The Leeds United club website announced yesterday that former Arsenal and West Ham Managing Director Angus Kinnear was to join the Elland Road club in a similar capacity.
Kinnear’s appointment is seen by new owner Radrizzani as key to his plans for Leeds United as he gears up towards his first season in charge of the juggernaut that is the Whites. Speaking directly of Kinnear, who officially joins the club on June 8, Radrizzani said to the club website: “I have experienced working with Angus in the past and I am confident his commercial experience and management skills will help to bring Leeds United to the next level of engagement for partners and fans.”
The fans and the club were brought closer together through events on the pitch and stability in the changing room. A full season stay by head coach Garry Monk paid dividends with improved results on the pitch – Leeds failing narrowly to earn a Championship play-off place. Monk has now left the club after tendering his resignation, the reason seeming to be both sides not able to agree on what would be offered/what was expected.
For his part, speaking to the club website, Kinnear himself said: “It is a privilege to have the opportunity to join this great club with its legendary fan base. I share Andrea’s ambitious vision and will work tirelessly to realise this club’s immense potential and make our supporters proud. I am confident that with our supporters, team and board united, we will become a formidable force.”
Part of these plans, according to Radrizzani when speaking at the club’s end-of-season awards dinner, was to bring a sense of modernity to the club. On a fan-filmed video Radrizzani said of this aim: “As a club we have to invest more in ambitions to bring the facilities more into more modern times. When I arrived here I was a little bit shocked to find the club like in the 70s. I will work very hard from tomorrow to bring more innovation [inaudible]the football academy, equipment and also general facilities.”
Radrizzani admitted that he wasn’t looking at achieving this with a sense of short-termism, rather it was something that he saw as a five-year plan.
Now the important part of this was Radrizzani’s words that he’d “bring the facilities into more modern times,” with many fans at the time wondering how that could be without one important thing – club ownership of Elland Road. This is something that the new Leeds United owner Is actively planning, as told to BBC Radio Leeds’ ‘West Yorkshire Sport Daily’ programme.
Radrizzani says in the above clip that it is a priority to return the ‘church’ that is Elland Road to its worshippers, saying: “it is an objective to buy back Elland Road by this summer, within my group and in this way to have less cost for Leeds United.”
If Andrea Radrizzani does pull of this repurchase of Elland Road, which he says that is in the planning and underway to complete by the end of the summer, then rest assured there will be very few Leeds fans that will have a bad word to say about him.
And, in soon-to-be starting Managing Director Angus Kinnear, Andrea Radrizzani has the ideal man to help smooth the way for such a return of Elland Road and a redevelopment of it.
Kinnear’s CV contains 10 years at Arsenal where he led the club’s sales strategy and marketing for the Emirates Stadium as well as helping to oversee the regeneration of surrounding property and growth of Arsenal as a brand. More recently though he oversaw the move of West Ham from Upton Park to the London Stadium as well as increasing the Hammers season ticket sales to the 50,000 mark.
In Angus Kinnear, Radrizzani could very well have a party to much bigger plans that are afoot.