Tag Archives: investment

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

Charles Green targets return to glory days as trading starts in Rangers shares

Green targets return to glory days as trading starts in Rangers shares

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UPDATED:

11:11 GMT, 19 December 2012

Trading began on shares in Rangers on Wednesday after the Glasgow club was listed on the stock exchange, with chief executive Charles Green hoping for a successful flotation.

Rangers announced over 22million had been raised from their listing on the stock exchange and dealings on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) began at 8am.

Green, whose company bought the assets and business of Rangers for 5.5m when the club was consigned to liquidation in June, believes Rangers will prove worthwhile to investors.

All good on the pitch: David Templeton scored as Rangers beat Annan on Tuesday

All good on the pitch: David Templeton scored as Rangers beat Annan on Tuesday

Green told BBC Radio 5 Live: 'The institutional community have invested heavily. We've taken 17m already from institutions and that list is out there public; it's the great and good of London.

'For me as chief exec the really important endorsement is that of the financial community who have come out in support of it.

'All football clubs are high risk and there's been a history of failure to deliver.

'We know that football clubs historically haven't performed very well, but Rangers is an institution, it's a major sporting brand and we think that makes a difference.'

The listed company is called Rangers International Football Club plc and will act as the holding company for the club.

Green was listed as the club's main shareholder in the share prospectus with a stake of almost 15 per cent, which will now be diluted. He had not planned to add to his shares.

Looking ahead: Charles Green spoke to fans the night before trading began

Looking ahead: Charles Green spoke to fans the night before trading began

Newcastle owner Mike Ashley was the third largest shareholder with 9 per cent before the issue of extra shares, behind a consortium called Blue Pitch Holdings.

Manager Ally McCoist had almost a 3 per cent stake before the issue and said he planned to buy more, although his shareholding will be diluted.

A statement read: 'The total number of ordinary shares in issue at admission is 65,096,056, giving Rangers a market capitalisation of approximately 45.6m at the placing price.

'The funds have been raised in order to provide for a secure financial future, update and develop the club's facilities, capitalise on the club's global brand and enable the club to enhance its playing squad when appropriate.'

Protest: Rangers fans are against the potential sale of the stadium name

Protest: Rangers fans are against the potential sale of the stadium name

Green said in the statement: 'We are delighted to see our plans for bringing Rangers back to its glory days coming to fruition; a key part of which is its listing on AIM today.

'The response from investors and fans alike has been tremendous and we are very proud to have such loyal supporters.

'Rangers is a huge club with enormous support, and, a 140-year track record of success in both the domestic and international arenas.

'With a settled squad, led by manager Ally McCoist, the club has made a strong start to the 2012/13 season and the Rangers brand and facilities provide tremendous opportunities for commercialisation and expansion.

'The listing on AIM is an important step to ensuring the future success of the club.'

Borussia Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke stokes fire ahead of Manchester City meeting

Dortmund chief slams number of foreign owners in Premier League ahead of City clash

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UPDATED:

23:26 GMT, 2 December 2012

Borussia Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke has criticised the number of foreign owners in the Premier League ahead of the German champions' clash with Manchester City.

Bundesliga clubs have to adhere to the '50 per cent plus one' rule, which means they are owned by their members, whereas several top-flight English clubs have been bought by individuals, or companies, from overseas.

One prominent example is City, whose takeover by the Abu Dhabi Investment Group funded by Sheikh Mansour led to an enormous investment in the playing staff which culminated in the north-west club winning their first English title in 44 years last season.

Criticised: Hans-Joachim Watzke slammed the number of foreign owners in the Premier League

Criticised: Hans-Joachim Watzke slammed the number of foreign owners in the Premier League

Dortmund take on City in the Champions League on Tuesday night. Of their opponents, Watzke told the Guardian: 'I am a little bit romantic, and that is not romantic.

'In England people seem not to be interested in this – at Liverpool they are fine for the club to belong to an American. But the German is romantic: when there is a club, he wants to have the feeling it is my club, not the club of Qatar or Abu Dhabi.'

