Radrizzani makes Leeds admission: My first priority is this £17m purchase
By Alex Stevens
Andrea Radrizzani has revealed that his “first priority” at Leeds is to push through the £17million re-purchase of Elland Road.
The sports media mogul has explained that he planned to “study carefully” the Championship club’s option to reclaim the historic stadium.
Speaking for the first time since buying a 50 per cent stake in Leeds to become the joint owner along with Massimo Cellino, Radrizzani revealed how his initial focus will be on the club’s infrastructure.
This comes even though his arrival has coincided with the January transfer window and the timing provides the opportunity to reinforce a team that is challenging strongly for promotion.
Radrizzani explained on Saturday that Leeds are looking to push through up to two new signings this month, with the minor revamp in the hands of manager Garry Monk and chief executive Ben Mansford.
Subscribe to Football Insider TV now
Meanwhile, the co-owner is keen to extend the contract of Monk, who signed a 12-month deal when he took over the reins from Steve Evans last summer.
Leeds have leased Elland Road since 2004, paying a seven-figure sum in rent annually, and the Yorkshire Evening Post report that the cost of exercising the buy-back clause currently stands at around £17million.
Cellino promised to bring the venue back under Leeds’ control soon after his takeover in April 2014 but was never able to fund the deal.
The Italian’s new fellow owner and countryman Radrizzani has now made a similar vow about the stadium.
“My first priority will be to study carefully the situation with the Elland Road contract, the option to buy it back, to look at what it also brings in terms of financial cost for the club and to study the alternatives,” Radrizzani said, as quoted by the Yorkshire Evening Post. “This for sure will be one of my priorities. It’s very important for the club.”
Radrizzani has taken over with the team on a high on the back of a hugely promising campaign under Monk, who has transformed the side’s fortunes.
Leeds ended the weekend at third in the Premier League table, just seven points adrift of leaders Newcastle and six off the second automatic promotion spot.
In other Leeds news, Monk has made a shock transfer revelation after meeting with new owner Andrea Radrizzani.