Since emerging as the people attempting to takeover Leeds United, GFH Capital have come under intense scrutiny from Leeds United fans and journalists alike.

With a confidentiality clause in place, the people fronting GFH’s bid for control of Leeds United have been rather vague with the details, often creating more questions with every attempt to reassure fans of their intentions and capabilities.

A lot of the concern surrounding GFH Capital’s proposed takeover of Leeds United stems from articles published last year by Reuters. The journalist who wrote the articles questioned the parent company’s business practices and ability to deliver the projects that the company’s shareholders had invested in.

Gulf Finance House’s problems started in 2008 when property prices in the Middle East plunged as a result of the global financial crisis. A report published by Mohammed Khnifir, a journalist specialising in Islamic finance, criticises Gulf Finance House’s failure to diversify, pointing out that it’s business plan was too heavily focused on property leaving them heavily vulnerable to a real estate collapse;

By analysing the background of 2009 losses, we can deduce that a) GFH was in the middle of an unprecedented real estate valuation collapse following an equally unprecedented real estate valuation bubble, and b) that GFH had a majority of nearly every aspect of its valuation and business model tied to real estate. Unfortunately for GFH there seems to have been no pre-crisis efforts to diversify the business away from a single sector, and a single type of earnings.

Further concerns were raised by The Telegraph who drew attention to Gulf Finance House’s most recent accounts and the extraordinary drop in the value of their assets since 2008 (down almost 75%), which came mostly as a result of the collapse of property prices. The Telegraph also point out that Gulf Finance House had less than £4m in cash when their last accounts were published – down from £800m in 2008.

Meanwhile, the Deputy CEO of GFH Capital, David Haigh, has been dismissive of concerns raised. He told The Telegraph that the losses Gulf Finance House incurred were “peanuts” to them and pointed out that every banking institution in the world has had similar problems.

Haigh, a Leeds United supporter and potential chairman of the club, has also offered constant assurances that his company have the necessary finances to takeover Leeds United, telling The Telegraph that the “money is in place” while moving to distance themselves from the accounts of Gulf Finance House.

It seems to be the norm for Leeds United fans to have more questions than answers, but where do you stand on GFH Capital’s proposed takeover? Our poll (below) asks, quite simply, whether you believe GFH are right for Leeds United, or whether we’re better off with Ken Bates?

Do you think GFH are better equipped to take Leeds United forward than Ken Bates?

View Results

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  • This has gone from a joke to a confusing complicated joke. Will it ever end.

    • TSS

      “We’re Leeds United, we don’t understand…”

  • TheMassacre

    Lets be right about things, Ken Bates is about as welcome in Leeds as Jimmy Savile.

    The sooner the shrew faced old twat sods off, the better we will be.

  • armchair white

    Than Ken Bates? Absolutely. – Than any of the unspecified others who have been interested in acquiring the club over the summer but are currently out of the picture? – Who knows?

  • #ItcouldonlyhappenatLeeds

    Whilst the vast majority of us want rid of Bates, when someone does takeover it must be right for the club and not just to get rid of Bates. We don’t want to go down the same lines as Portsmouth just for the sake of getting rid of Bates.

    • RickHx

      Unfortunately the fans will never be able to validate a prospective owner and then block a takeover if they don’t think its appropriate, so we have to live with whatever happens. We can point at Portsmouth or Man City, who knows which way things will go. The only thing we can be sure of is if Bates remains, we will continue to stagnate and die a slow death.

  • henrymouni

    According to KB, they have all the funds necessary to take Leeds forward?
    Why would a company with no assets want to buy a football club?
    They will have to invest, or there will not be any long term return for them?

    • Irving08

      Henry, When and where did Bates say that about GFH ? They do not need assets to harbour ambitions, just investors, whom they will charge handsomely for managing their money, while said investors will want a premium on their capital for a high risk investment like a football club. All of which has implications for the things we hold dear, like holding onto our younger players, affordable ticket prices and the Leeds United Foundation, to name but three items that might not much bother an investor, who could readily find lower risk yet high enough returns in bond markets, for example.

