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11.05.2015


Businessman John Andrew has spoken of his shock after being ousted from the multi-million pound company he founded 24 years ago. Direct Golf UK and its parent company, Powerhouse Golf, were put into administration on October 16 after the discovery of alleged accounting irregularities which effectively rendered the business insolvent. Mr Andrew said the business had been on an a€?absolute higha€? and alleged errors in the accounts had come out of the blue. Direct Golf UK staff locked out of Milnsbridge office following dispute with sportswear giant Sports Direct It is understood the 25 or so head office staff have been issued with redundancy notices but offered jobs with the new company. In recent years a drop in sales was blamed on poor weather and Mr Andrew was forced to invest his own money. At that point the firm handled its own distribution from a warehouse in Milnsbridge and Mr Andrew out-sourced to a Wetherby-based company, slashing the wage bill by £1 million a year. L to r, James Armstrong, Paul Oldroyd, John Andrew, Joe Vanyuscsak, Sam Andrew and Steve Hopwood.
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A year end report published by Gulf Financial House, the parent company of Leeds United owners GFH Capital, made clear the firms intention to sell Leeds United on swiftly, leaving Whites fans to mull the possibilities of another takeover saga. Here we’ll try to breakdown the statement to see what facts we can actually deduce from it, before moving on to the more speculative stuff that followed.
While GFH Capital previously claimed they only wanted to sell a minority stake, their parent company seems to have other plans.
The wording of the above suggests GFH plan to sell all of it’s stake in Leeds United FC, but they could retain a minority stake in the club.
Put simply, GFH must classify the entire club as held-for-sale, even if they plan to retain a minority stake (<50%).
Gulf Financial House believe they paid a good price for Leeds United, valuing the club at more than the ?22m they paid for it. Maybe GFH-C themselves don’t yet know whether they’ll be minority, majority or non-existent shareholders when this all comes to an end?
Of course, it could well be that GFH-C are indeed planning a speedy exit, or that GFH and GFH-C are reading from different hymn sheets. A lot of criticism has been aimed at GFH-C in the wake of this news, but aren’t we being a little unfair?
Falling attendances, desperate loans taken out against season ticket sales, severe cashflow problems – these are all indicators that the club was heading down a very dark path (again). If GFH-C can find us a suitable owner while also making themselves a few quid in the process, everyone’s a winner.
I remember Salem Patel saying in an interview that in the deal to buy the club, Ken Bates will not be able to buy it back at any time. As fans we want success whether for bragging rights, pride, to see talent come through our gates, to watch the club hopefully grow to be one of the biggest in the country or to be in the history books whatever your reason but one things for sure if you are on a 100k+ wages and you play for lets say our past rivals Man utd, I really doubt Fergie is signing players and saying to them you go out there and do the best you can but if you dont win any competitions for the forthcoming years the main thing is make sure you have fun, bizzare how some of our fans after having not won anything in a couple of decades have just lost the passion to see our incredible clubs name back in the bright lights and writing all the headlines but instead just believe it is acceptable to watch 11 men who hoof the ball to each other crack on with it as long as they are having a laugh, get real will you ffs. And as they’re a Middle Eastern investment bank we can still hope for some rich Arabs!!! Whether they leave tomorrow or not is irrelevant, they cleared Ken Bates out of the way and have done right by Leeds while here.
They did say they were NOT looking to sell, but wanted to bring investors into Leeds as minor shareholders.
They did NOT get rid of Bates – he is still here, and may be with us for many years as President. They actually said they wouldn’t rule out a majority investor, but the ideal situation would be someone taking around 30%.
Enough with the Bates nonsense already, he’s a figurehead, a position he insisted on to complete the deal. Progress is getting rid of Ken, a club who now has the cashflow to operate on a day-to-day basis, cheaper tickets and better communication with fans.
If GFH have found someone better place to take Leeds United forward, then fair play to them. I agree,been saying for months about a statement of intent from our so-called owners,tell us the truth for once.
