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A Tale of One Divided City

Started on 26 September 2023 by Jack
Latest Reply on 7 December 2023 by Jack
Jack's avatar Group Jack
2 monthsEdited

Leeds United relegated from the Premier League

By Max Sterling
28th May 2023

The chants of 'Leeds are falling apart again' echoed from the Tottenham fans in their corner of Elland Road, a refrain that found an unlikely harmony with the Leeds United supporters at the opposite end of the stadium. A grim realisation had settled among the Leeds faithful; their team was crumbling, and they could no longer deny it.

In a pivotal match, one that Leeds desperately needed to win to preserve their Premier League status, they instead suffered a devastating 4-1 defeat, their resolve barely flickering.

The next time Leeds are here at Elland Road, it will be in the Championship, trading fixtures against the likes of Manchester United, Liverpool, and Arsenal for battles against Plymouth Argyle and Rotherham United. The club had no one to blame but themselves for this precipitous fall.

Their current plight followed a season marked by a series of blunders both on and off the pitch. Questions lingered, demanding answers. How had Jesse Marsch remained in the managerial hot seat until February? Why had a club-record fee been squandered on Georginio Rutter during the January transfer window, only for the striker to see minimal playing time? How could a team concede nearly 80 goals in a single Premier League campaign? And how had they transitioned from Marcelo Bielsa to Sam Allardyce, via Marsch and Javi Gracia, in little over a year?

The majority of these questions pointed toward owner Andrea Radrizzani, who had unwittingly guided the club back to the division it had languished in six years prior. The supporters were clamouring for change, while 49ers Enterprises, holding a 44% stake in the club, desired a complete takeover. The future leadership of the boardroom remained uncertain, a pressing matter, as Allardyce emphasised in the aftermath of the loss. Only after resolving the ownership issue could they address the choice of a new manager and the potential makeup of the squad. Allardyce, with a lacklustre record of four games, three defeats, and 11 goals conceded, faced an uphill battle to secure his own future at the club.

In his post-match news conference, he offered an apology to the fans but also pointed fingers at his players, stressing that "unforced errors" had been the most glaring difference between Leeds and Tottenham. The match had been 90 minutes of self-inflicted wounds. Even before kickoff, Allardyce had acknowledged in his program notes that Leeds had been "punished for the errors we have made," and this fixture proved no different.

Within the opening 30 seconds, Weston McKennie's errant pass gifted the ball to Son Heung-Min, and Leeds found themselves trailing 1-0 shortly thereafter. Pedro Porro outpaced Pascal Struijk to set up a chance for Harry Kane, leaving Allardyce shaking his head helplessly on the touchline. As VAR deliberated over the goal, the home fans rallied in support of Bielsa, their beloved former manager who had been sacked in 2022. Meanwhile, tensions flared between Jack Harrison and Rodrigo.

If conceding within the first two minutes of the first half was disastrous, Leeds repeated their folly in the second. Liam Cooper was outmuscled by Kane, and Struijk's attempted clearance went awry, allowing Porro to seal their fate. Any hopes of a miraculous Leeds escape were extinguished.

Frustration had long morphed into anger among the fans, as chants of "you're not fit to wear the shirt" rained down on the players. Italian broadcasting chief Radrizzani faced vociferous calls to "sell the club and f--- off home."

News of an Everton goal at Goodison Park reached Elland Road, prompting the first trickle of Leeds fans to exit the stadium, more than half an hour before the final whistle. They missed a consolation goal by Harrison, only for Leeds to gift Kane another goal, encapsulating their calamitous performance.

Allardyce ruefully noted afterward that one might have expected his team to learn from their earlier mistakes, but that wasn't the case.

When a pitch invader eluded security staff and sprinted onto the field, the home fans serenaded him with chants of "sign him up" and "he's shown more fight than you." It was hard to argue, considering Leeds had contributed so little to their own cause.

The fourth goal, scored by Lucas Moura, provided a bright moment for the Brazilian in what was his final appearance for Spurs. Yet, it was another testament to Leeds' woeful defending.

Leeds had conceded 157 top-flight goals since the start of the previous season, more than any other team in Europe's top five leagues. It was a statistic that reeked of impending relegation.

On days like this, it might be tempting to assume that a club of Leeds' stature would swiftly return to the Premier League. However, their ardent supporters knew better than most that the journey back was far from straightforward. The last time they were relegated from the top flight in 2004, it took them 16 long years to make their return, with a detour that included three seasons in English football's third division.

Leeds had indeed fallen apart, but the pressing question remained: How quickly could they be pieced back together?
Jack's avatar Group Jack
2 monthsEdited

Leeds United Takeover by 49ers Enterprises Collapses Amidst Uncertain Financial Future

By Daniel Morgan
29th May 2023

In a shocking turn of events for Leeds United Football Club, the much-anticipated full takeover by 49ers Enterprises, an investment arm of the San Francisco 49ers American football franchise, has collapsed. This abrupt development has left Leeds United's future ownership and financial stability hanging in the balance, casting a cloud of uncertainty over the historic club.

