Sunday, July 29, 2007

Sunday Times 29/7/07
Bates faces up to flower power
The latest financial shenanigans at Leeds United leave many more questions than answers
Ben Laurance, Sunday Times, 29/7/07
OUTSIDE Leeds United’s Elland Road ground flowers have been stacked around the statue of club legend Billy Bremner as supporters plead for an end to the three months of turmoil that have engulfed Yorkshire’s once-great footballing power-house. Fans have set up a “Love Leeds, Hate Bates” website appealing to tycoon Ken Bates to stand down as chairman of the club “and sell your controlling interest immediately to a party with Leeds United and football at its heart”. And now Bates’s key business partner finds himself embroiled in a bizarre legal episode. It stems from Bates’s successful move to buy the club back from administrators after it went bust. But this dispute is being played out not in Leeds, but in a court hundreds of miles away in Jersey. And Mark Taylor, a solicitor and long-standing ally of Bates, has admitted that he claimed to be on the board of Leeds long after he quit as a director. The company that ran the club, Leeds United Association Football Club Ltd (LUAFC), was put into administration on May 4. Bates and Taylor had both been directors, then resigned as soon as administrators from KPMG took control. But in an affidavit almost two months later, on July 3, Taylor said he was still on the board. The sworn statement said quite explicitly: “I am a director of Leeds United Association Football Club Limited.” The affidavit was filed in a Jersey court as part of a case involving a dispute over money that Leeds said it was owed. Companies House records confirm that Taylor had resigned almost two months earlier. And on July 19, two weeks after Taylor signed his affidavit, KPMG confirmed in writing that neither Taylor nor Bates had been reinstated. This weekend, Taylor said: “It was simply a mistake.” He admitted that his claim that he remained a director of LUAFC was false, but that he had forgotten that he had signed the papers quitting the LUAFC board. It was one of dozens of documents he signed when Leeds went into administration in May, he added. Taylor said he had written to the judge in the Jersey case last week to apologise for the error. The Jersey case involves LUAFC and Admatch, a company that handled payments for season tickets at Leeds. Before Leeds went bust LUAFC launched a claim against Admatch, saying that money that ought to have been handed over to the club was being wrongly withheld. Admatch disputes the claim. It says that it was entitled to hold back money under the terms of an “offset agreement” because Leeds owed a related company in Britain about £2m. When Leeds went into administration in May, KPMG struck what is known as a “hive-down” agreement. Under that deal, LUAFC’s assets, including the rights to the legal claim against Admatch, were sold to a new company, Leeds 2007, where Bates and Taylor were, and remain, directors. Taylor’s affidavit was in support of an application to the Royal Court of Jersey asking for Leeds 2007 to be added to the claim as a plaintiff alongside LUAFC. The disclosure that Taylor has made a false claim about his status as an LUAFC director will be pounced on by antiBates campaigners. They have complained about the conduct of Bates and Taylor and the way in which KPMG handled the administration of Leeds and the club’s eventual sale. The hive-down agreement under which KPMG sold LUAFC’s assets to Leeds 2007 has not been made public. But some details have begun to emerge. Leeds 2007 paid an initial £500,000 for the club’s assets. Of the total, £330,000 was for so-called “football assets” � Leeds’s right to play in league competitions, players’ contracts and money from selling players. The remainder covered physical assets, leases on Elland Road and the club’s training ground � plus the right to benefit from any legal claims by the old LUAFC that were already under way. KPMG has come under intense pressure to give details about the sale of Leeds back to Bates and his supporters. An initial attempt to construct a deal with the veteran football tycoon was torpedoed by a legal challenge from Revenue & Customs. KPMG then hastily put Leeds up for auction earlier this month. Bates succeeded in buying back the club on July 10. Now dissident creditors are pressing KPMG to say exactly when Bates submitted his winning bid for the club and whether he put in an initial bid and then revised it. KPMG is also being asked what proof it received to show that Bates had the available funds. KPMG wrote to creditors this weekend explaining the sale to Bates. The KPMG letter showed that four groups bid for Leeds � and one was prepared to pay £1.7m more than Bates. But Leeds’s biggest creditor, a shadowy offshore trust called Astor, said that as long as the Bates offer was victorious, it would not press for its money to be repaid. However, if any other bid succeeded, Astor would demand its share of any payout. This meant that the likely payment to other creditors � 11.2p in the pound under the Bates bid � was marginally higher than the payout other creditors would have received had the other bid been accepted. The Football League has been upset at the way the Leeds administration and subsequent sale has been handled. It is understood that Lord Brian Mawhinney, chairman of the league, has met KPMG representatives within the past week. KPMG will say only that there has been contact “at the highest level”.

Growing sense of disquiet
By Rod Liddle, Sunday Times, 29/7/07
The Football League is at last showing signs of having had enough. Brian Mawhinney, the Football League chairman, has handled the extraordinary saga of Leeds United with a rather welcome scepticism and at times outright disbelief. The implication is that things have gone far enough, thank you. Next week Lord Mawhinney will meet the former administrators KPMG and the “new” owners, to find a way forward. It is still not certain that Leeds will be allowed to start the season, let alone spend even more of what is, properly, taxpayers’ money on another cache of expensive, useless players. So many questions about Ken Bates’s stewardship remain that it should properly take Mawhinney the entire season to sort it all out. For example, Leeds owe £17.7m to three mysterious offshore companies; it would be interesting to find out precisely what the club procured for this sum of money. Or more simply still: why did KPMG allow Bates to buy back the club, having offered creditors the derisory one penny in the pound? Mawhinney must decide whether or not Leeds United constitute an exception to the rule that clubs in administration must have a company voluntary agreement to continue in business; I can’t see why they should be an exceptional case, hard though that may seem on their long-suffering and loyal fans. There are a lot of long-suffering and loyal fans around, appalled by the state of the game, and it is unlikely that the coming season will do much to alleviate their sense of disquiet. Sooner or later the likes of Mawhinney will have to make a hard and perhaps cruel decision to let everyone know: this sort of stuff cannot go on.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Guardian 28/7/07
Bates won back Leeds without making biggest bid
Matt Scott
Saturday July 28, 2007
The Guardian
Ken Bates won control of Leeds United despite KPMG being presented with bigger cash offers, documents released by the administrator showed yesterday. The bid on behalf of Bates's Leeds United 2007, the company demanding the transfer of the Football League share which would endorse its takeover, was for an unconditional £1.8m. A tender from Redbus Group and Simon Morris offered almost double that sum - £3.501m.
What apparently swung the process in Bates's favour was that Astor Investment Holdings, an offshore company, stated its willingness to waive the £17.6m it was owed. Had any of the three rival bids won, Astor would have stood firm on the £17.6m. This meant the £3.5m offered by Redbus-Morris would have been spread much thinner, across £30.25m as against the £12.6m being demanded of Bates. "The key factor is the Astor waiver of the debt for one of the bidders, which at the least is unusual," said Dean Dorrell, the chief executive of Redbus. "Coming across insolvencies as often as we do, it's unusual for an unconnected party to make that offer to a bidder. The whole process was extremely unsatisfactory."
KPMG stated in an open letter responding to questions posed of it that it had been appointed as administrator by the solicitor for Astor, Mark Taylor, who is also a director of Leeds United 2007.
Redbus believes, though, that despite the waiver offered by Astor, theirs was ultimately the biggest offer KPMG received for Leeds. In its documents the administrator did not account for an additional £8m that would have been paid by Redbus-Morris in the event of the transfer of the "golden share" from the Football League which would allow the newly owned Leeds United to kick off the new season. KPMG justified this by saying that "the additional £8m was to be used to settle 'football creditors'." It added: "It is a condition of the league that such football creditors are paid in full in the event of agreement to transfer the football share. Therefore, all the offers must satisfy this requirement and make such funds available. Accordingly, even if the above offer had been capable of acceptance, it would not have changed the administrators' decision to sell to [Bates]." However, Dorrell claimed last night that there had been no such provisos set on the £8m payment. "The only condition we put down on our £11.501m bid was that £8m of it would be paid upon transfer of the Football League and [Football] Association shares," he said. "There was no condition whatever of where that £8m would be paid: to the Football League, football creditors or other such." The administration has cost £885,000 in professional and legal fees, although KPMG refused to disclose how much of this it received.

