Leeds money 'in bank'

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The Independent Football

Sebastian Sainsbury said last night that his consortium had instructed Leeds United's solicitors that there is $50m (£27m) waiting in an American bank account to fund a takeover of the club. "The notification was sent at 5.11pm," said Sainsbury, 41, who is heading an Anglo-American group. Gerald Krasner, the club's chairman, said he had still not had "definitive" proof.

Sainsbury, who is working with an American firm, Nova Financial Partners, said the onus was now on Leeds' lawyers, Walker Morris, to contact the bank and access the money.

Mystery still surrounds the backgrounds of Nova's main players, especially its president, Michael Lucas, who claimed to have played international football as a goalkeeper for the USA against Pele's Brazil. That has been disproved. Lucas now says he played against Pele in the early Sixties in a "demonstration match" in America, although he cannot remember the venue. Pele's office said yesterday that the Brazilian star did not play on American soil in that period.

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