LONDON: Bahrain-based investment bank GFH Capital will complete a 100 percent takeover of Leeds United on December 21, the club’s current owner, Ken Bates, said yesterday.
The 80-year-old Bates, who took charge of fallen English giants Leeds nearly eight years ago, said the first part of the takeover had been completed and he will stay on as chairman until the end of the season to help the new owners during a transitional period.
“We have now completed all the negotiations and investigations with GFH and we’ve now completed the first part of the purchase,” former Chelsea chairman Bates told Yorkshire Radio.
“Meanwhile there’s a transitional period in which they get to know more about the club.”
He added: “Quite simply they (GFH) will be providing additional working capital for the club and they are also providing funds to strengthen the team.
“Neil Warnock will continue as manager, obviously with more support than the present owners have been able to give and we look forward to a smooth transition.
“I can say although the negotiations have taken a very long time, the benefit of that is that, unlike some overseas owners, who have gone in blind like a bull in a china shop and made a complete mess of the club after taking over, this six-month courtship if you like, for want of a better phrase, has given them (GFH) enough opportunities to see how Leeds United works.
“What the advantages and disadvantages are, the strengths and weaknesses, what needs to be done and what needs to be supported,” Bates said of a deal worth a reported £52m ($83m).
And Bates insisted this handover would prevent the kind of uncertainty, and in some cases downright chaos, that had accompanied a change of ownership at rival English clubs.
“You can look for a more Manchester United-type transition than we’ve seen at Blackburn, Portsmouth and other less fortunate clubs.”AFP