In hindsight, the writing was on the wall for Neil Redfearn when Steve Thompson was inexplicably suspended. At the time, it was explained to me the decision was made by Cellino who’d become consumed by paranoia during his Football League imposed exile, singling Thompson out as the change which had brought about a breakdown in communication between himself and Redfearn.

It all seemed so childish to be true. For a man of Cellino’s age to lash out like a spoilt brat because he was jealous of one man’s relationship with another beggared belief, but as time went on, little else made any sense.

The official line claimed Nicola Salerno (a man who hasn’t worked at the club or made any comment since) was responsible for the decision after Thompson hurled abuse at him following a match, claims that weren’t adding up for anyone, particularly those who were around the team after the match in question like Radio Leeds’ Adam Pope.

Still, the thought that our owner deliberately undermined the manager- and in so doing destabilised the team- because he’d grown paranoid and jealous was more insane than all that had gone before it.

Yet for me, any remaining doubts dissipated upon hearing Cellino’s bizarre press conference last week. In it, he scoffed angrily about Redfearn’s communication with him during his ban, claiming he’d hear from Neil when things were going badly but when things were going well, there was no contact, a claim I can well believe given there’s no reason for Redfearn to contact and explain himself to an owner when things are going smoothly.

The bitter snipes continued, Cellino moaned about the players he’d brought in being under-utilised and claimed, in a round-about way, to have made Neil Redfearn the man he is today, clearly angered by some perceived betrayal or ungrateful response.

But what exactly was Redfearn supposed to be grateful for? For stepping up after Cellino had hired and fired another unsuitable head coach? For the crop of talented youngsters he’s developed and brought into our first team, youngsters who’ll sell for millions should Cellino choose to do so? For carrying himself and representing the club with the utmost dignity while rescuing us from relegation in the most shambolic of circumstances?

Cellino’s got this all wrong, it’s Redfearn who deserves the gratitude, for without him we’d probably be in League One with Edgar Cani tasked with firing us back to glory.

And from most, Redfearn will get the gratitude. Even if his rescue mission was a job well done, but judged to be as far as he could take us, the way in which his (now inevitable) exit has been conducted is a disgrace, one which won’t soon be forgiven by myself or many other Leeds United fans.

Cellino mocked our fan culture (the Leeds salute) and tried to belittle the relationship between Redfearn and the fans because he’s jealous of it. Redfearn gets Leeds because Redfearn is Leeds. Cellino wants that love and respect too, he wants us to be cheering his name from the stands, but burning one of us won’t win Cellino the approval he so desperately craves.

Life at the club must go on though and no matter how disgraceful the treatment of Redfearn to create the vacancy was, it’s a vacancy that needs to be filled and it looks like the next watermelon may be Uwe Rosler.

The former Brentford and Wigan boss would be a solid choice from Cellino. Our friends at Beesotted, a Brentford fanzine, did a rather in-depth piece on him for Wigan fans last year in which Rosler’s style is described as possession-based, high-pressing football. He’s said to take an extreme approach to fitness levels and often fields baffling and inconsistent line-ups in the name of squad rotation, though he did ease up on that a bit towards the end of his time with The Bees. He’s also known to totally change the system midway through a match which isn’t going his way.

One wonders how Rosler could be attracted to Elland Road given the chaos we’re so often consumed by and the lack of time he’ll be afforded by a man with zero patience, but if he is to be the new head coach, he’s as good a choice as any.

As for Redders, I feel downright ashamed by the club’s handling of this matter, it’s an absolute travesty that his service to Leeds United has ended in such an ugly manner, but the fickle nature of football means there’ll be many doors open to a man whose stock has undoubtedly risen in the last twelve months so I know he’ll find a new home quickly, hopefully at a club which treats him with the respect and appreciation he so surely deserves.

The great work Redfearn did at Leeds United won’t soon be forgotten by our fanbase who’ll always be ready to welcome him home as one of our own. Best of luck for the future Neil. We wish you every success. MOT.

31 Responses

  1. Ian Giggal

    Different circumstances, different coach, same disgraceful treatment. He did the exact same things to Brian McDermott last year. The merits or lack thereof in sacking BMcD can be debated, but what can;t be is that he was a decent man treated very poorly and with extreme disrespect. Have to say poor Neil is now on the receiving end of the same behaviour, and no matter what you think of the job he did (I am a fan, but others can differ) he deserves better that the public trashing he is getting from Cellino. As you say Rosler is a good a choice as any. There are probably better choices and there are a plethora of worse choices, but the way MC works, we will never have to live with any choice good or bad very long. Now if you excuse me, I really need #sadnap.

