Departing Leeds owner Andrea Radrizzani has accepted the blame for them getting relegated from the Premier League but believes he’s leaving them in good hands.
His six-year spell at Leeds United saw the club get promoted back to the top-flight before being relegated to the Championship at the end of the 2022/23 season.
It has not been confirmed that he has sold his majority share in the Yorkshire outfit to 49ers Enterprises, who are being tasked with providing the infrastructure to take Leeds back to the Premier League pretty soon.
“It was a very sweet time in my life but unfortunately it didn’t end in the way I wished,” Radrizzani told Sky Sports News. “But I take with me a lot of nice memories and good friendship… it was a unique experience.
“The criticism over the club’s relegation is justified because I failed, so I’m happy to take this blame.”
Owners of the San Francisco 49ers, 49ers Enterprises already held a 44% stake in Leeds but has now completed a takeover.
Radrizzani believes the new owners are more than capable of delivering another successful stint for the club.
“I want them (supporters) to know that the club is in good hands,” he added. “I’m sure if they don’t bounce back immediately under the 49ers, I’m sure they will come back to the Premier League.”
Radrizzani refused to rule out one day buying another English club as he revealed the errors he feels he made in the timings of sacking former managers Marcelo Bielsa and Jesse Marsch.
Marcelo Bielsa was appointed by Radrizzani (left) and took Leeds back to the Premier League (Mike Egerton/PA)
“He (Bielsa) actually said, ‘you should change me or you should change all the players because we can’t do better than that unless we make changes’,” Radrizzani continued. “I wasn’t brave enough to make such a decision after finishing ninth in the league.
“Jesse did a great job in that time but over a longer period I was expecting to see the coach come out and to show a similar playing style to Marcelo – personally, I wanted to make a change before the World Cup, then I was persuaded to hold on.
“I think it was a huge mistake as we had the slot of six weeks to make changes. Other teams successfully used this period but we ended up making the change in February, with very few options.”
Leeds would ultimately be relegated after Sam Allardyce replaced Javi Gracia for the final four games.