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Leeds United CEO Angus Kinnear says he would have taken more pragmatic approach to secure their Premier League status

Leeds United got relegated last term after three years in the Premier League, and the club CEO Angus Kinnear believes they could have remained up if former owner Andrea Radrizzani had left earlier.

The Italian businessman sold the remainder of his shares to 49ers Enterprises after the Elland Road club dropped down to the Championship and has moved on and become the owner of Serie B club UC Sampdoria.

Radrizzani wanted Leeds challenging for Europe in a couple of years following their promotion in 2020, and Kinnear believes that was one of the reasons that eventually resulted in their relegation.

“We would be in a different world if we had the 49ers funding and full ownership earlier,” the Whites chief told the Square Ball podcast.

“Andrea sold reluctantly. He loved his association with Leeds United. Maybe if he would have sold when we stayed up on the last day at Brentford (in the 2021-22 season), his legacy would have been kept intact. It certainly would have been a better financial decision for him to do it then.

“There was a desire from all of the board, but particularly Andrea, to put Leeds on a very steep trajectory to European football. To do that on the budgets we had, we had to take bigger risks on the players we recruited.

“If I could have the time again, I’d have taken a more pragmatic approach that secured Premier League status over a longer period.”

The West Yorkshire club went on a signing spree during the transfer markets while they were in the Premier League, but most of the players they recruited did not live up to expectations.

The majority of them left earlier this summer following their relegation, and Kinnear knows things should have been done better.

Leeds relieved director of football Victor Orta of his duties in May before appointing their third manager in 2022-23 following the dismissals of Jesse Marsch and Javi Gracia.

The Spaniard oversaw the spending of around £350 million during his time at the club, and only a few of them were up to the standard required in the Premier League.

Leeds finished ninth in their first season back in the English top-flight under Marcelo Bielsa but managed to escape relegation on the last day of 2021-22 by the skin of their teeth, finishing in 17th place and three points above the drop zone.

Sam Allardyce was brought in with four games remaining last term, with the club in 17th place and outside of the relegation zone on goal difference, but they lost thrice and drew once, eventually finishing 19th and five points adrift of safety.

Leeds have started life in the Championship with one win, three draws and one defeat under Daniel Farke and will need to improve significantly if they want to return to the big time at the first time of asking.

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