Ever since Andrea Radrizzani completed his take-over of Leeds United there have been links with Qatar. This has come 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 has a seat on the Leeds United board.
How deep the links with Qatar go has never been fully clear though it seems Radrizzani has strong connections in the Arabian state. Now the Financial Times are reporting Qatar Sports Investments, a state-backed group which controls France’s Paris Saint-Germain, have been in discussions with Radrizzani recently regarding an investment in Leeds United. Qatar are keen to make an entry into English football and Leeds United appear to be their preferred choice.
Qatar Sports Investments will be entering English Football, and Leeds is the club of their choice. Qatar has been looking into the prospects of entering English Football for the past two years.
Qatar, like Abu Dhabi with Manchester City, has looked to improve its profile and standing in the world though sport, with it’s successful World Cup 2022 bid and investment in Paris Saint-Germain. But any investment from Qatar may not be a popular one with the fans, especially considering controversies concerning human rights, particularly highlighted by the treatment of foreign workers on World Cup stadium construction sites.
Radrizzani has refused to comment on the QSI speculation though it is believed he has had a number of offers of investment in the club in recent months. His purchase of Leeds United will always have been a speculative investment, promotion to the Premier League would see Leeds United’s worth and as such his investment multiply in value. But failure to win promotion this year could mean he is forced to look for further investment to further his plans for Leeds United or to reduce his risk.
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