Leeds United fans have become outraged as the club owner, Andrea Radrizzani, has an agreement in principle to use Elland Road stadium as security in his deal to buy Sampdoria. This means that, in the event that Sampdoria were to once again run into financial difficulties, the Whites’ home since the club’s foundation could be forfeit. Andrea Radrizzani’s response upon a request for comment was that the way he uses his assets were “none of your business”.
Leeds United’s Elland Road Used as Security in Sampdoria Deal
What Does This Mean for Leeds United?
Andrea Radrizzani is using a loan to buy Sampdoria and attempt to get the Italian club back on solid ground. In effect, using Elland Road Stadium as security for the deal means that the Italian is getting a mortgage against the ground. The Athletic’s investigation discovered that whilst the initial loan would last two years, potential extensions take the duration to an entire decade, keeping the stadium at risk for an extended period.
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Can 49ers Enterprises Do Anything to Protect Elland Road?
Aser Ventures is Radrizzani’s company, and in spite of the club and the stadium both being under his ownership, the club itself doesn’t own the stadium. This means that, with their 44% stake in the club, 49ers Enterprises cannot actually do anything about the Italian risking the ground in his move for Sampdoria.
Aside from this, the rest of the board reportedly had no idea that the agreement was even happening. Board members Angus Kinnear, Massimo Marinelli and Paraag Marathe were all unaware of the move, with the Leeds United owner refusing to inform other stakeholders that he was making such a move. Whether or not this threatens the 49ers’ discussions to attempt to buy the club is yet to be seen.
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The Fan Response to Elland Road Risks
Elland Road is a beloved stadium for the fans, and one that has seen the club’s entire history. That history includes the previous relegation from the Premier League under Peter Ridsdale, which saw years of mismanagement. Andrea Radrizzani has seemed to speedrun that process, with fans turning against the club’s ownership over the past year due to poor results. Rather than attempting to rebuild a relationship with the fans, the Italian has seemingly committed to using community assets as his own personal property. Responses online are already angry, and will only continue to sour further.