Leeds United are battling in the Championship at the moment and hoping to return to the Premier League at the first time of asking. While the focus is on the pitch right now, we also have more stories every month on what could happen to Elland Road. Here is a rundown of the latest with a new update this month.
New Leeds owners 49ers Enterprises are expected to assume ownership of Elland Road from previous owner Andrea Raddrizani, according to The Athletic’s Phil Hay.
Hay wrote: “As yet, there are no updates on Companies House about a change of ownership, but the 49ers’ buy-out of Radrizzani included an agreement for the group to acquire 100 per cent of Elland Road and sources with knowledge of the deal — speaking anonymously to protect confidentiality agreements — have told The Athletic that the handover is due to be registered at Companies House in the near future.”
The plans that changed
It was agreed in 2021 that Leeds would build a new training ground, as well as expanding Elland Road. But those plans were later withdrawn, with Leeds instead opting to expand the stadium to 55,000 seats, up from the current capacity of 37,608.
It was said at the time that further investment from the 49ers would be needed. Angus Kinnear said at the time: “If we stay up this year, then construction wouldn’t start next year, but the process would.”
49ers’ previous promise
Paraag Marathe is keen to preserve the personality and history of the Elland Road culture.
In an interview with the BBC, Marathe said: “I’ll be honest with you, the main thing is to protect the magic and electricity that is in Elland Road. The answer then is [it] probably means that it’s more of a stadium expansion than a new stadium because I don’t want to take away from that.
“Players from the other 19 [Premier League] clubs, if they are going to list the three worst places that they want to play on the road for an away match, Elland Road is probably one, two or three for them. I don’t want to take that away.”
Phil Hay hint
Amid reports of the Elland Road expansion, a report emerged from The Athletic claiming the uncertainty over the previously held up takeover was to blame, suggesting now more ground will be made.
The Athletic’s Phil Hay wrote: “It’s been apparent for a while now that Leeds could fill a much bigger ground. You only have to look at the waiting list. It’s a frustration on two fronts. First, because a lot of would-be match-going fans cannot get tickets. And second, because the commercial advantages of a larger, more modern stadium would make a big difference to the club’s accounts.
“To answer this succinctly, stadium development will not start or move any further forward until a takeover goes through. It would be an expensive project. But a major upgrade is very much at the centre of 49ers Enterprises’ plans. It wants an improved ground and it wants to gradually push annual revenue much closer to the £400m mark.”
Leeds looking at ‘tens of millions’ to expand
The proposed Elland Road redevelopment could cost Leeds United ‘tens of millions’ of pounds. That’s according to football finance expert Daniel Plumley, who spoke with MOT Leeds News about the club’s stadium expansion plans.
“Look at the amount of money it is taking Everton to do a full new stadium, obviously the Spurs one was the most expensive in history. So, you’re talking hundreds of millions to do a full stadium, then you work off from there, so if it’s full stand reconstruction, you come down from those numbers but it is still significant amounts of money, certainly in the tens of millions for sure.”