Kuwaiti businessman linked with Leeds United take over
Are Leeds United the next target for Gulf investment?
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Although currently playing in the Championship, the level below the Premier League, Leeds United are considered to be one of the biggest clubs in English football, with a large global fanbase and, as the sole team in England’s fourth largest city, unlimited potential.
Current owner, the controversial, Monaco-based businessman Ken Bates, has irked large sections of the Leeds support with his caustic style and failure to build on the side that secured promotion from League 1 two seasons ago.
But he has also stated that he is seeking long term investment in the club, and news has spread in the last two days that a deal is nearing a conclusion.
Fawaz al-Hasawi is a member of a prominent business family in Kuwait, who has made his fortune from companies in refrigeration and electro-mechanical contracting.
It is believed he has been pursuing interest in both Leeds United and Nottingham Forest, another fallen giant of the English game, and he admitted in a press conference on Tuesday that a deal “for a second tier English club” was indeed imminent — a club that “has a big history in football”.
However, he did also say that he won't reveal the name of the club until the end of June.
According to several Kuwaiti papers this morning, al-Hasawi now submitted his resignation from his position as chairman of Qadsia.
Leeds United, the last winners of the English First Division before the creation of the Premier League, have experienced crippling financial problems since their pursuit of Champions League glory in 2001, and such an investment could help propel the club back to where its fans believe it belongs.