Elland RoadLeeds United look to be on the brink of new ownership following a chaotic day in which Massimo Cellino attempted to finalise his takeover of the club while the current owners sacked Brian McDermott and replaced him with the inexperienced Gianluca Festa.

What follows is a breakdown of the days events.

McDermott sacked

While you could argue recent league form justifies the sacking of Brian McDermott, it’s worth taking into consideration the conditions he’s been working under. The events of the last week have been a total disgrace with GFH showing the potential new owners and their replacement manager around the training grounds and stadium, all in a sickening attempt to undermine McDermott’s authority after he refused to allow Festa a spot on the bench for the Whites’ last league game against Ipswich Town.

But going even further back than that, McDermott has spent eight months carrying himself with the utmost dignity while GFH constantly broke promises of funding to build a team capable of challenging for promotion.

Despite a summer in which he made very little progress signing the players he wanted, desperately lacking personnel to strengthen key positions all over the pitch, McDermott had Leeds United on the brink of the play-offs when the January transfer window opened, only to find himself once again restricted by takeover chaos, despite assurances that Sports Capital’s bid to takeover the club would go through swiftly and have no impact on his ability to spend.

The recent slump may well justify a change of manager, but the chaos GFH’s attempt to sell this club has created played a big part in all that. The feel-good factor McDermott had created was sapped from players and fans alike. Phil Hay described the effect of the takeover drama as “paralyzing” to the club and I don’t think there’s a better word for it.

But even more unjustifiable than McDermott’s sacking is the manner in which the club acted, first allowing him to go out and greet a pressroom that the chairman and GFH have avoided like the plague (which he did in a calm and dignified manner without criticising the owners at all), before later sacking him via a lawyer. No one at club even had the decency to sit down and speak with the man face-to-face.

Whatever you may think of Brian McDermott as a football manager – and, for what it’s worth, I think he’s the best we’ve had in years – no one deserves the kind of treatment he’s been subjected to by the current and soon-to-be new owners.

Farewell Brian, you deserved much better.

“I would like to thank from the bottom of my heart each and every Leeds United fan for their support. You’ve been amazing” Brian McDermott

McCormack on Sky Sports News

The announcement of McDermott’s sacking was sandwiched between a statement and a live phone call from Ross McCormack on Sky Sports News.

The brief statement he made before McDermott’s sacking has been announced aimed to dismiss speculation that he may be leaving Elland Road, insisting that he wanted to stay at Leeds and play for Brian McDermott.

A couple of hours later and almost immediately after the news of McDermott’s sacking, an understandably frustrated McCormack spoke live on air with the Sky Sports’ presenter in what can only be described as a “come and get me” plea to other clubs.

McCormack described himself as “lost for words” by the news and suggested in a non-too-subtle way that had he known McDermott would be sacked earlier in the day, he’d have seriously considered offers to move elsewhere.

At any other club, I’m sure it seems unusual for your captain to go live on air with three hours of the transfer window remaining to issue a come and get me plea, but amidst today’s chaos, it wasn’t all that surprising. Whether he remains at Elland Road beyond the 11pm deadline remains to be seen.

Update Friday 31st, 22:37: Ross McCormack tweets what appears to be confirmation he’s staying at Elland Road.

“Lets all be united tomorrow. An unreal atmosphere and 3 points and move this great club forward. See yous tomorrow!”

Update Friday 31st, 23:45: Leeds turned down a second offer from Cardiff City for Ross McCormack. According to Owen Coyle on the BBC, the proposed fee was £6m.

Sponsors clamber to terminate contracts

The fallout from McDermott’s sacking and the collapse of Sports Capital’s bid to takeover the club continued as Enterprise Insurance announced they’d be terminating their sponsorship after the actions of those in charge “brought the club into disrepute.”

Enterprise, whose owner Andrew Flowers was part of the Sports Capital group planning to takeover Leeds United say they’ll be taking legal advice to recoup money they’ve spent to fund the club.

The announcement from Enterprise was quickly followed up by a Sky Sports News report which said Flamingoland – who pay a six-figure annual sum to the club – will also be terminating their sponsorship deal.

Cellino era begins

All of the above is basically a chain-reaction to Massimo Cellino’s takeover of the club.

While the deal hasn’t been confirmed yet and is subject to a Football League Fit & Proper person test that has so many loopholes, it’s nothing but a waste of time, the convicted fraudster is believed to have finalised a £25m deal to buy 75% of Leeds United from GFH Capital.

As an indication of how much of a foregone conclusion this deal seems to be, it’ll be Cellino’s man Gianluca Festa leading the Whites out tomorrow as The Whites try to return to on-field matters following one of the darkest days for Leeds United in recent memory.

Paul Hunt sacked, David Haigh resigns

Update Friday 31st, 22:06: The fallout continues as the club’s Chief Executive Paul Hunt is relieved of his duties.  

Update Friday 31st, 23:32: There’s been conflicting reports regarding David Haigh’s future at the club. Earlier speculation said he would take over from Paul Hunt as the club’s Chief Executive, but the BBC’s Adam Pope is now claiming David Haigh has resigned in protest of Brian McDermott’s sacking.

Fans gather in protest at Elland Road

Update Friday 31st, 23:00: A group of 30+ Leeds fans have gathered at Elland Road and are currently blocking Massimo Cellino from exiting the premises (picture here). The West Yorkshire Police are now in attendance after the fans chased away a taxi which had arrived to pick Cellino up.

The West Yorkshire Police’s LUFC Twitter account (@LUFC_WYP) have tweeted that “colleagues [are] at Elland Road to make sure no one does anything silly. Enough of that has gone on already tonight!”

Post will be updated as further news breaks. Follow TSS on Twitter for more @TSSLUFC

Last update: Friday 31st, 21:49