Leedsunited.com 27/7/07
LEAGUE STATEMENT
A statement from the Football League...
LEAGUE BOARD RE-CONVENES TO DISCUSS LEEDS SITUATION
The Board of The Football League met today to consider the current situation regarding Leeds United.
At the meeting, the Board were informed by their legal representatives that the club's administrator, KPMG, had delivered on Wednesday the final documentation requested by The League. The Board therefore convened at the earliest opportunity.
The Board considered all the information submitted and authorised the Chairman to invite senior representatives of Leeds United 2007 Ltd. and KPMG to a meeting early next week with a view to seeking to make progress.
Leeds United: the unanswered questions

With Leeds fans and players still in limbo, David Conn and Matt Scott pose 20 questions about the troubled club.
The Guardian
July 27, 2007 12:43 AM

The Football League said yesterday it has received further details from the administrator, KPMG, about the sale of Leeds United to a new company, Leeds United 2007 Ltd, owned by the Cayman Islands-registered Forward Sports Fund and chaired by Ken Bates.

The League has so far refused to sign over its "golden share" of membership to this new company, which was not bought via a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) agreement of creditors. In all, 41 other Football League clubs have collapsed into insolvency since the Premier League was formed in 1992, and in every previous case, the League has insisted on a CVA being agreed as a condition of transferring its golden share to the new owners.

Ken Bates is now asking the League to treat his company as an exception. Leeds United is at an impasse, with KPMG having sold the assets to the new company, but the League insisting that the players' registrations are still held by the old company until the golden share is transferred
to a new owner. As doubts still hang over the club's future, David Conn and Matt Scott pose 20 significant questions about the ownership and running of Leeds, KPMG's handling of the administration, and what happens now.

1 Why did Leeds collapse into insolvency and administration in the first place, with debts of £35.5m, given that Ken Bates, and his solicitor and fellow Leeds United director Mark Taylor, had said during 2006-07 that the club would be in a dramatically better financial position once the season was over and the contracts of high-earning players would come to an end?

2 How did Leeds come to owe £17.7m to three offshore companies, Astor Investment Holdings (registered in the British Virgin Islands), Krato Trust (Nevis Island, the West Indies), and the owner of the club, Forward Sports Fund (the Cayman Islands), and how did the club spend that money?

3 Why was KPMG in such a hurry to sell Leeds United immediately back to the new company, which is also owned by the Forward Sports Fund and chaired by Bates, for 1p in the pound, when the administrators of other clubs have spent months running clubs and publicly seeking the best possible deal for creditors?

4 Who are the owners or beneficiaries of the Forward Sports Fund, Astor Investment Holdings and Krato Trust, and why have they chosen to register their companies in offshore tax havens where they are not legally required to declare their identity?

5 If Leeds United's owners are the anonymous people behind the Forward Sports Fund, how can the Football League be satisfied they pass its "fit and proper person test"?

6 Why have Astor and Krato agreed to waive any repayment of their huge debts so long as the club was re-sold to Forward and Bates, arguing, according to Taylor, that they had faith in the management of the club?

7 Leeds United's 2006 accounts stated that Astor did have "an interest" in the Forward Sports Fund, then at the creditors meeting on June 1, Taylor stated that the interest had been severed last December. How was this done, why, and what evidence was given of it to KPMG?

8 Why was the previous connection between Astor and Forward not mentioned in KPMG's first report to creditors, nor any explanation given of how the connection had been severed?

9 The 2006 accounts also stated that Patrick Murrin, the former Guernsey accountant, Chelsea director and representative of the large, anonymous offshore shareholding in Chelsea during Bates' time in charge, had "an interest" in the Forward Sports Fund. What is Murrin's interest in Forward?

10 The 2006 accounts stated that a company of which Murrin is a shareholder, Rivoli Limited, also registered in Nevis Island, had been paid £186,000 in "consultancy costs" during the year. What consultancy services did Murrin, and Rivoli Ltd, provide to Leeds United Football Club during 2005-06?

11 Why did KPMG allow Forward's and Bates' new company to receive the money for Leeds United season tickets - the company agreeing to refund the money if the club went bust - even though the company has not, still, been granted Football League membership, in apparent contravention of FA rules?

12 How has the money, around £4m, received from the 10,000 season tickets which the club say they have sold to their long-suffering fans, been used?

13 KPMG says it did "extensive work" to verify the claims of money owed to Leeds United creditors, while HM Revenue and Customs challenged the CVA, which narrowly approved the first sale, on the grounds of "material irregularities", arguing partly with the levels of debt claimed. So how much investigation did KPMG carry out into the club's debts?

14 Why did the club owe their own company Yorkshire Radio, of which Bates and Taylor are also directors, £480,000, and why was this debt first revealed only in the final voting at the creditors meeting, not in the initial statement of debts issued by KPMG?

