When Leeds United was in the depths of their clutching ownership by Massimo Cellino, fans were clamouring for change. The trouble was, having seen false dawn in ownership under Bahraini bank GFH Capital, some were apprehensive as to what they might get.
Fearing a ‘lesser of two evils’ scenario in getting rid of Cellino, Leeds struck it lucky with his replacement in fellow Italian Andrea Radrizzani. Under Radrizzani there’s definitely more positivity at the club and this has rocketed since the appointment of legendary Argentinian coach Marcelo Bielsa.
That positivity continues into this season and builds on the successes of their last campaign, a campaign that ended with a heartbreaking play-off semi-final loss at the hands of Derby County. Currently, Leeds sit atop the Championship pile thanks to three excellent performances against Bristol City, Nottingham Forest and Wigan Athletic.
Last season’s trials and tribulations were also a feature of an Amazon Prime docu-series called ‘Take Us Home – Leeds United’. The soaring highs, the plummeting lows, and all in between were laid bare in a campaign that fans already knew the end of. Towards the end of Episode 6, Radrizzani comments quite openly on the rumours of him selling up and moving on from Elland Road.
Rumours of a takeover were rife over the summer, with Paris Saint-Germain owners Qatari Sports Investment (QSI) said to have shown an interest. Sources speculated that QSI were ready to pounce and seal a full deal for the Whites. That pouncing never materialised and, instead, Leeds United entered their centenary campaign with Radrizzani still at the tiller.
In fact, the only selling that the Italian has done is a 10% stake to NFL giants San Francisco 49ers last year. Indeed, he was adamant that the club is NOT for sale but that he WOULD welcome other outside investors. On this, he said: “I hear a lot of rumours about me selling the club or leaving, absolutely no way. Those who know me well know how much I am determined to reach my goals…In the last 18 months, we received much interest from parties to invest in the club or buy the club. I rejected all the options to buy the club because I did not want to give up.”
The above words, from the Amazon docu-series and carried by The Mirror, are blunt enough to serve that Radrizzani is not ready to move on from Elland Road. However, he does add to this by saying: “But I will listen to anyone who wants to join me and make this club bigger. I don’t exclude that maybe soon I will open the door to one or two partners to help this club become bigger.”
So, straight from la bocca del cavallo that is Andrea Radrizzani there is to be no TOMA at Elland Road and he’s staying at Leeds United.