At the beginning GFH-C approached KB with a view to buy LUFC on behalf of a rich middle-eastern gentleman who wished to remain anonymous.
GFH-C then came back with an offer of their own, saying they had dropped the mystery bidder and were going it alone.
This was never going to be a straight-forward process, but if the plan goes according to plan we will have the rich benefactor that we were originally meant to, KB rides off into the sunset, GFH-C ride off into the sunset and a new dawn begins for LUFC. Pretty clear to me that bankers like to make money and that must be good for all concerned. Many fans will not grasp this type of ownership, (just flick through the YEP comments on this subject, you’d think there was a war on), and are continuing to view the ownership with a high degree of apathy. What is relevant, imo, is to centre on what GFHC have done to add value and prospect to what now is revealed, (yes it’s in the GFH report), the creeky ship LUFC was in early December, about to roll over and sink.
Reduced ST pricing, Cash flow support through the summer and autumn, Watch Leeds for less and some cash support for new team players. The Club needs income to pay the monthly bills, surely that is in a big part… is down to us the support. They kept Bates & NW, to keep things ticking over, while they put their plan into operation.
We knew from the offset that GFH were in it for the money (what business isn’t?) and that they were looking for investors to come on board. The emails, which were obtained by the BBC under the Freedom Of Information Act, show council officials tirelessly attempting to help Leeds United avoid relegation and financial doom by coming to a mutual agreement for the repurchase of Elland Road.
The council would loan Leeds United ?18-25m at 4% interest – an incredibly low amount for a loan that would have stretched over 20 years.
It’s almost a little too convenient that the mysterious ?10m investor would be interested in exactly the same things Ken Bates is. It almost seems as though Leeds United have attempted to use the clubs uncertain future as chips in a game of high stakes poker with the council. You can read the emails yourself over at The Square Ball, but for me, the council have been backed into a corner by Leeds United who seemed to be using the council’s fear of losing a huge city asset as leverage. Yet through all this, the council continued to try and find a mutually suitable solution, only for Bates to later announce that ”revenge is a dish best eaten cold” claiming that the council had little interest in helping the club.
The 10 million is clearly bates and associates money ,well if he had that money he should of used it to spend on his club  to stop people loosing money from the admin .
I understand your wanting everything to be true so you can see a new owner.  Who do you think this will be?
Your looking for flaws where there are none, and in the absence of that, seem to have invented your own. If a club doesn’t have a multi billionaire as owner then they have to look at aall ways to bring in additional revenue.
Bates is trying to earn money, but if it was for the good of Leeds United Football Club, the priority would be to wipe ?3m a year off our expenditure by spending ?17m to regain control of the stadium. Like the ownership of our ground (which we all know Bates owns) and TA, all these side projects will be separate companies with untraceable accounts that have no benefit to Leeds United whatsoever. I don’t fully understand why Bates has (allegedly) lied about owning Leeds because everyone knows he has. The thing is, even if he has done all his shenanigans legally he still needs to answer to the highest court in this matter, i.e. He needs to come clean very quickly and have an open book policy going forward or he is never going to stop being despised.
KEN BATES LIED , HE WAS THE OWNER ALL ALONG AND LIED IN COURT for the benefit of the circling lawyers  (allegedly) .. Why build a hotel adjoining a football ground, where there is no business park, entertainment hub, retail – oh wait theres a megastore and shopping arcade planned….
Well he managed to take us into administration in 2005 at the peak of the economic cycle, brushed of other potential investors at the stage of the CVA – and since then not a red cent has come in from China, the Gulf, the States – whys that?
Leeds city council wanted to save Leeds United, buy the ground, and asked effectively who they needed to write the cheque to – Kens response – none of your business – just give me the cash and I’ll see that its safe….
We’ve already been in league one, we might go up who knows – but as sure as eggs are eggs we will end up having to part company with Ken – and that will take some dogfight.
No one does it better than Leeds, which is probably the only thing we can claim to be maintaining a competitive edge in these days. Here we take a look at some key areas the club need to address if we’re to stop the rot and get things back on track. Bad results will see pressure mount on the Leeds boss, but replacing him won’t help matters. The reality is, Leeds are a team in transition surrounded by constant off-field chaos and struggling for consistency.
