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Leeds United takeover: Ken Bates will leave - GFH

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  • by Phil Hay
 

GFH Capital hopes to secure full ownership of Leeds United next week after reiterating its commitment to a 100 per cent buy-out of the Championship club.

Officials at the Dubai-based firm believe they are days away from signing a deal and sealing a takeover which brings to an end Ken Bates’ eight-year involvement at Elland Road.

Sources at GFH Capital were insisting last night that it remained on course to purchase all of Bates’ 72.85 per cent stake and buy Leeds outright amid conflicting reports that the company was considering a new proposal under which United’s current owner and chairman would remain at Elland Road until at least the end of the season.

As reported by the YEP last month, GFH Capital is planning to self-fund a £52million cash purchase and says it will seal the takeover with an upfront payment.

The private-equity firm intends to regain ownership of Leeds’ Elland Road stadium and Thorp Arch training ground, properties which were sold in 2004 by a previous United board.

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The YEP has been told that Bates has “no long-term future” at Leeds if the takeover goes through and it is understood that GFH Capital is preparing itself for the possibility of an announcement early next week.

Bates and United have been in negotiations with GFH Capital for the best part of six months, a process which spanned the whole of the summer and has overshadowed the early stages of the Championship season.

GFH Capital’s plan includes the promise of substantial transfer funds for manager Neil Warnock ahead of the January window, and Warnock revealed on Thursday that he had been told by Bates to begin identifying targets in anticipation of a takeover.

 

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