The takeover saga began with great promise and excitement. Andrea Radrizzani, the Italian businessman who has been at the helm of Leeds United since 2017, had been actively seeking new investors to help secure the club's long-term future. Amid the financial challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and the disappointment of relegation from the Premier League in the 2022/23 season, Radrizzani saw the partnership with 49ers Enterprises as a lifeline for the club.

However, despite initial optimism, the deal between Radrizzani and 49ers Enterprises ultimately crumbled due to a lack of commitment and backing from the American investors. The 49ers Enterprises' decision to withdraw from the takeover has left Leeds United in a precarious position, with their future ownership and financial resources uncertain.

One of the key factors contributing to the collapse of the deal was the unwillingness of 49ers Enterprises to inject the necessary funds into the club to facilitate its return to the Premier League. With Leeds United languishing in the Championship following their relegation, it was crucial for the new ownership group to provide the financial muscle needed to rebuild a squad that has ended the season deeply disliked by the majority of the fanbase and compete back at the highest level.

Another significant factor in the deal's demise was Radrizzani's reluctance to invest more of his own personal fortune into the club, as well as his full trust in Director of Football Victor Orta. His decision not to commit additional capital to Leeds United raised concerns among fans and stakeholders about his long-term dedication to the club, especially in the aftermath of relegation.

Radrizzani's reputation among Leeds United supporters had already taken a hit following the club's relegation from the Premier League. The disappointment of dropping out of the top flight after a 16-year absence left fans disillusioned, and many saw the failed takeover as a missed opportunity to secure the club's future.

Adding to the uncertainty, Radrizzani expressed his desire to shift his focus towards acquiring Sampdoria, an Italian football club currently going through their own troubling times after relegation from Serie A and their own deeply concerning financial situation. This revelation further damaged his standing with Leeds United fans, who were left questioning his commitment to the Yorkshire club.

As the dust settles on the collapsed takeover and with the new EFL Championship season fast approaching, Leeds United now find themselves in a state of limbo. The financial situation of the club remains precarious, and the search for new investors or potential buyers is likely to be a top priority for Radrizzani in the coming months.

Leeds United supporters, known for their unwavering loyalty and passion, are left to ponder an uncertain future. The club's return to the Premier League, a dream that felt within reach just a year ago, now appears to be in jeopardy. The rollercoaster ride of Leeds United's fortunes continues, with more questions than answers regarding the club's ownership, financial stability, and prospects for the upcoming season.

For now, Leeds United remains a club in transition, facing a challenging period of reflection and potential reevaluation of its future direction. Only time will tell what lies ahead for this historic football institution and its dedicated fan base.
Brilliant write-up. Looking forward to reading the next chapters.
Jack's avatar Group Jack
2 monthsEdited

Leeds owner Andrea Radrizzani reaches agreement to buy Sampdoria

By Jack Hudson
30th May 2023

Andrea Radrizzani, the owner of Leeds United, has successfully negotiated the acquisition of Sampdoria.

Radrizzani, aged 48, has reached an agreement with the current owner of Sampdoria, Massimo Ferrero, paving the way for him to assume control of the Genoa-based club.

In a statement released, it was revealed, 'It was a genuine race against time, a lengthy and demanding negotiation process that ultimately yielded a positive outcome on the evening of Tuesday, May 30th. Matteo Manfredi, the principal of Gestio Capital, and Andrea Radrizzani, the chairman of Aser Group, express their immense satisfaction with the successful completion of the transaction that led to the acquisition of Unione Calcio Sampdoria.'

The statement continued, 'It was indeed a formidable challenge, but we are delighted to announce the culmination of this remarkable acquisition.'

Earlier this month, Gestio Capital, an asset management fund in which Radrizzani is involved, submitted a bid for Sampdoria, who had recently been relegated in Italy. A delegation from Gestio Capital visited Genoa, engaging with the local mayor and establishing contact with Genoa's owners, 777 Partners.

Radrizzani has been the majority shareholder of Leeds United since 2017. However, no offer for a takeover by minority partner 49ers Enterprises is on the table.

Leeds United suffered relegation to the Championship following a disappointing season in which they finished 19th in the Premier League.

What Implications Does This Hold for Leeds?

The hope at Leeds United is that Radrizzani's successful deal for Sampdoria may help resolve the deadlock with 49ers Enterprises, potentially facilitating a takeover at Elland Road. In any case, it should provide some clarity regarding Radrizzani's intentions, as there has been no mention of his ownership of Leeds in the recent statement or since the club's relegation. However, 49ers Enterprises will be closely watching the outcome of these negotiations in search of a favourable resolution.

Stam: Thanks pal, good to be back writing!
Jack's avatar Group Jack
2 monthsEdited

Red Bull Eyes Leeds United Amid Ownership Dispute

By Klaus Bergmann
3rd June 2023

As the ownership dispute between Andrea Radrizzani's Aser Group and Paraag Marathe's 49ers Enterprises continues to grip Leeds United, an unexpected twist in the tale has emerged. Rumours are swirling that Red Bull, the Austrian energy drink conglomerate with a growing presence in the world of football ownership, is showing interest in acquiring a stake in the historic football club.

