Yeah, we can’t believe it either. In a desperate, pathetic attempt to upstage our latest article about Leeds Ladies FC, Leeds United announced some minor news this afternoon.
NO, I’M NOT SERIOUS. THIS IS MAJOR NEWS, PEOPLE. THROW A PARTY OR SOMETHING.
This afternoon at 3:05pm, Leeds United tweeted a major, major, major announcement:
The long-rumoured deal between Massimo Cellino and Andrea Radrizzani has been finalized. Buying 50% of the club, Italian businessman Radrizzani is now co-owner with Italian businessman Cellino. But the two Italians couldn’t be more different.
We wrote about Radrizzani in November, trying to figure out who the man really was.
Then, when some details leaked in early December, we wrote a follow-up.
Now, it has really happened. We’ll try to get as many details as we can to share with you in the coming days, but according to Phil Hay’s report in the Yorkshire Evening Post,
The Italian businessman, who was one of the founders of the global media rights firm MP & Silva and helped built it into a company worth more than £500m, first began discussing a deal with Cellino in May of last year.
Discussions ran into trouble in October but an agreement was resurrected before Christmas, allowing Radrizzani to complete his investment in the early stages of the January transfer window.
The 42-year-old said recently that he was acquiring a 50 per cent stake in United with a view to buying out Cellino completely at the end of this season.
This is fantastic. No matter what you think about Time To Go Massimo, Radrizzani’s net worth is Premier League quality, Cellino’s on suspension and this brings us needed January stability, and the new guy is saying all the right things...
“I am fully aware of the great heritage and traditions of Leeds United and I will endeavour to be a fitting custodian on behalf of the many thousands of Leeds supporters, who are the lifeblood of the club.
“I am making a long-term commitment to Leeds United and will work to bring stability through ongoing investment. I aim to bring sustainable growth. I won’t do anything that will put the club’s future at risk.
“Through working in the sports industry for many years, I have developed a great passion for the English game and I am honoured to have become joint owner of one of the country’s biggest clubs.
“I am very impressed with the job Garry Monk has done this season and I will do all I can to support him and the team moving forward.
“The responsibility is on myself, Massimo and the executive management at the Club to work together over the coming months to provide the best platform and environment for Garry and the team to achieve success.
“My immediate priorities over the coming weeks are to meet with Garry and the team; the Club staff at Elland Road and Thorp Arch; supporters’ representatives; former players and media.”
That’s everything I want a new owner to say. I think I’m in love.
What do you think? On a scale of 1-100, are you closer to a 99 or a 200,000? Will Radriz be able to complete the buyout this summer, or will something screw it up? Will this mean an influx of January talent? SO MANY THOUGHTS. Let us know yours in the comments below, we’ll be sure to follow up on this story throughout the week.
2017 is shaping up to be quite a year, and we’re only 4 days in. #MOT