clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Leeds United’s new co-owner Andrea Radrizzani joins in on the return of optimism to Elland Road

New, comment

Finally, after months of speculation, it happened: Andrea Radrizzani bought 50% of the club from Massimo Cellino, and it couldn’t come at a better time. 

Leeds United v Huddersfield Town - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Ryan Browne/Getty Images

Speculation about a Leeds United takeover has been rife for a long time, and since the rumours started last summer, we have all been eagerly awaiting any confirmation of Andrea Radrizzani’s investment at Elland Road.

Yesterday afternoon, the club confirmed the news: it was really happening.

The sale of half of Leeds United (for now, maybe all of it this summer) is another positive in an already wonderful season for the club. Hopefully, this will be the beginning of the end for the constant focus on off-the-field issues, and we can firmly focus on a successful promotion push. Wouldn’t it be great to see this lead to additions instead of subtractions in January?

After the news of the takeover broke, Radrizzani released a statement with regards to the future of the club.

“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.”

His statement suggests to me that Radrizzani understands the role of those in control of a football club, and that the decisions made at boardroom level will ultimately dictate the outcome on the field.

Within that statement were, in my opinion, some keys points as we start this journey. The most important comment he made was referring to Garry Monk and the team. Read this one again:

It was very important that Radrizzani referenced Garry Monk and his achievements so far this season. With the revolving door policy under Cellino, it’s reassuring to see the manager singled out with some deserved recognition.

Every successful team is built on a solid relationship between those at board level and those at squad level. It seems that our new owner sees the Garry Monk era at Leeds United as a long-term plan, rather than something to just “try” for awhile: the vast turnover of managers that we have seen over the last few years might be nearing its end.

Throughout the statement he said all the right things, he mentioned “ongoing investment” and “sustainable growth” and this is exactly what we need to hear as long-suffering fans who have dealt with multiple instances of bosh ownership.

Some may think that he is just trying to appease the masses. Personally, I don’t think that this is the case. I get a real sense that he wants to see the club succeed, and not just because the more the successful we are, the more money he makes.

I think it goes beyond that with Andrea Radrizzani. I get the impression he will hold his ownership of Leeds United as privilege in a similar vein managers have when they have been given the honour of managing our great club.

It is of fundamental importance for all parties involved with the club to be integrated behind the belief that this club matters and that we should be back among football’s elite.

Furthermore, I would like to take a moment to thank Massimo Cellino... but not because he had anything directly to do with our success this year.

He did appoint Garry Monk as Head Coach (though some have suggested others might have been behind that move as well). But everything we have done since then is solely on Garry Monk, his management team and the squad they put together.

Instead, I would like to thank Massimo Cellino for finally doing the right thing by the club. We can all speculate the reasons behind his decision. I am sure the 18-month suspension and other misdemeanours were a factor in this, and he’ll probably make out financially as well, but he does deserve acknowledgement for finally taking these steps when he could have ridden us further into the ground.

Overall, it was the news we were expecting but fearing may not happen, considering the history at the club.

It’s hard to know what the future at Leeds United will look like, and I’m sure we’ll write about it more over the coming weeks. But with Andrea Radrizzani, Garry Monk and this group of players - the sun is finally shining over Elland Road once again. MOT.