LEEDS United are close to securing major investment that would help them buy back their Elland Road ground.
United sold Elland Road in 2004 in a desperate bid to raise cash following their relegation from the Premiership – but, crucially, they hold a buy-back option which would cost them around £15m to exercise.
And well-placed club sources have told the Yorkshire Evening Post that a deal is now on the cards which is specifically designed to generate funds that would enable Leeds to re-purchase the ground.
United’s new owners, Dubai-based investment bank GFH Capital, have made it clear that buying back Elland Road is a key element of their masterplan for Leeds.
Club managing director David Haigh and chairman Salah Nooruddin have also been open about their desire to attract fresh backing for the Whites.
No details were available today on the identity of the potential investor – although it is not thought to be Red Bull, the energy drinks giant known to have been in recent talks with United about a lucrative link-up deal.
One Leeds source told the YEP: “It’s fair to say that the club are very close to securing what will be a very good investment deal.”
United sold Elland Road to Manchester businessman Jacob Adler for an estimated £8m during the chairmanship of Gerald Krasner.
It was subsequently sold to its current owner, Teak Commercial Limited, a firm based in the British Virgin Islands.
Leeds pay around £2m a year to lease Elland Road and their Thorp Arch training ground, which was also sold off during Krasner’s chairmanship.
The YEP understands, meanwhile, that United have “no immediate plans” to pursue former chairman and president Ken Bates’ proposals for an eight-storey hotel complex at Elland Road’s South East corner.