Exclusive: £300m Leeds masterplan revealed
EXCLUSIVE By Wayne Veysey
Leeds United owner Andrea Radrizzani is privately confident the club will be worth £300million if they are in the Premier League in two years’ time, Football Insider understands.
The Championship giants dismissed takeover reports during the summer after French publication L’Equipe and the New York Times revealed that PSG owner Nasser Al-Khelaifi had held talks with Radrizzani in Doha about buying a stake in the club.
A Leeds source has told Football Insider that Radrizzani is committed to holding on to his 88 per cent stake in the club because of its potential value if they secure the holy grail of Premier League promotion.
The Italian businessman and his boardroom allies believe United will be worth another £250million if they secure promotion this season and were then to stay up in the Premier League in the following campaign.
The prospect of then embarking on a second season of top-flight football in two years’ time would transform the finances of a club beset by major cash problems during a decade-and-a-half in the Football League.
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Radrizzani bought Leeds in 2017, initially acquiring a 50 per cent stake before fully buying out Massimo Cellino in May of that year.
He reduced his 100 per cent holding last year when 49ers Enterprises, the investment branch of the San Francisco 49ers, bought £11 million worth of shares, thought to be around 12 per cent of the club.
That valued Leeds at £45million at the time, and there has likely been only a short spike in the interim.
Radrizzani believes the transformation in Wolves’ share price – the Premier League club were in a similar situation when Chinese owners Fosun bought them three years ago – is proof of how far Leeds can go in a relatively short space of time.
The Leeds hierarchy know the club will be even more valuable if they succeed in building a state-of-the-art training ground and academy base close to Elland Road after clearing a planning hurdle for the project last week.
United have taken back ownership of Elland Road during Radrizzani’s reign, but it is Premier League football that would propel the club into a completely different financial bracket.
It would mean a player overhaul and a mass spike in the squad valuation, huge commercial and PR benefits as well as £100million-plus broadcasting revenue per season.
In other Leeds United news, it can be REVEALED that senior players are finding teammate an “absolute nightmare” at Thorp Arch.