  2. Michael

    I realised during this week that this year is my 50th supporting Leeds United. I have never felt so low about how our club continues to be run, the team I love. Redfern did his best. He took the risk to be our head coach.He saved us from a difficult position as relegation loomed. He gave youth a chance and it worked. He deserves so much more than the way our owner is treating him. Disrespect is a word that spring to mind.

    • leeds oldie

      Totally agree ive just finished my 60th thinking very hard about my 61st

  3. Andrew

    Pity, but the picture Redders talking to the sitting BMcD during a match would of made Cellino crazy I believe.

  4. Michael Yates

    Well here we go again life long fan wonders if this new guy can work with MC only time will tell but I do think that the way said owner has treated redders is disrespectful to say the least it was not redders fault that the owner was band and left no one who had the gumption to stand up and do the right thing it is just a shame that all the hard work put in by redders and his team is not reconised all we can do is get behind the new man show M C what true and loyal fans we are Leeds United MOT

  5. leeds oldie

    Cellino the capone of the football league should be relinquished from running or owning any football club the man is a total clown, crook, and does not nor deserve the respect or backing of the best supporters in england .The man must go .
    Neil Redfern is the best coach /manager we have had in years.Rossler you are not wanted here
    i hope redfern sues the club for the maximum for constructive dismissal and defamation of character.
    cellino is the most disrepectful owner i hope the league ban hjm longer thjs time

    • Michael Yates

      Hi Leeds oldIe I agree with you and I don’t think it be long before he iz back in front of football league and probably band again but he has put the cash on the table and as nobody else has genuinely put money up we are stuck we would not have Leeds to support I think he is totally wrong for Leeds and probably wrong for English football but we’re stuck so back the manager and players as we always do Leeds will hopefully be here on after he flown the nest

  6. Billy Bunter

    MC is one f..cked up, paranoid individual – unfortunately he’s the guy with the dosh tosh and his ego will not allow him to leave until he is good and ready, regardless and some.
    Totally lack of respect for Redders, Thompson, the club, and fans; I don’t think he (Cellino) realises how his decisions nearly derailed the clubs Championship status. He should be kissing Redders & Thompson’s feet.

  7. mrbigwheels

    The past is the past, the future is… the fans of this Club, shouting and singing Cellino out of Elland Road on matchday. He’s a mongrel for his demeanor alone.
    I will not have or endure any more of his shitty ways. A disgrace in English Football.

  8. Leland Roadie

    Cellino has 2 investigations from the FA, a fine to pay for Cameron Stewart, a potential claim from both Thompson and Readfearn, further criminal court cases in Italy and not to mention anything else we do not know about. It feels like the League are just sitting on their hands giving him enough rope to hang himself and the Club. Adam Pearson is there to do Due Diligence??. Let’s hope the Club gets through all this and gets an Owner who really wants successs and not just personal adoration.

  9. RichyM

    So how long is the Uwe shaped watermelon going to last? I’ll give it a fortnight before MC starts undermining him and a month before he’s sacked. Hopefully MC will be ousted/banned/shot into space before he can wreck this club beyond repair. Will miss Redders, one of our own good luck to him. MOT (bangs chest with fist)

  10. mrbigwheels

    Cellino still hasn’t spoken to Redfearn or the Fans regarding the present Head Coach position and here Cellino is… going to announce another one. That’s three Head Coaches on the payroll as of today and the Fans of this Club are paying for it..

    Total disgrace from the mongrel…

  11. djedjedje

    In all the malady of our chairman’s treatment of his coaching staff – which as it defies words, I’ll add none – I’m left to wonder about two dilemmas we are going to face with the future managers of our club.

    1.) How do we succeed as a club when success on the pitch will result in the fans celebrating the manager (sorry, ‘coach’), resulting in the Chairman getting bitter from the his lack of praise from the fans and thus sacking the coach. So much for success then!

    However, on the other hand, mediocrity or failure on the pitch will result in Cellino sacking the manager and his declaration to the fans, “I hold my hands up, I got it wrong! I’m still learning!”, and starting the merry-go-round of managers and no progress on the pitch (or worse).

    How do we brake this cycle? The only answer I can think of is to get a manager who is so hated by the fans for whatever reason that even record-breaking success as Leeds’ manager will still bring chants of “Time to go” from the fans. But who? Ladies and gentlemen, Roy Keane (I jest of course, sort of).

    2.) Lets say we fluke promotion (stop laughing), aren’t we then in danger of being lumbered with Cellino for decades? I think that’d kill the club more than relegation to League One. Cellino has recently said (although we know he’s not a man of his word), he’ll give it two more seasons to see if he can get us promoted before he’ll think about selling the club. Hurrah! So here’s to two seasons without us going anywhere! Only, doesn’t that leave us with that ridiculous anti-fan fan dilemma: hoping to God that we aren’t successful on the pitch?

