Showing posts from January, 2014

Leeds United takeover bid collapses, reveal consortium

Independent 30/1/14 Mark Walker The consortium hoping to complete a takeover of Leeds this month have confirmed the deal has collapsed. Sport Capital, headed by the club's current managing director David Haigh and Andrew Flowers, the managing director of their main sponsors, Enterprise Insurance, had agreed the terms of a buy-out with owners Gulf Finance House on November 30. But talks between the two parties reached an impasse when Sport Capital submitted a revised offer for 75 per cent of the club's shares after completing due diligence and Haigh has now revealed some financial backers were unable to deliver. Haigh said in a statement: "As fans know, we signed a share acquisition agreement with GFH Capital at the end of last year. This meant, I believed, that we were in a position to move things forward and complete the transaction in time for the January transfer window. "Throughout every stage of the process we sought to keep fans as fully updated as possibl

A statement from GFH Capital, owners of Leeds United 30/1/14 Following recent media speculation, GFH Capital can confirm that we are in continual discussions regarding the introduction of new investment into Leeds United Football Club. Since acquiring ownership of the club in December 2012, we have supported the club financially, supported the manager, and worked hard to forge closer links with both the fans and the local community. We have never made any secret about the fact that our aim has always been to attract investment partners, and we are currently speaking to a number of parties regarding the acquisition of shares. We would ask fans to ignore the media speculation surrounding investment, and be assured that we remain as committed as ever to the club and ensuring any new investment is in the best interests of Leeds United, for now and the future. We'd like to thank our fans for their wonderful support and for their patience, and we will endeavour to keep you updated.

Leeds United: David Haigh-led takeover bid falls through

BBC 30/1/14 A proposed takeover of Leeds United by a consortium led by managing director David Haigh has fallen through. Haigh's group were expected to acquire a minimum of 75% stake through his company, Sport Capital. "As fans know, we signed a share acquisition agreement with GFH Capital at the end of last year," Haigh said. "Sadly, some of the consortium's backers ultimately didn't feel able to deliver the backing we had hoped was agreed to take the club forward." He added: "Despite this, the future of this club remains the most important thing to me personally and I remain totally committed to putting the right team and backing in place to ensure that Leeds United can move forward. "I have met many, many potential investors over the past year and, sadly, while many are keen to talk the talk, they have been unable or unwilling to deliver in financial terms. "Nevertheless, these talks continue with a number of parties to seek the

McDermott feels he owes it to the fans not to quit

Yorkshire Post 30/1/14 by Leon Wobschall DEFIANT Leeds United manager Brian McDermott has vowed not to walk away from Elland Road in the face of the off-field crisis threatening to engulf the club. The 52-year-old reiterated his grave concerns about the chaotic situation at United after Tuesday night’s draw with Ipswich Town, with club owners Gulf Finance House (GFH) now believed to be locked in discussions with controversial Cagliari owner and president Massimo Cellino regarding a potential takeover. Cellino, who spent time in England last week with a number of associates speaking to club officials about purchasing Leeds, appears to be in the box seat to take over the club with Sport Capital’s bid looking increasingly doomed. Representatives of Cellino were present at United’s Thorp Arch training ground at the start of this week, including his close ally, former Middlesbrough and Portsmouth defender Gianluca Festa. The 44-year-old – who served as a player under Cellino – is unde

Leeds United: Cellino wanted his man in the dug-out - Yorkshire Evening Post 30/1/14

by Phil Hay The Yorkshire Evening Post can today reveal an attempt by would-be Leeds United owner Massimo Cellino to place a close confidant in United’s dug-out for their 1-1 draw with Ipswich Town. The 57-year-old Italian asked for Gianluca Festa, the former Middlesbrough defender, to be given a seat on the bench on Tuesday as talks continued over a deal to sell Leeds to Cellino. Cellino’s request followed two appearances by Festa at United’s training ground near Wetherby, the most recent made on Monday when he is understood to have watched the club’s final training session before their clash with Ipswich. The suggestion that Festa observe from the dug-out at Elland Road 24 hours later – seen by many at Leeds as a flagrant move to undermine manager Brian McDermott – was rejected on the day of the game. Cellino and his other associates planned to attend the Ipswich match and watch from a corporate box in the East Stand but they along with Festa unexpectedly flew home to Italy ahea