If the off-field dramas can be set aside and Leeds can break free of our crisis club tendencies, what you’re left with is a young and inexperienced side who are predictably inconsistent but require nothing more than time and a bit of reinforcement.


We don’t need major surgery or a complete overhaul, just a little fine-tuning and an improved environment.
Undoubtedly so, I just hope the fans don’t turn on Redders and Cellino exercises more patience than he historically has.
Changing Redfearn at this stage would have no benefit to the team as we have suffered too much change over a short period already. But if we continue to slide into a relegation battle, he may well be returned to the academy.
Henry I agree that due to the circumstances Redders is the best man for the job however he needs to start helping himself a bit and embrace change in his tactics and selections.
I think we should see if we could pull off a coup for a player like Darren Gibson or Steve Sidwell, both of which fits the role that was spoke of in this article.
I also agree Redders must stay at this point mainly because I fear that demoting him would only aggravate the team and especially the former academy lads who you know have a strong allegiance to him. It’s now all about Leeds fighting their way, away from the bottom half of the table and building for next season. The away form is absolutely shocking and it puts a huge amount of pressure on Leeds to win at Elland Road, which is not always going to happen. Neil Redfern is definitely the right man for the job, but he has to dig deep into his huge squad or he has to try to bring in some key players on free transfers, if the transfer embargo will allow that. In Cellino and Redders we have the right people in the right places to do what needs to be done and face what we are going to have to face in order to see better days.
Beyond that we need a few players in to take pressure off and give us an option but not an overhaul. However I, perhaps naively, cling to the belief that there are still a few decent people in football. I`m really not sure you would find that many jaundiced individuals, on the liver transplant list, in modern day professional football. If I were to accept your proposition that Milner is materialistic as the rest there is still another way of looking at it. The Scratching ShedFounded in 2008, The Scratching Shed is an independent fansite written by, and for, the fans of Leeds United Football Club. Our young players are not for sale and, of course, contract negotiations are foremost in our mind and will be delivered. Massimo Cellino cannot wait to come back and will be present at out end of season player dinner at Elland Road in early May. Antenucci took to Twitter (Link 1, Link 2) to express his confusion while his agent has been seeking assurances from Salerno on the situation.
Clearly this has been an unpopular and unsettling decision, one that looks to have been made in a worrying attempt to influence team selection.
It’s hard to believe any of our young players would want to sign a new contract when a coach they really liked has been unjustly suspended, the Head Coach they greatly admire is considering his future and the club are trying to deny one of their teammates a bonus put into his contract for meeting stated targets. If no reasonable explanation is provided for Thompson’s sacking and the appalling treatment of Redfearn, then the undermining theory is the only realistic one. Ouch an incentivised contract – Redders should have known about this before signing his own contract. Well of all the press attached to the club, Phil Hay is generally the best informed and he’s adamant the Mirco stuff is legit. It doesn’t make sense Henri – why would Cellino bring on himself another legal action ? It is not hard to believe (as recent events have shown) that Redders is kept in the dark about most things.
He then thinned us down, reducing staff and the wage bills, and clawed in big money for Ross, and smaller money for Warnock, and others. He did not buy ER as promised, passing at least two deadlines, and has no intention of doing so. Mr Andrew, 48, chairman of Huddersfield-based Direct Golf, was forced out in a boardroom coup. Administrator Philip Duffy said: a€?The company had come under a€?serious cash flow pressure as a result of significant accounting issues that will require further detailed investigations by the administrators. One locomotive is already on the turntable and another one has derailed and fallen into the pit. Only last month the owners released a statement revealing a takeover bid had been rejected, so they can’t be in too much of a hurry to offload. Perhaps GFH are merely keeping their options open and the held-for-sale classification has been used until they have investors in place and the firm are happy with their current position. While Plan A may well be to sell a minority stake, wouldn’t it be foolish to rule out a complete sale altogether?