He added: 'Germans want to have that sense of belonging. When you give [the supporters] the feeling that they are your customers, you have lost. In Germany, we want everybody to feel it is their club, and that is really important.

'In former times in England I think the relationship between the club and supporters was very strong. Our people come to the stadium like they are going to their family. Here, the supporters say: it's ours, it's my club.'

Proud: Manchester City owner Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan

Proud: Manchester City owner Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan

Modest: Watzke praised the way Borussia Dortmund is managed

Modest: Watzke praised the way Borussia Dortmund is managed

Dortmund have had their financial ups-and-downs, almost going bankrupt in 2005, but now arguably boast one of the most successful models in Europe – producing exciting young players like Mario Gotze and Nuri Sahin and having the opportunity to sell them on for great profit.

Added to cheap ticket prices which produce regular 80,000 crowds at their imposing stadium, they are the envy of many clubs across the continent.

'Here, it is our way to have cheap tickets, so young people can come,' Watzke said.

'We would make 5 million euros more a season if we had seats, but there was no question to do it, because it is our culture. In England it is a lot more expensive. Football is more than a business.'

Talent: Dortmund have produced prospects such as Mario Gotze from their academy

Talent: Dortmund have produced prospects such as Mario Gotze from their academy

Leeds takeover completed on December 21, Ken Bates confirms

Merry Christmas! Leeds takeover will be completed by festive season as Bates confirms sale

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UPDATED:

12:07 GMT, 21 November 2012

Leeds owner Ken Bates has announced Bahrain-based investment bank GFH Capital will complete a 100 per cent takeover of the club on December 21.

Bates, 80, who took control of the club just short of eight years ago, confirmed the first part of the takeover had been completed and he will stay on as chairman until the end of the season to help the new owners during a transitional period.

'We have now completed all the negotiations and investigations with GFH and we’ve now completed the first part of the purchase and that happened at 10.30pm last night,' Bates told Yorkshire Radio.

On his way: Ken Bates has confirmed he has sold Leeds United to Bahrain-based investment bank GFH Capital

On his way: Ken Bates has confirmed he has sold Leeds United to Bahrain-based investment bank GFH Capital

'Put briefly, they’re taking over 100 per cent of the club, as I say the first part was completed at 10.30pm last night and it will be totally completed on December 21.

'Meanwhile there’s a transitional period in which they get to know more about the club.'

Bates also confirmed that he will be taking on a new role as club president at the end of the season, while one GFH representative, David Haigh, would be joining the club’s board immediately, with three more new directors in place before Christmas.

Looking ahead: Leeds manager Neil Warnock will soon have new bosses at Elland Road

Looking ahead: Leeds manager Neil Warnock will soon have new bosses at Elland Road

Football League blog

David Haigh, Deputy CEO, GFH Capital Limited said: 'After a long process of negotiations, spanning Leeds, London, Monaco, Dubai and Bahrain, it gives us great pride today, to have completed the deal for Leeds United.

'A brief but important transitional period now begins in terms of the changeover of ownership: we have today injected further funds into the club and now we look to the future and start the exciting journey to take Leeds United FC back into a prime position in English football once again.

'From a Leeds family myself and a supporter of The Whites since childhood, I know that football is at the very heart of the people of Leeds and the wider community.

'We want to thank all the fans in UK and around the world for their patience and support while the negotiations have been taking place. Lets now march on together, taking the club back to the Premier League as soon as possible.'

Bates added: “Quite simply they (GFH)
will be providing additional working capital for the club and they are
also providing funds to strengthen the team.

'Infact there's already been a small injection this morning as far as working capital is concerned.

High hopes: Leeds' new owners want to club to secure a return to the Premier League

High hopes: Leeds' new owners want to club to secure a return to the Premier League

'Nothing has changed, I will continue as chairman until the end of the season when I look forward to handing over to my successor and become president and sitting back perhaps, taking a bit more time off and enjoying what has been eight years of very hard work.

'That's what (my wife) Susannah and I chose when we came in, so that's what we've got on with.

