Thursday 20 June 2019

Leeds owner Radrizzani in Qatar for talks with investors

Paris Saint-Germain president Nasser Al Khelaifi. Photo: Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images
Paris Saint-Germain president Nasser Al Khelaifi. Photo: Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images

Jason Burt

Leeds United owner Andrea Radrizzani is in Doha to discuss Qatar taking a stake in the Championship club which narrowly missed out on promotion to the Premier League.

Qatar Sports Investments, which controls Paris Saint-Germain, has been looking to invest in an English club with potential and a strong heritage for some time and it is understood talks are taking place with Leeds.

They are not the only club being considered by QSI but Radrizzani is meeting with the group's chairman, Nasser Al-Khelaifi, who is also PSG's president, in the Qatari capital.

The two men have a good relationship going back several years, dating from when Al-Khelaifi, the head of BeIN Sports, and Radrizzani, a co-founder of M&P Silva which he has since sold, negotiated television rights.

Radrizzani bought Leeds in 2017, initially acquiring a 50 per cent stake before fully buying out Massimo Cellino.

QSI has been considering a move into investing in England, not least because of the huge broadcast deals negotiated by the Premier League. Buying into a Championship club, and helping get it promoted, appears to be part of their thinking.

QSI bought PSG in 2011 and has invested heavily in the French giants, signing players such as Neymar and Kylian Mbappe, to make them one of the biggest clubs in the world.

It remains to be seen whether talks progress with Leeds and, significantly, whether QSI wants to take a controlling interest or just a minority stake.

Italian entrepreneur Radrizzani has denied he is interested in selling the club which reached the Championship play-offs after finishing third before being knocked out by Derby County.

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