It had long been reported that Massimo Cellino was looking to bring in investment to Leeds United, that happened with the arrival of fellow Italian Andrea Radrizzani in January of this year – the incoming Italian buying a 50% stake in the Whites.
The moment that this deal was announced, various stories started to filter across social media, mainly Twitter, about some of the potential outcomes of the deal. Amidst talks of timelines and ‘golden shares’, it was widely reported that Radrizzani’s purchase was only a 50% investment on a temporary basis, that he was really looking at taking full ownership of the West Yorkshire club.
As such, his initial arrival and investment was a mere landing pad, something that would allow him to gather his resources, put plans in place and push for a full takeover of Leeds United. The favoured date for this takeover has been put forward, by many on Twitter, as meant to be occurring on June 1 – a mere month away.
Local journalist Phil Hay, chief football writer for the Yorkshire Evening Post, is one who definitely expects there to be some shifting of the sands as the ownership picture begins to become clearer at Elland Road.
— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) May 1, 2017
It is this set of circumstances that has gained some credence with the Telegraph reporting that “Massimo Cellino’s stormy three-year reign at Leeds United is set to end,” with his fellow Italian co-owner Radrizzani preparing “to complete a full takeover.”
The Telegraph say that Radrizzani is jockeying for position and readying himself to purchase the remaining 50% of the club, with them claiming that “an option to assume total control was dependent on Leeds not reaching the Premier League.”
That option became an almost concrete reality on Saturday just gone, the Whites staging a ferocious fightback at Elland Road to draw 3-3 with Norwich City, fighting back from 3-0 down. It was lax defending that cost them the chance to continue their play-off chasing aspirations, but the silver lining is that the club’s often tangled ownership structure could, at last, be sorted.
The one thing occupying the thoughts of Leeds fans at the moment is the position of Garry Monk and where he stands with the club. Yesterday The Sun’s Alan Nixon said that Leeds were set to not renew his contract, which is a year-long rolling one. Instead, they reported that eyes were being cast elsewhere with Nixon saying that a foreign coach with new board member and ‘special advisor’ Ivan Bravo, an ex-Real Madrid employee, set to “appoint several fellow countrymen in a new backroom team.”
This situation is alarming to Leeds United fans, fans that have seen their side easily enjoy the highest finish, and play the best football, since Massimo Cellino bought into the club. The rise in performances, the way that Garry Monk has approached the tasks at hand, have given fans hope that better things are on the horizon. The feeling amongst all of these fans is that Monk should be approached by the club and signed to a longer, more secure deal – so much so that their pleadings have seen #SignGarryMonk trending on Twitter.
Phil Hay is one who thinks that, given the right approach from the club, Garry Monk’s tenure at Leeds United will stretch into the next Sky Bet Championship campaign.
— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) May 1, 2017
Indeed, when Radrizzani bought into Leeds United in January, he was quick to acknowledge the contribution that the former Swansea manager has made at the club. According to a report at the time, Radrizzani said of the Leeds manager: “I am very impressed with the job Garry Monk has done this season and I will do all I can to support him and the team moving forward.”
With the club moving forward as they have this season, maybe it is time for Radrizzani to invoke the terrace chant and prove that the Whites are ‘marching on together’ by approaching Garry Monk and getting some of the basic building blocks of the club in place early.
If that proves to be the case, it could very well be one of the positive things that could grow out of this reported full, and complete takeover of Leeds United by Andrea Radrizzani.