Leeds owners reject Parkin-Pearson takeover bid, promise new cash injection

LEEDS United owner GFH Capital last night confirmed that it had rejected outright the recent attempt to buy a majority stake in the club - and claimed funding was in place to support United without immediate and substantial investment.

Elland Road.
Elland Road.

The Dubai-based firm appeared to rule out the possibility of a quick change of ownership at Elland Road by revealing it was unwilling to accept the offer made by a local consortium for a 51 per cent shareholding in Leeds.

A representative of the Yorkshire-based group tabled their takeover bid a fortnight ago, seven weeks after GFH Capital completed its own buy-out of United chairman Ken Bates.

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Businessman Steve Parkin is believed to be involved in the consortium, with ex-Hull City chairman Adam Pearson also rumoured to be supporting the bid six years after fronting an unsuccessful attempt to purchase Leeds while the club were in administration.

Executives of GFH Capital admitted over the weekend that the company was willing to sell a 30 per cent stake in United, raising fears that it was already under pressure to secure a major cash injection, but asked if United would face financial problems in the absence of investment, GFH Capital said: “No, it won’t.

“While we have the funds to take the club forward without the need for additional investors, we are of the belief that building a strong consortium of strategic investors will better serve and protect, and build our great club.”

GFH Capital also denied that the takeover offer submitted this month was still open to consideration, saying: “It has been rejected.”

United’s owner did not clarify its immediate plans for manager Neil Warnock, despite the 64-year-old stating on Sunday that he was ready to step aside if Leeds failed to win promotion this season. The club are eight points short of the play-offs with 15 games to play.

“We speak to Neil regularly and, as you know, his contract expires at the end of this season,” the firm’s statement read.

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