Showing posts from March, 2004
Sport Viduka on the spot to fire Leeds a lifeline Leeds United 2 Manchester City 1 By Tim Rich 23 March 2004 The club is riddled with debt, forced upon it by excessive spending on underachieving players which triggered their chairman's resignation. Their manager's position is uncertain and every fan who left Elland Road last night would have understood the catastrophic consequences of relegation. Manchester City this morning find themselves in the truly uncomfortable position of owing more money than Leeds United, who are now precisely five points behind them. Once more, they demonstrated the art of outplaying opponents and losing, and Kevin Keegan's voice was laced with emotion and anger not just at the penalty awarded for a foul on Alan Smith outside the area but the dismissal of Daniel van Buyten which followed it. As Keegan noted grimly, this was the second time in successive matches that Alan Wiley had sent off one his players. Football has an ambivalen
Sport Leeds' new owners will keep club at Elland Road By Tim Rich 23 March 2004 Mr Fixit Fox, one of the characters created by the children's author Richard Scarry, solved the problem of a leaking boat by drilling a second hole in the floor of the vessel to let the water out. Yesterday Gerald Krasner, Elland Road's third chairman in a year, and the latest band of Fixit Foxes arrived for their first day at Leeds United, a club which, until their takeover on Friday, resembled an ocean-going colander. The strategy adopted by Krasner and his Yorkshire consortium, who took over the club for £22m, is that even if Leeds survive in the Premiership there will be a wholesale player sale to remove some £15m from the wage bill. Nevertheless, although Elland Road may be sold and leased back, the ground which acclaimed the deeds of Don Revie's merciless side will not be becoming a Tesco's with a Peter Lorimer memorial delicatessen. Lorimer is now on Krasner's b
Leeds United Football Club - Plan Is To Get United Back In The Big Time Plan Is To Get United Back In The Big Time New Leeds United director David Richmond has revealed that his consortium are extremely confident they can bring back the good times to Elland Road - but is warning it will take time and there may be casualties along the way. Richmond is part of the six man consortium headed up by new chairman Gerald Krasner that completed the successful takeover of the club on Friday afternoon after eight weeks of negotiations, and he will have a hands on role at the club as the Commercial and Marketing Director. The new board will outline their plans for United at a 12.00 noon Elland Road press conference today (to be broadcast live on, but they have wasted no time in making sure the players and coaching staff are aware of what the future holds, having met with them over the weekend. Having finally reached a conclusion to the take-over, a massive weight has be
BBC SPORT | Football | My Club | Leeds United | Leeds takeover completed Leeds to stay put Leeds United will not be forced to sell Elland Road, according to the club's new chairman. Supporters had feared the stadium was set to be knocked down, with a supermarket built in its place. But on Monday Gerald Krasner said: "Elland Road will continue to be the home of Leeds United Football Club as long as I am chairman." On Friday Krasner led a local-based consortium in a £30m takeover of the Premiership club. He revealed the club had been £100m in debt before Friday's takeover and had been on the verge of selling the ground. "This club was facing insolvency, this club was facing extinction," said Krasner. Despite the takeover, Krasner said he expected it to take three to four years to resolve Leeds' financial woes. "This is not the end of the pain," he said. "We came off life support on Friday and we are now in recuperation.&qu
Times Online - Sport Red Adair of Elland Road prepares for next mission BY MATT DICKINSON THERE WERE TIMES during the past five months when Trevor Birch could not see any hope of salvation for Leeds United. Liquidation was a real possibility while a club with about £100 million in debts was being messed around by Bahraini sheikhs and Ugandan property developers. “There was a genuine prospect that, if the club had gone into administration, liquidation would have followed,” Birch said yesterday, 48 hours after resigning as chief executive and handing control to a new consortium. “That would have meant the club folding completely. There were a number of times when I couldn’t see a solution because of the enormity of the problems.” It remains to be seen whether the men behind Adulant Force Ltd, the company that now owns Leeds, have the abilities and resources to be heralded as saviours, but no one else who came forward had the means to avert financial ruin. “Others, like the sheik
