The Andrea Radrizzani point to remember, Leeds United fear and 'medicine' must: David Prutton

It's been quite the turnaround at Leeds United in the last two years, writes DAVID PRUTTON.
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It seems like choppy waters had been navigated with everyone on the same page and pulling in the same direction. But what's happening now is really tough for everyone to take.

The fans were obviously angry on the last day of the season last weekend but that anger was just spitting and pouring out from everywhere, telling the players where to go and all that type of stuff. To say that it has gone remarkably toxic is an understatement I think.

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There were tears when Leeds were relegated from the Premier League 19 years ago in 2004. There was recrimination and there was a lot of sorrow. But this one feels a lot a lot more angry which maybe reflects on the wonderful achievement of Leeds getting back to the Premier League under Marcelo Bielsa which we all applauded but also what Marcelo did.

ANGER: As Leeds United are relegated, Brenden Aaronson and Robin Koch showing their pain. Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images.ANGER: As Leeds United are relegated, Brenden Aaronson and Robin Koch showing their pain. Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images.
ANGER: As Leeds United are relegated, Brenden Aaronson and Robin Koch showing their pain. Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images.

The club had plumbed the depths and needed bringing together but Marcelo and Leeds proved the perfect fit. Maybe this is why this feels all the sharper and more raw because Leeds have had a season and a third now of rubbish really and relegation has been on the cards.

You can't flirt with disaster too many times. It's only been a couple of times on the bounce for Leeds but the second time has seen them off and I can totally understand where the club's fans are coming from with a sense of despair with it all really.

It took such a long time for them to get back into the Premier League and there's probably a fear from some fans that it will be another decade and a half before they get anywhere near it again which I sincerely hope it isn't. But it's just more reaffirmation of how brutal this stage of football is.

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Leeds were adhered when they went up and there was then chat about where they might end up and what the future may hold. But it was always going to be a case of hanging in for dear life until more investment came in where you can transform your football club.

Then you then hear about an owner reportedly offering to use a football club's ground as collateral and I can absolutely see why fans would be fuming about that. But the flip side of it is that Andrea Radrizzani is a businessman.

I think that the greatest compliment that you can pay a football owner is if they are invested both financially and emotionally. But out of the two of them I would take financially over emotionally absolutely every day of the week because that means that they're going to actually put money into the football club.

Andrea will go on to own other places and buy and sell things because he is a businessman whether it's telecommunications, whether it's in the media, whether it's football club. But Leeds fans will look at it from a completely emotional point of view completely and that's absolutely right because Elland Road is their home. It's not an asset. The word asset is alien to a football fan. That ground is their home so you can't see it as an asset.

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But in the bleak daylight they don't own it. They own it emotionally and they've got the title deeds on emotion for that until such time as Leeds don't play there whether that ever comes to fruition or whether they are there forever

That's absolutely how emotional investment works from a football club. But Andrea is a businessman although I absolutely understand the ire that has been pointed his way, the disappointment, the dissatisfaction, the disgust and the anger which is the bottom kind of emotion.

It's also about the timing of him buying Sampdoria and not being there when the club was on its knees. If we are using an analogy then Leeds going down wasn't even a countdown from a referee. It was just punch, punch, punch, punch, down on the floor and everyone was walking out of the stadium and he wasn't there for that.

It's a hard one to put yourself in that position because if he was standing in the stands there would have been 38,000 people shouting at him. But sometimes you have got to take your medicine and if you are going to be there front and centre celebrating when things are brilliant then I'm sorry but on the flip side you have just got to sit there and take it sometimes when people are pointing the finger saying this has been rubbish and lot of it is your fault but it's the players as well.

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That's just the way it goes. I'm not saying that gets him out of a hole with Leeds fans and I'm not saying for one second that would change fans' opinion on anything going forward. But I just think there'll be a certain kind of demographic of Leeds fans that would begrudgingly go 'you know what, he has turned up here, fair enough'.

They would have still told him where to go but it's about being visible at the right times. It's easy when things are going great and everyone's blowing smoke up your backside because you've pulled Marcelo Bielsa out of a hat and he's transformed a football club. But there is a flip side of it when things are going badly.

I am not saying for one second that a charm offensive from the ownership would change anything but it means that they can keep their heads held high and say 'look, we understand, we were there when the flares and fireworks were going off when we went up in lockdown, we're also here when the stadium is full and we've let the supporters down collectively, from the top to the bottom.' That's what I think fans begrudgingly respect.

I don't know enough about the potential kind of leverage of Elland Road as an asset. I don't know enough about how business of that magnitude really does roll out and what it entails. But the message to Leeds fans would be do not forget that this man is a businessman and I think to all intents and purposes from the little I know quite a successful businessman as well. There's an emotional head and a business head and the two sometimes don't meet, especially when a club ends up getting relegated.