Andrea Radrizzani hits back at Angus Kinnear over Leeds United contract clauses
Angus Kinnear should have “taken good responsibility” for the exit clauses in Leeds United contracts that caused so much upheaval this summer, according to Andrea Radrizzani.
The former Whites owner responded to a fan on Twitter Friday night (8 September) to claim that he had “never read” the deals because “that’s why management is paid for” as he pointed the finger back at the club’s CEO who remained in place following the 49ers takeover.
A large number of first team players left during the transfer window thanks to the exit clauses following relegation, with a host departing on loan for little or no return, while Luis Sinisterra and Tyler Adams moved to Bournemouth on a loan-to-buy and a permanent deal respectively after threatening legal action over their contracts [The Athletic, 20 August].
Responsibility for the escape routes in the deals, which helped contribute to the Whites’ major transfer loss this year, has been widely seen as former director of football Victor Orta’s, but Radrizzani has suggested Kinnear is just as much to blame.
The Italian did accept the situation was also a fault of his, calling himself “first to be responsible for a failure”.
Kinnear had given a wide-ranging interview to The Square Ball (7 September) addressing various aspects of the drama over the past couple of seasons, and particularly the summer, but his former boss doesn’t believe he took his fair share.
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Radrizzani has a history of getting overexcited on social media so it looks like that hasn’t changed with his switch from Leeds United to Sampdoria.
But there is surely some validity to his point that Kinnear, as CEO under both the increasingly unpopular previous regime and the new one, had a leading role in the chaos that led to relegation, and everything that came with it, as much as he has had in the recovery.
The interview itself was perhaps positive step in terms of communication with the fans after a transfer window that swung from thoroughly depressing to pretty strong by the end, and Kinnear did accept that plenty of mistakes have been made.
But while Orta’s fingerprints are on a lot of the decisions that ultimately didn’t pay off, particular in the past year or so, Kinnear was alongside him throughout that time.
As part of the solution under the 49ers, with Daniel Farke looking like a more sensible appointment than any of Jesse Marsch, Javi Gracia or Sam Allardyce, and with some positive signings made late in the transfer window, Kinnear is likely to get the benefit of the doubt compared to Radrizzani who is now long gone.
And the Italian’s preoccupation with Sampdoria while Leeds United were being relegated and facing an uncertain future, plus his apparent attempt to secure a loan against Elland Road for the purchase of the Serie B side, likely means plenty of fans will dismiss his view either way.
But it is becoming increasingly clear that there was anything but perfect harmony at Elland Road last year, amid a miserable campaign that ultimately saw the club relegated back to the Championship.