Tag Archives: bates

Leeds United takeover – fans happy with GFH Capital

Happy Leeds fans hail new era as GFH finally complete Elland Road takeover

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UPDATED:

22:16 GMT, 21 December 2012

The chairman of the Leeds United Supporters Trust claims the club are ready for the start of a new era after GFH Capital completed their takeover.

GFH, a private equity firm based in Dubai, finally bought Leeds from Ken Bates on Friday and are ready to invest in Neil Warnock’s team to mount a promotion challenge this season.

All smiles: (left to right) David Haigh, Shaun Harvey and Salem Patel

All smiles: (left to right) David Haigh, Shaun Harvey and Salem Patel

Lifelong Leeds fan David Haigh and Salem Patel opened talks last May with Bates, who will remain as chairman until the end of the season.

They finalised the takeover after completing the Football League’s owners and directors test on Monday.

Gary Cooper, who formed LUST in 2010, said: ‘We were told to live the dream in the mid-1990s and that nearly sent the club out of existence.

‘What we need now is a board with sensible plans and commitment to making Leeds United great again.

All white on the night: Leeds celebrate taking the lead against Chelsea

All white on the night: Leeds celebrate taking the lead against Chelsea

‘We hope GFH are able to do that and everything they have said points to them being able to do so.

‘The board needs to reconnect with the people of Leeds and its supporters and they will come back in their thousands.

‘Attendances have dipped in recent years, but we saw against Chelsea on Wednesday we still have a huge fanbase.’

We want Leeds back in Premier League, where we belong! New owners target top flight return after completion of takeover

We want Leeds back in Premier League, where we belong! New owners target top flight return after completion of takeover

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UPDATED:

13:15 GMT, 21 December 2012

Leeds started a fresh era this morning as GFH Capital were unveiled as their new owners, with directors David Haigh and Salem Patel outlining their vision for the future.

The duo have been the frontmen for the Dubai-based investment company, who started talking to Leeds and outgoing owner Ken Bates about a takeover 206 days ago.

That long journey was officially ended this morning, with Haigh and Patel presented to the media, with the latter admitting a desire to take Leeds back to the Premier League being a luring factor.

United front: Chief Executive Haigh (R) and director Patel take a stroll out on to the Elland Road pitch

United front: Chief Executive Haigh (R) and director Patel take a stroll out on to the Elland Road pitch

United were relegated from the top flight in 2004 and have endured a largely miserable existence since, slipping as far down as -15 points in League One as financial problems took their toll.

Super Leeds: The club's new chief executive is a fanexecutive is a fan

Super Leeds: The club's new chief executive is a fan

Patel, though, wants to take the club, currently fighting for promotion from the Championship, back up.

'What we want to do is create a successful but sustainable club and I think every fan will be with us,' he said.

'English football is one of the most
successful exports that England has at the moment. People are watching
world over and being part of that is very exciting to us.

'We are both fans of English football and this is really interesting for us. We want to take Leeds back where they belong.'

Haigh, a Leeds fan, excitedly claimed they had bought 'the best club in the world' before going through his plans.

He stood down the rumour that he will replace Bates as chairman when the veteran leaves the post at the end of the season, while also revealing that manager Neil Warnock staying on board was part of the criteria for the purchase.

'He is our man and one of the reasons we decided to buy this club in the first place. The guy is a legend in English football and it was a requirement of the contract,' Haigh said.

Warnock is chasing a record eighth promotion and Haigh added: 'We don`t want to put a timescale on our investment but we want to make this club as successful as we can in the shortest time possible.

All smiles: The new team in charge share a joke during the press conference

All smiles: The new team in charge share a joke during the press conference

'We've been speaking to Neil and we will try our best to meet whatever needs he has and to be fair to us, we have already invested in the team.

'We've been speaking to him on and off since the summer to be honest. We very much assisted him with his plans in the summer and hope to continue to do so.'

Haigh and Patel also outlined their long-term plans to buy back the club's Elland Road ground.

All smiles: The new team in charge share a joke during the press conference

All smiles: The new team in charge share a joke during the press conference

Andy Murray should cheer up, says John McEnroe

Pot. Kettle. Black Notoriously grumpy McEnroe tells Murray to cheer up now he's won a Major

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UPDATED:

23:13 GMT, 6 December 2012

John McEnroe was never known for his sunny demeanour on a tennis court, but he still has some advice for Andy Murray – cheer up now that you have won your first Major.