'Neil Warnock will continue as manager, obviously with more support than the present owners have been able to give and we look forward to a smooth transition.

'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.

'What the advantages and disdavantages are, the strengths and weaknesses, what needs to be done and what needs to be supported.

'So you can look for a more Manchester United-type transition than we've seen at Blackburn, Portsmouth and other less fortunate clubs.'

Manchester City Champions League failures shock Sergio Ramos of Real Madrid

I thought City were better than this… Real star Ramos shocked by Champions League flop and vows to deliver KO to Mancini

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UPDATED:

09:30 GMT, 20 November 2012

Real Madrid star Sergio Ramos admits he is stunned by Manchester City's Champions League struggles this season – and has vowed to show them no mercy at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday night.

City must beat Madrid to have any chance of avoiding elimination from Europe's premier club competition at the group stage for the second straight season.

That would represent a huge failure for boss Roberto Mancini and his Premier League champions, following the massive investment in the club made by Sheik Mansour.

Last chance: Roberto Mancini takes Manchester City training ahead of their showdown with Real Madrid

Last chance: Roberto Mancini takes Manchester City training ahead of their showdown with Real Madrid

Last chance: Roberto Mancini takes Manchester City training ahead of their showdown with Real Madrid

City started their European campaign with a 3-2 defeat to Real in September, but had led with just three minutes to go before Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo struck late goals.

Since then, City have not won a game in their group, tasted defeat again to Ajax in Amsterdam and now need a miracle to progress.

Nothing but a win will do against Jose Mourinho's Spanish champions, but Spain defender Ramos for one is not impressed with what he has seen.

All by myself: Controversial City striker Mario Balotelli trained on his own on Monday morning

All by myself: Controversial City striker Mario Balotelli trained on his own on Monday morning

'For me, it’s a surprise they are nearly out of the Champions League,' said Ramos. 'We really thought City would be our main rivals to top the group.

'City are a big group of players, not just individuals. But that does not guarantee success in the Champions League.

It's a knockout: Sergio Ramos (above) has vowed to hurt City... and Madrid dangerman Ronaldo (below)

It's a knockout: Sergio Ramos (above) has vowed to hurt City… and Madrid dangerman Ronaldo (below)

It's a knockout: Sergio Ramos (above) has vowed to hurt City... and Madrid dangerman Ronaldo (below)

'This is the hardest group in the first
round, and this match is very important for both clubs. We both need to
win for different reasons.'

Madrid currently sit second in Group D, one point behind leaders Borussia Dortmund, and Ramos insists that Madrid have no designs on playing defensive football at the Etihad.

'We want to top the group,' said Ramos. 'Real Madrid never play defensively. That is not in our nature. We are going to Manchester to win.

'City have improved in the Premier League. But we do not fear them. Real Madrid can win in any stadium in the world.'

The game will see Ronaldo returning to Manchester for the first time since he quit City's local rivals, United, for the Bernabeu in an 80million deal in 2009.

Ronaldo has already hit the net 19 times this season, including against City last month. And asked how City can stop such a prolific goalscorer, Mancini said: 'We’ll call the police!

'He’s a top player and he deserves to win the Ballon d’Or. He scored so many goals last year and that helped them to finish above Barca.

'But I hope that he can have a bad night on Wednesday.

'When you come up against a player who can score one or two goals every game it is difficult.

'It is a big night for him to be back here, but for Real it’s also an important game. They still have a chance of going through to the second stage.'

Paris Saint-Germain keen on Mario Balotelli

Paris Saint-Germain set to rival Milan duo for City striker Balotelli in January

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UPDATED:

09:06 GMT, 18 November 2012

Mega rich Paris Saint-Germain are ready to enter the race to sign Mario Balotelli in January if Manchester City decide to sell the striker.

If the free-spending French side do go for the Italian striker then they are likely to face competition from Serie A giants AC Milan and Inter Milan.

Carlo Ancelotti’s side are backed by the Qatar Investment Authority and made an initial inquiry for the striker after Euro 2012, but were put off by the 40million price tag.

