Radebe confirms consortium backing for Leeds purchase

Lucas Radebe
Lucas Radebe
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Leeds United legend Lucas Radebe last night revealed he is backing a consortium bid to buy into the Championship club.

United turned down a £7m bid for a majority stake from a UK-based group over the weekend but yesterday revealed they had attracted no further offers since dismissing the approach as “risible”.

The consortium concerned have not declared their identities but individuals involved with the group are understood to include Mike Farnan, a former commercial and marketing employee with Sunderland and Manchester United, Frank Devoy – a business associate of Farnan’s – and Welcome to Yorkshire chief executive Gary Verity.

A statement released by club legend Radebe last night fuelled expectation of forthcoming investment at Elland Road.

Radebe, 44, who captained Leeds and played for them between 1994 and 2004, maintains huge popularity among United’s fanbase and would be a highly popular addition to the board, an ambition he called his “dream scenario”.

“I can confirm that I am part of a consortium which has submitted a preliminary indication of interest regarding the acquisition of a stake in Leeds United,” Radebe said.

“We hope to continue our recent discussions confidentially with the current shareholders and the board.

“We would like the opportunity to explain both the substance of our proposal and our strategy for working with GFH Capital to continue the re-building process at the club. Leeds United has a special place in my heart. Ever since I retired I have been considering ways to get involved at the club – working at board level with an equity interest would be the pinnacle.”

The seven-figure offer to Leeds, which was aimed at securing a stake well in excess of 50 per cent, was immediately rejected by United owner GFH Capital with the Dubai-based firm openly doubting the credibility of the proposal.

It is understood that Verity was due to be a boardroom guest at Elland Road for Saturday’s Championship game against Middlesbrough but that invitation has now been withdrawn. United’s directors are believed to be unhappy about the intense coverage of the consortium’s approach.

United have themselves held talks with Radebe about the possibility of the 44-year-old purchasing equity in a club who were sold to GFH Capital by ex-chairman Ken Bates less than a year ago.