Leeds hold off administration

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The Independent Football

Leeds United will inform the Stock Exchange this morning that they have secured more time from their creditors and will stay out of administration until the end of the month.

The club's chief executive, Trevor Birch, has also indicated Leeds are close to receiving the £5m he has calculated they need to stay in business until the end of the season. Last night there was also fresh hope that a consortium involving the former deputy chairman Allan Leighton has now put together a rescue package which will help pay off the debts of £80m.

However, it is unclear if the complex deal will be acceptable to the creditors. Saturday's defeat against Southampton ­ which sent the club back to the bottom of the Premiership ­ will also hamper any talks. If they go down, administration will probably be unavoidable.

Birch is due to hold further discussions this week with the players and the Professional Footballers' Association to negotiate a deferral in their wages. They are likely to agree. Further player sales are also being considered as a last resort. The acting chairman revealed yesterday that Leeds are again thinking of leaving Elland Road but said it was not imminent.

It is today's deadline that is most pressing. "We are very close to reaching an agreement with the principle creditors that will give us an extension of at least a week to enable us to put the funds in place to fund the club for the rest of the season," Birch said. "We're confident we can put that package together next week. A number of options are being considered to raise that."

Birch criticised the Bahraini Sheikh Abdulrahman bin Mubarak Al-Khalifa, who failed to make an expected bid for the club on Friday but still promises to intervene. "It's quite clear that nobody is out there wanting to take the risk on relegation because it brings with it a big trading loss. But I'm fed up with reading what he's about to do in the papers, it's really a time to show us the colour of his money, to put up or shut up."