The veteran American thinks a more positive outlook should help Murray in his quest to add to his US Open next season, although he acknowledged that he was hardly a shining example when he was at the top of the sport.

'It would be helpful to see Andy be sort of “I want to be here and I’m loving this”,' the American, who yesterday beat Jeremy Bates 6-4, 6-1 in the Statoil Masters at the Royal Albert Hall, said. 'The next time he wins a Major it would be nice to look a little bit more excited,'

Cheer up: John McEnroe, renowned for his fire on court, has told Andy Murray he should be happier on court as it may help him win more

Cheer up: John McEnroe, renowned for his fire on court, has told Andy Murray he should be happier on court as it may help him win more

Cheer up: John McEnroe, renowned for his fire on court, has told Andy Murray he should be happier on court as it may help him win more

'I say it as an ex-player and someone who wished that perhaps at times I had done that a little bit more. Maybe he was more relieved than anything else when he won at Flushing Meadows.

'One of the things that worried me is that he used to get so negative that not only would it turn himself off in a way, but it turned off people watching him.

'It's like when I saw Azarenka play Sharapova at the US Open, the grunting, it takes away from what you're watching. You're trying to watch and it was a great battle, but it feels like it's hard to stay with it as much as I would like to, given the quality.'

McEnroe believes that Murray has everything to play for next season in what could be a year of change for the men’s game after so much domination by four players.

'This is around the time that something is going to give. Roger is amazing, no doubt about that, but he’s 31. Rafa is the one we don’t know about, he hasn’t played for seven months. I hope to God he does have two or three more good years.

Eye on the ball: McEnroe beat British tennis star Jeremy Bates at the Statoil Masters Tennis at the Royal Albert Hall in London on Thursday

Eye on the ball: McEnroe beat British tennis star Jeremy Bates at the Statoil Masters Tennis at the Royal Albert Hall in London on Thursday

Eye on the ball: McEnroe beat British tennis star Jeremy Bates at the Statoil Masters Tennis at the Royal Albert Hall in London on Thursday

'Novak's had two years at No 1, so it wouldn’t be unheard of to feel like there'd be some type of let-down on some level. Maybe, then again, if he won two majors next year it wouldn’t be shocking.

'Andy's sort of set himself up for doing something big as well. Someone else is shortly going to come through, I’ve been wondering myself who that is.

'Del Potro to me would be the most obvious choice of who’s got the experience and knows what it's like to go long and win one.

'If he can stay healthy and get himself just a little bit fitter, which is what you've got to do against these guys. Then there’ll be someone sort of unknown.

'I thought it was going to be Milos Raonic, but he’s sort of levelled off in a way, and I thought there were other guys that were in the mix that seem to have dropped off. But someone’s going to appear.

'Andy has set himself for a big year, although he missed a few opportunities at the end of this season, still it was the best one he’s ever had.

'If he doesn’t take it up a notch he would be disappointed but if he wins one Major that would be a good year. They are not easy to win.'

Reasons to smile: Murray claimed his first Major at Flushing Meadows in September

Reasons to smile: Murray claimed his first Major at Flushing Meadows in September

McEnroe has been impressed by what he has seen of Laura Robson and Heather Watson but feels the former has the potential to go further.

'Heather has done well but it might be a bit tougher for her because of her size. Robson to me is the one with the bigger upside. She has got a lot of ability and clearly if she is committed and in tip-top shape, I think she could easily be top 10.

'The US Open is the best she has ever played. I think she can do something big personally. I saw that four years ago.

'Hopefully she will have a consistent period to get where she should be. I think she could be really dangerous.

'She is a natural tennis player but she is going to have to be like a Berdych in the men's game – big and powerful. In natural talent I think she is good as anyone out there.'

Despite that view, it was ultra-competitive and mobile Watson who finished the year as British No 1. She is in the middle of a winter training block that has been mostly done in Florida, although on Thursday night she was playing a mixed doubles exhibition alongside Tim Henman at the Statoil Masters.

Pride of Britain: Heather Watson and Laura Robson have bright futures

Pride of Britain: Heather Watson and Laura Robson have bright futures

One of things she will be doing this week is sitting down with her father Ian in what is like an annual general meeting to determine her goals and mark her performance of this season.

'We have this big meeting every year when we discuss the targets for the next season. It lasts about three hours and we talk very openly and honestly and I mark my performance at each tournament. It sort of guides me through the year.

