Leeds United left paying the price

FALSE DAWN: Salem Patel and David Haigh heralded the arrival of GFH in December 2012, but their time at Elland Road was a difficult one.
FALSE DAWN: Salem Patel and David Haigh heralded the arrival of GFH in December 2012, but their time at Elland Road was a difficult one.
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Leeds United will post an annual loss of almost £23m when their latest accounts are published early next year, figures seen by the YEP show.

The club’s results for the 2013-14 financial year lay bare the impact of Gulf Finance House’s ownership at Elland Road, revealing huge deficits and large loans owed to both the Bahraini bank and current owner Massimo Cellino.

GFH were responsible for the running of Leeds between December 2012 and April 2014, eventually selling a 75 per cent stake in the club to Cellino shortly before the end of last season.

A draft version of United’s accounts for the 12 months between July 1, 2013 and June 30, 2014 – due to be submitted to Companies House before the end of March – confirms that the club lost £22.93m in that period, including an operating loss of almost £18m.

A £3m decrease in turnover and a wage bill of around £22m contributed to those shortfalls.

GFH, which still manages a 25 per cent stake in United, is owed more than £20m by the Championship club, according to the figures for 2013-14. Cellino and companies connected to him, including Eleonora Sport Limited, loaned the club over £12m in that same year.

GFH bought Leeds from former chairman Ken Bates exactly two years ago but its 16 months in charge were a troubled period. The bank and Cellino have been in talks about restructuring United’s debt.

Thomas Christiansen.

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