Cellino lurks in the shadows as angry McDermott hits out TSS January 29, 2014 Leeds United 98 Comments A run of five consecutive defeats which included the 6-0 hammering at Hillsborough and a cup exit to lower league opposition came to an end last night as Leeds United scraped a draw against promotion chasing Ipswich Town. But it was small comfort to Whites boss Brian McDermott whose preparations for the match were hampered by a want away striker refusing to play in fear of picking up an injury which would jeopardise his move to Blackburn Rovers. For anyone still holding out hope for an unlikely play-off charge, Leeds’ odds of promotion are now 22/1 on some bookmakers lists. Ipswich meanwhile drifted to 12/1 following a result which Mick McCarthy understood would be frustrating to some fans; “Some people might be frustrated with that result? Some people can **** off” said the always entertaining McCarthy. For Leeds, an underperforming first team is somehow the least of McDermott’s worries as the January transfer window draws to a close with a messy takeover process causing continued uncertainty and blocking the manager from strengthening his squad. All in all, it’s been a bad month for McDermott. It came as no surprise then when Brian McDermott faced the post-match media looking dejected, frustrated and sounding angry about the whole sorry process. This was a takeover he was led to believe would be completed early January, a matter of formality which wouldn’t affect his plans for the transfer window. Instead, the end of January looms and Andrew Flowers – one of the men behind the attempted takeover of the club – is issuing resentful statements to the press, describing a deal which looks to have fallen apart after due diligence led to a revised offer from Sports Capital that GFH refused to accept. All the while, Elland Road is a place of uncertainty and growing tension, a situation not in the least bit conducive to a successful football club. But it seems football is nothing but an afterthought to the powers that be, which makes it easy to understand why McDermott looks like a man on the edge, ready to throw the towel in as the neverending chaos of Leeds United Football Club takes its toll on yet another manager. It’s hard to imagine any manager could succeed under the conditions McDermott is battling through. He’ll rightly feel let down by the broken promise of funds to strengthen his side in January after guiding Leeds to a position where we were only a handful of strong signings away from being genuine promotion contenders. But the uncertainty has eaten away at all McDermott’s hard work and the feel-good factor he created. In its place is a depressed and bewildered looking team, concerned for their own futures and desperately lacking in the confidence and self-belief they were playing with earlier this season. Of course, nothing excuses some of the performances Leeds have put in recently, but while ever the off-field circus act continues to distract from the main event, it’s hard to imagine we’ll be seeing much of an improvement. And if the GFH-Sports Capital drama wasn’t enough, the intentions of convicted Italian fraudster Massimo Cellino should have everyone panicking. Andrew Flowers described Cellino, rather confusingly, as “prospective preferred bidder” in his angry statement to the Yorkshire Evening Post yesterday and Phil Hay reported last night that the Italian’s party had an East Stand box reserved and were expected to be at Elland Road for the game. When Elland Road staff found Cellino’s box empty, rumour spread that he’d returned to Italy where he’s started discussions with personnel to fill the executive and high-level jobs at Elland Road. The stability and professional ownership Leeds United desperately requires won’t come from a Cellino takeover, this is a man whose fraud convictions and pending trial for embezzlement will bring negative attention and bad press to the club. Every business move Leeds United make will be scrutinised to the nth degree as suspicion and distrust plague our club, leading the press on a witch-hunt to catch the Italian with his hands dirty. If Cellino thinks the Italian press are bad, he’s seen nothing yet. Worse still, his interference in first team matters isn’t helpful. In the last two decades, Cellino has hired and fired 36 managers in Italy making the Cagliari manager’s position something of a running joke. Cellino is a man to whom Ken Bates’ megalomania pales by comparison and if he does takeover Leeds United, the club will once again be in a position where the antics of our owner constantly distract from on-field matters. Worrying times for The Whites. On and on… Matthew I take the view that managers should never be kept in the dark, especially during the transfer window at a club that clearly needs players. What’s the point of the man looking at players? Or even having targets? Why not just tell the man if he’ll have any players during the window and put his mind at ease. allant Surely this man will not get a Football league fit and proper ticket with his history ? But then again perhaps he can buy one? markman how would Cellino pass the “fit and proper test”? TSS Same way Bates did. markman Bates was years ago> i thought things had been tightened up after the portsmouth carry on. TSS Where there’s a will, there’s a way. You just have someone else acting as director, have some shell company listed in his name. You know, the Bates way… There’s absolutely nothing the FL can really do to stop someone purchasing a business, it falls outside their powers however much they try and claim otherwise. They can theoretically revoke league status (if the members agree – ie. the other teams) but that’d just land them in a lengthy court