LONDON • Leeds United owner Massimo Cellino has sold half of the English club's share capital to fellow Italian Andrea Radrizzani, vice-chairman of Singapore- and London-based television and sports media rights group MP & Silva.
The second-tier side announced the news on their official website on Wednesday, with the shares acquired by Greenfield Investment, an acquisition vehicle for Radrizzani's Aser Group Holding.
Aser Group includes the global Eleven Sports Network as well as MP & Silva, which set up a strategic partnership with Chinese financial services company Everbright and technology company Baofeng in May last year through an investment from Shanghai Jin Xin.
"I am making a long-term commitment to Leeds United and will work to bring stability through ongoing investment," said Radrizzani, who will consider whether to move for a full takeover in the summer. "I aim to bring sustainable growth. I won't do anything that will put the club's future at risk."
Sky Sports News reported unidentified sources saying that Radrizzani, 42, would have the option to buy all the shares in June.
Cellino, who has a reputation for sacking managers and went through 36 in 22 years at Italian club Cagliari, starts an 18-month ban in February that was imposed by the Football Association as punishment for breaching agent rules.
It will be the 60-year-old's third ban since he took a majority stake in Leeds in April 2014.
His Eleonora Sport acquired full ownership of the Yorkshire club in September last year, when it bought the remaining 18 per cent stake from a Dubai-based subsidiary of Islamic investment bank GFH Financial Group.
Under former Swansea City manager Garry Monk, Leeds are fifth in the Championship, nine points behind leaders Brighton. Monk, appointed last June, is the seventh manager in less than three years of Cellino's stewardship.
Said Radrizzani: "I am very impressed with the job Garry Monk has done this season and I will do all I can to support him and the team moving forward. "
THE GUARDIAN, REUTERS