Brian McDermott gives his verdict on the Ipswich game 29/1/14 United boss Brian McDermott reflected on “the bigger picture” after watching his side pick up a point against Ipswich Town on Tuesday night. Ipswich striker David McGoldrick opened the scoring but Ross McCormack levelled the evening with a penalty just five minutes later to secure a point at Elland Road. The boss admits to it being tough at the moment but says that he has to remain positive. “It’s tough at the moment, on and off the pitch,” said the manager. “They got a free-kick in the 93rd minute and you know something can happen at that point. At the moment I have to take that point. “I can’t be negative after that game. There is enough negativity around the place at the moment so I can’t be negative in the dressing room. We don’t want that to filter down to the fans. "I think that it is important that we try and stay as positive as possible as we can. We came from behind on Tuesday night to get a draw so I’ll take the point and move on. “The bigg

Leeds United takeover in disarray

Yorkshire Evening Post 29/1/14 by Phil Hay Sport Capital’s takeover of Leeds United looked to be on the verge of collapse today after an outspoken attack by one of the group’s members on club owner Gulf Finance House. Andrew Flowers – a leading member of the Sport Capital consortium – cast fresh doubt on the group’s ability to secure ownership of Leeds by revealing that they had lowered their bid to GFH and were now at odds with the Bahraini bank. GFH and Sport Capital agreed the terms of a 75 per cent buy-out back in November but Flowers, the managing director of United shirt sponsor Enterprise Insurance, said a “revised offer” had been submitted after “a number of things” arose during due diligence. The reduced deal has been rejected by GFH, leaving United’s current owner in direct conflict with a group who originally planned to complete their takeover before the start of January. United managing director David Haigh – one of the driving forces behind the Sport Capital consortiu

Cagliari to loan Italian playmaker to Leeds United - report

Here is the City 28/1/14 Dan Coombs Leeds United may be about to get a welcome gift. Massimo Cellino is hoping to complete his planned takeover of Leeds United before too long, and reports have even suggested he prepared to sell his stake in Cagliari to help smooth matters along. Well there may be more unwelcome news for the Italian club, because a report states Cellino is poised to loan Leeds a player and create the first bond between the two sides. Italian website Tuttomercatoweb claim is is 'certain' Leeds will be loaned playmaker Andrea Tabanelli: "Andrea Tabanelli not wear the jersey of Cagliari in the second half of the season. It is certain that the understanding of Mediaset explains how the Sardinian club, after having purchased (him) on a temporary basis from Cesena, has decided in turn to send him on loan at Leeds." Tabanelli, 23, is an attacking midfielder who has been playing this season in Serie B with Cesena. He has one goal and three assists to h

Varney refuses to play with move away on the cards

Luke Varney refused to play for Leeds United in their game with Ipswich Town on Tuesday night. Varney is reported to be on the verge of a move away from Elland Road and Leeds boss Brian McDermott revealed after the 1-1 draw with Ipswich that Varney had approached him and asked not to play to avoid the possibility of injury, something that could scupper the move. Fellow championship side Blackburn Rovers have been reported to be interested in signing Varney in the past few days.

Leeds United 1 Ipswich Town 1: Whites are paralysed on and off the field

Yorkshire Evening Post 28/1/14 by Phil Hay Leeds United are a football club and a renowned one at that. Their raison d’etre just has a way of deferring too often to destructive politics. A 1-1 draw with Ipswich Town last night was a mere interlude in the posturing and infighting that is rapidly infecting Elland Road. A month ago Leeds were talking about the Championship play-offs; planning for them even, albeit tentatively. Transfers, results, money, ambition –United seemed to have all of it. But these days the table is a sad afterthought, lost in the mire of a takeover that is more malignant than ever. Leeds are 12th in their league and a large, eight-point step away from the play-off places. Five straight losses and a draw with Ipswich have seen to that in a period of total stagnation, but the one thing General Custer refused to do as the arrows flew was blame the foot-soldiers beneath him. The fault for the decay at Leeds goes higher and deeper, far beyond the dressing room. T

