Businessman ‘committed’ to finding Chinese investment for Leeds

Date published: Saturday 30th July 2016 2:39

Elland Road: Looking for investment

Businessman Steve Tappin says he “remains committed” to bringing Chinese investment to Leeds.

Harrogate-born Tappin is a lifelong Leeds fan who is the chief executive and founder of Chinese consultancy company Xinfu.

In quotes given to the China Daily newspaper on Friday, Tappin said there was “huge potential” for Chinese investment at Leeds, just as there has been at Aston Villa and Wolves over recent weeks.

“Remain committed to finding right funding for #lufc with interested Chinese investors. Not necessary to comment in English press atm,” Tappin wrote on Twitter on Saturday.

Several parties have been linked with a purchase of Leeds over recent years, with Tappin one of the few to put words alongside reported interest.

Speaking on Friday, he said: “I have had a series of meetings with related parties all this week and there is definite interest in buying Leeds but I want to ensure it would be with long-term investment, significant working capital and the right governance so it can be a stable platform for sustainable Premier League success.

“Leeds United is a big club with a very strong fan base and huge potential for investors, particularly if it can be returned to the Premier League.”

Leeds, who have made no comment, are currently under the ownership of Italian Massimo Cellino. The 60-year-old has divided the Elland Road fan base during his two-year tenure, with the sacking of six coaches and a number of off-the-field incidents and the selling of academy products.

Cellino was banned by the Football League in 2014 after being found guilty of tax evasion in his homeland and recently had another ban overturned.

He has regularly claimed he is willing to sell the club and last year said he would do so to a group of supporters, only to renege within seven days. His most recent comments regarding a sale came in May when he said he would sell if he received the right offer.

Leeds have been out of the Premier League since a financial meltdown caused their 2004 relegation. They have lurched from crisis to crisis since and last season finished 13th in the Championship, prompting Cellino to replace Steve Evans with Garry Monk as head coach.

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