By Alex Stevens
New Leeds owner Andrea Radrizzani has voiced his support for Garry Monk after taking joint ownership of the club on Wednesday.
The Italian sports media mogul sealed his long-awaited investment in the club with a purchase of a 50 per cent stake from Massimo Cellino.
The Yorkshire giants will move forward under joint ownership between Radrizzani and Cellino after months of talks over an equity sale reached a positive conclusion.
As part of the deal Radrizzani, 42, has the option to take over Cellino’s 50 per cent stake in July to give him 100 per cent ownership of one of English football’s biggest clubs.
The new joint-owner was at pains to stress his backing for manager Monk, who has transformed the fortunes of the Championship team since taking over last summer.
“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,” Radrizzani said in a statement, which was uploaded by Radio Yorkshire journalist Joe Rawson on his personal Twitter account.
— Joe Rawson (@joerawson) January 4, 2017
“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.”
Monk was handed just a 12-month contract when he took over as manager last June, replacing former boss Steve Evans, who had steered the club to a 13th-place finish in the league last season.
Following a difficult start, former Swansea manager Monk has guided the team to a string of impressive results to make them genuine promotion challengers.
The side’s win over Rotherham on Monday was their fourth from five league games – the other was a 1-1 draw away to cash-rich Aston Villa – and further emphasised their improvement.
Leeds’ next game is an FA Cup trip to Cambridge United next Monday.