Saturday, June 30, 2007

Leedsunited.com 28/6/07
STATEMENT
A statement from chief executive Shaun Harvey in relation to the club's current views about the future and the effect any appeal may have.
The 28 day period provided by statute during which objections to the creditors voluntary arrangement proposed in respect of Leeds United Association Football Club Limited can be considered expires next Tuesday July 3.
The Proposal of a payment of one penny in the pound together with a further payment to Creditor of £5.0m in the event that Leeds United 2007 Limited becomes a member of the FA Premier League within the next five football seasons was approved by over 75% of the Creditors of the Company at the Creditors Meeting held on the 1st June 2007 and reconvened on the 4th June 2007.
In the event of promotion the unsecured Creditors, excluding those who would not be entitled to receive a dividend payment or who have waived their rights, would receive a further payment of approximately thirty pence in the pound.
This would compare very favourably with the payments made by the other 45 football clubs that have been through the Administration Process, all of which have had to complete a Creditors Voluntary Arrangement to enable them to transfer their share in the Football League Limited and the Football Association Limited. No club has had their transfer authorised on the basis of "exceptional circumstances".
We are now a few days away from the end of the appeal period and all Creditors have had a considerable period of time to consider their position regarding an appeal on procedural grounds. We believe that this is the only legitimate basis on which an objection could be made. Just being unhappy with the proposals that were accepted by Creditors is no basis for an appeal. An appeal based on such view must be seen as obstructive and vexatious to Leeds United going forward. The proposal put forward is the best way to allow the Football Club to progress and to allow it to resume its proper place in the FA Premier League. The achievement of such objective would benefit not only the Club and its legendary supporters but also the Creditors of the Company due to the additional payment that would be forthcoming.
Promotion to the FA Premier League would see approximately £2.3m being paid to HMRC which would go a considerable way towards paying for a new primary school in Leeds that the Rt. Hon Colin Burgon has demanded. With its place in the Premier League assured the Club believes that it would be able to raise the balance of just over £1.5m required to build the school through its charitable works. The resurrection of the Club would therefore appear to be not only in the interests of the Club and its supporters but in the interest of Leeds generally.
The Club has been advised that a procedural appeal would not succeed. Such an appeal at this late stage would however have the affect of hindering the acquisition of a playing squad required to obtain promotion to the Championship at the first attempt. It would also however threaten the very survival of the Football Club. The Club has been advised that an appeal would be likely to take two or three months during which period, if the Company was to survive, the joint administrators would have to run the Club. To enable the Club to play in the Football League next season the Football League would require an assurance that the Club could meet its playing commitments throughout the season. Without the stability of a firm bid for the Club the Administrator could not give such a commitment.
The decision of the Joint Administrators to sell the business to Leeds United 2007 Limited was taken as the only viable option available to them that provided both funding and the ability to propose a Creditors Voluntary Arrangement that was likely to be approved by Creditors. We believe that the proposal is in the best interests of the Club, its supporters and its Creditors. This week Yorkshire has already lost one football club (Scarborough). We appreciate the loss and distress that this failure must cause for their supporters. Consider however how much worse the loss would be if a club like Leeds United cease to exist with the loss of up to 500 jobs undertaken by local people (not footballers). One can normally count upon the support of local MP's to save such an historic club, unfortunately three elected members of Parliament seem to be doing their best to scupper the club's survival.
No one unsecured Creditor made the difference to have the proposal put forward by the CVA approved. It was the aggregate vote of all the Creditors that achieved this result. The Administrators acted in a fair and reasoned way in accepting proof of debts and should be congratulated for their even-handedness. Today the quantum and eligibility of votes cast in favour of the proposal of Mark Taylor & Company and by Yorkshire Radio Limited have been questioned. Both voted for a greater sum than originally declared by the Joint Administrators. Those increased sums are wholly justified by the Administrators on the advice of Counsel. However no issue has been raised in respect of the debts of Holroyd Construction and APT Skidata who voted against the proposal, whose proofs of debt were approved in the same manner.
The various parties that expressed an interest in owning the club after it first went into Administration did of course have exactly the same opportunity prior to its Administration, but no one came forward. An investment prior to Administration could have prevented the requirement for the Administration Procedure but no investment was forthcoming. It would appear that many of the interested parties were only interested in buying the club "on the cheap" and their failure to do so has now aggrieved them. Since 2005 investors in the club have lost nearly £25m, money that has been invested to keep the club alive. Whilst that investment was ongoing, no one raised any objection. If at the end of the 2005/2006 season the club had achieved promotion to the Premier League then Mr Willis and his cronies would have presumably raised no question. Without the investment the club would have been out of business a very long time ago. It was only the investment of that £25m that prevented Mr Krasner from over-seeing the demise of Leeds United Football Club.
Since 2005 the Company has made significant payments to HMRC, if they had not then the loss to HMRC would have been considerably more than the £7.7m currently claimed. During the clubs discussions with the Revenue and following the Revenue's refusal to allow the club any more time to pay their losses the Revenue stated "I appreciate this will be disappointing news for the club particularly in view of the efforts that have been made in the past to try and contain the indebtedness to HMRC". We consider that this is an acknowledgement that the club could have done little more.
In conclusion our aim is the long term survival of Leeds United Football Club playing football at a level which it deserves. Any challenge at this late stage must be considered vexatious and can only arise from a clash of personalities that should be put aside in the best interests of the club going forward.