      • henrymouni

        Some months ago now.
        He said they had met his exacting criteria in all respects.
        He insisted on full disclosure!!! Not a policy he advocates himself!
        All the past suitors were rejected by our Chairman, as they did not have the necessary funds to take us forward.

        • Irving08

          Colin: Ah, our Chairman is not that simple, nor to the best of my knowledge did he use those exact words (though I am happy to defer to you on that), and if you read his recent programme notes carefully you would notice that he harbours serious doubts. But that is all by-the-by. LUFC can do better than this tuppence ‘hapenny outfit and we should urge Bates to find a few bob for Warnock so he can take us up and then sell on. In my view, that is what is in our best long-term interests.

          • henrymouni


            “One of the first things current owner Ken Bates has said is that he
            requires proof of funds before entering into any meaningful discussion
            with a potential investor and considering that Leeds entered into an
            “exclusivity period” with GFH in late June and confirmed they were
            satisfied GFH had both the funds and could satisfy the “fit and proper
            persons test”.

          • Irving08

            Oops, apologies for the name. I can see we are not going to agree on this one either. But do please take a look at the programme notes and have another look at GFH….Reuters is a good place to begin.

          • henrymouni

            In truth Irv, I have no idea what is going on, and this is the craziest takeover imaginable!
            If KB is changing his tune then we have plenty to be concerned about.
            Twas ever thus!

          • Irving08


  • better

    Lets be right about things, Ken Bates is about as welcome in Leeds as Jimmy Savile is in a hospital ward.

  • I think ignorance is bliss … at the moment if all this had been hushed and underwraps we’d be just happy at the end of the regin of terror. however, we’ve been given some but not enough education .. and that’s when things get dangerous and people claim to be experts… i was all ready for this to be mind games around the September window and I’m not sure now … I think as Leeds fans, we can now side with Mrs Levi, about the undue stress and pressure Ken has put us under!

  • chester white

    They have just started a 2billion pound project in Tunisia so the money is there .
    don’t forget it’s around 52 million just to buy the club and bates won’t have got this far if they had no proof of funding, so onwards and upwards

  • Craig

    “Better equipped to take Leeds United forward than Ken Bates” is not synonymous with “GFH are right for Leeds United”. For Haigh to label the 75% decline in assets and the steep decline in cash reserves as”peanuts” suggests, either that he is not telling the truth or that there are hidden assets somewhere else. That makes him Bates’ equal in my eyes.

    • LufcAus

      Haigh calling the massive write down in assets as “peanuts” is a worry in itself. If I had lost 75% of my investment and a related exec used those words…well. Risdale was an ego centric marketing man, lets hope we don’t get another.

  • MattBB2

    all bates cares about is their ability to pay him. he tlaks about legacy, but if he really cared about that he wouldnt have creamed the profits out of leeds united to the degree he has. he’s left us a skeleton of a football club, the man is a disgrace, i daresay anyone with genuine intentions to run the club properly would do a better job, irrespective of backing.

    • mrbigwheels

      A high five Matt… The backing would be awesome though… wouldn’t it.

  • KICH1964

    Ken Bates has doen a great job keeping us afloat and exisiting. Now we are one of the few clubs profiting each year. It is time to move on though and start investing in the team itself…bring on GFH…WE ARE LEEDS!!

  • Chareose

    The Answer is………..; Do Bears Shit in the Woods ?

    • Leedsthruandthru

      Rupert Bear shits on a carzie

      • mrbigwheels

        Ken Bates shits on everyone….. ‘Carzie4Ken’.

  • Derry White

    This is a totally skewed poll. To intimate that its a direct choice between Bates and GFH is ridiculous as most fans would take the devil before Bates. Because an overwhelming majority choose GFH in this poll doesnt mean they are right for Leeds or have the capacity to take us forward. We know nothing positive about them. As for Haigh being a lifelong Leeds fan, I remember we had one of them before…I think Ridsdale was his name.

    • TSS

      Fair point, but the situation we’re currently in suggests it’ll be GFH taking over, or Ken Bates remaining. We’re asking if people think GFH taking over will improve our prospects, I think it’s a valid question at this time.

