A year on from former owner Massimo Cellino's eighteen month ban from footballing activity, Leeds United's fortunes have seemingly transformed. Cellino's Italian compatriot Andrea Radrizzani now has 100% control over Leeds, and the club is finally on the way up.
After initially being prevented from buying the club,
In 2016, Leeds fans would eventually start
The Italian's ignorance towards the concerns of Leeds fans fuelled the resentment towards him, stating in an interview with The Guardian that when faced with a third ethics ban in two years, he was "only guilty of one thing: protecting Leeds United".
After three years in charge of the Yorkshire giants, Cellino finally relinquished his shares in the club in May this year, selling his remaining 50% of shares to Radrizzani. To say Radrizzani is well-liked by Leeds fans is an understatement, as finally Leeds United have the stable owner they've been needing ever since the start of the 21st century.
Going into administration twice and nearly ceasing to exist has made many Leeds fans sceptical of any incoming owner, but the new Italian at the helm at Elland Road has already impressed fans with the monumental repurchase of Elland Road.
Affectionately known as 'Radz', the businessman has already spent a whopping £100m on Leeds, and while he failed to #SignGarryMonk to a longer contract as Leeds fans demanded on Twitter, new coach Thomas Christiansen has started well at Leeds who currently sit in the play off places.
Andrea Radrizzani: "I've already committed to an investment of £100m, and I want to bring this club back to where they deserve." — LUFCDATA (@LUFCDATA) August 2, 2017
Radrizzani's strongest capabilities, however, lie in his ability for impressive PR at the club. Coming from a sports media background, 'Radz' understands how to include Leeds fans in the everyday functioning of the club, as he has even started a fan-run advisory board who offer feedback on the chairman's running of the club, and how it can be improved at fan-level.
The Italian's efforts have not gone unappreciated. Leeds now boast the highest average attendance in the Championship, and have only gone one home game in the league without a capacity of at least 30,000. The work he has done has built a new sense of togetherness at the historic club, and Leeds United may be entering a new dawn with a chairman who truly gets what Leeds United means.
Following a disastrous sequence of owners who nearly plunged Leeds United into liquidation, Andrea Radrizzani already deserves credit for the work he has done at Elland Road. It is well known that change in football comes from the top, and with May looming, Radrizzani will be hoping that his Leeds United will be on their way back to the Premier League.