Leeds chief Bates admits investment talks are at 'advanced stage'
13:19 GMT, 22 September 2012
In talks: Bates has shed light on proposed investment in the club
Leeds owner Ken Bates has shed light on the proposed investment in the club by revealing details of who they are in negotiations with for the first time and also adding that talks are at an 'advanced stage'.
The Championship outfit originally said they were in exclusive discussions with unnamed investors on June 26, but since then little has happened to appease fans who have grown increasingly disgruntled with a perceived lack of investment from 80-year-old Bates.
All the club had said prior to today was that the exclusivity period was over and that talks remained ongoing, but in a statement released this afternoon, Bates confirmed that he has been negotiating with a banking institution who are a limited company and have interests across the Gulf, Asia and Africa.
Four of their representatives from Bahrain were present at Elland Road today ahead of Leeds' clash with Nottingham Forest, and Bates said: 'We're well advanced with discussions.
Out of favour: Leeds supporters made their feelings known earlier this month
'There's a number of finer points to be resolved, but we're making good progress. We had four of the top people over here for a big meeting on Friday and they are at our game on Saturday.
'The potential investors are looking to conclude things as soon as possible. Both parties regret missing the August transfer deadline, but we are planning for the January transfer window.'
It still remains unclear whether or not the investors will be completing a full takeover of the club that Bates took control of in 2004, but the current school of thought is that the former Chelsea owner will remain with Leeds in some capacity.
He has rarely been popular with United's supporters since that day, and his overseeing of their relegation to League One and a subsequent 15-point deduction for financial matters did little to help that, but levels of unrest have grown over recent months, with regular protests being staged against his continued ownership.
And, seemingly in a bid to pacify some of his critics regarding the lengthy delay in investment talks, he added: 'The confidentiality agreements that were put in place are very important to the investors.
'They are a banking institution and a Public Company and not only can speculation affect their share price, they are also governed by heavy banking regulations. They also have interests across the Gulf, Asia, and Africa.
'They are using London lawyers and there has been some logistical issues, but we have discussed things at length and agreed that we can make certain things public.
'Since we signed the agreement in June – and told people what we had done – there has been a lot of speculation and agitation, especially by the Leeds United Supporters Trust, and I have to tell people that a lot of the statements that have come out are inaccurate.'