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Dec 21, 2012

Leeds' new owners eye bright future

Leeds' new owners, Dubai-based investment company GFH Capital, believe they can deliver a "fresh start'' for the Championship club as they outlined their plans for the future.

GFH Capital's reported £52 million takeover sees GFH deputy chairman David Haigh, who became a director last month, to be joined on the Leeds board by fellow executives Salem Patel and Hisham Alrayes.

A statement on Leeds' website confirmed the company would take 100% charge, while they have been in protracted talks with Ken Bates, who is relinquishing ownership, over a deal that Patel believes can reinvigorate the club.

"What we want to do is create a successful but sustainable club and I think every fan will be with us,'' Patel said in the new owners' first press conference on Friday.

"English football is one of the most successful exports that England has at the moment. People are watching world over and being part of that is very exciting to us.

"We are both fans of English football and this is really interesting for us. We want to take Leeds back where they belong.''

Leeds have been outside the top-flight since 2004 following financial turmoil that, at one point, instigated a fall into the third tier.

Haigh, a Leeds fan, excitedly claimed they had bought "the best club in the world'' before going through his plans, which include keeping current boss Neil Warnock on board.

"He is our man and one of the reasons we decided to buy this club in the first place. The guy is a legend in English football and it was a requirement of the contract,'' Haigh said.

Warnock is chasing a record eighth promotion and Haigh added: "We don`t want to put a timescale on our investment but we want to make this club as successful as we can in the shortest time possible.

"We`ve been speaking to Neil and we will try our best to meet whatever needs he has and to be fair to us, we have already invested in the team. We`ve been speaking to him on and off since the summer to be honest. We very much assisted him with his plans in the summer and hope to continue to do so.''

Information from the Press Association was used in this report.

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