After months of speculation Andrea Radrizzani’s take-over of Leeds United has finally been completed as his company Aser Group Holding acquire a 50% stake in the club. As with every Leeds United take over the deal had been rumoured to be on and off but following talks before Christmas the deal was back on and is complete in time for the January transfer window.
After working on the deal since last summer Radrizzani was clearly pleased to have completed the purchase and in a statement said he would endeavour to be a ‘fitting custodian’ for the club and promised ‘ongoing investment’…
I am delighted and proud to have acquired a 50 per cent stake in such a prestigious football club as Leeds United. I am excited by the challenge ahead and I will work alongside Massimo and everybody at the club to make Leeds United as successful as possible.
I am fully aware of the great heritage and traditions of Leeds United and I will endeavour to be a fitting custodian on behalf of the many thousands of Leeds supporters, who are the lifeblood of the club.
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.
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.“The responsibility is on myself, Massimo 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.
Massimo Cellino will retain 50% of the share capital in the club having acquired 100% control of the club from GFH Capital last year. Sky Sports are reporting that Radrizzani could increase his shareholding to 100% in June. Cellino is of course due to start an 18 month ban from the Football League as such this news could not be better timed and he clearly feels Radrizzani is the right man to help take the club forward;
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. 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.
The take-over comes in time for the January transfer window and with Leeds United currently fifth in the Championship with their best shot at promotion for years the fans will be keen to see signs of intent from Radrizzani’s and Aser Group Holding. This could be a now or never moment for the club and the right investment securing the loan signings currently in the club as well as strengthening in key areas could be the difference between promotion to the Premier League or not.
Who is Andrea Radrizzani?
The 42 year old Italian will not have been a well-known figure in England prior to the speculation around the take-over of Leeds United but he has a wealth of experience in the football world. A graduate in public relations he setup sports media rights company MP & Silva at the age of 30. The firm is responsible for the acquisition of football rights, mainly in the Far East.
Starting with Serie A the company’s portfolio now includes Formula 1, grand slam tennis, boxing, baseball and football. In 2013 they acquired the rights to broadcast Premier League football to 51 different countries and territories. As one of the founders of MP & Silva and creative leader Radrizzani has influential connections wiring FIA and the Premier League. He had acted as an adviser on the sale of Inter Milan to Chinese owners Suning.