GFH Capital have passed the Football League regulations regarding their purchase of Leeds United, with Salem Patel and Hisham Alrayes now free to join the board of directors at Elland Road.
It took a grueling six months for GFH Capital to complete their acquisition of Leeds United, which will be completed in full on December 21st. They bring with them, an alleged wealthy backer, who still remains unnamed. So, it brings me great pleasure in delving in to the internet archives, to find out who GFH Capital are; along with their reasoning for purchasing a ‘sleeping giant’.
GFH-C, a private equity firm based in Dubai, has you understandably lost in the notion of ’oil on tap’ and plenty left over to buy a football club. However, report after report has brought into disrepute the ability of GFH-C in purchasing a club like Leeds United.
Questions circulated regarding recent losses suffered by Gulf Finance House (owner of GFH-C) after the recession in both 2009 and 2010. They published losses over £200 million in both years, which did not sit well with Leeds United fans who wanted serious investment into a team that lacks serious quality.
This aside, Gulf Finance House boast of investments in the billions – much like GFH-C – arguing their own case, that they could and can finance the purchase of Leeds United. This looks to ring true, as they currently own a 33.33% share in Leeds United and will own 100% when they buy-out the remaining 66.67%, of which current Chairman and future President Ken Bates owns 48.56%.
Despite being based in Bahrain, GFH-C’s ownership of LUFC Holdings Limited is based in Grand Cayman (tax haven), which further brings dismay at the lack of ‘truth’ that surrounds unnamed shared holders and the full intentions of the new owners and their obvious but dishonest reasoning for holding their money in an off-shore back account.
Now, in terms of squad strengthening, we finally saw some level of intent, in the form of Alan Tate and Jerome Thomas. Both with experience in the Premier League – only hope keeps me going – that the new owners will give Neil Warnock money to spend in January.
It is also suggested that the new owners are here to repair their own damaged failings in the recession, with the main focus on ‘get in, get out’ and leave Leeds United in a dire and less than ambitious state. With concerns even growing over a tweet that David Haigh reportedly deleted, that suggested he supported Manchester United. The tweet read ’5 games 5 wins #mufc’ or something
Whilst I would love to sit here and tell you the new ownership are here for the right reasons, only signings and a change in ticket pricing will suggest they are. Their activity in Grand Cayman is a little trick Ken Bates has played for eight years, so it looks like we may never know who is funding an equity firm that has more ups and downs than The Big Dipper at Blackpool Pleasure Beach.