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SBD Global/November 22, 2012/Franchises
GFH Capital's Leeds Takeover Is Finalized; Bahrain-Based Bank Takes Over Dec. 21
Published November 22, 2012
QUESTIONS RAISED: THE NATIONAL reported questions "had been raised over the funding model" GFH Capital, a subsidiary of Gulf Finance House, had planned. Last month, the company "faced scrutiny over whether the purchase would be compatible with Sharia principles." However, the club confirmed it "had entered a one-month transitional period," which, subject to approval by the English Football League, would see GFH Capital becoming 100% shareholders (THE NATIONAL, 11/21). The London TELEGRAPH reported Bates said, "I can say although the negotiations have taken a very long time, the benefit of that is that, unlike some overseas owners, who have gone in blind like a bull in a china shop and made a complete mess of the club after taking over, this six-month courtship if you like, for want of a better phrase, has given them (GFH) enough opportunities to see how Leeds United works." Long periods of silence from both the club and GFH since has "infuriated some fans," while Leeds Manager Neil Warnock said that he would "only be able to mount a serious promotion challenge with the backing of new owners" (TELEGRAPH, 11/21).
SPEAKING A GOOD GAME: The YORKSHIRE EVENING POST wrote in a live blog Wednesday that Leeds United Supporters' Trust Chair Gary Cooper said, “It’s great that the deal’s done and a lot of expectation has been realised GFH Capital have spoken a really good game and all I hope is that their actions are as impressive. But I do fear that a lot of supporters are going to have a problem with Ken Bates remaining as chairman and then becoming president. That could make things difficult.” Leeds United Supporters Club Chair Ray Fell said, “Time will tell how this takes its course but we’ll all be hoping for a new beginning. The fans will be delighted to see this go through and I sincerely hope that it signals a change in fortunes for the team and the manager” (YORKSHIRE EVENING POST, 11/21).