On his way: Mario Balotelli could be a target for PSG in January

On his way: Mario Balotelli could be a target for PSG in January

But now they are ready to bid again when the transfer window reopens in January and City could be more receptive after boss Roberto Mancini’s patience is wearing thin and despite backing the striker over recent months, he is now starting to question his attitude.

And with Mancini likely to have to sell before he buys in January, then it could pave the way for Balotelli to leave The Etihad.

Keen to sign: Paris Saint-Germain's Carlo Ancelotti is a fan of the Italian striker

Keen to sign: Paris Saint-Germain's Carlo Ancelotti is a fan of the Italian striker

Balotelli is said to favour a return to his native Italy, where his partner is pregnant with his first child.

However, the current lack of financial muscle in Serie A is an issue Paris do not have.

Hearts could be bought by Angelo Massone

I'll buy Hearts! Massone fronts new 4.5m bid for stricken club

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UPDATED:

00:12 GMT, 16 November 2012

Former Livingston owner Angelo Massone has entered the race to save Hearts after lodging a 4.5million bid for the club.

A Rome-based lawyer, Massone is mediating on behalf of an Italian consortium which has tabled a formal offer to lawyers representing Tynecastle owner Vladimir Romanov.

Sportsmail has been told the group will be headed by a professor of economics, with an Edinburgh-born Italian-Scots business figure also ready to invest.

In the running: Angelo Massone wants to buy struggling Hearts

In the running: Angelo Massone wants to buy struggling Hearts

Massone’s brief and controversial reign at Livingston ended in acrimony in 2009.

In a quest to reassure Hearts fans, however, the 41-year-old insists the investment consortium will sign a percentage of shares over to them and would appoint supporter representatives to a board of directors.

Facing outstanding tax bills worth 2.2m and a 2m annual shortfall, Romanov has already rejected an offer by the Foundation of Hearts fans group, led by businessman Alex Mackie, to pay the smaller tax bill of 450,000 in return for control of the club.

Informal discussions suggest the bid by the Italian consortium — tabled on condition of Hearts being delivered debt and liability free — will also fall short of Romanov’s valuation.

Awaiting a formal response to the offer however, Massone offered to pool financial resources with Foundation of Hearts in order to end Romanov’s seven-year reign.

Massone told Sportsmail: ‘Together with the other investors, we have written to Mr Romanov’s lawyer with a formal offer.

Will he sell Vladimir Romanov

Will he sell Vladimir Romanov

‘We do not know how much Mr Romanov wants for the club. But I believe there is no one else in Scotland who can match the value of the offer we have made.

‘But I will only come back to Scottish football if I have the support and trust of a club’s supporters. That is vitally important to me.

‘I am willing and able to bring serious, wealthy, respected investors to Scottish football. We want to save Hearts and develop the club and make them a strong force once more.

‘But we also want the supporters to have democratic representation on the board and be the real owners of the club.

‘There is an opportunity at Hearts to turn them into a major challenger to Celtic. With Rangers in the Third Division, we can help with the budget and use our contacts to bring important international players to the club and develop the youths.

‘In terms of money and budget we can put a team on the park which can compete at the very highest level.’

Hearts averted a winding-up order by agreeing a payment plan with HMRC earlier this week. In tandem with Supporters Direct chief Paul Goodwin, Foundation of Hearts are continuing talks with Romanov’s representative Sergejus Fedotovas with a view to agreeing a fan-ownership scheme. Via a new website, the group have appealed to fans across the globe to pledge cash support.

Massone insists he is also keen to win
the trust of supporters after an ill-fated Livingston experience by
handing fans groups a 10 per cent stake in the club, with a view to
handing it over to them in the fullness of time.

Tough times: John McGlynn is prepared for an exodus

Tough times: John McGlynn is prepared for an exodus
‘If we are not successful with our bid, then I am willing to help Hearts supporters to own the club instead.

‘If Foundation of Hearts or Supporters Direct need financial help in terms of money to realise the dream of the fans owning the club, then I will speak seriously with them.’

Sportsmail understands that, despite reports, former Rangers bidder Brian Kennedy has no plans to move for the club.

