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Last Updated: Friday, 19 March, 2004, 18:37 GMT
Q&A: What now for Leeds United?
Leeds United has a new - if still uncertain - future
BBC News Online looks at what happens next for Leeds United in the wake of a takeover by a consortium of local businesspeople.

So what's actually changed?

Easily answered.

Three months after it suspended payments to its creditors, two months after negotiations started and just weeks after the players finally agreed to defer some of their massive wages, Leeds United has new ownership.

The football club, that is - including the ground, Elland Road, the training ground at Thorp Arch, and the players.

Part of Thorp Arch is up for sale, and the new owners will carry that deal through.

The public limited company (PLC) that owned the club till now, and its shareholders, are left out in the cold.

They get nothing, while their company - which lost 50m last year - now faces administration and being wound up.

The club's creditors, meanwhile, have agreed to accept 20 pence in the pound on debts which could be as much as 100m.

Another 10m has been raised as working capital.

Who are the new owners?

The consortium which has bought the club calls itself Adulant Force, and includes former Leeds player Peter Lorimer.

Its representative in the negotiations, insolvency practitioner Gerald Kravsner, will be Leeds' new chairman.

Alongside Lorimer, the other four boardmembers will be two property developers, entrepreneur Melvyn Levi and David Richmond, a businessman and son of former Bradford chairman Geoffrey Richmond.

Of Leeds United's current bosses, chief executive Trevor Birch will stay only long enough to complete the handover.

Finance director Neil Robson is to be superceded by one of Adulant Force's two property magnates, ex-NatWest high-flier Melvyn Helme.

That covers the financial side of things. But what about the football?

Unsurprisingly, that is what the new owners are stressing the most.

They say that they have made plans in case Leeds - firmly anchored at the bottom of the Premiership table - are relegated to Division One.

But high on the agenda is the roster of players.

There are 60 professionals at the club, the result of a 2000-2002 buying spree under former manager David O'Leary.

As many as 15 of them earning more than 1m a year, with the top earner on 3.5m.

But contracts worth 11m are up for renewal at the end of the season on 30 June.

Those players, Richmond said, are very unlikely to be rehired.

In the meantime, the new board is thought to want to see if former Coventry and Southampton manager Gordon Strachan can be tempted out of retirement to run the team.


SEE ALSO:
Leeds takeover completed
19 Mar 04  |  Leeds United
Leeds confirm wage deferral
11 Mar 04  |  Leeds United
Leeds players in wage pledge
21 Jan 04  |  Leeds United
Leeds face more sales
20 Jan 04  |  Leeds United
Leeds Utd dispels takeover rumour
16 Jan 04  |  Business
Leeds Utd posts record 50m loss
28 Oct 03  |  Business


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