Elland RoadGFH Capital have begun negotiations to sell their stake in Leeds United according to the year end financial statement from Gulf Financial House, the parent company of GFH Capital.

A report from the Reuters New Agency says GFH paid a lump sum of $33m (£21m) to acquire the club, a deal which is believed to include add-ons at a later date.

In the financial statement, GFH explain that negotiations to sell Leeds United began almost immediately after the club was purchased, adding;

“The Group has an active plan to sell its stake in LUFC Holdings Limited, and accordingly, the asset and liabilities acquired were classified as held-for-sale and presented in the consolidated statement of financial position,”

Both David Haigh and Leeds United refused to comment when contacted by Reuters, pointing towards an interview with David Conn earlier this year in which Haigh and Patel say the plan is to sell a minority stake only.

Nothing particularly ground-breaking in this, the interview David Haigh points towards in The Guardian told us that GFH were already looking for investment of sorts. What’s interesting is how long this has been going on and the term “active plan” which, to me at least, suggests they already have people lined up to sell their stake (or part of it) to.

Reduced to clear

Elsewhere in the statement, GFH say they acquired Leeds United for a “bargain price” adding;

The bargain purchase was due to pressure on the sellers to exit their holdings due to change in their business plans.

On completing the purchase of Leeds United, GFH said;

GFH, through its 100% owned subsidiary, GFH Capital Limited completed the 100% acquisition of Leeds United City Holdings Limited and Leeds United Football Club (LUFC); a fully integrated and one of the best supported clubs in English Football with a large fan base. LUFC promises to be a high yielding investment opportunity, which GFH is successfully placing with its investors.

GFH’s full year-end financial report is available here. 

36 Responses

  1. Matthew

    Is it too much to ask to hope for someone with money and a willingness to invest to buy us?

    We deserve it after putting up with Ken Bates, we deserve something positive.

    • Irving08

      The view of the Isle of Man contingent drinking after the match on Saturday was that the Pavilion was the only good thing to come out of the past eight years.
      Just reporting, you understand.

  2. Ev

    great……….so our club is going to be in limbo for another 9 months and we will miss out on another chance of promotion next season and a chance to bring in a decent manager like Adkins…..I give up. Want to hybernate and wake up when all this crap is sorted !

  3. tinkler's shadow

    With the present state of play at ER thal be lucky to see bids exceed £2.99

  4. Craig Sweaton

    If another investor will bring stability, cash and more importantly ambition, then all good.
    It’s not as if an asset stripper is going to buy us because we don’t have any assets to speak of!
    I know I was sceptical of GFH to begin with (as anyone reading my comments will know), but the watch Leeds for less games and reduced season ticket prices are welcome first steps towards building our clubs attendances and atmosphere.
    So far so good I suppose is what I mean.

    • Gary

      If they was gonna sell fully why wiuld they introduce season prices for nxt season? What im sayin is…. Load of bull crap,investment is most likely

      • Craig Sweaton

        If they reduce season ticket prices now and sell plenty of them, the club is then showing increased revenue under GFH. More inviting to a buyer if they can see an increased profit in just 4 months pal.

  5. Graham

    You think with them getting the club for a “bargain price” and talk of bringing the fans back, they might have gone the whole hog with season ticket prices and charged closer to the divisional average (which is under £400 for new applicants in the cheapest none family area), reduced matchday prices and done a decent deal for kids (average under £100 in the division). So glad none of my mates have fallen in the trap and bought season tickets. Until we get a proper fair deal on prices, get rid of Harvey and Bates and get some sense of what’s going on at the club, I’ll stick to away games and leave home games for the superfans and Macron sheep

    • TSS

      Personally think the season ticket prices are fair. “Divisional average” for Leeds? If you want a divisional average team, then fair enough.

      Leeds’ prices should be among the most expensive in this league, the problem before was that they were amongst the most expensive in the Champions League.

