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      « Leeds United Supporters Trust - Club Takeover Announcement | Main | Leeds United Supporters Trust: Chairmans Statement 2011/12 »

      Leeds United Supporters’ Trust Update: Members Concerned by Takeover Reports

      Our members have been contacting us in increasing numbers over the last few days with their concerns about the most recent stories circulating regarding the proposed takeover. We believe a number of their worries about recent developments are valid, and wish to raise these with the club on their behalf.

      Stories in the media this week have suggested that a takeover deal could be completed this weekend, while others have claimed that the deal is now for a ‘phased takeover,’ with Ken Bates remaining involved at least until the end of the season. We have put these scenarios to our own contacts on both sides of the deal, and we have been told that while the timeframe of this weekend seems unlikely, there is a chance that Mr Bates will stay on as a partner with Gulf Finance House Capital.

      This would obviously represent a complete turnaround from when we were told by GFHC’s representative on October 8th that, “They intend this deal to be a full takeover of Leeds United. Ken Bates will leave the club and David Haigh will take control.”

      This raises a number of questions about GFHC’s intentions and true capabilities. Why should the deal change from a takeover to a partnership/phased takeover in the space of a month? How effective is a partnership likely to be, after six months of apparently difficult negotiations to reach this stage? Are GFHC no longer able to finance a full takeover of the club, and if not, what financial support will they be able to provide to Neil Warnock in January?

      We would like to remind Mr Bates that in his programme notes for the game against Blackburn, he wrote that he is, “determined that when I move on my legacy will be that the club is in safe hands and will take Leeds United to the next level.” We would ask Mr. Bates whether GFHC, having negotiated for six months for a takeover, yet now seemingly only able to partially complete a deal, represent the best available chance of securing that legacy.

      We know that there are other groups with an interest in buying Leeds United who continue to closely monitor the situation. At LUST, we have continued our work to find ways of building a better future for Leeds United, and we have spoken to the representatives of at least one consortium who we are confident would have the financial resources and ambition we need in new owners. We are aware of other parties who have themselves been in contact with Leeds United, and that these parties can also provide the resources necessary to back the manager and build the club going forward.

      Our understanding is that a significant barrier to these parties coming forward with bids is the continued involvement and exclusivity rights of GFHC. While we understand that the exclusivity period must be respected, it has been reported by the BBC (see 1611) that this period ends in mid-November, and we would ask Mr. Bates to consider whether it is not time to fully explore other opportunities for investment. If, after six months of negotiations, the best deal that GFHC can afford is a ‘phased takeover,’ we believe our members would be right to be ask whether that is an effective solution to the club’s problems, especially when other fully funded parties remain interested in the future of the club.

      With every week of the season that passes, we believe the need to bring an end to the takeover saga becomes more pressing. The next transfer window is crucial to Neil Warnock, while off the pitch our financial analysis raised serious questions about the club’s ability to continue without investment. With league attendances twice already falling below 20,000, we are concerned about how funds will be found to drive progress on the pitch. We believe that there are good options available at the present moment to secure a successful future for Leeds United, and we urge Mr. Bates to stay true to his promise to leave the club in safe hands.

      Supporters can also join more than 8,500 other Leeds fans and have their voice heard as members of the Leeds United Supporters’ Trust by filling in the form at www.lufctrust.org. Membership is free. Keep checking for updates on www.lufctrust.org, and our Facebook and Twitter pages.

      References (1)

      References allow you to track sources for this article, as well as articles that were written in response to this article.

      Reader Comments (10)

      I really hope this is not true
      This has been a complete joke of a takeover from the start ... Now we really dont know what is going on

      Bates going? now maybe staying ?

      Dont know about the rest of you but its really starting to irritate the hell out of me

      November 9, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterleeds-exile

      Dealing with rumours as if actual facts isn't going to do anyone any good.I believe the whole take over has been very poorly handled from the start,ok i understand there are confidentiality issues to be taken account of but the lack of information coming out is leading to people just wildly speculating as to what is happening.