    • Irving08

      I’d make it a rule never to have a Manager who ‘is one of our own’. Too much emotional baggage comes with it. I’d make it a second rule never to have a Manager who is unable to stonewall the local media. Too many confessionals otherwise.

      • djedjedje

        Good advice, Irving. I guess it’s been a learning curve for Redfern too!

      • Irving08

        What we must all be wondering is what, if any, lessons Massimo has learned from the experience.

      • djedjedje

        Evidently not that much in his PR manners.

        That said, appointing a manager who has at least experience of Championship football, and getting clubs to playoffs (though not winning them!), is leagues apart (excuse the pun) from appointing a no professional football experience Hockaday or only central European football experience, Milanic. So there’s some hope!

      • Irving08

        PS. One lesson Redders needs to learn is not to show solidarity with fans who are calling for his Boss’ head (Charlton).

  12. Tyler75

    Cellino is a paranoid fruitloop and his treatment of Redders has been a total disgrace. However it appears to be the Italian way – Watford won the title last season having gone through 4 coaches, the last of who was plucked from complete obscurity ! Its beyond surreal to realise that our potential saviours could well be Shaun Harvey and the ‘corrupt’ FL, who will likely have more than enough ammunition to ban Cellino from English football. Can’t help thinking (hoping) that Pearson has come on board because he and Cellino both know this is likely to happen and will therefore be the person to hold the fort/broker a sale/put together a buyout himself. As for Rosler, decent choice but unlikely to be our last ‘Coach’ this season. On and on….

    • TSS

      I think that’s exactly why Pearson is here. Furthermore, should the club be put up for sale, he’ll have a serious advantage since he’s in a position to forgo most of the due diligence generally required.

  13. mrbigwheels

    On your point of Cellinos ‘possible’ involvement with Thompson departing and the derision of Redfearn which is mega… (Redfearn has a clear cut/no problem case for deformation of character here….
    I would suggest a whole new can of worms may well open when the T and R situation becomes clear of Cellinos involvement with the Club while banned, (+sick note six debacle, etc) and the future viewpoint the FL may well take on board as the dust elusively settles…

    Question….. Has Cellino breached his Banning Order?.

  14. djedjedje

    After today’s professional press conference, I’m more positive about our future than I have been for weeks.

    If Pearson and the Football League can conspire between them to keep Cellino at arms length from the club, we might just be able to get back to talking about the football.

    • Irving08

      Yes and Rosler has a better chance of making his terms and conditions stick than Redfearn – or perhaps any internal appointment – would.

  15. rememberrevie

    Completely agree with other readers’ indignation over the shambolic mess that Cellino’s making out of our once great proud football club Leeds United. Previous owners have been poor. But none of them deliberately sabotaged the club as Cellino has done. Maleducato is what an Italian would call him, meaning not badly educated but rude, ill-mannered, loutish and cowardly: and you can add (after the way he’s treated the excellent Neil Redfearn) narcissistic and psychologically unstable. Rosler has poor judgement if he thinks he’ll be treated by Cellino any differently. He won’t. Nor will any other manager. Leeds United won’t flourish again till Cellino leaves. And there’s one way to make this happen – fans’ power. Stop attending the games while he remains the owner, and tell him why. Losing half a million or more every weekend will hit him in the pocket and before long he’ll sell up and go – he’ll have to.

  16. spellz

    Uwe Rosler has the job now confirmed, come on Cellino I have no relevant background on my C.V and have won nothing would love the chance to manage Leeds United surely I’m in for a shout….. Did I mention I was sacked from my last position? it’s a no brainer.

    • Irving08

      What would be relevant background for Leeds then ?
      He came over pretty well in my book, better at any rate than our previous three Managers/coaches.

      • spellz

        Dont get me wrong Irv, I thought he came across well also and wish him the best for the sake of our club, he used to be a striker and tactically likes to play up the field, in the championship that at least guarantees you some goals, what worries me is Cellinos poor choices of head coaches so far. No one has had real experience of winning anything or being successful at a championship/prem level, lo and behold one by one since the disastrous choice of Hockaday they have been in Cellinos firing range.

        I really wish that he would have used some of his clout to persuade a manager who has had premiership experience and wants to vision getting Leeds back there also, Gus Poyet springs to mind for me.

      • Irving08

        I’d have liked Lambert myself, but I doubt he’d risk his reputation further by coming to us. Regarding Rosler, I actually have reservations about a relentlessly pressing game, at any rate with our present squad, and particularly with our much vaunted midfield. Cook and Phillips fit the bill, but against Mowatt and Murphy (Dawson, we don’t really know about), I’d put a question mark. I can see some difficult and possibly controversial choices having to be made down the line. The immediate problems though are plainly upfront.
        We’ll see.

      • spellz

        Yes I strongly agree, the question is also how much of our midfield will be in tact?

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