The ownership saga at Leeds United has been a protracted and complex affair. Aser Group, led by Radrizzani, owns the majority share (56%) of the club, while 49ers Enterprises, headed by Marathe, holds a substantial 44% stake. The initial agreement between the two parties was for 49ers Enterprises to eventually become the majority owners of the club, but disagreements and disputes have prevented the deal from progressing smoothly.

The entrance of Red Bull into the equation has stirred fresh intrigue. While the rumours are as yet unconfirmed, they have captured the attention of Leeds United fans and football pundits alike. Red Bull's interest in the club would mark another significant step in the company's ongoing expansion into the footballing world.

Red Bull is no stranger to football ownership, with successful ventures in clubs like RB Leipzig in Germany and RB Salzburg in Austria. Both clubs have experienced remarkable growth and success under Red Bull's stewardship. The prospect of Red Bull bringing their considerable resources and marketing prowess to Leeds United has raised questions about the potential for rejuvenating the historic club.

Leeds United supporters, known for their passionate and vocal presence, have expressed a range of emotions in response to these rumours. A minority view Red Bull's potential involvement with excitement, seeing it as a means to restore the club to its former glory and compete at the highest levels. The majority, however, remain cautious, wary of the potential changes and branding that could accompany such a takeover.

The future of Leeds United remains uncertain, with the ownership dispute between Aser Group and 49ers Enterprises unresolved. The emergence of Red Bull as a potential player in this situation adds a layer of complexity to the ongoing negotiations and discussions.

As Leeds United prepares for the upcoming EFL Championship season, the club's ownership and financial stability hang in the balance. The uncertainty surrounding the situation has left fans eagerly awaiting official announcements and further developments.

While the rumours of Red Bull's interest in Leeds United remain speculative at this point, they underscore the club's continued allure to investors and the ever-changing landscape of football ownership. As negotiations and discussions continue, the coming weeks and months will likely provide more clarity regarding the future of this historic club and the direction it will ultimately take.

Jack's avatar Group Jack
2 monthsEdited

Wings of Ambition

5th June 2023

Andrea Radrizzani, Leeds United's current owner, nervously checked his watch. He was about to meet representatives from Red Bull, the global energy drink giant that had shown keen interest in acquiring his club. The meeting was set to take place at Strand Palace Hotel in the heart of London, a neutral ground for what could be the most pivotal discussion in the history of Leeds United.

As Radrizzani sipped his coffee in the hotel lobby, he couldn't help but feel a mix of excitement and trepidation. The weight of the club's future rested on his shoulders, and he was keenly aware that the decisions made in this room would shape the destiny of Leeds United.

Moments later, the door to the hotel's private meeting room swung open, and in walked two sharply dressed individuals. One was a tall, imposing figure with a confident stride, while the other was a woman with a clipboard, exuding an air of professionalism. They were Red Bull's emissaries, here to discuss the potential takeover.

"Mr. Radrizzani," the tall man extended his hand with a warm smile. "I'm Max, and this is Sarah. We appreciate you taking the time to meet with us today."

Radrizzani shook Max's hand, his nerves slowly giving way to a sense of purpose. "Yes. Thank you both for coming."

The trio took their seats around a polished wooden table. As the meeting began, Max wasted no time getting to the point. "Mr. Radrizzani, we've been following Leeds United's journey closely. The history, the fans, and the potential are all very intriguing to us. Red Bull has a proven track record in football ownership, and we believe we can elevate this club to new heights."

Radrizzani leaned forward, his passion for the club evident in his voice. "Leeds United is a sleeping giant, Max. They have had tough times including recently, but the fans' love and dedication have never wavered. I want what's best for the club, and if Red Bull can take us to the next level, I'm open to discussing a proposal."

Sarah interjected, "We understand your sentiment, Mr. Radrizzani. Red Bull is committed to preserving the unique identity and history of the clubs we partner with. Our vision is one of mutual growth and success."

The conversation flowed smoothly as they discussed the potential terms of the takeover. Radrizzani outlined his desire for the club's traditions and fan culture to be respected, while Max assured him that Red Bull would make significant investments in both the team and the stadium.

As the meeting drew to a close, Radrizzani couldn't help but feel a glimmer of hope. The initial discussions had gone better than expected, and he sensed a genuine commitment from Red Bull to make Leeds United a footballing force once again.

"Mr. Radrizzani," Max said, extending his hand once more, "thank you for your time today. We'll go back to our headquarters and discuss the details internally. We'll be in touch soon."

Radrizzani shook Max's hand, a weight lifting from his shoulders. "Thank you, Max. Let's hope this is the start of something special for Leeds United."

As the Red Bull representatives left the room, Radrizzani couldn't help but feel a renewed sense of optimism. The future of Leeds United remained uncertain, but in this initial meeting, he had found a glimmer of hope that could propel the club to new heights.

