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25th May 2019

PSG’s Qatari owners in talks to buy stake in Leeds United

Kyle Picknell

The deal would allow the richest nation on earth to enter English football for the first time

Qatar Sports Investments (QSI), a state-backed group founded by the emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, are in talks to buy a stake in Leeds United, according to The Financial Times.

The deal would allow the natural gas-rich Gulf state to enter English football for the first time and add to a football portfolio that already includes Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain.

According to the report, QSI has been in talks over a deal with Leeds United and its owner Andrea Radrizzani in recent months.

Their unnamed source is quoted as saying that “Qatar Sports Investments will be entering English Football and Leeds is the club of their choice,” before explaining that “Qatar has been looking into the prospects of entering English Football for the past two years.”

Qatar is the world’s richest nation in per capita terms and, like other Gulf nations, has been increasingly using investment in sports teams – particularly football – to enhance its image and reputation overseas.

Negotiations have apparently been reopened after Leeds were knocked out of the Championship play-offs by Derby County ten days ago.

The failure of Marcelo Bielsa’s side to go up, despite the club leading the league table at Christmas, means that the club will now miss out on at least £170 million in guaranteed payments from the Premier League’s broadcasting rights.

The Financial Times adds that Radrizzani, who is also the chairman and founder of the Eleven Sports Network, has been considering a sale of at least a minority stake for the past few months but wanted to see whether Leeds could earn promotion.