Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Flowers Ends Leeds United Takeover Bid

Andrew Flowers has pulled out of talks to buy Leeds United.The managing director of Enterprise Insurance withdrew from the battle after making a last-ditch effort to take charge of the club before Italian businessman Massimo Cellino completed his own takeover. Flowers was part of a failed attempt by the Sport Capital consortium to secure a 75 per cent stake in Leeds last month but he attempted to put a fresh offer together over the weekend.Enterprise Insurance - United’s shirt sponsor since 2011 - withdrew its support of the club on Friday evening and has also issued a winding-up order on the club over a loan paid to Leeds in 2012. In a statement, Flowers said: “I entered discussions in good faith to buy this club for the simple reason that I am a lifelong supporter and sincerely believed that I could make a real contribution towards the goal of promotion to the Premier League and at the same time provide the stability and sound financial governance the club desperately needs. “However, the emergence of Mr Cellino’s bid, and the nature of the transaction, seems to have crystallised the attitudes of both GFH and the Leeds United board, enabling them to dispose of the club with no consideration for its ultimate security and wellbeing. “In effect, it is a ‘fire sale’ transaction which is not in the interests of Leeds United, its players, staff or loyal supporters. “Both myself and my company, Enterprise Insurance, have been enormous financial supporters of the club for the last few years and while we may understand the commercial expediency which leads the owners to accept the superficially attractive Cellino offer, we remain firmly convinced this deal will not give the club the stability or investor commitment it badly needs. “Despite our serious misgivings, we wish the team, the manager and fans well for the future and I remain a very enthusiastic Leeds supporter. “I have no other comment to make at this time about outstanding financial and legal issues between us and the current owners.”

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