By George Overhill

1st Jun, 2023 | 12:07pm

Leeds United takeover: Andrea Radrizzani signs 'remarkable' £26m agreement behind 49ers backs - Phil Hay

Andrea Radrizzani offered to put Elland Road up as collateral to secure a loan for his Sampdoria takeover without telling Leeds United chiefs or 49ers Enterprises, according to The Athletic.

The Whites chairman announced a deal to buy the Italian side on Tuesday (30 May), with an agreement to sell his 56% share in relegated Leeds still not yet secured.

But a day later he reportedly signed an agreement in principle to offer up the stadium as security to secure a £26million loan as part of the takeover in Italy, while Angus Kinnear, fellow Elland Road board member Massimo Marinelli, and the 49ers were not informed of the proposal.

It is unclear whether the loan has since been secured via this method, but no charge had been registered at Companies House on Thursday morning (1 June) to signify as such – Radrizzani currently owns the stadium rather than the club.

Phil Hay and Adam Crafton’s story in The Athletic reports: “Sources close to the takeover process, who like others in this article wished not to be named to protect business relationships, told The Athletic that the 49ers had not been informed about the stadium being put forward as the security for a potential loan…

“The proposed bridging loan would be due for repayment within two years, and also contains clauses showing that the bank would charge interest of provisionally between six and nine per cent per year during this period.”

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It goes on: “The potential of Elland Road as security against a loan risks angering Leeds supporters, raising serious questions about why the ground could be used to assist the purchase of a different club. It would be a remarkable development in any event, but even more so in the days following relegation.”


If the suspicion already was that the Sampdoria pursuit was negatively effecting developments, or the lack-thereof, back in West Yorkshire this will shoot those fears through the roof.

Radrizzani already owns a club that is going through plenty of difficulty in dealing with relegation without clarity at owner, manager or in the boardroom, and with a lot of players set to leave.

Yet he seems to be far more occupied with rescuing another club in need and Leeds United can fit it alongside, with the new suggestion that he was ready to put their home on the line.

If it is accurate that none of the other crucial figures on the Whites side of this situation knew that Elland Road, which the 49ers have plans to modernise, was potentially being tied in to matters with Sampdoria it could put all sorts of relationships at risk.

The running of the club has been chaotic at the best of times this season, with four first-team managers seeing time in the dug-out, while Victor Orta left and the club was relegated.

If Radrizzani is making decisions like this while in charge then it is perhaps no wonder that nothing apparently went to plan over a miserable season, and even if the loan hasn’t been secured against Elland Road this report is a very concerning look for the chairman and the sale process as a whole.

In other Leeds United news, a pair of notable players have been predicted to stay for the challenge of the Championship promotion push.