battle. There’d no doubt be some EU and UK laws they’re breaching by even attempting that. Both the FA and FL have incredibly limited powers however much they try to protest otherwise. David Lockwood Spot on! Chareose How could Ken Bates pass it then? Im sure Harvey wont have any issues with Cellino…… TSS made a good point about media attention and the trust of our ownership. Like with bates we may struggle to get further investment in with Cellino and also find it hard to do business with other clubs………. My own concerns were originally to do with loss of identity and empathy with a club that could become completely Italian overnight….. I want to see leeds youth players getting their chance and I want to see players signed who SUIT our club. Other fans have argued that there is nothing wrong with a Man City all foreigner format (look at the success and style) but this wont be Man City. Cellino is not that wealthy and maybe even less wealthy once he caught cases are finished. Irving08 Here, here on youth ! Though Brownie flew the flag pretty well last night for us ‘oldies. maxwatson > How could Ken Bates pass it then? The FL FAPP is quite clear: to fail it you need an unspent* conviction for fraudulent dealings or have taken a club into administration twice. Implicitly if you have, say, a murder conviction, it doesn’t count as long as you didn’t defraud your victim first. Bates didn’t fit either of those categories, nor do most other shady characters you might think fall foul. Cellino apparently failed FAPP when the current WHU owners (Sullivan spent time in jail for “living off immoral earnings”) are on the second club. Cellino does have convictions related to fraud and embezzlement, hence his problem. It has been the case that (in the very rare cases where FAPP has been enforced) sitting directors have been able to just name their sons in their place, but if this mechanism was used in a takeover, I think it would be a first. * unspent = still on your record. FAPP applies to directorships and also to share interests > 30%. It was applied to Leeds, not only for Bates but for his secret backers, but it was argued that under the Data Protection Act the FL could not release the names of said backers, ironic considering Bates subsequent treatment of Gary Cooper and the other LUST people. TAM Varney is a disgrace, get shut. bitesyerlegs Feel sorry for McD. How a management buy out can uncover deal breakers in due diligence when it was they who were managing the club in the first place is a mystery to me. Haigh is buying it off the company he is director of and uncovering stuff of which he was unaware. Seriously? Not much of a Managing Director, eh? Cellino can take over if he wants because he’ll buy the club through his son. That would be a disaster. I am hoping the Farnan consortium cough up the readies. Cellino will make Cardiff and Hull look well run. God help us all. MOT JD606 Good riddance Luke Varney! Only positive thing to happen in the last fortnight JDC Hopefully never to be seen in a Leeds shirt again Sprake Worrying times once again at the Club. Still hope Sport Capital will find a way to buy from GFH. Best would be if Pearson and Farnan would be included in the Sport Capital group and they would buy GFH 100% out of the Club. Tim Has Cellino actually been found guilty of any crimes? We don’t know yet if and where he fits into all of this. Who arranged the box in the East Stand for him if at all? All smoke, mirrors and presumptions to me. Anyway, does all of this prevent McD actually picking the right team to play last night yet again. He then states Kebbe is a confidence player and the crowd got at him. Why bring that sort of player to Leeds when he should know by now how demanding it is. Just get on with picking a winning team for the Hudders game Brian please. TSS Yes. He’s been convicted twice and has an embezzlement trial coming up. Tim So why has Haigh and Flowers been talking to him as reported. Does anyone actually take any notice of Italian politics and court stuff. GFH will have to sell to someone as the club is losing money, being financed from outside GFH and otherwise they will lose everything in yet another Administration. Does this sound like poor old Pompey to anyone. PAUL W You have to feel sorry for McDermott, but he looks like a beaten man already and he is starting to sound a lot like a frustrated Warnock, from last season. The quality of the Leeds squad is exceptionally poor, but I think that McDermott and his low in confidence players are starting to use the takeover as an excuse for the terrible non-productive performances on the pitch. McDermott has a huge squad of 30 players to choose from and surely he could find someone better to play in the team than the unfit Diouf and Kebe. Matthew What would be the point of having Kebe and not playing him? He may as well just send him back to Palace and make do with what we have. It’s not much but lol you know he’s only playing because McDermott had him at Reading too. Who knows why the man isn’t performing. TSS It’s a classic catch 22 situation, isn’t it? Kebe lacks the match fitness he’ll only get from playing matches, which we don’t want to do because he lacks the match fitness necessary to perform well. Damned if you do… Counte Of Monte Fisto I don’t think anyone should underestimate how hard it must be to come into a club in utter turmoil, barely fit with crap team mates & find yourself stuffed 6-0 in your first game. A foreigner living in a hotel wondering wtf you have let yourself in for. Not making excuses as Kebe looks poor but it hasn’t been an easy introduction & ER isn’t a place for the faint hearted as he seems to be. Irving08 Kebe is not living in a hotel. He fixed himself up with an apartment 2 days before he signed. Counte Of Monte Fisto Same thing really mate you miss the point which is its not the easiest of environments to drop into right now, especially if you aren’t fully fit. Don’t get me wrong I thing his performances so far have been poor but its hardly like joining Leicester or QPR is it? Irving08 Kebe’s problem seems to be more than a lack of match fitness. Last night he seemed to lack the elusive quality we call ‘heart’. I have my doubts about Stewart on that score too – it may be just that they both look physically fragile (Stewart shamefully took his foot away from one 50/50 tackle in the second half). But back to Kebe, do we really want to be told by the Manager that one of our players ‘needs to be loved’ (post-match interview) ? No-one needs barracking, of course, but as the lady sang ‘what’s love…..’ ?. Maybe we were wanting him to do well too much ? Tim Absolutely correct!! Adam Pope last night asked him if he would walk away and he said no. Reading between the lines of his comments above I just wonder if he is being forced out but by whom? so his contract does not have to be paid up but I suppose in that case he would have an unfair dismissal claim – depends on the contract terms. Why on earth though would he play Diouf – surely Hunt would have been the better option and scored three during the week. Was he forced into playing him as a shop window? Earlier this week Brian said Diouf was free to leave. What on earth can be going on in the background as managers usually steer well clear of boardroom politics and get on with football. South Stand Casual He wont have a claim for unfair dismissal as he has not been at Leeds for two years to qualify. This needs to be sorted out now, BMCD is the best manager we have had since Sgt Wilco, we dont want or need an Italian at Leeds, unless its a centre forward to play up front with Ross Tim 3 points out of 21 and a lose to Rochdale doesn’t feel like the best manager since Wilkinson to me! Between the Lines You sound like a Cellino man to me. Seven months gone already, time to change the manager. Tim No not at all. The fans, manager or blog sites can’t influence who buys and sells the club. What I want Brian to do is just concentrate on putting this bad run behind us starting on Saturday and getting us into a play off position by the time we meet Bolton on March 8th at home. In my opinion we have badly missed Smith and so has McCormack, but please Brian pick a team of fit men who can make a contribution to this challenge. It is still all to play for. JDC Against Leicester Tim, Brian McDermott did just as you asked, he picked a team he believed capable of getting a result. Was it his fault that McCormack hit the post and failed to beat the keeper in a 1-on-1 situation, Jason Pearce missed a simple header or Tom Lees made a mess of a tackle because he’s a professional footballer who can’t use both feet? Of course not, that was down to the players on the park … however, to some, that will also be down to BMcD as he picked the team. As far as picking a team of “fit men” is concerned, he brought in two wide men … something everyone had been asking for, and picked them, the only way to get “match fitness” and even then there are complaints. Jimmy Kebe at Reading was nothing short of brilliant … he’s still the same player, and Brian’s correct, he needs our support and encouragement … and incidentally, Kebe spent a lot of his time in that game helping Sam Byram defend against Dyer but I don’t hear him getting any credit for that.. Counte Of Monte Fisto I like BMcD and hope he suceeds in the end but best manager since Wilko is nuts. DO’L took us to 2 european semi finals and top of the league. Simon Grayson got us promoted, so far BMcD has been average & only looks good because of what he followed. To be clear I want him to be given a chance but I am not sure he will ever be as successful as either of those 2. JDC If he were to be sacked, he wouldn’t need “unfair dismissal”, a better claim would be a breach of contract. However South Stand, I agree, BMcD is the best signing Leeds United have made in many years. Irving08 Those are my sentiments. I was actually a bit disappointed in several of Brian’s post-match comments. He seemed to be subtly shifting the goalposts by saying he was brought in ‘to stabilise the situation’. What situation ? – the takeover had been completed and, while Warnock had left us needing few points to be absolutely certain of not falling into the relegation zone, this hardly constituted ‘instability’. In addition, protracted takeovers are hardly a new thing in football and, as in any other industry, are something that Managers and employees alike have to live with. Of course. Brian, being a decent chap, merits some sympathy, but among Bobby Davidson’s pithy and pointed post-match comments on Radio Leeds was this one:’.. Reading is a nice football club, but it takes a big kind of man to manage a club like Leeds United’. Personally, I want Brian to be that kind of man (for reasons Old Schoolboy gave on this site), but he might want to take his cue from the under appreciated (by me amongst others) Simon Grayson who, to his great credit, never once complained about what was ‘going on upstairs’. JDC And never said anything against what was going on upstairs either, despite being treated badly Chareose I think you guys are over analysing….all I see is a guy whos incredibly frustrated and hes venting. You can see its natural and probably justified. Irving08 Chareose – do you listen to Radio Leeds’ full timers ? They are over-anxious, spread panic and are hellish gloomy for most of the time. They behave like fans ! Tony For Christ Sake! When is Leeds Utd going to be run like any normal club. I’m sick