FORMER Leeds United managing director David Haigh’s arrest in Dubai following an allegation of embezzlement is NOT related to the club’s recent takeover by Massimo Cellino, ex-Whites owner GFH Capital has said.
And, in a separate development, reports yesterday claimed that Haigh had been referred to Dubai’s public prosecutor for trial.
A spokesman for the former Leeds chief, however, told the Yorkshire Evening Post that although his client remained in custody, no charges had been brought against him.
The spokesman said: “He continues to co-operate with the investigating authorities in the knowledge that all allegations made against him by GFH are false.
“He knows that he has done nothing wrong or illegal.”
Haigh was arrested on May 18 after being accused of “embezzlement, swindling and breach of trust” by GFH, the Dubai-based investment bank for whom he worked as recently as February.
He left his job at GFH as Italian businessman Cellino closed in on a 75 per cent takeover of United.
Haigh had been one of the men behind GFH’s purchase of Leeds from Ken Bates in late 2012.
The 36-year-old enjoyed an increasingly high-profile role at Elland Road after becoming managing director last July.
Haigh quit United last month following a souring of his relationship with Cellino. His arrest came after he flew to the Middle East for talks about a purported new job within the GFH group. As previously reported by the YEP, he was detained shortly after his arrival at GFH’s offices.
In a statement issued on Monday, GFH chief executive Jinesh Patel said: “The issues that GFH has referred to the Dubai and UK authorities are unrelated to the purchase by Mr Massimo Cellino of a 75 per cent stake in Leeds United from GFH earlier this year.”
The alleged financial irregularities under investigation are said to involve a sum of nearly £4m.