Guardian Unlimited Football | News | Leeds have to sell for survival Wage bill 'unsustainable' Jason Gee Monday March 22, 2004 The Guardian Geoffrey Richmond, the former Bradford City chairman who is acting as adviser to the consortium in charge at Leeds, has confirmed the club will have to sell key players to bring down the wage bill. "What remains is a wage bill for players which is unsustainable," Richmond said only two days after the consortium finalised a deal with the club's creditors, who were owed £104m. "There are 60 professional footballers on contracts at Leeds United. Fifteen of those footballers are on contracts north of a million pounds a year. It doesn't take a genius in economics to know that that is unsustainable. So there will be players leaving the club." Gerald Krasner, who heads the six-man consortium that paid £22m for the club on Friday, gave the beleaguered Leeds supporters a more positive message when he bac
Sport Lorimer: 'the five games we must win' Leeds are rescued, but for how long? Steve Tongue talks to an old hero about the new fight 21 March 2004 Jubilant as Leeds United may be this weekend after agreeing a £22m sale to a local consortium, any feeling that they have done the hard part and can now relax should be resisted. Indeed, it can be tested by checking the Premiership table and listening to one of the new board members, Peter Lorimer, who describes tomorrow's fixture at home to Manchester City as "one of the biggest games the club have ever had". Coming from someone who played for them in a European Cup final, four FA Cup finals and various championship deciders, that assessment alone is a vivid reminder of Leeds' predicament at the bottom of the table. Even though most of the £100m debt has been cleared by offering creditors something like a fifth of what they are owed, analysts believe it will still be difficult to meet running costs
Telegraph | Sport | Takeover ensures Leeds survival Takeover ensures Leeds survival By Mihir Bose (Filed: 20/03/2004) Leeds United yesterday staved off the threat of financial meltdown when a Yorkshire-based consortium completed a £22 million takeover of the Premiership's bottom club. The deal ended three months of uncertainty since Leeds announced a financial standstill arrangement with major creditors, and two months of negotiations involving teams of lawyers. Gerald Krasner, an insolvency practitioner with chartered accountants Bartfields who has been the consortium's representative in the last few weeks, has been named as Leeds chairman. As revealed by The Daily Telegraph this week, the deal was financed by Jack Petchey, the former Watford owner who has a 16.5 per cent stake in Aston Villa. He is lending £15 million, while the consortium, Adulant Force Ltd, find another £7 million. Petchey will not be on the board and expects to be repaid within 12 months. Leeds
Times Online - Sport Role of Richmond in takeover leaves Leeds fans uneasy BY ASHLING O'CONNOR AFTER talk of Ugandan property developers, Bahraini sheikhs and Chinese billionaires coming to their rescue, Leeds United yesterday found salvation closer to home when a Yorkshire-based consortium agreed a takeover. The endangered Barclaycard Premiership club is now in the hands of a group of local businessman, with links to Geoffrey Richmond, the former Bradford City chairman, who have invested an estimated £22 million to avoid administration by paying off the main creditors. Leeds had accumulated debts of about £100 million after a player spending spree under Peter Ridsdale, the former chairman, predicated on the assumption they would qualify for the Champions League every season. Most of that debt has been wiped out by the takeover. It is understood that the new owners have settled a £60 million loan with three bondholders — M&G in the UK and MetLife and Teachers in the US
Sky Sports - The Best Sport Coverage From Around The World LEEDS DEAL AGREED Friday 19th March 2004 Leeds United's immediate future has been secured after a consortium finally concluded the successful purchase of the Premiership club on Friday. The stricken Elland Road side have been in talks with the Gerald Krasner-fronted consortium for some time and a deal has finally been concluded which will hopefully keep the West Yorkshire side's heads above water. Leeds, who have massive debts, have been seeking new owners for some time and had been in talks with Krasner's group since January. In the last few days, talks have progressed rapidly which has facilitated a deal being struck on Friday. "The consortium has done its job, Leeds United is saved for the supporters," Krasner told Sky Sports News. Whites legend Peter Lorimer will be handed a place on the board in the hope of helping steady the ship. "I have been aware of it for the last two or thr
