It’s the start of yet another new era at Leeds United Football Club but one that may actually herald a brighter outlook for the immediate future.
Italian businessman Andrea Radrizzani began life as the club’s new co-owner this week after acquiring a 50 per cent share from Massimo Cellino.
The 42-year-old met with head coach Garry Monk, the coaching staff and the players on the training ground for the first time on Thursday.
And he was in the stands at Elland Road on Friday night to witness the high-flying Yorkshire outfit move up to third in the Championship with a 1-0 win over fellow promotion contenders Derby County.
By following a team through thick and thin, day in day out, watching every game and attending every press conference, a local journalist can often be the font of all knowledge and opinion when it comes to a football club.
Phil Hay, chief football writer for the Yorkshire Evening Post, has been covering Leeds for many years.
Before the match against Derby, Sky Sports caught up with Hay, who gave his views on what the boardroom change may mean for Radrizzani, the club, Monk and Cellino.
Here is the interview in full…
On what to expect from Radrizzani:
“If you look at Radrizzani’s background and his business background, he’s been involved in and pretty much pursued right from the start of his career sports broadcasting and media rights – that is his specialism and his area of expertise.
“He is a very business-minded animal. I think people will hope that, aside from the football aspect of the business here, that commercially he will bring new ideas and new ways of working.
“On the football side, it’s his first taste of football club ownership and I think he knows himself that he has plenty to learn about that and I think, while he won’t be hands-off in the next six months, I think he’ll avoid being front and centre so he can get to grips with that and get a feel for how a club operates and works.”
On relationship with Monk:
“Garry Monk seems very happy – he says he’s been impressed with him. He met with Monk and the squad on Thursday night, also with Monk for dinner on Wednesday evening, and it’s pretty clear already that Radrizzani is very happy with the job Monk is doing.
“There’s definite backing there and no question at all that Monk’s position is any less secure now than it was before the investment.”
On how it will work with co-owner Cellino:
“We’re told that it is a straight 50/50 split and in practice it will work like that – it is a straight division of authority. They will share the decision making – it’s an interesting dynamic and it is not in Cellino’s make-up generally, or hasn’t been in the past, to split authority like this.
“He very much intended at the outset to own 100% of this club but of course he has a Football Association ban pending as well, which potentially starts on February 1 and runs for 18 months.
“That’s significant from the point of view of how it will change things in the boardroom from the additional pressure it might ask of Radrizzani, so it remains to be seen I think that’s a question Radrizzani will answer himself.”
On whether he will bring in extra money to invest in transfer window:
“I don’t think January will change significantly as a result of this deal. I think Garry Monk is very clear on the type of players he wanted, the number of players he wanted and, speaking to him a couple of times since the deal went through, that hasn’t really changed.
“I think he still knows who he wants, I think he still knows the positions that he wants to work in.
“It might help to get those deals done but I don’t we’ll go from a position of no money to a position of a huge amount of money – I think the budget is as it was.”