LUFC Media The GFH Files

Loose lips sink ships: Gulf Finance House & LUFC documents leaked (Updated March 16th 2015)

Salem Patel Celebrates Cellino not doing due dilligence
Written by Simon O'Rourke
Further to previous leaks from inside GFH, today saw the introduction of some rather eye-opening information surrounding Gulf Finance House (“GFH”), current managers of 25% of Leeds United’s shares.

Dissension is reportedly rife within the ownership structure at GFH, with investors said to be both outraged and embarrassed at the handling of investment in Leeds United, and the entire David Haigh affair which they believe should have been dealt with “in-house”. Several emergency board meetings have been both called and cancelled in the last few weeks, mostly pertaining to Leeds United Football Club. A break-off group of GFH investors has also been rumoured.

Additional leaks will be added to the site as they become available. Last update: 10:00pm (GMT), February 5th, 2015. Items 23-29 added. Skip to the newest leak(s).

Leaks, leaks, everywhere

Item 1:

A letter to the DFSA (Dubai Financial Services Authority), outlining and documenting a conversation that took place between David Haigh and Salem Patel. The accusations found within have reportedly been evidenced with secure and encrypted logs from the Text Messaging App “WhatsApp”, to avoid any accusations of tampering. The document references such instances as Injazat Technology Fund’s money being used by Hisham Alrayes and GFH to acquire Leeds United Football Club. Also references that something of an agreement was already in place for GFH to sell the club to Sport Capital, and that Shaun Harvey had been pressurized to exert his influence and push the potential deal through.

Document: View PDF

Item 2:
At GFH, staff are required to get approval from Hisham for everything. And by everything, I mean everything. Right down to the fish tank in GFH’s offices that hadn’t been cleaned for a full year. Yes, folks, it has come to this.

Document: View PDF

Item 3:
While not an actual leak, it is a great resource for viewing just how far GFH’s share price has plummeted

Document: View website

Item 4:
An email from David Haigh to the board of GFH discussing Gary Cooper, then Chairman of Leeds United Supporters Trust. The email details the ridiculous demands of Salem Patel, namely his demand that Gary Cooper and LUST apologise for publicly questioning the GFH involvement, and alleged sharing of GFH data with the press. Patel stated that the club were not permitted to speak with LUST or other supporters groups until he himself received a personal apology (So much for Mr. Cooper being in bed with GFH, eh?)

Document: View PDF

Item 5:
A recent letter from Haigh representatives, to GFH and their lawyers. It includes the names of all those called to give affidavits, and highlights the eye watering demands by Gulf Finance House, including indirect admissions that previously leaked email and text conversations were legitimate. Well worth the read. Don’t be put off by the thirty three page length, it contains a lot of images.

Document: Document number five has been withdrawn due to the highly personal nature of some of the details. Redacting would not leave much in place.

Item 6:
An email detailing the plans for Elland Road, including interesting comments regarding the catering contract, among other things. The standout bit of information here is the plan to buy Elland Road, and potentially sell it straight away for a quick profit. The email goes a good way toward showing the investment process at GFH.

Document: View PDF

Item 7:
GFH had just completed the purchase of Leeds United Football Club and had a deadline of February 20th to pay players, as many of us remember. Here’s the actual email exchange discussing this very fact. Hisham’s response to the threat of administration is mind numbing.

Document: View PDF

Item 8:
A proposal / rallying call to investors from GFH, regarding the purchase of Leeds United. The most revealing and interesting aspects are the ownership breakdown structure, plus comments regarding Elland Road. The document is a presentation, so is well formatted for “quick reading”.

Document: View PDF

Item 9:
Before even finalizing their acquisition, GFH already had plans to sell up to 90% of their shares in Leeds United. This is the official resolution, from a meeting of the Board Of Directors.

Document: View PDF

Item 10:
These are the minutes from the GFHc Board Of Directors meeting on November 12th, 2012. The section on Leeds United is on page three. Salem Patel specifically tells the board that due diligence has been completed.

