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Last Updated: Monday, 10 September 2007, 09:48 GMT 10:48 UK
Bates says Leeds are not for sale
Leeds chairman Ken Bates and former Newcastle chairman Freddy Shepherd
Bates (left) and Shepherd shared a lunch date recently
Leeds chairman Ken Bates insists the League One club is not for sale - although he is looking for investors.

Reports claimed ex-Newcastle chairman Freddy Shepherd, who sold his Magpies stake for 37m, was set to take over Leeds after he was seen with Bates.

"We had lunch and agreed to keep in touch. He hasn't made a sensational swoop and talks aren't at an advanced stage," Bates told BBC Radio Leeds.

"It's early discussions. Leeds are not for sale, I'm here for the long haul."

However, Bates added that he had received a separate approach from a third party claiming that he knew of a prospective buyer for the club.

Freddy is a wise old man - although he's younger than me - he's experienced and would be an ideal partner, but it's gossip."
Ken Bates
Leeds are currently bottom of League One but are now on zero points after five successive wins wiped out their 15-point penalty for breaching insolvency rules.

Bates has confirmed the club will appeal to the Football Association against the deduction, calling it a "travesty of justice".

Bates said: "The hard work has now been done, all of the rubbish is out of the way and the club is back on track.

"The real league table shows we are two points clear at the top - or will be when we get our 15 points back.

"The club is in profit, the gates are back and we have averages higher than Middlesbrough, Wigan, Reading and Fulham.


"The ground is slowly being improved and the team is strong. Why would I want to sell?

"After two years of hard work and three months of absolute hell, we can talk about football.

"Freddy is a wise old man - although he's younger than me - he's experienced and he would be an ideal partner but it's gossip."

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