Radrizzani Honours Promise in Dramatic Break With Recent Leeds Utd Tradition – by Rob Atkinson


Elland-Road

Leeds: United and finally homeowners once more

New Leeds United owner Andrea Radrizzani has shown precious little respect for recent club traditions, blatantly keeping a promise to repurchase the Elland Road stadium despite recent precedents whereby owners have talked plenty about this issue – but have done, quite frankly, the square root of sod-all to make it reality.

In contrast to a certain lately-departed yachtsman, Radrizzani has said little, preferring to let his actions speak for themselves. Thus, we have today seen our spiritual home return to club ownership, relieving an annual rent burden and restoring the pride of thousands of Leeds United fans who had felt the shame of being long-term tenants at an historic venue synonymous with the club for almost a century.

This represents a stark contrast to the modus operandi of Radrizzani’s immediate predecessor, who talked of paying a visit to the nearest ATM and withdrawing the money needed to buy back the ground on Day One. A subsequent failure to honour that vow did not disturb the blind faith of a section of United’s support – but the shallowness of Il Loco‘s sincerity has been put into sharp focus by the decisive actions and intuitive feeling for what United’s fans really wanted, displayed in the short period of his sole ownership so far by Andrea Radrizzani. For this, Life, Leeds United, the Universe & Everything salutes him – and at the same time acknowledges that the new owner’s intentions appear straightforward and highly laudable.

A week or so ago, I wrote a rather pessimistic piece, bemoaning what sounded like the same old line about wanting players who desired a Leeds United future rather than concentrating on money. I was horrified that so many agreed with the sentiments behind the article, having hoped that I’d be reassured by positive disagreement. And, to be fair, the “let’s look for players who want to be here” thing was a line we’d heard too often before – but in the days since, the attitude of the club towards recruitment has belied that old complacency and caution. Now, there is a real buzz about the place, with credible reports of ambition and investment. In just over a week, the atmosphere around Elland Road has regained its positivity.

So now we are owners of our own home turf and maybe even masters of our own destiny. There is real hope in the air, and some thrillingly eager anticipation of the approaching season. Leeds United, dare we suggest, might just be back.

I ended that last article expressing the earnest hope that I was wrong to be so pessimistic. Now, it seems that I may well have been, and nothing would give me greater pleasure. Keep up the good work, Mr Radrizzani. Keep the faith, meet our expectations, and we’ll back you all the way. That modern-day Leeds United tradition of flattering to deceive; promising much and doing nowt to bring those promises to fruition – well, it’s one we’d all be delighted to see cast out of the nearest window. In breaking that tradition, our new owner will lift the hearts of the Leeds legions around the globe.

And it might well be the start of a revival of that much older Leeds United tradition – Marching on Together towards glory and success. Surely, that’s something we can ALL unite behind – now that the club appears at long last to be in safe hands.

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15 responses to “Radrizzani Honours Promise in Dramatic Break With Recent Leeds Utd Tradition – by Rob Atkinson

  1. Kevin Keenan

    MOT

    Like

  2. belfastpete

    MOT MOT MOT

    Like

  3. Mike Durham

    Well fair play to A.R. Rob ; I don’t know about anybody else but I have been, so far, fairly underwhelmed with our new signings and this has been a bit of an eye-opener……
    Extremely pleased, to say the least!!

    Like

  4. Scally Lad

    The days of Bates and his exasperating successors may indeed be behind us. This is a good sign. On to greater things! We may well have been pulled free of ownership quicksand at long, long last.

    Like

  5. Chad nooky

    Phenomenal news. Radz has shown in a short time a better understanding of this club and it’s supporters than any number of previous owners. Some (not myself) may have wanted the £20m spent on players first then buy back the stadium once we are in the prem. However this decision makes so much sense on so many levels. I’m absolutley delighted. Forza LEEDS.

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  6. Without wishing to be a harbinger of doom, I just hope that today’s overdose of positive news from United is not a means of softening us up for something bad – such as selling Chris Wood.
    Couldn’t be………could it?

