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The Globe and Mail

MLSE not in the running to buy Leeds United soccer club

Pedestrian pass the Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment headquarters in Toronto.


Leeds United is talking to potential new owners but the groups do not include Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Ltd.

An MLSE source said there was no truth to reports in the English media that it is a potential new owner of Leeds United. This came almost five years to the day after news surfaced the owner of the Toronto Maple Leafs was thinking about buying a team that could play in the English Premier League, with Leeds United as a potential target. However, MLSE abandoned the idea after its investigation showed English soccer could be a treacherous money pit.

In a statement on its website, Leeds United said it "can confirm that talks are taking place regarding investment for the long-term future. The club has always publicly stated that it would welcome potential investment." The team did not identify any of the potential investors.

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Leeds United has one similarity to the Maple Leafs - it is a team with a far more glorious past than present. In the last 10 years it fell into financial difficulty, which resulted in the large-scale sale of players and relegation from the Premier League. Leeds fell as far as League One, the third division in the English system, before being promoted back to the second division, The Championship, in 2010. The team finished 14th in The Championship last season but has a large fan base and still hopes to get back to the Premier League if the right investors can be found.

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Hockey columnist

A native of Wainfleet, Ont., David Shoalts joined The Globe in 1984 after working at the Calgary Herald, Calgary Sun and Toronto Sun. He graduated in 1978 from Conestoga College and also attended the University of Waterloo. More

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