Journalist Phil Hay believes Leeds United are making progress with their stadium revamp after an interview with club owner Andrea Radrizzani.
The Italian businessman sat down with Hay and David Ornstein in an interview for The Athletic and among the topics of conversation was plans for development at Elland Road.
The west Yorkshire venue has been the home of the Whites since the club’s inception in 1919 and sits just shy of 38,000 people.
Plans to expand the ground to 50,00 capacity have been mooted and managing to stave off relegation by the skin of their teeth last term may have proved hugely beneficial for the club in more ways than one as Hay dissected Radrizzani’s comments and provided an exciting update on the current situation.
Speaking on the Phil Hay show he said:
(45:11)”He (Radrizzani) says that they’re in the process now of, of actively courting and he thinks are being close to moving towards an agreement with a financial partner to fund it.
“He says it’s going to cost in excess of £100m. They’re going to need a lot of money to do it but they are. They’ve got drawings, the meeting with the council, they’ve done a feasibility review as well, in his opinion and actually, I think (Angus) Kinnear’s said this to you on the podcast before and has discussed it with us also, that they needed to get through two years of Premier League football because those are the two years where you’re most likely to get relegated again. I mean, it’s not an exact science, plenty of clubs have gone down after that point.
“But I think to avoid the pitfall of diving in quickly, getting yourself a stadium that’s got a 60,000 capacity and then in no time at all, find yourself back playing championship clubs who are not even going to remotely fill the away end.
“But he said this is probably the moment now to move forward with that and to push on and he did make it sound as if they were making progress.”
TIF Thoughts on Leeds…
Do you think Elland Road needs to be expanded?
Expanding the stadium to 50,000 would show clear ambition from the club and would see them hold the eighth largest ground in the league.
Ensuring relegation is avoided again this term will go a long way to furthering those plans and director of football Victor Orta has been busy at work this summer preparing a squad capable of coping with the physical demands of the English top flight.
Radrizzani himself has predicted the club to finish between 10th and 14th (The Athletic via Yorkshire Evening Post) and considering those sides that finished in that area last season pocketed between £120-130m it could prove very lucrative for the Marsch’s men.