15 When KPMG responded to HMRC's legal challenge to the CVA by announcing it was selling the club again, this time without going through a CVA, why did it give bidders less than three working days to make their offers, and no access to detailed financial information?

16 On what basis did Bates and Forward win the bid for the club the second time, and how did their offer beat those of other bidders, and why did KPMG agree to sell the club without being satisfied that the League would grant this company the "golden share" membership of the League?

17 Why has Forward's and Bates' new company not paid the players for the month of June?

18 What did KPMG actually sell to Forward's and Bates' new company if, as the League insists, players' registrations remain with the old company until any new company is awarded the "golden share"?

19 Why have Bates and Taylor apparently not yet obtained the permission of a court to act as directors of the new Leeds United Football Club Ltd, as required by s216 of the Insolvency Act, because both were directors of a company with the same name, which went into liquidation last year?

20 Why should the Football League make an exception for Leeds and grant Forward's and Bates' new company its "golden share" of membership despite the purchase not having been done via a CVA, given that the League has insisted on the CVA process for all 41 of its other clubs which have fallen into insolvency since 1992?

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Guardian 20/7/07
Leeds players hoping for resolution to pay crisis
LONDON, July 20 (Reuters) - Leeds United's players said on Friday they hoped to be paid overdue wages by the time they return to England from a pre-season training camp in Germany.
The players of the debt-ridden club have not received salary payments for June and a report in the Guardian newspaper on Friday said they would be free to break their contracts if the money did not arrive by a set date, which was not far off.
"We're hoping the club, PFA (Professional Footballers' Association) and the Football League can resolve the situation," the players said in a statement on the club Web site (www.lufc.co.uk).
"We're hoping the situation can be resolved by the time we return next week."
Leeds responded by issuing a separate statement on the Web site saying that the deferral was in accordance with agreements with the club's administrators.
"June's wages are due to be paid when the Football League/Football Association return the shares," the club said.
Leeds need their Football Share to play in the third division next season but the Football League declined the new owners' request to have their share returned on July 12.
Club chairman Ken Bates had won his battle to regain control of Leeds 24 hours previously when his group of investors bought the club back from administrators KPMG.
However, the League refused to transfer the Leeds share to the new regime after KPMG failed to attend a meeting, leaving the authorities seeking various documents and assurances from the administrators.
A Football League spokesman told Reuters on Friday there had been "no further update" on the matter since last week.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

New pages uploaded at mightyleeds.co.uk


Seasons – 2006/07 – The stuff of nightmares/Into the abyss

United slump into one of the worst seasons in their history and Ken Bates sacks Kevin Blackwell as United are relegated to the third tier and go into administration


Read the full story at

http://www.mightyleeds.co.uk/seasons/200607part1.htm
http://www.mightyleeds.co.uk/seasons/200607part2.htm
http://www.mightyleeds.co.uk/seasons/200607fix.htm
Yorkshire Post 14/7/07
Healy's exit signals mass exodus at Leeds
By Ian Appleyard
KEN BATES opened the doors to the Leeds United summer sales last night – allowing striker David Healy to join Fulham and Robbie Blake to sign for Burnley.
The departure of Northern Ireland international Healy, for a fee in the region of £4m, and former Bradford City striker Blake, for £250,000, will soon be followed by the exit of striker Richard Cresswell, a £2m target for his former club Sheffield Wednesday, and youngster Danny Rose to Tottenham Hotspur. Scunthorpe United will also look to sign striker Jermaine Beckford.Former captain Kevin Nicholls, who was frozen out last season by manager Dennis Wise, has already gone to Preston North End.Transfers out of Elland Road have been alarmingly slow during the saga surrounding ownership of the club.Yet as soon as administrators KPMG approved Bates's controversial buy back deal on Wednesday, any such block appeared to be lifted and now money from sales is now going directly into the club's coffers again.The departures of Healy, Blake, Cresswell, Rose, Beckford and Nicholls could inject over £8m into the club's empty purse, but that will still make no difference to the amounts that creditors receive under the terms of Bates's rescue package.Bates has yet to disclose the full extent of his offer, which is still being challenged in the High Court by the Inland Revenue, but it is believed to be 13p in the pound.It is also understood that the Football League will not approve the return of the club's share in their competition until the club has resolved their legal battle with the taxman, due next in court on September 3.However, as reported yesterday, there will be no block on Leeds starting the new season in administration or signing new players if they fall below the required minimum of 20 professionals on the books.Prior to yesterday's transfer activity, Leeds had only 17 professionals registered for next
season.Manager Wise, however, is looking to offer new deals to Tore Andre Flo, Matt Heath, Alan Thompson, and Rui Marques who all played last season but are currently out of contract.They were all named in the squad for last night's friendly at York City along with trialists Curtis Weston, David Prutton and Leon Constantine.Healy has signed a four-year deal with Fulham and will be reunited with his former international manager Lawrie Sanchez."Obviously I know Lawrie well and through his time as manager of Northern Ireland he has given me a lot of support, so I'm really looking forward to playing under him in the Premiership," said Healy. "It was a disappointing end to my time at Leeds with the club being relegated and I wish them well for the future."Healy, who originally cost £750,000 from Preston North End in October 2004, scored 31 goals in 121 appearances for Leeds.

Mirror 14/7/07
ROSE TO BLOOM IN SPURS SWITCH
By Alan Nixon 14/07/2007
TALENT-SPOTTING Tottenham are signing Leeds whiz-kid Danny Rose in a shock £1million deal - to give Ken Bates a surprise financial boost.
Rose, just turned 17, is ready to sign for Spurs this weekend after telling Leeds he is quitting his scholarship and leaving to settle a fee with the Premiership club.
Tottenham expect to beat Chelsea, Newcastle and Liverpool to sign the star of England's youth sides in the next 48 hours.
Highly-rated Rose is the latest top Leeds discovery to head out during their years of financial despair - and his move comes a year after he snubbed a controversial switch to Chelsea.
The Doncaster-born starlet was happy to stay at Leeds while youth side teammates Matthew Woods and Tommy Taiwo headed for Stamford Bridge where they were later valued at a combined £5m. The teenager felt he would get lost in Jose Mourinho's huge squad and he is still reluctant to join the Blues despite their renewed interest.
Tottenham hope their good relationship with Leeds will help to smooth the deal through.
Chairman Daniel Levy has already exploited the Yorkshire club's recent troubles to buy Aaron Lennon, Paul Robinson and Robbie Keane.
Now Rose will join that Leeds old boy reunion at White Hart Lane and is tipped to be involved in the first-team squad straight away because of his precocious talent.
Rose can play wide or in attack, with his energy and enthusiasm making up for his size.
He made his debut for Leeds in the League Cup last season and was a regular in the reserves.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Leedsunited.com 13/7/07
ROBBIE DEPARTS
Robbie Blake has joined Burnley in a deal worth up to £600,000.
The striker returns to Turf Moor, where he previously scored 51 goals in 137 appearances between 2002 and 2005 and was a firm crowd favourite.
Rob joined United from Birmingham City in the summer of 2005 and scored 20 goals in 87 appearances.
The 31-year-old was the club's second leading goalscorer last term with nine to his name.
Rob's final act in a United shirt was to score the opening goal in last weekend's 2-0 friendly victory against Shelbourne in Dublin.