to the back teeth of all the promised bull…t. Who could blame BMcD, a man of integrity, walking away from all this mess. I’ve always tried not to be a moan about LUFC but, come on, enough is enough. We as fans deserve better treatment. How disrespectful is it to all that their is no offical comment from the club. Matthew Takeovers are a yearly event for us. I’m sure by December 2014, just before the window opens a new TOMA will happen. baztomo you got this one right. Between the Lines What really worries me with Cellino. He appear to be person who selects the players he wants to play for a club, then he picks a manager and expects the manager to make a team out of them. You argue there are a few that may be able to do that but even those managers would find it easier if they are bringing in the players in. It’s a shame Dream Team is not still running, you couldn’t dream up scripts like this. Long may Brian McD be manager of Leeds, Given time and a little help from his superiors, I share his belief he can lead is forward. A few choruses of ‘There’s only one Brian McDermott’, ‘All we are saying, is give Mac a chance’ and ‘If he goes, we go too’. The Manager and the players need our support more than ever. Sprake That´s the spirit. JDC Bang on the button Between the Lines. I don’t believe in boycotts and threats but if Brian McDermott is sacked, I may just have to question my commitment to Leeds United. baztomo spot on with this one ,brian long term.happy. Between the Lines Brian keeps talking about everyone pulling in the same direction, shame the people at top don’t do that. They’re all behaving like spoilt children. Markus Bayliss If I was McD, I would call it a day. He does not deserve this. No manager does. LUFC is a lost cause, so sad. baztomo negative. Flippin-Pop-It-Bruva I’m going to try and see this debacle from a few different angles…….. From Brians point of view, he has been lied to regarding transfers in [despite the board previously saying they would back the manager] He has a player refusing to play [Varney] and other players who don’t seem to give a shit [Diouf mainly springs to mind who Brian has publicly backed despite his complete lack of effort this season] His transfer policy like many other managers was to play with players he has worked with previously, however not one of those signings has repaid his faith in them. He has a board who although agreed a sale with one party is now looking to flip the business to a dodgy italian who already is lining up managers to replace him [ex milan coach] even though the he is not the owner. No wonder Brian is having the worst week in his management career. From the fans point of view we all wanted to believe that Brians cultivation of good spirit and togetherness would propel us into the premier league, however that honeymoon period was well and truly burst just before xmas. As fans we believed that the last 7 years of Bates control was a thing of the past and now we realise that most football owners are a bit like Bates [like flies to turd] What started out as good communication from the board has quickly tuned into political spin and PR stunts and the board forget that Yorkshiremen are sceptical creatures even at the best of times. From David’s POV he claims to be a Leeds fan [which im always dubious about when declared by owners] and he has managed to mess up a deal between essentially himself, probably because his employers want more money from the sale of the business, which the Italian is offering. All the other parties are trying to destabalise the club to give leaveridge to their rival bid . The truth appears to be that GFH have run out of money to finance this venture and are losing money hand over fist. The added complication is that they accepted a loan from a prospective bidder who now seems to be out of the picture, which makes me wonder how long after the takeover we will be still paying for that debt. David knows we have no assets to sell and is desperately trying to keep his job, however money talks and nobody has as much as the Italian. From an overall point of view we are fucked…………………..again………..lol tony duddy If Cellino thinks the Italian press are bad, he’s seen nothing yet. You know nothing TSS Care to enlighten us? From what I’ve read in the Italian press, they portray him as something of a loveable rogue. He won’t get that treatment here, I guarantee it. PMH What a soap opera! Just a couple of thoughts. One is that when things are really bad, yes, they can actually get worse. A Cellino buy-out is actually much worse than the weak dithering we have right now. If he takes over I am throwing in the towel completely. I’ll stick to rugby. The second is that although I sympathize with BMcD he is a manager and not an owner. I don’t mind him sounding off but his job is to get the team performing. Boardroom shenanigans may affect the team, but it goes both ways. If Leeds were performing well there might be more interest from serious investors, rather than the clowns and lightweights who have currently stepped forwards. Finally, Luke Varney: what a tool. A contract is a promise. You get paid so just show up and do your job. Why Blackburn would still want him is a mystery to me. baztomo sounds good to me. whiteblob if Cellino is awaiting trial and already been convicted of financial irregularities, and failed the FA criteria already, can he pass it again? do you became a fit and proper person over time? GFH. id like to meet them on a dark secluded street sometime. maxwatson The convictions matter if they are still on his record (some convictions can get wiped off, e.g. by a pardon). The “awaiting trial” accusations should not count but if he is subsequently convicted they would. However, couple of things: – what he failed previously (for West Ham) was the Premier League’s FAPP test. This is the Football League. The tests are broadly the same (the FL is a bit weaker) – the person in charge is one Shaun Harvey – there is a schedule (for both) of laws you’re not allowed to break. The condition isn’t, “you must not have been corrupt”, it’s a specific list of laws. They’re English. He may be able to argue they don’t apply, since the EU and Italian laws he’s broken aren’t on the list. Carson Yeung had a money laundering conviction and still managed to get through the Premier League FAPP, similarly the Portsmouth owner was alleged to have been involved in arms dealing. etc. Bluesman The system is to blame for this situation. The rights of fans should be enshrined in law. The clubs don’t belong to the fans they are just a side interest for the unscrupulogus business man. We have endured very bad times and it seems that worse may be yet to come. The fans should take action to protect the club and to drive GFH into the ground and out of existence. MP,s should set up a committee to look at how football is run and managed. It won,t save Leeds United but, it may prevent abuse elsewhere. I would urge everyone to contact their MP,s about this issue. There is no question in my mind that the system attacks the rights of working people. Let’s start with a demonstration against GFH and then create a ‘revolution’ in English football PMH I don’t want a revolution I just want a team I can support without the need for psychoactive medication. John Davis Just had a major thought and would like to clear my mind. Ken Bates owned leeds united, GFH capital came in, ken bates sold leeds to GFH capital they had 2 to 3 months of due diligence (at the time David Haigh as a senior employee of GFH capital was surely involved with the period of due diligence?) GFH Capital bought the club stuck our beloved David Haigh MD in charge and now hes put together a consortium to buy the club. Once there offer was accepted for Leeds and after trying to clear everything up with the football league approval the only thing outstanding, the second period of due dilligence in 12 months has found a sticking point that David Haighs mates have now decided to get cold feet and revise the original offer. In my thoughts this would happen in only a few situations, 1. Our MDs mates have had there shares and stock value drastically over inflated and when push comes to shove they cant afford it? 2. Since the last due diligence was undertaken upon Ken Bates era GFH Capital have restructured things behind the scenes quite cleverly that the MD that they put in charge didn’t know about it? or 3. As above but the MD did know about it but forgot to tell his palls. 4. Not quite sure about this one but ill have a go. That Leeds United actually own some assetts or the rights to them i.e land or other substance that GFH are wanting to take out of Leeds United control put in GFH control and sell Leeds for the price they paid plus a little profit and keep a share? After all there only in this to make money for the shareholders. Or any other thoughts please? whiteblob they are good points, Cellino did openly say he was not buying the club on friday, this could be shit of course, but on the other hand has he not had a meeting with Haigh too? So whats Haigh doing talking to a rival bider even in his capacity as a director, would you. would you not be fuming that GFH were talking to another party. am not sure what to think their is a lot PR smoke screening going on John Davis Working on Behalf of GFH, David Haigh would surely be involved in meeting with the Italian Bloke? markman plus Haigh has probably been gazumped. GFH are considering bigger offers baztomo food for thought just keep us posted. Leeds For Now To all the people who are saying McDermott should be fired and there are quite a few, look at the post match interview, what do you see? i see a manager that is every bit as frustrated with the behind the scenes malarkey as many of the Leeds supporters are. He’s had the wool pulled over his eyes by the shysters and skint Arabs holding the purse strings. We supporters are getting used to it, look at the past few windows, they may as well call it the January cell door, its always closed to us. Bri’s probably not seen anything like it before. Lets cut the bloke some slack Irving08 Honestly, I am sure it is only a tiny and insignificant minority who want Brian to be fired. Most of us are willing him to succeed. My feeling is that he needs a person such as Eddie Gray by his side – with his fine judgement of players, feel for the local culture and experience of managing and coaching at Leeds. baztomo i’m happy with that. craig Brian, Keep your chin up son. We all make mistakes in our jobs from time to time its no different in football unfortunately you’ve got between 20 and 30,000 little bosses plus a few thousand armchair bosses. Everyone wants to be judge and jury I wouldn’t want your job for love or money. The wankers at the top need to sort this shit out and quick. I wasn’t a fan of Horse face Warnock didn’t like him as a man or manager but regardless of my personal view and insult he didn’t stand much of a chance either. I hope you stick with our club your integrity speaks volumes and I hope you get the tools you need soon to take us forward. I think we had a lucky looking run and appeared better than we probably were you need to spring clean. As for Luke Varney regardless of who what and when I hope you make sure he never pulls on a white shirt again. Good riddance Barn Door you are the weakest link fuck off. Keep on Brian with that bald head held high I for one think it will come good for you. baztomo that sounds good to me. maxwatson My