Leeds United owner ready to copy rival’s transfer strategy


    Chairman Andrea Radrizzani has said he would be open to using a similar recruitment method to Wolves if it is deemed legal to do so.

    Radrizzani, 43, has written to the EFL, Premier League and Football Association, following a series of tweets posted in the aftermath of Leeds’ 0-3 home defeat to Wolves last Wednesday, questioning the legitimacy of the link between Wolves’ owners and agent Jorge Mendes.

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    The Leeds chairman told BBC Sport on Monday that he has written to the governing bodies so he can “understand the rules so I can act like them.”

    Picture showing Andrea Radrizzani's twitter feed
    Radrizzani’s tweets following Leeds’ defeat to Wolves on Wednesday night

    Fosun, a subsidiary of Wolves’ owners, has a share in Jorge Mendes’ agency where a number of its clients are currently playing at the club, including record signing Ruben Neves and Atletico Madrid loanee, Diogo Jota.

    Radrizzani’s counterpart, Wolves chairman Jeff Shi has called his comments laughable and are down to the Italian “feeling the pressure” after a disappointing first season at Elland Road. Shi also added that he was “surprised” by the comments, claiming to have had many lunches with both him and Mendes.

    Radrizzani clarified that he does know many agents and if he can take advantage of their help within the rules and if it is possible to use the “leverage” of agents, he would consider it.

    Currently the FA’s rule on shared ownership state – “No club may enter into an agreement which enables any party, other than the club itself, to influence materially the club’s policies or the performance of its teams or players in matches and/or competitions.” Wolves responded to this saying Mendes has only ever helped out on an “advisory basis”.

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    Radrizzani, who was advised to sell his share in an agency by his lawyer back when he was completing his takeover in May 2017, has said that although his tweets looked liked a backlash to the defeat and he was frustrated the point was to get attention from the governing bodies.

    He admitted to the BBC that he feels Leeds did not have the “character or mental strength” to maintain their bright start to the season, however, he does feel this has improved since Paul Heckingbottom replaced Thomas Christiansen in February.

    It is believed several other Championship clubs, including Aston Villa and Derby County, have made complaints to the EFL about the Mendes link with Wolves.

    On the other clubs, Radrizzani said “I hope they have someone acting like this and coming out like me and to share these concerns with the league as it is something we all need to understand in order to move on and respect the rules”.

    Wolves said they would welcome any potential meetings with the EFL to discuss this.