'Twelve months ago my target was to break the top 50 and win an event on the WTA Tour, and I managed both. I don’t know what we will come up with for next year yet but the training is going very well and I’m feeling very confident.'

Blackpool 1 Huddersfield 3: Terriers up to second

Blackpool 1 Huddersfield 3: Happy return for Grayson lifts Terriers up to second

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UPDATED:

21:03 GMT, 24 September 2012

Simon Grayson returned to Bloomfield Road to scupper Blackpool's chances of moving top of the npower Championship as his Huddersfield side leapfrogged them with their third successive victory.

The Terriers boss, who spent seven years on the Lancashire coast as a player then later a manager, inflicted Blackpool's first home defeat of the season while moving his current team up to second.

Grayson went back to the home of his former employers for the first time since his departure for Leeds in 2008, and it was clear long before Lee Novak's 13th-minute opener that Ian Holloway's men were in for a difficult evening.

Three and easy: Norwood (left) celebrates his strike

Three and easy: Norwood (left) celebrates his strike

MATCH FACTS

Blackpool: Gilks, Eardley (Dicko 78), Baptiste, Evatt, Crainey, Gomes (M Phillips 64), Osbourne, Ferguson (K Phillips 64), Taylor-Fletcher, Delfouneso, Ince.

Subs not used: Halstead, Sylvestre, Martinez, Broadfoot.

Booked: Crainey.

Goal: Taylor-Fletcher 27.

Huddersfield: Smithies, Hunt, Peter Clarke, Gerrard, Dixon, Clayton, Norwood (Woods 85), Southern (Arfield 90), Ward, Novak, Vaughan (Scannell 80).

Subs not used: Bennett, Wallace, Lee, Robinson.

Booked: Vaughan, Dixon, Norwood.

Goals: Novak 13, Vaughan 45, Norwood 48.

Referee: Tony Bates (Staffordshire)

Attendance: 13,886.

Latest Championship table, fixtures and results

A direct approach had troubled
centre-back pairing Alex Baptiste and Ian Evatt from the off so it was
no surprise to see Novak profit from a James Vaughan flick-on to break
the deadlock.

The hosts were back on level terms just 14 minutes later, though, when
the relatively subdued Thomas Ince set up ex-Huddersfield forward Gary
Taylor-Fletcher for the equaliser.

However, Grayson's men found themselves back in front again when Oliver
Norwood's inviting free-kick was headed home by Vaughan.

And Norwood
himself gave Huddersfield a two-goal cushion less than three minutes
after the break with another set-piece which eluded everyone before
flying into the far corner.

Blackpool went into the game having dropped just five points from their
opening six encounters but they failed to seize the initiative on a wet
evening as the visitors took a deserved lead.

Adam Clayton and Daniel Ward had already gone close and the hosts failed
to heed the warning as Vaughan headed the ball into Novak's path and he
coolly slotted the ball past goalkeeper Matt Gilks.

False dawn: Taylor-Fletcher had equalised against his former club

False dawn: Taylor-Fletcher had equalised against his former club

Ince has turned in a series of eye-catching performances to underpin
Blackpool's strong start and he was instrumental in the leveller,
bamboozling Anthony Gerrard before sliding the ball across for
Taylor-Fletcher, who just had to prod home.

Stephen Crainey nearly picked out Nathan Delfouneso moments later as the
Seasiders began to grow into the game, but Grayson's men delivered a
killer blow on the stroke of half-time.

A Norwood free-kick from the right was begging to be thumped home and
Vaughan obliged with a header in front of the stranded Gilks.

Holloway's half-time words were still ringing in his players' ears when
former Manchester United midfielder Norwood curled in a third. The set
piece specialist's centre was aimed towards Vaughan, but the ball evaded
him and Gilks was left grasping air as the ball ended up in his net.

That prompted Blackpool to bring on substitutes Matt and Kevin Phillips,
with the former firing just wide, while Delfouneso should have reduced
the deficit when he blazed wide.

It could have turned into a thrashing, though, had the offside flag not twice denied Vaughan from grabbing his second goal.

But Huddersfield had enough to coast to a victory which will have been
particularly sweet for Grayson, whose Leeds side crashed to a 5-0 home
defeat to Blackpool last season.

