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SBD Global/October 29, 2012/FranchisesPrint All
GFH Capital's protracted takover of Championship club Leeds United "appeared to be a step closer" Saturday after the Dubai-based firm provided confirmation that it has the money needed to close out a £52M ($83.7M) deal," according to Phil Hay of the YORKSHIRE EVENING POST. A joint statement issued by GFH Capital and Leeds said the company had produced "the necessary proof that it has the funds available" to bring an end to its pain-staking attempt to buy the club. Negotiations between GFH Capital officials and United Owner and Chair Ken Bates "are heading into a sixth month amid growing confusion about the delay in agreeing a sale." GFH Capital "has already injected at least £2M ($3.2M) into United -- an investment made in return for a mortgage of shares in the Yorkshire club -- and the company is aiming to acquire a 100% stake" in the club's parent company, Leeds City Holdings Ltd. (YORKSHIRE EVENING POST, 10/27). Bates said, "It's been a long road, but we are in a good place. We hope to complete very soon." BBC.co.uk reported that GFH Chief Investment Officer Saleem Patel "attempted to address supporters' concerns regarding the level of investment GFH intends to make in the club." Patel said, "It remains important to be clear that Shari'ah law will not hinder this transaction nor will it affect the future operations of the club. Our intention is to provide investment, which will facilitate a successful and sustainable future for Leeds United on and off the pitch" (BBC.co.uk, 10/26).
Australian Football League club Adelaide Crows are expecting to have selections taken from them over the next two national drafts as well as "being heavily fined by the AFL" for violating the salary cap for the past three years, according to Greg Denham of THE AUSTRALIAN. As the Kurt Tippett investigation intensifies, "the Crows have hidden from the AFL at least A$300,000 ($311,000) in payments to him over the past three years." The league "has already discovered guaranteed payments of A$100,000 a season over the length of Tippett's three-year contract from '09 that were outside the club's salary cap." Tippett was not traded before Friday's deadline and "remains an out-of-contract Crows player without a home." Sydney Swans withdrew their interest in Tippett "because of the controversy that surfaced earlier this week" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 10/27). In Adelaide, Michelangelo Rucci reported that Adelaide CEO Steven Trigg on Friday "handed to the AFL a letter of agreement reached outside the Crows' contract dealings with Tippett in '09." That letter "has at least three clauses -- the exit demand to trade Tippett to any AFL club of his choice when he chose to leave Adelaide and two deals that could breach the AFL salary cap rules." Crows Chair Rob Chapman "insisted the club had nothing to hide after initiating an AFL probe into Kurt Tippett's out-of-contract terms at West Lakes," home of the club. Chapman also "opened the Adelaide player files to AFL investigator Ken Wood as the special letter between Tippett and the Crows from '09 brings into question how the club has signed up its squad." Chapman said, "We have nothing to hide, and we have opened all the books to the AFL without condition. I can give a gold-plated commitment the AFL will find nothing" (THE ADVERTISER, 10/25). In Adelaide, Rucci also reported that Adelaide "will have to cut a wanted Crows player on Wednesday" as the pain from the Tippett scandal "turns to list management at West Lakes." The Crows "will have to gamble on which player to turf into the AFL national draft pool where Adelaide may not get a call until No. 83." The main candidates remain out-of-favor midfielder Richard Tambling or any of Adelaide's recent draftees Nick Joyce, Mitch Grigg or Cam Ellis-Yolmen (THE ADVERTISER, 10/29).