Document: View PDF

Item 11:
The Share Purchase Agreement between GFH Capital Limited and Eleonora Sport Limited. This document link was given to us by a third party. We will not divulge the name of said person, other than to state it is not who you may think. Gulf Finance House may request the name from us via official channels, and we will oblige. In the interest of protecting private banking information, we have redacted all references to account numbers, swift codes, etc. See legal note below for a further comment.

Document: Download document from

Item 12:
A lot has been made of the shifting of funds from Client accounts to GFH accounts in order for GFHc to complete the purchase of Leeds United football Club. GFHc have denied this rumour, even issuing a statement denying any wrong-doing, in response to The Mail On Sunday’s original article about links to Iranian funds. GFHc stated categorically that all funds used to purchase LUFC were from their own accounts. This spreadsheet, acquired from a source within Gulf Finance House, says otherwise. The document is unaltered, including the rather obvious typo.

Document: Download XLS file from

Item 13:
Further to the above spreadsheet, this is an email from Salem Patel referencing funds taken from a clients account in order to be able to complete the LUFC purchase. GFH weren’t just broke, they were really, really broke. They did however sell a bunch of shares for 6.1m USD, so that’s nice for them.

Document: View PDF

Item 14:
This document is the side letter to the Share Purchase Agreement, showing the back and forth between the parties before finally agreeing to a deal on February 6th. A minor document, in the grand scheme of things. This document link was sent to us along with the Share Purchase Agreement.

Document: View PDF on

Item 15:
An email between David Haigh and the GFH & LUFC board discussing the financial woes and specific payments immediately due.

Document: View PDF


Item 16:
An email from Hisham Alrayes, and the start of the constructive dismissal of Brian McDermott.

Document: View PDF


Item 18:
Ever aware of the value of players, Hisham Alrayes targets a million for Ross, and wants 400k for Aidy White.

Document:  View PDF


Item 19:
Andrew Umbers apparently suggested a High Interest Loan to help with financial troubles in mid 2013. Hisham Alrayes declined, stating it would be better to sell Sam Byram and Ross McCormack. See item 27 below.

Document:  View PDF


Item 20:
The memo from Hisham Alrayes to Brian McDermott. The demands included, as suggested in the press at the time, are ridiculous. Includes a demand for formations and player selection to be approved ahead of time. Note: the raw file included an auto-timestamp function that shows the current date, so it has been removed. No other portion of any file has been edited unless noted.

Document:  View PDF


Item 21:
A letter from Salah Nooruddin to Hisham Alrayes, requesting GFH actually put some money into the club during the Massimo Cellino takeover process.

Document:  View PDF


Item 22:
During Massimo Cellino’s appeal process, law firm Walker Morris advised the club of a number of creditors requesting payment of overdue items, including over £800k to HMRC.

Document:  View PDF


Item 23 (NEW)
An internal review GFH Capital’s Leeds United Football Club (‘LUFC’) acquisition contract. Codenamed “Project Offside”, this is one of the infamous reports commissioned by Gulf Finance House. The project covered many aspects of the club, including Ken Bates, Shaun Harvey, Staff happiness, and sponsors relations. This document also includes some rather worrying items about the state of disrepair parts of Elland Road had fallen into.

Document:  View Document on

Item 24 (NEW)
A lot of GFH’s tenure as majority shareholders has seen a constant stream of in-fighting, as evidenced by this back and forth communications between Salem Patel and David Haigh.

Document:  View PDF

Item 25 (NEW)
Another internal interaction involving Hisham Alrayes. This time, Hisham is unimpressed with requests for the owners of Leeds United to actually put some money in, insisting on the sale of Sam Byram instead.

Document:  View PDF

Item 26 (NEW)
The Leeds United Board of Directors met in September of 2013, with many items up for discussion. Among them was the discussion of the dismissal of Gwyn Williams, the termination of Ken Bates’ contract, and the resignation of Shaun Harvey.  This is the LUFC Board Pack, detailing each item.

