By Associated Press - Wednesday, January 4, 2017

LEEDS, England (AP) - Leeds owner Massimo Cellino sold half of the club to a fellow Italian investor on Wednesday as it chases a return to the Premier League after 13 years.

Andrea Radrizzani, co-founder of sports media rights company MP & Silva, bought the 50 percent stake through Aser Group Holding.

Leeds, the 1992 English champions, reached the semifinals of the 2001 Champions League before a financial meltdown that saw the club fall out of the Premier League in 2004.

The northern English team is fifth in the second-tier League Championship, on course to make the playoffs in its promotion bid.

“I am making a long-term commitment to Leeds United and will work to bring stability through ongoing investment,” Radrizzani said. “I aim to bring sustainable growth. I won’t do anything that will put the club’s future at risk.”

Leeds has been owned for three years by Cellino, who is facing a ban from English soccer for breaking agent regulations.

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