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Italian company set to take over at 2nd-tier Leeds

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 1, 2014 at 12:06 pm •  Published: February 1, 2014

An Italian company run by the owners of Serie A team Cagliari is on the verge of taking over fallen English power Leeds, pledging Saturday to return the club to the Premier League.

Leeds' current owners — GFH Capital, a Bahraini investment bank — released a statement saying they have agreed to sell a 75 percent stake in the club to Eleonora Sport Ltd., which is run by the Cellino family. Financial details were not given.

"They come to English football with an ambition to support Leeds United financially to take it to the Premier League and a belief that the club can sustain top-flight status," GFH said in the Leeds statement.

It added that the Cellino family "plan to invest substantially in the club."

Eleonora — headed by businessman Massimo Cellino — has owned Cagliari since 1992.

Leeds reached the Champions League semifinals in 2001 but was relegated from the Premier League three years later after being engulfed in financial problems.

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