Andrew Flowers out of Leeds United bidding

A general view of Elland Road, home of Leeds United on January 9, 2013
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Yorkshire-based businessman Andrew Flowers pulls out of talks to buy Leeds United.

Yorkshire-based businessman Andrew Flowers has pulled out of talks to buy Leeds United.

Flowers, who owns the club's shirt sponsor Enterprise Insurance, recently entered discussions with current owners GFH following a bid from Italian businessman Massimo Cellino.

Cellino is close to taking over at Elland Road after agreeing to purchase a 75% stake in the club, subject to Football Association approval.

The latest development comes after Flowers issued Leeds with a winding-up petition over an alleged unpaid debit.

The High Court confirmed on Wednesday that the case would be heard on March 17.

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

"Both myself and my company, Enterprise Insurance, have been enormous financial supporters of the club for the last few years and, while we may understand the commercial expediency which leads the owners to accept the superficially-attractive Cellino offer, we remain firmly convinced this deal will not give the club stability or investor commitment it badly needs."

Leeds return to action on the pitch this weekend when they travel to Yeovil Town in the Championship.

A general view of Elland Road, home of Leeds United on January 9, 2013
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