Trust Statement: Rising Concerns at LUFC

Leeds United Supporters Trust 28/1/14 The board of LUST recognises the concerns its members are raising in numbers regarding the current situation at the club. The takeover is apparently stalled, there has been a lack of transfer activity and, if what has been reported in the local media is accurate, at least one of Brian McDermott's targets has been blocked by GFH. What is happening appears to be at odds with what was expected to happen in terms of completing a takeover and supporting the manager - and what was in fact reported by the club as happening - and we fully understand why this has caused confusion and anger among our members. We have spoken to people at the club, including David Haigh, made sure they are fully aware of your concerns, and asked for clarity about what exactly is going on, but we can only ask questions and pass on your comments. We cannot force the club to say anymore than it has. We understand some of the reasons why the club is saying very little at

Talisman Ross will stay at Leeds United – Mac - Yorkshire Post 28/1/14

United boss confirms West Ham made a bid for Leeds’ skipper but says they won’t be returning with another bid. Leon Wobschall reports. PRIZE ASSET Ross McCormack will still be wearing the white of Leeds United by the weekend – and leading them out for the big West Yorkshire home derby with Huddersfield Town. That’s the view of manager Brian McDermott, who is confident that the striker will be staying put this month – avoiding an unwanted hat-trick for Leeds, who saw key men Jonny Howson and Luciano Becchio both sold in the New Year windows of 2011-12 and 2012-13 – with fans left to rue both decisions. West Ham saw a £3.5m bid for McCormack rejected on Friday and despite speculation that they will up their offer in a bid to break United’s resolve before the January transfer window deadline at 11pm on Friday evening, comments from Hammers manager Sam Allardyce suggest the contrary. Speaking at a morning press conference ahead of the East London outfit’s derby clash at Chelsea tomorro

Leeds must be owned ‘by right people’ says in-limbo McDermott

Yorkshire Post 28/1/14 by Richard Sutcliffe BRIAN McDERMOTT last night pleaded for clarity over the ownership of Leeds United, insisting that the on-going saga is in danger of overshadowing what happens on the pitch at Elland Road. Confusion reigns in LS11 with the bid by current managing director David Haigh to buy a 75 per cent stake having run into serious difficulties over the past fortnight. This has alerted a rival group, headed by former Sunderland marketing chief Mike Farnan, who seems intent on launching a second attempt to buy into the Championship club after being rebuffed late last year by United’s owners, Gulf Finance House. Then there is Massimo Cellino, the controversial owner of Serie A side Cagliari: the Yorkshire Post has been told by sources in Italy that Cellino believes a deal is imminent and that several of his business associates have spent time recently at Thorp Arch. Amid this behind-the-scenes chaos, McDermott has the task of trying to unite a fractured

Boss McDermott nor expecting further Ross McCormack interest 27/1/14 Brian McDermott on his captain... United boss Brian McDermott says he is not expecting any further bids for striker Ross McCormack. The club rejected an offer from West Ham at the end of last week, and the United manager says he fully expects his new captain to be a Leeds United player after the transfer window closes on Friday. “The bid for Ross was rejected on Friday and I’ve have spoken to Sam Allardyce since and he has said that they won’t be coming back in for him,” said the boss. “I am confident that he will be here after the window closes on Friday. Ross has never asked to leave. He is my captain and he is a talisman for our team. “He scores goals and he makes them as well. He has been a good leader for the team and for me and I’m confident he will remain here. “He has been important since April, since I turned up at the club. I’m sure that he will get better and better and will and we are going to have him for his prime years.” The boss did add t