New pages uploaded at mightyleeds.co.uk


Seasons – 1967/68 – The Revie effect/The cups that cheer


After Harry Reynolds' retirement Don Revie leads his men through a marathon 66-match season as United finally put the champion runners up tag firmly behind them by securing two major trophies


Read the full story at
http://www.mightyleeds.co.uk/seasons/196768part1.htm
http://www.mightyleeds.co.uk/seasons/196768part2.htm
http://www.mightyleeds.co.uk/seasons/196768fix.htm

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Independent 22/6/07
Wise vows to 'get things right' at Elland Road
By Jon Culley
Published: 22 June 2007
With his recruiting plans limited by a transfer embargo and pre-season training only 10 days away, Dennis Wise may have been taking a closer interest than usual in the youngsters being coached as he was shown round a new inner-city sports facility in a run-down industrial area close to the centre of Leeds.
The Leeds United manager, invited to open the £420,000 Barclays Spaces for Sport project at Hunslet Boys and Girls Club yesterday, admitted that he had already seen 10 potential targets slip through his grasp as he waits for a lifting of the block imposed by the Football League after relegated Leeds went into administration.
"Players who are on frees or have turned down contracts get jittery and want things sorted out, they don't want to wait," he said. "We have earmarked players we want and asked them to be patient but there are a lot, maybe 10, who have already gone somewhere else.
"It is frustrating but that is the situation we are in. Hopefully in July it will be sorted and we can get in players who are right for what we need." There is another source of dismay. Despite the £35m debt that forced Leeds to call in administrators KPMG at the beginning of May, at the cost of a 10-point penalty and certain relegation to League One, players still equate the club with lucrative contracts.
"That's very disappointing," Wise said. "Leeds are still a big draw and because it is Leeds the question being asked even now is 'how much?' People seem to think we are going to pay loads of money but that mistake was made before and it is not going to be made again."
None of which makes it any easier for Wise to embark on the fresh start he craves after "the strangest season of my life" left the club facing a bleak future and his own reputation, put on the line when he and his assistant, Gus Poyet, quit the relatively safety of Swindon for the turmoil of Elland Road last October, seriously damaged. Ironically, the two clubs will play in the same division next season after Paul Sturrock picked up where Wise left off to win promotion from League Two.
It is mending that reputation, one suspects, that is Wise's most potent motivation as he prepares to negotiate a new season in circumstances alien to Leeds and a long way from the glitz to which he was accustomed at Chelsea not so long ago.
"It is no good harping on about last year, it is gone, we are relegated," he said. "But I'm not down on the floor. You learn to expect anything in football and for all the things that happened here last season, there were a couple at Millwall, which I cannot talk about, that were actually worse. You pick yourself up, dust yourself down and get on with it.
"I want to get things right, me and Gus both do, and I'm sure there are a few players still here who feel the same way. There is a motivation to prove we can turn it round." And if there are moments when he might need to reassure himself that the task is still within his compass he can fall back on a network of friends in the game, not in whom to seek solace, he insists, but on whose advice, given over time, he can draw.
"When things are going badly, you learn," he said. "I have spoken to a lot of people, to Luca [Vialli], to Ruud [Gullit] to Dave Bassett, a lot of people. I got on very well with a lot of people and they will always give you advice and try to help you.
"I had a letter from Sir Alex [Ferguson], which I did not expect. I wouldn't reveal what was in it but some of the things he said were fantastic and it does make you stronger.
"But while you can listen to what other people say, you are the one who has to make it work and if you do it your own way and you succeed it is great.
"I will take advice but I will do it the way I want to do it and I will fail or succeed my way."The Leeds United Football Club manager Dennis Wise was appearing at the Hunslet Boys and Girls Club in south Leeds, for the official opening of a new site on behalf of Barclays Spaces for Sports. Following a £420,000 cash injection from Barclays, the site has benefited from a new third-generation artificial grass pitch and a Multi Use Games Area (MUGA) with associated fencing and floodlighting, plus the refurbishment of an existing MUGA with a third-generation surface. With the backing of Leeds United FC, the site is part of a £30m investment from the Barclays Spaces for Sports initiative to create sustainable sports facilities across the UK.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


