The Football League Paper - - TFLP - By Chris Dunlavy

LEEDS in­sist Brian McDer­mott will re­main their man­ager – fol­low­ing a far­ci­cal day which saw him sacked and re­in­stated in the space of 24 hours.

McDer­mott was ini­tially dis­missed on Fri­day night in a phonecall from lawyers rep­re­sent­ing new owner Mas­simo Cellino.

The for­mer Read­ing boss spoke to lo­cal ra­dio, thank­ing Leeds fans for their “amaz­ing sup­port”, while Cellino also gave an in­ter­view in which he said he had “no choice” but to sack McDer­mott be­cause “I want a coach, not a man­ager”.

Ross McCor­mack, McDer­mott’s skip­per at El­land Road, also spoke to lo­cal Press ex­press­ing his dis­ap­point­ment and anger at the move.

How­ever, af­ter a 5-1 win over Hud­der­s­field, Leeds re­leased a state­ment ap­par- ently claim­ing that McDer­mott had never been dis­missed.

“The club would like to make it clear that Brian McDer­mott re­mains our first team man­ager,” it said. “He has not been dis­missed from his post as sug­gested. We look for­ward to him con­tin­u­ing in his role with us in tak­ing Leeds for­ward.”

McDer­mott’s as­sis­tant Nigel Gibbs, who took charge against Hud­der­s­field, wel­comed the an­nounce­ment

“It’s great news,” he said. “We want him as man­ager, the play­ers do, the staff do, the club do, ev­ery­one around here does.

“In 32 years, I’ve never seen any­thing like this. It’s un­usual with­out a doubt, but the most im­por­tant thing is the sta­bil­ity of the foot­ball club, the own­er­ship It needs to be sorted out, and the first step is get­ting Brian back as a man­ager.”

McDer­mott’s re­turn was the cul­mi­na­tion of an em­bar­rass­ing 24 hours that brought fresh mis­ery to a club who hadn’t won since Novem­ber un­til yes­ter­day’s rout.

When news of McDer­mott’s sack­ing emerged, Leeds fans de­scended on El­land Road in an at­tempt to con­front Cellino, with po­lice called to re­store or­der.

Then, as Cellino’s takeover fal­tered early on Satur­day, for­mer own­ers GFH Cap­i­tal – who bought the club from Ken Bates for £52m in 2012 – fran­ti­cally at­tempted to have McDer­mott re­in­stated.

Even­tu­ally GFH did an­nounce the sale of the club to Eleonora Sport Ltd, a com­pany owned by Florid­abased corn mag­nate Cellino.

“They plan to in­vest sub­stan­tially in the club, in­clud­ing the re-ac­qui­si­tion of El­land Road,” said a state­ment from GFH.

It re­mains to be seen, how­ever, whether McDer­mott’s sur­vival is any­thing more than a de­lay­ing tac­tic to curry favour with fans.

FARCE: Brian McDer­mott

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