Times at Elland Road under Massimo Cellino were, well, they were trying times and it’s probably best to leave it right there when looking for an overall definition and summary of those three years.
In a little more depth, it was three seasons where two were of downright madness and mediocrity with a Leeds United side packed with cheap, disappointing imports from the Italian leagues.
The final season, the 2016/17 Sky Bet Championship campaign, was a marked improvement over the previous two. Leeds United were in a play-off place and in with a fighting chance of promotion for 26 games, 142 days before an end-season loss of form saw them finish in 7th place.
However, it was a season of stability and hope that was due to one thing – changing tides in the ownership stakes. Initially it was only a 50% change, then Leeds United owner Massimo Cellino bringing in fellow Italian Andrea Radrizzani as an investment partner.
However, that situation was to change ahead of the current campaign that saw Radrizzani take full control of the Whites and instigate his own version of a ‘hands-on approach’. A tranche of players were brought in to the first team, the Under-23 side was restocked with youngsters from the likes of Barcelona and Real Madrid and, most importantly, Elland Road was bought back for the club.
There was some doubt as to what money had changed hands and to what degree, but that seems to have been cleared up according to the following tweet.
From ESL accounts:
MC sold #LUFC to AR for £45m and made a profit of £3.5m.
Not a great return for a 3 year investment but not too shabby in this day and age.
— MikeT/AdrianTeakdesk (@Mike_J_Thornton) February 25, 2018
Taking this a step back, it appears that Cellino’s reign at Elland Road, his purchase of the club and subsequent investment, was to the tune of £41.5 million. Radrizzani’s £45 million purchase price will, of course, only represent a base market value of Leeds United – a value enhanced by elements such as Radrizzani’s purchase of the ground and other subsequent changes that he’s made.
Turning a £3.5 million profit is not to be sniffed at but the main thing that Leeds United fans might agree on is the following – it seems to be less of a drama at Elland road under the current regime.