Presenting the inside scoop on the latest Football League news

Leeds Fans United – we can do it in 3 months

Leeds Fans United (LFU) has set a figure of £30m to buy Massimo Cellino’s promised majority stake in Leeds United, a figure they think they can achieve in three months according to a report in the Yorkshire Evening Post.

According to LFU chief executive Dylan Thwaites the £30m cost of purchasing the club comes from audited amounts provided by Companies House and is a figure arrived at based on the terms agreed between Thwaites and Massimo Cellino. Quoted in a BBC Sport article, from a BBC Radio Leeds source, the Leeds-born entrepreneur stated, “Massimo invited us to buy his majority stake and has agreed to sell to us at cost, at the money he has put into the club,” stating that the audited amount came to around “£30m or so of new equity.” Warning that there may be other “agreements and investments that will be found in due diligence”, Thwaites says that, “We’ll be left with a figure that is a maximum amount we will be paying for Leeds United and that is not a negotiable figure, it is an audited one.”

Whilst LFU only set out to raise £10m to purchase a foothold in Leeds United, they still remain confident that they can raise three times that figure and say that this is achievable within three months. In an article by Amitai Winehouse in the Yorkshire Post, Thwaites reassures fans that, with exclusivity from Massimo Cellino, that the minority stake could be achieved “within four or five weeks” with the full majority share being purchased from Massimo Cellino “within three months.”

The fans’ consortium have also outlined their plans involving a series of tiers that will help to raise the rather substantial sum needed for a true ownership of the club by its own fans:

  • Tier 1 – “The first tier is the Community Benefit Society. This new scenario is great for the CBS, as the majority shareholder will be Leeds Fans United, i.e. other Leeds fans who’ve got a common purpose. All the powers over the legacy and purpose of Leeds United will be held by Leeds fans who’ve invested in the £100 shares, up to £10,000.”
  • Tier 2 – “The next tier will be made up of high net worth, wealthy Leeds United fans investing into LFU. These can be in the sums of hundreds of thousands or millions.”
  • Tier 3 – “If we still have a shortfall on the figure, we have a great debt scheme. This would bring debt to the club, but it would be debt from Leeds fans. The debt payments would be interest free and deferred until we get into the Premier League.”
  • Tier 4 – “The final fourth tier, which is if we’re still short, we can go to institutional investors. We’re talking to them, even today.”

With a price in mind, it looks like Leeds Fans United are putting the paddles to full steam ahead to get this deal through as quickly as is possible.

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