Farnan Group set for fresh Leeds United bid

Yorkshire Evening Post 27/1/14 by Phil Hay A rival group to the Sport Capital consortium are positioning themselves to make a second offer for Leeds United and intensify the ownership struggle at Elland Road. A group led by ex-Manchester United employee Mike Farnan could submit an improved bid early this week after a deal between Sport Capital and Leeds owner Gulf Finance House reached an impasse. Sport Capital have been working on a 75 per cent buy-out for two months but their takeover has run into difficulties in the past fortnight and appeared to be no closer to completion last night. Farnan’s consortium, which includes ex-Hull City chairman Adam Pearson and Welcome to Yorkshire chief executive Gary Verity, made an unsuccessful offer for Leeds in November and looked to be out of the running once GFH agreed terms with Sport Capital later that month. Sport Capital, fronted by United managing director David Haigh, initially planned to complete their takeover before the start of t

West Ham to return with improved £5m offer for McCormack after initial rejected bid

Mail 26/1/14 By Simon Jones West Ham are poised to make an improved £5million offer for Leeds United striker Ross McCormack on Monday. Leeds have rejected an initial proposal of £3million plus and extra £1m on appearances and the Upton Park club will return with £4m plus £1m. Leeds are willing to accept that as talks continue over a takeover from Cagliari businessman Cellino. Scotland international McCormack is the Championship's leading scorer this season with 17 goals, one more than Jordan Rhodes of Blackburn. The 27-year-old was also made Leeds captain just last week. Leeds chairman Salah Nouruddin said on Twitter last week: 'I'd like to reassure all £lufc fans that we're working hard for the club and can confirm we've rejected an offer from West Ham for Ross.' West Ham are third from bottom in the Premier League with 18 points, the same amount as the two teams below them Sunderland and Cardiff, and one behind Fulham and safety.

West Ham's McCormack bid rejected 24/1/14 Bid rejected for United striker... Leeds United have rejected an offer from West Ham United for striker Ross McCormack. The London club made an offer for the player on Friday afternoon which was rejected by the club's board. Managing director David Haigh said: "We received an offer from West Ham this afternoon for Ross which we have rejected. "As a club we showed our intentions as far as Ross is concerned during the summer by offering him a new contract."

Leeds United reject £3.5m bid for McCormack

Yorkshire Evening Post 24/1/14 Leeds United have tonight rejected a £3.5m bid from West Ham United for captain and top scorer Ross McCormack, the YEP understands. The Premier League side tabled their offer earlier today and are now considering whether to return with an improved proposal for the 18-goal striker. McCormack, who was named as United’s new captain last week, signed a four-year contract in the summer after Leeds fended off repeated bids from Middlesbrough.

Massimo Cellino: Is the King of Corn after Leeds United? - Yorkshire Evening Post 24/1/14

Phil Hay profiles Cagliari owner Massimo Cellino who has been linked with Sport Capital’s bid to take control of Leeds United. In Sardinia, Cagliari Calcio are the only show in town. They are the island’s national team. Since 1992 Massimo Cellino has run that show and more besides; an agricultural magnate whose nickname translates as the ‘King of Corn’. He went global in 2005 by relocating to Miami, and by showing an interest in Leeds United, Cellino is following Italian football’s trend of doing the same. Two years ago, the Pozzo family – the owners of Udinese – bought out Watford. Aurelio De Laurentiis, the chairman of Napoli, is said to want an English club of his own. And in England, there are always clubs for sale. Italian journalists believe Cellino has been looking at Leeds for some time. Last weekend, he and Cagliari’s vice-president flew to London with the intention of pursuing their interest closer to home. Several newspapers in Italy, among them the respected La Gazzetta

Confusion and doubt surrounds Leeds takeover

Political economy of Football 23/1/14 Confusion and doubt is surrounding the projected takeover of Leeds United. Leeds never seem to have much good fortune when it comes to sorting out their ownership and it has undoubtedly held back their progression to the Premiership. United have been on course for a change of ownership for almost two months but the sale of 75 per cent stake from current owner GFH to Sport Capital – a consortium led by Leeds managing director David Haigh – ran into problems earlier this week. The two parties have been locked in negotiations for the past 48 hours but neither side was able to offer reassurance last night or provide a certain timescale for completion. And the situation at Elland Road was clouded further amid reports from Italy that Cagliari owner Massimo Cellino was poised to complete his own 75 per cent buy-out of Leeds. Sources close to United dismissed those claims but it is understood that Cellino has held talks with Haigh and Andrew Flowers,