reading, having been involved in takeovers previously: – A “retrade”, or last minute attempt by the buyer to change the price, is quite common. It’s often positioned as “we found something in the books” or “something changed”, but really what it means is “we believe we’re in a stronger position now than we were at the start of the due diligence process”. The reason it’s so common is that it’s usually inevitable. The exclusivity clauses that typically kick in when a due diligence process starts switch off all conversations with other potential buyers, and prevent new ones coming in. If the seller was keen to sell for reasons of a deteriorating position, it’s usually got even worse, and the pressure has increased. So if, say, you had a 2 month exclusivity/due diligence period, you might well find yourself, even more desperate, having to connect or reconnect with potential buyers and looking down the barrel of another exclusivity period with the new one, and a risk of going down the same route. So the buyer waits to right at the end of the DD period and turns the screw. It feels like this is what happened here. – But – this is a management buy out, so if it was even just a hint of “we’ve found something in the books”, the parent company might well have got annoyed. “They’re your books!” and “you went through them on our behalf a year ago”. Cue emotional negotiations. The Barnes issue, btw, was simply down to coming in the middle of negotiations and GFH not wanted to provide even more financial weight to the loan they had from SC, further weakening their position (and their ability to look elsewhere). You can see the strength of that lever from the current panic about winding up orders. – At some point an unusual buyer was found, one willing to outbid the management buy out and also not too worried about due diligence. Only problem – form, specifically around FAPP. It feels like either the exclusivity period either wasn’t tight in the contracts, or it was broken (which might explain Flowers’ outburst about “breaking a covenant”), which could end up in litigation. It looks to me, and this (and the above) is entirely guesswork, like a series of miscalculations by the buyer, maybe playing a difficult hand where they didn’t have the originally agreed sum and needed to get the number down, and maybe thinking they could enforce a gentleman’s agreement about extended exclusivity. And what is happening now is a whole bunch of messy compromise around finding a solution, since it feels like GFH has no choice but to sell to someone, but think they have a few options available. Irving08 Thanks for an illuminating analysis. baztomo very informative many thanks. Colin Does anyone have any thoughts on what McDermott meant by these comments: To LUTV: “I personally have gone through a hell of a lot over the past few days” “There’s a lot of things going on that shouldn’t happen” To Radio Leeds: “I’ve had to go through a lot as a manager that you’d never think that you’d have to go through” Some of this stuff that has gone on in the last few days has not been pleasant and doesn’t belong in football” He said it referred to ‘off the pitch’. Okay, but what could he mean? I’m sure the money for new transfers has dried up, but surely those comments refer to something else. If it’s just boardroom shenanigans, why is he so emotional about it. Has someone had a go at him? If so, why and about what? I’m puzzled as to what he is referring to. Any ideas? TSS Well, he was in a position of security while SC were preferred bidders. Funds were meant to be in place early January and everything was expected to be on the up by now. Instead he’s become increasingly isolated and left as the only remaining figure speaking publicly about this whole affair, so while the rest of LUFC’s hierarchy hide in the East Stand discussing deals with convicted fraudsters, McDermott is trying to hold the club together through what has become the most ridiculous situation I’ve seen in years (which is quite something at Leeds). To add insult to injury, we’re now in a position where Cellino is looking the most likely to takeover Leeds which will no doubt mean McDermott is out of a job. There’s been some reports that Cellino’s guys were shown around the facilities with the new staff he intends to bring in, which is a bit of a piss-take if true. Would you want to be McDermott right now? I’d have walked if I was in his position, the club’s treatment of him is a joke. Absolute incompetence from those above, most of all David Haigh who as Managing Director of the club somehow didn’t know about whatever it is that SC uncovered during due diligence that scuppered their deal. How can you be MD of a club and not fully understand the financial situation? There’s either something very dodgy going on there or Haigh is utterly incompetent. I’m so fucked off with this club right now, I can’t even begin to imagine how McDermott must feel. Colin Agreed, McDermott is on his way out, maybe not this season, but I can’t see him starting the 2014/15 season. That makes me sad. These are just my thoughts, but I think David Haigh is 100% genuine and has Leeds United’s interests at heart. I think he’s a “good guy”. There is no evidence to suggest otherwise. I think he’s supported McDermott and I think Brian likes him (he’s said nothing but positives about Haigh, he never mentioned the others, Salah, Hunt etc.) Secondly, there’s no love lost between me and Gary Cooper, but his support of Haigh has been nothing less than a love in. You have to hope that Cooper has the best interests of Leeds at heart and therefore he rates Haigh. Remember the absolute venom he used to publicly display against Bates & Harvey? I think Haigh made McDermott’s transfers happen, and