Leeds United could realistically be worth £1billion if they can establish themselves as regulars in the Champions League.
That is according to finance guru and new Football Insider columnist Kieran Maguire, who claims United are currently valued around £60m too high by their owner.
Andrea Radrizzani claimed last week that Leeds are worth £300m following the 49ers’ recent investment and can become a £1bn club in the next five years.
Speaking at the Business of Football Summit, the sports media tycoon revealed that he had already tripled the money he paid for the club in 2017: “I invested about £100m and now the value is around £300m following the investment of the 49ers.”
Maguire explains how Radrizzani’s figures are inflated and European football is a prerequisite if Leeds are to achieve his 10-figure dream.
“If we take a look at the 22% that 49ers recently paid for, that probably valued the club at £240-250m,” he told Football Insider correspondent Adam Williams.
“They’re not going to get relegated this season. There is a very positive vibe around the club, the Bielsa factor is big. The fact that even people who historically don’t like Leeds are saying: ‘They’re playing damn good football.’ That’s all going to nudge up the value.
“In terms of making Leeds a £1bn value club, that cannot be achieved purely from a domestic perspective. So Leeds have to become a challenger for the Champions League places. Therefore they’ve got to get top-four.
“The UEFA coefficient issues relating to the Champions League mean that Manchester United could finish 7th and still potentially get into the Champions League, under this new potential new framework. So that could be an issue, but not at the moment.
“If Leeds do push on and maybe get 4th place one season and start to play in the Champions League on regular basis then a £1bn valuation I think would be fine.”
NFL franchise San Francisco 49ers increased their shareholding in Leeds from 15% to 37% in a £50m deal in January.
The 49ers President Praag Marathe became Leeds Vice-chairman as part of the deal and he shares Radrizzani’s ambition, telling The Athletic’s Ornstein and Chapman Podcast that he wants Leeds to be “competing in Europa or be competing in the Champions League.”