This article is part of Football FanCast’s Opinion series, which provides analysis, insight and opinion on any issue within the beautiful game, from Paul Pogba’s haircuts to League Two relegation battles…
Exciting reports emerged late on Tuesday night as we finally received an update on QSI’s reported interest in investing in Leeds United.
The update states that discussions between PSG’s owners and the higher-ups at Elland Road are still ongoing, but there’s one big stumbling block that may stand in the way of a deal getting done.
Indeed, Qatari Sports Investments agreed that they value the club at around €60-80m (£51.6-68.8m).
However, this valuation is some way off what Leeds are actually worth.
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Firstly let’s look at United’s squad and their sellable assets. For a start, they’ve got a £15m player in Helder Costa, so for QSI to state that the entire club is worth just four times as much as one of their players is ludicrous.
In fact, Transfermarkt estimate that the overall value of Leeds’ squad is around £84.6m, which drops down to around £61.65m if you take away their loan players. Even then, you have to say that QSI’s assessment is way off on that basis as the club is surely worth more than the sum of its current squad.
Leeds have other sellable assets such as the stadium and the training ground, Elland Road was sold for a fee believed to be around £20m back in 2017, so let’s assume it’s price hasn’t decreased since that point.
It’s a similar story for Thorp Arch, the training ground was reportedly sold in 2004 for £4.2m. The worth of that facility will certainly have increased in the past 15 years, but for the sake of this piece let’s just say it hasn’t.
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For anyone keeping a running tally that’s £83.85m of sellable assets from the squad, the stadium and the training ground, so you can see that QSI’s valuation of £51.6-68.8m comes nowhere near the actual value of what they’d be buying.
Of course, buying any business is about more than just the sum of its parts as you also have to consider the room for growth and the potential to make profits.
With Leeds knocking on the door of the Premier League harder than they ever have in the past 15 years, sitting in and around the automatic promotion places, it’s fair to say that their value should be inflated a little bit due to their chances of promotion.
If United go up this season it’s fair to assume that they’ll get at least £96m back even if they finish rock bottom of the Premier League, which is more than what QSI value their potential investment at.
For such savvy businessmen, the Qatari’s have massively misjudged what the Yorkshire club is worth and it’s hard to see a deal being made if they don’t budge from that valuation.