Phillips can't believe Radrizzani's mega-money Leeds claim - 'Hold on a minute'
Leeds United would need to be challenging for the Premier League and Champions League in order to be worth £1billion — that won’t be happening any time soon.
That is according to ex-Premier League goalscorer Kevin Phillips, speaking exclusively to Football Insider after Leeds’ majority shareholder Andrea Radrizzani outlined his aim for the club to be valued at north of £1bn amid plans to redevelop Elland Road.
Speaking at the Business of Football summit, the 46-year-old sports media mogul stated the club is currently valued at around £300million after San Francisco 49ers recent shareholding increase.
Elland Road has been Leeds’ home since the club’s formation in 1919 and Radrizzani sees the upgrading of the stadium as integral to the club’s ambitious trajectory.
Phillips asserts that Leeds are right to be aiming high but it is unlikely they will become a global tour-de-force in the immediate future.
He told Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs: “It’s exciting as a fan to hear that. But sometimes owners will say stuff and you’re thinking: ‘Wait, hold on a minute…’
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“Obviously with this pandemic, we’re all wondering when we come out the other side, will there still be the money in football that there has been previously?
“Are clubs gonna be a little bit more cautious? If Leeds were to go into a new stadium and secure Premier League football year-in, year-out, which with the way they’re performing this season, you’d like to think they will, it can only get bigger. We know what support they’ve got.
“But £1bn is a lot money. It’s possible but you have to be challenging for Champions League and challenging for the Premier League. Do I see Leeds doing that in the next four or five years? I’m not so sure.
“Maybe they might challenge for a Champions League spot. But for the league? Not for a while, I don’t think, not when you’ve got Man City, Man United and Liverpool going strong.”
Leeds’ last appearance in the Champions League came in the 2000-01 campaign, David O’Leary’s side reaching the semi-final where they lost against Valencia.
The Whites have not been crowned league champions since 1991-92, the last iteration of the old First Division.