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.

8 Responses

  1. simcol68

    TSS i,m with you on this best thing to happen this season in my book very important also like you and all other leeds fans is where has all this money gone from selling players and comp etc could cuddly ken be milking it off to his nice little offshore company in his nice underhand barely legal way stop stop stop what was i thinking he wouldn,t do that would he surely not ermmmmm ?????????

    • Danny the Loser

      Thorp Arch is secure……A great piece of business it is aswell…..
      Leeds Utd doesn’t want to payout such a large amount of money in one go.
      As far as Big Bad Ken goes…..He is the owner, he can take what he likes and put in what he likes……We have the best squad in League 1, we should get promoted, we should have been promoted before now, Ken hasn’t held us back there.
      Thorp Arch is secure, I am sure Big Bad Ken will now turn his attention to Elland Road.
      What more do you want SimCol?
      An Arabian Oilman or Russian Mafiosa ploughing money in blindly and pulling out willy chuffin’ nilly when it goes Tights Up.
      Get a bleeding grip.

  2. West Stand Rebel

    Lennon Smith Woodgate Robinson Harte Kewell Delph Milner. What have they got in common? Yes none of them play for Leeds United. All of them sold and yet we still have to go cap in hand to the Council for a miserable £6m
    Yes I still think we need an Academy to train up young talent but ask yourself who is it for?
    There is now an urgent need to see some transparency in the financial goings on at ER.
    Many supporters have voted with their feet this season despite a glorious start. This is not because of the recession it is purely because of KB and SH .
    I will vote with my feet next year if this carries on and that is sadly after 43 years of loyal support which began as a boy in the Scratching Shed

    • Danny the Loser

      Will you vote “with your feet” next year if we’re promoted to the Championship?

      The simple fact is that kids are leaving the academy because we are not in the Premier League.
      We all know that the success rate of young English players from academies to professionals in the PL is lower, but after being through Chelsea, Man City or Everton’s academy, a young professional has an easier time of finding regular first team football lower down the leagues, regardless of skill, ‘he’ can be signed up by a lower league club having not made the grade in Premier League much easier than not making the grade at a League One side, albeit Leeds Utd.

      The point is that Thorp Arch is a brilliant facility, one of the best in the land and we haven’t lost it…..Nor do I think we went “cap in hand” to the council, this is good business as I have said earlier.
      It’s like taking a low interest loan from a family member rather than a high interest (Ridsdale) piranha loan from a scabby bank.

  3. west stand rebel

    I have heard a serious report today that Ken Bates is very ill (not a Joke).Ihope this isn’t true as much as I dislike his way of running the Club I do not wish him ill. I will try and check this out but it may explain some of the secrecy surrounding the purchase of TA by the Council


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