'Stunk' - The Leeds United men who should go, Radrizzani reminder and 49ers musts: David Prutton

The agreement between Andrea Radrizzani's Aser Ventures and 49ers Enterprises for the purchase of Leeds United feels like a good fresh start, writes DAVID PRUTTON.
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

We had all been trying to work out whether there were proper legs in it or whether it was going to be a long drawn out process, whether Andrea was going to be stubborn. Andrea has obviously got the right price and first and foremost he is a businessman.

But let's not take away what's happened under his stewardship as there have been many people that have tried the same thing. It's got a bit negative towards the end but relegation is negative and relegation is a bad thing to happen and we all know that.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

But there will always be what he managed to do with the golden people that he brought in, top of that list of course being Marcelo Bielsa. It's that case of success having many fathers type-thing where failures are kicked to the curb and it's one person's fault.

PROGRESS: Under Andrea Radrizzani, right, as a whole at Leeds United, despite the club's relegation, the Italian pictured speaking to Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola before the Premier League clash against Manchester City last December. Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images.PROGRESS: Under Andrea Radrizzani, right, as a whole at Leeds United, despite the club's relegation, the Italian pictured speaking to Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola before the Premier League clash against Manchester City last December. Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images.
PROGRESS: Under Andrea Radrizzani, right, as a whole at Leeds United, despite the club's relegation, the Italian pictured speaking to Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola before the Premier League clash against Manchester City last December. Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images.

But Andrea can say that he was the man that finally got Leeds back into the Premier League, even though obviously it finished with them dropping out of it. But what he did with regards to the finances, the ground and the training ground shouldn't be underestimated and even though we are looking at a club that is now worth less because of its stature jumping into the championship, I still think there's a lot of stuff that he's done that has been extremely positive. I think he has got a lot of stuff to be very, very proud of.

Andrea came in and took over from Massimo Cellino under whom there was never a dull moment. But Andrea brought some much needed stability with good young players coming through and good recruitment at key times, even though that's obviously been laid pretty bare with regards to how last seasons went But without sounding ignorantly positive, climbing back into the Premier League shows them that they can do it.

It's not 16 years since it happened, it's a couple of years since it happened. That's a positive that you have to take although Leeds have got to hit the ground running in the Championship because we all know it's a long slog.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Leeds were in the Championship when Andrea took over in 2017 and obviously that is where they now find themselves again but there are parachute payments now. Obviously the playing staff needs to be looked at but I'd like to think that it's one missed step backwards for a couple moving forwards with sound financial footing and sound leadership.

The bit of glitz that comes with an institution such as the 49ers is one that's peaking everyone's interest. After that, all the peripheral stuff about it pales into the background because then it's a case of 'what are young going to do? Where are you going to spend your money? Is there going to be investment? That's the next port of call so hopefully that comes.

Leeds have been once bitten, twice shy with regards to a cavalier approach to finances but this mob from the outset don't sound like that.

For the 49ers, it's a case of getting people in charge first, getting people in positions of knowing who is doing what and who is leading the team. The intray or inbox of the people who will now own the club is big with key decisions to be made. It's not little things, it's huge positions that need to be filled and that need to be done sooner rather than later.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

They need to have a good long pre-season to equip themselves for the Championship because the last time this club was in the Championship, the team was one of the fittest ones there. I think that's different now because of a different style of management but they also need to have people in that can get the best out of people that they paid a lot of money for.

For the ones that don't want to be there, see you later, bye, thanks for coming. Let's get you out. Let's get people in here that want to dig in and work their way through the Championship. It's not complicated and you either want to stay or you want to go.

It's a funny one really because you look at these players that deem themselves too good to be in the Championship yet they stunk up the Premier League. I've always wondered that. I have never been in that position as a player and anyone who saw me for ten minutes would have known that with bells on - that you can't just pick and choose where you go.

I always found that tremendously disrespectful because they got a platform in the Premier League, the glitziest, the richest, the most covered division on the planet. And to all intents and purposes, most of them didn't perform so whether that's reflective of them as individuals or how they fit in collectively is a different debate.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

But I also understand being a footballer and I understand how cutthroat it is if you can move on. If you can swing through the jungle and grab hold of that next vine that keeps you in the top tier then the cynic in me says do it because football clubs will drop you. They'll get rid of you as soon as they are done with you.

That's the other side of it. They've got to look after themselves. They are short careers and it just reflects the transient nature of what a football playing staff can look like. I'm not saying you just go willy-nilly and just get rid of people and lose money, absolutely not. You have got to have sound finances behind that but this team cannot afford to carry passengers.

It goes back to everyone coming to Elland Road saying 'there are 40,000 people here for a second tier football match, this is our cup final and we are going to make it hard for them.' It's not quite starting from square one for Leeds but they have got to start in a way that gets the ones that are sat on the fence and angry with them back on board as soon as possible.