New Leeds United co-owner pledges "ongoing investment" after buying 50 per cent stake from Massimo Cellino

 
Joe Hall
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Leeds co-owner Andrea Radrizzani
Radrizzani: "I am making a long-term commitment to Leeds United" (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Leeds United's new Italian co-owner Andrea Radrizzani has pledged to provide manager Garry Monk with ongoing support and investment to fund the club's promotion push.

The co-founder of influential sports media rights firm MP & Silva, Radrizzani has purchased 50 per cent of the Yorkshire club to become co-owner alongside fellow countryman Massimo Cellino.

Under the guidance of Monk, Leeds have emerged as one of this season's promotion contenders from the Championship and currently sit in the play-off positions.

Radrizzani expressed his admiration for Monk's achievements and assured any Leeds fans fearful of trigger-happy Cellino that the former Swansea manager retained their support.

Read more: Leeds losses reduced by £20m as owner Massimo Cellino heralds commitment to resolving financial issues

“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," he said.

“The responsibility is on myself, Massimo [Cellino] and the executive management at the club to work together over the coming months to provide the best platform and environment for Garry and the team to achieve success.

"I am making a long-term commitment to Leeds United and will work to bring stability through ongoing investment. I aim to bring sustainable growth. I won't do anything that will put the club's future at risk."

Radrizzani, who sold a 65 per cent stake in MP & Silva to a Chinese investment group for more than $1bn, will have an option to buy 100 per cent of the club at the end of the season.

His new partner Cellino was banned by the Football Association (FA) for 18 months and fined £250,000 for breaching agent regulations during the sale of Ross McCormack to Fulham in 2014. It is the third time the Italian has been suspended by the FA since buying Leeds in 2014.

Read more: Leeds United owner Massimo Cellino rebukes corruption allegations - "I have not committed crimes"

He said teaming up with Radrizzani was the only way the club could improve and cited his experience in media.

Cellino has battled with the Football League in the past over the collective TV rights deal it negotiates on behalf of the clubs.

"I have worked hard for the past three years for Leeds United, we are a massive club, and I feel the only way we can get better is for me to bring in a new partner," said Cellino.

"Andrea is young and brings a new energy with him, as well as having a good experience in the football media business, which is the future for all clubs.

"I feel that bringing Andrea in as a 50 per cent shareholder to work with me is the best choice could have made. We will continue building a strong and healthy football club for the future."

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