We’ve got our stadium back!
Wednesday, 28th Jun 2017 21:02 by Tim Whelan
After an unlucky 13 years , Elland Road is back in the club’s hands, after Andrea Radrizzani completed the purchase of the stadium today.
Elland Road was sold to Manchester businessman Jacob Adler in 2004, by Gerald Krasner’s consortium, who were in charge of Leeds United at the time. They were desperate to raise funds in order to cut a deal with bondholders who were owed £80 million by the former Leeds United PLC while we were about to be relegated from the Premiership.
This deal helped to raise the funds we urgently needed to stop the club being wound up, but the Kransortium weren’t in a position to negotiate a deal that would be favourable to the club in the long term. It guaranteed the right to continue playing at Elland Road and to be able to repurchase the stadium at any time, but it included a formula that ensured that the rent and the repurchase price would increase year by year.
So as the years went by the rent was soaking up more and more of the club’s cash, and it became ever more important that we bought back the stadium so that the funds could be diverted to boost the playing side instead. Ken Bates moaned about the expensive rent but did nothing about it, then Cellino promised to but then said he couldn’t complete the repurchase while GFH still owned a shareholding in the club.
But now Radrizzani has succeeded after only two months in sole charge, where his predecessor failed in his three and a half years. An official club statement said “Leeds United are delighted to announce that Greenfield Investment Pte Ltd, an Aser Group company and parent company of Leeds United Football Club Limited, has completed the purchase of Elland Road Stadium.”
And Andrea Radrizzani said “Today is an important day in our history and a proud day for me and my team. When I met with both management and supporters during my first few months at the club, the purchase of Elland Road was very high on their list of priorities and I'm delighted to be able to announce that we have completed that process today.”
And the club also said that “work to improve and update Elland Road has already begun and will be completed by the start of the season. We will keep supporters regularly updated with these actions throughout the summer.”
The news has been met with delight by Leeds United fans as a sign that we finally have a chairman who keeps his word, and can take the club forward. MOT!
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Photo: Action Images
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