New pages uploaded at mightyleeds.co.uk


Matches – 11 September 1968 –Ferencvaros 0 Leeds United 0



On a tense September evening in the magnificent Nep Stadium, Gary Sprake redeems himself from high profile mistakes earlier in the season to give the performance of his life




Saturday, June 16, 2007

New pages uploaded at mightyleeds.co.uk


Matches – 7 August 1968 –Leeds United 1 Ferencvaros 0


A year after being beaten by Dinamo Zagreb in the Inter Cities final, United were back and faced one of Europe's best in Ferencvaros - this time they got the advantage from the first leg



Read the full story at http://www.mightyleeds.co.uk/matches/19680807.htm
Daily Mail 15/6/07
Ridsdale is poised to lift lid on Leeds
By CHARLES SALE
All the signs are pointing to former Leeds chairman Peter Ridsdale writing a no-holds barred book about his time at the crisis club.
Ridsdale, who was in charge at Elland Road from 1997 to 2003 in the heady period when the team reached the semi-final of the Champions League, is dismayed by continually being blamed for the club’s current demise despite having left more than four years ago.
Leeds went into administration and were relegated to League One last season.
Ridsdale, now chairman of Cardiff City, wants to put the record straight and his surprise appearance at the Nancy Dell’Olio book launch, as a guest of literary super agent Ali Gunn, suggests he is about to do so.
Ridsdale already has links with Gunn through Five Live’s Ian Dennis, a close confidant during his time at Leeds.
Dennis’s brother Steve, who works closely with Gunn, ghosted Princess Diana bodyguard Paul Burrell’s life story as well as Ashley Cole’s much castigated book. He seems certain to be Ridsdale’s ghost as well.
A proper book by Ridsdale would have to explain his extravagant spending at Leeds that earned him the nickname Father Christmas.
It will be also intriguing to read what he has to say about his manager David O’Leary, his successor as chairman Professor John McKenzie and tycoon Allan Leighton, the chairman of Royal Mail and a former Leeds director who has so far escaped any blame for what went wrong.

Leedsunited 15/6/07
MOVING CLOSER
United chairman Ken Bates says progress is being made as manager Dennis Wise looks to build his squad ahead of the new League One campaign.
The chairman and the management team met for talks earlier this week, and preparations are being put in place in readiness for the anticipated lifting of the transfer embargo early next month.
"We met some agents and had a lot of discussions about players," the chairman told Yorkshire Radio.
"We ticked off certain players, agreed a budget ,and Dennis told me what he hoped his team would be for the first game.
"We've also had provisional discussions with three out of contract players on the list."
The players are due to return to training on July 2, the pre-season fixtures are already planned, and the realisation that the club will be playing League One football next season was confirmed with the release of the fixtures on Thursday.
Wise's men start with a trip to Tranmere on Saturday August 11, visit Macclesfield the following midweek in the Carling Cup, and Southend United are our first visitors on Saturday August 18.
"We know the fixtures and can now start planning for League One," added the chairman.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Yorkshire Post 13/6/07
MP demands answers on Leeds United rescue deal

