MOT View: QSI deal won't go away and reports suggest Leeds investment getting closer
It’s the story that just won’t go away.
Back at the end of May the Financial Times posted a report that said Qatar Sports Investments, owners of PSG, were in talks to buy a stake in Leeds.
The trail seemed to go cold with BBC journalist Dan Roan saying that Andrea Radrizzani had no plans to sell any more of the club.
He already sold an 11% stake in the club to the San Francisco 49ers and fans thought they would be the most likely source of more money if Radrizzani wanted extra external investment.
However, the QSI links refuse to be shooed away. The latest, that comes from French outlet Le Parisien on Monday, claims, “Leeds United is expected in the coming weeks or months to become PSG’s little brother”.
They claim that a source “close to the record” has said that QSI is close to an agreement to buy the club, although it goes on to say it might not buy the entire club in one go.
The report doesn’t state a price but says it would be “much higher” than the £70million it cost the group to buy PSG.
There are issues that come from this.
Obviously, there are a lot of Leeds fans that want to see real money injected into the club. And, while that might be necessary to really be a force in the Premier League, there are plenty who want to see this achieved organically, rather than taking money from somewhere like Qatar. What price success?
Another major potential conflict is that of playing in Europe. UEFA has strict rules about two clubs playing in Europe with the same owners, although Red Bull’s Leipzig and Salzburg were able to get around that by proving total separation between the two clubs.
That problem would be for the future though. Getting back into the Premier League is the number one issue for Leeds.
However, with strict spending rules, it’s unlikely that any immediate investment into the club would make any material difference to how much Leeds can actually spend on players this summer.
Given that, it would seem odd for Radrizzani to sell up now, with the club set to be worth a lot more money if Bielsa can steer them into the top flight.
However, there’s no smoke without fire and it seems that on one side at least there is a very real interest in this deal.
One thing we know – there’s never a dull moment being a Leeds supporter.