QSI investment could take Leeds United to 'Manchester City' levels

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QSI investment could take Leeds United to 'Manchester City' levels

Post by YorkshireSquare » Mon Oct 14, 2019 8:02 am



Andrea Radrizzani has always been clear about his ambition for Leeds United. A fire year plan to get them back to the Premier League. He has also been clear that he has no intention of cutting and running but would always look at strategic partners who could invest in the club and help him realise that plan. The San Francisco 49ers investment was a prime example of this, not only did they bring money to the table but also a wealth of experience in running a sports team and all the commercial and operational experience that comes with that. This summer the big rumours surrounded potential investment from Qatar Sports Investments.

Ever since Radrizzani completed his take-over of Leeds United there have been links with Qatar. This initially came in the form of the partnership with the Aspire Academy, a Qatari based sports organization, renowned for being one of the finest academies in the world with ties to some of the biggest clubs in Europe. Aspire own Belgian club KAS Eupen and Spanish side Cultural Leonesa, a name Leeds United fans will be familiar with following the loan moves of Ouasim Bouy and Yosuke Ideguchi. The Director General of the Aspire Academy is Ivan Bravo, who also sat on the Leeds United board for a time.

Those links have now emerged again with Radrizzani revealing his is considering three proposals for investment from a total of more than twenty since he completed his purchase of Leeds United. One of these proposals is from QSI whose chairman Nasser al-Khelaifi is a business associate of Radrizzani. An investment that could see Leeds United rival Premier League champions Manchester City in terms of wealth at their disposal. The identities of the other potential investors have not been revealed though one is said to be a rich US based Leeds fan and the other the owner of an Italian football club. Radrizzani told The Times

I have been approached by more than 20 parties and I have selected these three. The option of Qatar Sports Investment and Nasser — first of all they are friends, we have had a good relationship for a long time. Secondly, they have the possibility to bring this club to compete with Manchester City, so for the fans that could be a fantastic opportunity. The second is based in America, he’s a big fan of Leeds United since he was a child, and I like that. Another one is the owner of an Italian club. With another club you can create synergy to be more competitive and to target the Premier League — we could maybe get a loan to increase the quality of the team.

Radrizzani reaffirmed his plan was to take Leeds United back to the Premier League and insists the size of his stake in the club and any potential returns are secondary to this goal. With promotion narrowly missed last year Radrizzani looks to be seeking strategic partners to help him realise his goals, especially given the spiralling costs of owning a Championship club. Leeds United’s wage bill is now around the £33 million mark plus an additional £6 million for Marcelo Bielsa and his team which represents a huge investment in itself.

When it will be done, it doesn’t matter which share, it matters that I can continue my project and also have the support to build this club back again. L’appetito vien mangiando, as we say in Italy — appetite comes while you are eating. I don’t need to sell but it is important to listen because I always remember I am a custodian of the club. If it was my own business I would treat it a bit differently. It is very expensive, I invested over £90 million — with this level of money you could own a Europa League club in most of the European leagues, including Italy.

The club makes losses, in this league it is impossible not to. We are still paying the consequences of my first year because I was inexperienced and we made some expensive mistakes with players. But we haven’t stopped investing. Bielsa and his staff cost £6 million, we bought many other players and I think we have a squad to be promoted. It’s financially not sustainable to keep this level of salary which is now over £30 million, probably £33 million with Marcelo and closer to £40 million with the coaches.

Many Leeds fans questioned the depth of Andrea Radrizzani’s pockets this summer and the validity of the FFP excuses given by the club, especially considering the amounts spent by some of our promotion rivals. But it’s encouraging to see the Italian admitting the mistakes he made during his first season and also acknowledging that investment may be required to get the club back to where they belong. No investment will be quick as Radrizzani considers his options carefully but this is the first time he has given any detail regarding the offers on the table since the news about QSI broke this summer. These could be exciting times for Leeds United.

There is no doubt Leeds are one of the sleeping giants of English football, sleeping giants who started to stir again last season thanks to the inspirational 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. Next week Leeds United celebrate their centenary season, 100 years since a meeting at the Salem Hall in Hunslet gave birth to the club from the ashes of Leeds City.

With a little bit of investment Leeds United could be great again.
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Re: QSI investment could take Leeds United to Manchester City levels

Post by Irish Ian » Mon Oct 14, 2019 10:41 am

I recently did a little bit of background on clubs in the Championship and the league below us.

Since we were relegated around about 16 of those clubs had tasted Premiership football even for a short time. Barnsley, Wigan, Huddersfield, Reading, Qpr Sunderland, Stoke, and add to that the likes of Bournemouth who have really made themselves a mainstay of the PL.

That list ignores Derby, Forest and Wednesday whose exiles have been even longer.

It has been too long, but if we had serious backing not only could we promote but also put down deep roots so as not to be a yoyo club.

Doing it on a shoestring doesnt work for us.
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Re: QSI investment could take Leeds United to Manchester City levels

Post by weasel » Mon Oct 14, 2019 11:27 am

The trouble is the FFP rules have made it harder for clubs to do what Man City did. We could get all the investment we wanted but couldn't actually spend much mor ethan we already have, barring being very creative such as selling our ground to ourselves.

