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Has Andrea Radrizzani’s Position as Majority Shareholder of Leeds United Become Untenable?

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Leeds United’s supporters have put up with an inordinate amount this season without showing any dissent from the terraces. It has, in fact, been a remarkable display of loyalty from the Elland Road goers and a blueprint on how to support a team when the good times are beginning to feel out of reach. The truth is that this is a fanbase that has been badly let down by the club’s ownership and owing to that, find themselves in a desperate fight to save their Premier League position.

Further evidence of this mismanagement can be found in the relegation market when looking at the latest online football betting for the Premier League given that Leeds are priced at odds of just 8/11 to go down. Indeed, this is a season that has had to be endured rather than enjoyed, which is why the supporters’ patience finally snapped during the Whites’ last home game of the season against Brighton and Hove Albion.

In reality, you can’t blame the Leeds fans for showing their long-overdue disapproval in the way they did as the Seagulls looked set to hold on to a slender 1-0 lead with ten minutes to go. At this stage, there were chants of ‘sack the board’ and ‘Radrizzani, this is on you.’

As the minutes ticked by and full-time approached, the dissent got louder and more heartfelt as the club stared into the abyss with relegation now an unfathomable reality. Crucially, Leeds’ majority shareholder Andrea Radrizzani was in attendance in his chairman’s suite to hear the anger of the supporters. This was the first time that the Italian has ever had to withstand such a vociferous level of criticism from the Whites faithful since taking over in 2017.

It should be pointed out that the ground was on the verge of complete mutiny only for Pascal Struijk to pop up at the far post in the 92nd minute to head home and in doing so, level the scores at 1-1.

The Dutchman’s ability to be in the right place at the right time ensured that the protests were temporarily halted but the question now remains: has Radrizzani’s position become untenable after such an outpouring of resentment towards him?

If anything, it almost doesn’t matter which league Leeds end up in when you consider that the supporters will not tolerate another season like this one again. Essentially, this means that the 47-year-old is left with no other choice but to significantly bolster the Leeds squad in the summer. The problem with putting too much faith in this happening is that spending money on new players, it should be said, is not the Italian’s favorite pastime. This is why Leeds have had to stave off relegation with an ill-equipped team since the 2021 summer. With Radrizzani’s well-documented frugality in mind, the only realistic choice for him is to sell the club or else face ongoing fury from the terraces every week.

On the balance of the situation at Elland Road, you would have to conclude that the Italian’s reluctance to bring in new additions has now brought his tenure as Leeds’ majority owner to a premature end. This is a crowd that has put up with so much during the last nine months and they won’t forget who the chief architect was in making them put up with the disappointment they have had to.