Andrea Radrizzani’s time at Leeds United couldn’t have gone much better. Getting the club back to the Premier League after such a long wait has seen him find a place in the hearts of the club’s fans, and there’s hope the future could bring more growth.
Sixth in the league after six matches, there’s certainly been no struggle for Marcelo Bielsa’s side yet, and big investment during the last transfer window showed Radrizzani means business and isn’t simply happy to take the Premier League money and flirt with relegation.
The Italian has big plans generally, relating to Leeds United, investing in other football clubs, and growing his Eleven Sports business.
IlSole24ore have been speaking to him, and one of the questions saw Radrizzani talk about how he sees the TV monetisation of football continuing: “We are in a phase of apparent contradictions. Traditional platforms and pay-TV have halted their growth in terms of subscribers and on the other hand on new channels such as live score channels there are millions of contacts.
“The problem is obviously that of creating a new, more “democratic” market in which there’s hunger for football and live events, which can no longer concentrate on 20-25% of the population as in Europe and North America, can be satisfied at affordable prices and especially with simple and non-binding access methods. I think of the possibility of buying the game you want to see at that moment through a telephone operator or on social networks for 2-3 dollars.”
That’s much cheaper than the current Premier League PPV offering, which stands at around £15 a match and has attracted widespread criticism from supporters.
The Leeds United owner has himself been the subject of criticism recently, with his Serie C TV launch being beset by technical problems in the first few weeks. Radrizzani seems to be blaming outside interference for this: “Unfortunately in recent weeks Eleven Sports Italy has been hit by countless cyber attacks, creating a disservice for which we apologise very much to the fans.
“We have involved the IT police who have verified the seriousness of the facts and are working to find the perpetrators, in the meantime we will work with Lega Pro to ensure that fans can access the matches always and in any case even if using other distribution platforms.”
On his plans for the future, the businessman said: “Before the Leeds opportunity presented itself, I was thinking of investing in an academy or club that was solely for the purpose of trading football talent. Then I felt the need for a more lasting investment that would leave a legacy. Now I have in mind a group that has at least 2-3 clubs in Europe to develop synergies on a technical and commercial level.”