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Leeds takeover confirmed


A Bahrain-based firm that operates on Islamic financial principles has confirmed that it has acquired Leeds United.

A unit of Bahraini investment firm Gulf Finance House (GFH) will lead and arrange the purchase of Britain's Leeds United Football Club, GFH said in a statement.   'GFH would like to confirm that GFH Capital Ltd, a 100 percent subsidiary of GFH, has signed an exclusive agreement to lead and arrange the acquisition of Leeds City Holdings, the parent company of LUFC,' the brief statement said.

Citing a confidentiality provision, it did not elaborate on how or when the acquisition might take place, or give financial terms.

Leeds United 'is one of the best supported clubs in English Football with a higher than average match day attendance than most Premier League teams,' GFH said, adding that Leeds would benefit financially from a recent renegotiation of broadcast rights for football if it could achieve promotion to the Premier League.

The Bahraini firm engages in Islamic finance, which obeys religious principles such as bans on interest payments and pure monetary speculation.   Presuambly, Leeds United is not treated as speculation because it is seen as a good prospect for promotion to the Premiership with additional funding.

 GFH has been hit in recent years by the global financial crisis, which forced it to restructure most of its debts. It earned a $4.7 million profit in the second quarter of this year, improving from a $11.2 million loss a year earlier.

One consequence of the takeover will be the loss of Ken Bates to football after 30 years.   This report treats him quite generously,