Kieran Maguire: Radrizzani unable to fund Elland Road expansion as Leeds aim to grow
Andrea Radrizzani is unlikely to be able to fund the expansion of Elland Road and needs the help of Leeds United shareholder Paraag Marathe, according to Kieran Maguire.
Last week, the San Francisco 49ers increased their stake in Leeds to 44 per cent.
Football finance expert Maguire believes that the NFL franchise feel as though Leeds are not making the most of their commercial potential and they may also be able to help out with plans to expand Elland Road to be a 60,000-seater stadium.
“Radrizzani, the majority Leeds shareowner, he’s not given any indication that he is planning to sell the club to the 49ers at a later date but certainly they are in a very strong position should he choose to do so,” said Maguire on the Price of Football podcast.
“Leeds have spoken about expanding Elland Road to 50,000-60,000 capacity – that is going to cost money.
“I don’t think Radrizzani has those resources himself whereas the 49ers are more likely to be able to tap into American markets for that so you can see the logic of what they’ve done.
“They feel that Leeds, as a club, are not generating enough commercial income given the size of the club and the potential of the club.”
It’s hard to believe that Leeds could do more in terms of the commercial side of the business.
After we won promotion back to the Premier League, you would assume that there would have been a massive financial boom in that sector.
However, the impact of COVID-19 and potentially Radrizzani’s lack of expertise in that area could have come into play.
If the 49ers feel as though they can do better then so be it and we welcome their involvement to try and generate more income at Elland Road.
If the stadium is going to be expanded, then considerable money is going to be needed to go into the club.
Will Radrizzani end up giving over his majority ownership to the 49ers? It’s likely, based on the way Marathe has slowly increased his stake at the Yorkshire outfit.
We just hope that if that does happen, the Italian stays on the board and has some say in what happens.
In other Leeds United news, Gary Lineker has hailed Patrick Bamford after what he said in a recent interview.