Leeds face 10-day race to stave off creditors

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The Independent Online

Leeds United have 10 days to avoid administration, with the club's future dependent on would-be investor Norman Stubbs stalling the demands of the club's major creditors.

Leeds United have 10 days to avoid administration, with the club's future dependent on would-be investor Norman Stubbs stalling the demands of the club's major creditors.

Following the collapse last week of Sebastien Sainsbury's on-off buyout, Stubbs, a property developer, held fresh talks with the board yesterday about a rescue deal. He proposes investing around £10m, and his deal could also involve £5m of funding from Allan Leighton, the former deputy chairman of Leeds who is now the chairman of Royal Mail.

Stubbs' proposal depends on whether he can negotiate renewed terms with the club's major creditors, principally the tax authorities but also the bondholders and former employees awaiting severance payouts.

The negotiations will take approximately seven to 10 days according to a statement released yesterday.

Leeds are still around £25m in debt and owe some £3.5m to the Inland Revenue, which is pressing for payment following previous defaults.

If Stubbs successfully defers the creditors' short-term demands, and the current board relinquishes all requests for personal recompense for members' own investment in Leeds, a deal is possible. If not, administration and a 10-point penalty beckon.

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