End this confusion, demands LUST as Leeds deal hangs in balance

Yorkshire Post 23/1/14 by Phil Hay THE head of the Leeds United Supporters Trust last night called for an end to the “confusion and doubt” surrounding the club as Sport Capital’s takeover deal hung in the balance. Gary Cooper, the chairman of LUST, urged Sport Capital and Gulf Finance House to “provide clarity one way or the other” following 48 hours of talks aimed at pushing the buy-out of United over the line. Leeds have been in line for a change of ownership for almost two months but the sale of 75 per cent stake from current owner Gulf Finance House to Sport Capital – a group led by club managing director David Haigh – ran into problems earlier this week. The two parties have been locked in intense negotiations for the past two days but neither side was able to offer reassurance last night or provide a certain timescale for completion. The protracted talks look set to run into the final week of the January transfer window, potentially complicating manager Brian McDermott’s at

What next for Leeds United if a deal is not done?

Yorkshire Evening Post 23/1/14 Chief football writer Phil Hay looks at the ramifications for Leeds United if sport Capital’s deal to take over the Elland Road club is not agreed. 1: WHERE DOES THE SEASON GO FROM HERE? The transfer window closes a week tomorrow and Leeds United have signed two players, Jimmy Kebe and Cameron Stewart. On the basis of what Brian McDermott said before the start of January, that is half as many deals as he wanted the club to complete. Without the impact of internal disagreements, he would have made Ashley Barnes his third signing a fortnight ago but the boardroom dispute over that transfer and Leeds’ failure to pay a £500,000 fee was indicative of problems developing between Sport Capital and Gulf Finance House. United have been linked with several other strikers this week – Danny Graham, Luke Moore, Leroy Lita, Matty Fryatt – but it is plain to see that the attention of Leeds’ existing owner and the consortium bidding to buy the club is fixed on the

Leeds United: Takeover deadlock needs to be broken

Yorkshire Evening Post 22/1/14 Talks between United’s owners GFH and sport capital to try and thrash out a deal for the club have yet to conclude. Phil Hay reports. The ongoing takeover of Leeds United was portrayed as a neat-and-tidy purchase of a club in good fettle but over days and weeks the mooted change of ownership has become as all-consuming as the last. There were shades of Neil Warnock in Brian McDermott’s remark that bringing negotiations to a satisfactory conclusion was United’s “number one priority”; more crucial in McDermott’s eyes than the January transfer window. No matter the promises or the money at his disposal, the view of Leeds’ manager is that the club cannot move forward with conviction while uncertainty lingers in the background. On November 30, when United first announced a deal between owner GFH Capital and a consortium of British buyers, the projected timescale for completion was late December. By late December, sources involved in the process were talkin

Leeds United: Deal’s still all up in air

Yorkshire Evening Post 22/1/14 by Phil Hay Sport Capital’s deal to buy Leeds United was under pressure last night with the consortium and Gulf Finance House wrangling over completion of the takeover. A 75 per cent buy-out proposed by Sport Capital appeared to hit trouble yesterday amid claims that they and GFH were at odds over unspecified issues relating to the terms of the sale. The purchase of a majority stake by Sport Capital – a group headed by United managing director David Haigh – was agreed in principle almost two months ago but the process is shrouded in doubt following another round of negotiations yesterday. Neither side has commented on the process since a statement released by Sport Capital last Thursday said the buy-out had taken “longer than we anticipated” but vowed to work towards a “successful conclusion sooner rather than later.” Cracks in the relationship between Sport Capital and GFH showed themselves 24 hours earlier when it emerged that senior officials at