Meantime, Hearts boss John McGlynn says he is bracing himself for a major January exodus of players whose contracts end in the summer — including Andy Webster, Marius Zaliukas and Andy Driver — as the club plans to further slash its wage bill to avoid going bust.

Brendan Rodgers admits Liverpool are no way near Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea

We're not good enough… yet! Rodgers admits Liverpool are no way near City, United and Chelsea

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UPDATED:

08:32 GMT, 12 November 2012

Brendan Rodgers believes Liverpool are no way near ready to challenge the teams at the top of the Premier League after ending the weekend 15 points behind leaders Manchester United.

The Reds made it six league games without defeat when they came from behind to draw 1-1 at Chelsea.

But it was not enough to lift them out of 13th place and they ended the weekend way off the pace of the leading pack.

Not even close: Brendan Rodgers admitted that Liverpool are not ready to compete at the top of the Premier League

Not even close: Brendan Rodgers admitted that Liverpool are not ready to compete at the top of the Premier League

Twelve points is a paltry return for supporters raised on a diet of European Cups, many of whom spent Sunday's game taunting current holders Chelsea with the chant: 'We've won it five times.'

They have nevertheless shown patience with Rodgers' revolution and the new Anfield boss said: 'They're very educated, Liverpool supporters. It can't be easy for them.

'Most of us in this room know Liverpool and its great history, but we can't keep looking in the rear view mirror and looking back.

'If you're not going to have a massive investment to make it happen quickly, you have to develop it. That's where we're at.

'The supporters are being very lenient with myself and the team, and I'm sure they'll be frustrated sometimes, but their support has been incredible.'

Leveller: Luis Suarez equalised for the Reds at Stamford Bridge on Sunday

Leveller: Luis Suarez equalised for the Reds at Stamford Bridge on Sunday

How many Without Suarez, Liverpool would be even further off the pace

How many Without Suarez, Liverpool would be even further off the pace

He added: 'The reality is we're a long way off in the league.

'You don't need to be a rocket scientist to see the squad… These guys are giving me everything.

'We finished eighth last year. If we can improve on that, it'll be fantastic for us.

'That's the reality of where Liverpool are I'm afraid. But our young players will get better and better.

'We need one or two more players. That's our sixth draw, and a lot of those games we've come back into after going behind.

'But we need materials. If we can get one or two in January, we'll turn draws into wins.

Better and better: Rodgers believes the likes of Raheem Sterling will come on leaps and bounds at Anfield

Better and better: Rodgers believes the likes of Raheem Sterling will come on leaps and bounds at Anfield

Him too: Andre Wisdom has been trusted by Rodgers to deputise at the back

Him too: Andre Wisdom has been trusted by Rodgers to deputise at the back

'Those players don't come cheap, and they're not too many available in January either.

'But the owners have given be great support since I've been here.

'I knew it would be a difficult year given the expectancy in Liverpool.'

One man having no problem living up to expectations is Luis Suarez, who equalised yesterday with his 11th goal of the season and almost snatched a dramatic winner.

'It's a difficult place to come, the European champions, so I'm delighted for our young players,' said Rodgers, who also handed Jamie Carragher the first league start of his reign.

'Our seniors are doing incredibly for me.

‘Liverpool have had a massive group of seniors over the years, but Steven Gerrard, Jamie Carragher, Daniel Agger and Glen Johnson are having to dig a bit deeper now.’

Leeds takeover days away from completion

Leeds takeover days away from completion as GFH Capital prepare to assume control

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UPDATED:

17:00 GMT, 9 November 2012

Leeds United are just days away from acquiring new owners after more fruitful talks paved the way for a long-awaited takeover to go through next week.

Claims that a deal will be ratified by the end of this week are premature, Sportsmail has learned, but prospective owners GFH Capital do expect to be in charge at Elland Road by the middle of next week.

Tuesday and Wednesday are looking the likeliest days for months of careful negotiation to give way to confirmation that the Bahrain-based investment bank have bought chairman Ken Bates’ majority shareholding and assumed control.