Leeds 2 Nottingham Forest 1: Warnock gets revenge as Whites hold on against Forest

Leeds 2 Nottingham Forest 1: Warnock gets revenge as Whites hold on against Forest

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UPDATED:

16:30 GMT, 22 September 2012

Nottingham Forest's unbeaten start to the season was halted by Leeds at Elland Road on an afternoon when the home fans were given a nod towards a possibly brighter future.

After almost seven years of supporter unrest about his involvement with their club, United's supporters were told by veteran owner Ken Bates that talks over investment from four present Bahraini businessman are at an advanced stage, prior to a 90 minutes that saw their side score through Luciano Becchio and starting debutant Dom Poleon.

The success not only ended a two-game losing run for Leeds, but allowed manager Neil Warnock to avenge the 7-3 defeat at the hands of the same opposition in March that he described as one of the worst nights of his career.

On the right track: Luciano Becchio (centre) celebrates his goal for Leeds

On the right track: Luciano Becchio (centre) celebrates his goal for Leeds

He promised to return this year campaign with a side worthy of promotion and, should Bates stay true to his word, then he may well have new money with which to pursue that ambition.

Forest are a side already feasting on the wealth of Gulf owners and a lavish summer spending spree was one of the key reasons behind their previously unbeaten start.

Match facts

Leeds: Kenny,Peltier (Varney 66), Lees, Pearce, Drury, /09/22/article-2207031-15250382000005DC-172_468x286.jpg” width=”468″ height=”286″ alt=”Vision of the future: Leeds chairman Ken Bates (above) hosts potential Bahraini investors (front)” class=”blkBorder” />

Vision of the future: Leeds chairman Ken Bates (above) hosts potential Bahraini investors (front)

Forest responded through Simon Cox, with the striker working Paddy Kenny at his near post, before Tom Lees headed a pinpoint El Hadji Diouf corner wide at the other end.

Diouf was the man Warnock turned to in the summer when captain and playmaker Robert Snodgrass left for Norwich and the Senegal international has not disappointed his manager so far with a string of impressive performances.

He added to that in the 15th minute when he laid on the opening goal, cutting in and standing up a cross that hung in the air and eventually fell for Becchio who duly made it seven for the season.

Up for it: Leeds' Dominic Poleon (right) challenges Nottingham Forest's James Coppinger

Up for it: Leeds' Dominic Poleon (right) challenges Nottingham Forest's James Coppinger

Diouf was causing Forest all sorts of problems as he flipped between playing up front and on the wing but, for all of his poise on the ball, he has never been renowned as a lethal finisher and so it proved in the 23rd minute.

The former Liverpool man broke in to the box on the back of a Poleon lay-off but could only roll in a shot that was blocked easily, although it mattered little two minutes later as the roles were reversed.

Diouf pulled a long clearance out of the sky and immediately threaded a ball through that put Becchio in on goal and, although the Argentinean dallied too long, Poleon was on hand to ram in from 12 yards.

Forest's response was muted with an Andy Reid free-kick and a James Coppinger long-ranger the best they could muster, and the would have been three down at the break had Becchio not blazed over from six yards.

That miss would cause Leeds' anxiety levels to rise after the break too for, with an hour gone, Greg Halford launched a long throw which Kenny lost in the sun, allowing Blackstock to head in.

Forest had discovered Leeds' Achilles heel – the long throw – and Halford quickly deployed it again, with Kenny this time scrambling to tip over, and the goalkeeper redeemed himself further with a sprawling denial of Lewis McGugan's 75th-minute curler.

They would continue to pepper the Leeds box with crosses but, as time ticked on, including six additional minutes, their resolve weakened and United held on.

Leeds reject Norwich bid for Robert Snodgrass

Hughton wants Snodgrass to sing like a Canary after lodging 5m bid

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UPDATED:

21:50 GMT, 17 July 2012

Leeds have have rejected Norwich's latest offer for captain Robert Snodgrass.

Chris Hughton has long been an admirer of the one-time Barcelona target, and tabled a 5million bid.

The 24-year-old is desperate for a shot at the Premier League and earlier this summer hit out at United's chairman Ken Bates.

Going up: Robert Snodgrass wants to play in the Premier League, and Norwich are keen

Going up: Robert Snodgrass wants to play in the Premier League, and Norwich are keen

The former Livingston player was offered improved terms to remain at the Yorkshire club, but was not willing to sign.

He said: 'I'd love to get into the Premier League with Leeds. I'm captain now which is a different challenge. The chairman is trying to put a bit of pressure on me and he's telling me what plans he has for the club.

