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Last Updated: Saturday, 10 July, 2004, 09:29 GMT 10:29 UK
Elland Road up for sale
Leeds are 78m in debt
Leeds United's home ground Elland Road is up for sale, the club's chairman Gerald Krasner has confirmed.

Krasner is currently negotiating a sale and lease agreement in a bid to cut the club's debts of more than 50m.

However, despite the talks Krasner insists that the club will not be leaving their 100-year-old home.

"Any deal will have to include a minimum 25-year lease because football will be staying at Elland Road," he told the Yorkshire Evening Post.

"We are currently talking to a number of people about a sale and lease agreement. When we find the right deal we will do it.

"I fully sympathise with the fans, a few years ago we were in the Champions League and next season we're in the First Division.

We need to know the future of Elland Road is secure
Ray Fell of the Leeds United Supporters' Association
"But they have to understand that the financial realities mean that we have to get the financial model right for Leeds to have a long-term, viable future.

"Whoever buys Elland Road would get an annual rent. It's the difference between renting your house and paying a mortgage, sometimes paying rent is cheaper than paying a mortgage."

Leeds fans, who have already seen the club sell a host of big name players since their relegation from the Premiership, are stunned by the move.

"It is a never-ending saga. I am shocked we are in such a debt situation that it leads to those steps," Ray Fell of the Leeds United Supporters' Association told BBC Five Live.

"Fans want the future to be secure but what we are talking about is really a sell-out of the ground.

"A 25-year lease sounds like some sort of guarantee but it is worrying. We need to know the future of Elland Road is secure.

"It is a worrying time."

Simon Jose, of the Leeds United Independent Fans' Association also expressed his anger.

"Selling the ground, our prime asset, to someone with no vested interest in Leeds United does not help the club," he said.

"They are selling the club's assets and not generating any income."

The plan to sell Elland Road is the latest in a long list of disappointing news to come out of the club since their relegation back in May.

The club have been forced to conduct a fire-sale of their top players in order to cut the wage bill.

Alan Smith, Mark Viduka, Ian Harte, Dominic Matteo, James Milner, Nick Barmby and Jason Wilcox have all left for pastures new as the club start the rebuilding process.

Deane plots Leeds return
10 Jul 04  |  Leeds United

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