Marching on together: Leeds are close to being taken over

Marching on together: Leeds are close to being taken over

Sportsmail understands a major advance towards concluding a deal was made after the recent home game with Birmingham, when GFH bosses met Bates in Monaco and addressed the few issues that still needed resolving.

They are now working on fine detail, and a source close to the takeover said: ‘All the signs are extremely positive, and everyone is optimistic there will be an announcement in a matter of days.’

As Sportsmail exclusively revealed last week, GFH have already promised manager Neil Warnock substantial backing for a spending spree in the January transfer window.

In a move intended to allay any misgivings among Leeds supporters, they have not only provided Bates with the necessary proof of funds but also drawn up details of a separate reserve that has been earmarked for urgently-needed new signings.

Cash funds: Warnock has been promise money to spend in January

Cash funds: Warnock has been promise money to spend in January

Though the exact amount remains confidential, for fear of inflating prices, Warnock has been assured he can have the pick of his New Year transfer targets. In a show of faith based on his track record for taking teams up from the Championship, he has been told no reasonable request for a January signing will be turned down.

GFH are in a hurry to restore Leeds to their former Barclays Premier League status and believe Warnock can deliver their prime objective this season, given backing to strengthen in key areas he has already identified.

They have long since convinced Bates they have the financial clout to complete a takeover and are anxious now to impress on a long-suffering Leeds public their commitment to taking the club forward, after years in the doldrums.

Leeds are lagging behind the play-off places, but there is a steadfast belief that significant January signings allied to Warnock's man-management skills can bridge the gap and carry them back to the Premier League after a nine-year absence.

Leeds takeover imminent, confirm club and GFH Capital

Leeds takeover imminent after Bates receives proof of funds from Bahrain

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UPDATED:

10:51 GMT, 26 October 2012

Bahrain-based investment bank GFH Capital are poised to complete their takeover of Leeds, the two parties said on Friday.

GFH Capital have provided Leeds owner Ken Bates with the necessary proof of funds to complete the transaction, which has been in the pipeline since May when talks between the two first began.

Speaking on Friday morning, Bates said: 'It's been a long road, but we are in a good place. Both sides have been in talks over the last few days to finalise this deal. We are keeping focused and hope to complete very soon.

Almost done: Ken Bates time as owner is nearing an end with a buyout imminent

Almost done: Ken Bates time as owner is nearing an end with a buyout imminent

'The inaccurate reporting of certain journalists who will remain unnamed does not help the situation.

'Their articles, based upon a lack of knowledge of the intricacies of the deal and the full facts of the positive intentions of GFH Capital, achieve little and lead only to retractions or public apologies at a later date.'

GFH Capital announced in October that they had signed an exclusive agreement to lead a takeover of Leeds after they had notified the Bahrain stock exchange.

GFH Capital's deputy chief executive officer David Haigh said: 'With the money in place, we are poised to make this deal happen pending agreements and arrangements which are in the interests of the future of Leeds United – we need to make sure all the finer detail is addressed before trading signatures.

'Despite what has been said recently in media, both sides continue to talk regularly and continue to work hard to get the job done.'

GFH Capital director and chief investment officer Salem Patel added clarification that the operation of the club would not be hindered by Shari'ah law, owing to GHF`s Islamic background, saying: 'We understand there is some concern related to how Leeds United would be run under our stewardship.

On the up: Leeds hope the buyout will spark a return to the Premier League

On the up: Leeds hope the buyout will spark a return to the Premier League

'It remains important to be clear that Shari'ah law will not hinder this transaction, nor will it affect the future operations of the club.

'Our intention is to provide investment which will facilitate a successful and sustainable future for Leeds United on and off the pitch.'

Former Chelsea chairman Bates, 80, who took control of Leeds in 2005, has become increasingly unpopular with a growing number of fans due to a perceived lack of investment in the playing squad.

In April last year Bates announced he had bought a controlling 72.85% stake of the club's shares from a Geneva-based company, Forward Sports Fund, while the club have made pre-tax profits of more than 10million since the summer of 2007.