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New owners eye bright future for Leeds

21 December 2012

Leeds' new owners believe they can deliver a "fresh start" for the npower Championship club.

A press conference has been called for 11.30am when details of GFH Capital's reported ?52million takeover are set to be spelled out.

A statement on Leeds' website on Friday morning confirmed the Dubai-based investment company would take 100% charge, with GFH deputy chairman David Haigh, who became a director last month, to be joined on the board by fellow executives Salem Patel and Hisham Alrayes.

"We are delighted, but also honoured and proud to be the new owners of Leeds United football club," Haigh said. "We have had over 4,000 e-mails of support from fans and we have been overwhelmed by the reaction.

"Everyone we have spoken to in the city has been fantastic."

GFH has been in protracted talks with Ken Bates, who is relinquishing ownership, over a deal that Patel believes can reinvigorate the club.

Leeds have been outside the top-flight since 2004 following financial turmoil that, at one point, instigated a fall into the third tier.

GFH has previously stated a desire to take the club back to the top-flight and Patel added: "We are looking forward to a bright future. This is a fresh start for the football club and we welcome fans both old and new to Elland Road."

A new club chairman will be appointed by the new owners at the end of the season when Bates will become club president.

GFH Capital, who first entered into talks with Leeds in May, has already transferred money into the club and is set to make further funds available to manager Neil Warnock.

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