Leeds United: Haigh leading buy-out of the club
Leeds United managing director David Haigh is leading a buy-out of the club which should see the Whites in the hands of new owners before the January transfer window.
The YEP understands that Haigh - a director at Elland Road since November of last year - has put together a consortium of businessmen who will purchase a majority stake in the next month.
United announced this morning that they have reached agreement for a UK-based group to acquire shares in the club, with current owner GFH Capital retaining a “significant stake” and both Haigh and chairman Salah Nooruddin remaining at the club.
Nooruddin is one of three shareholders in Leeds, alongside GFH Capital and Bahrain’s International Investment Bank (IIB).
Haigh is presently an employee of both United and GFH Capital and holds no equity in the Championship side but the impending deal will see him secure greater control.
It is also expected to lead to improved funding for first team manager Brian McDermott in the January transfer window.
Haigh has already made significant financial contributions to United this season, loaning the club a six-figure fee through a Dubai-based firm in October and a further sum in excess of £1million earlier this week.
GFH Capital has been in charge of United since last December when the club bought a 100 per cent shareholding from former owner and chairman Ken Bates.
In a statement released this morning, Leeds said: “GFH Capital, majority owners of Leeds United, have granted a period of exclusivity to the investors in readiness for the January transfer window.
“The two parties have signed a share acquisition agreement for the purchase of shares in the club with GFH retaining a significant stake.
“The consortium includes a number of high profile businessmen and does not include any previous owners or players of the club.
“It is anticipated that the investment will be in place for the January transfer window and will see existing chairman Salah Nooruddin and managing director David Haigh remain at the club for the long term.
“Since formally completing its purchase of Leeds United in December 2012, GFH Capital has always stated it was its plan to ensure the long-term and sustainable regeneration of the club through partnering with strategic and like-minded investors who share its vision.
“The announcement is the culmination of many months of negotiations by a team led by David Haigh.”
United were the subject of a £7million bid from a group involving Welcome to Yorkshire chief executive Gary Verity and former Manchester United employee Mike Farnan and claiming to be backed by Leeds legend Lucas Radebe.
That consortium is not involved in the latest offer for shares.