Takeover talk intensifies as Radrizzani goes to Paris for talks
Thursday, 7th Nov 2019 13:32 by Tim Whelan
The Times have reported that Andrea Radrizzani went to Paris on for investment talks with Paris Saint-Germain and Qatar Sports Investment president Nasser Al-Khelaifi.
The story of possible Qatari investment in Leeds has been doing the rounds now, as we all wondered whether Radrizzani and Al-Khelaifi were going to formally get together, or if they were just good friends. But now it seems that things are starting to move along, with the report that an official meeting has taken place.
Radrizzani attended Paris Saint-Germain’s 1-0 Champions League victory over Brugge on Wednesday night and was reportedly invited to the game by PSG and Qatar Sports Investment president Al-Khelaifi. And according to The Times, the pair have scheduled to further discussions about QSI investing in Leeds.
Leeds have already acknowledged that there is an offer on the table from QSI, while French publication L’Equipe claims QSI values Leeds between £50m and £70m. Radz is believed to have bought Leeds for around £40m from Massimo Cellino, but in addition to that he has since ploughed a lot more of his money into the club, not least with the repurchase of Elland Road.
The talks are said to be ‘progressing slowly’, and Radrizzani, has previously said that a deal would only be completed ‘at the right time’. His preference appears to be only a partial sale to QSI, so he could keep a stake and claim a share of the proceeds of our future success (hopefully!) while continuing to use Leeds to further the interests of his TV sports rights empire.
Radz has previously suggested that the proposed investment from QSI could see Leeds “reach the level” of Manchester City, so here’s hoping. For their part, it is said that QSI see Leeds as a long-term project and while they might purchase an initial minority stake in the club, they would like to secure a majority stake at some point in the future.
If QSI do take a major stake in the club we could have a problem if we were to qualify for the Champions League along with their existing club, Paris St. Germain. This is because UEFA's rules prevent teams with the same owner meeting in the same competition, but I’m sure we can worry about that if and when it happens, rather than right now.
Ironically PSG play their home games at the Parc des Princes, the setting for our infamous defeat in the 1975 European Cup final, so it wouldn’t be the first time we’d experience problems in Europe’s top club competition origination in that particular venue!
The Times report claims Leeds are also considering two other offers: with one being from the owner of an Italian club, and the other from a vastly wealthy Leeds fan based in the United States. I’d prefer the latter of these options, as I’d rather we were run by one of our own and it would avoid the PSG problem and also the moral dilemma of being associated with the repressive regime that runs Qatar.
But one thing is clear, the continuing level of interest in our club shows that serious money men worldwide can see the massive potential in our club, and surely it’s only a matter of time before one of them takes us back to the highest levels of English and European football. We’re not famous any more!
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