GFH earmarks separate budget to drive Leeds promotion push

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GFH earmarks separate budget to drive Leeds promotion push

Postby leedshippriest on Thu Oct 04, 2012 7:47 pm

More light appears to have been shed on the proposed takeover of Leeds United by Dubai-based GFH capital after company board member Hisham al-Rayes revealed further details of the deal in an interview with CNBC Arabia.

Sport360 reported in September how GFH Capital, a subsidiary of Bahrain’s Gulf Finance House, had signed an exclusive deal to "lead and arrange" the takeover of Leeds, leading to suggestions that a deal was nearing c0mpletion.

After a few weeks of little development, we sat down with GFH-capital Deputy-CEO David Haigh on Tuesday when he revealed his “frustration” at not being able to discuss the deal “due to the confidentiality agreement that’s in place.”

However, more information was offered this evening when Al-Rayes explained that a separate budget has been earmarked to help Leeds United’s promotion ambitions, while he spelled out the reason why the investment bank were taking over the club from Ken Bates.

"Leeds is a club with a large fanbase and many trophies,” Al-Reyas said in an interview with CNBC Arabia.

"It suffered lots of debt in 2003 and 2004 but the new board has stabilised the finances, and they are now in a good state.

“The club doesn't have any debt, which is a good comparison with other clubs in England. If promotion is achieved, there will be £60 million in television rights.

"We have a separate budget from the purchase total to buy better players to achieve promotion to the Premier League,” he added. “Money already spent on the stadium and facilities means money that can be spent elsewhere.

"This represents an opportunity for us, a new field of investment... it will add variety to our portfolio and help our exposure to the United Kingdom and build relationships there."

The revelations from Al-Reyas will surely be music to the ears of Leeds fans, who have seen this proposed takeover discussed and speculated about for a few months now.

Once the takeover is completed, Leeds will become the second Championship club this season to be bought out by a wealthy Middle Eastern company after the Kuwaiti Al-Hasawi family took over the club in July.

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