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Volume 10 No. 24

Franchises

Dubai-based GFH Capital said it would not spend "crazy money" to restore Leeds United to the Premier League after completing a takeover reportedly worth £52M ($83.6M), according to Keith Weir of REUTERS. GFH has bought the club from majority shareholder and former Chelsea Owner Ken Bates, who "will remain club chairman until the end of the season." GFH exec Salem Patel said, "We're not going to be spending crazy money like some football club owners have. What we want to do is to make the investment sustainable and make the club successful" (REUTERS, 12/21).

La Liga club Malaga has "been banned from European competition for at least one season because of unpaid bills," according to the BBC. The suspension will not affect the Spanish club this campaign, as it plays for the Champions League last eight, but "any time in the next four seasons" should it again qualify for Europe. The ban has been issued by UEFA, which is "seeking to stop clubs spending beyond their means" through Financial Fair Play. A UEFA statement said: "UEFA's club financial control body has taken its first decision due to the presence of significant overdue payables. Malaga is excluded from participating in the next UEFA club competition for which it would otherwise qualify for in the next four seasons." The club responded by claiming it has been made a "scapegoat" by UEFA. Malaga was also fined €300,000 ($396,000) and faces a "further season's ban" unless it can prove by the end of March that it has "settled outstanding payments to other teams, staff and tax authorities" (BBC, 12/21).