Radrizzani: Forget Monk, this was the person who picked the Leeds players
By Alex Stevens
Andrea Radrizzani has singled out fellow joint-owner Massimo Cellino for being the guiding force behind Leeds United’s transformation this season.
Radrizzani claimed Cellino, and not manager Garry Monk, was responsible for the massive recruitment drive last summer that was key to catapulting the team from mid-table to genuine promotion candidates.
The Yorkshire heavyweights pushed hard for promotion throughout the campaign only to fall marginally short in the final analysis.
Leeds’s 3-3 draw against Norwich on Saturday confirmed they will finish the season in seventh position and remain in the Championship next season.
Reports emerged at the weekend that Monk is set to be sacked by joint-owners Radrizzani and Cellino after the club missed out on promotion.
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But supporters are desperate for Monk, who signed only a 12-month contract when he was appointed as manager last summer, to remain at the helm and have besieged Radrizzani with messages on Twitter urging him not to sack the 38-year-old.
The Italian businessman, who bought a 50 per cent stake in the club in late December, revealed at Leeds’ player of the year awards on Saturday night that talks over Monk’s future will take place within the next two weeks as he hinted that no final decision has been made.
In a short address to supporters in the Gowing Law Centenary Pavilion at Elland Road, Radrizzani thanked Monk for his hard work this season in taking the team from 13th in the table to seventh.
Controversially, he reserved his greatest praise for the erratic Cellino, who has been the subject of intense supporter criticism since buying an initial majority stake in the club in 2014.
Radrizzani suggested it was Cellino who was responsible for not only recruiting Monk last summer but also the players who transformed the team.
Radrizzani said [4:58 on video below]: “Also I want to thank you the President, Chairman Mr Cellino because I think he’s the one who picked these players, he picked this coach and so what we did this year we did also thanks to him.”
Radrizzani explained what is the club’s ambition for next next season and also addressed the subject of Monk’s future.
“The next step is to improve the results of this year,’ Radrizzani said [2:03 on video]. “So to get back to the play-off next year we have to jump another position hopefully.”
Asked about Monk, [4:32 on video], Radrizzani said: “No, I don’t have news about players or manager. Let’s wait one more, two more weeks [for that].”
Cellino has sacked a staggering six managers since buying an initial majority stake in the club in January 2014.
Monk will be the first Elland Road boss to see out a full campaign since Brian McDermott in 2014.
In other Leeds United news, a stunning £14million bid is being prepared as deal edges closer with Premier League big hitters.