Earlier this month, Leeds United’s owner, Andrea Radrizzani, sat down with The Times in England and opened up about what the future could hold for the Championship club.
QSI, the investment fund that own Paris Saint-Germain, were brought up, which set a few tongues wagging, as the Italian stated they were one of three potential buyers who could help take the club to the next level, and according to French journalist and writer Romain Molina, that’s no surprise.
Speaking to France Info, he explained: “Andrea Radrizzani is a great friend of Nasser Al-Khelaïfi’s. We’re talking about the very, very close circle.”
That friendship is something that has helped Leeds get closer to the Qatari investment fund, as Molina says Marcelo Bielsa’s side are one that has been in the ‘Qatari fold for a long time’.
He continued: “The club’s youngsters go to Qatar. The club subscribes to Qatari projects. The closeness with Qatar was already clear.”
That became apparent when a partnership between Leeds and the Aspire academy was made, and the club’s close brush with promotion to the Premier League also helped the interest grow stronger, as Bielsa seemed to be the right man to make it happen.
With promotion to England’s top-tier comes ‘important dividends’, as Molina puts it, and that’s what QSI would be interested in.
France Info also talked to Raphaël Le Magoaeriec, a specialist on sport politics in the Middle East, who expanded on the subject.
He said: “With PSG, Qatar has an important relay for its foreign politics within political and cultural areas, but the problem is what’s on the pitch because the club is only judged on their Champions League results because Ligue 1 is too weak. With Leeds, QSI could count on the glamour of the English league to develop its image.”
It’s all a business to them, but for Molina, Radrizzani’s interview was a bit strange.
He ended with: “To have an interview, like he did with the Times, is something very rare in this operation. I don’t see the point, except maybe to wake up the potential other two buyers.”
Perhaps he’s hoping for a bidding war? Only time will tell.