Sporting Life - Football NEW OWNERS SEAL LEEDS TAKEOVER "We're off life support" was how new Leeds chairman Gerald Krasner described the condition of a club which would appear to have been given a new lease of life. In a deal understood to be worth £22million, Krasner has managed to rid the club of its major creditors and wipe out more than £80million worth of debt. Krasner, an insolvency practitioner and the voice of the consortium since they entered into negotiations two months ago, heads a six-man board which has taken control of Leeds. The life-long Leeds fan is joined by former United legend Peter Lorimer, who will become a director and responsible for interacting with the media. The other names include property developers Simon Morris and Melvin Helme, the latter to serve as corporate finance director given his former role as a NatWest bank high-flier, and entrepreneur Melvyn Levi. The last figure is that of the new commercial and marketing director David
LeedsUtdMAD Independent - the definitive Leeds United website. Independent news and stats from The Names Behind The Takeover Story by Kevin Markey 19 March 2004 A who's who on the new Leeds board. GERALD KRASNER (Chairman) Has been acting as consortium spokesman. Insolvency practioner at Leeds-based accountants Bartfields. The company also has offices in London and Newcastle. 30-year association with United, was among a record crowd of 57,892 who watched Leeds draw 1-1 with Sunderland in 1967. MELVYN HELME (Corporate Finance Director) Former top-level manager of NatWest Bank. Helm, based in Southport, retired from high finance five years ago. Since made a name for himself in property development. DAVID RICHMOND Lifelong fan, season ticket holder and son of former Bradford City chairman Geoffrey. Was a member of the Valley Parade board and was also responsbile for overseeing the club's retail and marketing operation. Richmond is a successful busine
Leeds Today Yorkshire grit sees group win the race By PAUL DEWS THEY'VE crossed more hurdles than Cheltenham Gold Cup star Best Mate – but the Yorkshire-based business consortium today sailed past the winning post in the race to take control of Leeds United. It's taken almost two months of intricate negotiations to complete what is freely described by all the parties involved as the most complex business deal they have ever witnessed. Talks have involved over 100 laywers representing creditors and bondholders from both sides of the Atlantic, and the red tape has taken far longer to complete than was first anticipated. In addition, the successful consortium has voiced concerns over an apparent smear campaign in certain sections of the media and have dealt with a considerable amount of mud-slinging on their way to completing the deal. The emergence of Geoffrey Richmond as an advisor to the group simply gave the critics more bullets to fire, following his ignominiou
Leeds Today Fan-tastic United support for club saviours by phil hay The chairman of Leeds United Supporters Club believes today's £30m takeover will halt the darkest period of the club's history and "bring the smiles back to Elland Road". Months of turmoil were ended this morning when the sale of United to a Leeds-based consortium was confirmed after protracted negotiations with the Elland Road board. The YEP understands that the new owners will meet with supporters' groups over the next fortnight to outline their plans for the future and reassure fans that United are in safe hands. United were on the brink of administration with debts of £104m after a disastrous spell under former chairman Peter Ridsdale, which saw the club fall from Champions League contenders to relegation candidates. Eddie Gray's side remain at the foot of the Premiership with 10 games of the season remaining but, with the decks now clear and the club on course for a soun
Yorkshire Post Krasner vows Leeds will stay at Elland Road Matt Reeder THE Yorkshire-based consortium seeking to take control of Leeds United have promised to meet with the club's suspicious supporters if they successfully conclude a deal. Many fans are wary of the takeover, which could be completed tomorrow, following the news that Bradford City's former chairman Geoffrey Richmond was acting as an adviser to the group. Little information has been released on their intentions for the future and fans' groups across the city have even lobbied the Premier League in an attempt to have them either block or investigate proceedings. However, the Premier League have no power over buy-outs unless the club has entered administration. Lawyers from the club, their principal creditors and the group yesterday met at Elland Road to discuss the deal and a completion meeting has been arranged for tomorrow. Consortium spokesman Gerald Krasner last night assured fans that Richmo
Yorkshire Post Veil of secrecy must be lifted to ease disquiet among Leeds fans Matt Reeder Tomorrow could go down as the day Leeds United's future was finally assured, the day when a new dawn rises over troubled Elland Road. Ever since the debt-ravaged club was effectively put up for sale on December 4 last year supporters have been dreaming of the day uncertainty and concern would make way for the excitement and enthusiasm of a new era. Lawyers from all parties met yesterday to finalise matters and a conclusion to the exhaustive takeover talks has been provisionally set for tomorrow. A Yorkshire-based consortium put together by Leeds supporters is within a whisker of moving into a position of power and life, it would seem, has a chance of returning to normal down at LS11. Or has it? The club may be on the point of rescue but you would be hard-pushed to find anyone celebrating other than those on the still-mysterious takeover consortium. The mood is cautionary becaus