Document:  View document on

Item 27-29 (NEW)
Documents relating to the al gosaibi debacle, which saw Andrew Umbers, GFH, and several lawyers so desperate to sell Leeds United that they fell for a scheme to buy Leeds United by a known fraudster. The fallout saw Hisham Alrayes question how GFH could trust Umbers from herein, and Andrew Umbers “clocking off” after his request for a £15k retainer was denied.

Document #1: The internal communication discussing selling LUFC to the al gosaibi group
Document #2: The actual proposal from the al gosaibi group
Document #3: The fallout from the collapse and exposing of the deal as a scam


Item 30 (NEW)
Further to item 19, an email interaction involving Andrew Umbers and Hisham Alrayes, new information has surfaced which outlines the exact terms of the loan suggested by the now Chairman of Leeds United. The clauses in the loan proposal (proposed by Andrew Umbers and Peak6) are of particular note and would have potentially crippled the club for years to come. One such clause would have seen 50% of all transfer proceeds go to Peak6 should LUFC suffer relegation.

Document:  Download now


Legal note:
Some documents we have in our possession at the moment need a lot of redacting due to the highly personal nature. Updates to this article will be announced accordingly via social media channels. Any legal challenges made by GFH regarding the nature of the leak of this and other information should be directed at those actually responsible, and not Simon O’Rourke or any other contributor to who are merely passing this information on to Leeds United fans and other interested parties.
All documents found herein are legally obtained from past and present employees of Gulf Finance House and GFH Capital Ltd. These documents were not requested by any contributor, they were given to us along with several other documents that we have chosen not to display, out of respect for the privacy of the individuals involved.

About the author

Simon O'Rourke

A lifelong Leeds United fan, Simon moved to Nova Scotia in 2002. Married for seven years with three children, Simon's first love has always been Leeds United. Simon is the owner of 1919 Media, a website design and development company whose name is a homage to Leeds United.

  • Richard Gaskell

    Glad that someone has the balls to share this kind of info but are you not worried about the heat it might bring from what seems to be a rather underhand gfh?

    • Simon O’Rourke

      GFH have already attempted underhand tactics, but have fallen flat in every attempt. The reason they constantly fall flat is there’s simply nothing wrong with the sharing of this information as it comes from several of the persons involved in the various discussions / legal proceedings. Gfh were recently asked to provide any documentation of wrongdoing on our behalf, they simply had no answer.

  • Morleymark

    Simon you are a star,I’ve been reading your site for a while now and find it incredulous that no-one from the papers are picking this information up and using it.I hate myself for it but as a LUFC fan I fear yet another conspiracy! Keep up the good work mate!

  • Alpswhites

    Top marks Mr O’Rourke. And Thank You!

  • Alan McDonald

    Simon – Just wanted to pledge my Thanks for all the work you have been doing and information you have accumulated and put into the public domain for us .. as commented below I too would love this information to be sent to every media outlet in the UK and further afield. I would love to be in a position to assist in anyway possible.

    From a lifelong Leeds fan – you have My support, my encouragement & admiration -.MOT

  • Charlie Armitage

    Great work Simon, would love to meet you for a beer next time im in Nova Scotia

  • David Mark Aldridge

    Doing great work mate. MOT in Bali, Indonesia.

  • Tommystinker

    This is such a informative site keep up the great work Simon. Mot

  • Andy

    If you are ever invited to Bahrain for a job interview. .. don’t go! Great work Simon and thanks for sharing! MOT Florida White

  • Mick444

    Just a thought Simon but has David Conn at the guardian had a look at this material ? He might be the person to help get all this GFH material into the wider community and then we can ask the FL where does Fit and Proper fit with GFH! Brilliant reading -,especially today after Leeds defeated the Dog Botherers and I am on my way home Melbournecafter watching the Socceroos win the Asian Cup! Really enjoying your work!

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