While GFH-C may not turn out to be the saviours some had hoped for, they should at least be credited with rescuing us from a much darker fate by freeing the club of Ken Bates, attempting to build better relations with fans, lowering season ticket prices and supporting the club financially during their time here. When a club is up for sale, fans go out of their way to stress the money-making potential their club holds but the second someone capitalises on it, there’s outrage. Ken bates is still at the club to the end of the season and then will be the club president we were told. There may have been had GFH not come in when they did though, our accounts were looking very bleak.
Sure, on the face of it this is a ceremonial position rather than a nuts and bolts management one but why??
They said from day one they were seeking investment, nothing’s really changed, has it? I don’t think for one minute that GFH are looking to sell right now, they would be stupid to. Apart from perhaps a supporter owned club, then all of them are pretty much on the market, albeit for the right price. One in which, Leeds City Council attempted to overcome concerns of hidden ownerships, overvalued assets and unreasonable loan requests from the club to find an agreement that would not only support the long-term future of the club, but also provide value for money to the taxpayer.
The principle planning permission and first refusal on additional land all seem to tie in nicely with the hotel and retail facilities our chairman has been planning to build for several years now. A ridiculous number of clubs have been taken over by wealthy people in the past decade or so, yet none of them have highlighted a need for hotels and non-matchday events to build their coffers – not even after plans were announced to restrict clubs to wages based on their own income.
The council, worried that the city may lose a club which brings people, money and attention to the city, were left desperately trying to help the club, whilst at the same time, trying to uncover who it was their money was going to (fears of money laundering laws were mentioned at one point), whether their loan would be safely repaid and most importantly, whether the taxpayer was getting a fair deal. The council were left in an impossible position where they had no idea where their money would be going, whether they could rely on Leeds United to repay the huge loan they requested and where a mysterious investors demands were bordering on blackmail. What are they going to do that keeps the club in it’s present financial stable condition and not go down the route where it all ends in tears again. I actually think it was a good idea, and LCC made every attempt to try and help the club – Harvey et al were serving an entirely different agenda though, one which seemed more interested in building stuff on the surrounding land than securing the future of our club.
West Ham want an increased stadium capacity FOR additional matchday revenue so that argument is completely flawed. Read back through what I actually wrote, and the emails published on The Square Ball, then come back and tell me what part was tunnel-visioned.
Man City and other big clubs can flout the new laws coming in by announcing sponsorship deals from themselves etc, stadium naming rights, businesses sponsoring players (i.e.
Take a look at stadiums like Bolton’s which is a purpose built stadium  containing offices and  shops around it so that it can bring in a revenue stream. Businesses operate on footfall – the footfall in Leeds city centre is vastly superior to Beeston.
We will of course have to get him to be honest about who owns the club – and where all the money is going, plus who owns the ground – a tangled web – what happens if the young buck corks it at 79 Years young? He’s a man who can identify areas of weakness and instruct one of the younger players around him to adjust his game accordingly while simultaneously ensuring the rest of the team keep their shape and cut threats out at source. This was in part due to the understanding we’d be embargoed by The Football League for failing to comply with FFP regulations and unable to act in January. However, Leeds have high concentrations of players in central areas and very little in the way of width making us one of the least adaptable teams in the division. As noted above, the youngsters need a leader on the pitch to guide them but they’re at least getting the game time now. Both teams currently occupy places in and around the play-off zone, some dozen places above lowly Leeds and whatever new crisis has befallen us since I started writing this piece. The team gelling together and cutting out the individual errors which have been a feature of recent games will take care of itself, it just won’t happen overnight. The only point that changing coach should be considered is if we are in relegation form after February.
However, Redfearn needs to learn from his mistakes and become more adaptable in order to survive in this league.
Cellino is decisive and ruthless, also can bet your bottom dollar still controlling things behind the scenes DQ’d or not. Why would Milner, Delph, Gradel ( who isn’t in the same league as the other two and nearly cost us promotion against Bristol before being dragged off and booed off by leeds fans against Bristol) come back to a failing team like leeds?!
