How the Leeds United fan shares and investment scheme works

Leeds United fans investment explained.
Leeds United fans investment explained.
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Leeds United last month announced a deal with Leeds Fans Utd for supporter investment at Elland Road - but what do we know so far and what does it mean for the future?

Who are Leeds Fans Utd?

Leeds Fans Utd is a private limited company which set out to secure a stake in Leeds United Football Club in an attempt to give the fans a voice in the boardroom at Elland Road.

Funding for the project came from Leeds fans who acquired shares in the company.

Leeds Fans Utd were founded in 2015 with then owner Massimo Cellino claiming he would sell the club to the fan group.

"100% I will sell to the fans, if they want to buy it and look after the club. The fans are the only asset the club has," he told BBC Radio Leeds in October 2015.

"I'm sad and embarrassed. My dream was to do my best but I've achieved nothing and family aren't even with me.

"I'm trying to protect the club but at the same time it means I have exposed myself. The result is that the fans say 'Massimo it's time to go'."

The Italian though went back on his word and sold the club to now owner Andrea Radrizzani.

What is the deal the two supporters group have agreed with Leeds United?

On December 21 it was announced by Leeds United that the club had agreed 'Head of Terms' with Leeds Fans Utd after discussions.

The move would introduce 'supporter investment to the club.'

The supporters group will now receive a number of “special shares” in the club in return for an injection of cash.

Leeds said the money would be used to help their plans for a new training ground in the city centre and the construction of a sports village around the site of their Elland Road stadium.

Neither the club nor Leeds Fans United have revealed the precise size of the proposed investment but more than 2,000 Leeds supporters have committed funding to the group since it was established three years ago.

Here's what Leeds United have said

A Leeds statement said: "The aim of the investment will be to help fund a new training facility and sports village.

"The investment will secure a new special class of shares ensuring supporters who commit will have a voice in key heritage decisions."

Angus Kinnear, CEO of Leeds United, wrote in his pre-Hull City programme notes on 29th December 2018: “We were able to announce that we have agreed heads of terms with supporters group Leeds Fans Utd with a view to achieving our shared objective of allowing supporters to hold an ownership stake in the club.

"We aim to announce full details of the heritage shares next year, but the aims are to give supporters a meaningful voice at board level, long-term control over key pillars of the Leeds United identity and to help fund our vision of creating a world-class training ground, Academy and community sports hub in the centre of Leeds.

"We believe this initiative can reinforce supporters’ position at the heart of your club.”

What does it mean for the future?

The deal that has been struck means that the supporters group will now be consulted over "key heritage decisions" although full disclosure of what that consists of is yet to be announced.

Leeds United revealed in late December more information about the investment will be announce in the New Year.

How do I get involved?

The ability to buy shares in Leeds Fans Utd closed last month with LFU confirming this, tweeting on December 1: "The LFU Directors today give 30 days’ notice of closure of the offer to subscribe for shares in LFU Community Benefit Society. LFU continues to pursue our project to get a stake in the club for fans and will issue a progress report before the end of the year."