Russell Crowe admits he was 'a phone call or two away' from buying Leeds United

A-list actor Russell Crowe has admitted he once came close to buying Leeds United.

The Academy Award-winning actor has been open about his love for Leeds and he narrated an Amazon Prime documentary that followed the club’s fortunes under Marcelo Bielsa.

Last month, Crowe revealed he had a financial connection to the club. He has now said he was once close to taking control of the Whites, claiming he was “a phone call or two away” from taking the club on.

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When asked whether he owns a piece of Leeds on The Chris Moyles Show on Radio X, Crowe said: “Yeah, I bought a little bit recently. Seven or eight years ago, maybe 10 years ago – which is where, you know, the TV thing comes from – I just expressed that I felt that should be doing a lot better. So I actually really did seriously pursue it.

Russell Crowe was speaking to Chris Moyles on Radio X. Image: Radio XRussell Crowe was speaking to Chris Moyles on Radio X. Image: Radio X
Russell Crowe was speaking to Chris Moyles on Radio X. Image: Radio X

"The reason I don’t talk about it so much is because every time I talk about it, certain types of Leeds fans then go, ‘you’re so of trying to, you know, build your own career by talking about our football club’. But I just sort of felt that they just needed a bit more focus. And I don’t know if you know, but I own a rugby league team in Australia.

"We’re having a bad start to the year this year, but you know, you’ve got to look for the good stuff. And that will come out of it. But yeah, so at the time, I looked into it, and it really came down, [I] was very close, it was really close – like a phone call or two away from me doing it. But then the reality of it sort of hit me.”

Although he admitted to coming close, Crowe did not go through with it and has explained why he felt it was not the best move to make.

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He said: “The reality of it hit me, because I remembered what it was like in the first three to four years of running South [Sydney Rabbitohs], and how much time it took. And I started to calculate, I'm going to be in Leeds minimum six to seven months a year for the next four years. And my family life, my kids, all of that stuff, the other responsibilities I have, and I just took a step back.

"However, I still believed it was a really good idea. And then when the Italian fella [Andrea Radrizzani] came along – and I think the idea of the TV show was inspired by a show we did called South Side Story with Sydney anyway – but the idea of the voice over came up through a friend of mine, who once back in the day was a part owner or whatever. And so I just agreed to do it because I thought it was a great story. And of course, you know, people have loved that show.”

Leeds, now under the control of 49ers Enterprises, have a series of high-profile investors. Among them are golf star Jordan Spieth and swimming legend Michael Phelps.

Crowe said: “It just came up about a year ago or something when the [San Francisco] 49er family was organising what their future plans are going to be. And so, you know, the thing came down the line. So I put a little trust together and we did won just a tiny little bit of what’s going on.

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"But I think the 49er people, sports-orientated people, they have a plan. It’s a very good plan for the city of Leeds, not only that football team of Leeds. And I think, you know, they’re going to be very successful.”

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