The new twist in the Leeds United administration saga is starting to become a bit clearer now, courtesy of club administrators KPMG. It was announced just prior to the deadline for creditors to contest the CVA that HMRC (HM Revenue & Customs, the new name for the Inland Revenue) announced that they intended to challenge the deal in the High Court (see ‘Leeds United Set to Appeal.’)The initial case was heard, and subsequently adjourned last Friday until the 3rd September, by which time the club would have had to forfeited up to 4 League One matches including ties against Nottingham Forest and Luton.
With the confusion reigning supreme amongst Leeds United supporters everywhere, the administrators overseeing the takeover, KPMG UK decided that the club would be put up for sale, with a deadline of 5pm, Monday 9th July 2007. ‘We are putting the club up for sale and offers must be in by 5pm on Monday and we are interested in talking to other parties,’ a spokesman for the administrators said.
This is because of the uncertainty that surrounds the club due to the legal challenge by HM Revenue and Customs.’ The decision to put the Leeds up for sale has prompted a number of consortiums that were previously interested, to re-start their attempts to purchase the club. Vital Leeds United takes a brief look at what it believes to be the front runners.
The Ken Bates effect:
Former Leeds United chairman Ken Bates has criticised KPMG`s moves to sell the club, and has insisted that he will take legal action if another bidder is accepted. Bates, who`s improved buy-back deal was the one challenged by HMRC believes that the bid by a consortium fronted by himself is the only valid offer for the club and should be accepted. Speaking to Yorkshire radio he said: ‘Our bid is the original deal that was done in the meeting of creditors when we placed the Company Voluntary Agreement (CVA) on June 1,’ he told Yorkshire Radio.
We have amended it twice to try and meet the Inland Revenue’s objections and now we’ve withdrawn the conditionality of it, so it’s now unconditional.’ Going on to add his threat to rival bidders with: ‘We believe, in fact, our offer is valid, therefore it should be the only one to be accepted.
So there’s a problem and a possibility that if the administrator goes down another route then there could be further legal battles.”
?to be Frank(s):
The chairman and founder of the Redbus Group Simon Franks is believed to be one of the frontrunners in the race to win control of the club. The former banker made an announcement the day after the CVA challenge deadline, and has been quoted as saying that his bid for the club was substantially higher than the one made by Ken Bates.
Franks wishes to purchase the club through his Redbus Investment company, and when quizzed by Sky Sports News about his ambition for the club, he made a very clear statement: ‘Get Leeds back to the top of British football,’
I don’t see any scenario whereby the club disappears.”
What the Hull? :
The former Hull City chairman, Adam Pearson is another one that may be preparing a bid to take control of Leeds United, a surprising move considering that prior to the acceptance of the Bates bid, Pearson had actually denied that he was interested in the club. In June, Vital Hull City had reported that Pearson was in no way interested in bidding for Leeds, though did not rule out involvement in a football business in the future: “To be honest I think we can put this to bed.
But as for the long term, I certainly wouldn’t rule out going into another club. It’s an industry I really enjoy.” He may now make a bid using money generated from his sale of Hull City, combined with the finances of internet entrepreneur of Peter Wilkinson, who the Guardian Newspaper claimed in 1999 had a personal fortune of over £100million.
In an interview with BBC Radio 5 Live, former Leeds United Gerald Krasner has admitted that he has been speaking to a number of potential suitors for the club, though refused to give names other than denying that Pearson was one of them. He then went on to say that the two highest individual bidding consortiums are in discussions of a joint bid: ‘I have been speaking to a number of people over the past few months.
One of the conversations was about two of the consortiums joining together to make one super offer. I think if they were to team up they would stand a good chance of getting the club.’
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