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Leeds United owner Andrea Radrizzani linked with investment in Serie B FC Bari

Troubled Serie B club’s survival in doubt without immediate investment

AS Bari v Brescia Calcio - Serie B Photo by Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images

Leeds United owner Andrea Radrizzani might be a hero to a Serie B team, as he is rumoured to be interested in investing in FC Bari in order to save the club.

FC Bari is only hours away from failing to being able to register for Serie B, and if their finances aren’t sorted out, they could very well go under.

Italian news outlet ANSA is reporting that Radrizzani has told the mayor of Bari that he is interested in investing in the club in an 11th hour deal that will prevent the club from almost certain doom. An investment of €3 million is what Bari would need to keep afloat, for this season at least.

Bari has been close to going under for a few years now, with various investors putting money into the club, only for the debt and the finances make the venture go sour very quickly. Bari was declared bankrupt in 2014 and set for auction, and was purchased for a price of €2 million.

English fans might remember Bari for a record-breaking transfer. Bari paid £5.5 million to Aston Villa in 1991 for David Platt,

The club has a history of bouncing between Serie A and Serie B, with most of their seasons being spent in Serie B. Bari’s last stay in Serie A was in 2010-11, as they were relegated the season after a respectable 10th place finish in 2009-10. The 10th place finish was due to a quality squad that featured current AC Milan captain Leonardo Bonucci on defence and was managed by Antonio Conte, the former Chelsea manager who was just sacked by the West London club only a year after winning the title in his first year in English football.

While Leeds fans might be nervous about any investment by Radrizzani in anything that isn’t Leeds, the investment is at a bargain-basement price. €3 million is less than what Leeds paid to Huesca for Samu Saiz and much less than what Radrizzani paid for Leeds. Any investment in Bari might also add another “partner” club for Leeds to loan players to and scout, although the current “partner” club in Spain, Cultural Leonesa, was relegated from the Segunda Division and the partner ship didn’t seem to work out very well for Yosuke Ideguchi, who missed the World Cup after failing to play for Cultural for months.

So will Radrizzani take the plunge and invest in Serie B? Or is this wishful thinking from a desperate club who are hours from going out of business? The next few days will hopefully provide some clarity.