The next generation of Lennon's, Milner's and Kewell's saved TSS September 17, 2009 Leeds United 8 Comments Finally some good news regarding Thorp Arch as Leeds City Council executives agree to buy the property and lease it back to Leeds United. The agreement will see LCC fund the £6m repurchase and then give Leeds United a fixed term lease agreement, at the end of which, they’ll be able to buy the property back themselves. This is clearly great news for Leeds United fans as the future of the site will be secure whilst held by the council. However, two debates could likely come from this. The first will be from the taxpayers, who may well ask why they should be funding a professional football club. For me, it’s a no-brainer. Aside from the fact that Leeds United generates a lot of income for the council and taxpayer, Leeds United use Thorp Arch to invest in the youth of today. Many big name players have come through the Thorp Arch academy and gone on to lead very successful careers. Aaron Lennon, James Milner, Alan Smith, Paul Robinson, Jonathan Woodgate and Harry Kewell are just a few of the big names to come out of the academy. There’s also more recent graduates such as Jonathan Howson who is now a first team regular and Aidy White who is beginning to make a name for himself. Not to mention the endless list of possible stars that have been snatched up by the Premier League clubs. LCC are almost certainly going to profit from this agreement too. I’d guess the buy-back agreement for Leeds United at the end of the leasing period will cover the initial £6m outlay. Since we’ll be paying the council rent on the property in the meantime, then there’ll likely be some profit made for the taxpayer. This isn’t an entirely selfless act by LCC by any stretch of the imagination. They’ll understand that Thorp Arch is a key resource for youngsters, will likely profit from the leasing agreement and it’ll also score them some brownie points when/if it comes to the selection for the 2018 host city places. FIFA like to see a strong relationship between clubs and cities and Thorp Arch is a state-of-the-art facility that can be used for training during the competition. The next argument will come from fans of Leeds United. Last season we were told the club was very healthily in profit. Since then there’s been several compensation pay-outs for youth players and the sale of Fabian Delph, all of which you’d imagine would have built up into a nice little kitty. However, I’m sure LCC will have looked into this and if it was possible for the club to fund it themselves, they wouldn’t have helped. I have very little understanding of how the business works, but I’m told that even if a club is in profit, the money isn’t always accessible for one reason or another. Either way, this is good news. Thorp Arch is secure and we can now start concentrating on getting our stadium back. Note: Before anyone comments, the deal has not yet been completed. An offer has been forwarded from the council to Leeds United. It’s highly unlikely this will be rejected given the approaching deadline and LUFC’s lack of options. I’d expect final confirmation within the next few days.