Leeds United Elland Road

Noel Whelan has urged Leeds United to suspend any plans to redevelop Elland Road despite the ground likely to be empty for the foreseeable future.

The former Leeds and Coventry striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, insisted clubs’ only focus amid the pandemic is to secure their long-term financial stability.

The Athletic’s Phil Hay revealed in April that the club had plans to redevelop Elland Road with the West Stand the focal point of an expansion that could see the capacity rise to 50,000.

The Coronavirus pandemic means that fans are unlikely to be allowed to return to stadiums in the next calendar year or at least nowhere near at maximum capacity.

This would provide Andrea Radrizzani with an opportunity to expand the historic ground with relatively small disruption.

However, Whelan suggested the financial climate all but rules out the prospect of a redevelopment in the next 12 months.

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“It could be but we need to assess what this pandemic has done financially,” he told Football Insider.

“Everyone has got to be very wary because things have changed very quickly when it comes to football clubs.

“You have seen how much Manchester United have lost and they are one of the biggest clubs in the world. Football clubs are losing money.

“They need to be very vigilant and plans have to come second. It is about financial stability.

“Put the redevelopments on hold and take a back step because money is not going to be there because fans are not coming through the turnstiles. We need to be very sensible about how we spend our money now.”

Manchester United posted a pre-tax loss of £28.55million between 1 January and 31 March.

According to transfermarkt, Leeds’ average attendance this season has been 93.2 per cent full this season.

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