    • TimPM

      Likewise your logic is totally skewed. Peter Ridsdale was an idiot, thus all Leeds fans are idiots? Nicely done…

      • Brian

        He’s not a Leeds fan, on his twitter accounts he said Man United 5 wins 5 matches on the 18th September 11 not a statement a Leeds fan would make, he’s only just become a leeds fans since they wanted to take over club.

        • TimPM

          Whatever he is, the claim was that he would act like Ridsdale simply because he is apparently a Leeds fan.

          • Brian

            what I’m getting at is if he can bull about that what else can he bull about
            he didn’t need to make out he was a Leeds fan we wouldn’t of thought less of him.

          • Irving08

            Brian, you are correct.

          • Irving08

            It’s a bit unfair Tim to pick him up on the rhetorical of his sentence Tim. Being a Leeds fan is neither here nor there would be a more sympathetic reading. But then that happens to be my point of view ! My preference for Bates staying is based on other factors, which I have more or less claertly explained.

          • Irving08

            But nt clearly enough perhaps !

  • anythinggoeshere

    we complain about Ken bates but under his ownership Chelsea eventually won several trophies and were consistently finishing in the top six. But whatever happens we will never be sure about the true intentions of gfh until they actually own the club. My personal opinion is that Bates would not sell to them unless he believed they were capable of running the club successfully, however that is trusting his judgement, which not many do

    • Alf

      Chelsea under Bates also accrued £80M of debt and were in danger of being forced into administration by their debtors before managing to get into the Champs League convinced a Russian Billionaire to purchase them.

  • mrbigwheels

    Any new owner akin to the GFHC proposal has got to make ‘it’ work. Can only mean a win win for LUFC in the longer term. Bates would be gone and we all lived happily ever after. Great… Unfortunately we know nothing of GFHC. Your article is full of the concerns raised by others and quotes Haigh being dismissive of those concerns. I don’t think a large proportion of the fanbase has truely latched onto the real possibility of this charade going titus up. The cry is, ”get on with it”. In reality,(imo), Bates is waiting for the money from their bid and they are scurrying around trying to get the dosh together from their group.
    In the main this week from Pammies assets to the lost love for LUST it has been a total PR screw up for Haigh and I for one am not impressed. Credibility?. Better equipped for what? ……. Sooooo, if they do take over they need to get there act together or I’d be asking you for an alternative box to tick…. for my vote.

    • Irving08


  • GFH have gone public re having funds to invest in the team. If they don’t deliver on that it will get ugly very quickly. They are obviously aware of that and I’m sure they intend to deliver.

  • China white

    This is a no brainer. Someone is buying the club with the intention of growing it to its potential v a dodgy dealer who is nasty, bitter and probably a bit senile. I couldn’t care if GFH fell over in 6 months. That would only mean someone else will come along. Being rid of Bates will ensure our future will prosper

  • barnzy

    my mumswould be beter equipped than ken bates to take leeds forward

  • Rick James



    If you weren’t a leeds fan (or football fan) would you invest 50+million on a football team, even if they get leeds to the premier, buy the ground back, you have likely doubled the amount of money spent. are you going to get that back? look at those ginger beard freaks a man u, liverpool, aston villa, newcastle, portsmouth, LEEDS, investment gone soar. if they thought property could lose its value wait till they see relegation, no european football, parachute payment runs out.
    its a risk, and its riches are subject to the performance of a squad of 2 dozen or so of over paid half wits.


    • for ever and ever …..

      I’ll take my chances …… better than the current nightmare

      • Irving08

        Nightmare seems a bit strong..Ok we are not yet where we want to be football-wise, but surely only last season post-Xmas qualifies as a ‘nightmare’. Three of the past fours seasons have been pretty exciting, – albeit with taliings off – and we’ve enjoyed some great Cup matches – plus the special plasure of watching some decent players from our own shores, wearing our shirts. And it has never been dull off the field either !

  • MattWhite

    Personally, I think the GFH is a front for Al-Khalifa. Haigh said in his statement that the company has strong sovereign links, and it would make sense for him to use them if he didn’t want to be splattered all over the press. Which according to jornos in the Middle East is very much his style.

