Sheikh Ready To Rival Leighton

Last updated : 11 January 2004 By Kevin Markey

The 44-year-old Sheikh is a member of Bahrain's ruling dynasty and has been linked with a move to take control of the club for the past few weeks.

The Sheikh has refused to comment on speculation but has now declared he is ready to set up a rival consortium to that of former Leeds deputy chairman Allan Leighton.

Leighton is believed to be assembling a group which includes Philip Green, the entrepreneur who owns British Home Stores and the Arcadia Group.

The Sheikh's consortium is believed to include two Saudi Arabian businessmen and a company based in Asia.

Both groups have approached Leeds' major creditors to extend the deadline and buy more time to raise funds.

The Sheikh says he has been in London recently talking with potential financial partners and said in The Sunday Mirror: "I have been doing my best to put a bid together.

"There are signs of hope. The more talks I have, the more optimistic I become about a solution.

"I fell in love with the club when I was 11 years old when Leeds played Chelsea in the 1970 FA Cup final.

"It was fated that I should love the club. Whether that fate will determine that I can save them 30 years later, I don't know.

"Leeds mean everything to me, I was born to support them.

"Those who are closest to me, my friends and my family, know what Leeds United mean to me."