Duncan Castles's post on Soccer | Latest updates on Sulia
Have been told that GFH Capital missed another deadline to complete an acquisition of Leeds United on Monday. #LUFC
There is now concern amongst supporters and club employees that GFH Capital do not have sufficient funds to pay the next instalment on an initial £17m takeover agreed with majority shareholder Ken Bates. Further significant funds would be required to improve the playing squad and buy Elland Road and the Thorp Arch training ground out of lease.
GFH Capital paid £2m last June to secure a period of exclusivity until Nov 15 that has now been deemed to have expired.
Leeds chief executive Shaun Harvey did not attend Sunday's Championship defeat at Millwall in anticipation that GFH Capital would utilise what the venture capital company's deputy CEO David Haigh described as an “extended exclusivity window” in a statement released to selected journalists last week.
Instead, Sunday – the first day of the business week in Bahrain – saw GFH Capital expand on that statement on its company website, adding that “it is expected that the deal will be completed by the end of November and a formal announcement will be made as soon as contracts are signed and the deal ratified”.
The characteristically imprecise completion date drew an angry response from Leeds supporters worried that the Football League's emergency loan window will close on Thursday without Neil Warnock being provided with reinforcement to an injury and suspension struck squad. The statement was quickly taken down from GFH Capital's website without explanation.
The American multi-millionaire Preston Haskell has made an alternative offer to takeover Leeds United which exceeds GFH Capital's both in value to Bates and in promised investment in the club. On Tuesday night, Haskell said that he remained interested in investing in Leeds this week if GFH failed to close its deal.
There is also interest in Bates' shares from Saudi Arabia. According to a source close to that approach no deal will be made before the weekend.
Warnock has complained about the time GFH Capital has taken over acquisition: “We are in the throes of a takeover which seems to have dragged on longer than Coronation Street. As I found at QPR, a club in the process of a takeover is paralysed. The current owner understandably doesn't want to spend money when he is selling – it would be like adding an extension while your house is on the market. But the buyers obviously don't want to invest until they know they will be the new owners.”
Media have been briefed that Harvey will continue as CEO should GFH Capital eventually complete.