Wolves chairman Jeff Shi hits back at 'laughable' criticism from Leeds United owner Andrea Radrizzani

Andrea Radrizzani hit out at Wolves following Leeds United's 3-0 defeat last Wednesday.
Andrea Radrizzani hit out at Wolves following Leeds United's 3-0 defeat last Wednesday.
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Wolverhampton Wanderers chairman Jeff Shi has described the criticism of the club’s relationship with Jorge Mendes as “laughable” and claimed pressure at Leeds United was behind Andrea Radrizzani’s outburst last week.

In an interview with the Express and Star, Shi said Radrizzani’s Twitter attack on Wolves had come as a shock, saying both he and Mendes had met Radrizzani for “several lunches” in the past.

United’s owner published a series of tweets at the end of Leeds’ 3-0 defeat to Wolves at Elland Road on Wednesday night, claiming the Molineux club’s link-up with Mendes was “not legal or fair”.

Mendes, one of Europe’s most powerful agents, has several clients on the books at Wolves, including manager Nuno, and the club’s Chinese owner, Fosun International, owns a stake in his agency Gestifute.

The influx of players during Fosun’s time in charge has driven Wolves to the top of the Championship but a number of rival clubs, including Leeds, Derby County and Aston Villa, have voiced concerns to the EFL about the way in which the transfers and players’ wages are being financed.

The EFL, which cleared Fosun’s 100 per cent takeover in 2016, said on Thursday that it planned to meet with officials from Wolves to re-examine the arrangement with Mendes but Wolves continue to maintain that they are compliant with rules on Financial Fair Play (FFP) and football governance.

Leeds, meanwhile, are headed for a mid-table finish, 11 points off the play-offs after a 2-2 draw at Reading on Saturday. Despite admitting that United “have our own problems”, Radrizzani came in for criticism after his tweets with his first term as outright owner grinding to a halt.

Speaking to the Express and Star, Shi said: “I was very surprised to see some Twitter of the chairman of Leeds because I knew him, I also had several lunches with him, together with Jorge. So it’s very strange.

“In person I talk to him and he’s nice so I guess maybe he has the pressure and I understand that. I’m the chairman of a club so I can understand the pressure. We’re the guys facing pressure from fans and the league and I can understand releasing pressure on Twitter.

“On the other hand I think frankly it’s laughable because they know nothing about us. I know everything about us and our club and what we’re doing. I know everything about the rules of the league and the FA and the EFL knows our dealings - every transfer document, agent fees, all information is recorded in their library.

“Our opponents don’t know much about us and it’s not a fair dispute. It’s easy for us to answer all the questions.”