By Marcus Leach
GFH Capital Limited, the Dubai-based investment bank, have signed a deal to complete the acquisition of Leeds United Football Club.
Following Football League approval, GFH Capital Limited will be 100% shareholders of the club.
The deal sees GFH Capital Limited, which has financially supported the club since entering into an exclusivity period, injecting further funds for working capital and to support Neil Warnock's intentions to strengthen the team.
GFH Capital executive David Haigh will join the board of Leeds United with immediate effect with fellow GFH Capital executives Hisham Alrayes and Salem Patel joining in December as the leadership of the club is further strengthened.
Ken Bates will remain as Chairman for a transition period until the end of the season after which point a new GFH Capital-led Chairman will take over the position and Ken Bates will become club President.
"I can confirm we have now completed all the negotiations with GFH Capital. We have completed the first part of the purchase and they will be taking over 100 per cent of the club. Meanwhile, there is a transitional period while they get to know more about the club," Leeds United chairman Ken Bates said.
"I will continue as chairman until the end of the season when I will take over as president and I look forward to sitting back and taking more time off. Neil Warnock will continue as manager with more support than the present owners have been able to give and we look forward to a smooth transition.
"One thing I can say that has benefited from the negotiations is that this six-month courtship has given GFH Capital the opportunity to see the strengths and weaknesses and what needs to be supported. You can look forward to a smoother transition than we've seen at a lot of clubs.
"I'd like to thank, on behalf of Suzannah and myself, the tremendous support we have received over the years, particularly over the last 12 to 18 months which hasn't been easy, but has made us more determined to see the job through."
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.
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