MOT View: Interesting take as Phil Hay delivers latest on Leeds/QSI links
At the start of the week set for celebrating Leeds’ 100th birthday, Andrea Radrizzani gave an interview to Martyn Ziegler in the Times.
It gathered a lot of headlines after Radrizzani said, “I’m giving you more information than I ever gave to anyone” and proceeded to talk about whittling a group of 20 potential investors down to just three, and naming QSI (Qatari Sports Investment) as frontrunners.
Bizarrely, Radrizzani tried to row back on the story after it was published, with a tweet reply to Ziegler, who stood by his story.
Martyn, the talk was about how Leeds will be again competitive and how we are working hard to be back as a top club again …and eventually when makes sense open to other partners. Thank you
— Andrea Radrizzani (@andrearadri) October 14, 2019
Thanks Andrea – I've made it clear in the article that you will move only when the time is right
— Martyn Ziegler (@martynziegler) October 14, 2019
Raddrizzani doubled down later in the week saying, after Eddie Nketiah gave an interview which focused on him not being happy as sub at Leeds, “It’s time the news should report the correct words and not translate in something else. Twice already these week!”
In a Q&A on new sports site The Athletic, journalist Phil Hay was asked what he made of Radrizzani trying to quash the story.
Hay said that he knows Ziegler and that Radrizzani’s quotes were “there in black and white”.
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He went on to say that, “The indication we’ve had from Leeds is that AR was overplaying the situation in terms of where the bids are at. It doesn’t look like anything is imminent.”
He also said that it wasn’t “a great way to set the centenary week rolling”.
That’s certainly true. But Radrizzani is ever the businessman, as evidenced by the centenary canvas that sported his Eleven Sports logo – something that didn’t go down very well with fans.
No Ellie the Elephant. What’s the point? 🐘 pic.twitter.com/AVvgkV1J5k
— The Square Ball (@TheSquareBall) October 17, 2019
He’s also a successful businessman, so did he mis-speak or did Ziegler frame the story, as Radrizzani claims, around the wrong quotes?
A journalist creates a story from what’s in front of him. Radrizzani said what he said.
It’s tough to imagine that a successful businessman like Radrizzani would over-egg something so important, but it does appear that’s what happened here.
Lost in translation? It’s very possible but it’s not the first time that he’s rowed back from comments he’s made and hopefully the lesson learned from this is to be more careful when talking about something so huge as outside investment that could turn Leeds into a club that could “compete with Manchester City”. His words.
More likely, we think Radrizzani is making the business world very aware that if Leeds get promoted, he will be looking for outside investment. Almost using QSI as the bait to attract even more interest. A ‘We’ve got this on the table, can we do any better?’ thing.
We know that’s his end game and we also appreciate everything he’s done for the club. The two, thankfully, aren’t mutually exclusive.
In other Leeds news, MOT Super Fans: Predicted starting XI for Leeds v Sheffield Wednesday