      I am also dismayed that LUST are talking about these rumours here and giving them credence,LUST should only be dealng with FACT

      November 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterConcerned Leeds supporter

      Oh dear ! How I wish this did not sound totally believable, but unfortunately it is. I would not trust Mr Bates further than I could throw him and his supposed wish to leave LUFC in good hands is laughable. Consider the tremendous pressure created for the Manager over the last 4 months - trying to build a team, when he has no cash and an uncertain future in terms of possible buying power. Who on earth, of any class, is going to want to come to Leeds as long as this ridiculous situation continues ? Most other managers would have walked weeks ago.
      So, as I said before, why would anyone who wants the best for LUFC let the situation continue ? Unless, of course, they couldn't care less ? or worse, actually would like LUFC to go down - good for ofsetting tax liabilities ??
      Our only hope, IMO, is to get the "other" interested parties to the table. Please, please go Mr Bates and leave us alone. Go find another toy to play with before you break us.

      November 9, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterlifelong white

      Just rumours from the trouble maker Castles. Surprised you are taking them seriously!

      November 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLionheart

      OOOOh LionHeart where did you hear the rumour that it was Castles spreading rumours ?

      LUST have only dealt in fact as I can see it.

      Mr Bates has oft had the term "smoke & mirrors" attached to his name. As far as I can see, the LUST statement simply attempts to to blow away the smoke and turn the mirror back on Bates.

      What is happening is not in the Best intrest of LUFC with even Colin, (sorry) Mr Manager saying in a statement that Bates has asked him to look at players for January , but he is uncertain that we will be challenging at that point.

      They point out that if it takes so chuffin long to work out a deal with a bizznizz plan that changes week to week, what kind of a fiasco will entail with the two parties making day to day decissions on the retierment of the Balti pie from catering stock ?

      Every one has an opinion a take , an angle , but please lets think about things and work things out together , you know, UNITED, if we are not UNITED then we are Not Leeds UNITED and Bates has fulfiled his threat of yester year.

      November 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterReiver

      It was not a "rumour" that I heard and sarcasm does not become you. Reiver!


      Castles tweeted yesterday:
      "Duncan Castles ‏@DuncanCastles

      Am told that Ken Bates is set to remain at Leeds United as part of a partnership deal with GFH Capital."

      and the tweet rumour he started, flew through the twittersphere! So yes, HE did start the rumour which others picked up and which then "concerned" the fans. But he is an unreliable source and I am shocked that the Trust has taken up his rumours in this statement as if they are facts.

      Read Castle's article http://sulia.com/channel/soccer/f/968440e8-d55e-4636-bec6-d2837fa6f61f/?source=twitter and you will see it is all unsubstantiated and Castles admits this in the article.

      He is a trouble maker and his tweet and article is designed to cause fans to worry. The Trust, by responding to Castle's unsubstantiated rumour, have contributed to Castle's nasty little game. I believe he is simply taking a peverse pleasure in upsetting lufc fans.

      Look at his choice of word in the Tweet and the headline "partnership" - designed to upset fans.

      I'm not discounting that Bates is playing games and I have always thought he would want some sort of bonus if promotion is achieved.

      But what I am saying is the Trust is not helping when they repeat Castle's rumours as if they are facts.

      November 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLionheart

      I'm not impressed at all by the above LUST statement. Different sources are saying contradictory things about the terms of the takeover / investment but the one consistant message is that it's days not weeks away. So I can see no point in being negative about GFH today and it's ludicrous to suggest that Bates will or should start again and renegotiate with new buyers. So shut up and let's wait and see what happens next week.

      November 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMatthew

      Its time Lust , who i fully support , to let people know who these other bidders are as i now thinks gfh havent got finiances needed to take us to a new level. Also think its time for WarnCock to go as he is running out of excuses for the crap football he is serving up at the minute. I mean would you trust this man in the next transfer window with your money. Read this article some good facts (http://www.clarkeonenil.co.uk/11/2012/leeds-united-uber-miserablist-thirty-league-games-on-just-go-warnock-just-go/ )

      November 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJay

      Well done and much encouragement to LUST to continue to expose GFH for what they are - publicity seeking chancers.

      November 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDetermination Personified

      I am a supporter and life member of the Trust and support them, but think this statement was a mistake.

      If the GHFC takeover goes through, I would like the Trust to start on a new footing with them and treat GFHC with a clear new attitude. Then ask GFHC

      Who the ultimate beneficial owners are?
      Is the investment fund ring-fenced from GFH and GFHC's accounts?
      Is lufc now an asset of GFH or GFHC or are the investment fund and the club independent of their assets and liabilities?

      Simple questions.

      November 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLionheart

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