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Do I want my beloved Leeds United to become England’s PSG? I honestly don’t know…

Morality is a funny thing

I ignored the rumours at first.

But now Phil Hay of the Yorkshire Evening Post (the northern equivalent of David Ornstein) has written about the possibility of Qatar Sports Investments (QSI) purchasing a share in Leeds United, I have been forced to ask myself the question: would I actually want my club to become England’s PSG?

This may be a touch dramatic

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This may be a touch dramatic

The easy answer is yes.

A sizeable cash injection wouldn’t guarantee promotion to the Premier League, but it would certainly help.

Top-class players inspiring memorable victories that lead to trophies — it’s every football fan’s dream.

However, I can’t help feeling uncomfortable at the prospect of success coming from a state-funded source with a questionable (at best) human rights record.

It wouldn’t stop me cheering on Leeds, the connection is too great at this stage, but it would be a persistent and conspicuous caveat.

Coming to an Elland Road near you soon?

AFP or licensors
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Coming to an Elland Road near you soon?

Splashing millions is bad enough in the eyes of some, but splashing millions of morally corrupt cash? Yikes.

Some Leeds fans won’t care one iota where the money comes from, and honestly, I don’t blame them.

Before Andrea Radrizzani gained control, we suffered the perils of ownership gone wrong for the best part of 15 years.

Many will feel we are owed financial luxury after paying heavy dues.

Then there’s argument that if it’s not us, it’ll be someone else; which is almost certainly true.

Would Qatari cash change the club’s identity?

PA:Press Association
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Would Qatari cash change the club’s identity?

Earlier this season, I interviewed Man City fans about their ownership and one of them told me: “Anyone would want this to happen to their football club.”

I can understand how the joy of a dominant Pep Guardiola side can allow for compartmentalisation.

The football is the football and nothing else is of much concern.

We can’t expect City fans to feel guilty about the financial influence on their transition from ‘noisy neighbours’ to record breakers.

The vast majority of fans (including the Elland Road faithful) who have criticised City for ‘buying success’ would love for it to happen to their club.

Given the enormity of football, it’s a comprehensible hypocrisy.

Radrizzani has bucked the trend of unpopular Leeds owners

PA:Press Association
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Radrizzani has bucked the trend of unpopular Leeds owners

It’s natural and instinctive to support your team and defend them in the face of criticism, though tribalism has pushed this to concerning extremes.

I believe it’s possible for City or PSG fans to delight in their success while simultaneously acknowledging the ethical uncertainties of their respective ownerships.

It doesn’t make you a better fan if you blindly believe everything aspect of your club is perfect.

Equally, it’s unreasonable to suggest fans should abandon their lifelong affinity to their club, or even to temper their intuitive support.

With more money we could afford a world-class coach… oh wait, we already have one

PA:Press Association
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With more money we could afford a world-class coach… oh wait, we already have one

The agony of the play-off semi-final defeat to Derby has only served to increase my craving for promotion.

It would be convenient if I could suppress any moral quandaries any enjoy the oil-drenched cash of QSI — buy him, increase his wages, buy him, increase the capacity, buy him.

Unfortunately, I don’t think I’ll be able to silence the nagging sanctimonious whispers.

Do I want Leeds to become PSG? I honestly don’t know…


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