Jack's avatar Group Jack
2 monthsEdited

A Proposed Vision

9th June 2023

The negotiations between Andrea Radrizzani and Red Bull had reached a pivotal juncture. Radrizzani's eagerness to focus on his impending acquisition of Sampdoria remained unabated, but the decision to part with Leeds United was proving to be more challenging than he had anticipated.

As they sat in the familiar London hotel meeting room, the financial terms were now on the table. Max, representing Red Bull, delivered the proposal with a confidence that matched the magnitude of the moment. "Mr. Radrizzani, Red Bull is prepared to make a significant investment in Leeds United. Our offer for the full takeover of the club stands at £200 million."

Radrizzani, his weariness and desperation evident, took a deep breath before responding. The sum was undeniably substantial and would allow him to pursue his ambitions with Sampdoria. However, he remained torn between his personal goals and the legacy of Leeds United. "That's a generous offer, Max, but my concerns go beyond the financials. Leeds United has a rich history and devoted fans. I need assurances that its identity will be preserved."

Max leaned forward, his expression unwavering. "Mr. Radrizzani, Red Bull's approach involves a strategic integration of our brand. We envision rebranding the club as 'Red Bull Leeds' and considering a new name for Elland Road that reflects our partnership. While changes will occur, we are committed to honouring the club's traditions and investing in its success."

The proposal sent a chill down Radrizzani's spine. 'Red Bull Leeds' and the renaming of Elland Road were drastic changes that would erase the essence of the club. The legacy, the fan culture, and the cherished white and blue colours would all undergo a transformation into the realm of corporate branding.

Radrizzani's heart weighed heavy with the decision at hand. He gazed out of the window, the London skyline a backdrop to his contemplation. Memories of Leeds United's journey from the Championship to the Premier League filled his mind—the highs, the lows, and the support of the fans. "Max, I appreciate your offer and the vision Red Bull brings, but this is a decision that I must consider carefully. The future of Leeds United and its passionate fans are at stake. I need more time to deliberate."

Max nodded, acknowledging the gravity of the situation. "Mr. Radrizzani, we understand the weight of this decision. Take the time you need, and we will remain open to further discussions."

With that, the meeting adjourned. Radrizzani was left alone with his thoughts, wrestling with the monumental decision ahead. As he stepped out into the bustling London streets, he knew that the fate of Leeds United hung in the balance, waiting for the moment when he would make the ultimate choice—a choice that would determine not only the club's future but also its very identity.

Jack's avatar Group Jack
2 monthsEdited

’Red Bull Leeds’? What Could Be In Store for The Whites

10th June 2023

The winds of change are sweeping over Elland Road, and if the proposed Red Bull vision becomes a reality, it could herald a new era for Leeds United Football Club—an era that has left the overwhelming majority of its devoted fanbase in a state of dismay and apprehension.

Red Bull, known for its global sports ventures, has laid out an ambitious vision for the club, a vision that mirrors their approach with other clubs in their portfolio, like RB Leipzig and RB Salzburg. However, these previous transformations have not been without their share of controversy, and Leeds United fans have good reason to be wary.

Rebranding as 'Red Bull Leeds'

Perhaps the most visible change is the rebranding of the club's name. Leeds United, a name synonymous with a rich history and passionate supporters, would be relegated to history books. 'Red Bull Leeds' would replace it, a move that is consistent with Red Bull's global branding strategy but one that strikes at the heart of the club's identity.

Stadium Identity Crisis

The cherished Elland Road, hallowed ground for generations of Leeds supporters, could also undergo a transformation. Red Bull's history suggests a penchant for renaming stadiums in line with their brand. The result? A stadium name that fans might find difficult to connect with emotionally.

Fan Backlash

Red Bull's ownership of RB Leipzig and RB Salzburg has been marred by fan protests and discontent. Leipzig fans, in particular, have been vocal about their opposition to the corporate rebranding, leading to a strained relationship between the club and its supporters.

Financial Investment vs. Tradition

While Red Bull promises substantial investments in the squad and facilities, the commitment to preserving the club's traditions and identity is less certain. The clash between a corporate branding strategy and the historic essence of Leeds United is evident, leaving fans concerned that the club they love will lose its soul.

Success at What Cost

Red Bull's relentless pursuit of success is often synonymous with rapid change. While their clubs have enjoyed success on the pitch, the question remains: at what cost to the identity and heritage of the clubs they acquire?

As negotiations continue, the gulf between Red Bull's vision and the values cherished by Leeds United's passionate fanbase widens. The overwhelming sentiment among supporters is one of abhorrence, a fear that their beloved club is on the precipice of losing its identity.

While the prospect of success and financial investment is tempting, many fans find themselves at a crossroads, torn between the club's heritage and the uncertainty of what Red Bull's vision would bring. As discussions progress, the soul of Leeds United hangs in the balance, and its future remains uncertain—a future that could either preserve its historic legacy or radically redefine its identity in the name of corporate branding.

Jack's avatar Group Jack
2 monthsEdited

Open Letter to Andrea Radrizzani

Words by Leeds United Supporters' Trust
11th June 2023

Dear Mr. Radrizzani,

As members of the Leeds United Supporters Trust, we write to you today with heavy hearts and a deep sense of concern.