BBC 13/7/07
Striker Healy agrees Fulham move
Northern Ireland striker David Healy has signed for Fulham from Leeds United in a £1.5million transfer deal.
The former Manchester United and Preston player is the fourth NI star to team up again with former international boss Lawrie Sanchez.
Aaron Hughes, Steven Davis and Chris Baird have all moved to Craven Cottage during the close season.
Healy, Northern Ireland's record goalscorer, has agreed a four-year deal with the London club.
"David has showcased his striking pedigree at the highest level with Northern Ireland in recent years, and I have every confidence that he will produce the same form for Fulham," said manager Sanchez.
The 27-year-old striker has scored of 29 goals in 59 appearances for his country.
"Obviously I know Lawrie Sanchez well and through his time as manager of Northern Ireland he has given me a lot of support, so I am really looking forward to playing under him in the Premier League," said Healy.

Yorkshire Post 13/7/07
Leeds's League share is held back
By Ian Appleyard
LEEDS UNITED was still officially a club in limbo last night after the Football League requested more paperwork from chairman Ken Bates.
But the delay was more of an irritation than a major stumbling block to Bates whose lawyers quickly dispatched the required documents.
In essence, there is no longer a threat to Leeds kicking off the new season, the Football Association are happy for Leeds to play in pre-season friendlies, and manager Dennis Wise will be allowed to sign new players, subject to approval.
Bates regained control of Leeds from administrators KPMG on Wednesday and the League's board of directors were expected to rubberstamp the club's exit from administration yesterday.
But, as KPMG had ended their involvement in the case, they failed to attend the League meeting. For whatever reason, vital questions asked by the League board went unanswered.
The League, who continue to regard Leeds as a club 'in administration' until they choose to return their share, wanted further assurances over the sale and also expressed concern at the "handling of the whole process" by KPMG.
However, in a statement, the League stressed that clubs have always been allowed to start a new season in administration – both Barnsley and Bradford City doing so in recent years – and also pointed out that clubs in administration are entitled to sign players if they have less than 20 professionals on the books.
As Leeds currently have only 17 players on full-time contracts there is nothing to stop manager Wise signing three new players as soon as possible.
An FA source, meanwhile, confirmed that there would be no objection to Leeds playing friendlies as long as they have enough registered players – which means tonight's game against York City at Bootham Crescent should go ahead as planned.
After the trials and tribulations of the last few months, it should have been no surprise that Bates's buy-back deal would encounter a few last-minute hitches.
Last night, the club issued a statement, saying: "Leeds United have received confirmation that the documentation outstanding from the administrators (KPMG), in relation to the Football League board meeting on Thursday, has now been forwarded to them for their consideration."
The club, as well as KPMG, have been asked to provide additional information, the last of these requests was received at 10am on Thursday morning. These have been answered in full to support our application for the transfer of the share. The club remain confident that any further questions that the League may have in this regard will be answered in full by return."
Keen to bring the situation to a speedy resolution, the statement put fresh pressure on the League board, by saying: "The club are concerned that any issues the League board may have with the conduct of the administration process by KPMG should not affect the decision-making process as to the return of our share in the League and are seeking assurances from them on this point.
"While the League confirmed a club can start the season in administration, the reality is that KPMG have not got the funding to give the League the assurances required to allow the club to start the season, so while it is allowed in the regulations, it is practically unachievable. The only way, therefore, for the club to start the season is for the share to be transferred."
Legally, Bates's new company – Leeds United 2007 Ltd – is not in administration and owns all the football club's assets other than the share in the Football League.
But, as the League have pointed out, clubs are allowed to play without a share in the competition for a maximum period of 18 months.
KPMG opted to sell Leeds back to Bates for an undisclosed sum in preference to other interested parties without the need for a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA).
Local property developer Simon Morris and London-based finance firm Redbus Group, headed by Simon Franks, expressed their surprise that Bates's latest offer for the club was accepted by the administrators ahead of their bids.
In early May, Bates placed the club in administration with debts of around £35m, of which £7.7m was owed to the Inland Revenue.
KPMG agreed to sell the club immediately to a newly-formed company headed by Bates and under the terms of his initial 1p-in-the-pound buy-back deal the Inland Revenue were set to receive just £77,000.
Bates increased his offer to 8p in the pound, but his last-ditch offer to head off the Inland Revenue's legal challenge proved in vain.
The High Court postponed a decision on the Inland Revenue's appeal until September 3.
With the new season fast approaching, this prompted KPMG to scrap Bates's CVA proposal and put the club back on the market – prior to announcing Bates had regained control two days ago.
Last night, defending their absence from the League's board meeting, a KPMG spokesman said: "The Football League cancelled its board meeting, due for Thursday, earlier in the week, they then re-instated it – but as we had already sold the club unconditionally we informed them that we would not be attending.
"The club has been sold unconditionally. In any event, KPMG has not been requested to provide any documentation in relation to the sale completed yesterday. We have no issues whatsoever in how we have handled this case."

The Football League statement in full
At its meeting in London today, the Board of The Football League considered the reported sale of Leeds United by its administrators, KPMG.
To date, no documentation regarding the sale has been submitted to The League by the administrators. Notwithstanding this, the Board was asked by the reported purchasers to consider an application to transfer Leeds United's share in The Football League to them.
The Board was unable to consent to this request this morning. Instead it has requested, from the administrators, certain required documentation and assurances regarding the sale of the club. The Board also requires certainty on the current legal proceedings surrounding the administration. The Board had been expecting the administrators to attend today's meeting, as KPMG originally requested. However, The League was informed late yesterday afternoon that they would not be attending, with no explanation provided.
Additionally, the Board expressed concern at the handling of the whole process by the administrators and the Chairman was instructed to obtain legal advice in that regard.
Clearly any further delays in this process will be frustrating for Leeds supporters. However, like the club's fans, the Board recognises the pressing need for certainty regarding the future of League football in Leeds and has agreed to convene at the earliest opportunity to re-consider the share transfer, once it has been provided with all the relevant information.
Also, for the avoidance of doubt, The League would like to make it clear that there is nothing in its regulations to prevent a club beginning a new playing season whilst in administration.