Bet he doesn’t give his weekly wages to the home for poorly puppies and kittens, does he? Neil Redfearn was cautious enough to have a clause written into his own contract which guarantees him first team selection.


Meanwhile, Liam Cooper made his feelings clear by favouriting a selection of Adam Pope’s tweets. Bates almost made me give up but what has happened in the last day as well as some of the other baffling decisions made by the toxic disgrace Cellino (who I have never been a fan of from day 1), may just make me give up. I do not believe Redders was told not to select Antenucci but was simply informed of the incentives attaching to his contract. Plainly Redfearn did, at one point, go a bit cool on Antenucci, when we we really needed points. We should have seen this coming, but we were too eager and desperate to believe that this time it was going to be different…. As for the sacking of Thompson, he probably reasons that coaches elsewhere have had to live with the constraints caused by incentivised contracts, so why can’t Redders (if such is the issue).
Sports Direct, which took a 25% stake in the company last year, bought the company out of administration, safeguarding 162 jobs. Sports Direct refused to back his restructuring plan and Sports Direct removed all three directors a€“ Mr Andrew, managing director Neil Bell and procurement director Rob Andrew a€“ and issued injunctions against them, banning them from the company. Direct Golf a€” a potted history John Andrew fought desperately to save Direct Golf in recent years. He hired a human resources consultant to help staff with job applications and personally phoned business contacts and suppliers. Mr Andrew, who lives in Shepley, has other business and property interests and is set to take some time out before deciding on his next move.a€?Ita€™s almost like a bereavement,a€? he said. New online shopBuy a print: Thousands of our images are available as postcards, notecards and framed or unframed decorative prints. Had they not turned up in the first place, we’d still be stuck with that idiot now, heading towards another relegation and another 8 years of his BS. Unless theres a buyer with real money interested they could drag this out till the end for the best price leaving us with a skeleton squad for next season. They have clearly stated they are seeking wealthy investors to achieve any of these percentages. Perhaps I’m just banging mine and still in awe of kicking a ball around with Johnny Giles when I was 14 at school in Harrogate.
What I think will happen (for what it is worth) is that they will get an investor, who will purchase a medium sized stake with the aim of putting money into the club to purchase players, buy the stadium and training ground and more importantly get us into the Premiership THEN and only then will GFH sell up their majority stake and keep a small stake in the club. This has nothing to do with hating Bates, it is to do with the fact that LCC seemed to be the only party involved in these negotiations that cared for the football aspect of our club. The council have clearly seen through this and as such, proposed a cheap lease-back agreement to the club (not Bates) so that Elland Road would be a home of football for 125 years to come, and we’d be charged very affordable rent. Going into administration when the implication recently was that he allegedly had ?10m to invest was outright arrogance and irresponsibility, it smacks of his allergy to paying the taxman – who footed the bill? Why not invest your money in a city centre hotel, or better still into the football team?….
Luckily for us, the embargo borders on laughable and restrictions leave plenty of room to get new players in. Leeds only really have one way of playing and if our opposition can deal with that, there’s precious little we can do to surprise them. But bringing in a leader to guide the players, protecting youngsters from being overrun by having the players to facilitate a system change, keeping someone in place they trust and admire and cutting out distractions to allow the team to focus on football will all help to expedite the team’s progress. The insistence in playing the diamond formation, come what may, is short sighted and bordering on stubborn. And Redfearn is a Yorkshireman straight shooter and brutally honest as well as a likeable roll sleeves up kind of fella. If you played for Man City would you really come back to a corrupt club over the Penines or look elsewhere? It’s alarming that he felt such a thing had to be written-in in the first place, but given the situation with Antenucci, it seems he was wise to do so.
Which is not to say (a) that he should not show more care for the feelings of his chief coach, (b) not be more mindful of the fragility of the overall situation at the club he owns, and (c) not waste the capital he still has among a significant number of fans and supporters, though plainly not your good self. Mr Andrew, a former PGA golf professional, lost his fight for control with giant rival Sports Direct, run by billionaire retail magnate Mike Ashley, the controversial owner of Premier League football club Newcastle United. He built the business from nothing into a company employing 250 people with an annual turnover of £25 million.