I think AR is doing it right in that he is getting all the infrastructure in place, he bought the ground and now is trying to bring the training ground closer to the club as well as exploring the possibility of buying other land near the stadium. If he can get all that in place then it means we can seriously increase the revenues that can go into transfers as well as increasing our youth facilities to a level like Man City's so we can train up and sell players which brings in extra revenue for buying first team players. It is all about creating football income as you can no longer simply just have a rich owner pumping endless funds in.
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Re: QSI investment could take Leeds United to 'Manchester City' levels

Post by Cjay » Mon Oct 14, 2019 12:39 pm

Have to say fair play to Radz for finally admitting that his errors are why we are where we are.

He wasted so much money 1st season and we are still paying for it now.

Presumably QSI are the most likely given he has named them and i doubt they would be to happy if it wasnt them now. Being turned down by a 2nd division club wouldnt sit well with them.

If we ever hope to compete at the top level we need money like QSI have access to.

Infrastructure, all that is needed and tbf to Radz he has done well with that.

Cold hard cash is what he lacks and QSI have that.

Id be happy for the 49ers to go (i dont see what they do and they paid £10mil for 25% of the club according to Companies House).

Im sure Radz has big ideas and contacts, QSI have the cash and contacts of there own, get us to the Prem and i firmly believe we can go from strength to strength.

I dont want us to be a yoyo club or mid table fodder, we should aim for the very top and to do that cash will be needed.

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Re: QSI investment could take Leeds United to Manchester City levels

Post by Irish Ian » Mon Oct 14, 2019 12:41 pm

weasel wrote:
Mon Oct 14, 2019 11:27 am
The trouble is the FFP rules have made it harder for clubs to do what Man City did. We could get all the investment we wanted but couldn't actually spend much mor ethan we already have, barring being very creative such as selling our ground to ourselves.

I think AR is doing it right in that he is getting all the infrastructure in place, he bought the ground and now is trying to bring the training ground closer to the club as well as exploring the possibility of buying other land near the stadium. If he can get all that in place then it means we can seriously increase the revenues that can go into transfers as well as increasing our youth facilities to a level like Man City's so we can train up and sell players which brings in extra revenue for buying first team players. It is all about creating football income as you can no longer simply just have a rich owner pumping endless funds in.
I think our current owners have brought us to the best place we have been in years. We actually look that we are investable instead of the issue being that we be rescueable

But if we were to attract investors with deeper pockets then we may not have to be in a position where we have to sell on our better Academy players to balance the books. Develop and keep the best and also attract the better youngsters who would be attracted by top flight football. Also bringinging in a few bigger names players to help us reach our goals.

At the minute we spend 40M a year on wages for players and staff. Gate receipts, sponsorships, merchandise and TV money will hardly cover that hefty responsibility.
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Re: QSI investment could take Leeds United to Manchester City levels

Post by weasel » Mon Oct 14, 2019 2:08 pm

Irish Ian wrote:
Mon Oct 14, 2019 12:41 pm
Also bringinging in a few bigger names players to help us reach our goals.
We don't have a problem reaching the goal, it's kicking the damn ball into the goal that is our problem!!!
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Re: QSI investment could take Leeds United to Manchester City levels

Post by Irish Ian » Mon Oct 14, 2019 2:23 pm

:chair: :clape:
weasel wrote:
Mon Oct 14, 2019 2:08 pm
We don't have a problem reaching the goal, it's kicking the damn ball into the goal that is our problem!!!
"We can wait for the next game with serenity"

"I am quite clear in my mind that one has to feel sincere love for those he leads, and if he doesn't feel it naturally, then he must learn how to feel it"


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Re: QSI investment could take Leeds United to 'Manchester City' levels

Post by SG90 » Mon Oct 14, 2019 4:41 pm

The Leeds fan in the US is the oh correct option. I don't want to be Man City nor be a feeder club for other clubs.

The reason the wage bill is so high is because you made it that way, handing out ridiculous wage increases and you haven't stopped since.
What I want from an owner: 1. Ambition. 2. Wage bill control. 3. Cut spending on loan fees. 4. Better scouting. 5. Get bigger fees for our best players. 6.No ego.

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Re: QSI investment could take Leeds United to 'Manchester City' levels

Post by weasel » Tue Oct 15, 2019 8:32 am

It's a tricky one as romantically you would want to achieve success bringing the young players through so you have more affinity with them. For me City have done well, they bought the best of the 2nd tier players so that they could get into the big time and then could attract even better players. How possible that is now with FFP is debateable as there are always ways round it.

It is though much harder now to keep your best players when other clubs can offer far bigger wages even if you are a premiership club, having rich owners at least makes it possible to keep the better players, like AR did this summer with KP.
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Re: QSI investment could take Leeds United to 'Manchester City' levels

Post by YorkshireSquare » Tue Oct 15, 2019 9:50 am

weasel wrote:
Tue Oct 15, 2019 8:32 am
How possible that is now with FFP is debateable as there are always ways round it.

With owners like QSI who essentially have state backing and a myriad of companies, sponsorship is the big thing.

Your shirt sponsor becomes Qatar Airways, your training ground sponsored by Qatari Diar (Who own land in Holbeck already) etc
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