The news of ongoing negotiations with Red Bull, with the prospect of Leeds United being rebranded as 'Red Bull Leeds,' has sent shockwaves throughout our passionate fanbase. We implore you to pause and reflect upon the magnitude of what is at stake, for our club, its history, and the loyal supporters who have stood by it through thick and thin.

Leeds United is not merely a football club to us; it's an institution, a source of pride, and a symbol of resilience. Generations of Leeds fans have forged an unbreakable bond with this club, a bond that transcends victories and defeats. Elland Road is not just a stadium; it's the hallowed ground where memories have been made and where our collective spirit resides.

It's this history, this identity, and this sense of belonging that we fear are at risk of being eroded by the corporate branding agenda of Red Bull. We have witnessed the controversies and the fan protests that have arisen from their ownership of RB Leipzig and RB Salzburg. The disconnection between these clubs and their supporters has been glaringly evident.

We urge you to consider the passionate, vocal, and unwavering fanbase that Leeds United boasts. The fans are the lifeblood of this club, and any decision that threatens to alienate or disregard their sentiments strikes at the very core of what makes Leeds United special.

While we understand the financial complexities you may face and your desire to focus on your new venture with Sampdoria, we beseech you not to rush into a decision that could alter the course of our club's history irreparably. There are alternative paths that can ensure the club's financial stability without compromising its identity.

Leeds United has experienced highs and lows over the years, but the one constant has been the loyalty and resilience of its supporters. We implore you, Mr. Radrizzani, to stand with us, the fans, and preserve the essence of Leeds United for future generations.

We are not opposed to progress or change, but we urge caution and careful consideration when contemplating a decision that has far-reaching consequences. We stand ready to work with you, the club, and any potential investors to find a solution that ensures Leeds United's success while preserving its cherished heritage.

The future of Leeds United hangs in the balance, and we fervently hope that the decisions made in the coming days will be ones that honour its storied history and the unwavering passion of its supporters.


Leeds United Supporters' Trust
Jack's avatar Group Jack
2 monthsEdited

News Report - Fan Protest at Elland Road, Leeds

Live from Simon Bradford
11th June 2023

The air outside Elland Road is thick with emotion today as hundreds of Leeds United supporters gather for a passionate protest against the proposed takeover by Red Bull. As a local news reporter on the ground, I've been talking to fans, hearing their heartfelt concerns, and witnessing their unwavering dedication to preserving the club's identity.

The atmosphere is electric, with fans donning their beloved white and blue scarves and chanting "Leeds United, we’ll never be defeated!!" The sea of banners and placards reflects the sentiments of these supporters who see the potential rebranding as 'Red Bull Leeds' as a direct assault on the heart and soul of their club.

I had the chance to speak with some of the fans present at the protest. One fan, Mary, with tears in her eyes, told me, "This club means everything to us. We've endured years of heartache and triumph, and it's the soul of this club that we're here to protect. Red Bull's corporate agenda threatens to erase our history."

John, a lifelong supporter, echoed her sentiments, saying, "We're not against progress, but this is selling our soul. Elland Road is where our memories reside, and we won't stand by as it's stripped of its identity."

As the chants grow louder and more passionate, it's clear that this protest is not just about football; it's about a community, a history, and a way of life that these fans hold dear.

Behind the scenes, members of the Leeds United Supporters Trust have been tirelessly working to convey their message to the club's ownership. They've organised this demonstration to ensure their voices are heard and their concerns are taken seriously.

Amid the crowd, messages of support have been pouring in from fans who have experienced Red Bull's ownership at clubs like RB Leipzig and RB Salzburg. Supporters who have seen the transformation and rebranding firsthand are sending their heartfelt solidarity to the Leeds faithful.

One Leipzig fan, Andre, said, "We've been through this before, and we know the pain of seeing our club's identity compromised. We stand with Leeds United fans in their fight to preserve their heritage."

Another supporter, Peter, who has witnessed the changes at RB Salzburg, added, "Leeds United fans, stay strong. Your club is a part of your heart, and you're not alone in this battle. We're living proof that the fight for your club's soul is worth it."

These messages of support from fans who have walked a similar path have resonated deeply with the Leeds United faithful, reinforcing their determination to protect their club's identity.

Among the fervent cries to preserve the club's identity, there are also calls for a "phoenix club," a concept that has gained traction among some fans. The idea is to start a new club, one that would rise from the ashes if the worst were to happen and Red Bull's rebranding plans became a reality. These fans see it as a way to keep the spirit of Leeds United alive.

As the protest continues to gain momentum, fans are taking to social media to share their thoughts, using hashtags like #NoToRedBull and #SaveLUFC. The global reach of these messages underscores the significance of this moment for Leeds United supporters worldwide.

The future of Leeds United remains uncertain, but what is clear is the passion, dedication, and unity of its fans. They are determined to stand up for the club they love, for its rich history, and for the hope that it can continue to thrive while preserving its cherished identity.

