When Owner Andrea Raddrizzani first invested into the club he was only co- owner with Massimo Cellino. The latter Italian quickly made a name for himself in English Football but for all the wrong reasons.
Cellino who arrived in England with a three year plan to gain promotion to the Premier League was at first liked by the Leeds fans. After a painful decade which saw the whites relegated from the top flight all the way down to League one. Promising an influx of talent and money, it didn’t take long for the mad Italian to show how he got the nickname. Three managerial sackings in the space of three months and various bans from the FA saw Cellino become hated by the fans and quickly protests were put on before games to see Cellino out.
So when Leeds fan heard that another Italian businessman was interested in buying the club, understandably they thought that the club was going round in circles and it’d be a repeat of the past 10 years. In stepped Andrea Radrizzini founder and chairman of Eleven sports who bought 50% of the Club back in January 2017 before fully buying the club in May 2017.
Unlike Cellino, Radrizzani had a clear vision which he was open with. He came to Elland road with a five year plan, the end product having Leeds in the top half of the Premiership. Straight away he hired Victor Orta as Sporting Director and Angus Kinnear as Managing Director to give a structure to the club for the first time in years.
Although it wasn’t just all plain sailing. There was the underwhelming season under Christansen and Heckingbottom and the whole, new club crest debacle. A level of excitement had left the club until the adventurous appointment of world renowned Head Coach Marcelo Bielsa.
The Argentine has brought a new belief into the club. This can be seen through the attendance stats this season, home and away. With an average of 32,947 home attendance. The fans now believe that this could finally be the season where the Whites return to the top flight and it has brought the club closer to the fans.
The willingness to spend just over £2 million a year on a manager shows that Radrizzani is not messing about this year and wants the Club to succeed. At a recent Leaders week the Italian revealed that he has been “approached by many parties in the past few months.
The club owner then went on to say,”In my opinion, Leeds is one of the top, probably, eight brands in UK.” At this stage it would be a poor business decision as Leeds are growing and appealing to different countries. Mainly through the appointment of Bielsa a bigger foreign viewership from countries such as Chile, Spain and Argentina who see ‘El Loco’ as a legend and icon.
If the club then gains promotion at the end of the season the money from the Premiership makes this all worthwhile. Bigger sponsorships and Tv deals easily can turn a loss in the club to a big profit. The difference in money between the Championship and the Premiership is staggering. For completing the Championship season including Tv features the whites a massed around £7,560,000 which compared to newly relegated Stoke City who earnt around £100,00,000 for finishing in the bottom three.
Also at the Conference the Leeds Owner proposed that there be a’ Premiership 2′ which will help support championship teams who are pushing for promotion.
There is simply not enough money in the Championship, the Italian then went onto say ” It is really not sustainable to stay in the Championship.”
I do agree with the idea as it makes the Championship more glamourous and can attract more talent from around the world, because there is more money the league can be even more competitive, but I don’t see the Football Association agreeing or making it happen as it would mean that they would be giving clubs a bigger increase of money on what they already make.