Leeds United: 5 things Haigh tells on GFH purchase
When GFH Capital, a Bahraini investment group, took Leeds United from the grasping of Ken Bates’ raking fingers in January 2013, there were audible sighs of relief.
With the purchase came hope that Leeds were free of nefarious grasping, with Bates gone things would be better.
However, the hope has since turned to rancour with Leeds United fans realising that, despite the purchase of £1m man Luke Murphy, the Whites were lumbered with owners that saw the proud Whites as an ‘investment’ rather than a club’.
This very dichotomy put them at odds with the fans, fans who began to see GFH as ‘pocket-money sheikhs’ in it for their own gain, rather than ‘cash-rich investors’ as many had hoped for.
The face of GFH became David Haigh, installed as part of the deal by GFH as the figurehead on the board. It is this very same David Haigh who opens up on the video (above) about just what a mess and shambles GFH was when attempting to take over the sleeping giant that was Leeds United.
Five quotations from the interview
On GFH’s standing in Bahrain: “GFH in Bahrain were not trusted by the market or the regulators.”
On Hisham al Reyes’ strategy in aiming for the CEO position at GFH: “With his inexperience, naivety and vanity, he thought that it would help him going after a football club.”
On GFH’s reputation and bad press: “[there were articles] Reuters, which basically said for want of a better phrase they [GFH] were a Middle Eastern Ponzi scheme…a mirage in the desert.”
On a lack of funding to buy Leeds United: “Essentially GFH didn’t have any money. From Day 1 there was no money in terms of acquiring the club.”
On where some of the funds to by Leeds came from: “some money was taken from a company called NICO [sic] which is essentially the Iranian oil company, a company under US sanctions.”