Leeds United owner Andrea Radrizzani calls for 'fair' Premier League after PIF take over Newcastle United to spark Manchester City transformation possibility

Leeds United majority owner Andrea Radrizzani believes financial fair play is vital in the Premier League so clubs like his can compete with the wealth of Manchester City and recently taken over Newcastle United.

By Graham Smyth
Thursday, 14th October 2021, 11:01 am

The Italian media mogul, who took full control at Elland Road in 2017 but has since sold a significant stake in the club to the financial backers of the San Francisco 49ers NFL franchise, insists that money cannot always buy success.

Speaking to Ian King on Sky News Radrizzani said Leeds would continue to pursue their current model, attempting to recruit smartly to give head coach Marcelo Bielsa the right players to make the club competitive among much wealthier Premier League outfits, and developing talent from within the Thorp Arch academy structure.

"Money in football is not always equal to success, it has been shown many times," he said.

"I think we have a brilliant project run by Marcelo Bielsa and Victor Orta on the football and we will continue with our strategy to focus on our recruitment and grow our own players. This year for example we have more than 16 national team players in our youth teams and in the last Under 20 England team we had four players on the pitch and two on the bench [for the Under 21s]. This is synonymous with good investment in the youth and the academy."

But Leeds will now find themselves up against yet another club with vast resources, with Newcastle United being taken over by the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia.

Magpies fans will be hoping for a similar transformation in their fortunes enjoyed by Manchester City, who have been majority owned by Sheikh Mansour, billionaire and member of the royal family of Abu Dhabi. Since he took over they have won five Premier League titles, two FA Cups and six EFL Cups, spending well over £1bn in transfer fees.

Radrizzani is keen for the Premier League to do their utmost to somehow ensure a level playing field.

FAIR PLAY - Leeds United owner Andrea Radrizzani says his club will continue with their current strategy to compete with the financial might of Manchester City and now Newcastle United in the Premier League. Pic: Getty

"Obviously the clubs like Newcastle or Man City owned and controlled by governments or sovereign funds, they have unlimited possibilities and that's why I believe the Premier League should apply fair play regulation to make sure we play fair, we play in the same competition with similar opportunities," he said.

Leeds spent just over £100m on transfers in the summer before their return to the Premier League and just over £50m this summer to add Jack Harrison to the ranks permanently, along with Junior Firpo from Barcelona and Daniel James from Manchester United. Manchester City's summer transfer business included the £100m purchase of Jack Grealish from Aston Villa.