By Rob Waugh
EXCLUSIVE: Police are being urged to investigate whether criminal activity, including money laundering, was involved in the controversial financial collapse and immediate resurrection of Leeds United under the same owners.
A Yorkshire MP has called on the Serious and Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) and the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) to probe the involvement of anonymously-owned offshore companies in forcing through the resale of Leeds, which had gone into administration, to a company represented by Ken Bates – even though it was claimed they had no connection with the club chairman.
Phil Willis, a Leeds United fan and Liberal Democrat MP for Harrogate and Knaresborough, is highly critical of the way Leeds went into administration with debts of £35m and then was immediately resold to the same owners on the same day, subject to approval by creditors. The deal was voted through by creditors last week after they were told by the administrator, accountancy firm KPMG, that offshore companies with a key stake in the club would only accept Mr Bates's offer despite other bids for the club offering a greater return on money owed.
Mr Willis, who has used the device of an early day motion in the Commons to raise what happened at Leeds, said: "What puzzles me is that within 24 hours what was an unsaleable portfolio became a potentially highly profitable portfolio. I think that requires some examination.
"It's not unreasonable for fans and certainly creditors to know who are the people who are writing off these large sums of money and on what basis."
Mr Bates responded yesterday by calling Mr Willis "stupid".
A club statement issued later added: "We challenge him to repeat his allegations outside the House of Commons and we will see him in court if he does."
The early day motion urges SOCA "to investigate whether criminal activity including money laundering has taken place" during the financial turmoil at Leeds.
Mr Willis is concerned about the general lack of transparency in football, including transfer dealings, and also uses the motion to call on the Government to make it a criminal offence for those involved in the ownership of football clubs not to openly declare their interest.
At the heart of the issue is Leeds's largest creditor, Astor Investment Holdings, registered in the British Virgin Islands, which effectively played a controlling hand during the club's recent administration by refusing to support any other survival package other than that put forward by Mr Bates.
As a result of it and another offshore company, Krato, registered in Nevis in the West Indies, using their block vote, both companies lost virtually all their combined investment in the club of more than £15m because the offer to creditors from Mr Bates was just 1p for every pound they were owed.
The offer was voted through at a creditors meeting earlier this month, leaving Mr Bates with a potentially profitable club now permanently divorced from its £35m debt which could be attractive to a would-be buyer.
Astor also blocked attempts to put a clause into the company voluntary agreement, the mechanism used to re-emerge from administration, which would stop Mr Bates from reselling the club for a period of five years or pay a penalty to creditors. Instead, the club could be resold in six months.With other bidders for the club offering more money to creditors, the actions of Astor and Krato were questioned by a significant number of creditors who specifically queried why Astor and Krato would agree to give up so much money and whether there was any connection between them and Mr Bates.
KPMG told creditors it had received a letter from Astor, which had taken on Krato's debt of over £2m, saying it was not connected to Mr Bates who in turn, along with his long-term business associate, Mark Taylor, had provided sworn statements that they were not connected to Astor.
But during the creditors meeting it transpired that Leeds United's last company accounts included a direct reference to Astor having "an interest in Forward Sports Fund", the club's owners and the company Mr Bates represents, as of June 30 last year.
The administrator admitted the link had not been known, but Mr Taylor told the meeting: "There was an association on June 30 ; there isn't now."
Hundreds of small creditors lost out as a result of the deal the administrator agreed with Mr Bates but the biggest loser was the taxman, with £7m lost in unpaid taxes.
Mr Willis's motion calls on HM Revenue and Customs to take action to recover the debt and questions the role of KPMG, specifically why they didn't "ascertain the beneficiaries" behind Astor and Krato during their investigations in the administration period.
All creditors have 28 days from the day the deal was voted through to challenge the outcome but HM Revenue and Customs have so far declined to say what action, if any, they will take.
A spokesman for KPMG said: "As far as we are concerned there are no concerns about money laundering and if we had concerns we would report them in the normal way."
The MP also raises the similarities in ownership between Chelsea and Leeds, which both had significant involvement from offshore companies and, questioning whether they were connected to Mr Bates, calls on the Financial Services Authority (FSA) to investigate.
The FSA did investigate the ownership of Chelsea after Mr Bates sold the club to Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich in 2003 but ultimately took no further action. It found that Mr Bates did not own shares in the offshore companies but couldn't reach a conclusive view as to whether Mr Bates had any degree of control over them.
The FSA, SOCA and the SFO all said they could not comment last night.

