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· Silent but deadly
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Takeover deal signed?????

Takeover done - some of the press seem to be interpreting it that way based on this announcement to the Bahrain Stock Exchange.

Further to the news published in the Gulf Daily News on the 25th and 26th Sep 2012, referring to the proposed acquisition of Leeds United Football Club (LUFC), GFH would like to confirm that GFH Capital Limited, a 100 per cent subsidiary of Gulf Finance House, has signed an exclusive agreement to lead and arrange the acquisition of Leeds City Holdings, the parent company of LUFC.

"Due to a confidentially provision, no further details can be given about the commercial terms of the transaction."
I hope that the club will issue a statement asap to explain exactly what this means in terms that supporters can understand.
 

· Silent but deadly
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· Silent but deadly
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The takeover by GFH Capital was completed today and I've just watched the press conference introducing the new owners. It was interesting to see that Bates played no part, only Harvey was there with Haigh and Patel from GFH. They seemed very keen to point out that they would be calling the shots from now on, even though Bates would be chairman until the end of the season. I was also glad to hear that some media organisations like local radio stations who Bates had banned were invited along. Much of what they said has been said already but one or two interesting things. Main points were:

  • They won't spend crazy money "like some owners"
  • They'll back Warnock in January but no promises on amount available
  • Looking to buy back Elland Road and Thorp Arch but no indications of timescales
  • Looking to re-engage with fanbase and city
  • A number of new initiatives coming "big and small"
  • One initiative is introduction of half-season tickets, details tomorrow
  • Can't recall any statement on ticket prices
  • They haven't decided on who new Chairman will be when Bates goes
  • Price they paid for club is subject of confidentiality clause
  • No mention of ground development plans re hotel, casino, West Stand etc.
  • They're happy with the management team they've inherited (on and off field)


Overall I was left with a positive impression without being blown away with wild optimism. They were pretty measured in the way they dealt with the questions. I do look forward to a much better relationship with the fans, more marketing initiatives and hopefully more attractive pricing to get the crowds back.
 

· Silent but deadly
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At least him staying at Hudds for the rest of the season will stop the endless speculation about him coming back to Leeds.

I wouldn't be surprised to see Warnock go for two strikers, another big guy to share the workload with Becchio and a quick guy as we lack that asset at the moment. Mackail-Smith of Brighton was being chased by Warnock in pre-season and they may consider a swap with McCormack who seems out-of-favour. I'd also love it if we could get Chris Wood who's currently on-loan at Millwall. That would be a good balanced strikeforce at this level - Becchio, Wood, Mackail-Smith and Somma.
 

· Silent but deadly
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Think Bechio and Mackail - Smith are too similar so don't think they would play together. That being the case don't think MS would leave Brighton to sit on the bench. The other thing is MS is not a prolific goal scorer.

I think if the money is available Warnock will go back in for Cameron Jerome who he was interested in bringing to the club last month.
Well they both have longish blonde hair but I don't think their playing styles are similar at all. M-S is shorter and quicker and his game is more about running at people, running into space and maintaining a high workrate. He may or may not work well with Becchio but I don't think it would fail because they are too similar. I know Warnock is on record as saying he tried to sign him in summer.
 

· Silent but deadly
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Hull gave us a footballing lesson today and the 2-0 score was hugely flattering to Leeds. They created chance after chance and Leeds couldn't string two passes together. Warnock played three at the back with wing-backs with Brown, Norris and Green in midfield. God knows why he didn't change it when it was obvious that it wasn't working. Depressing listening but Hull sounded a very good team with real pace and creativity in attack.
 

· Silent but deadly
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Exactly, to be fair Warnock didn't mention the threat of suspension in the post match interview.
He mentioned it in an interview today though. He said that he had a knock and was on four bookings and he wanted to be sure he'd play against Bolton. I don't know what difference he would have made on Saturday though if you have no creative players at all behind the two strikers. Let's hope tomorrow produces a better showing.
 

