Radrizzani clarifies comments he’s ready to sell stake in Leeds

Date published: Thursday 17th October 2019 8:17

Leeds TEAMtalk

Leeds owner Andrea Radrizzani, speaking on the club’s 100th birthday, has moved to clarify recent comments he made about possible major new investment in the club.

The Italian businessman revealed in an interview with The Times that he had been approached “by more than 20 parties” and that three of them were of particular interest.

In response to the article, published on Monday, Radrizzani has issued a further statement, claiming he is not actively seeking investment at this moment.

“Because of the job we have done in the last two or three years, we have attracted a lot of interest,” said Radrizzani, who will be heavily involved in the club’s centenary celebrations on Thursday.

“Obviously the club has modernised on a lot of levels, which is shown by our revenues, which have increased a lot to close to ¬£50million.

“Our attendance is the top of the league, the club has modernised the media (department), we have partnerships with Amazon, Wish and Deliveroo – big corporate companies are starting to work with Leeds and before my arrival this was impossible even to think.

“We have to be proud of the club and the fact we are attractive to potential investors.

“When and if we will open discussions is completely is another story.

“It depends on the right moment, a moment where I believe we need support to build the club bigger than what we could do with our own resources.”

 

The Leeds owner, who also detailed the costs involved to employ Marcelo Bielsa and his staff,¬†said in his interview that the three potential investors he was interested in were Qatar Sports Investments and two unnamed parties – a “big fan of Leeds” based in America and an Italian club owner.

QSI, which controls Paris St Germain, is run by Radrizzani’s friend Nasser Al-Khelaifi, who has worked closely with the Italian sports and media tycoon on several football TV rights deals.

Radrizzani, who bought Leeds from fellow Italian Massimo Cellino in December 2016, sold a 10 per cent stake in the club to 49ers Enterprises, the financial arm of NFL franchise the San Francisco 49ers, in May 2018.

Leeds, who are among the promotion favourites in the Sky Bet Championship this season under manager Marcelo Bielsa, are currently fifth in the table, two points behind leaders West Brom.

Radrizzani will launch Leeds’ centenary celebrations on Thursday morning by unveiling a plaque at Salem Chapel, where the club were founded in 1919, following a commemorative service.

A civic reception in the club’s honour will be held in the afternoon, followed by a city centre road show attended by both the club’s men and women’s first-team squads and a Night of Legends gala dinner in the evening.

 

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