Leeds United takeover: Warnock the loan arranger

Neil Warnock.
Neil Warnock.
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Neil Warnock was working to beat the Football League’s emergency loan deadline today as Leeds United began life under new owners GFH Capital.

The Leeds manager had until 5pm this evening to secure his remaining loan targets after seeing the club aided by an investment of funds in the aftermath of yesterday’s takeover.

GFH Capital’s bid to buy United has finally reached a conclusion after seven months of negotiations and the Dubai-based firm responded to the agreement with an immediate cash injection at Elland Road.

The money was expected to be used by Warnock to improve a squad which has dropped to 18th position in the Championship. Warnock, who has already failed with approaches for Stoke City’s Cameron Jerome, Sunderland’s Matthew Kilgallon and QPR’s Clint Hill, was continuing to attack the market this morning with Saturday’s game against Championship leaders Crystal Palace looming.

United’s squad has been badly weakened by a spate of injuries and suspensions but a shortage of funds at Elland Road has prevented Warnock from making telling additions.

Speaking after the announcement of his deal with GFH Capital, chairman Ken Bates said: “They’ll be providing additional working capital and will also provide funds to strengthen the team. There’s already been a small injection.”

GFH Capital has completed the first phase of its takeover and will take 100 per cent control of Leeds next month, following what United called a “transitional period.”

But expectations that Bates would sever all ties with Leeds have proved to be unfounded with GFH Capital agreeing that he will remain as chairman until the end of the season and become club president next summer.

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