Times Online - Sport Richmond claims opposition to takeover is racist BY RICK BROADBENT AT A club that has set the benchmark for PR gaffes, it was perhaps no surprise to find talk of a Leeds United rescue package being sullied by allegations of racism and a smear campaign. Just 48 hours before the meeting that could finalise the £22 million takeover of the club, the gloves came off. Geoffrey Richmond was the man throwing the punches. He claims that his role as an adviser to the Yorkshire-based consortium seeking to take control of the club has been the subject of whispers, sneers and slander. He hinted that he believed that this was because of his Jewish background, rather than the vivid memory of him leading Bradford City into administration with a £36 million debt. Richmond’s comments came after the Yorkshire Post ran a story stating that he still owed the taxman £2.3 million. The debt related to the sale of Ronson lighters in 1994 and resulted in the Inland Revenue securi
Telegraph | Sport | Petchey at centre of Leeds deal By Mihir Bose and John Ley (Filed: 18/03/2004) Jack Petchey, a multi-millionaire businessman who made his money through property deals, has emerged as the financier behind the consortium seeking to buy Leeds United. The former West Ham director, who at one time owned Watford before selling it back to Elton John, now has shares in Aston Villa and was once approached about buying the club. Now The Telegraph can reveal that Petchey's consortium are close to a deal which would put them in control at Elland Road, possibly by tomorrow. Until now the speculation was that Geoffrey Richmond, the former owner of Bradford City, was behind the consortium, though he had always insisted he was involved only as an advisor. While there has been contact between former Chelsea chairman Ken Bates and the consortium, there is no financial link.
News: Richmond Cites Slurs As Leeds Deal Nears - SoccerAge Former Bradford City chairman Geoffrey Richmond revealed on Wednesday that the consortium negotiating to take over Leeds United are "just 48 hours away" from completing the deal. Richmond also expressed his concern about "a slur campaign" that he believes could undermine the Yorkshire-based consortium's bid for the troubled club. In recent weeks, Richmond has been acting as an unpaid advisor to the group, who are set to finalise the deal reportedly worth around £22 million. He fears the resurfacing of stories relating to his appearance in the High Court last May on tax-evasion charges may prove detrimental to the bid. There have been suggestions that Richmond still owes the Inland Revenue £2.3 million following the sale of his Ronsons lighters business 10 years ago. Speaking "just 48 hours ahead of a completion meeting", Richmond said: "All I want to do is help the consortium succ
The Observer | Sport | Davis shows the way as Leeds start to run out of time Amy Lawrence at Loftus Road Sunday March 14, 2004 The Observer Fulham were showboating in the end and there could be no more crushing sign of Leeds United's dwindling survival hopes than that. The Yorkshiremen's mini-revival was all too easily halted by a Fulham team who, frankly, could afford to be incredibly wasteful in front of goal and still win at a canter. The chink of light at Elland Road looks decidedly dimmer. A three-match unbeaten sequence had bred confidence, but this was a thump in the kidneys. 'We need a bit more than a mini-run now,' said understandably dejected Eddie Gray. 'But we cannot let this result get to us. Although we're running out of matches, I've still got belief that those players in the dressing room can get us out of trouble.' Given the fact he has barely any others to call upon, he has no option but to depend on a group who must pick them
Guardian Unlimited Football | News | Special investigation: crisis at Leeds United Money to burn They were the most exciting team in Europe, serious challengers to Manchester United - and even to Real Madrid. Then the implosion began. Now, one question remains - just how did Leeds United fall so far, so quickly? With unprecedented access, award-winning journalist Brian Cathcart follows the labyrinthine money trail and gives the definitive account of what went wrong. Sunday March 7, 2004 The Observer February, Elland Road: Leeds United versus Wolverhampton Wanderers. Last against second-last, a six-pointer and then some. For the home side the mathematics of defeat may not be decisive but the effect on players, club and fans, not to mention creditors owed about £100 million, will almost certainly be terminal. The omens are bad. Leeds have lost six in a row and Wolves are showing signs of a revival. The morning's Guardian includes a doomy feature about life after Leeds