Leeds’ American vice-chairman says English football is so “special, unique and rare”, so club owners need to be respectful of that and “protect it”.
The Elland Road club are one of 10 in the Premier League to be owned or part-owned by Americans.
Gary Neville has called US investment in English football “a clear and present danger” to the game.
But Leeds vice-chairman Paraag Marathe said he was a big fan of English football “As far as I’m concerned, I don’t proclaim to know all of the history and cultural things about what makes English football special and different and unique,”
“However, I’m learning a lot about it and most importantly, I’m very respectful and appreciative of the current set-up as it is.
“The English football pyramid and with promotion and relegation and everything that exists with that, even to call fans ‘fans’ or even ‘supporters’, it’s almost a misnomer because these are clubs that are part of people’s families.
“These are clubs that are part of cities and communities the same way you would talk about a little brother, a little sister, a mum or a dad, you talk about your club. You can make fun of your club inside your home, but outside your home if someone talks bad about your club, you’re going to protect it at all costs.