Football

Leeds United proud to have changed image, says owner Radrizzani

Leeds United owner Andrea Radrizzani said he is proud to have helped the club rebuild its reputation from their "Dirty Leeds" days to becoming a favoured team of many young fans in Britain.

The club enjoyed great success under manager Don Revie in the 1960s and 1970s, but were often criticised for their physical approach on the pitch, with Brian Clough describing them as “the dirtiest, most cynical team in the league”.

Under current coach Marcelo Bielsa, however, the club have won plaudits for their high-octane pressing game and secured a return to the English Premier League in July for the first time since 2004.

“Recently I’ve seen on social media... about how Leeds became a second team for many youngsters in the country,” Radrizzani told beIN Sports in an interview.

“Normally, you choose the team with the best football and the best style of the team, so I’m very proud of that.

“We’re on the right way. I dream to take Leeds to Europe in time. One step at a time.”

Leeds are 12th in the standings on their return to the top flight, picking up 10 points from seven matches.

They lost 4-1 to Leicester City on Tuesday morning (Nov 3, Singapore time), but had beaten Aston Villa (3-0), Sheffield United (1-0) and Fulham (4-3), and also held Pep Guardiola's Manchester City to a 1-1 draw.

Radrizzani has made no secret of his ambitions to make the club capable of challenging for the European qualification spots, but said establishing themselves in the EPL remains the top priority for the next two seasons.

“This brand is well-known everywhere so if we stay in the Premier League with the opportunity that this club can build... really, we can aim to stay just next to the top six,” said Radrizzani.

“We have potential to grow over the next three to five years, and Bielsa has put in the foundations for even the future without him.” – REUTERS

Football