What United fans are anxious to know . . .
Q: Will Leeds United now be able to kick off the new season?
A: YES. The Football League allows clubs to play in administration for a maximum of 18 months – even
without the transfer of the so-called 'golden share.'
Q: Is manager Dennis Wise now able to sign new players?
A: YES. Although the club remains the subject of a transfer embargo, League rules still entitle any club with less than 20 professionals to bring new players in, albeit on a case-by-case basis and subject to League approval. At the last count, Wise had 17 players at his disposal.
Q: Do Leeds have permission to play in pre-season friendlies, including tonight's trip to York City?
A: YES. The Football Association, who sanction friendlies, will allow Leeds to play as long as they are not breaching any of the game's rules and have enough registered players.
Q: How much has Ken Bates agreed to pay to the creditors?
A: No one knows just yet. It is believed to be more than his last offer of 8p in the pound, but will be revealed in a report to creditors at a later date.

Daily Mail 12/7/07
Leeds given all-clear for pre-season friendly
Leeds United will be cleared to start the new League One season, despite the Football League playing hardball over Ken Bates' controversial deal to buy back the club.
League chiefs, chaired by Lord Mawhinney, refused to hand Bates the golden share yesterday until they had sight of missing documents crucial to Leeds' future.
Leeds could even be allowed to operate for 18 months without getting their share back. But the transfer embargo imposed when Bates took the club into administration would stay. They could sell but not sign players.
The club were last night rushing paperwork to the League, who want to resolve a planned High Court challenge to administration by the Inland Revenue, who were owed £7.7m.
The Football Association have given Leeds the all-clear to play York in a pre-season friendly at KitKat Crescent tonight after being given certain assurances.
An FA spokesman told PA Sport: "We have informed the club we are happy for the game to go ahead as long as it's being played by the old club - Leeds United in administration.
"As long as players and trialists are registered to the old entity we have no objections and Leeds have assured us this is the case."
Meanwhile, Leeds United 2007 Ltd remain confident the Football League will hand back their share sooner rather than later.
A Leeds statement read: "Leeds United (the club) have received confirmation that the documentation outstanding from the administrators (KPMG), in relation to the Football League board meeting on Thursday, has now been forwarded to them for their consideration.
"The club are concerned that any issues the League board may have with the conduct of the administration process by KPMG should not affect the decision-making process as to the return of our share in the League and are seeking assurances from them on this point.
"The club, as well as KPMG, have been asked to provide additional information, the last of these requests was received at 10am on Thursday morning.
"These have been answered in full to support our application for the transfer of the share. "The club remain confident that any further questions that the League may have in this regard will be answered in full by return."

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Guardian 11/7/07
Bates buys back Leeds
Inland Revenue had challenged Bates's right to regain control of club
Ken Bates's cunning and deeply unpopular plan to regain control of Leeds United came together today when administrators KPMG approved the sale of the club to a consortium headed by him.
Other bidders had been in the running to buy the troubled League One side but KPMG decided that Bates' unconditional offer "represents the best result for creditors".
Bates first bought Leeds in January 2005 but as soon as the team slipped to the brink of relegation last May he put the club into administration, incurring a 10-point penalty but, more importantly, effectively writing off debts of over £30m. Then he formed a new company named Leeds United Football Club Limited and immediately mounted a bid to buy the club back.
Bates originally proposed paying creditors a paltry one penny for every one pound owed; an increased offer of eight pence per pound was then narrowly accepted by creditors in a vote last month. However, Inland Revenue, who were owed around £7m by the club, launched a legal challenge to Bates's takeover, prompting administrators KPMG to put the club back up for sale last Friday.
Today, after much deliberation, the administrators finally agreed to sell to Bates for an undisclosed sum. "We received several offers for the business which we considered carefully," said joint administrator Richard Fleming. "The approved deal represents the best result for creditors in the circumstances and we believe provides the club with the best chance of survival."
The winning bid will not be disclosed until the creditors' report is published in several months.
"We understand this has been a difficult time for all those concerned about the future of Leeds United. This deal is a necessary step if the club is to have a chance of playing in League One in the 2007/08 season."
Unsuccesful bidder Simon Franks, who had teamed up with property developer Simon Morris, admitted he was "gobsmacked" to miss out.
"Obviously I'm very disappointed," he said. "It's been a torturous process and we put together what we thought was a very brave bid. I'm gobsmacked that we appear to have not won the club.
"We have to remember that in the last bidding, almost a month ago now, that our bid was significantly more than Mr Bates'. I think we provided proof of funds of £10million against his £350,000 - and we still lost by the vagaries of the process that we're in." "I cannot believe that anybody outbid us but, in administration, the process is very vague and obviously we're looking forward to seeing the documentation to what we lost to. I dare say that many people will cry foul, but I don't want to do that until I've seen what has gone on."
Bates, meanwhile, said he was pleased to regain control of the club despite being "disappointed that this has dragged on for so long".
"We're in a good position and we have serious investors who want to come in with us for the right reasons - not the wrong reasons," said Bates. "Now we'll continue building the team, which is looking pretty good at the moment, albeit in very slimmed-down form".

Sky 11/7/07
Franks admits Leeds defeat
By James Pearson
Redbus chairman Simon Franks has admitted defeat in his attempts to buy Leeds United.
Franks teamed up with property developer Simon Morris for the second round of bidding for The Whites only to lose out to Ken Bates' consortium.
Entrepreneur Franks has conceded fighting for Leeds further could harm the club's immediate future and believes the end of the road may have come for his consortium.
"Obviously I'm very disappointed," he told Sky Sports News. "It's been a torturous process and we've put together what we thought was a very brave bid.
"I'm gob smacked that we've not appeared to have won the club.
"In the last round of bidding our bid was worth significantly more than Mr Bates.
"I think we proved proof of funds of £10million against his £350,000 yet we still lost.
"I can't believe anyone outbid us. We were confident we were the best bid.
"It may be time for us to pack up and move on. We're a turnaround business and we can't spend forever fighting for Leeds.
"I think this may be as far as the road goes for Redbus."

