After months of speculation it has been confirmed that a Dubai-based consortium is to take over control of Leeds United.
GFH Capital Ltd, which is a subsidiary of the Bahrain investment bank Gulf Finance House, has confirmed that it has signed an exclusive deal to acquire Leeds City Holdings, the parent company of Leeds United.
News of the deal was confirmed in a letter from GFH to the Bahrain Stock Exchange.
It comes just days after senior GHF Capital members sat alongside Leeds United chairman Ken Bates in the director's box at Elland Road as the club inflicted a 2-1 defeat on Nottingham Forest.
Among their number were life-long Leeds United fan David Haigh, deputy chief executive of GFH Capital Limited, and Salem Patel, a board member at the private equity company. Both men had previously attended Elland Road for United’s victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers on the first day of the season.
They were accompanied by Hisham Alrayes, another prominent employee of GFH Capital Ltd who also works as acting chief executive officer for Gulf Finance House.
The financial future of the Elland Road club has been up in the air since Leeds revealed, on June 26, they had granted exclusivity to a potential investor.
Details remained thin on the ground after that, until current owner Ken Bates broke his summer-long silence after the Forest game by admitting he was in talks with a group from the Middle East.
The takeover of Leeds would end Bates` seven-year reign which has been largely dogged by supporter unrest.
Protests have regularly been staged against the former Chelsea owner for a perceived lack of investment.
So far there has been no comment from the club about the takeover but a Yorkshire-based sports lawyer , Clive Lawrence says it's unclear whether or not today's announcement means a deal is imminent.