We'll continue to follow this story closely and bring you updates as the situation develops here at Elland Road. For now, it's a scene of unity, defiance, and fervent hope for the future of Leeds United and the possibility of a phoenix club should the worst come to pass.

Jack's avatar Group Jack
2 monthsEdited

An Internal Struggle

11th June 2023

I sit alone in my office, a room filled with mementos of my time as the owner of Leeds United. The walls are silent, but my thoughts are deafening. Just days ago, I believed that acquiring Sampdoria was the pinnacle of my ambitions back in Italy. Now, as I grapple with Red Bull's takeover proposal and their imposed ultimatum, I realise that it's a decision I never really cared to make.

Sampdoria, my newest venture, was meant to be a fresh start, an escape from the relentless fervour of English football. Yet, here I am, Leeds United before me, a club I've come to tolerate more than adore of late, standing like an immovable obstacle. It's a club that carries with it a legacy that fans cherish, but one that I've grown weary of.

Red Bull's deadline dangles over me, like a noose I willingly placed around my neck. Accept or reject. A binary choice, but one that won't alter the path I've set for myself. I never expected this level of emotional turmoil.

My heart remains indifferent. On one side, there's the lure of financial security, the chance to achieve my ambitions. But on the other side, there's Leeds United, a club with a legacy that means a lot to me, but with a fanbase whose passion I've grown numb to, and a responsibility I'd rather shed.

The memories of the Premier League return, the elation of victory, and the agony of relegation flicker in my mind, like distant echoes I'm indifferent to. Leeds United is, in the end, just a business, a financial asset, a commodity to be traded. The notion of 'Red Bull Leeds' replacing it doesn't faze me. It's just a rebranding, a transaction, I tell myself.

I take a shallow breath, my fingers steady, as I weigh the impending decision. The protests outside my office window grow louder, but they're nothing more than background noise. I've already accepted my portrayal as 'the man who sold the soul of Leeds United.' It's a reputation I care little about.

Sampdoria, my new acquisition, was meant to be the answer to my dreams. Leeds United, with its legacy and passionate fans, is nothing more than an inconvenience, an obstacle to my new ambitions. As the seconds tick away, I realise that this isn't about making a choice; it's about securing my financial future and fulfilling my personal aspirations.

My heart remains cold, indifferent to loyalty or ambition. The clock ticks relentlessly, and I know that whatever path I choose, it won't define me. It's just another deal, another transaction, another step in my journey to personal success, regardless of the legacy I leave behind.

End of an Era: Radrizzani Accepts Red Bull Proposal

By Daniel Morgan
12th June 2023

In the annals of football history, there are moments that forever alter the trajectory of a club, leaving an indelible mark on its identity. For Leeds United, a club steeped in history, passion, and drama, one such moment has arrived.

Andrea Radrizzani, the Italian businessman who took the helm of the club in 2017, has made a decision that will reshape the club's destiny: he has accepted Red Bull's proposal to take over Leeds United. The news sent shockwaves through the footballing world, but it was a decision that had been hanging in the balance for weeks, marked by violent and vitriolic reactions from Leeds fans.

Radrizzani's tenure at Leeds United was marked by ambition. He brought the club back to the Premier League after a 16-year hiatus, fulfilling the dreams of generations of fans. The return to the top flight was a monumental achievement, and Radrizzani's investment and vision were instrumental in making it happen. But ambition, it seemed, was a double-edged sword.

The 2022/23 season dealt a cruel blow. Leeds United suffered relegation from the Premier League, a devastating setback that shattered the dreams of supporters and left the club at a crossroads. Radrizzani's ambition remained undiminished, but financial constraints and the lure of a fresh start at Sampdoria, another club he recently acquired, clouded the horizon.

Red Bull, known for its corporate-backed football ventures, saw an opportunity. The proposed takeover promised substantial financial investment, access to a global network of clubs, and the potential for Leeds United to once again climb the footballing ladder. But it came at a cost—the potential rebranding of the club as 'Red Bull Leeds,' a prospect that ignited a firestorm of controversy and fan protests.

The reaction from Leeds fans was swift and brutal. Violent clashes erupted during protests outside Elland Road. Fan anger spilled over onto social media, where abusive messages and threats were hurled at Radrizzani. The once-vocal support had turned into a cacophony of vitriol, leaving the Italian owner unmoved.

As negotiations between Radrizzani and Red Bull progressed, the defining moment came when Red Bull set a deadline for acceptance or rejection of their proposal. The clock was ticking, and the weight of the decision bore down on Radrizzani.

Sources close to the negotiations revealed that Radrizzani had become increasingly detached from the club's identity, viewing it primarily as a business asset. The violent and vitriolic reactions of fans seemed to reinforce his decision to prioritise personal ambition and financial gain over the sentiments of the passionate supporters.

The decision to accept Red Bull's proposal was fraught with personal and professional implications. It represented a turning point in Radrizzani's own legacy—a legacy that was once intertwined with Leeds United's resurgence. In the end, his ambitions for personal success and financial security took precedence over the sentiments of fans who had stood by the club through thick and thin.

