Radrizzani completes takeover and offers Monk new contact
Tuesday, 23rd May 2017 21:04 by Tim Whelan
At last Leeds United can look forward to a period of strong and stable leadership, both on and off the field. It truly is time to go, Massimo.
Andrea Radrizzani bought 50% of the club in January, and a statement on the official website today confirmed that had excercised his right to buy the remaining 50% of the shares from his fellow Italian Massimo Cellino. Radrizzani became chairman of Leeds United with immediate effect.
Andrea Radrizzani said: “I am delighted to have the opportunity to become a custodian of this great football club. The heritage and history of Leeds United attracted me to the club and having spent time at games and at Thorp Arch, I can see that we are ready to move forward to the next level.
This is a long-term commitment, there is a lot of hard work ahead of us and I am aware of my responsibilities as owner of Leeds United. I can assure all supporters that everyone at this club will be doing all we can to build a successful team at Elland Road.”
And we have also been blessed by a message from the departing Presidente. “I have been proud to work at Leeds United, with nice people who have worked at the club with me. I wish Andrea good luck, I am sure he will continue what I have started and show that people from our country are honest and hard-working people.”
“Owners come and go but Leeds United will be there forever, for the fans - keep Marching on Together.” And there was also the rather ironic “If you can survive working with me, you can survive anything!” Of course, quite a few employees didn’t make it to the end of his period in charge, not only the sacked coaches, but the wrongfully dismissed Lucy Ward.
Let’s hope that Radrizzani knows how to treat his staff in a far more dignified manner. He’s made a good start in that respect by exercising an option to extend Garry Monk's contract by a further 12 months (according to Sky), which will put an end to the speculation linking him to clubs like Middlesbrough, Sunderland and Norwich.
And Monk has said of his preparations for another promotion push "We need a clear plan and we need to build on the foundations and progression made this season. You have seen this season how competitive the Championship is and it is only going to get tougher, so we have to be ready."
It remains to be seen what level of funds Radrizzani will make available to Monk to strengthen the squad, but potentially he can call on the backing of Chinese investors with deep pockets, who have already bought a majority stake in his media rights company. He will certainly want to see Leeds back in the Premier League as soon as possible.
So despite the disappointments of the end of last season, I believe that for the first time in over a decade we can look to the future with a talented young coach, stability in the boardroom, and the club and all the fans pulling in the same direction.
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