Leeds United owner Andrea Radrizzani slammed Marcelo Bielsa for his Spygate press conference, in a rare interview given to Amazon Prime Video as part of the ‘Take Us Home’ documentary series.
Radrizzani is not a man of many words in public, usually, but spoke to Amazon Prime Video as part of the documentary series to share his frustrations with how open Bielsa was in discussing the incident that led to United being slapped with a £200,000 fine.
The fine came about even though Leeds did not break any specific EFL rule, but were punished after several Championship sides wrote to the governing body of England’s second-tier demanding that something was done after Bielsa sent one of his backroom staff to observe a Derby County training session from a nearby road.
Bielsa later held an extensive press conference detailing why he chose to send a member of his team to scout on Frank Lampard’s side ahead of the Rams’ trip to Elland Road, while adding that he had done the same with every Championship side he had faced to that point.
For Radrizzani, however, Bielsa using the opportunity to showcase the extensiveness of his research and analysis would have been far better being avoided, and should have gone about things behind closed doors with the EFL.
“We should not be in this position,” our owner stated. “We could easily not be in this position because the press conference of Marcelo was unnecessary.
“So, he could have done this to explain to the EFL representatives or the FA representative. But I think it was pointless to do it publicly, in my opinion.
“[It was] unnecessary. I mean, he could have explained the same content to the federation and league – why to the public?”
Managing Director Angus Kinnear went on to add that Leeds did not deserve the punishment issued by the EFL, claiming: “On the basis that we didn’t break any specific rule, I think the fine was severe.
“When you look at when other clubs have been fined, either for financial irregularity or how their fans have behaved or how their players have behaved, it was harsh.”
Radrizzani’s rare comments, though, suggest the relationship the board share with Bielsa could be at risk of fracturing should the boss repeat anything near to the scenes of early-2019.
Our owner would clearly prefer Bielsa to be more cautious with how he deals with things, while the boss has always shown himself to be an open book – just look at how he has the confidence to go out and issue our teamsheets days before games.
We were fortunate they were able to reach an agreement at the start of the summer that saw the Argentine continue his tenure into a second season in the Championship, having been forced to deal with speculation he could walk away if he failed to secure top-flight football. Hopefully nothing arises this term that could prevent a third together.