21 November 2012 13:44
Leeds United have been sold to Dubai-based investment bank GFH Capital Limited after protracted negotiations.
A statement on of the Yorkshire club’s official website confirmed that Neil Warnock will continue as manager, while GFH Capital executive David Haigh will join the board immediately with fellow executives Hisham Alrayes and Salem Patel joining in December following a one-match transitional period.
Chairman Ken Bates added in a statement: “I can confirm we have now completed all the negotiations with GFH Capital. We have completed the first part of the purchase and they will be taking over 100 per cent of the club. Meanwhile, there is a transitional period while they get to know more about the club.
“I will continue as chairman until the end of the season when I will take over as president and I look forward to sitting back and taking more time off.
“Neil Warnock will continue as manager with more support than the present owners have been able to give and we look forward to a smooth transition.
“One thing I can say that has benefited from the negotiations is that this six-month courtship has given GFH Capital the opportunity to see the strengths and weaknesses and what needs to be supported.
“You can look forward to a smoother transition than we’ve seen at a lot of clubs.”
Haigh added his intention to return Leeds to the Premier League at the first possible opportunity, with the club currently languishing four places above the relegation zone in the Championship – but just seven points off the play-off places.
“After a long process of negotiations, spanning Leeds, London, Monaco, Dubai and Bahrain, it gives us great pride today, to have completed the deal for Leeds United,” Haigh said.
“A brief but important transitional period now begins in terms of the changeover of ownership: we have today injected further funds into the club and now we look to the future and start the exciting journey to take Leeds United FC back into a prime position in English football once again.
“From a Leeds family myself and a supporter of The Whites since childhood, I know that football is at the very heart of the people of Leeds and the wider community.
“We want to thank all the fans in UK and around the world for their patience and support while the negotiations have been taking place.
“Let’s now march on together, taking the club back to the Premier League as soon as possible.”