Andrea Radrizzani has backed his fellow Leeds United co-owner and felt Massimo Cellino had no choice but to upset people as he cleaned up the club’s finances.
Cellino, who took complete control of the Championship side in April 2014, has since trimmed the staff at Elland Road in a bid to cut costs.
The Italian completed the sale of 50 per cent of the club to compatriot Radrizzani, who has praised his new boardroom partner for enabling the West Yorkshire outfit to be on a sounder financial footing.
In his first press gathering since arriving at the club this week, businessman Radrizzani said: “The club has had a rollercoaster in the last decade.
“When Massimo Cellino acquired the club he didn’t expect even himself to find so many financial troubles and losses.
“At the moment the club is not at breakeven but is not in a bad financial situation. The club is recovering. In the last two years since Massimo came in he wasn’t nice to many people but he had to be tough to cut costs.
“It seemed to be difficult then but it’s much better now. At the same time the Football League is a loss-making league. It’s difficult to make money in this league, almost impossible.
“We need to be creative to make the financial numbers look good.”
Cellino – who sacked 43 managers in 22 years at his previous club Cagliari – has been a controversial and divisive figure during his time at the club.
He was given an 18-month ban by the Football Association last month for breaking agent regulations in the signing of Ross McCormack in the summer of 2014.
Cellino has already given the boot to six bosses in West Yorkshire in Brian McDermott, David Hockaday, Darko Milanic, Neil Redfearn, Uwe Rosler and Steve Evans before appointing former Swansea boss Garry Monk last summer.
High-flying Leeds are third in the table after taking their unbeaten run to seven games in all competitions with Friday night’s 1-0 home win over fellow promotion contenders Derby County.