He has ruined out club and there is now a potential for him to buy it back which would be catastrophic. They also offered a better deal than we currently have (125 year lease with very low rent) that the club also refused for reasons unknown. Leeds need to generate additional cash and make use of a stadium that is used less than 30 times a year for football matches. There is absolutely no way I would book a hotel room in Beeston over Leeds City Centre because location is important and no one wants to be surrounded by a ring road, a deserted football stadium, a busy main road and a council estate. Well we all did as taxpayers, and local businesses did too, in short only one person came out of it the better – and ?15m better off  – Ken. We have to remember how we ended last season, and the transition the club still finds itself in. It is due to them and not the Italian league jokers that we signed why we are now safe from relegation. I know Redders is on a steep learning curve, as OS once put it, but he was smart enough to have exclusive rights over team selection written into his own contract, so why would he miss this trick ? I find it hard to believe that Redders was unaware of the dilemma this now puts the club in.
As for his being a crook, as OS aptly commented, show me a woman who has not been tempted when completing a self-assessed tax return. In a nutshell, that means it's free for any non-commercial use as long as you credit "© National Railway Museum and SSPL" and add a link back to this page. Driving round Manchester recently I saw big billboards advertising some sort of hoover  demonstration – location the Etihad (Man City) Stadium. Because it means the stadium would be owned by an independent body (LCC) rather than whichever offshore disguise Bates has it under which he can pay himself through. Moreover he doesn’t own the ground – couldn’t he find a mortgagee to lend him ?15M – at ?2m per year I’m sure even he could get a mortgage. Problem with comments like the ones below are they are written by people that don’t go to games or watch leeds.
For the sake of Leeds United, our young players, and of course the ever suffering Leeds United fans, Cellino must be forced out! The Examiner reported three weeks ago how Sports Direct changed the locks on the firma€™s HQ in Bankwell Road, Milnsbridge, premises owned personally by Mr Andrew. He moved to Longley Park and was a golf professional at Crosland Heath when he spotted an opportunity to launch his own business. The information below the photo is released under the Creative Commons Universal (CC0) license.
So even moneybags City are doing the corporate sh*t and bringing in non matchday revenue.The argument suggesting hotels in the city centre  are struggling is of little relevance as they are in a bad location travel wise in comparison to ER which is conveniently just off the motorway with loads of parking space. A Structured loan over 30 years may even be more cost effective and improve our cashflow, it also makes us more attractive to investors, banks will still invest in property – well unless you already own it.
But it obviously puts him in an invidious position with the player when it comes to team selection and defending his choices before the media and fans.
Corporate functions  can be easily held there by many non football companies which can bring in huge revenue. 2.They are a stable corporate entity and professionally managed, not a one man band featuring an untalented amateur. The company, which had 20 stores including the original one in Leeds Road, Huddersfield, invested in its shops and product lines and sales increased by 25%, said Mr Andrew. Taking over seven Nevada Boba€™s sites he grew the business into Europea€™s second largest golf retailer, owning 100% of the business until he sold a 25% stake to Sports Direct last year for a nominal £1. Sick if the quick bucks been made, sick of the secrecy, sick of the lack of investment, sick of a squad built on the cheap and sick of the manager that just plays this crazy long ball game every time. Hardly like Bates would want to build something if it wasn’t going to earn him money now is it?We need to look at Leeds United as a long term development both on and off the pitch. The best option is that he gets bored and gets an offer from someone with more money and more commonsense.
But problems came to light after an in-depth financial audit, which set alarm bells ringing.
Barring a multi billionaire coming in it is the only way we can hope to compete and if our non matchday revenue brings in a few million pounds a year then that gives us a few million pounds more to spend than the clubs who don’t have it. They have plenty of sports management experience, and hopefully they have learned from past errors.



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