Bates' 'Offer' To Be Rebuffed

Last updated : 12 January 2005 By Kevin Markey

The Independent report that, despite Bates making a public denial that he wanted to invest £10m to take a controlling interest in Leeds, he was privately seeking another meeting with Sainsbury to do just that.

The report goes on to say that Bates requested that Sainsbury fly tomorrow to Monaco, where Bates is now based, for further discussion.

Sainsbury, who is negotiating with several potential backers of his proposed £25m buyout, will probably decline that request.

Bates' alleged suggestion for his investment, a 51 per cent ownership of the club and the role of chairman, is not attractive to Sainsbury, who wants that role for himself.

"I can confirm a meeting took place last Thursday with Ken Bates during which a potential investment was discussed," confirmed Sainsbury, who spent yesterday working on his buyout.

Sainsbury has also been invited to invest in Derby, but has no intention of doing that. He remains focused on Leeds but has so far not disclosed the identities of his partners, although two major business figures are thinking of joining him.

The Leeds board is keen to avoid administration, not only because it would incur a ten-point penalty from the Football League but because it stands to lose financially.