Ex-Leeds United owner in PR battle with former MD over £3m fraud claim

A Gulf-based investment company that owned Leeds United Football Club has brought in crisis and litigation PR agency Woodstock Leasor as it pursues a fraud claim against the club's former MD David Haigh.

Leeds United: Formerly owned by GFH
Leeds United: Formerly owned by GFH

The high-stakes legal battle, in which Dubai-based GFH Capital claims Haigh took almost £3m through fake invoices, includes the dramatic ingredient that Haigh claims he is being held in custody without charge in Dubai.

Haigh is being represented by GFH Capital's former PR firm Ian Monk Associates, which worked for both parties in happier days but is understood to have stopped working for GFH after Haigh was arrested in May.

Haigh was employed as MD of Leeds United by the offshoot of Bahraini bank Gulf Finance House when it bought the club in December 2012. He resigned after the club was sold to Massimo Cellino in April this year. 

It is understood that Woodstock Leasor founder Stuart Leasor has been called in to join longstanding GFH adviser FinMark and its founder Laila Danesh to advise on the issue.

Both Leasor and Danesh declined to comment, cited the ongoing criminal and civil proceedings, and Ian Monk Associates founder Ian Monk also declined to comment.

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