LEEDS United’s former managing director David Haigh has claimed its former owners Gulf Finance House “bought a club which they could never afford”.
Mr Haigh, who has been in prison in Dubai since May facing allegations of “false invoice fraud” by GFH, today issued a 1,581-word statement where he claimed there was no evidence against him.
He has been accused of creating almost £3m of false invoices during his period as deputy chief executive of his former employer’s private equity arm and has now had his assets frozen by a High Court judge.
In his statement, he said he had “been forced to default on normal day-to-day commitments as they prevented me from spending even a penny on my living expenses, such as food or medicine” and added that he feared losing his house.
Haigh, who denies the fraud claims, was arrested on May 18 after he flew to the Middle East for talks about a supposed new position with GFH.
No criminal charges have been brought against Haigh, who was one of the men behind GFH’s purchase of Leeds in 2012.
He left his job with the firm earlier this year as Italian businessman Massimo Cellino closed in on a 75 per cent takeover of Leeds United.
He said in his statement: “I believe as the facts of GFH’s hopeless purchase and stewardship of the club become clearer, the fans will genuinely appreciate the battles I fought on their and the club’s behalf.
“They will understand that I worked night and day to keep it afloat, often with my own money and even on my own credit cards when the GFH funding quickly dried up and also to find a suitable new owner to take the club forward.
“My biggest regret as far as LUFC is concerned is that they were so let down - as was I - by the conduct of GFH. They should never have bought a club which they could never afford.
“They were not honest with the fans, the players, the staff or the management. Sadly, they bought a Rolls Royce but couldn’t even afford the petrol once the journey started.
“I very much hope the journey is smoother and more successful with Massimo Cellino who is a true football man and a tough business man and that I will soon be free to share it as a fan.”
The Yorkshire Evening Post has requested a response from GFH.