Daily Mail 11/7/07
Bates wins control but Leeds' future remains in doubt
Ken Bates has insisted that Leeds have been given "a clean start" after his consortium bought the troubled League One club - but doubts remain over the club's Football League future.
The Elland Road club were put up for sale on Friday by administrators KPMG after the Inland Revenue launched a legal challenge to Bates' original plans to buy back the club from administration.
And former Chelsea chairman Bates is looking forward to taking the club forward as they prepare for their first ever season outside of the top two divisions after KPMG agreed to sell United to Bates today.
He claimed on Sky Sports News: "It's a sense of achievement and a challenge.
"Leeds were in a mess when we took over - the Peter Ridsdale era and the last board were incompetent.
"But now we've got a clean start and a clean sheet of paper.
"It's a big club - it's not at the moment but it will be - and we can take it forward.
"And part of the reason why we're going to succeed is because these Leeds fans are absolutely magnificent.
"99% of the letters and e-mails are supporting us and that's not bad. That's as good as Saddam Hussein did and he was fiddling the figures."
Bates admitted the chaos surrounding the club's future had prevented manager Dennis Wise signing players as he prepares for an assault on League One.
Wise's side have been prevented from signing players due to the terms of the club's administration and Bates believes potential targets have signed for rival clubs as a result.
He explained: "Dennis had a shopping list and one of the results of the delay - so thank you everyone who has given us grief - is that a number of players Dennis had lined up have now signed for other clubs because they didn't have a job.
"They had mortgages to pay but they joined other clubs even though they wanted to come to Leeds.
"But there are still plenty there and we're satisfied and confident that we'll build a strong enough team to be at the top of the league rather than mid-table."
Bates refused to put a timescale on returning to the Premier League while Football League chiefs prepared for a meeting to decide whether they will even be allowed to kick-off against Tranmere on August 11.
Bates said: "You can't have plans in football.
"I remember someone at Chelsea saying that we couldn't go up because we weren't ready for it.
"You go up when you can - not when you want to. Our plan is to win every match next season, which we won't - but that's the target.
"Get into the Championship and then the target is to win every game in the Championship, which we won't, and hopefully we'll get back into the Premiership sooner rather than later."
However the Football League had warned KPMG that they would not allow Leeds to start life in League One if they were sold without a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) in place - and that uncertainty hangs over Elland Road.
Football League spokesman John Nagle tonight told PA Sport: "The Football League meet tomorrow and will discuss all matters relating to Leeds United's administration."

Sunday, July 08, 2007

BBC 8/7/07
Pearson set to make Leeds offer
Former Hull City chairman Adam Pearson is set to make a bid for Leeds United, BBC Sport understands.
Leeds's administrators put the club up for sale on Friday and chairman Ken Bates has vowed to take legal action if the club is sold to a rival bidder.
Ex-Leeds chairman Gerald Krasner told BBC Five Live the interested parties he is aware of are "domestic based but the money may well come from abroad".
Potential buyers have until 1700 BST on Monday to submit an offer for the club.
Bates confirmed he has re-submitted his offer for the club after a legal challenge was made by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) over his original takeover plans.
The 75-year-old told Yorkshire Radio: "Our bid is the original deal that was done in the meeting of creditors when we placed the Company Voluntary Agreement (CVA) on June 1.
"We have amended it twice to try to meet the Inland Revenue's objections and now we've withdrawn the conditionality of it, so it's now unconditional.
"We believe in fact our offer is valid. Therefore it should be the only one to be accepted."
Pearson left his position at Hull in June after selling the club to a consortium fronted by Paul Duffen for £10m.
The former Leeds commercial director insisted in the same month that he was not considering making a move to buy the club and said: "To be honest, I think we can put this to bed.
"But, as for the long term, I certainly wouldn't rule out going into another club. It's an industry I really enjoy."
But he is now expected to make a formal approach along with Internet guru Peter Wilkinson.
Krasner added: I have been speaking to a number of people over the past few months.
"One of the conversations was about two of the consortiums joining together to make one super offer. I think if they were to team up they would stand a good chance of getting the club."
Those who have previously declared an interest in buying the club include Duncan Revie, son of former Leeds manager Don, and property entrepreneur Simon Morris.
Earlier this week, businessman Simon Franks said he was ready to buy Leeds United, through his Redbus investment vehicle.
Leeds have debts of £35m, including the money owed to HMRC in unpaid taxes.
Bates had proposed to take Leeds out of administration, repaying creditors eight pence in every pound that it owed.


Daily Mail 8/7/07
Bates legal threat if Leeds are sold to rival
Leeds chairman Ken Bates has vowed to take legal action if the club is sold to a rival bidder.
Leeds' administrators KPMG put the club up for sale on Friday night after Bates' buy-back deal was challenged in the High Court by the Inland Revenue.
KPMG have set a deadline of 5pm on Monday to receive offers for the club with two consortia, who have already lodged separate bids, believed to be holding talks about joining forces and mounting a 'super-bid'.
But Bates has warned he will not go out without a fight and confirmed he had re-submitted his offer for the club.
The 75-year-old told Yorkshire Radio: "Our bid is the original deal that was done in the meeting of creditors when we placed the Company Voluntary Agreement (CVA) on June 1.
"We have amended it twice to try and meet the Inland Revenue's objections and now we've withdrawn the conditionality of it, so it's now unconditional."
Bates insists the threat of bankruptcy still hangs over Elland Road and that administrators KPMG could be forced to close the club down if nobody steps forward to pay the day-to-day running costs.
And he claims rivals bidders, local property developer Simon Morris and London-based Redbus Group headed by Simon Franks, had made offers they could struggle to meet.
Bates said: "We believe in fact our offer is valid. Therefore it should be the only one to be accepted.
"So there's a problem and a possibility that if the administrator goes down another route then there could be further legal battles.
"After all, we haven't come all this way over the last two-and-half years, borrowed and spent all that money, got the club turned round, got rid of all the bad organisation that the previous regimes left in place to go out without a fight.
"We honestly believe we have the future of the club at heart and it can go forward under our stewardship."
The Inland Revenue are owed £7.7million by Leeds, who have total debts in excess of £35million.
Under the terms of Bates' initial 1p-in-the-pound buy-back deal the Inland Revenue were set to receive just £77,000.
Bates increased his offer to 8p in the pound, but his last-ditch offer to head off the Inland Revenue's legal challenge proved in vain.
On Friday the High Court postponed a decision on the Inland Revenue's appeal until September 3.
Bates added: "At the moment it's a very unhappy situation, it's unnecessary. At the moment we are precluded from signing players. We're just in limbo.
He added: "It must all be very worrying for the fans and it's very worrying for the staff. They're just ordinary people wondering if they've got a job or not.
"If it's not funded by someone the administrators will have to close the club down because they're not allowed to, if you like, trade and borrow money, so the answer would be bankruptcy."
Earlier today former Leeds chairman Gerald Krasner, an expert in insolvency law, told BBC Radio Five Live the successful bid for the club would be between £10 and £15million.
Krasner said: "Whoever buys it will have a club free of debt apart from football debt and therefore I think we'd be talking £5million-plus.
"We're not in the Premier League any more and there needs to be a lot of internal investment.
"This is money for the creditors left behind rather than buying the club. The club will need funding for the season which is probably £10-15million."
Krasner said he was unaware whether former Hull chairman Adam Pearson, a director at Elland Road until 2001, and multi-millionaire internet entrepreneur Pete Wilkinson were poised to make a move for the club.
Krasner added: "I haven't been contacted by Adam Pearson but in the last six weeks I've been speaking with representatives of three or four consortia.
"One of the conversations we've all had is whether two of them get together and put in a super-bid, and that is a still a possibility."


