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How Leeds Rhinos will be affected by Headingley Stadium takeover

Leeds Rhinos Headingley Stadium

Many Leeds Rhinos fans are worried that the potential takeover of Headingley Stadium could be about to impact them.

The club have played at Headingley since it was built with the stadium older than rugby league itself being built in 1890 five years before the Northern Union broke away to form rugby league. However, on the back of Leeds Rhinos’ Headingley Stadium is of course the Cricket Side.

Yorkshire County Cricket Club are set for a takeover by Colin Graves returning to the club to help them financially. This will likely see him purchase Headingley leaving Leeds Rhinos fans concerned about the future.

However, despite the fact they share a name and sit side by side, the two stadiums are separately owned meaning Leeds Rhinos will not be directly impacted by any Headingley takeover which is good news for the club who in a bumper deal just sold the naming rights to AMT resulting in the naming of the ground becoming AMT Headingley. This helped fund Leeds’ exciting transfer business for 2024.

There is a chance this takeover doesn’t take place with Alex Sobel, the Labour MP for Leeds North West, saying to the BBC: “Yorkshire County Cricket Club has admitted the racism prevalent at the club exposed by the brave testimony of Azeem Rafiq and rightly set up a whistleblowing helpline and investigation into the cases raised.

“Mr Graves has dismissed what the club has admitted, describing it as banter. I am very concerned that we would lose the progress we have made under a return by Mr Graves and would need not just a statement recanting his views but full commitment to create a club for the whole community.”

Who owns Leeds Rhinos’ ground?

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Anna Gowthorpe/BPI/Shutterstock 11832286a A general view of the pitch before kick-off St Helens v Salford Red Devils, Betfred Super League, Rugby League, Emerald Headingley Stadium, Leeds, UK – 26 Mar 2021 St Helens v Salford Red Devils, Betfred Super League, Rugby League, Emerald Headingley Stadium, Leeds, UK – 26 Mar 2021 PUBLICATIONxINxGERxSUIxAUTXHUNxGRExMLTxCYPxROMxBULxUAExKSAxONLY Copyright: xAnnaxGowthorpe/BPI/Shutterstock 11832286a

The ownership of AMT Headingley is with Leeds Rhinos owner Paul Caddick whose building firm were responsible for the recent redevelopment of the Stadium which began at the end of 2017 and was concluded in 2019.

Caddick was involved in the decision to bring AMT on board as major sponsors for 2024 featuring at the club’s press conference where the deal was revealed.

Caddick has also thrown his support behind Colin Graves as he attempts his takeover backing him in the Yorkshire Post.

Now members will have the chance to determine whether or not Graves’ takeover bid is accepted. Having worked with Caddick in the past this deal could be favourable. Perhaps more so than Mike Ashley’s bid.

Leeds Rhinos fixtures

Leeds Rhinos will return to AMT Headingley for their final home friendly before the new Super League season which will come against Hull KR in James Donaldson’s testimonial.

This is sandwiched in between friendlies against Bradford Bulls and Hunslet before they begin their season against Salford Red Devils which will see Brodie Croft, Andy Ackers and Nene MacDonald debut against their former club.

In Round Two they travel to Hull KR on Thursday 22nd February before they host Catalans Dragons on the 2nd March at AMT Headingley Stadium.

We got a first look at Leeds on Boxing Day when they defeated Wakefield Trinity which you can read about here.

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