As the news of the takeover broke, a group of enraged Leeds fans took their fury to a shocking new level. They stormed Elland Road, breaking through security barriers, and entered the hallowed turf itself. On the pitch, they unfurled banners that read 'No to Red Bull' and wreaked havoc. Seats were torn from their spots, the dugout was vandalised, and the executive suites were ransacked.

The chaos was captured by news cameras, broadcasting the images of destruction and fury to the world. It was a painful spectacle, one that encapsulated the depth of feeling among Leeds fans.

Amidst the chaos, there are whispers of a phoenix club—a grassroots movement among Leeds fans to establish a new club, one that embodies the spirit and history of the Leeds United they hold dear. While these rumours remain unconfirmed, they serve as a testament to the profound sense of loss and betrayal felt by supporters.

As Leeds United transitions into the hands of Red Bull, the future remains uncertain. The success of this takeover will be judged not just by financial returns but by the preservation of the club's identity and the loyalty of its fanbase. Can Red Bull strike a balance between their corporate branding agenda and the historic essence of Leeds United? The answer to that question will determine the club's future and its place in the hearts of supporters.

What Next for Leeds United?

By Jack Hudson
13th June 2023

The recent seismic decision by Andrea Radrizzani to accept Red Bull's proposal to take over Leeds United has left the club and its fans in a state of limbo, eagerly awaiting the verdict of football's regulatory bodies. As the dust settles from the controversial takeover, the fate of "Red Bull Leeds" remains uncertain, surrounded by a storm of opposition from devoted fans.

In English football, ownership changes are a complex and highly regulated affair. These transitions must pass through meticulous scrutiny by various governing bodies, such as the EFL and the FA. Leeds United's case is no exception, and Red Bull's ambitious plans for the club must navigate a labyrinth of regulations.

The EFL & FAs Watchful Eyes
The EFL plays a pivotal role in overseeing the takeover process. Their primary responsibility is to ensure that the proposed change in ownership complies with their stringent rules and regulations. Central to this assessment is a thorough examination of the financial stability and integrity of the incoming ownership group.

Reports suggest that the EFL is leaving no stone unturned in its scrutiny of this takeover. The unusual circumstances surrounding the deal, including fan protests, on-pitch demonstrations, and the prospect of a club rebrand, have all contributed to the complexity of this evaluation.

The FA also wields significant influence in the approval process, especially regarding changes in club names and branding. The proposal to rename Leeds United as 'Red Bull Leeds' and the potential alteration of Elland Road's name have ignited concerns among purists who fear the loss of the club's cherished history.

The FA faces the delicate task of weighing the desire for commercial expansion and investment against the preservation of tradition and heritage. This balancing act will undoubtedly shape their final decision, bearing the hopes and fears of fans in mind.

The Passionate Guardians
Throughout this ongoing approval process, the intensity of Leeds fans' opposition remains palpable. The violent protests witnessed at Elland Road in days ago cast a long shadow over the club and raised questions about the impact on the regulatory process. While football authorities are accustomed to fan protests, the ferocity of these demonstrations was unprecedented in the country.

The question that looms is whether the sheer magnitude of fan opposition can influence the decisions of the regulatory bodies. The answer remains uncertain, but the passionate Leeds United supporters have made a resounding statement about the sanctity of the club's identity.

Leeds United now exists in a state of limbo as the approval process unfolds. The outcomes range from a seamless takeover to a protracted battle between the new owners and the loyal fanbase. It's abundantly clear that the regulatory bodies possess the keys to the club's destiny, and their decisions will chart the course of "Red Bull Leeds."

In the weeks to come, Leeds fans will wait with bated breath for the verdict from the EFL and the FA. The fate of their club hangs delicately in the balance, and the echoes of their impassioned protests resonate through the halls of football's governing bodies. One thing is for certain: the eyes of the football world remain fixed on Leeds United, and the tale of their takeover saga is far from over.

The Leipzig Precedent
As Leeds United journeys through this intricate approval process, football fans and experts can't help but draw parallels to Red Bull's success with RB Leipzig in Germany. The key to this triumph was an ingenious approach to naming that deftly skirted regulations restricting corporate naming.

In Germany, Red Bull's ownership of RB Leipzig resulted in a name change that creatively circumvented rules prohibiting corporate naming. Although the club is owned by Red Bull, they were officially named "RasenBallsport Leipzig," often abbreviated as "RB Leipzig," which translates to "Lawn Ball Sports Leipzig." This clever naming strategy allowed Red Bull to effectively brand the club while technically adhering to the regulations.

Given this precedent, speculation abounds regarding Red Bull's approach to Leeds United's rebranding. While tactics may vary, several strategies could be considered such as creative naming where Red Bull might once again employ inventive naming, potentially using "Leeds" as an acronym within the club's name while prominently featuring "Red Bull."

Instead of an abrupt rebranding, a gradual transition could also be the strategy of choice. This approach could involve phased changes over time, allowing fans to adapt to the evolving identity.