Daily Mail 7/7/07
League may have to help Leeds
By JOE BERNSTEIN
Leeds United may have to rely on special dispensation from the Football League to avoid going out of business.
The League One club are set to begin the new season in administration, with a new owner unlikely to take over until after a High Court hearing on September 3, three weeks after the first day of the season.
League rules prohibit a club in administration starting the season in case they cannot fulfil their fixtures.
Football League chairman Lord Mawhinney will discuss the crisis with senior executives next week.
Leeds chairman Ken Bates is involved in a three-way battle for control of the club with local property tycoon Simon Morris and rescue company Redbus, with the deadline for ownership bids closing at 5pm tomorrow.
Bates initially put the club into administration in May but bought it back with an offer of 1p in the pound.
Despite later increasing that to 8p in the pound, the Revenue and Customs, who are owed £7.7 million,forced administrators KPMG to reopen the bidding.
Bates may have to treble his offer to satisfy the Revenue.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Yorkshire Post 7/7/07
Wise expects clearance to increase Leeds squad
By Ian Appleyard
LEEDS United manager Dennis Wise was last night uncertain as to who might be his boss in the coming season after administrators put the club up for sale.
But, assuming the move meets with Football League approval, he could at least find himself able to sign three new players before the start of the campaign thanks to the probable lifting of the transfer embargo.
Under existing League rules, clubs are allowed to stay in 'administration' for a maximum period of 18 months and are also allowed to sign new players if they have less than 20 professionals on the books.
After the lengthy list of departures this summer, Wise has only 17 full-time professionals, a number that would be reduced further if star striker David Healy is sold to Fulham.Worryingly for Wise, five of his 17 players are still teenagers, a situation which is far from ideal going into a first season at League One level.
Wise had boosted numbers ahead of tonight's first pre-season friendly against Shelbourne with the addition of trialists, including former Manchester United trainees Jamie Mullan and Floribert N'Galula, former Swindon midfielder Curtis Weston, and ex-Southend goalkeeper Danny Gay.
But he will still need to state a case for extra players before the opening game of the league campaign against Tranmere on August 11.
With just five weeks to go before the season kicks off, the options available to Wise are still extremely limited.
The only goalkeeper on the books at Elland Road is teenager Jonathan Lund.
There are only two defenders signed up – Frazer Richardson and teenager Fabian Delph – and nine midfielders; Jonathan Douglas, Shaun Derry, Ian Westlake, Eddie Lewis, Gylfi Einarsson, Sebastian Carole, and youngsters Jonathan Howson, Robert Bayly and Danny Rose.
In attack, Leeds have a relatively impressive selection of five strikers; Richard Cresswell, Jermaine Beckford, Robbie Blake, Tresor Kandol and Healy.
The biggest concern for Wise remains the club's ability to trade with adminstrators needing to have enough money coming in to pay wages and bills until the ownership dispute is resolved.
Ultimately, it will be down to either the administrators or the possible new owners whether Wise is given permission to add players to the payroll. The League will only block signings when 20 players are on the books again.
The Football League's board is due to meet next week when it may have to decide whether Leeds play on under new owners without going through a CVA process.


Yorkshire Post 6/7/07
Administrators put Leeds up for sale
The future of Leeds United hung in the balance on Friday night after the administrators put the debt-ridden club up for sale.
KPMG said it had made the decision because of a legal challenge by HM Revenue and Customs over the £7.7million it is owed by the Yorkshire club and is challenging club chairman Ken Bates' re-sale.
A spokesman for the administrators said: "We are putting the club up for sale and offers must be in by 5pm on Monday and we are interested in talking to other parties. This is because of the uncertainty that surrounds the club due to the legal challenge by HM Revenue and Customs.
"The High Court has postponed a decision on HM Revenue and Customs application to challenge the Company Voluntary Agreement, which has been set by most of the creditors, until September - leaving the future of the club in doubt.
HM Revenue and Customs is unhappy at Bates' plan to pull the club out of administration by paying creditors just 8p in every £1.
Bates has already warned that defending the court action could cost the club, which has debts of £35 million, its future.
KPMG said it had set a deadline of 5pm next Monday for offers for the club.
Those who have previously declared an interest in buying the club include Duncan Revie, son of former Leeds manager Don, and property entrepreneur Simon Morris.
Earlier this week, businessman Simon Franks said he was ready to buy Leeds United, through his Redbus investment vehicle.
It emerged on Friday that Leeds may not start the season in August but league bosses are set to discuss the situation next week, despite the court case.

Sporting Life 6/7/07
LEEDS PUT UP FOR SALE
By Rod Minchin, PA
The future of Leeds United hung in the balance on Friday night after the administrators put the debt-ridden club up for sale.
KPMG said it had made the decision because of a legal challenge by HM Revenue and Customs over the £7.7million it is owed by the Yorkshire club and is challenging club chairman Ken Bates' re-sale.
The High Court has postponed a decision on HM Revenue and Customs application to challenge the Company Voluntary Agreement, which has been set by most of the creditors, until September - leaving the future of the club in doubt.
HM Revenue and Customs is unhappy at Bates' plan to pull the club out of administration by paying creditors just 8p in every £1.
Bates has already warned that defending the court action could cost the club, which has debts of £35 million, its future.
KPMG said it had set a deadline of 5pm next Monday for offers for the club.
A spokesman for the administrators said: "We are putting the club up for sale and offers must be in by 5pm on Monday and we are interested in talking to other parties.
"This is because of the uncertainty that surrounds the club due to the legal challenge by HM Revenue and Customs."
Those who have previously declared an interest in buying the club include Duncan Revie, son of former Leeds manager Don, and property entrepreneur Simon Morris.
Earlier this week, businessman Simon Franks said he was ready to buy Leeds United, through his Redbus investment vehicle.
It emerged today that Leeds may not start the season in August but league bosses are set to discuss the situation next week, despite the court case.
KPMG's barrister, Louis Doyle, told the High Court in Leeds: "The cessation of these proceedings will actually stop Leeds playing at the start of the season.
"It remains to be seen what approach the league may take to that."
The legal case has now been adjourned until September 3, while Leeds are due to play their first game of next season away to Tranmere on Saturday, August 11.
A spokesman for Leeds United said that because the club was in administration he could not comment on KPMG's decision.