Brian is David’s friend. I believe some of his comments referred to how Haigh (his friend) has been treated. Another interesting part of this jigsaw is CEO Paul Hunt. He’s been through this shit before with Venky’s. He 100% IS a football man. I think Haigh has been ousted. Andy Flowers’ (a Haigh ally) bid is down the toilet, so that’s the end of Sport Capital. I can see Paul Hunt (another Haigh ally) walking away from Leeds United. That leaves Salah Nooruddin & McDermott in a tricky place. That would mean we’re effectively under new (board) management (GFH weren’t running the day to day activities of the club anyway). TSS – “I’m so fucked off with this club right now”. TSS, I’m Mr. Positive, but even I am struggling for positivity right now. From speaking to some of my Leeds friends, they’re just fed up and can’t be arsed with the club right now. That’s worrying. With regret, we might just be back in the dark days all over again. Irving08 Who isn’t a bit fed up with this saga ? But for every fan who ‘can’t be arsed any longer’ there will be one whose resolve is only hardened by adversity. However I do agree that the club does feel rudderless in a way that it did (to me) under the hapless Professor Mackenzie. In playing terms, of course we have been in worse places. Irving08 Really ? BM can be forgiven for not appreciating the culture of pessimism that permeates Radio Leeds’ coverage of the club (plus their hunger for a story). He should have brushed them off, saying ‘hey, we’re Leeds United, we’re too big to be distorted by tittle-tattle like that, we’re professionals, we just get on with the job’ – as indeed they should. Just look at the badge ! Furthermore Brian’s two flying wingers have created a totally unnecessary and self-inflicted issue. He would have better sticking with his autumn approach, fine-tuning it (recalling White and Taylor, trusting in Byram, bringing forward Dawson even), than trying to move things to another level, but without the means to buy the necessary quality (which is at a premium so far as wingers are concerned). Regarding Haigh, I concur, but then I wouldn’t need much persuading anyway. Colin EMERGENCY!! If in doubt, hit the panic button, lose all sense of perspective & play the kids. That will work just fine. Irving08 Who said anything about panic ? It is precisely a sense of perspective that lead me to suggest it. Signing two 50/50 (at best) wingers strikes me as a bit panicky. In any case, 22 and 19 are not exactly ‘kiddy’ ages. There is enough experience elsewhere in the squad to make the gradual (note ‘gradual’) drafting of youth a feasible strategy. It’s cheaper too – and it is not as if Leeds have not taken this route before (1962-3; 1984-5 and in the late ‘nineties). Brian commendably took a small step with Mowatt; in my view, he would have been better continuing down this road. I hope the 22 year old Stewart comes good too; but it may not happen soon. mrbigwheels Brian has just realized David Haigh has been playing billy big bollox and is a politician really, also David’s new best friend likes pizza not pies. Having to put up with the humiliation of being introduced to the new Italian coaching staff, Brian is fairly devastated and is finding it quite difficult to take everything on board. To top it all off, Varney wants to be in charge, while Ross packs his bags for Sunderland. One thing for sure…. Brian doesn’t deserve this heap o’ shit and the fan base don’t either… mrbigwheels And also…… why is Cellino lurking in the shadows?….. Ask David Haigh!. Colin WELL WE ALL KNOW NOW WHAT HE WAS REFERRING TO – GIANLUCA FESTA. Having to take him and his coaches around the club and being asked to let him sit in the dugout with McDermott. That’s shocking. Mr Worried If ‘One Cornetto’ Chelino passes the FA Fit and PP test then this is not worth having in place. It’s a pointless exercise embraced by the games governing body in England which sounds and looks good. The FA should stand up and protect the English game from ‘plastic toy town tin pot money persons’ taking ownership of clubs only to leave those clubs destitute. Look at Portsmouth, a perfect example of the FA and those governing the game allowing ‘piss takers’ to play owners. C’mon FA step up to the plate and do what your supposed to do, Police the financial safety and security of Leeds United from these wolves in sheeps clothing. Flex your muscle and warn GFH your monitoring our clubs welfare closely. The more I read about the situation and watching BMcDs post match interview only increases worries for our club. Something good must happen at Leeds United, we’ve put up with so much crap for long enough. david n.i. Stay away from ER give them no more of your money until this is sorted, enough is enough, fan power. Luke And what the fuck will that do for the players? No fans there to support them, then they’re gonna play even shitter than they are doing atm Luke . mick98 Mick98 Stop whinging about off the field affairs. I have played local football with men who have just lost everything dear to them and they loved those 90 minutes. Am I the only life long Leeds fan that thinks we need a decent keeper? Mick98 Luke And Kenny isn’t decent? Hes made a few mistakes and, because we aint scoring at the other end because the only one that can score is ross, hes in the spotlight, face it hes kept us in loads of games this season, the defence has been utter shambles for most part and hasn’t helped him at all Rob Do you not think this is the same old story? Is it now three transfer windows where dealings off the pitch have resulted in LUFC being unable to trade? I personally was holding my breath for Ross to be sold then that would be three transfer windows we had shipped out our best for no return……my