In 2012 David was an integral part of the team from an Islamic private equity house in Dubai which acquired Leeds United FC, his family’s hometown team. He played a key part in the complex negotiations with previous owner Ken Bates and became a director of the club upon completion of the acquisition.
Between January 2013 and April 2014 – with other shareholders and directors based largely outside the UK – the day to day running of the club was David’s, as he took on the title and role of Managing Director in very difficult circumstances.
David spearheaded many fans initiatives, bringing together what had previously been effectively rival fans’ groupings of Leeds United supporters, reducing season ticket prices, and introducing modern equality and anti-discrimination policies. Such policies included seeing the club spearhead anti homophobia in football campaigns by signing up to Stonewalls Diversity Champions and by supporting the UK launch of former Leeds United player Robbie Rogers anti-discrimination ‘Beyond It’ charity.
The responsibility of sourcing additional investment to maintain the viability of the club throughout what proved to be extremely challenging times also fell to David.
Disputes with the then majority owners of the club over hollow promises made to David and the Leeds United Fans over David’s ability to manage the club unhindered and the club being continually starved of much needed investment led to David putting together the Sport Capital consortium to buy the Club in November 2012. Whilst ultimately Sport Capital was not successful in its bid to buy the club Sport Capital was a financier of Leeds United from 2013 to 2017. David was instrumental in introducing former owner Massimo Cellinos’ Eleanora Sport Limited to Leeds United Football Club.
David resigned from the club in April 2014 to focus on voluntary work and other business opportunities. His love for the club remains and he is enjoying watching Leeds United plan, as a fan.