Leeds United's debt to be cleared, says Cellino

Leeds United Crest

Massimo Cellino has agreed a deal with GFH to rid Leeds United of the debt accrued during the previous regime.

Cellino, who purchased a 75% stake in the Championship club for £11 million, agreed to inherit and repay roughly £24m worth of debt, with £10.5m due to be repaid by the turn of this year.

The Italian businessman has done much to relieve the club of any increasing financial problems, cutting costs with redundancies and management changes. Upon his takeover, the club were losing upwards of £1m a month, although financial outlays have been reduced in recent weeks.

And now, Cellino has gone one step further to lifting the financial restraints upon the club by agreeing a deal with former owners Gulf Finance House.

As reported by the Yorkshire Post, GFH, who owned Leeds prior to Cellino's takeover, will continue to hold their 10% stake in the Championship outfit, while club chairman Salah Nooruddin and Bahrain's Internation Investment Bank will retain the remaining 15%. In return, the majority of the £24m debt will be wiped out, as confirmed by Cellino.

He said: 'I can tell you I have done a deal with GFH to sign in a few days’ time which sorts out the historic debt. We are all happy. I remain 75 per cent in charge and GFH are happy that their share is now worth something'.

Exact details have yet to be revealed, although, aside from just wiping out the majority of the debt, it is believed that the circumstances have changed concerning when the remaining debt has to be repaid.

This news will only bring delight to the Leeds faithful, who have had a lot to question in the past few months. Various members of the management staff have been released, and jobs have also been cut in the hospitality area of the club.

However, with the £11m sale of Ross McCormack, Cellino has confirmed that Leeds have a working budget of £20m, and that he plans to buy back Elland Road from the stadium's private owners.

Fans will be hoping that some of that budget will be invested into the playing squad, strengthening for a potential return to the Premier League.

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