CELLINO GETS GREEN LIGHT BUT BRIAN’S IN THE DARK

Takeover could spell end for boss

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Chris Dunlavy

LEEDS boss Brian McDer­mott ad­mit­ted he may have taken his fi­nal game af­ter Mas­simo Cellino won his long-run­ning bat­tle to buy the cash-strapped club.

For­mer Cal­giari owner Cellino ini­tially failed the Foot­ball League’s fit and proper per­son’s test, spark­ing fears of ad­min­is­tra­tion and forc­ing play­ers to go with­out full wages for March.

But the Ital­ian – who has pumped £6m of his own money into the club – ap­pealed the de­ci­sion and was yes­ter­day granted per­mis­sion to com­plete his takeover.

The news came as a huge re­lief to Leeds sup­port­ers, but for McDer­mott – al­ready sacked and then re­in­stated by Cellino – it is a dis­as­ter.

Mar­tyn Waghorn’s 33rd­minute goal for Wi­gan con­signed his side to an eighth de­feat in nine games and af­ter­wards McDer­mott con­ceded that he may not be around much longer.

“To me, the most im­por­tant thing is not the po­si­tion of the man­ager or any in­di­vid­ual player,” said McDer­mott, speak­ing be­fore the news broke.

“It is Leeds United go­ing for­ward. Me, I can work with Mas­simo. But it’s the pre­rog­a­tive of any owner at any club to choose the man­ager he wants to work with and I ab­so­lutely re­spect that.

“But as I’ve just said to our press of­fi­cer now, even if I’m not man­ager I would come back and sup­port Leeds United, be­cause it’s a fan­tas­tic club.”

Asked whether Cellino – re­cently charged with tax eva­sion in Italy – was right for the club, McDer­mott was cau­tiously op­ti­mistic.

“It’s a time thing,” he said. “We’ll have to wait and see. But from what I know, he’s a leader. He’s owned a club for 22 years and been con­sis­tent with that.

“And from what I know he’s got fi­nan­cial clout, which is some­thing we haven’t had over many, many years. It’s a big, big job. There’s a lot to be done on and off the field.”

The Foot­ball League ex­pressed dis­ap­point­ment that an in­de­pen­dent QC had up­held Cellino’s ap­peal.

“We are dis­ap­pointed at the out­come of the ap­peal hear­ing, how­ever we would like to thank the in­de­pen­dent QC for his dili­gence in re­view­ing this de­ci­sion,” said a state­ment.

“The in­de­pen­dent QC has con­cluded that Mr. Cellino's re­cent con­vic­tion in the Sar­dinian Court did not in­volve con­duct that would ‘rea­son­ably be con­sid­ered to be dis­hon­est’ based on in­for­ma­tion avail­able to him at the cur­rent time.

“This was never about in­di­vid­ual per­son­al­i­ties, but

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