Yorkshire Post 6/7/07
Leeds Utd: Season start now in balance
Leeds United's future remains dogged by uncertainty after a legal battle over the club's ownership was put off until September.
The Football League's board will discuss the club's situation next week and are likely to allow Leeds to start the new season despite the looming court case.But there are concerns that Ken Bates' threat to cease funding the club due to a legal challenge by Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) could have severe implications.Leeds are in the hands of administrators KPMG who are legally obliged not to run up any more debt and if no funding is coming in to begin to wind the club up.HMRC, who are owed £7.7million in unpaid tax and VAT, are challenging the resale of Leeds to Bates and Leeds United Football Club Ltd by the administrators and a five-day hearing will take place from September 3.HMRC launched their challenge on Tuesday against the Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) proposed by Leeds United Football Club Ltd and accepted by most of the club's creditors.Bates had offered to pay them a total of 8p in the pound, but that was rejected.KPMG's barrister Louis Doyle told the court that HMRC's appeal against the CVA would threaten to prevent United from starting the season.Doyle said: "The cessation of these proceedings will actually stop Leeds playing at the start of the season."It remains to be seen what approach the league may take to that."One option would be for the administrators to abandon the deal proposed by Bates and Leeds United Football Club Ltd and seek different buyers for the club.On Tuesday Bates issued a stark warning telling Yorkshire Radio: "If there is a legal challenge it could take two or three months to get to court and be decided. In the meantime, who is going to pay to run the club? So far it's been funded by the 'new Leeds' but if there is a challenge the 'new Leeds' won't do it because it's a risk. The implications are that the club would close down."A spokesman for the Football League said this afternoon it would not comment on the situation.After the hearing, former Leeds chairman Gerald Krasner raised the possibility that two interested buyers would join forces should KPMG fail the CVA and open up the sale of the club to the highest bidder."It is possible that two of the figures will get together and put in one gigantic bid," he said."It is a possibilily that has been discussed. Even if that doesn't happen, the funds that are available are much more substantial than we've heard in the CVA... tens of millions."I believe that the ownership question will be sorted out by the start of the season."My personal belief, and it's well-founded, is that this will never come to that hearing in September and that all matters will be sorted well before then."That date has been put there as a backstop to give breathing space for the parties going forward and come up with a very pragmatic solution."They (KMPG) should use the buyback clause in the agreement to take control of the club next week for £1."They should give all interested figures, and I include Mr Bates here, the chance to make a final sealed bid within say five or six days."The administrators would then look at the best bid, inform the (Inland] Revenue, who have an interest and they would go to court with a view to accepting that bid and having it sanctioned by the court."They will, of course, have to bring the Football League onside at that stage."

Sporting Life 6/7/07
BATES READY TO DEFEND BUY-BACK DEAL
By Mark Walker, PA Sport
Leeds chairman Ken Bates has taken the fight to the Inland Revenue following their legal challenge against his controversial buy-back deal.
The Inland Revenue have appealed to the High Court in a bid to block Bates' plan to regain power at Elland Road, after placing the club in administration in early May with debts of £35million.
A High Court hearing in Leeds on Friday morning will lay out a timetable for the Inland Revenue's appeal.
Bates was still hoping to thrash out a deal, but following meetings with administrators KPMG and the Football League has instructed his lawyers to go on the offensive.
A club statement read: "In view of the HMRC appeal against the CVA, the club has instructed its lawyers and asked the administrators to analyse all parts of the claim with particular reference to the inclusion of protective assessments.
"One of the protective assessments relates to the club reclaiming VAT charged by football agents for services provided, which was included in the HMRC's £7.7m claim."
Bates won a vote by the slimmest of margins to pay off the club's debts of £35million at 1p in the pound at a creditors' meeting on June 4.
Bates later increased his Company Voluntary Agreement (CVA) offer to 8p in the pound in a last-ditch attempt to appease furious Inland Revenue officials, who were set to receive just £77,000 under the initial terms.
But an improved settlement of £600,000 was not enough to stop the Inland Revenue lodging an appeal in the High Court.
One of several options now available to administrators KPMG would be, with the High Court's approval, to scrap Bates' CVA proposal and buy back the club for £1 before selling it on to the highest bidder.
It is understood the accepted bid could be sanctioned by the High Court and the Football League without the need for a creditors' vote.
That has alerted two rival parties who have stepped up their bids to take control of Leeds as Bates' buy-back deal hangs in the balance.
Redbus Group and local property developer Simon Morris have contacted administrators KPMG to reiterate their interest.
Redbus chief executive Simon Franks told PA Sport: "We have reiterated to administrators KPMG our desire to take control of Leeds.
"We have also informed them of our willingness to support the club in the short term should they require it."
Bates has insisted throughout the process that a legal challenge to his buy-back deal would force the club into liquidation because he would stop paying the running costs.
But Franks added: "I don't think there's a chance of Leeds going into liquidation and ceasing to exist.
"We are ready to step in immediately to cover the short-term costs if we get the go-ahead.
"It's still a very complicated process and it may turn out that bidders don't get the chance to participate.
"But from our point of view if there's an opportunity for a group not aligned to Ken Bates, we are ready to step in.
"The administrators confirmed at the creditors' meeting five parties had provided proof of funds - and we're one of them, and that says enough about our financial commitment."
Franks added on BBC Radio Five Live: "If that [Bates' legal action] fails then I think we have a very good chance of being the best option for the club.
"The risk is that this drags on, and there is no improvement.
"We hope we are going to get control - but I would be a liar if I said I thought I definitely would.
"I am not a lifelong Leeds fan who has dreamed of owning Leeds all my life. We are here to provide expertise to turn the club around.
"I very much feel this could be great for Leeds, for the fans - and for my company."
Morris confirmed: "We have lodged our interest again and remain a determined bidder for Leeds United at the same level as before.
"We remain committed to getting our club back to the top of the football tree where it belongs."