Then there is the art of crafting the sponsorship agreement with precision that could aid in satisfying regulatory bodies. This might involve securing naming rights for the stadium and prominently displaying sponsor logos on shirts while preserving the core identity of the club.

Despite potential strategies, the fervent Leeds United fanbase remains a potent force. Fan opposition played a pivotal role in the RB Leipzig case and may wield similar influence in Leeds. Regulatory bodies often take fan sentiment into account when making determinations.

The Unfolding Approval Process
As the approval process unfolds, Leeds fans continue to eagerly await the decisions of the EFL and the FA. The destiny of their beloved club hangs in the balance, and the echoes of their protests reverberate through the world of football.

Whether Red Bull can replicate their Leipzig success story remains an open question. The decisions of football's regulatory bodies will be pivotal in shaping the future of "Red Bull Leeds" and establishing precedents for the management of corporate ownership within the sport.

The continuing saga of Leeds United's takeover captivates football enthusiasts, sparking anticipation and curiosity about Red Bull's ability to navigate the approval process while preserving the essence of a club steeped in tradition and history.

Resurrecting the Origins

13th June 2023

Amidst the uncertainty and turmoil surrounding the proposed takeover of Leeds United by Red Bull, a group of passionate and dedicated Leeds fans gathered in The Angel Inn, a dimly lit, quiet Samuel Smiths pub nestled in the city centre.

Their mission: to explore the idea of resurrecting the historic 'Leeds City FC' name and starting a protest phoenix club—a beacon of hope for those who couldn't bear to see their beloved club transformed into "Red Bull Leeds."

Around the worn wooden table sat individuals deeply ingrained in the Leeds United community.

Among them were Liam Mitchell, a lifelong Leeds supporter and the spokesperson for South Stand SS5, James Turner, a die-hard Leeds fan and the president of the Leeds United Supporters’ Trust, Paul Davies, a local business owner and Leeds United season ticket holder for over 30 years and William Harris, a young and passionate supporter who had grown up with stories of Leeds' glory days.

The idea of rekindling the Leeds City FC name struck a chord with the group. It symbolised a return to the roots, a homage to the club's rich history, and a defiant stance against corporate rebranding.

Liam Mitchell, known for her unwavering dedication to the club, spoke first. "This is about preserving our heritage, our identity. Leeds City represents the true spirit of our club. We can't let that be erased."

James Turner, who had seen generations of Leeds fans come and go, added, "Leeds City isn't just a name; it's a symbol of our resilience. It's a statement that we won't let corporate interests overshadow our history."

As the discussion progressed, the group delved into the practicalities. Where would this new club play its football? The iconic Elland Road was an obvious choice, but with the takeover looming, they needed a contingency plan. William Harris suggested, "What about a groundshare with Leeds Rhinos at Headingley Stadium? The rugby league team has always been supportive of us. If we create a big enough attendance behind this one club, it could house all of us."

The idea resonated with the group, and they discussed the logistics of such an arrangement, including scheduling and fan experience.

Next on the agenda was ownership. They discussed a fan-owned club model similar to the successes of FC United, AFC Wimbledon, and Ebbsfleet United. Paul Davies, who had experience running a local business, said, "A fan-owned club ensures that the club is truly for the fans, by the fans. It's the best way to protect our club's future."

The discussion continued late into the night, fueled by passion and determination. They debated names for the phoenix club, potential sponsors, and strategies for fan engagement. Ideas flowed freely, and the vision of a fan-driven, community-focused club began to take shape.

With a newfound sense of purpose and unity, the group left the pub that night, determined to turn their vision into reality—a phoenix club that would rise from the ashes, bearing the proud name of Leeds City and carrying the torch of Leeds United's legacy forward, regardless of what the future held for their beloved club.

Club Statement: Leeds United to become RB Leeds

15th June 2023
Leeds United Football Club are proud to announce a new chapter in its illustrious history. After extensive negotiations, we are delighted to confirm that Red Bull has acquired Leeds United and will be rebranding the club as RB Leeds, effective immediately.

Founded in 2023, RB Leeds is set to carry on the rich tradition and spirit of Leeds United while embracing the energy and innovation that Red Bull brings to football. This transition marks an exciting moment for both our loyal fans and the global footballing community.

As we move forward under this new identity, we express our gratitude to the fans who have stood by us through thick and thin. Your support has been the driving force behind this evolution.

In the coming months, you can expect exciting changes, including revitalised facilities, enhanced fan experiences, and a commitment to excellence on and off the pitch. RB Leeds is poised to become a dynamic and competitive force in domestic and international football.

We understand that change can be challenging, but we firmly believe that this transition will bring unprecedented opportunities and success to our club. The history, traditions, and values of Leeds United will remain an integral part of our identity, blending seamlessly with the Red Bull philosophy of innovation, excellence, and a relentless pursuit of sporting achievements.

Together, as RB Leeds, we look forward to a future filled with success, excitement, and countless memorable moments on the football field. Thank you for your continued support, and let's embark on this incredible journey together.

Marching on Together

John Phillips
Chairman of RB Leeds

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