Sunday, June 10, 2007


New pages uploaded at mightyleeds.co.uk


Matches – 27 April 1968 – Everton 1 Leeds United 0


The Everton-Leeds Cup semi final at Old Trafford was a mouth-watering encounter, but for keeper Gary Sprake it was another game that he desperately wanted to forget



Read the full story at http://www.mightyleeds.co.uk/matches/19680427.htm

Saturday, June 09, 2007


New pages uploaded at mightyleeds.co.uk



Matches – 2 March 1968 – Arsenal 0 Leeds United 1



Leeds meet Arsenal at Wembley to contest one of the worst Cup finals ever - still, why should United care? They'd lost out on the big occasion before, and this one was all about winning



Tuesday, June 05, 2007

BBC 5/6/07
Bates promises Wise transfer cash
Ken Bates has promised Leeds manager Dennis Wise sufficient funds to launch a strong start to life in League One.
And the Elland Road chairman says the transfer embargo imposed on the club after it went into administration will not hinder their hopes next season.
"I don't discuss figures, and never have, but Dennis will have funds available to him," said Bates.
"We're in limbo slightly but that does not stop us talking to players formally and agreeing deals in principle."
The Football League has confirmed that the embargo it imposed following the move into administration on 4 May is unlikely to be lifted until July.
That delay will leave Wise with a month to rebuild his relegated squad ahead of the start of the campaign on 11 August.
"We've already held lots of informal discussions, and Dennis has got a long shopping list," Bates added.
"We actually sent him away on holiday while all this was going on because there was nothing more he could do. But he knows who he wants.
"Obviously we've had a few setbacks and missed out on a few players, but that's inevitable regardless of whether you're in administration or not.
"It happens every year and you never get every player you try for."

Yorkshire Post 5/6/07
Wise suffers transfer delay

By Richard Sutcliffe
MANAGER Dennis Wise will have to put his rebuilding plans for Leeds United on hold until next month despite Ken Bates regaining control of the Elland Road club.
A recount of votes at an extended creditors' meeting yesterday approved the 75-year-old's purchase of United, who had been placed into administration on May 4 amid debts of £35m.The Leeds chairman received 75.20 per cent of the votes cast to win back control and it had been expected that the club's Football League share would be returned at tomorrow's League board meeting in Portugal.
That would have meant the ending of the transfer embargo that has frustrated Wise's rebuilding plans since United were relegated to League One.
However, the Yorkshire Post understands that Leeds, due to legal reasons that state it must take a further 28 days for the CVA (company voluntary agreement) to be formalised, will instead have to wait until the League's subsequent board meeting on July 12 before their share can be returned.
It will be a blow to Wise who had hoped to be able to announce a couple of signings as early as next week. The United squad are due to return for pre-season training on July 2.
Despite the setback, chairman Bates was last night in bullish mood after winning back control by polling more than the required 75 per cent of votes to beat off the challenge of rival bidders.
He told the Yorkshire Post: "It is time to move on and look forward. Dennis rang me in the morning and said he just wants to get on with it.
"He wants to rebuild the team as soon as possible. We are getting the club back. The message has to be 'get behind us'. The important thing is we now start moving forward.
"It has been a very difficult time for everyone, but the staff have been fantastic. I know they will be relieved at the result because it means they still have a job.
"We are now looking forward. Season ticket renewal forms went out over the weekend and already they are pouring in. We also have something like 2,000 new season ticket holders on a waiting list."
United may not be able to unveil any signings until next month, but Wise is understood to have been in contact with a number of targets with regards possible moves to Elland Road.
As to who leaves the club this summer, seven out-of-contract players have been told they will not be offered new terms.
Matt Heath, Rui Marques and Tore Andre Flo are, however, expected to be offered new deals once the club exit administration and regain their League share.
It seems certain that David Healy, one of the four United players who refused to agree to a wage deferral last month, will be leaving after it was revealed that Sunderland have joined Fulham in the chase for the Northern Ireland striker.
The 28-year-old has just 12 months remaining on his Elland Road contract and is one of only a handful of players in Wise's squad able to command a decent sized fee.
The Football League declined to comment when asked to clarify when Leeds will be able to buy players once again, instead pointing to a statement released on their website yesterday.
It reads: "The Football League has noted the decision of creditors of Leeds United Football Club to approve a proposed CVA.
"For legal reasons, it will now take a further 28 days for the CVA to be formalised. During that period, the League can make no further comment.
"The League has also confirmed to the administrator the conditions that must be satisfied before the League board can consider transferring the club's share in the Football League to the new company."
Despite the delay on Wise's rebuilding, bookmakers are confident he can lead Leeds back to the Championship at the first attempt with Skybet offering only 20-1 on United kicking off the 2009-2010 season in the Premiership.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Yorkshire Post 4/6/07
Bates back in charge at Leeds
By Richard Sutcliffe and Rob Waugh
Ken Bates today regained control of Leeds after a recount of votes taken at last week's creditors' meeting confirmed his offer to buy back the club had been accepted by the slimmest of margins.
Leeds' administrators KPMG were forced to adjourn a stormy meeting on Friday after deciding a recount was required to decide the club's immediate future.

