sport

Flowers ends Leeds interest

Andrew Flowers has confirmed he has ended his bid to buy troubled Championship club Leeds United.

Flowers, who served a winding-up petition against the club on Tuesday, released a statement claiming his interest in buying United from Gulf Finance House Capital was over.

And Flowers' decision now leaves the way clear for Massimo Cellino to take control at Elland Road.

Flowers, who runs Leeds' principal sponsor Enterprise Insurance, claimed the bid from Cagliari owner Cellino, which has been accepted and he was hoping to topple, represented a "fire sale" and was "superficially attractive".

His statement read: "I entered discussions in good faith to buy this club for the simple reason that I am a lifelong supporter and sincerely believed that I could make a real contribution towards the goal of promotion to the Premier League and at the same time provide the stability and sound financial governance the club desperately needs.

"However, the emergence of Mr Cellino's bid, and the nature of the transaction, seems to have crystallised the attitudes of both GFH and the Leeds United board, enabling them to dispose of the club with no consideration for its ultimate security and wellbeing.

"In effect, it is a "fire sale" transaction which is not in the interests of Leeds United, its players, staff or loyal supporters."