COMMENT By Will Butcher
There is a new sense of optimism around Elland Road, after Andrea Radrizzani was confirmed as Leeds’ co-owner on Wednesday.
The Italian sports magnate has finally secured 50 per cent of Leeds after extensive talks with controversial chairman Massimo Cellino that have lasted the majority of the 2016-17 campaign.
Following the landmark development, Leeds, under manager Garry Monk’s increasingly impressive stewardship, could be set to return to the Premier League for the first time in 13 years.
Football Insider analyses three reasons why:
Arrival of Radrizzani
The arrival of the Italian sparks a new era. Passing the Football League’s owners and directors test with flying colours, there is hope that Radrizzani will be one of Leeds only controversy-free owners in their recent history. With the likes of Ken Bates, Peter Ridsdale and Cellino all preceding the new owner, Radrizzani has little to live up to but fans will still look to the 42-year-old to be a breath of fresh air and rid the discord that has surrounded the Yorkshire giants since their relegation from the top flight in 2004.
End of Cellino
Its been a mostly wretched three-year tenure for the former Cagliari chairman. Cellino, 60, has been in a constant battle with the football authorities as well as facing widespread criticism for his trigger-happy attitude towards managers. Dave Hockaday, Darko Milanic and Uwe Rosler felt the early wrath of owner Cellino by losing their jobs within a matter of months, while the sacking of long-standing academy coach Neil Redfearn left a sour taste. The ‘King of Corn’ has now been handed an 18-month ban by rhe Football Association after using an unlicensed agent in the deal that saw Ross McCormack join Fulham in 2014, and is now set to leave the matters of the club in Radrizzani’s hands. This could be the end for Cellino and he will not be missed by supporters.
Fresh investment, trust in Monk
Radrizzani, who earned his wealth through his founding of sports rights company MP & Silva, is now free to open his cheque book in order to bring in new signings to Leeds this month. Watching from afar, it does not take a genius to see that Leeds first successes in the Cellino era have come by trusting the manager and giving him time to do his own things. Providing Monk with a transfer budget for January could see Leeds add the fire power that will give Leeds the extra bite they need in their pursuit of promotion.
In other Leeds news, these are the three matters Radrizzani must sort when he assumes office.