Some creditors argued Bates' offer to pay back money owed by Leeds was not the best on the table and claimed other parties interested in buying the club had not been given a fair chance.

Bates, who placed Leeds in administration with debts of £35million on May 4, required 75% of the vote to have his offer of 1p in the pound accepted by creditors and the original count on Friday showed he had 75.02%.

There were 27,178,255 votes in favour of Bates and 8,965,174 against giving him 75.20% of the vote.

The future of the Elland Road club had been left hanging in the balance over the weekend after the administrators ordered a recount of votes.

Mr Bates began Friday needing a 75 per cent majority to approve his purchase of the club which was placed into administration on May 4 with debts of about £35m.

He received 75.02 per cent of Friday's vote, but with the margin being so small the administrators ordered a recount.

Today, a statement from KPMG read: "Following the Leeds United creditors meetings that have taken place on Friday, June 1 and Monday, June 4, the administrators of Leeds United AFC can confirm the result of the vote on the company voluntary arrangement (CVA) proposal to sell the club to a newly-formed company, Leeds United Football Club Ltd.

"Creditors have approved the CVA proposal, which means, subject to Football League and Football Association approval, the business and assets, including players, of the club will transfer to Leeds United Football Club Ltd, the directors of which are Ken Bates, Shaun Harvey and Mark Taylor.

"The CVA proposal was approved by 75.20% of the creditors who voted, by value. It required 75% of the vote.

"The creditors will receive an initial dividend of 1p in the pound, with a substantial additional dividend to follow in the event that the club regains Premiership status within five seasons."

Richard Fleming, joint administrator and KPMG restructuring partner said: "I'm satisfied that in voting to accept this CVA proposal the creditors have approved a solution that allows the club to plan ahead for next season; reduces uncertainty for all those with an interest in Leeds United; provides some return for creditors and avoids liquidation.

"Leeds United Football Club Ltd must now seek approval from the Football League and can begin to rebuild for next season.

"The supervisors can also begin the process of agreeing creditors' claims for dividend purposes."

The club's Football League share, suspended on May 4, could be returned at the League's board meeting on Wednesday in Portugal, meaning the transfer embargo that has frustrated manager Dennis Wise's rebuilding plans since the end of last season would be lifted.

But any unhappy creditors have 28 days to challenge the outcome of the vote with the amount of claimed debt they have been allocated by the administrator potentially a central issue.

A successful challenge leading to an increase in a creditor's voting power could be significant given the closeness of the vote.

