Leeds play the waiting game while League eyes takeover bid

THE prospective new owner of Leeds United last night revealed that the proposed takeover has been sent to the Football League for approval.

A brief statement published on the club’s official website said the League had now begun examining GFH Capital’s attempted buyout.

News that the bid had been referred to the League suggests another step has been taken in the firm’s attempts to acquire the Elland Road club.

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The Bahrain-based investment bank have been in talks with United chairman Ken Bates for weeks, during which time the club’s supporters have become increasingly frustrated.

Under current League rules, would-be investors or purchasers of a member club – effectively anyone bidding to purchase 30 per cent or more of the shareholding – have to also pass the Owners and Directors Test before a deal can be rubber-stamped.

Approval is not expected to be a problem with GFH Capital’s parent company, Gulf Finance House, having been in operation for more than 10 years as well as being listed on the London Stock Exchange.

What is not clear, however, is whether a deal to buy the club is finalised or not.

Certainly, the brief statement posted on United’s website brought little clarity for supporters.

“GFH Capital have announced that they are in exclusive negotiations with Leeds United in respect of the proposed acquisition of the club,” read the statement.

“The relevant agreements are being processed by the respective legal teams and information supplied to the Football League as required under their regulations.”

League rules require clubs to submit details of proposed new directors no later than 10 working days before an appointment is due to be made.

A decision on the application is normally received from the governing body within five working days.

Two rival parties remain interested in buying Leeds, American multi-millionaire Preston Haskell and a private investor from Saudi Arabia, who are believed to be ready to move forward if GFH Capital fail to conclude their takeover plans.