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Leeds United: New Owners Revealed

Leeds United

11:13am 21st December 2012

Leeds United's new owners spoke of their pride on taking over the club as they ushered in a new era for the club.

Dubai-based GFH Capital Limited are due to be formally unveiled as the club's new owners at an Elland Road press conference on Friday morning.

GFH Capital executive David Haigh joined the Leeds United board of directors earlier this month and he is being joined by fellow GFH Capital executives Salem Patel and Hisham Alrayes.

The fine points of the deal were completed on Thursday evening, and the new owners are calling on the backing of the fans to mark a new chapter in the club's history.

"What we want to do is create a successful club, but a club which is sustainable and I think every single fan will be with us when we say that is what we want to do," said Salem.

"English football, as you know, is one of the most successful exports that England has at the moment. People are watching it world over and being part of that is something that is very exciting for us. More than that, from a business perspective it makes a lot of sense to us.

"From a personal perspective, we are both fans of English football and this is really interesting and exciting for us."

David added: "We don't really want to put a timescale to our investment, but we hope to be able to make this club as successful as we can in the shortest time possible."

With the January transfer window only 10 days away, United manager Neil Warnock has spoken of adding to his squad, and the new owners have given the boss their full support.

"We've been speaking to Neil and we will try our best to meet whatever needs he has and to be fair to us we have already invested in the team," said Salem.

"We've been speaking to him on and off since the summer to be honest. We very much assisted him with his plans in the summer and we hope to continue to do so.

"He is our man and he was one of the reasons why we decided to buy this club in the first place. The guy is a legend in English football and it was a requirement in the contract."

The new owners will join an existing board that will include Ken Bates remaining on as chairman until the end of the season.

"Ken will remain as Chairman until the end of the season," confirmed David. "We've brought on board new members from GFH Capital in Salem, myself and Hisham. Ken is the Chairman, but we are very much in charge and the buck stops with us.

"I think we'll start making changes, that we feel, straight away. Some will be small and some will be larger. We think that the club runs well as it is, but there are things that we can do to improve it, like anywhere."

The pairing were both in the crowd on Wednesday for the Capital One Cup quarter-final tie with Chelsea and spoke of the tremendous atmosphere generated.

"It really was fantastic," said David. "It shows you what we are capable of, it shows how important each and every fan is to the club, how we want to bring them back and get the stadium rocking again."

The new owners have spoken of their desire to see another good crowd backing the team against Middlesbrough on Saturday, and they also moved to thank the fans for their support during the negotiating period.

"I think the short message to the fans is thank you," added David. "It's been a long time coming but onwards and upwards……Marching on Together."

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