The key player could well be the taxman, with HM Revenue and Customs owed about £7m. If the Bates deal offering creditors just a penny for every pound owed goes ahead, the public purse would be short-changed by virtually the whole amount.

Former Leeds chairman Gerald Krasner, an insolvency practitioner, told the creditors' meeting that a legal challenge is likely.

However, he would not personally lead the challenge, which would involve significant legal costs, though would offer his backing if asked.

But Mr Bates last night told the Yorkshire Post: "They are talking about challenging the result in court. Mr Krasner was very careful to say it would not be him, but that other people may choose to do so.

"But on what grounds will they be appealing? You can't go to a court and say 'we don't like it because Bates won'.

"In any case, we will fight it. If they choose to go to the courts, we will issue a counter-writ for damages because they will be damaging Leeds United. They would be preventing the business from trading."

Last night property magnate Simon Morris, who is behind one of five
alternative bids for the club on the table, ruled out any legal challenge to the result.

Mr Bates said: "I have heard Mr Morris has been suggesting he would like to meet me and discuss the way forward. Well, he knows my number."

Mr Morris said: "Yes I will meet Ken Bates. Everyone knows we are solid bidders.

"We would like to talk to him about taking over his business at Leeds."

On Saturday it emerged Mr Morris would offer creditors up to 40p for every pound owed – 20p initially and 20p based on improved team performance.

But with the creditors' meeting concluded, bar the final vote, the offer can't be put at this stage.

It would only come into play if Mr Bates doesn't win on the recount or if there's a successful legal challenge.

Mr Bates said: "Mr Krasner is making a song and dance about having his votes cut down. But
some of the votes we wanted were cut down.

"Around 8.3 million votes were cast against and the Inland Revenue were responsible for 7.1 million of those. That means Krasner managed to get together just over 1 million. What is that saying about empty vessels making the most noise?"

Mr Krasner declined to comment last night.

Mr Bates added: "KPMG have been thoroughly professional throughout and with 75.02 per cent being such a small margin, they decided to have a recount to make sure.

"We are fairly confident. And once that is done, we can get on with other business.

"There are a number of people who have not made bids to the administrator who are simply waiting to invest in the club.

"We will be proceeding with those talks as soon as this is out of the way."

