LONDON (Reuters) - Leeds United owner Massimo Cellino has sold half of the second-tier English club’s share capital to fellow Italian Andrea Radrizzani.
The Championship side announced the news on their website (www.leedsunited.com) on Wednesday with the shares acquired by Greenfield Investment Pte Ltd, an acquisition vehicle for Radrizzani’s Aser Group Holding.
Aser Group includes the MP&Silva international television and sports media rights agency as well as the global Eleven Sports Network.
MP&Silva 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. “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 northern club in September last year when it bought the remaining 18 percent stake from a Dubai-based subsidiary of Islamic investment bank GFH Financial Group.
Leeds are currently fifth in the Championship, nine points behind leaders Brighton.
Reporting by Alan Baldwin; Editing by Clare Fallon