  • Mike

    The article migh pose an unpopular question, but it is never the less valid. Ken Bates might not be everyones ( anyones?) cup of tea, but regardless of how this protracted saga ends up he will leave the club in better financial shape than when he arrived.
    Like most supporters I fervently hope GFH are the right future custodians and futhermore are able to invest in the club. But and it is an important one, there is absolutely nothing about the publicly available records that suggests they have the money to do much beyond that which the current owners have managed by way of on the pitch investment.
    The notion that Mr Bates has been making countless millions at the expense of the playing side of the club looks pretty facile. Sure he’s squander funds on ridiculous legal cases, but the amounts we are talking about are hardly significant when a moderately competent Championship midfielder can cost anywhere between £500,000 – £1miliion and a player with percieved Premier League capability £3 m plus not to mention huge wages. No doubt Mr Bates will pocket a handsome retunr on his investment when and if the deal is ever struck, but until the mystery men from the Gulf come up with something more concrete about their capacity to fincance the dela and fund the development, concern and caution will continue.

    • henrymouni

      I know what you are saying Mike.
      In truth we do not know how much he has cost us in total.
      Who owns the ground and Thorpe arch and who is getting the rent money?
      We do know his court cases have cost millions, and that money comes off the top.
      We know the building work has cost millions and the repayments come off the top.
      We know he has mortgaged season ticket revenues.
      We know he has sold our best players, and not reinvested in the team – the bulk of that money has gone to help pay the above KB costs/stupidities.
      Just a few million more on the squad could have made all the difference.
      If he leaves with full pockets it will be mission accomplished for him.
      That is why he, and his cronies from across the sea, got their tentacles onto us in the first place.

      • mrbigwheels

        If GFHC can get their PR together Henry and the dosh obviously, then that would give an immediate upturn to our footballing lives. Please sort it GFHC.
        If anyone still needs convincing of a better life with Ken Bates continuing to run the show, and it appears above that 15%… think so, then I suggest they all tune into /football league and read an article entitled Ken Bates ”An Ex-Chairman Is A Nobody”. This should just remind anyone what life this man has led, what he’s accomplished and the way he has treated everyone and thing he’s been involved with. Not a short read by the way but every reason to centre the mind and wish him gone from this club… if anyone has a doubt.

  • an overseas fan

    Although I would like to think otherwise it wouldn’t surprise me if we actually end up worse off than we are now. KB is small fry compared to the Financial Institutions that managed to completely cock up the world economy by generally lying to the public , sucking off billions in bonus schemes and then letting you and me bail them out when things went tits up. I just don’t trust those buggers. Now bearing in mind that such institutions fucked up in their “field of expertise” makes we wonder just how they would perform in a business/game they don’t even understand ? I do have some lingering doubts.

    In the case of GFH it is worrying that the sum of money involved to resurrect LUFC is in all honesty quite pathetic compared to other deals in their mix and they still can’t get this sorted ! Is this a revolution with a financial institution becoming prudent or is it maybe a lack of real support ? Either way it doesn’t breed much confidence in my books and as the proposed takeover is now public knowledge their could be a lot more positive hype coming from GFH that has nothing to do with the confidentiality agreement. If GFH don’t realize that the publicity ball is now firmly in their court they’re already showing a serious lack of understanding !

    I just hope this bout of scepticism has been the result of a hard week and not enough beer and that everything turns out gold in the morning.

    I’ll now drink a beer and hope for the best.

    • Irving08

      OF: Yyes, Bates is a minnow, globally, but GHF appears to be a mere tadpole.

  • I voted ‘yes’ but it’s a troubling thought that this involved a moment’s hesitation and a leap of faith. Be careful what you wish for …

  • TimPM

    Will23: I have seen some nutters on this site, but you top them all.

    As you have requested, I have deleted your posts. I am also taking the never-before-used step of deleting any further comments from you. The site owner told me he was going to ban you last week, and as a mod I will delete any further comments from you. Contrary to your paranoid ramblings, we had no problems with you asking questions of any persuasion, but we will not accept trolling on this site, and that added to the abuse has broken through my patience.

    If you have any further problems, speak to the site owner.

  • Irving08

    Tim, LIke many, I have personally found Will23 comments’ on this site about GHF and the takeover to be by far the most helpful on this issue. In this respect, he has every right to be regarded as a genuine commentator.

