want Abu Dhabi’s Royals smearing at them. Money they have aplenty.

  • callmeluciano

    dont ya just love lust, stating everything we already know and then claiming to have ‘inside knowledge’ as ever…………

  • marcco62

    Haigh saying in the Sun, he “Hopes” deal to be done in the next 3 weeks. Thats good we can all relax now. I “hope” so too!

  • I just hope it’s sorted and that the manager will have some funds available in Jan.

    • markyboyls27

      he already has

  • Tim Campbell

    Love haighs description of leeds as a ‘young pamela anderson’ lol. Remember those baywatch days with great fondness haha. Is it just me or has haigh a passing resemblance to hugh grant

  • Reid_er

    Is that Haigh in the pic? Looks pretty young, would he be the youngest chairman in England? I know it doesn’t matter but I’m just curious.

    • Irving08

      I agree age does not matter, but qualifications and experience do.

  • jharry

    At last its starting to look good…Bates has stabilized Leeds United as a financial concern. This has meant extreme caution regarding wages and improving the stadium so he can sell the whole thing on. Of course we’ve hated this!!!!!! Snoddy was the lowpoint. Its the opposite of the Ridsdale approach. But at last its true: the giant is awakening and the potential is immense. Very exciting times ahead. Pleased for Warnock too, who took on the challenge and stuck by the club. Marching on together!

  • mrbigwheels

    An interesting observation to the article headline produced from the LUST statement… Not one National paper, SSN, ESPN, ITV, BBC make any reference to any point raised in that statement generated by ‘talks’ between the LUST and GFHC… Not even a mention of David Haigh becoming our future Chairman.
    Perhaps the LUST should liken or link their ‘vision statement’ to a suitable female that would propel their cause and membership to heady zones. A leather clad stormtrooper type of ample proportions supporting the latest technology to enable the willing prospect to register their email address and surge forward into the hallowed sanctury only saviours may enter.
    My apologies Gary and members… it’s just the way I feel about it. My Leeds habit of fifty years can agree with what the LUST are projecting but I do not support the way business is conducted… Yes, before anyone asks, I have conversed with several members totally committed to the cause and hence my suggestion of the mascot type above. I came away feeling slightly bullied and am not frightened to say so.

    • TSS

      It is quite amusing how much press that ridiculous Pamela Anderson quote has received – most of which refers to him as likely Leeds United chairman by the way. It shows how poor the media can be in this country. The Sun is one thing, I expect that kind of nonsense from them, but the rest should have higher standards.

      What’s really interesting is that the quote might be inaccurate and it seems no one bothered to get it verified. I’ve heard from quite a few people that he didn’t say it, but unless it comes from the horses mouth, there’s no way to prove it one way or another. I know I’m been incredibly cynical here, but I suspect some newspapers rely on that kind of thing.

      • Irving08

        We must hope he didn’t say it, because it is not a very clever analogy. The financial world he has hitherto inhabited would seem to afford a more apt comparison. Besides I thought we had move on form all a ‘get your **** out for the lads’ culture.

        • Irving08

          With the aformentioned lady, that is.

  • Mike N.

    Somebody tell me I’m paranoid, please, but I just had a thought about why the takeover is taking so long. GFH have a exclusivity agreement with Uncle Cuddly, presumably they have paid for this with the fee being taken off the purchase price. Now if the TO takes too long and the exclusivity period expires, due to “buyers lawyers”, for example, wouldn’t Uncle Cuddly be entitled to retain the fee and sell either to GFH or A. N. Other interested party for full whack? As I said, please tell me I’m paranoid.

  • Chareose

    I take it the Telegraph have declared war on GFH ???
    Pointless scare mongering….. as we dont really know whats going on and where the funds are coming from I dont see the point in judging a buyer until everything is done and dusted.
    If GFH struggle in charge then they will just sell us….. Lust are taking the correct line, cautiously optimistic.

  • marcco62

    New joint statement on LUFC official site with GFH stating latest LUST statement is full of cr@p and they have had no contact with them. Disappointing as I am (maybe was) a member of LUST.

  • markyboyls27

    its already completed guys 100 percent i no some1 close to bates and there not tellin any1 for a good reason us leeds fans no anyway we dont need cash got great passion every1 hates playin us makes theres bums twitch ul soon see in transfer window 2 months never mind 3 weeks ignore that just stringin us along to shut us up