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Last Updated: Friday, 30 January, 2004, 16:12 GMT
Leeds given new reprieve
HOW TREVOR BIRCH RAISED 5M
Leeds are trying to raise funds to avoid going into administration
Man Utd bring forward Ferdinand payment: 1.5m
Boro offer fee for Mills: 1.5m
Ex-bosses defer money: 1m
Players defer wages: 1m+
Leeds United have extended their 'standstill agreement' with creditors for one more week.

The Premiership's bottom club needed to raise 5m by 30 January to avoid going into administration.

Chief executive Trevor Birch agreed to defer payments to the club's players and former managers while a transfer fee was agreed for Danny Mills.

That gave Birch more time to negotiate with a Yorkshire based consortium about a 20m takeover of the club.

A statement from the club on Friday read: "The board of Leeds United plc announces that it has met the financial and other covenants (described in its announcements on 19 and 26 January 2004) and as a result the standstill period now extends to 6 February 2004."

Leeds have debts totalling as much as 100m but the players agreed to defer "more than 20%" of their wages.

Their unanimous move followed agreements with ex-managers Peter Reid, Terry Venables and David O'Leary to defer severance payments adding up to 1m.

Manchester United gave Leeds 1.5m as a final settlement on the Rio Ferdinand transfer fee and a further 1.5m is set to come from Middlesbrough as a fee for Danny Mills.

But it was the players' decision to defer wages which provided the breakthrough.

"The board understands this has been very difficult for the players and this request was made as an absolute last resort," Birch said.

"The players' actions demonstrate their commitment and understanding and gives Leeds United a massive lift as we look towards the rest of the season.

It's a large amount of money which runs into millions
PFA chief Gordon Taylor

"There are 16 games left for Leeds United to fight for survival in the Premier League.

"The board, employees, players and supporters should now pull together and do whatever they can to achieve this goal."

Professional Footballers' Association chief Gordon Taylor praised the players' actions.

He said: "It's a large amount of money which runs into millions. It's more than we've had deferred from players at other clubs in all the experience we've had."

Talks with a group of four Yorkshire businessmen about a possible takeover are said to be at an advanced stage.

The consortium's representative Gerald Krasner revealed the money was now in place for the deal to progress.

A club statement added: "The board is now in negotiations with its principal finance creditors to seek a further extension to the existing standstill arrangements to the end of the football season.

"A further announcement will be made in this regard in due course. "

Speculation has mounted over the identity of the consortium members.

Ex-Bradford chairman Geoffrey Richmond has categorically ruled himself out as have the wealthy Ziff family.

Former deputy chairman Allan Leighton and Sheikh Abdulrahman bin Mubarak al-Khalifa have both been linked with a takeover bid.




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PFA chief Gordon Taylor
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