      • Graham

        Well if you think it’s ‘fair’ that Leeds should be the most expensive in the league that’s fine, squire. But as long as they’re unfair – and they are objectively and empirically unfair – I’ll continue to demand justice. A lot of us Leeds fans come from humble backgrounds and wouldn’t have ever become fans of this great club if that was the attitude of fans like you when we were coming through. Why exclude poor people when you have tens of thousands of empty seats?

        I wonder if Newcastle’s fans were up in arms at their tickets being too cheap when they posted a 40,000 average in the second division a few years back with season tickets starting at £330 for adults? No, I think it’s just a modern Leeds thing.

        Also, don’t know if you’ve noticed this, but we’ve had a pretty average team for a few years now!

      • TSS

        Everyone I know is delighted with new ticket prices, you’re the first person I’ve come across who isn’t.

        We’re a club losing money, ticket sales provide the vast majority of our income. Any reduction poses a huge risk to our bottom line, so the fact GFH have willingly taken that gamble should be commended.

        And again, I think the prices are fair for a club of our size in this position.

      • Graham

        Well if you think it’s ‘fair’ that Leeds should be the most expensive in the league that’s fine, squire. But as long as they’re unfair – and they are objectively and empirically unfair – I’ll continue to demand justice.

        Otherwise, good article and keep up the good work :)

      • Irving08

        Hmm what makes a price just ?

        Personally I have no complaints, but then I am happy to view the game round a stanchion or two from the back of the Kop. The reduction of £2 makes up for going on match-by-match basis.

        But a regular game will still be out of reach for a ‘hard-working family’ with two or three childen – I know because I subsidise their occasional viewing. Historically speaking – going back to the ’70s and ’80s – this was not generally the case.

        So, while the proposed prices do probably reflect finanical realities at our club, they are not low enough to enable all those who genuinely want to watch a game (which they did with regularity when growing up)to do so on a more than a very occasional (or subsidised) basis.
        And when us baby boomers keel over, what then ?

  6. Paul

    GFH need to go, they have been a waste of time from day one. Come on Mr Pearson, make your move for the sake of Leeds United.

  7. djedjedje

    I agree, there’s nothing especially new in the Reuters report. The odd thing, though, is that Haigh didn’t deny it when given chance to by Reuters. One of the world’s leading news agencies is not really an organization to be swatted away with a ‘see my earlier remark in a British national newspaper’ when a sentence or two from Haigh could have killed the Reuters news article/speculation dead.

  8. Emsley

    Needs more pictures.
    Don’t like reading if there isn’t lots of them.

    • djedjedje

      I always think the same when plodding through Neil Warnock’s articles in The Independent.


    There has been so much crap written about Leeds United i don’t believe anything until it happens any more. MOT still.

  10. S. Lee

    Gain on bargain purchase is an accounting term. It doesn’t necessarily mean they think they got a bargain – it means they paid less cash for the net assets of the business than the sum of the net assets. This generates negative goodwill, or a ‘gain on bargain purchase.’ So technically they got a bargain, but it is just an accounting bargain.
    The fact that Leeds are held for sale means that a sale must be ‘highly probable’ within 12 months and that it is available for immediate sale.
    So it certainly seems like GFH have real intent to offload.

  11. Jamminjuda

    If you look at GFH track record in the Middle East they like to set up projects and sell out at the first opportunity for a quick buck. Any offer of a quick profit is likely to see them take it and run.

  12. West stand rebel

    Amazingly they already believe they have made a $10m profit on their investment having bought the club at a bargain basement price. If this is the case why didn’t they invest that money in the transfer window or at least hang on to Becchio and really try to push for the playoffs.
    Maybe the answer to this is that the club can be flipped before any promotion payments come into effect. Bates of course screwed another £1m profit out of the issue of preference shares to himself via the enforced sale of Lutonville to GFH on completion of the deal to buy Leeds City Holdings, all tax free naturally as Lutonville is registered in Nevis a Carribean tax haven.
    It’s a wonderful club isn’t it!

