As supporters welcome Andrea Radrizzani’s pledge to plough the £15m fee banked for Chris Wood into strengthening the Leeds United squad, the manager of tonight’s opponents has equal cause to thank the Italian for his generosity.
Newport County, despite being handed a home tie in the rather chaotic Carabao Cup second- round draw, must travel to Elland Road due to their own home being out of use following the relaying of the pitch.
Leeds, following the enforced switch, could have lowered Newport’s share of the gate from the usual 45 per cent, but Radrizzani has insisted the Welsh club get their due.
“It is a brilliant gesture and just goes to show what class even the big clubs possess,” said manager Michael Flynn to The Yorkshire Post. “For us, this can make a big difference – paying either the year’s salary of a player or two jobs in the club’s office. It’s a massive deal for us and I would like to thank the Leeds chairman personally.”
Flynn’s gratitude, of course, will not extend further than that with Newport, following their last-gasp survival on the final day of last season in League Two, having started well this time around.
“Going to Leeds is a bit of a free shot for us,” said Flynn, who took temporary charge in March when the Welsh club were 11 points adrift of safety.
It is a brilliant gesture and just goes to show what class even the big clubs possess.Michael Flynn
“I scored on my last visit to Elland Road (when Bradford lost 3-2 in the League Cup), but know it is a tough place to go.”
Tonight’s winners will go into the third-round draw due to take place on Thursday at 4.15am UK time in Beijing as the League looks to tap into the Far East market. Flynn, whose son Samuel was born last Thursday, quipped: “If we do get through, I won’t be watching – unless it’s feeding time of course.”
United are looking to bring in two strikers following the completion of Wood’s move to Burnley. Radrizzani said: “Monies generated from the sale of Chris Wood will be reinvested into adding to the 12 signings we have made already.”
Last six games: Leeds United DWWDDW Newport County LWDWDW.
Referee: R Joyce (Cleveland).
Last time: Leeds United 1 Newport County 3; January 8, 1949; FA Cup.