Leeds Fans United strike deal with Whites over future investment at Elland Road

Elland Road.
Elland Road.
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Leeds Fans United, the supporters group set up to buy a shareholding in Leeds United, have struck an agreement over future investment in the Elland Road club.

The organisation, which was founded in 2015 with the intention of securing supporter representation on the board at Leeds, is to 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 has 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.

Leeds Fans United was briefly offered the chance to buy United outright by former owner Massimo Cellino in 2016 but the Italian withdrew from discussions over a sale a few days later.

At the time, Leeds Fans United was believed to have raised around £500,000 through its members.

It opened dialogue with current majority shareholder Andrea Radrizzani after his buy-out of Cellino and has now reached an agreement to allow it to invest in Leeds.

A statement from United read: “Leeds United are pleased to announce that following a period of constructive dialogue with the supporter investment group Leeds Fans Utd, the two parties have agreed heads of terms on introducing supporter investment into the club.

“The aim of the investment will be to help fund plans to build a new training facility and sports village at Elland Road.

“The investment will secure a new special class of shares, ensuring that supporters who commit will have a voice in key heritage decisions.” The club plan to release more information early next year.

Leeds drew up plans to relocate from their Thorp Arch training ground shortly after Radrizzani’s takeover in 2017.

The club want to build a new £25m facility on the old Matthew Murray High School site in Holbeck and secured initial approval from Leeds City Council to push forward with the planning last year.

Radrizzani sold a small stake in Leeds to the investment arm of the San Francisco 49ers in May, in return for around £10m, but he continues to control a shareholding of just under 90 per cent.