  13. Bluesman

    GFH obviously do not intend to invest in Leeds are keeping things ticking over! Now you know what NW has been up against! Bates still in charge until the end of the season. It would seem like a right time for the new investors to step in AND not before time. Keep your fingers crossed that it is someone who is interested in the long term future and status of Leeds United.

  14. sickness

    This is a good thing GFH are light weight and Leeds needs a heavy weight.

  15. markj222

    Why didn’t Bates sell to Haskell? He is looking into buying Coventry now, while we are stuck with these jokers


    F’kin’Ell what’s wrong with most of ya, Eh? How many times off the record do you think Bates Purposely Screwed Investment Opportunities, until he’d Bled Leeds dry, split it up/compartmentalised The Club into Numerous Holdings & Sub-Holdings in Tax havens so to add too & Maximise money flowing into the club, laundering it & Promptly Diverted into his back pocket via The West Indies, Switzerland & The Principality of Monaco?? Now at The Tender age of 347yrs old our bloodsucking Vampire Santa, has Very few people prepaid to do business with him! Being a comedy 2nd Hand Car salesman he clung on as long as possible to GFH as they probably offered him the best deal he was ever Realistically ever going to get!
    GFH have done us a Monstrous Favor in Ridding us of said Scum Bag in all but name -El’Presidentè! GFH are Not going to just Flip Utd for a few Quid ££…. If & or When they do decide to accept Joint investors it’ll be for sound, clear Business grounds & for a ‘GOOD PROFIT’ add to that Good business acumen & you’ll understand That LEEDS UTD as a Brand throughout the Middle East alone ‘IS’ in its Own right a Massive market! & playgrounds of the Super Rich! So I think this time we need to Don or Flatcaps smile and wait for the journey to begin! After all they’ve just got themselves comfy in the boardroom leather chairs, more or less immediately dropped prices cheap games etc. Sold shirts for A TENNER! opposed to £40+ & are trying valiantly to ensure future support for the club by admitting kids for a £5…. That’s the future bloodline of this club! And already there trying to Right the WRONGS of That King of TOSSERS *MASTERBATES*
    So for Once Credit where CREDIT Is Due.
    Thanks GFH & Let’s hope you continue to progress in such a Positive, Proactive manner in both running the club, future investment esp and The Appointment of Evertons current Mgr Moyles a Mgr for the future of LEEDS and its Legacy.
    GFH ** If yr reading this Now’s yr chance to show a Real Desire for success for both GFH/LEEDS fans the world over to Scoop a Mgr That’s worked on the Tightest of budgets and been successful in fusing Young Academy players and seasoned pro’s, has great respect throughout football for being a canny successful manager with passion & a Revie like attitude to never say die football!
    So Cheer up lads, The Futures Bright – THE FUTURES LEEDS! M.O.T.

  17. Koh Samui Whites

    So i take it GFH are no longer the knights in shining armour that have kept all their promises of sensible investment then scratching shed. Lots of fans posted on this sham of a take-over and were roundly dismissed by you as conspiracy theorist nutters.Apology not necessary.

  18. number1inyorkshire

    course its up for sale every club is …

    had we been in the promotion hunt it would not have been …

    they ,GFH like Warnock are not prepared to stick around in the championship and fund it to get it there ..

    The club are quite well placed but the team are miles away from the premier league ,as far away as we have been in terms of quality since leaving the premier league .

    our core attendance is dropping and proper investment in both club and team are short of the mark required ..
    i Blame the pavillion !!!!……

  19. dave

    i think you are all jumping the gun here, yes they are willing to sell part of leeds united but they want to remain the owners.
    they have recently bought the club and rejected takeover proposals believed to from pearson.
    bates is gone i am happy with that.
    but what i want to know from gfh is what everything they purchased, because 21m seems a lot to me if we they do not own er and training ground, what exactly have they paid for.


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