Leeds United are reportedly linked to an investment by Qatari Sports Investments, the owners of Paris Saint-Germain. And while the rumours have been dashed, a bit, by word out of Elland Road, it wouldn’t be out of the question to see a new investor or a new owner to take over at Leeds.
Been up in Glasgow all day but have asked about this tonight. Interest from Qatar is real but message from Leeds end is that Radrizzani won’t be selling another stake at this stage:https://t.co/KfZ5ZgoSF4— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) May 25, 2019
Phil Hay of the Yorkshire Evening Post tweeted out about the links saying that the Leeds United owner Andrea Radrizzani wouldn’t be selling another stake in the club “at this time” which is a pretty loaded statement.
There have been some rumours about Radrizzani’s finances taking a hit last winter as his company, Eleven Sports, had some problems in the UK market, with a lot of money being spent on streaming rights for Serie A and other leagues, only for the UK arm of Eleven Sports to lose those rights. And while the losses that were sustained by Eleven Sports UK would have been contained to just that part of Radrizzani’s business, it would not have been a good sign for his investments overall.
All sorts of haggling went on. There was a ridiculously good deal for Leeds at the end ... and they tried to push it too far with the delayed payment thing. That’s when phones went unanswered. https://t.co/QWPW7e4lgd— Alan Nixon (@reluctantnicko) May 21, 2019
Adding to the rumours of financial problems was the dispute with Swansea City over the transfer for Daniel James. It was reported that Leeds had haggled too much over the deal, turning it into a loan and trying to delay payment. While Hay and others at Leeds reported that the deal was done and that Huw Jenkins just refused to answer the phone when Leeds try to complete the deal, the whole saga just seemed to cast some doubts about Radrizzani’s finances.
So what do the links to the Qataris mean? Has Radrizzani decided to cut and run? Does the club need extra investors? Radrizzani brought in investors from America last summer, with the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers investing in the club, but perhaps after two missed chances, Radrizzani is looking to get out.
As for the morality of taking petrodollars from Qatar, and all of the controversy that has surrounded PSG, Radrizzani has already taken Leeds to Myanmar and allowed the club to be used as a propaganda tool for an allegedly genocidal regime, so it’s not as if Leeds has been covering themselves in glory up until now. Additionally, the club had played up its links with Qatar’s Aspire Academy until Bielsa came along.
If this is just another TOMA rumour, then so be it. However, this smoke might have a little fire behind it, especially with the curious wording of “at this stage” coming from the club regarding additional investment.