opinion is simply that until we have a board who completely back the club with no intentions off the pitch and not in it for what they can get financially then LUFC will continue to struggle and ultimately get nowhere! MoT!! henrymouni GFH were always going to offload Leeds ASAP for the most money they could get. I got plenty of abuse on here for saying so. Mr Haigh has led the charm offensive, and has been liked by all those who have met him. He is a business man, a lawyer, and he wants to be a politician. What sort of man does that conjure up? A straight talker?? A man to trust?? Brian is under pressure, and this does not help at all. However, the team has been poor for most of the season, so you cannot say this ‘takeover’ saga is to blame. It has been confirmed that Mr Cellino had his ‘people’ watching training, and requested that one of them sit in the dugout during the game. This request was declined. It is not good is it? As he has not bought the club yet, it amazes me that he was allowed, by GFH, to do this. We never seem to reach rock bottom, do we? Irving08 Henry, you flatter Haigh by calling him a ‘businessman and a lawyer’. A law degree and a position in a lower league (by world standards) fund management company do not make him either. He is a rather typical product of a minor league English public school – well-mannered, well spoken, a bit charming (and perhaps not very bright). It can only be because Bates’ was none of those things (and possibly because they are thin on the ground anyway in the world in which many of our supporters live) that Haigh received the heroes’ welcome that he has. But, yes, his eyes do seem to be set on a career on the Tory backbenches. Irving08 PS : Let’s hear it on Saturday: ‘Keep them out the dugout Brian’ ! Between the Lines And the ground and the Country for that matter. mrbigwheels ”As he has not bought the Club yet, it amazes me that he was allowed, by GFH, to do this” Henry….. there are other options here. Was it GFH, GFH-C, Salah Noodlesguy,or……. David Haigh allowed this?. I’m told, (by the tea lady), DH is the culprit. DH appears to have parted ways with Mr Flowers and seems to be holding hands with The Italian. DH is the present MD of Leeds. DH is part/front of the consortium that’s been bidding for Leeds. DH is the man who told us all Brian had no worries as money was in place. DH is the man that has ‘conned’ Brian and now is ‘conning’ us, with silence. DH is in this for reasons that are egotistical, self gratifying and financial gain. DH is playing the political big guy. GFH may be feeling, he’s conned them too. DH should resign from this Club. His position is totally untenable… imo. Irving08 So, on Saturday, do we sing ‘You Tory ******* get out of our club’ ? as well as the above mentioned ? Irving08 Woops below-mentioned. Between the Lines No No No, You’ve got it all wrong, they were doing it For Leeds United and the fans, they’ve said so, so many times. I bet they’ve got a lot of spots on their tongues. nikos Hands off Brian and LUFC! Everyone that cares about our beloved Club needs to be on the stands of Elland Road in these dark, gloomy and scaring days and nights that are here and coming. We should back the manager and players (-except of course those that don’t deserve it, ie Varney & Co) but we also should scream against those that are jeopardising the future of LEEDS United. Results don’t really matter when you are facing such conditions, like the ones Brian has to put up with. Everyone united. Don’t let that situation drive you away now that the club needs us most. BT I am absolutely disgusted in the manner Brian McDermott has been treated. I was ecstatic when he replaced Neil Warnock, I immediately thought he was defiantly the right choice to manage Leeds United back to glory. He will not be short on offers to manage other clubs. I’m a little confused as to why the law is different for football clubs. When English law states, companies who buy or acquire businesses must retain employees for a minimum of one year. I am at a loss why the FA so far have allowed Cellino, an imorale and corrupt individual to gain a possible foothold on the club. I do hope they are willing and able to ensure that he is thoroughly investigated. Surely with his impending embezlement trial and previous fraudulent activity the FA should be allowed to block his intented acquisition. I will be extremely disappointed if they allow him to (what I think will be a travesty for our beloved Leeds United), to complete the deal. Companies and individuals in the uk are credit checked, the FAPP should revise their policy to prevent unsuitable persons and consortiums from purchasing football clubs. It is imperative for the survival of English Football. The FA should be representing and protecting our clubs, they seem to forget the ardent fans who travel the length and breadth of the country supporting their team. henrymouni Sad times indeed BT. I suspect it was was GFH who sacked Brian. Probably at the suggestion of Cellino Corleone? His record is not great. 15 wins out of 36, and a diabolical run of form just now. Why he was sacked before today’s game I don’t understand. If it is Cellino who is buying the club, there may be a few others given their marching orders. Even Thom & Eddie again?? Hope not. To see so many Championships clubs ‘with no money’ bringing in players, was very depressing yesterday. We’ll just have to wait and see. It seems that the Farnan group have been frozen out by GFH, which is also odd. I don’t have much faith in the FA. The leagues have many dodgy foreign owners already. Between the Lines If they do succeed in the takeover, does that mean another half million spent on private planes. Could Cellino be Ken Bates in disguise?