    • TimPM

      I agree. In fact I was told he was banned and thus would have deleted his comments of the last week but gave him the benefit of the doubt as (despite admitting to trolling in a string of comments about Simon Grayson) he was asking valuable questions.

  • Pompey White

    Under bates the once great Leeds United have been so poor we couldnt afford to pay attention. We’ve reached the Third division (call it what you will its still the third division) for the 1st time in our history. but the records broken doesnt stop there. 1st time we’ve been beaten by a non league side in competition (Histon), record amount of home defeats in a season, record home defeat, record points deduction (at the time). On our 9th manager of his tenure (inc Gwyn Williams and NR) dropped around 5,000 attendees at ER-but WE ARE THE MORONS? Roll on GFH’s ownership get that virus bates out of OUR club

  • Mike

    Henrymouni is right in the observations he makes, we might also add we don’t know where or how much money Ken Bates had to raise elsewhere and to who, he has had to make repayments over the years. Perhaps it is the opaqueness of the GFH offer that appeals to so much to Mr Bates, ” birds of a feather”, frankly who knows and there in lies the concern. Ken Bates may not be doing what most fans want, but he is also not making a complete Horlicks of things either.

  • Clearly we will be in a better position without Bates. Whether GFH is the right choice for getting back to the PL, we can only hope

  • deaks

    I say give them the chance, thats if bates finally lets them take over.anything has got to be better than him!


    Are you deluded MattBB2? before KB picked us up LUFC made Portsmouth FC look like the center of the California Goldrush. We were down and out with bailiffs knocking on the doors of ER. Fair do’s he has been a tight ass over the last few years but we are a stable and secure club now with little debt. All these players you talk of going had to leave for a price or they would have walked for free Johnson, Kilkenny. Do you remember 03/04? We got drybummed for our premiership players. Do you remember Kewell and his agent taking 80% of there transfer fee or paying half of Fowlers contract when he left? Thank you KB for bringing us back from the brink of darkness!!!!!!

    • mrbigwheels

      Remember?…. Yes!. Remember everything. Great… with reasons you’ve omitted to mention. As for KB bringing us back from the brink of darkness… he stepped into a situation, engineered the entire position for his personal gain and has operated the Club on nothing more than a 20 watt light bulb ever since.
      Darkness!… we’re still in it and even to the present day position I’m asking myself…. ”What the hell is he doing messing about with this group of potential buyers that financial contributors STILL claim… haven’t got two halfpenneys to rub together”…
      Thanks Ken for bringing us back out of the darkness and saving us…. Phah!.

      • Irving08

        Your last question is what we should all be demanding to be answered by the club.asking him. It doesn’t make sense. But Bates is a devious man, and I suspect something else is afoot.

  • Irving08

    I recommend everyone read the Reuters Report.

  • Irving08

    Plus the arrangement fees, which I bet (like First Group’s West Coast bid) were front loaded. No doubt tasty performance fees too later too.
    Very puzzled why 3 people should vote your three questions down.

  • markyboyls27

    chill out all leeds fans takeover is done got a friend worked for bates all done just dont want to admit it for good reasons hes gone when do we see him anyway u will all see in transfer window just forget about it till then trust me and just shut up super leeds and were going up

    • Kalich

      sorry but the wind up of the “takeover done” has long lost its desired effect , you missed your window pally , back to Huddersfield you go

      • markyboyls27

        huddersfield? mighty leeds dont u no ur leeds postcodes its complete and where laughing now think about it how do we sign new players and relese them if we dont have cash our squad not big enough to get rid unless they have money for replacements plus takeovers dont take this long and why wud the deal still be on the table after all the rubbish us leeds fans are posting i would have ran a mile if i was gettin abuse before id even spoke to any1 and invested somewhere with no pressure we want to consider ourselves lucky people want to buy us anyway theres no rush till the transfer window ul soon see things will change

        • Kalich

          Marky first of all I apologize for assuming you were a dog botherer , second – but I just think this takeover has been a huge fucking joke but im not laughing , third – all this nonsense has really split the fanbase up so I do want the best for Leeds and for all of us to be united again as opposed to bringing each other down , cheers

          • markyboyls27

            totally mate dont worrie we are leeds and proud

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