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  7. I am soooooo happy …we are on our way back… We salute you Sir A-Radz….

    MOT

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  8. David Smith

    Good blog Rob ……wonders never cease to amaze with our club! After my disparaging comments following the last news conference, do you have a spare sword for me to fall on!! MOT

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  9. NickB(50yrsLU)

    This is brilliant news, and makes such sense to save £1.7M a year; and it’s good for morale right across the board. How could it possibly have been intimidating for visiting teams when they knew we were apologetic tenants ? We can reassert ourselves now. No more need for self-mockery along the lines of ‘We know we’re crap’ and ‘We used to be famous’. He can’t be expected to do all at once, which partly explains the unknown manager and players coming in. With the general youthfulness of the recruits, my hunch is that Radrizzani’s plan is to go for play-offs as a realistic target this season, which might result in promotion, but moulding a decent squad over two seasons for a stronger bid the following year. Having the ground back, I’m very happy to be taking the risk on a few cheap unknowns that might just gel this season; and most of them are about the price of Roofe, which isn’t that cheap if we bring in five or six. I’ve no doubt that if we’re in the running next January, the new, sole owner will authorise the necessary strengthening. I understand Dave’s suspicion; we’re all conditioned like Pavlov’s dogs whenever there’s apparent good news, to expect a bitter pill hidden in the sweetie, after fifteen years of cynical, exploiting owners, but finally, this guy does seem to have the brains to realise the only way to make money out of the Club is to fight with the fans, not against them. My biggest concern is the management set-up that includes a Director of Football, and a bloke called a Coach whose main job seems to be to pick the team; but let’s see if we can’t persuade the evidently malleable Mr. Radrizzani to ditch the continental style as our summer surprise next year ! For once, we have an owner who consults the fans, and that’s priceless – for him and us.

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    • Great comment, I’d overlooked the potential psychological advantage for matchdays – and I’m always on about the steady accumulation of small marginal advantages. This could be a big one, we’ll have to see how it plays out. But from now on, home matches will be truly HOME in a very palpable sense, and I’m sure that will lift the fans – hopefully the team also.

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  10. What a difference a week makes! …And this is not just a week – this is THE week. It’s the week when we took back OWNERSHIP of our beloved club! A week we will all remember FOREVER! I’m also lying dying on my sword – and GLAD to do it!!!
    MOT
    Gerry Cwmbran

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  11. I was sceptical last week and this news goes some way to lifting some of that pessimism. It is good news for the fans and a promise honoured which must be a good thing, but it also makes financial sense and is good business. As I said last week, the management team is relatively unknown and the new and rumoured new recruits are largely unexperienced in this league so only time will tell if the mix will be right. I was pleased with the Monk approach but for me many of the performances were average when compared to other teams in the division. Maybe that was down to resources rather than passion, but the drop off in cliff the latter part of the season was a serious chink. If we get a combination of continental style, honour, the willingness to get stuck in and a give their all for LUFC in the Christiansen era then there is little more we can ask. Here’s to seeing the same new look on the pitch where maybe we get to own that too in a way that was not always the case last year. MOT

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  12. We will need a trident to fall on rather than a sword. I wasn’t too impressed at first but thing are certainly looking up now and we’ve just signed “Felix The Cat” to end the week on a high. We should be ok if we give away penalties next season.

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  13. steve from down under

    I know all LUFC Supporters will back this club and even walk over broken glass for the badge, now we do seem to have an owner that might just do the same.
    The thing that worries me though is that last year Monk and his merry men had the team and supporters believing again and that has not happened since Larry was at the club. We don’t yet know what the new coach /manager and his back room staff can do from that score, and in my view it is the difference at this club once you get it moving and believing its unstoppable it will just pick up more speed.
    I think we have the most passionate and loyal supporters any club could wish for so even if the new management team don’t instil the feelings of last year they will still be backed to the hilt, I will be hoping with all my heart that Radrizzani plan pays off has the man deserves it he has put his hard earned money in and backed the club and its supporters

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