The English Football League are braced for a new approach from an American investment firm seeking a partial buyout after the groundwork is laid by Leeds United chief Andrea Radrizzani.
It emerged earlier this month that the EFL had rejected a £375million offer from private equity group TPG Capital for a 20 per cent stake in the league that would have helped to solve the clubs’ cash crisis.
Chairman Rick Parry rejected the offer for a 20 per cent stake and a 51 per cent vote on all commercial deals within 24 hours of receiving it and without putting it to the 72 clubs.
But TPG have not been put off by the knock-back and are preparing a fresh move as concerns grow over lower-league clubs going bust.
The proposal was brought to the EFL by the well-connected Radrizzani, who has previously spoken of US firms potentially buying out his 88 per cent stake in Leeds.
That sparked concerns among Football League clubs over potential conflicts of interest, given the Italian owns a club who only recently ended a 16-year stay in the lower leagues, as well as the television network Eleven Sports that hold the rights to broadcast Premier League matches in much of Europe.
The first TPG deal was not considered a serious one by Parry.
He was put off by the structure of the deal, which saw them offering £150m up front and the rest in staged payments over five years.
As part of the deal, TPG would have been able to put in place a management team to handle the EFL’s commercial and broadcasting rights, believing it would have a much better ability to maximise its potential.
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 to around 88 per cent 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.