GFH to hold a small stake in Leeds United when deal is done

Yorkshire Evening Post 21/1/14 by Leon Wobschall GULF FINANCE HOUSE have confirmed to their shareholders that they will retain a 10 per cent shareholding in Leeds United once a consortium have completed its takeover. In a statement, Bahrain-based GFH, the parent company of United majority shareholder GFH Capital, said that a 75 per cent stake will be sold to a consortium of British investors, once it receives the relevant approval from footballing authorities. That Sport Capital consortium is led by United managing director David Haigh and also includes Andrew Flowers, the managing director of club shirt sponsor Enterprise Insurance and two other backers. In a statement, GFH said that they expect a ‘positive impact’ on its financials, following completion of the deal, with the terms of the agreement and value not disclosed. Meanwhile, United manager Brian McDermott is working on bolstering his forward options ahead of United’s return to action in a week’s time at home to Ipswich

Cagliari owner Massimo Cellino ponders Leeds United acquisition?

Sports Mole 20/1/14 By Pascal Lemesre The owner of Italian football club Cagliari Calcio, Massimo Cellino, has reportedly expressed an interest in owning Leeds United. According to L'Unione Sarda, Cellino is getting fed up with his Sardinian side Cagliari and could turn his attention to Leeds, whose owners GFH Capital are looking to sell. GFH has already agreed to sell a partial stake in the club to British investors but Cellino could also buy in. Cagliari lie 14th in Serie A, four points above the drop zone, after 20 games.

The prode was back for Leeds - McDermott 20/1/14 Brian McDErmott gives his Leicester verdict... Brian McDermott praised his players for restoring “pride in the shirt” despite suffering late heartbreak at Elland Road on Saturday. League leaders Leicester City snatched all three points following David Nugent’s 88th minute winner – but coming off the back of humiliating defeats at Rochdale and Sheffield Wednesday, the boss praised his players for a dominant performance against the Championship promotion favourites. “The most important thing for me was to restore pride in that shirt and we did that,” said the boss. "Of course, I wanted to win, but we had to restore pride after the last couple of games. “The system was good, the shape was good and we never looked like losing the game. In the end with Kevin Phillips coming on and David Nugent being there, that bit of quality made the difference. “I found it hard to talk to the players afterwards really because they did everything that you could have aske

GFH Soars to 22-Month High on Leeds United Sale: Dubai Mover

Bloomberg 20/1/14 By Sarmad Khan Gulf Finance House EC (GFH) climbed to the highest in more than 22 months after the investment company said it signed an agreement with a group of British investors to sell 75 percent of its stake in Leeds United Plc. The shares gained 9.6 percent to 0.86 dirhams in Dubai, the highest close since March 2012. GFH will retain a 10 percent holding in the club after completion of the deal, it said in a statement on the Dubai Financial Market website, without disclosing its value, citing a confidentiality agreement. The Bahrain-based firm is selling Leeds about 14 months after buying the soccer club as it prepares to begin making payments on $110 million of debt it restructured in May 2012. The transaction, which requires approval from the English Football Association, will have a positive impact on the company’s financial position, GFH said in the statement. “The disposal of an asset like Leeds United will bring cash for the company to meet its refinan

GFH to sell 75 per cent stake in Leeds United

Trade Arabia 20/1/14 Bahrain-based investment firm Gulf Finance House (GFH) said on Monday it was offloading 75 per cent of English soccer club Leeds United to a consortium of British investors and would retain a 10 per cent stake following the sale. GFH, which bought the second-tier club in 2012, said last week that it had agreed a partial stake sale to British investors, without disclosing the size of the divestment or its value. In a filing to the Dubai bourse on Monday, GFH said an agreement had been struck with the consortium on November 30 but the English Football Association had yet to grant approval for the takeover. The sale, it said, would have a positive impact on financials. Leeds managing director David Haigh and Andrew Flowers, managing director of club sponsor Enterprise Insurance, are part of the group buying the stake. In addition to GFH, Bahrain-based International Investment Bank and Leeds chairman Salah Nooruddin's Envest company all own more than 10 per ce

