2004 was a grim year for Leeds United and the city of Leeds in general……….
The relegation of our team to the Championship signalled the start of thirteen years of despair for our fans as we hit the bottom of League One for the first time in our history.
It was also the platform for shyster’s, crook’s and general lunatic’s to take charge of us for their own monetary gain, ego boost or both.
From a fans point of view it was gutting to get relegated but unfortunately it had wider reaching consequences to the City of Leeds as a whole. I am talking about it’s effect on the local economy.
Although there have been far to few studies done on the correlation between having a successful Premier League team and the local economy, it is obvious that the two go hand in hand.
This BBC article about Reading FC’s promotion from 2013 states:
“There’s no doubt Premier League football has put Reading on the map, not just in the UK but worldwide. It’s free advertising for us on a level which we wouldn’t be able to do otherwise and that helps companies here make global deals and bring inward investment.
“All sectors of the economy here benefit. We have large corporations like Microsoft and the deals they generate help feed smaller to medium-sized companies. The Premier League has to be part of the sales pitch for businesses in our area.”
I know from personal experience that Leeds United success, especially in European competitions, has put the city on the map. A few years ago, i was asked by a local on a small island just off the coast of Thailand, where i was from and i said Leeds, the first thing he said was; “Ahhh Leeds United, yes?”
An in depth study done by Cardiff University looking at Swansea’s promotion in 2011 found the following:
The Premier League football generated £58m to the local economy, which included an estimated 400 jobs. Its report suggested that while the majority of the economic value was created directly by the football club, most of the jobs created and safeguarded were from ‘non-footballing’ activity.
Fast forwarding now to 2017…………..
Andrea Radrizzani’s full takeover of Leeds United in May 2017 has brought a feel good factor back to the city of Leeds. Him buying back the clubs stadium and home, Elland road, along with investments in the team and ground have helped to create a buzz around the city.
Radrizzani is now working with Leeds City Council to develop the land they own for a new training ground in the centre. Read more here Leeds City Council know that a successful Leeds United will bring more money into the local economy.
As both a fan and someone who is interested in the continued growth of our city, i hope 2017 goes down in history as the year Leeds United were promoted back to the Premier League after over a decade in the doldrums!