Buy-Back of Elland Road could be close
Friday, 2nd Aug 2013 22:41 by Tim Whelan
The Yorkshire Post have reported that GFH are on the verge of securing a major investment that will enable them to exercise the option to buy Elland Road back from the current owners.
The stadium was sold by Gerald Kranser’s consortium in 2004 in a desperate attempt to raise funds as we faced liquidation, but the deal included an option to buy it back that at any time during the following 25 years.
It was sold to Manchester businessman Jacob Adler for an estimated £8m, and it was then sold on to it’s mysterious current owner, Teak Commercial Limited, a firm based in the British Virgin Islands. Nobody seemed to know who was behind Teak and Ken Bates has always denied it was him, even though he has done business in the Virgin Islands in the past and the company was incorporated in January 2005, the same month when he bought the club from Krasner.
Leeds currently pay £2 Million a year to lease the stadium and Thorp Arch, and GFH Capital have made it clear that buying back Elland Road is a key element of their plans for Leeds. To exercise the option to buy the stadium would cost £15 Million, but the Yorkshire Post are claiming that they are on the verge of securing an investment that would enable them to pay this sum. The paper couldn’t name the other party, but claim that a club source told them “It’s fair to say that the club are very close to securing what will be a very good investment deal.”
But they did say that it’s not thought to be Red Bull, which is a bit of relief, judging by the drink’s company’s current involvement in football. When they bought Austrian side Salzburg they changed their colours and re-named them ‘Red Bull Salzburg’, which annoyed their fans so much that they formed their own breakaway club! We can imagine the reaction of Leeds fans if we were ever asked to play in red!
And another piece of good news is that the club have “no immediate plans” to carry on with Ken Bates’ absurd idea for an eight-storey hotel complex at Elland Road’s South East corner.
With Bates, Harvey and Yorkshire Radio all gone, if the club could finally secure the ownership of the stadium from the mysterious Teak Trading that would represent the final break with our unfortunate recent past. Let’s hope that they can get the finance in place so that it all comes to pass.
Photo: Action Images
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