'But they told me the same type of plans the season before and it didn’t work out so it's hard to buy into these things again.'

Norwich in for Leeds captain Robert Snodgrass

Hughton wants Snodgrass to sing like a Canary after lodging 5m bid

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UPDATED:

21:50 GMT, 16 July 2012

Chris Hughton is continuing his rebuilding project at Norwich with a bid for Leeds' 5million-rated midfielder Robert Snodgrass.

The 24-year-old is desperate for a shot at the Premier League and earlier this summer hit out at United's chairman Ken Bates.

The former Livingston player was offered improved terms to remain at the Yorkshire club, but was not willing to sign.

Going up: Robert Snodgrass wants to play in the Premier League, and Norwich are keen

Going up: Robert Snodgrass wants to play in the Premier League, and Norwich are keen

He said: 'I'd love to get into the Premier League with Leeds. I'm captain now which is a different challenge. The chairman is trying to put a bit of pressure on me and he's telling me what plans he has for the club.

'But they told me the same type of plans the season before and it didn’t work out so it's hard to buy into these things again.'

The Canaries, have also shown interest in Hearts defender Andy Webster, 30, and Everton centre half Joseph Yobo, 31.

Meanwhile, Hull City have agreed a 1.8million deal for SC Paderborn’s German striker Nick Proschwitz, 25.

Neil Warnock tracking Craig Mackail-Smith

Warnock tracking Mackail-Smith as Leeds takeover talks continue with Bahraini investors

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UPDATED:

21:06 GMT, 14 July 2012

Leeds boss Neil Warnock is eyeing 3million Craig Mackail-Smith as the club continue talks with Bahraini investors.

Warnock sees Brighton's 28-year-old Scotland international as the striker to fire Leeds into the Premier League and believes Brighton are willing to sell him.

Leeds owner Ken Bates has allowed Bahrain's Sheik Abdulrahman bin Mubarak Al Khalifa to conduct due diligence on the club.

Hot property: Craig Mackail-Smith is wanted by Leeds

Hot property: Craig Mackail-Smith is wanted by Leeds

Ken Bates ordered to pay 10,000 to former Leeds director Melvyn Levi for harassment

Bates hit with 10k harassment damages award to former Leeds director

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UPDATED:

12:29 GMT, 7 June 2012

Sued: Ken Bates has been ordered to pay 10,000 to Melvyn Levi and his wife Carole

Sued: Ken Bates has been ordered to pay 10,000 to Melvyn Levi and his wife Carole

Leeds chairman Ken Bates has been ordered to pay 10,000 to a former director who sued him for harassment.

Melvyn Levi and his wife Carole claimed they suffered stress as a result of announcements on the club radio station allegedly likening Mr Levi to a criminal on the run.

They also claimed comments made by Mr Bates in his match day programme notes amounted to speculation over the state of their marriage.

Mr Levi was awarded 10,000 in compensation at Leeds County Court but his wife's claim failed.

Judge Mark Gosnell said: 'Mr Levi has succeeded in his claim and has been awarded 10,000 and Mrs Levi's claim has failed.'

Mr Bates is also now subject to an injunction banning him from discussing Mr Levi's private life in public for two years.

But the Leeds chairman is allowed to mention the on-going commercial dispute between the two, known as the 'Jersey proceedings', as well as other non-private matters.

Explaining why he was granting the injuction, the judge said: “I cannot think of a better reason than the delving into Mr Levi's private life in what is a commercial dispute between Mr Levi and Mr Bates which I hope will be resolved by someone else on another day.'

Ken Bates tells Canadian consortium to offer 80m for Leeds

Double or nothing: Bates tells Canadian consortium to offer 80m for Leeds

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UPDATED:

21:42 GMT, 29 May 2012

Ken Bates wants a mystery Canadian consortium seeking to buy Leeds United for 40million to double their offer.

In a statement on Tuesday, the club welcomed the potential investment but stressed ‘the quality of the investor is the most important factor in terms of the long-term development of Leeds United’.

Looking for more: Ken Bates wants the Canadian investors to double their offer

Looking for more: Ken Bates wants the Canadian investors to double their offer

The consortium are unwilling to stretch their offer too far given complexities over the ownership of Elland Road and the surrounding land and the training ground.

Potential: Leeds could be taken over

Potential: Leeds could be taken over