Leeds United: Brown sees light at the end of the tunnel

Yorkshire Evening Post 20/1/14 by Phil Hay Michael Brown said Leeds United were showing signs of emerging from a “problem month” after slipping to a cruel defeat to Championship leaders Leicester City. A late tap-in from David Nugent inflicted a fifth-straight loss on Leeds on Saturday but Brown took encouragement from a strong display by Brian McDermott’s under-pressure squad. United paid for wasting a string of chances in the first half, with new captain Ross McCormack hitting a post and denied by Kasper Schmeichel when one-on-one with the City goalkeeper, and Nugent claimed the only goal of the game two minutes from time. The forward’s finish extended a run of defeats for Leeds which now stretches back to December 29 but both Brown and his manager were reassured by United’s response to a 6-0 hammering at Sheffield Wednesday seven days earlier. McDermott made significant changes to his team ahead of Saturday, replacing former captain Rudy Austin with McCormack and revising his l

McDermott wants swift end to Leeds United’s takeover saga

Yorkshire Evening Post 20/1/14 by Phil Hay Brian McDermott said completion of the takeover of Leeds United should be the club’s “number one priority” as he urged Sport Capital to push their buy-out over the line in the wake of a fifth straight defeat. McDermott revealed his own sense of urgency about the planned change of ownership at Elland Road after a 1-0 loss to Leicester City cast his squad six points adrift of the Championship’s play-off zone. The United manager, who has spoken at length with members of the Sport Capital consortium, said the group were “spot on” and voiced confidence in the credentials of their buy-out but the delay in the handover of a majority stake from current owner GFH Capital has created growing uncertainty about the deal. Sport Capital – a four-man group involving United managing director David Haigh and Enterprise Insurance executive Andrew Flowers – struck the terms of their takeover with GFH Capital on November 30 but are yet to finalise an agreeme

Leeds prepared to part with El-Hadji Diouf

Sky 19/1/14 Leeds United boss Brian McDermott would be prepared to let El-Hadji Diouf leave if a suitable offer is put forward. The 33-year-old forward has fallen out of favour at Elland Road and has been limited to sporadic first team appearances this season. He was introduced off the bench in Saturday's 1-0 defeat to Leicester City, but that was his first outing since early October. Diouf was drafted in by Leeds as an experienced head who could aid their quest for a Premier League return. He has been a useful asset, but McDermott is now looking to take the Whites in a different direction. Diouf still has six months left to run on his current contract, but Leeds will not stand in his way if the opportunity to leave in January presents itself. McDermott said: "I told him I'm trying to build something here. "If there's an opportunity that's right for him then, yes, he can go. But if not, then he's here."

McDermott offering deal to player he met on Friday

Leeds United manager Brian McDermott says they are trying to sort out a deal with the player he met on Friday. McDermott is desperate to add to his faltering Leeds side that made it four straight defeats at home to Leicester City on Saturday, seeing them drop to twelfth in the championship table. As always though, it seems nothing is straightforward with Leeds in the transfer window. Speaking to BBC Radio Leeds, McDermott said, "I met with a player on Friday but I cannot go into details about it because it is quite complicated but we are trying to do a deal. "We want it to go through and we are working hard to complete it." McDermott has already brought in Cameron Stewart from Hull City and Jimmy Kebe from Crystal Palace this month on initial loan deals. Stewart could only sign on an initial 93-day loan deal having already played for two clubs this season but a permanent deal is in place for the summer. Kebe, who played for McDermott during his time at Reading, has

McDermott - Investment is number one priority

Leeds United boss Brian McDermott says the proposed investment into the club must be the number one priority. A consortium led by current club chief executive David Haigh are looking to buy a minimum 75% stake in the club, with the deal currently being scrutinised by the Football League as Leeds wait for them to sanction the deal. The consortium, known as Sports Capital, also includes the managing director of the clubs principal sponsors Enterprise Insurance and they are believed to have already made funds available to McDermott to strengthen his squad during the transfer window despite the deal yet being completed. Speaking at his press conference following the defeat to Leicester, McDermott said, "The number one priority for the club at the moment is to get the investment in the club over the line. "The people who want to come in are spot on for this club. The only thing they want is for the good of Leeds United, so it is very important that we get it done and as quickl