Leeds have moved to distance themselves again from the rumoured takeover by QSI (Qatar Sports Investments).
That first surfaced in the Financial Times who claimed that QSI were in talks to buy a stake in the club.
BBC journalist Dan Roan said that Andrea Radrizzani had no plans to sell any more of the club but a recent report in Le Parisien claimed QSI were close to an agreement to buy the club – possibly not all in one go.
Now, in an interview by Emanuele Giulianelli for Calciomercato, James Mooney (Head of Media and Communications at Leeds) has dismissed the reports as “pure rumour”.
Asked if there was any truth in the QSI reports Mooney said, “Not at all. Nasser [bin Ghanim Al-Khelaifi – chairman of QSI] is a close personal friend of Andrea Radrizzani. They worked together on BeIN Sports and they remain friends with business interests.”
Mooney went on to say: “There have been no discussions regarding Leeds United Football Club. Pure rumour.”
That’s a pretty direct response to the question.
Speculation was set off again this week though after Leeds announced that they would be signing Helder Costa on a permanent deal next summer after his season-long loan.
The fee was reported at £15m but there’s no official confirmation that is correct.
That’s a lot of money for a club who could still be in the Championship next summer and it led to talk of investment again.
However, this could be as simple as a deal structured to help Leeds keep within financial fair play limits. And/or a way of buying Radrizzani an extra year.
Radrizzani has always said that he can’t stay with Leeds in the Championship forever but has set himself a three-to-five year period to get the club back into the top flight.
He took over in 2017 and that would see the club through to next summer and possibly 2022 under Radrizzani. He might well have to take investment in the future – possibly as early as next summer – but with EFL spending limits, selling a stake now wouldn’t make a lot of sense.
He said in an interview with One Football that “everything changes” if Leeds get back in the Premier League and his stake will be worth a lot more than it is now.
Leeds are the bookies favourites to win the Championship. If we were Radrizzani we wouldn’t be looking to sell any more of the club this summer.