The deal gives the club until 19 January to attract a buyer or significant cash injection in a bid to avoid administration.
The Financial Times said analysts were putting the price at between £30m and £50m. The chance to buy a prestigious premiership club for potentially less than what Real Madrid paid for Luis Figo (£37m) may prove a tempting lure.
There has already been an approach from Sheikh Abdulrahman al-Khalifa who, as well as being a long-standing Leeds fan, is also a member of the Bahrain royal family.
Closer to home, Allan Leighton, the club’s deputy chairman, has resigned from the board ‘to avoid any conflict of interest’ should he opt to mount a bid. He has already offered to put a £2.2m loan at Leeds’ disposal to help the club through its current difficulties.
Professor John McKenzie, the Leeds chairman, said: ‘I am pleased to announce, on behalf of Leeds plc, that we have now agreed the first stage of a financial restructuring programme.’
The club, which has long-term debts of about £80m, is being run by former Ernst & Young turnaround specialist Trevor Birch, who is chief executive.
Steve Absolom and Will Wright from KPMG Restructuring have been appointed joint administrators to City Motor Holdings and associated companies
Partners from Johnston Carmichael have been appointed as joint administrators to Axon Well Interventions Products UK
Begbies Traynor have been appointed administrators of William Anelay Ltd, York, one of Britain’s longest-established construction and heritage restoration companies
Smith & Williamson has been appointed administrators of charity 4Children