LUST Pre-AGM Update

09 Oct 2012 07:34am, by YorkshireSquare

In advance their AGM at New Farnley Cricket Club this Thursday, the Leeds United Supporters Trust board have been working to establish the current situation with regard to the proposed takeover of Leeds United, and to gain an understanding of the future of the club.

In their first comments on the takeover back in May, they stated that they had spoken to at least two separate groups interested in taking over Leeds United. One of these groups was later granted a period of exclusivity to negotiate with the club. The Trust know that this group had the financial resources and ambition to take the club forward, and understand that members of this consortium wish to comment about the negotiation process in the future.

A number of parties have expressed interest in the negotiations over the last five months and longer, but current bidders GFH Capital have only emerged as potential buyers in the last six weeks.

At LUST their guiding principle is their Vision Statement, which was written by their members and sets out what they want to see at Leeds United, no matter who is in charge. With this in mind, the Trust have made contact with representatives of GFH Capital, to ascertain whether their plans for the club accord with the hopes of their 8,300 members.

From the Trusts discussions, they can say that:

- GFH Capital are very confident that a deal will be concluded in the near future. They have no major issues left to negotiate, and do not consider their lawyers to be delaying the deal unduly. The details of the deal are being concluded by the respective legal teams.

- They intend this deal to be a full takeover of Leeds United. Ken Bates will leave the club and David Haigh will take control.

- They view Leeds United as a long term project, and denied any intention to 'flip' the club. They could not answer questions about funding due to confidentiality agreements, but insist they have a strategy for success and the funds to achieve it.

- They confirmed that investment and success on the pitch are at the top of their agenda. Regaining ownership of Elland Road will also be a key aim. They agreed with the Trust that dwindling attendances at Elland Road are a sign of supporter dissatisfaction, and that bringing the crowds back should be a priority.

- In line with the Trusts Vision Statement, they understand the importance of working with all supporters and supporters' groups, the local council, police, businesses and the local community, and building positive relations with all.

For the Trusts part, given their status as current bidders and their confidence that they will soon conclude a takeover, they welcome GFH Capital's assurances regarding the aims and ambitions of the Trusts Vision Statement. However, while the trust acknowledge the need for confidentiality, they retain some concerns over the lack of information about GFH’s sources of funding, and will seek clarification of this as a priority should their bid be successful.

LUST would also stress that, should GFH Capital successfully conclude their takeover, they will be judged by Leeds fans on actions, not words. LUST are guided by their Vision Statement, which has the support of over 8,300 Leeds fans who have joined the Trust as members and shareholders. The Trusts role will always be to work towards a club that is ambitious on the pitch, and open and inclusive off it, whoever is in charge.

The Trusts AGM will be held at New Farnley Cricket Club on Thursday 11th October. Their members and shareholders are welcome from 7pm-8pm, and all Leeds fans are invited to attend the public meeting from 8pm onwards. You can find directions here and an agenda for the meeting here.

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