Leeds United is in talks with the Leeds City Council to replace the Thorp Arch training ground with a training ground that is in the city and next to Elland Road.
The Leeds Council will be reviewing an executive proposal that urges the council to open talks with the club into the redevelopment of council-owned land near Elland Road in order to relocate the club’s Thorp Arch training ground across the road from Elland Road and create a space for a “Community Sports Village” that would also serve as a place for the Leeds United Foundation to operate.
Andrea Radrizzani had spoke of wanting to relocate the club’s training ground into the city after he took control of the club last May. The redevelopment effort around Elland Road is something that both Radrizzani and the Leeds Council mentioned when the news was announced that Radrizzani had bought Elland Road back from its landlord, Joseph Adler, this past summer.
Adler is also currently the landlord of Thorp Arch, and the club currently pays £600,000 annually in rent at the training facility, but had a buy-back clause expire back in 2009 after selling the facility in the throes of the financial meltdown that occurred after the club was relegated from the Premier League in 2004.
Part of the scheme to relocate the training ground would be create an Academy that would qualify as an Elite Player Performance Plan, the Premier League’s top designation, as the club views the Academy as essential to the development of the club and the sustainability of the club at the highest level, allowing Leeds United to be a top-eight Premier League Club.
Angus Kinnear, Managing Director of Leeds United, told the club’s official website:
We thank Leeds City Council for their consideration, we have an ambitious vision for Elland Road and the surrounding area as a centre for elite development and a thriving community sports hub.
"Our Partners at the local Council fully understand the extent of the impact a successful Leeds United can have on our city and that any progress we make will be done so in consultation with the local community.
It’s been said before, but this confirms what has already been written about Radrizzani and the new ownership at Leeds: He’s an owner that Leeds fans deserve. He’s bought the ground back, put the right people in charge of the club, put an emphasis on the club’s Academy, shown commitment to youth, and has drug the club into the 21st century. The relocation of the training facility, and the intent to build a world-class one, is exactly the kind of move that this ownership group should make, and it’s exactly what they are doing. MOT.