· Silent but deadly
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Becchio puts in a transfer request after club turns down two bids for him. Tate says in a radio interview that his loan at Leeds was cut short due to the "financial situation up there".

Another transfer window and same old LUFC shambles.
 

· Silent but deadly
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http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/21403532

Pearson said during the week that he would love to get back into football with Leeds which seemed a bit strange given GFH had just taken over. Also Warnock said after the Wolves game that he was finding it hard having a job 300 miles from home, almost as if he was preparing the way for an early exit. This whole takeover thing has been bizarre from the start but if it ends with people in charge who are more in tune with the fans' interests it will be a good result.
 

· Silent but deadly
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Yes, I heard they'd won and assumed it was a joke. Then when they said that it was a good game and Leeds had made plenty of chances I thought somebody was really taking the piss.

Over 25k at ER tonight thanks to reduced price initiative. I reckon this was about 8k more than we would have got for a midweek fixture at normal prices given recent crowds and the current gloom around the club.
 

· Silent but deadly
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One of the few positives was the crowd of over 24k for an uninspiring Tuesday night fixture. This was another of the cheap ticket initiative games. I hope that the GFH people see the benefits of reducing prices generally and having a few really cheap promotions for the less attractive games.
 

· Silent but deadly
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2013-14 Season Ticket Prices

The club have finally listened to supporters and cut season ticket prices for next season. Furthermore they have introduced other new features to the pricing structure:

New "young adult" concession for 16-21s (and older students)
Season tickets available in all stands
Concessions available in all stands

http://www.leedsunited.com/news/20130314/season-ticket-prices-201314_2247585_3108636?

Obviously there are issues related to the manager and team to sort out but this seems a big step in the right direction.
 

· Silent but deadly
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Another low-quality performance as Leeds go down 2-1 at home to Huddersfield. The season really is now dead as a dodo. We won't go up and we won't go down. The club should do something positive for a change regarding the team and management. Give Warnock a one-way ticket back to Cornwall and get a new manager in so he can assess the squad and blood one or two of the youngsters like Dawson.
 

· Silent but deadly
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Well here's the club statement:

http://www.leedsunited.com/news/20130320/a-message-from-the-owners_2247585_3116320?

In March 2013, Gulf Finance House (GFH), parent company of Leeds United FC owner GFH Capital, published its financial audited report that stated it was looking to sell its stake in the club. To clarify and as previously stated, GFH Capital is looking for investment in part of its share in the club, not its entirety.
GFH Capital has been transparent since acquiring Leeds United and is continuing to look for strategic investors in part of the club that can invest in Leeds United, alongside GFH Capital, to ensure a long term, sustainable future.
Since GFH Capital took ownership of Leeds United, it has fulfilled its promise of investing in the club, with around £10 million having already been injected into the club; to strengthen the squad and for other working capital purposes. Additional financial support will continue to be provided as required. Through cutting ticket prices, reducing 2013/14 Season Ticket costs and the introduction of Half-Season tickets, attendances have risen at Elland Road as GFH Capital continues with its goal of re-engaging existing fans and attracting new supporters to the club, plus the recent International Soccer Schools and 'Take it to the Kids' initiatives.
To date, GFH Capital has fulfilled the plans pledged and its strategy for the club remains the same; to build a group of strategic investors to put Leeds United in the best position both on and off pitch for the long term.
Nothing different to what they've said for a while i.e. looking for investors to work alongside them. The £10m they've put in does show what a mess Bates got the club into with him mortgaging season ticket money and taking other loans from caterers and sponsors for his court cases and executive boxes.
 

· Silent but deadly
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Hmmm. Does this mean that GFHC has created new shares and put the money into the club or they've just sold 10% of existing shares and trousered the money themselves? I guess we're talking about £3m+ as they valued the club at £32m in their accounts.

I can't say the thought of another investment bank looking to make a fast buck fills me with confidence. The club needs people committed for the long-term.
 
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