It’s rare that a summer goes by without a Leeds United takeover rumour and this summer’s rumour regarding investment from Paris Saint-Germain owners Qatar Sports Investments (QSI) refuses to die. This week French newspaper Le Parisien reported talks are still ongoing and a takeover of Leeds United isn’t far off being completed. QSI have been keen to get into English football for some time and the choice of Leeds was made after 'studying perspectives of entry in the English market over the past two years'. A figure greater than the £70m paid for Paris Saint-Germain eight years ago has been mentioned and a takeover could lead to substantial investment in Leeds.
There is no doubt Leeds are one of the sleeping giants of English football, sleeping giants who have started to stir in recent months thanks to the inspiration of Marcelo Bielsa. The prospect of promotion last season rekindled past glories and there have been plenty of glorious moments in Leeds United’s past. Champions of England three times, FA Cup and League Cup winners, Inter-Cities Fairs Cup champions twice and European Cup final and semi-finalists. This season Leeds United celebrate their centenary season, 100 years in October since a meeting at the Salem Hall in Hunslet gave birth to the club from the ashes of Leeds City.
And it’s that which rankles me most about this proposed deal, Leeds United aren’t anyone’s ‘little brother’ especially not Paris Saint-Germain’s! Stade Saint-Germain may trace their roots back as far as Leeds City but as Paris Saint-Germain are relative youngsters, at only 49 years old Leeds had won three major titles before PSG were even founded. Yes, they have won eight Ligue 1 titles since 1986 but who cares about French football? For all the oil and gas money QSI have brought to PSG they have not achieved European success, only one major European title to their name, the 1996 Cup Winners' Cup. They have reached one less European Cup semi-final than Leeds, never making the final. A final Leeds have reached, a final played at the Parc des Princes, PSGs own ground.
Questions over Qatar’s dubious human rights record aside I want someone to invest in Leeds United because they want to make Leeds United great again. Not so that we can become a feeder club for some French upstarts. Leeds United fans are a proud bunch, proud of our club’s great history and rightly so. We don’t want to play second fiddle, you invest in us we want your undecided attention. With a little bit of investment Leeds United could be great again, we don’t want to be anyone’s little brother.
Qatar Investment - Leeds United aren’t anyone’s ‘little brother’