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Leeds United: What to know about Andrea Radrizzani Era

Leeds United Football Club is a professional football club based in Leeds, West Yorkshire, United Kingdom. The club was formed in 1919 after the Football League dispersed Leeds City and took over their Elland Road stadium. Following promotion from the EFL Championship during the 2019—20 season, Leeds now competes in the Premier League, England’s top flight. Most of their history has been spent competing in English football’s top tier. Their longest continuous period inside the first tier was 18 years, from 1964 to 1982, as for 16 years outside from 2004 to 2020. Leeds has local rivalries with Huddersfield Town, Bradford City, Sheffield United, and Sheffield Wednesday, as well as Manchester United and Chelsea.

Don Revie period with Leeds

The club won three English league titles, one FA Cup, one League Cup, two Charity/Community Shields, and two Inter-Cities Fairs Cups. Leeds won most of these awards during Don Revie’s term as a manager in the 1960s and 1970s. They reached the semi-finals of the tournament’s successor, the Champions League, in 2001, after losing in the 1975 European Cup Final to Bayern Munich. In 1973, they finished second in the European Cup Winners Cup final. In 1992, they won the league title, their most recent achievement.

Don Revie Statue

Revie led Leeds to two Football League First Division titles, one FA Cup, one League Cup, two Inter-Cities Fairs Cups, one Football League Second Division title, and one Charity Shield during his 13-year tenure as manager. He also led them to three more FA Cup Finals, two more FA Cup Semi-finals, one more Inter-Cities Fairs Cup Final, and one Inter-Cities Fairs Cup Semi-final, one European Cup Winners’ Cup Final and one European Cup Semi-final, and one European Cup Semi-final. Five times the team finished second in the Football League First Division, once third, and twice fourth. Revie’s Leeds United were named one of the 50 greatest football teams of all time in a poll of leading football writers, historians, and academics conducted by Total Sport magazine.

Andrea Radrizzani Era: The Return To The Premier League

Andrea Radrizzani

Radrizzani announced a 100 percent buyout of Leeds United on May 23, 2017, purchasing the remaining 50 percent shares from the previous co-owner Massimo Cellino and becoming the club’s sole owner. Radrizzani then reintroduced Leeds United Ladies to the Leeds United ownership group. In June, Radrizzani used his own company Greenfield Investment Pte Ltd, to complete the purchase of Elland Road from Jacob Adler’s Teak Commercial Limited for £20 million.

Born in Milan, Andrea studied Public Relations at Milan’s IULM University and graduated in 1996. He started his career in sports media in 1999 with Media Partners, a digital sports content distributor, where he later founded Media Partners’ China division.

As CEO and major shareholder, he moved on to co-found MP & Silva in 2004, launching the renowned sports media agency’s operations from its headquarters in Singapore and leading its global expansion into 20 countries.

Andrea, a self-made entrepreneur, established the investment platform Aser Ventures in 2015, specializing in sports, media, and entertainment companies. Aser became a co-owner of Leeds United in January 2017, and Aser has been the club’s ultimate parent company since May of that year, with Andrea as Chairman.

Andrea employed world-renowned coach Marcelo Bielsa, who led Leeds United’s return to the Premier League in the 2019/20 season, after 16 years in the lower leagues. Leeds’ first season back in the Premier League produced a 9th-placed finish after gaining 59 points – the most by a newly promoted side since 2001.

Leeds’ Three Musketeers

Three men emerged in the rise of Leeds United due to their hard work, devotion, and hunger to succeed, Angus Kinnear, Victor Orta, and El Loco Marcelo Bielsa.

  • Angus Kinnear:
Angus Kinnear

Angus is a London School of Economics graduate and the current CEO of Leeds United. He previously held senior leadership positions at West Ham, Arsenal, Coca-Cola, and Proctor and Gamble.

  • Victor Orta:
Vicotr Orta

Victor Orta is a Spanish director of Football who currently serves as Director of Football at Leeds United. Orta started his career as a football journalist and consultant before becoming a licensed football coach. He started his football career as a member of the coaching staff at Real Valladolid. He left Valladolid to join Sevilla FC in La Liga as Technical Director, where he was in charge of player recruitment as well as the club’s technical side and academy.
Orta was wanted by both Juventus and Fiorentina following his success at Sevilla. In addition, the Spaniard turned down a lucrative opportunity to handle central recruitment for the Qatar league. Instead, Orta chose to join Zenit St Petersburg, where he assisted the recruitment of Brazil’s World Cup starter Hulk. Orta then joined Elche in Spain before being recruited to Middlesbrough as head of recruitment in December 2015 via Boro’s network of contacts in Spain.
Kinnear and Orta have done outstanding work in getting the club to this point. They had no experience managing a Premier League team, and a side of Leeds’ stature is not easy to manage. They’ve seen how the value has surged in the last three to four years, and they believe it will continue to climb in the future.

  • Marcelo Bielsa:
Marcelo Bielsa

On June 15, Argentine manager Marcelo Bielsa was named the club’s new manager, signing a two-year contract with a third-year option. As a result, he became the highest-paid manager in the history of Leeds United.
Leeds made an impressive start to Bielsa’s first season in command, and the club remained in the top two with Norwich City for the remainder of the season, on course for automatic promotion to the Premier League. However, a poor finish to the season cost the squad automatic promotion to Sheffield United. They advanced to the playoffs against Derby County, but after winning 1–0 in the first leg, they were defeated 4–3 on aggregate, relegating them to another season in the championship.
Leeds United was promoted to the Premier League on July 17, 2020, following West Bromwich Albion’s defeat against Huddersfield Town. Stoke City’s victory over Brentford the next day confirmed their promotion to the Premier League. The club finished 10 points ahead of West Brom in second place.

Leeds Plan for the Future:

Andrea Radrizzani has stated that the club intends to renovate Elland Road if they maintain their Premier League status for the next three years.

“To take back this club to the Premier League was a wonderful challenge, a fantastic journey but we are still here to work and make this club even bigger so the journey continues”.  

Andrea Radrizzani told Forbes:

With a group of good players led by academy graduate Kalvin Philips, Captain Liam Cooper, Patrick Bamford, and new signing Rodrigo, the Leeds team thrives to stay in England’s top-tier football competitions.

King Kenny’s Recommendation

To summarize, Andrea Radrizzani met Kenny Dalglish during a meal arranged before Manchester City’s match against Paris Saint-Germain in April 2016. When the subject of purchasing football clubs came up, Radrizzani stated that the Liverpool legend had just one option for the wide-eyed Italian: “Leeds United.” Leeds United is a club with a fresh initiative aiming to establish itself in English and European football. Leeds may serve as a fantastic example of a successful football team with an emphasis on youth prospects, the leadership of Bielsa, and a well-spent investment in the club. Depending on its long history, large fan base, and energetic city, this club, and its fans will ” March On Together” on the road to sensation.

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