|"Potential new owners are property developers!" |
Sat 28th Jul 2012 11:50
So what could this mean? BBC Leeds based journalist Adam Pope intriguingly tweeted some information from Bahrain which suggests the potential new owners of LUFC are an offshore bank primarily interested in property development.
Pope tweeted (over three tweets) last night "Shiekh Abulrahman Bin Mulbarek Al Khalifa was merely an advisor for the interested party. The bidder is an offshore bank in Bahrain who has gathered a group of investors from the region. They are interested in developing the property asscociated with the club. The bank wishes to remain anonymous until the due diligence period is owner"
The claim may well disappoint Leeds fans as it hints it could well be a case of continuing the Bates business model of stadium rebuilding first, team rebuilding afterwards.
It may also explain why the deal is taking so long, the ownership of Elland Road and Thorp Arch fell into the hands of a third party during the Krasner-era and is now owned by the Teak Trading Corporation in the British Virgin Isles. One would suspect if a new owner has big plans to develop the ground then they will want to buy it outright from whoever owns Teak Trading Corporation! (obviously we would not wish to speculate who that person may be!)
However Gary Cooper, the LUST chairman told Katherine Hannah on BBC Radio Leeds on Thursday night, "...our contact with the buyers has told us as far as they are concerned everything is done their end. The deals agreed, the money is there, as far as they're concerned the paperwork is in place it's just a case of now signing it..."
So yet more rumour and intrigue, the Leeds United way! I do agree with the latest lust statement that the silence from Elland Road is deafening. Whilst we respect that legal protocol must be observed and do not expect nor would wish the deal to be jeopardised by saying too much, a short statement saying it is business as usual and everything is still moving in the right direction most certain would help!
Leeds have been silent on the subject for over a month now!
The alternative is speculate generates from Tweets etc and is often wildly inaccurate.
Redeveloping Elland Road is something that was hinted in the 1996 takeover when the Caspian Group became our new owners, evolved into Leeds Sporting and talked of building a arena and acquiring an Ice Hockey and Basketball franchise.
This caused both concern and derision from the supporters at the time, who were worried that these schemes could hinder then manager George Graham's team rebuilding plans, however the brokers behind the Leeds Sporting dream, I believe one called Chris Akers argued branching out into minority sports would provide funds for the football team.
Akers left in 1998 and although Leeds reacquired Elland Road, the plans for redeveloping it gathered dust on the draughtsmans table particularly when Peter Ridsdale ballotted season ticket holders in August 2001 about moving to a new, 50,000 seat purpose built stadium near Skelton on the outskirts of the City and over 87% voted in favour of such a move. I actually voted "no".
Ridsdale's dream (or folly) died when he left in March 2003. The following year it was reported the ground was owned by a Manchester based businessman and property developer Jacob Adler who also bought Thorp Arch. By late December 2006, the ownership of the ground and Thorp Arch fell into the hands of Teak Trading.
Despite third-party ownership of the stadium, Leeds have pressed ahead with redeveloping the frontage of the South Stand and the Upper East Stand executive suites, including a museum with the next phase scheduled to be a hotel, arcade and new club shop.
Although the club seem to have spent more on nett transfer spend than last summer, if Pope's tweets are correct then we will not be the next Chelsea or Manchester City and the likelihood is the stadium and surrounding area will still come first.
You need to login in order to post your comments