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Morris increases bid for Leeds
02/06/2007 - 4:08:05 PM
Property developer Simon Morris has increased his offer to creditors in a last-ditch attempt to thwart Ken Bates in the power struggle at Elland Road.
Morris has today offered the club's creditors a 40p-in-the-pound deal in a desperate late bid to stop Bates from regaining control of Leeds.
But although that compares favourably with Bates' offer of just 1p-in-the-pound, local property tycoon Morris is expected to be too late to win the creditors' support.
Morris, who has already tabled £10m (€14.7m) to buy Leeds out of administration, said: "If we are successful in our bid to buy Leeds United, there will be 20p-in-the-pound for the creditors immediately, and a further 20p-in-the-pound for them over a period of time."
Creditors voted by the slimmest of margins to accept Bates' offer to buy back the club at a stormy meeting yesterday, but it was so close administrators KPMG were forced to adjourn proceedings and call for a recount on Monday morning.
Some creditors argued Bates' offer to pay back money owed by Leeds was not the best on the table and claimed other parties interested in buying the club had not been given a fair chance.
Bates, who placed Leeds in administration with debts of £35m (€51.6m) on May 4, requires 75% of the vote to have his 1p-in-the-pound offer accepted by creditors and the original count showed he had 75.02%.
Morris added: "We believe creditors will see and understand the value in our offer."
But although the creditors' meeting on Friday was adjourned, the vote has already taken place and so Morris' offer cannot be put to the creditors.
A source told PA Sport: "Morris is too late. The only reason Bates' offer was not formally announced at Friday's meeting is because the administrators ordered a recount - but it's not a re-vote."
A creditor who wished to remain anonymous told PA Sport: "It would appear Morris has put the offer into the arena just to show what happened yesterday was a travesty, the whole thing was stage-managed."
Telegraph 2/6/07
Bates bid for Leeds pays off
By David Bond
Ken Bates yesterday won his bid to buy back Leeds United, but only by the narrowest of margins.
Following a stormy meeting at Elland Road, creditors owed £35million by the League One club agreed to support Bates's offer to repay one pence for every pound of the club's debt, by 75.02 per cent - just 0.02 above the figure needed to approve the deal.
The result was so tight, however, that administrators from KPMG have adjourned yesterday's meeting until Monday while they double check the vote. Major creditors such as the Inland Revenue, who are owed £6m, are also understood to be considering how they can challenge the result of the meeting.
But, according to sources, the recount is unlikely to alter the eventual outcome, leaving Bates and his financial backers free to start rebuilding the club with only a fraction of the debts they had just one month ago.
A spokeswoman for KPMG said: "The creditors' meeting has been adjourned without a decision being reached. KPMG wish to recount the votes and the meeting will resume on June 4 at 10am when the final results will be provided."
Although the administrator Richard Fleming revealed on the eve of the meeting that five rival bidders had tabled alternative offers for the club, Bates always looked favourite to pull off the controversial deal.
But creditors expressed their anger at Bates' plan to effectively write off what they are owed.
Former Leeds chairman Gerald Krasner asked the administrator to accept a further £20million of debts which would have ensured opposition of more than 25 per cent. But KPMG refused to accept Krasner's claims.
Creditors had been warned by Fleming that failure to back Bates would place the club in danger of being liquidated as the Leeds chairman made it clear he would block any rival bid.
Bates and three offshore investment funds - Astor, Krato and Forward Sport - were the club's biggest creditors at the time it was placed in administration on May 4 with more than 45 per cent of the debt. That meant that even if Bates' plan was rejected, he and his backers had sufficient voting rights to leave the club in stalemate. Faced with such a fait accompli, the administrators and the majority of the creditors had no choice but to accept his offer.
Yesterday's result means the end of the road for property millionaire Simon Morris, who had proposed an alternative offer of £8million. It is believed two bids from consortiums in America and two from the UK were also vying with Bates and Morris for control of Leeds.
The Football League, who automatically docked Leeds 10 points after they went into administration confirming their relegation from the Championship, must still sign off after Monday's meeting.
But, while the Bates rescue deal is certain to attract criticism from fans, the League's approval is expected to be a formality leaving Bates clear to resume control of Leeds next season.


Daily mail 1/6/07
Leeds in limbo after Bates wins but faces a recount
By CHRIS WHEELER
A wedding party formed a bizarre backdrop for Ken Bates to renew his vows to Leeds United yesterday. But as the former Elland Road chairman edged closer to regaining control of the stricken club, it was clear the honeymoon period could be very short indeed.
Small creditors, who stand to be the principal losers if Bates is successful in buying back the club he put into administration with debts of £35million, narrowly failed to vote out his offer of one penny in the pound during two stormy meetings at Elland Road.
Many felt administrators KPMG failed to act in their best interests by agreeing to sell the club back to Bates so quickly.
Andrew Simister, of STL Harrogate, said: "The reaction of creditors was one of disbelief and frustration. There were offers to people like myself of at least 15p in the pound but the administrators only seemed interested in Ken Bates’ offer.
"It seems to have been masterminded from start to finish by Mr Bates." Bates was at the stadium but he did not attend the meeting.
Needing 75 per cent of the votes among 1,300 creditors, he polled 75.02 per cent — a margin so slight that a recount was ordered and another meeting called for Monday morning.
However, even if he is successful, he faces the threat of legal action which could drag on to leave the club in a state of limbo, unable to buy or sell players as they prepare for life in League One.
Ray Fell, chairman of the Leeds Supporters Club, said: "This is a big worry for all true Leeds fans. Where do we go from here? It seems to be a long runner.
"We are worried about the start of August and being ready for the first game. The voting was very close and the fans will be like myself, bewildered and concerned."
A representative for small creditor PKF added: "It was a shabby meeting. When a decision is made I don’t think that will be the end of the matter. I think it could well end up in the High Court."
Former Leeds chairman Gerald Krasner, who was at the meeting to represent smaller creditors free of charge in his role as a corporate insolvency expert, warned the matter could be taken further. He said: "They have disallowed substantial votes by creditors on both sides and there may well be challenges in court."