Leeds anxious as buyers Gulf Finance House Capital fail to pay: Charles Sale

Leeds anxious as GFH Capital fail to pay on time



01:33 GMT, 12 December 2012

Doubts about the proposed takeover of
Leeds United by Bahrain-based bank Gulf Finance House Capital — due to
be completed four days before Christmas — will grow after a scheduled payment date was missed.

The Middle East investors, whose
fit-and-proper-persons test by the Football League for club owners and
directors is ‘ongoing’, failed to transfer a tranche of money to Leeds
last week.

Up for grabs: But who will own Elland Road later this month

Up for grabs: But who will own Elland Road later this month

This will only add to supporters’
concern about the lack of transparency concerning the purchase of the 49
per cent shareholding of 81-year-old owner Ken Bates, who is due to
stay on as chairman until the end of the season before becoming club

However, Leeds are still confident
that the reported 52million sale will be finalised on December 21
without any more hiccups. It is understood they have been reassured by
GFH Capital that the money is in their lawyer’s client account and
Bahrain banking regulations meant the payment schedule had to be

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Tough start for C4

A festive atmosphere might be lacking
today at Corrigan’s restaurant in London’s Mayfair where Channel 4,
whose monopoly coverage of racing on terrestrial TV begins on January 1,
will outline their broadcasting vision to a sceptical racing Press.

C4’s plans to ensure they always get the first interviews after races in
front of their branded backdrop includes ending racing’s traditional
media huddle around winning connections.

Lewis branches out

Tottenham’s billionaire owner Joe Lewis has become an influential figure in the racing world after taking control of Timeweave, who own 50 per cent of betting shop broadcasters Turf TV. Bahamas-based Lewis has yet to attend a Spurs game this season and his investment in Timeweave is for business reasons rather than any great love of racing.

The start of the transfer window is not
the best time to take over as a football club chief executive. But at
least Sam Rush, who joins Derby on January 1, has the advantage of being
an agent in his previous job, running Wasserman Media Group’s football
division. Derby have one of the Championship’s hottest properties in
central midfielder Will Hughes, 17, but Rush says he will not be leaving
Pride Park.

Yet to attend a game this season: Joe Lewis (left) chats with Spurs chairman Daniel Levy

Yet to attend a game this season: Joe Lewis (left) chats with Spurs chairman Daniel Levy

It’s gong for a Burton

The last thing the sports industry needs is another awards ceremony, with the big stars increasingly reluctant to turn up to such functions. But at least the FA have ensured that the national team will attend their inaugural FA England awards.

The bash, with its overblown 11 honours for 2012, is being held on February 3 at St George’s Park — the day the players gather in Burton to prepare for the Wembley friendly against Brazil three days later.

The sports honours committee, due to decide their recommendations for 2012 gongs at one sitting, ended up having two separate summits, with one dedicated to discussing Olympic and Paralympic achievements. This points to every gold medal winner — at least — being recognised in the New Year Honours list.

Destiny is in Boris' hands

The buck over the Olympic Stadium renovation debacle now stops with Boris Johnson, chairman of the London Legacy Development Corporation, after the Government ceded full control to the London Mayor.

The construction delay until autumn 2013 could be highly embarrassing for the LLDC since preferred bidders West Ham may now not move in until the 2016-17 season, whereas Tottenham, who had wanted to knock down the Stratford venue and start again, could move into their redeveloped ground a year earlier.

There could be fireworks: What does the future hold for the uninhabited Olympic Stadium

There could be fireworks: What does the immediate future hold for the uninhabited Olympic Stadium

Meanwhile, since taking over as Culture Secretary in September, Maria Miller has had so much in her in-tray that she is happy to allow Minister for Sport Hugh Robertson to take the lead in his field of expertise.

This is in contrast to the toxic relationship that existed between Robertson and Miller’s predecessor, Jeremy Hunt. Miller is not known for her sporting knowledge but did work on England’s one-day cricket sponsorship when a marketing manager at Texaco four years ago.